A World Without

October 5, 2015

There is the world, and then there are our worlds. The world is populated by billions of people. Our worlds are populated by a number vastly smaller, and a smaller number still who are essential to us, people it would be hard to imagine being without.

Now we are without Tony. And the feeling is numbing.

How could this possibly be?

Tony was an unforgettable teacher who I had the great privilege of working with for over two decades, a master director of plays and purveyor of literature for countless fortunate students. He was a valuable mentor who shared insights about this delicate art called teaching. He was a loving husband and father and grandfather.

And Tony was my friend. How could all of us who shared in his life be without him?

I think of all those stories told and retold over lunch at school, the always-ready wit that rang of truth, the common everyday conversations about work and family and life that replay in my mind with such clarity in spite of the time gone by. And I miss these now even more in this world without.

The world goes on as it always has done and always will. Even our own worlds go on, but never quite the same, for though these endings are an inevitable part of our existence that must be accepted, the pain and sorrow of our world without is hard to endure.

But endure we will, and through our fond remembrances we honor him. All of those whose lives have been made better for having known Tony — and that number is great indeed — now feel such intense loss. However, though we are left in a world without, our memories of Tony are his lasting gifts to each of us whose life he touched, and for that we should remain forever grateful.




  1. Thank you Mr. Daborn for posting this! I was in the Pierrepont class of 1990 and remember all of you fondly (book, book, book, doorstop :). What a beautiful tribute to your friend. Mr. Bucco encouraged my love of reading and I will never forget him, or any of you wonderful teachers that gave us all a love of learning. Thank you! – Danielle (Grauso) Janson

    • Thank you, Danielle. I appreciate that as I know Mr. Bucco would.

  2. Mr. Daborn:
    Thanks for this beautifully written tribute to a teacher who will be remembered fondly by so many of his students. I am also a Pierrepont School alum, and both you and Mr. Bucco were favorite teachers of mine, and probably the reason that writing and reading are still some of my favorite things to do today. And I’m sure many of your students would say the same. Teachers really are underrated.

    PS: I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog. I’ve enjoyed reading it– you have a way with words that we didn’t get to appreciate back in 6th grade.
    Thank you,

    • So good to hear from you, Mara (though I wish the circumstances would have been different). Thank you for your kind words. I hope all the intervening years have been good and that you are well.

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