lifelong love affair
was one of the longest nights of my life.
can take a toll on you. Add in, that this particular trip was
across the country and then across the Atlantic and I was traveling
with a man I hardly knew, but one who would become a dear friend.
It was hot and muggy in the Miami airport and my companion, who
was 75 at the time, was hauling an oxygen tank as I managed the
luggage. It was slow going, but he never ran out of humor. Brent
Tyler had a thousand jokes, and I think I heard them all on that
We were headed for Brazil. Brent was going for a visit with his
longtime friend Joe Conforte. I was after an interview with that
famed brothel king. It seemed to work out that we make the trip
The jokes subsided as the night wore on, and he told me a wonderful
"I fell in love with my wife the day I saw her, through a
window at college," He said. "I saw her standing there
with a bright red coat and her bright red hair. I didn't even
know her name, but I knew right then that she would be with me
Her name was Anne. The two married and had three children.
Brent made a name for himself with the Young Electric Sign Company,
also known as YESCO, and he became friends with Conforte while
running political polling in Nevada.
After a nearly 50-year marriage, his beloved wife, Anne, passed
away. His affections never strayed. And after her death, he was
lost. He gave up smoking, but the damage had been done.
To fill in the time Brent took more often trips to see Joe. They
spent many hours talking about old times. Joe Conforte, was never
at a loss to match Brent up with Brazilian beauties, but still
Brent never wavered.
"I know it sounds funny," he told me. "And I know
she's gone, but I still love my wife. I'll go to dinner with Joe's
friends, but that's it. I married for life ... hers and mine."
Since that trip in 2003, Brent Tyler and I have spent many lunches
talking about old Reno, and his volunteer work with the Washoe
Senior Law Project and his work building Yori Park. His heart
seemed only to grow larger with age. He said he knew good deeds
on earth would lead him back to his dear Anne.
I'm sure that Brent Tyler is looking down from heaven today, smiling
to be with her again. He died of health complications in August.
A celebration of his life for those he touched will be held from
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at Rancho
San Rafael Regional Park.
Brent found and shared the kind of love everyone deserves, yet
very few really find here on earth.
Breen is a Reno freelance writer, mother of three and anchor
Channel 2 News This Morning.
her at the Reno Gazette-Journal
P.O. Box 22000
Reno, NV 89520