The late Michael Robertson was one. A charming, freckled man of wide wisdom and humor, I can hear his heartfelt call of "Darlin!" still. He'd grown up sailing on Tampa Bay, had spent a lifetime in the marine industry, and was generous with history, background, introductions, explanations and a whole boatload of entertaining stories.
I found myself repeating one of his favorite little jokes recently, echoing his hearty, sunshiny tone while asking the question: "What does the Southern alligator say?"