Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

“A Beautiful Mind” – Redux

Date: 13 January 2019
Category: Homophones

We lost a dear friend–Steve–this past week to a crippling experience with ALS; may God rest his soul in peace. Perhaps the best way I can think to honor him is to compare his intellect to Princeton Professor, Dr. John Nash, the Nobel Laureate in Economics, whose biographical drama film was entitled, “A Beautiful Mind.”

Steve also had a brilliant mind–the sole utmost I’ve ever known–having graduated cum laude from Princeton with a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering many years ago. You knew he had to be super intelligent, since anyone who had taught himself how to read at age three had to have special mental prowess.

In addition to an honor-filled career in chemical engineering, Steve had aptitudes working on both sides of his brain. He was an inveterate writer of three different blogs before the practice became popular; he authored a book of one hundred 100-word stories; enjoyed being a gourmand cook; and he became a connoisseur of wines and specialty distilled spirits. A world traveler, his language skills were quite proficient. My friend’s sense of humor was unmatched and he could regale a story or joke with the best of them, enchanting you with his warm smile or unique chuckle. He was the only person I knew who could sport either a Panama hat or a colander on his head and still look debonaire.

“Elisson” (a nom de plume tribute to his father, Eli), was a genuine person, interested in either reading on any subject matter, or listening and learning from others. He had an eclectic playlist of music, an appreciation of golf and the Masters Tournament, and pop culture, in general.

Steve also was devout in his Jewish faith, a magnanimous leader, cantor, and gabbai at his synagogue. He and I personally benefitted from a special Judeo-Christian relationship enjoyed between my church and his congregation. Appropriately, whenever he posted on his blogs about the passing of either a friend or a celebrity, he would always close with the Latin phrase: ave atque vale (hail and farewell, I salute you and goodbye).

Steve, ave atque vale.

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