Lou DiBella has a small list. He keeps it close because he’s never quite sure when a name will pop into his head. It could be when he’s lying down to sleep or when he wakes up in the morning. Or perhaps when something reminds him of an old friend or business partner from whom the passage of time has separated him.
When the name comes up, he writes it down and finds time in his day to make a call. DiBella is a phone person, craving the connection the extrovert has recently lost in his day-to-day interactions as a storyteller in the bar, a boxing promoter and minor league baseball owner, always glad-handing and engaging with everyone.
“I make a little bit more of an effort because I do have a lot of people that were really kind to me when I was coming up in the business,” DiBella says. “I’ve had mentors and people in my life that were very helpful to me, and a lot of them now, even if I lost touch with them, they are in their late 70s and 80s.
“You think about people, but … I think maybe as a country now that this whole thing has made people — has frightened people — into making [them] think more about how fleeting this whole thing is and our mortality and our own…