Denis Day in Vermont

Let’s all give a shout-out to Denis Desjarlais of Jay, Vermont, who is celebrating a birthday today.

Part of the reason for this announcement is to complete the time-honored tradition of embarrassing a friend celebrating a birthday by making a big deal out of it.

But I’m going to embarrass Denis further by using him as Exhibit A for  the point of this post: That the good ones out there don’t get the publicity.

I spend a lot of time on this blog skewering the stupid, the hypocritical and the wacko. They’re easy targets. Just like everyone else in the media I focus on the train wrecks. They’re flashy and exciting and make great tabloid fodder.

Denis makes completely lousy tabloid fodder. No inane stupidity from him, right, Britney? No icky scandals involving strange people and complicated kinky situations,  right, George Rekers and John Edwards?  No crimes committed in a drunk or druggy haze. I guess Denis is just never going to get a call from the National Enquirer.

See, Denis is the type of person who gives us TIME to wallow in the tabloid manure pit. He’s one of those relatively quiet types that get a ton of stuff done for all of us when we’re being lazy and and looking at the latest death-warmed-over pics of Elizabeth Taylor. 

I purposely used a picture of Denis in this post with his back to the camera because I’m not 100 percent sure he’d appreciate a face shot. Hell, I’m not even sure he’d want me to write about him like, this, but I’ll take the chance.

I snapped the picture of him last month on the Burlington Waterfront. He had just given me another dollop of great advice.

He practically runs the town of Jay, he’s on so many boards, committees and volunteer organizations. He’s always doing favors for friends and families. If I had to pay him a  salary for all the things he’s done for me, I’d have to rob every bank in Vermont to come up with the cash.

 I think today he is celebrating his birthday by helping to gut and renovate the bathrooms in his family home.

Yeah, Denis is a real glamour boy.

There are probably quite a few people out there like Denis.  They just don’t like to take center stage, so we don’t notice them as readily.

If there weren’t around,  I think everything would just fall apart. Somebody has to keep things together while we’re catching up on Tiger Woods’ sexual hijinks and what Lady Gaga is wearing this time. 

It’s not like Denis is some drudge who keeps doing grunt work or something like that.  People like Denis may not be ready for the tabloid headlines, but they’re certainly not boring workhorses mired in drudgery.

 The charm of people like Denis is they’re smart, funny, interested, interesting, sensible, offbeat and give terrific advice. But never unsolicited advice.   Many people want to spend a lot of time with Denis. He has a lot of friends, so he sure is entertaining, just not in a Jerry Springer sort of way.

You always feel better after hanging around with Denis.

So, my unsolicited advice to everybody out in blogland is to find people like Denis and tell them how crucial they are to our happy lives.  I always count my blessings that I ran into Denis a couple years back and took the time to get to know him.

I’m a lot smarter and a lot better because of that.

So, happy Birthday Denis! Maybe I won’t find you on TMZ, Access Hollywood or in tell-all books. But you’re the man in my book.

5 Responses to “Denis Day in Vermont”

  1. Brigitte Says:

    What a small world…I know DENIS!
    He is an amazing guy

  2. denis Says:

    thanks matt!!! if i die before you i want you to do my eulogy!!! we both know you exaggerated my character a bit but we’ll keep that fact between us 😉

    hi brigitte!!! what a wonderful and unexpected surprise to see you here!!! it is a small world. you and matt know each other???

  3. mattalltrades Says:

    Hey Denis: Everything in this blog is factual, strictly fact-checked and verified. 🙂

  4. kimslack Says:

    I love you Denis!!!! Happy birthday dude!

  5. Jeff Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG GUY…..everything Matt says is true, after all he is a journalist and a professional. Have a great day Denis and don’t forget to smile. It’s the best medicine to ward off those advancing years….yikes!!!! You’re 23? 24?

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