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You never think it could happen in your world. You see it on TV and you think to yourself how awful it must be. You imagine how terrified the friends, family and coworkers have become. Yet no amount of television or stories in the newspaper can prepare you for the moment you find out. The moment your ears hear the words "there has been a shooting, your friend, our friend is gone".
I remember walking into the small bar I tended on a cold December evening and ignorantly shouting "why the hell is it so quiet in here" it was as the words escaped my lips I realized something was terribly wrong. It was 2006 and I was one of the top DJs and in Providence. It was my claim to fame, I was in the big show. The top shifts at the most recognizable gentlemen's club on the east coast, The Foxy Lady. I know what your thinking, what a lucky guy. It's every boys dream to work with the most beautiful (naked) women around. However to be at the top you have to work. Many long days bleeding into nights. Hours upon hours practicing your craft. It was during this time period (perhaps the best) in my life, many lessons were learned. I met many different types of people. One of those people, Tory Marandos was eternally memorable.
The pressures that builds in a surrounding fueled by sex and greed are at times unbearable. Ridiculousness ensues in just about every situation. It can bring out the worst in the best of humans, not Tory. His love for life and genuine concern for those he encountered was contagious. Once during a 14 hour marathon shift, Tory brought me dinner from home. Left overs he had made on a previous night, I don't remember what it was or if he actually even made it. What I do remember is how I was dealing with three unbelievably ridiculous circumstances and getting another two equally crazy issues yelled to me from the dressing room, when Tory tapped me on the shoulder and said, "just disappear and eat this quick". I specifically recall this night because I hadn't spoken to Tory all day. He had arrived a mere couple of hours prior to this and I had been in there since the morning. He never asked me if I had eaten or if I was even hungry. Tory just knew I'd appreciate it and because of that I'd work hard. Tory was the General Manager of both the Foxy Lady in Providence and New Bedford. He possessed in him a special quality, a quality he used to motivate the unmotivated. A gift to appreciate sometimes those that maybe didn't deserve it.
Besides working at the Foxy Lady I worked at a small bar down the street from the Providence location. After a long night celebrating with friends I awoke late in the afternoon and headed into the bar for the evening shift. It was then a friend and coworker at the Foxy Lady pulled me aside and layed the horrible news upon me. "Tory is gone" he said "There has been a horrific tragedy" he went on to explain. I fell to my knees in disbelief. He continued to explain that a former Foxy Lady New Bedford employee had gone into the club after close. Held the staff hostage and shot up not only the club but killed Bobby Carreiro a security man and Tory. The shooter who will go nameless was distraught over one of the bartenders he had been seeing. I remember thinking how could this be? This had to be an elaborate joke. Then anger set in, only for a brief moment. The memory of Tory's lust for life, his ability to see the good in us all blinded any notion of hatred.
In the past I have rarely spoken of this. Those that knew Tory more have always said more than I could ever muster. I also never wanted to come across like anything other than sincere. Tory wasn't my best friend or even my wingman on the weekends. However he was a true friend, an etched in stone type of pal. For example, when I left the Foxy Lady Providence just about six weeks before the fatal incident Tory stopped by the little bar I was tending at least on a weekly basis to check on me. It was just two weeks before he passed when he and I bellied up to the bar and shared a few laughs. I recall my thoughts were "here is this guy, GM to the biggest and best club going, everyone wants to be his friend and he's sitting with me, in this whole in the wall." The very next time I heard his name was when the shooting occurred.
Prior to Dec 12th 2006 we all took our work in the nightclub world for granted, never fearing that anything horrible could happen. Just acting sometimes on blind emotion. However, after that day no longer could afford to do that. We no longer had our friend. Now seven years from that fatal, horrific day I still like others mourn his loss. In many ways we didn't just loose a friend, a colleague, a gentlemen. We all lost our innocence.
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