Did you Know Mason Wines?
Yesterday was a quite morning. Then around mid-morning I got an email from Steve Rissman. He forwarding an email from Judge Bill Douglas, letting folks know that Mason Wines had passed recently.
The name was not immediately familiar. It occurs to me that I perhaps stay in contact with people that are older than me? Perhaps at my age, that is the only way to feel young? But, the addressees of that email began to "reply all." I am not a fan of "reply all." If I ever write a computer virus, it will be to permanently disable all "reply all" functions on the World Wide Web.
But yesterday was different. I read so many touching and complimentary things about this gentleman. And that was a key theme in all of them, he was a gentleman.
I lamented that we tend to speak from our hearts when someone has passed; nothing wrong with that. But why do we have so much difficulty speaking from our hearts to people who are still with us? Why do we scurry around in our daily lives and forget to tell those important to us that they have an important place in our lives?
I did not ask permission to print those comments about Mason Wines. They are heartfelt remembrances of what I now know to have been an icon of Florida Workers' Compensation. I will therefore not attribute the following, because those people's feelings and thoughts are their own. What I want you to know is who Mason Wines was.
One described him as a mentor, from whom a great deal was learned.
One described him as we all might wish to be described simply, as a good lawyer.
One said that he "could not think of a better ambassador our field."
One said he had a disarming demeanor and immediately put people at ease.
One said he had a vast knowledge, but no condescension in his tone.
One said he learned the greatest lesson of being a claimant's lawyer from him; that is to talk to the client instead of down to the client, no matter who they are or where they came from. That would be a good point for almost anyone, lawyer or not, claimant or defense.
Everyone I heard from had fond remembrances. They recalled him as a good man, an advocate, and a student of the law. If you have minute, you ought to give a colleague a call or an email today and let them know why you admire them, thank them for some courtesy in the past or just tell them a joke (everyone can use a laugh).
I wish I had known Mason Wines. The Florida Workers' Compensation field has lost a giant. His obituary is here if you want to sign the guestbook.