The anniversary of Anthony Burton’s death is here. He suddenly passed away 14 years ago. I went to visit his grave and pay my respects to this wonderful man, and good friend. Tony was my neighbor 3 rowhouses down and after I moved in we got to know each other. He was very interested in who I was as a person and he was like that with everyone. He loved our block and everyone on it and always reached out. Tony had love to give out to this cruel world and nothing would stop him from delegating that out to whom he saw fit.
Tony immediately understood my desire to restore my rundown rowhouse and he was instrumental in getting me some of the missing house parts he had collected in his basement. Tony had an unusual quality about him, he was able to let go of his own worries and distractions and really be interested in other people. He loved to ask questions about people and sincerely wanted answers. He was always so grateful of anyone who engaged him. His reward was that he really knew people. He was so engaging with humanity and all of its beauties and deep flaws. As a police officer in his last days he was dealing with so much stress. He told me he had to cut a child down who hung himself at Overbrook High school, here in West Philadelphia.
He told me this knowing I would listen and absorb his story. He needed me to to hear his story, his experience and situation as a friend. I’m so glad to have been there for him.
Well, Tony, you are remembered and thought of kindly, as your last earthly remains are integrated into eternity.