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Archive for May 11th, 2007

In Memoriam

This is for Bill.

Bill is one of those guys that everyone loved. If you knew him, you loved him. It was as simple as that. When I first started working here, he was the first person to make me feel warmly welcome. He worked in the mailroom, so I saw him several times a day when he came by to drop off or pick up mail. He always had a smile, a joke, something to brighten up my day.

Over the year and a half that I worked with him, my love for him only increased. I learned that he had no love of stupidity, that he had a quick sense of humor, that he was very smart, that he was very fond of the “wild beer” (one of our inside jokes). Like my beloved father-in-law, he had a way of making every person feel like he or she was his special friend.

A few months ago he started having a lot of stomach pain. He wasn’t crazy about doctors and hadn’t been in quite some time, but when the pain continued, he finally up and went. The doctor started running test, and he had to give up the wild beer. It took a little while, but it was soon determined that he had liver cancer. Bill tried to keep working, but quickly found out that his body couldn’t handle it. When he left here, everyone was so sorry to see him go, including his replacement, who told me that she wished she hadn’t met him, because he was such a wonderful person that she hated to think she was trying to take his place.

He came up once to pick up his things, and I think he was a little startled and overwhelmed when everyone began rushing out from both sides of the building to greet him.

Yesterday afternoon I was given the news that he was in a coma and not expected to live very long. And about half an hour ago, I learned that he had passed away this morning. I’ve been crying ever since.

The world is a sadder place today, because Bill isn’t walking on her surface anymore. I grieve to know that I won’t get to joke with him about drinking the wild beer, or trade quips and wisecracks with him. I’m sorry I don’t get to hug him one last time and tell him I love him, but I’m so glad I did when he stopped in the last time. I’m so glad that I got to work with him and got to know him. Bill was a king among men, and I feel very privileged to have known him.

Here’s to you, Bill.

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Friday Five

Today’s Edition of the Friday Five

  1. We’re buying you a lifetime subscription to any magazine or periodical journal you want!  What’ll it be? Well, do I reveal my shallowness by asking for a subscription to People, or show my literary side by asking for a subscription to The New Yorker? I love both magazines, but now that I think of it, I also really like National Geographic, and I think that one would do me just fine.  So yeah, how about National Geographic, please?
  2. We’re buying you any existing non-chain, one-location-only store and giving you an expert lifetime manager, so that all you have to do is make decisions and watch them succeed or fail!  What will be the store, and what will be your first change? Does it have to be a store? Can it be a restaurant? If it can be a restaurant, I want Buck ‘n’ Loons, please. And the first change I’d make would be to add stuffed jalapenos to the menu.
  3. We’re buying you any house within a one-mile radius of your own!  Which one do you want, and why?  I’d like one of the houses along the street facing Barnes & Noble, because it’s closer to walk to Barnes and Noble and it’s farthest from the freeway traffic noise that we get where we are now. Also because it’s farthest from the widening of the street immediately behind my house that’s about to claim some of my property, whether I want it to or not. 😦
  4. We’re hiring someone to take care of any ONE specific household chore (except cooking) for the rest of your life!  Which chore will he or she attend to? That person will keep my bathroom spick and span! Whee! Thank you very much!
  5. We’re providing the start-up capital for any crazy idea for a business, service, or product you can dream up, giving you total creative control while we finance your dream for five years, after which it must fail or succeed on its own merit!  What will it be?  It is a sort-of-fast-food restaurant, drive-through only. When one drives up, a LIVE PERSON takes the order (for fresh, healthy food, none of this hamburger crap) and receives the money, one then pulls the car into a carwash area and gets the car washed and hand dried while the food is being prepared. After the car is ready, the food is ready, and the driver leaves with yummy food and a clean car! Unique, no?

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