These blogs are supposed to be about all that's great in Lehigh Valley. Well about a week ago we had to lay to rest a colleague and a friend, and he was one that made the valley great. So here is my tribute to Richard "Rick" Pongracz.

Well Ricky, we just paid our last respects to a man that we thought so much of. You truly touched everyone you came in contact with. I was so happy to see and hear so many people saying such wonderful things about a man that I really only came to know over the past year. But, I count myself as one of the lucky ones for having had the opportunity to get to know you. From the people at Agere to the staff at Discover Lehigh Valley you made a difference. As an ambassador of Lehigh Valley there was never a day that you didn't make someone laugh, smile or want to choke you. (LOL)

I'll never forget the conversation about the best burger in town. According to Rick it can be found at William's Cafe on Susquehanna St. in Allentown. He finally badgered me enough to give it a try. I guess I can tell you now Rick it was a pretty damn good burger after all.

From the spraying of Kuzy's cologne in the office, to the constant chatter - to the constant asking of when the Map & Guide is coming and the never quite understanding how to use excel ... it is what made you, you. And you will be missed greatly.

Jane and Rick Jr. had a great collage of photos as a tribute to your life. They brought a smile to our faces as we ribbed on you. It was a pleasure to see the young, vibrant Rick that we long to remember. But Rick you don't wear knee pads in slow pitch softball.

Take solace my friend in the fact that you raised a wonderful son and he's doing just fine. Sure he grieves for you as we all do, but time will heal the pain. He is a living tribute to your fine teachings. You would be proud.

Well until we meet again, remember the Steelers stink and the Cowboys rule. Watch over us all Rick.