The picture is at the grand opening for Cigar Inn. The man lighting my cigar is Steve Faccenda Sr who was also known on the cigar boards as, TOJE. For those of you who did not know Steve Faccenda he was everything that a cigar rep should be, and everything a man should be. Steve had the heart of a giant. His warm personality, phenomenal advice and all around being will be forever missed.
When I first found out Steve had cancer he approached me and said, “I have good news and bad news, which do you want first.” I said the good news and his response was “In 2 years you might be the next CAO Sales Rep.” I asked him what was the bad news and he said, “I’ll be dead in 2 years”.
We kept in touch via the phone and the occasional email on facebook. Last month Steve requested him and I get together for a smoke and I knew this was not a good sign so I met with him at Fume Cigars in NJ and despite knowing that the end was near he was his usual jovial self. He leaned in to me and whispered, “Barry when I die you have my blessing to apply for my job”. I told him Steve stop talking like that you will defeat this and he looked at me, and shook his head and said, “I know what is coming”.
I share these two stories with you because I want you to know how Steve was brave despite what he was facing. I share these stories in hopes you will get an insight to how strong of a man he was. I was happy to call Steve a friend and blessed to have known him. I will miss Steve but I find comfort in knowing that every cigar smoker has gained a guardian angel.
Love you Steve!