This post was written in February 2012.
It’s 30 days ago since Howard Rubin passed away, and throughout the past weeks I’ve noted the many kind and often moving words have been spoken and written about Howard, that true gentleman.
This may be a bit presumptuous on my part, but I’d like to try and speak on behalf of those who did not know Howard well, who knew him, as it were, from a certain distance, and who, in spite of that observation, feel that they will miss him.
Was he really almost 87 years old? Hard to believe. Whenever I encountered Howard, usually at trade shows, first in Tucson and later always in June, at JCK in Las Vegas, he would be on his feet, standing behind his and Gail’s table, on “Association Row” in the upper lobby, at the entrance of the Sands’ Convention Center. Standing, not sitting down, conversing in his typically soft voice with passers-by: jewelry retailers, gemstone buyers, exhibitors from the nearby AGTA pavilion, acquaintances, journalists and communications people, such as myself.
Howard looked directly at you, with those inquisitive, bright eyes behind those large glasses of his. He saw you. He clearly also immediately knew if you were for real or just ‘pretend.’
I remember the first time he took me through his GemDialogue. Right there at the bustling, noisy corridor, on “Association Row.” I felt I had no time, needed to move on. But Howard gave me my time, created the lull I needed to understand and appreciate his passion. It was an inspiring and instructive interlude. Of course, many other times, I would just pass by, but we always would nod, greet, from a distance.
In the Jewish tradition, on the 30th day of someone’s passing, a memorial gathering is common. Also, in our lore, we say “May his memory be a blessing.” Let us remember Howard, and feel blessed that we knew him, just a little, from a close distance.
February 16, 2012