Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The loss of another friend.

I've worked a lot of places over the years.

It's easy for me to say that the best place I ever worked, the place I loved best, was The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in Cobb County, GA

I also worked for Georgia Tech and I worked for GTRI on the downtown campus.  

All well and good.

But there was something magical about the Cobb Country facility, and it was all down to the people.

People I met there and still consider to be among the best and closest friends I have  - Vickie, Cat, and the adorable Dougs.  Many I still keep in touch with and miss - Jeff, James, Barry, Vince, and so many others I worked with and enjoyed  - -  and one woman in particular.

Violet Buck.

Violet and I had offices next door to one another for awhile, but - truth be told, I could usually be found sitting in her office instead of my own.  We were able to convince everyone, for awhile, that I was in training mode and Violet was the trainer.  And she was.  I learned so, so much from her.

We talked books.

We talked about her two sons.

We talked politics

We gossiped (well, we did).

We talked about traveling.

We talked about furniture, and curtains, and flowers and movies and the news and how horrible Atlanta traffic was.

We talked about her growing collection of Caithness paperweights.

We talked music.  (She was way more knowledgeable in this area than me.  When your son is Peter Buck and lead guitarist in a band as awesome as REM, you get to know a lot about music).

One of my favorite memories involves Peter and his music.

REM was up for their first Grammy (actually, seven, I think) in 1992 ( I "think" it was 1992).  Those of you who know these things, correct me if I'm wrong - okay?

Violet was going to the Grammy's and wanted, of course, to buy a new dress.

She asked if I'd go with her and help pick one out.

Well - dang.

Would I go help one of my favorite people go shop for a dress to wear to the Grammy's where her son was up for several awards?


Yeah.  I can do that, I said.

And we shopped.

And we shopped.

Giggled and shopped some more

And Violet chose a beautiful black and white gown that she looked so beautiful in.

So beautiful.

And she just glowed.

But.  It was long.  She didn't want it long.  "So, we'll have it cut down to the length you want!"


But.  It was cut too low in the front.  She didn't want it so low in the front.  "So, we'll take some of that fabric from the skirt you're having cut off and have it placed oh so perfectly so you're not showing quite so much cleavage.  How's that?"


Dress.  Bought.  

Next.  Shoes.

Easy peasy.

Violet was happy.

I was happy.

Know what she said to me?

"I hope I get to meet Sting."

She did not get to meet Sting.

But Peter and his band won a Grammy or two that night.

Violet retired from GTRI and we kept in touch.  Had lunch at The Swan House a couple of times.  Chatted on the phone, but neither of us were big phone people, so not too much.

But we always remembered to exchange Christmas cards with notes.

After Donald and I moved to Boone, Violet and I continued our annual Christmas card exchange - along with erratic emails - and made plans to get together when we would go to Atlanta.

Sadly.  Those were plans that somehow never worked out.

The last planned get together was this past summer.  A weekend was chosen and things were all set to go.


My mom got sick.

Violet got sick.

Today is Violet's birthday. 

But she left us last Tuesday.

I will miss her more than she might ever have known.  But, man - I was happy to have known her.  Lucky to have had her in my life.

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