At Saturday’s remembrance service for Paul Bolon, Fairfax GOP Chairman Tim Hannigan delivered the following remarks:
One of America’s greatest writers ended one of his poems with these insightful words:
“For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the Game.
(Grantland Rice, “Alumnus Football”)
Paul Bolon was a true gentleman in the way he played the game.
Paul was a fighter. He kept battling to succeed, even in the face of setbacks. Some of us have experienced setbacks in pursuit of mutual interests in the past few years. But that didn’t faze Paul: he kept battling to improve his team and was effective in doing so. There was no Quit in Paul.
Paul was very personable. He was always pleasant and easy-going in manner. I don’t know about you, but talking with MIT graduates is sometimes not easy. But not the case with Paul. Yes, he very smart and perceptive, but he had a good sense of humor and was an all-around regular guy: the type of person you’d like to have for a next-door neighbor. I always enjoyed meeting and working with Paul.
Paul was generous with his time and energy. When he saw he could help someone, he unhesitatingly stepped up to help. Last year we had to move stacks of newspapers into and out of our basement, a task that was pure manual labor and quite onerous. Paul was quick to answer the short-notice call for help and not only moved papers designated for him but pitched in to help move thousands of papers for others.
Paul was unfailingly civil in his interaction with colleagues. In working with Paul, I found that he had strong opinions on many subjects. That’s to be expected for such a learned and experienced man. But what was pleasantly surprising about Paul, especially these days, was his unfailing civility in dealing with people who had different views from his. There was no angry young man in him. He believed the inherent strength of a viewpoint should prevail, not how loud and mean you should make your argument. Paul and I did not see eye-to-eye on a subject, but I found the points he made straightforwardly, persistently, and cordially strengthened our final product.
Finally, Paul was loyal to his friends and colleagues. After one of our meetings last year, Paul called and said he wanted to meet with me. He came over to the office and pointed out to me that some of the charts I used in the meeting were too complicated and that I needed to simplify them. He was right both in the point he made and in his loyal willingness to help me be more effective. I think Paul would appreciate the fact that I didn’t bring any charts to this remembrance this morning.
Well, none of us know how the One Great Scorer writes against the names of individuals. But I think I can speak for everyone in this room in vigorously vouching for Paul Bolon, a true gentleman, having played a most worthy game! We’ll not forget you and your example, Paul!