RJ Cacciutti – A Great Man, Gone Too Soon.
One of the best things about being PhillyChitChat is meeting so many wonderful people, some of them have become friends, which is hard to do because I have so little time to cultivate friendships. When I met RJ Cacciutti we talked for over an hour at the Law Abiding Citizen screening party at Del Frisco’s April 2009. (And for many of you, you know how rare that is as I am usually in my working mode, but that’s just the way RJ is, very engaging, and Erin was sweet too. We had a lot of laughs.) He told me about his family, his life and the business that he ran with his brother, Chuck, the West Philadelphia Bronze Corp. He told me how he cared for his workers, knew them by name, and their families. He sent them holiday cards, and personalized them. That was impressive. A dying art, the handwritten note. Something my mom still does today. Shortly after that we became email & FB friends (til he left FB), catching up on life, comparing schedules to see when we would run into each other again and meeting at Del Frisco’s, or Public House when he was around. He was living a charmed life. Working hard, doing charitable work, connecting people all over the world, and had a close relationship with his family and friends. He always had time for me, gave me great advice, we discussed politics, I would introduce him to my friends as my favorite Republican, but don’t hold it against him. I’d played match maker and fix him up with girls I thought would be a good match as he said he was getting to that age, and it was time to settle down. He went on a few dates with some of my choices. Doc Parghi, Kate Slattery and RJ Cacciutti at PIFA April 2011
RJ was eager to introduce me to his parents at the Radnor Hunt this past year: Dolly and Ralph Cacciutti. May 2011. That was really endearing. He told his mom and dad all about what I do, and I sat down with them for a bit as RJ attended to his other guests at The Freedom Council of Valley Forge tent. Then took a few photos of people with the Ronald Reagan cut out. (I’ll tell you a secret, the NBC10 tent was next to his tent and I was supposed to introduce him to one of my friends that day. Unfortunately, she had a last minute engagement and didn’t come to the Radnor Hunt. I later learned she didn’t like blind dates, bummer she missed out on someone special.)
Last month I ran into him at the Good Dog/Bad Dog Gala October 2011. William Firth, RJ CacciuttiDoc Parghi, and Kate Slattery. He said what he usually says, is Mike here? (My partner of a decade). Usually I say no, but this time…I was finally able to introduce him to Mike. They immediately hit it off, like I knew they would. They chatted for about 20 minutes or so. When I joined them, RJ said to me. HughE I want you to have this honorary membership coin from The Freedom Council of Valley Forge in recognition of all the charity work you do. Carry the coin proudly as it signifies honor and the good works of all men. – RJ it was an honor to have known you, and I will miss you. I never made enough time to see you. I never made it to the beach. I never called when I said I would, I never slowed down. I think you’ll be happy to know I’m going to work on those things, cause you never know when time has run out. So long my friend.