Lucchesi: His Life in Art
A recessed bachelor, living with his parents in the great American heartland, seeing no one but family. He alone, Thomas Lucchesi, the relentless reader and rumoured writer among them, would journey beyond his small city’s environs, often to distant and remote parts of the country, but only to succour dying friends – chums he’d not seen since college days, who had long since been cultivated by the intimate revelations of his correspondence. At the hour of extremity, he would travel at considerable expense, this man of scant means, to hold the hand of the about-to-be-dead, actually to hold the hand, and deliver words of reassurance so soothing that a palpable unburdening was achieved. ‘In a most unusual way,’ he would say, ‘because of you, I am who I am: because of you, who so inhabit my innermost life.’ Later, the grateful children of the recently departed, needing to retrieve his miraculous presence, would write to him, enclosing photos of their own children, gifts and mementos of the dead parent. He would acknowledge nothing.