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The legacy of a great man

A great man passed last week.  I received the phone call and all I could say as my first words in reaction to the news were "oh no".  This special man was more than my first client from 20 plus years ago.  He was a mentor, a man so full of positive thinking and a lifetime planter with his seeds of inspiration for people to take a chance on themselves.
To state simply, he was my first client.  Why he would take a chance on me, a young man still wet behind the ears and recently in possession of a college degree, I didn't know until yesterday.
I had spent a couple of tax seasons in college volunteering in the VITA program before graduation.  That was the expanse of my practical tax knowledge when I met my friend and first client.  VITA is a free tax preparation service to low income people managed by the IRS.  The preparers are volunteers and the reasons why they spend their unpaid time preparing returns are as diverse as the people they help.
I always knew I would be self employed someday.  Someday.  Without a nudge, someday can easily become never.  My friend and first client would become that nudge by asking me if I prepared tax returns and would I prepare one for him.
At his rosary, his daughter told me more of how he was.  She said he would eat at new restaurants regularly to help those places out yet full well knowing the food "might not be very good".  It turns out he was feeding the owner's hopes by spending his money there like he fed mine with me.  I loved that man.
Perhaps that is his legacy.  He was always encouraging people to take a chance on themselves.
Thank you for taking a chance on me old friend.  I will miss our chats and I will try to honor your memory by spending my money on places just starting out.  I know you will be smiling up there knowing that.
I am a CPA in San Antonio and provide bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and more.  We offer a free initial visit and look forward to serving your business needs.

Richard J. Garcia | 01/03/2011