Photo by Alex Syverson, February 4, 2019
Tony Morris was a familiar sight patrolling the Boulevard around the fire station and Mimosa CafĂ©.
We, at the Canyon Chronicle mourn, along with many others in the canyon, whether we knew him well or superficially, the passing of Tony Morris. We have not received an obituary, only a mention on Facebook by his, son, Sean Morris, that he had passed.
In the final years of the Topanga Messenger, when Tony walked into the office to regale us with his next article about super scoopers, we would stop what we were doing to listen and talk. He would leave, promising his next article, which I eventually realized would never appear. He was a brilliant mind and a welcome contributor to the Topanga Messenger going back to the early years and worked closely with editor Colin Penno. He was a community voice, a gadfly, unabashedly urging the LA County Fire Department to purchase super scoopers to combat wildfires. Iâ€™m sure he was glad to have lived to see 69 Bravo established, to say nothing of the acquisition of the CH-47 Helitanker that can drop 3,000 gallons of water or retardant in a single pass.
In his own way, he was a gift to the community, a mainstay that was always there, a familiar presence that was, somehow, reassuring. Most recently, as his health failed, we knew Tony by sight as he patrolled the Boulevard, dressed in hard hat, vest, carrying a flag, looking very much like a Caltrans worker taking his responsibility seriously.
I remember him with great affection, even though he tried my patience at times. Iâ€™m grateful I exercised that discipline because I think he was bigger than I gave him credit for.
If you knew Tony and knew the details of his life and passing, or if you would like to share a memory to include in a tribute to the man, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.