Paul Sassone: Rest in peace Tim Sassone, award-winning baby brother

<p>Paul Sassone</p>

Paul Sassone

Why would an award-winning writer call a helicopter a hopticopter?

He wouldn’t, unless he wasn’t an award-winning writer yet, but still only a little boy.

My brother Tim Sassone died March 24. He was only 58 years old.

For 26 years, Tim covered the Blackhawks for the Daily Herald. He was the dean of hockey writers. His stories and columns were required reading for hockey fans. He was admired by hockey players, managers and coaches. And he was a mentor and the gold standard to his competitors.

The outpouring of grief and admiration from fans, the hockey world and from his many friends has been tremendous and warming to our family — his wife Chris, kids Ali and Andy, and the rest of us who loved him so much.

Tim was more than what he did. In tribute after tribute, friends and colleagues described him as a great guy, a great man, a great husband and father.

And brother. Tim was a great brother to Mike, Sharon and me.

I’m the oldest, 15 years older than Tim. So, my memories are not so much of the terrific reporter and writer he became, but of the boy, even the baby — of Timmy.

Timmy, who did indeed like hopticopters, whose favorite animal at the zoo was the “rissorossorus” (that’s rhinoceros, to you).

Timmy, who would spend New Year’s eve with my wife and I so our parents could have a rare night on the town. We’d play Authors. And to Timmy, the poem “The Raven” always came out “The Ravine.”

Timmy, who would ignore every classical record I’d play, but come a-running and start dancing whenever he heard the third movement of Brahm’s Violin Concerto.

Timmy, getting me nauseous on various spinning rides at Santa’s Village.

Timmy, who would stand on a chair in front of the kitchen sink and “potch,” our Mom’s word for Timmy splashing around as if he were washing dishes.

Timmy…

Well, just Timmy.

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