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From The Tactical Wire:

Editor's Notebook
By Rich Grassi
LINK(scroll down to the Editor's Notebook section)

At about 11:30 on Saturday morning, February 21, 2009, close personal friend and holster-maker and designer Lou Alessi lost his battle with cancer. He was far too young to leave us.

Louie fought a long time with the recovery. While he was convalescing from surgery and trying not to go nuts "doing nothing," he wrote a column for The Tactical Wire...

...Lou Alessi was a sweetheart of a man - and a man's man. He cared about people. Hell, he loved people! He wasn't only the best holster-maker alive; he took care of his customers like they were valued friends. Indeed, many were. Lou even took care of his competition. Yes, he loved his work so much that he shared it with almost anyone who was interested.

I first met Lou when Dennis Jurasz, Dave Spaulding, and Guy Rossi took me to meet the legend. All four of us were teaching a block at the ASLET conference held in Buffalo that year, and it just so happened that we had some time on our hands. Dennis knew I needed (wanted) an ankle holster; so, he picked one out for me. He said to Lou, "Yo, Lou! Put this on my tab!"

"Okay, Dennis!" I left with an ankle holster I couldn't pay for. I've worn it almost every day since January of 1997. Yes, it's still that good.

Meanwhile, Dave Spaulding had Lou enthralled with his concept of the holster that became the CQC. A lot of people don't know this, but Dave Spaulding's idea was a real hit in the concealment market. Lou couldn't make enough of them! And no wonder! His holsters were pieces of art; yet they were functional, well-designed, "Spartan," clean, linier, practical, and enduring.

Lou's attention to detail was apparent: boning, contours, no fat, just lean leather that lets the shooter pull that gun without any hiccups, drawing straight to the target. There are some stylish holsters that actually have too much leather: bulky, floppy, obtuse. The ends curl no matter what you do! They sag, you gotta pull 'em up, or slide 'em back . . . Lou's holsters, like a good pair of boots, actually blended with one's body in one crisp fold of gun pleasing leather -- and the aroma . . . it's t'die for. The thing is there's no re-soling an Alessi holster. I tell people all the time, "If you buy an Alessi, I hope you really love your gun 'cause it'll probably outlast you!"

Yes, pride of ownership is important!

Frankly, Luigi's holsters reflected near perfection. I say "near perfection" because only God knows that level of execution. And I'm sure Lou's standing with a cup of coffee in his hand, standing right there in the ante room with Milt and Bruce, and soaking up all the information the Old Man is giving, on how best to make a great holster, even better. That kind of close to perfection! For all of us aging "New" Centurions of the 60's and 70's, another Great has passed. There are many holster makers. In fact, excellent leathersmiths abound in our great country. But there's only one Lou Alessi. We'll miss you, Lou. Godspeed.

--- Vince O'Neill

Heaven has some high speed talent there: Bruce Nelson, Milt Sparks and now Lou Alessi. I imagine Jim Cirillo is there to welcome Luigi to the next adventure.

- - Rich Grassi

69 Posts
A true American artisan has moved on.
Alas, my brother...............

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