Things that survived the move to Mo: Part One (KY jelly and athletic cup)

In early 2011, my marriage of 37 years ended. A few months later I moved back to Missouri…and I was traveling lightly.

I never expected to live in the Show-Me state again. After we left MO over 40 years ago, when we had to pick our first password (probably for an ATM in Corvallis), we chose “misery.” Over the years, when required to change passwords, we went with misery1, misery!1, Mi$ery, etc. I was still using it in 2011.

She might still use a variation of that word. I have no idea.

What I do know is that my heart is still in Oregon; I never want to live in Floriduh again; and I’ve got lots of soft spots for Missouri these days. Lots of them.

I’m not expecting to pick up and move west soon. But then, I’ve never been much of a planner. When I do move again, it will NOT require an 18 wheeler, as 3 of our cross country moves did.
It won’t even require an 18 foot truck.
Ok… a little bit re the 2011 move itself, from Tampa to my sister’s at Table Rock Lake: 1 (one) box with my amplifier, cd changer and turntable came via UPS; my car trunk was packed with the essentials; the only piece of furniture that moved was in my backseat…the kiddie rocking chair my folks got for me when I was 2.

Everything else was shipped via the United States Postal Service. About 30 boxes. Most of it came via the “media” rate: books, cds, vinyl, slides, pictures. There is a story there…but not today.

I travel lightly these days, relatively speaking….compared to most people…and compared to myself 15 or 20 years ago. But there was a lot more stuff moving back to MO in 2011 than had left in 1976, when EVERYTHING fit into my 1976 Beetle, so I haven’t gone full circle.
A couple of recent days were “purging days.” I tossed, recycled and shredded a lot of things those two purging days. But I still have too much stuff.

I came across lots of interesting things during the 2-day purge. Lots. I coulda spent a few hours with each of several of the boxes I sorted thru. I’m sure there are some stories there.

There were some letters I’d like to have the time to read. If I only had the time….

{I haven’t hit a tap since I sold my 2nd and last franchised store back in early 2011…but I never seem to have enough time to get everything done?? What’s up with that?}

And then were the things that are pictured here. I don’t think I ever knew who did the wood carving. I assume that the words were the result of a group effort of several folks on my team. There were lots of memorable times after I transferred to Sarasota. Most of them good. And mostly because of the people.

I was on a few great teams during my years at Arthur Andersen. My roles changed several times over the years, but I don’t think I ever really enjoyed a team more than the State Manager and Tax Director teams who honored me with these plaques.
I have been told that I have a pretty good memory. It, however, is not improving. This is my third time living in Springfield, MO. The first time here, I won first place in a contest for the teenage sunday school class at the largest baptist church in town. I memorized a shitload of bible verses. Lots more than the person who won the red ribbon. Lots more. It wasn’t close.

Today about the only verse I could get right would be John 11:35. I’d have to struggle to tell you what I did last Thursday….and I doubt I could memorize 100 words of dialogue.

So here’s what I remember about the prized possessions pictured here, with my memory distorted by time and a work-hard-play hard history.

I received the first one at the one and only surprise party that was even thrown for me. (That is a separate story….it was my 10th anniversary with AA&Co.)aattg-survival

In the first couple of years that I was in SRQ, I occasionally went to lunch with a fellow who had transferred from Dallas. We would laugh at what a mess the office was organizationally. It was black humor, as the place really was fucked up….especially for the “red-headed, step child”…i.e., my product and teams. He and I would often say that I should have a tube of lube in my credenza along with the fifth of Maker’s Mark.

When Frick or Frack stopped in to say something idiotic, David said that I should just open the credenza door and say “you don’t mind if I have a couple of fingers first and a little jelly before you tell me to bend over again, do you?” (I wrote about Frick & Frack back in October….)

One day David and I had lunch at a new Amish restaurant in town that was in a strip center with a RiteAid. After the obligatory piece of pie and discussion for the continued need for lubricant, we walked into the pharmacy and I purchased a tube of KY.
I never did say, to their faces, what he suggested. But it was close a few times. I did have a few discourse doozies with F&F.

I did pull the tube out to make a point quite a few times when my door was closed. It was always fun to press the button under my desk that released the door, have the person react to the door closing behind them, and then see me reaching inside my credenza.

I’m sure that some of the folks who worked for me in the trenches had that experience. They knew where I kept the KY. And when they presented me with the plaque everyone knew what I was thinking. Later, I often displayed the plaque on a book shelf in my office.
The plaque with the cup was given to me at an office wide holiday meeting/party. I was pretty speechless when I was handed this plaque in front of 250 people.support_the-cup

My team came thru for me more times than I could count. They also knew that I would got to bat for them. They knew that I would not be silent about things that matter. I had to dust myself off sometimes.

My memory ain’t what it used to be, but I remember driving home with a plaque riding shotgun, music cranked up to 11, smiling from ear to ear and laughing at my good fortune.

I often have trouble finding the right words. I’m sure that I stammered and stuttered when I received each of these plaques. Heck, I can’t find the right words now…25 years later.

Life was good then. It’s good now. I was fortunate to have worked with lots of good folks. They made my life better. Some of them still do. They gave me lots of good memories.

4 thoughts on “Things that survived the move to Mo: Part One (KY jelly and athletic cup)

  1. Tax Director was a great team. The ‘red headed stepchild’ could not be held down, thanks to your leadership. Always hated that saying. 🙂 You were, and still are the best boss I’ve ever had. I knew you had my back and fought for me when I deserved it. We also had a lot of fun in those days. Remember you supplying us with much needed provisions while copying diskettes in the late evening, release parties at Azure Tides, and many other ways you supported me and many others. Thanks for the memories and the Support!

    • Thanks for the kind words Sherri. It was a great team, and we did have a lot of fun.
      I hear that there may be an AATT-Whatever reunion in 2017. Hope to see you then.
      BTW, I wasn’t all that fond of the saying either!!

  2. If I could only write like you Steve, I could change all those white page’s to black and white. So in the mean time Steve, I will enjoy your written stories, and save mine to bend someone’s ear. Thanks

    • Thanks Barbara…I appreciate it!

      Hope to hear some of your stories in June around the time of the 13th Annual Rock House Summer Festival!!!

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