In Memoriam - 2004
"Gentleman... Professional... Kind and Decent Human Being."
There is a hole in the NSA universe. It
happened last Saturday and the hole cannot be filled. Max Meindl is gone
and it is very strange to write of him in the past tense. He should be
here still, as he always was.
While he and I were friendly, I didnít
know Max Meindl as a friend. I knew him as a peer. I traveled with Max for
three and a half years, over one hundred and fifty shows or more than
almost eight hundred hours on the road. In some months, I spent more time
with Max than my family. While I knew his wife, Kathleen and his
grandchildren, I knew him hardly at all.
Max was a man who did more than just
show up for every morning. He was a professional who put up the same
difficult booth each and every day as if it were the only day he would do
this. He did it right, and he always did it right. He presented his line
as though it was the most important thing a distributor would see that
I remember Max as an even-tempered man.
He was not a man who tolerated fools gladly and was often exasperated when
I would be apoplectic. He was a steady professional who seldom let the
frustrations of the job get to him, as I often do. I find myself trying to
emulate his steady demeanor on the job at every show.
Every job has its heroes and most heroes are quietly competent.
Every job has its superstars and most are judged by their steadiness.
Where sports had Jack Buck, Curt Goudy and Pat Summerall, the NSA Showcase
had Max Meindl.
As the unofficial chronicler of the NSA
Showcase, I realized that I had very few pictures of Max because he
didnít do things that made him comical or stand out. My photos are of
the people on Showcase who do things to stand out. Because of his
qualities, Max flew under the photographic radar. He appears in every
group photo of the last four years and you donít have to look far to
find him in the middle of group that seldom took him for granted.
At the end of the day, Max Meindl was a
man who mattered. He didnít do extraordinary thingsÖ he simply did
ordinary things extraordinarily well. Even in jeans and a tie at
breakdown, he was a solid professional. Everyone who knew him will miss
him. He went too soon and it is our loss.
April 4, 2004
= = = = = =
combined 30yrs in the Promotional Products Industry, Max exhibited the
best qualities of what we all seek to accomplish: He was: a Gentleman; a
Professional; and a Kind and Decent human being....he will be
To You... Max.
(At your favorite road retreat... the Embassy Suites manager's reception.)