Anthony Patalano 1963 – 2010

Anthony_PatalanoI met Anthony in April of 1991 at a new employee orientation upstairs of Dick’s Last Resort, San Diego. He was telling the joke about the midget and monkey in the bar and had the nearly 200 new hires in complete hysterics. He was hilarious. I was terrified. This big man was so powerful. However the moment I knew him – I loved him. In the thousands of hours we worked together side by side behind the bar, I witnessed his special genius of consistently discovering the uniquely comical thing to say in each moment. Hands down, he was absolutely the funniest person I have ever known.


Anthony was complex and like all of us had his frustrations, yet unlike all of us, he was transformative and grew. Years after he left the bar, I was so proud to tell folks of his more recent success working with communicatively disadvantaged children. It should be no surprise that this person who could find the perfectly hilarious thing to say to break the ice at any gathering would have the genius and diligence of heart to break through the thick wall of autism and find a connection. But that was his way, a man with such explosive charisma he could out shout a platoon of drunk marines, also possessed inimitable patience and tenderness to reach these children.


The philosopher and psychologist Victor Frankel wrote that the measure of any man’s life is in the meaning he creates moment by moment through the interactions with the people around him. More than anyone else I knew, Anthony drew you into the moment and brought you to the present. He was a great man. I am a much better person for knowing him. I will miss him.

Posted February 28th, 2010 in Uncategorized.