Like all native born Rhode Islanders of a certain age, the passing of former Governor Bruce Sundlun was noted with sadness but also with a sense of completeness in remembering a good and sometimes difficult man who was larger than life. I got to know Bruce Sundlun through my parents – he didn’t care for my father, who was occasionally a thorn in his side because of his Red Alert efforts, but he liked my mother very much. And he was always nice to me. We had a good relationship and I valued his friendship over the years.
Bruce also taught me some valuable lessons along the way. He was a keen student of Rhode Island history, and he leaves a legacy as an educator (as well as a columnist) in addition to all his other laurels. He was the right governor at the right time in our state's history, and he had to make some very tough decisions which he knew would cause him trouble. But he did what he felt would be best for RI. He was a governor possessed of courage, a necessary quality, especially in tough times. Bruce Sundlun was a great Rhode Islander, a great American, and my friend.