“Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what the reputation is. You can’t control that.
The only thing you can control is your character.” ~ Wayne Dyer
I was at Keeneland Library yesterday for an exhibit reception for photographer Katey Barrett. As I sat at the Versailles Road intersection I saw sitting across from me a very familiar truck. It was Gordon Hogg. I waved and waved, but he never saw me. The people around me probably thought I was insane, and they could be right, but not in this particular case.
“Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind.
The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
~ Henry James
The weather finally cooperated so we could give Gordon his retirement send off. He was so cute with his atlas, and we all chipped in and made a donation to the Lexington Humane Society in his honor. His many friends who came to wish him well really brought a smile.
The selfie was a little different with Gordon. He’s short enough that I could sneak up behind him and give it a try. The focus was all off, but it gave Crystal a fun moment from across the room (see inset). The whole affair was low key with lots of laughter and good cheer. We’re all going to miss Gordon, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’ll miss him more than me. Cheers, UD (Utility Drummer)! Have a great next chapter to your life.
“Turn your inner joy into outer energy and become a force of inspiration and transformation.”
~ David Bennett
When I pulled into the parking lot this morning there was a spot open next to Gordon’s little truck (which is actually his wife, Becky’s, truck, but he drives it more than she does. Hence, in my head, it’s Gordon’s truck…but I digress). I pulled in beside him and said to Stacy, “We won’t get to see this anymore.” Remember last week when I said Gordon was retiring soon? Because of tonight’s winter storm they’ve already called off work tomorrow, and with the temps dropping to zero on Friday, there’s a good chance they’ll call us off then, too. If that turns out to be true, then today was Gordon’s final day as a UK employee. His retirement party was planned for tomorrow. That’s definitely not happening. Who was the last person I saw as I left the office this evening? Gordon. Smiling. Laughing. So ready for his next chapter. I chuckled and said, “Oh, you’re taking early retirement.” A bad joke on tomorrow’s closure. He humored me and giggled. I’m just tickled for him, even though I’m going to miss him and his little truck.
“Forgive them, even if they are not sorry. Because holding on to anger only hurts you, not them. And why would you want to hurt anyone anyway? It would only turn you into the very thing you don’t want to be. Forgive and move on!” ~ Timber Hawkeye
Today is Gordon’s birthday. If he gave advice about forgiveness, it would probably sound like the quote. Forgive and move on. That’s the kind of guy he is. Gordon will soon be retiring. He seems eager to take on the next chapter of his life. I’m very happy for him. I’m sad for us, though. He’s really one of the smartest people I know, and he’s been excellent at his job. More than that, I’ll miss seeing my friend. I’ll miss our little conversations in the hallway, and our little giggle fests at events, and talking over lunch. But, oh, how I’ve been blessed for having known him over the last fourteen years. I can never be sad about that. Happy Birthday, friend! I hope it was your best birthday ever.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others.
You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Burns Night has become a tradition for me after four consecutive years. My thanks to Becky Ryder and Gordon Hogg for feeding my habit. Every year I either meet someone new, or I sit with Burns Night virgins, like mom and Shell for instance. One year it was Stacy Yelton, Ruth Bryan, Terri Brown, and Jen Bartlett. Burns Night 2013 is when I met Gordon’s BFF Andy Werthmann; an absolute gem of a human being, sweet as the day is long in summer. Last year I was lucky enough to meet Becky and Gordon’s delightful neighbor, Bob, who has since passed on. He was a real treat, and I’m glad I had a chance to visit with him. This year they even let me play cowbell. Thanks for the adventures, B&G. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
“The world will knock you down plenty. You don’t need to be doing it yourself.”
~ Elizabeth Scott
Our hero turned 73 today. She wanted to try Sav’s West African Grill, so that’s where we started. She loved it, and Bangalay Mamadou was as sweet as his father. Then, it was off to the new Kroger super store near campus. It’s the only Kroger of its kind with a cupcake bar, beer cave, and rooftop parking. Its grand opening was Thursday, but you would have thought it was today what with cops directing traffic and more people in the aisles than live in a small town. But it was worth it just to take her picture at the entrance of the beer cave (you’ll have to go to facebook to see that one). After a latte at Starbucks (also in Kroger), it was off for an afternoon of furniture shopping.
The day ended with dinner and music at Burns Night with the William Sutherland Reid Pipe and Drum band. Becky Ryder and Gordon Hogg were kind enough to invite us, and Shell Dunn (below), to join them for the annual event. This was my fourth Burns Night. Neither mom nor Shell had ever attended. We had a wonderful time over dinner followed with singing, and mom playing Scottish dress up in some of Becky’s accessories. Shell made it a point to get the emcee’s attention so the entire audience could sing Happy Birthday to her. Yours truly sat in for a song and played…wait for it….more cowbell. It was a fun night with friends. It was a great day with mom. It was a day to cherish; beginning to end.
“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is,
rather than as you think it should be.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Today, we had our holiday potluck for Special Collections Research Center. After we dined on some truly fabulous dishes – like Jason Flahardy’s smoked ham, Gail Kennedy’s killer coconut pie, Deirdre Scaggs awesome pumpkin bundt cake, and Crystal Heis’ sweet potato chili – we played a rousing game of Jeopardy. With Gordon Hogg as Alex Trebek and Shell Dunn (wo)manning the technology, four tables of players squared off on Malaprops, L’s, and Furry things. In the end, the “old ladies in the back,” Stacy Yelton and Judy Sackett (lovingly termed by the old ladies in the front, Gail Kennedy and Nancy DeMarcus), won the game. Then, Danielle Gabbard sort of broke her foot. Like I always say, it’s not a party ’til ya break something. What is… Happy Holidays from Special Collections.
“I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.” ~ Shirley MacLaine
I’ve been lonesome for my dog Sadie. I take advantage of all the dog love I can find whenever I find it, and last Saturday I got some Harvey love. His story is a good one. He came to Maggie Jacobs as a rescue. He’d been kept in a crate so long that atrophy crippled his back legs. He was young, full of life, but unable to jump even into a low car. Becky and Gordon visited Maggie’s farm one lucky afternoon. It was love at first sight. Well, at least it was for Harvey. It might have taken Gordon a little longer, but only because he’d had a soul dog named Bennie. (Once you’ve had a soul dog, it’s hard to find another.) Nevertheless, Harvey won Gordon’s heart. They worked together, Gordon and Harvey, until the atrophy abated and he became a champion squirrel chaser. Could that dog jump! It was a glorious transformation – truly. Harvey’s older now, slower and not the high jumper he once was, but he’s as sweet and gentle as ever. I’m still so thankful Becky and Gordon gave him a home. Harvey deserved it. So did they.
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself.”
You might recall that archivist Ruth Bryan has been a media darling of late because of the silver plated tea set discovered in Keeneland Hall. Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET) answer to Antiques Roadshow, Kentucky Collectibles, did a feature on the tea set. It was expected to air today.
In her research, Ruth became intimate with Emily Post’s book, Etiquette. Post describes in great detail the art of high tea for which, one assumes, the Keeneland Hall tea set was used. Last week, Ruth asked if any of us would be interested in a Post style high tea while viewing the KET episode. Any excuse for a party, right? A different kind of party at that.
Becky Ryder and Gordon Hogg opened their home to the gathering. Ruth, Kazuko Hioki, Judy Sackett (supplies from Gail Kennedy in tow), Deirdre Scaggs, Stacy Yelton, and myself chipped in finger foods and other tea appropriate treats, in addition to a variety of delicious teas and beautiful tea pots.
Having closely read Post’s chapter on high tea etiquette, Ruth guided us through protocols for dress, serving, hosting, timing; virtually every aspect of what it was like decades ago when social teas were common.
The bad news was KET did not air Ruth’s segment, so we didn’t get to see it (yet). The good news was we learned a lot about how ladies (and select gentlemen) used to entertain. We sampled delicious teas and foods. We had an opportunity to appreciate fine china: both Deirdre and Ruth brought pieces once belonging to their grandmothers. Most importantly, at least for me, I had the chance to spend time with people who are very smart and eager to learn new things. They’re also kind and funny and generous and, after today, highly caffeinated. Who knew high tea could be so entertaining. Any day with these bright women (and Gordon) is a great day for me.
“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”
I had the best Halloween this year that I’ve had since Kevin Edmondson’s party 20 years ago. Kevin had a casket in his living room with a (mostly) naked friend inside wrapped in cellophane, meat and cheese and other Hors d’oeuvres draped over him. That’s but one detail of the night. Trust me when I say it was a Halloween to remember. This Halloween wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it was fun just the same. My co-workers dressed up. Our students dressed up. I dressed up. The boss, Doug Boyd, dressed up as Slash from Guns and Roses (above). I won a door prize at the faculty club (I never win door prizes), and then I got to hand out candy at Stacy Yelton’s house while she took pictures of the kids who were so stinkin’ cute this year it hurt. It was a fun, fun day.
Slash and Freddie Mercury (Jaime Burton) rock it out in The Nunn Center while, below, we get a look at the many wondrous costumes of Special Collections Research Center.
(Above – Left to right, top to bottom): Dean Terry Birdwhistell (he claimed to be Inspector Gadget), Maggie Salisbury (a most awesome snail costume), Ruth Bryan (as Ruth Bryan with a pumpkin shirt), Felipe Vogel (see him? He came as a ghost), JD Carruthers (Edward Gorey inspired), John Young (‘ol Punkin’ Head), Ida Sell (she’s always understated, that’s what we love about her), Associate Dean Deirdre Scaggs (jury’s out on who made the best devil, her or Marie), Gordon Hogg (he pulls out his The Scream tie just once a year).
(Below – Left to right, top to bottom): Marie Dale (the Devil’s right arm), Kopana and Marie at VP Alben Barkley’s desk (I couldn’t decide if I was a cowgirl or a farmer), Jaime Burton (dressed as Freddie Mercury, she was scared by how much she looked like her dad), Deirdre and Doug, Sarah Dorpinghaus (as a French Archivist) and Matt Harris (as Sarah in negative), Doug and Jaime.