When I think about Ted Forcht, I can’t help but smile.
The guy was just funny and made you laugh. If you spent any time at all around him, then you probably had a smile on your face before you left Ted’s company. Given the health problems he had during his life, which included using a wheelchair in his later years, that says a lot.
When I first started working at the News Journal about 25 years ago, I had the good fortune for a few years of working next door to Ted, who had an office at what was then Key Insurance in Williamsburg. There was a connecting door between our two offices, which was never locked, and the pop machine was on my side of the building.
Occasionally, Ted would stop by to get a soda and chat, or I would go over to his office for a few minutes if I was having a slow morning or afternoon. It wasn’t an every day thing, but talking to Ted made a lasting impression on me.
When I have thought about Ted over the years, I never really gave much, if any, thought of him as the owner’s son. Ted was Ted. He was a laid back, relaxed funny guy. If you look up the definition of a type ‘B’ personality in the dictionary, then you might find Ted’s picture there beside it.
Despite having difficulty walking during the few years he worked next door to me, Ted didn’t park in the driveway beside the building choosing instead to let the ladies, who worked at our offices, have those closer parking spots.
Ted often parked across the street, but one time when he was parked in front of the office, a newspaper carrier for another publication was trying to toss the newspaper onto the porch in front of the building and broke the antenna on Ted’s not so cheap vehicle. I’m sure it would have been expensive to fix. The carrier came in to take responsibility for it, and offered to pay for the damage.
Ted’s response to one of his employees was along the lines of she told the truth so tell her not to worry about it. This is something that most people probably wouldn’t have done, but then again most people weren’t like Ted.
I didn’t get to spend enough years working next door to Ted. After a few years, due in part to his declining health, he moved to the warmer climate of Marco Island, Florida, where he was elected to the city council, which didn’t surprise me at all. Ted was an intelligent, likeable people person. Before I came to Williamsburg, he had served on the city council here and made an unsuccessful bid to become mayor. He would have been a good one.
I didn’t keep in touch with Ted much after he moved to Florida, except occasionally via Facebook.
About 10 years ago, I had to go over to the University of the Cumberlands to cover a donation that Ted’s parents, Terry and Marion Forcht, were making to the college. While there, someone asked Terry whether he was Ted’s brother.
Now being a smart aleck every bit on par with Ted, the first thing I did when I got back to the office was message Ted on Facebook to give him a hard time about it. (I can assure you that he would have done no less to me.)
In classic Ted fashion, he soon replied back, “Was I at least the younger, good looking brother?”
After I quit laughing, I responded, “Sure Ted. Sure.”
For those that don’t know, Ted passed away Monday.
My condolences go out to his family. He will be missed by those, who knew him well, and by many, who only knew him for a brief time like I did.
Something tells me Ted would like to be remembered as someone, who made people smile, which he did. The world is a much less interesting, sadder place with him gone.