If you go through the thread in the comments section you can see all the post that people wrote as a result of Sweet Lou's passing. Then you see a post by "Louis F. Alessi" my heart jumped a little knowing he wasn't the one who posted but it still made me feel good in an odd sort of way. It wasn't even the second best thing it was the best thing...IdaMarie, his wife. You have to know her to understand how much she loved Lou and all of us who were his friend, his customer, and those who joined him in LTW. There are a few giants in custom gun industry who really changed custom 1911's. One of my best friends Ted Yost comes to mind in the modern era, Armand Swenson, Richard Heinie, and Jim Hoag come to mind as I write a very difficult post. Not to mention every single smith at LTW, and I want to mention every one of them.
And finally the man who will live forever in LTW Louis F. Alessi.
Now, in the world of true custom leather there are a few that really stand out that changed everything. Bruce Nelson made a huge leap into really well thought out designs coupled with craftsmanship. Then Milt Sparks, which turned into Tony Kanaley, Paris Theodore which translates into our boy Lou Alessi. If you really think about the folks that changed everything that about covers it. My pal Jason can add a few others but for this post I am going with those guys. I have used and own a number of Alessi rigs. The one thing that constantly sticks out for me is the perfection of the designs. The quality was never compromised, and he knew by your explanation what holster you needed.
But, more important than his designs, was his professionalism, and his all around good nature which was ever present amongst all else. It is the same thing they talk about when the sports discussions come up. Who did he make better around him? Michael Jordan is always mentioned with Magic Johnson as well as Dan Marino and Joe Montana. Again, I am going with Joe Montana on this one.
Lou was willing to lend his experience to anyone who was passionate about the craft of making holsters. His designs are emulated by all of the best leather craftsman working now. His lineage is evident in the works of our own Josh Bulman, his protege John Ralston, Gary Brommeland, and I believe Matt DelFatti even talked to Lou a time or two. All of these men make masterpieces in leather. And most of them either knew Lou personally or called him to ask him how to do one thing or another or even ask him questions about a design. And I know for a fact Lou never turned a single one down.
Lou is summed up for me with this quote...
A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.
What follows is a pictorial of Lou's life that will be preserved here on LTW. I am going to post some pictures from one of our family members and genuine heroes Captain Jim Tighe of the United States Army. He was gracious enough to send me these photos. I invite all of you to post a picture or two of Lou or photos of Alessi leather that you have used in your lifetime.
I can tell you for sure "Uncle Lou" loved us all, he often talked about his involvement in LTW and how much he enjoyed it. When we called for a rig he put an LTW project in front of everybody's...sorry guys he was loyal to the bone.
We miss you Lou.
Lou doing what he did best, besides being a husband and a father.
Lou with Al Shear, and Jim Tighe, and a member of our future.
Lou with whom he loved the most..IdaMarie, Alex and his friends.
Lou's leather in a "real deal" application.
And for me one of the best. Lou's gear going to war.
One of my personal rigs I wore today.
A CQC/S Lou made for me several years ago. I still have it and love the holster for a alot of reasons. It has been posted in a number of LTW threads.
And finally in honor of Louis F. Alessi a picture taken by Captain Jim Tighe, United States Army.
FYI...the "moderators" can move this post to the custom leather section where it rightly belongs, more than that make it a sticky where everyone will see it, however, if I get an email telling me that it is in an inappropriate place, I would rather stand on their neck than move it. But I love all of youse guys.
_________________Heirloom Precision, LLC.
"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
- General George Patton Jr