Like so many in Belmont, the loss of Dan Scharfman has been on my mind in bits and pieces throughout every day since.
I only knew Dan moderately well, and mostly through town government and local politics. We did have quite a few things in common - about the same age, both with ties to Brown University, careers in the IT field, running (though he would have kicked my butt in a 5k or 50k run), and a love of poor-taste puns. We both knew many of the joys and frustrations of serving on the School Committee.
The Belmont Community has suffered wide-reaching losses over the past few years, both adults and children. Having children of my own, I probably don't allow my mind to go too deeply into those dark places of losing a child. But the trite "it could have been me" has a lot of truth to it in this case, so my mind can and does go there.
A few years ago one of my kids asked "Are we voting for 'scarf man'?", after (perhaps intentionally) mis-reading one of his campaign signs. We (sometimes) referred to him by that name since when seeing him running on Belmont's streets. I find it oddly comforting that something so trivial makes me smile now.
For me a perfect tribute to Dan would be this thought that stands out above others: I'm not sure if Dan would have recognized my kids if he met them on the street. But from our occasional conversations about schools and kids, I could really feel that he cared for them as if he knew them very well.