He told stories.  A lot of stories.  His favorite one to tell me, every time I would talk about plans to go to Positano,  was about his stay at La Sirenuese about 50 years ago.   It felt a lot like an urban legend, but he claims that he paid $25 a night and that the rate included meals. There was a group of fashion models staying there as well, which only added to his delight- anyone who knew Jerry knows just how much.

He was my stepfather.  I don’t really know what that word means, but to me it’s that he stepped up in a very big way.  I lost my dad when I was 15 and so for almost thirty years, this gentle soul played the role with love, humor, respect and endless support (even when I might not have deserved it).

I saw him just last week and two of our last conversations will always be in my heart.  We were sitting in the living room having coffee and “What a Wonderful World” came on the Sonos.  He looked at me and said, “Hey, this is our song”.  It was what we danced to at my wedding.  We both smiled at the memory and then he went back to his paper.  Later on, he expressed concern about the world economy, wondered how it would affect my business and inquired about me buying foreign currency to protect my interests. He always took an interest in L’Esperta, offered advice, supported my leap into entrepreneurship and encouraged me to keep growing.

We shared a love for travel, good books and Vivaldi. I think he loved my husband almost as much as I did and they were as thick as thieves when we would visit, either discussing world order or playing backgammon.  His love for ice cream was legendary as was his penchant for useless (but entertaining) trivia.

We lost one of the great ones and man do I miss him already. But I will play “What a Wonderful World” and will smile through the tears. And the next time I am in Positano, I will stop at the bar at La Sireneuse and raise a glass of prosecco in his honor.

9 thoughts on “The Great Jerry MacDonald

  1. What an amazing tribute … Thank you for sharing your love for him with all of us! Sending you love and hugs my dear friend!

  2. Wow! So sorry that I never got to meet him. He sounds like my kind of guy. A great photo of him, by the way, and a touching tribute only a loving daughter could write.

  3. Ashley…what a wonderful tribute to Jerry! I’m so sorry I lost touch with your parents when I left Sarasota, but I have very fond memories of them and you. Please tell you mother I send my condolences. And I’ll try to find that bar when we are in Positano! He deserves many toasts!

  4. Beautiful tribute – beautiful legacy. How wonderful to read about these things and aspire to leave this kind of love behind when it’s our turn to go there.

  5. Ashley, what a beautiful tribute to a truly wonderful guy. He loved life, and he loved you and your mom. Your memories will always be a comfort to you. We’ll raise a glass to him on our trip in October.

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