Published November 14, 2011
The Valley lost a great guy Sunday in Carmen McGarry.
Carmen, of True Tread Tire legacy, died of a heart-related issue Sunday while cleaning leaves around his Boardman house.
I knew Carmen just a bit, but just a bit is all you needed to realize this about him: A) A stand-up guy; B) A zest for life; and C) A giant heart.
I think that he held onto his Youngstown tire business long after his peers had packed up to the suburbs was a true measure of him. And when he finally sold to the suburbs, he was resistant to talk against his South Side neighborhood. It was just business to quietly move on.
I first met him at a festive football event. And while we are all giddy and silly, he was solid and stoic, and patient with our antics.
That made him my tire guy regardless of his price and location.
Since I drive a lot for youth sports, he was my tire guy a lot while he was in the business.
Looking at the uneven wear on the tires of my gas-wise car, Carmen looked at me with a classic line that I still broadcast today:
“Todd, these cars aren’t built for big guys like me and you.”
He was being polite because I was north of him by more than a couple pounds.
He gave me a tire schedule to stick to, and even said “Do not drive on these in the winter. Get in here before then.”
With that kind of blunt fatherly honesty, he was my kind of guy.
I had dinner with him and Liz a few months back, and it was a fun night at Carrabba’s.
He had sold his business and just walked his daughter down the aisle.
God must’ve needed a hand. It’s hard to understand God’s timing, but we’ll just have to.