July 16, 2004

Notes from the West Coast

Wednesday morning I had to work, and we were decidedly short-handed, so I wound up watching the door as a "person greeter". It's virtually impossible to get me to stand still for any length of time while I'm at work, so I was assembling a few wheel-barrows that we had around there.

After I had gotten three or four of them together, I noticed a few people (that I thought were) headed for the door, so I started to look up. Just at that moment, the person whom I had intuited was the male of the group stated: "I have a problem with you!"

Any of you who have read my site for any length of time might assume that I'd take this in a negative manner (and not incorrectly on your part), but in this rare instance, my eyes focused on an old friend of mine, Scott was looking at me. He was expecting a handshake, but he got a hug.

I haven't seen Scott for going on six years. We were colleagues at "The Learning Company" (If you're thinking of Reader Rabbit, you wouldn't be wrong.) when we both did technical support for thier products. After TLC bought out Brodurbund Software ("Family Tree Maker" anyone?), the company was shortly after purchased by Mattel Interactive (Barbie Makover....Sigh...But the Hot Wheels games were pretty cool.) and relocated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

I was making great money out there, and was the Supervisor over the Cyber Patrol Technical Support crew. Life was really good, other than the fact that I was trapped in Iowa.

For any of you "Flatlanders" out there, please don't take this as an insult. It's all about a "zone of influence" type of thing. It was a regular complaint of mine that "You don't have any mountains around here", and the common response was that "there's some up in the Northwest corner of the state". Unfortunately for them, I had consulted my Atlas, and found that the highest point in Iowa is roughly 1,650 feet above sea level, which I would throw in thier face. Followed shortly by "I'm used to riding my Motorcycle at 6,000 feet above sea level...You ain't got no damn mountains". They didn't exactly appreciate this comment, but alas and anon, I continued to make it.

Upon my arrival in Iowa, I was greeted by none other than Scott (who had gone up there about three months earlier than I did), and he was a calming infuence on me in a trying time. For that, I made him my "Product Specialist" (Along with the fact that he is one of the finest technician's I've ever met.).

After a few weeks, he invited me out to his house for dinner, and I accepted and got to meet his little boy Andrew. We would play "Bowling" with the Fischer Price bowling set, and he would giggle so much, that his parents would have trouble putting him down. When his Dad told him to "Give a hug to your Uncle John" on this visit, the little monkey practically climbed me. It was a cool contrast from the last time I had seen him. That and he looked exactly like both of his parents.

Anyhow, it was a great pleasure to see them after so many years. Especially after they had moved back to Los Angeles, CA. three months after I had moved back to Tennessee, due to a sickness (and eventual death) in the family.

The fact that while they were on vacation, and in the area, they went out of thier way to look me up was a very special treat for me. I wish them all the best (as his Momma is in poor health recently), and I hope to do the same for them someday.

What can I say? I Love them dearly...even though they're Californians.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at July 16, 2004 10:04 PM

That is just a DAMN cool story :-)

Posted by: Harvey at July 17, 2004 01:21 PM

Thanks Harv. Glad you enjoyed it. It makes me wonder why I always seems to come up with "Gold" when a weekend is coming up, and noone will read it. Who cares. I liked it. :^)

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at July 17, 2004 11:15 PM
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