Sunday, March 23, 2008


My totally awesome friend Vicki called me today. I haven't seen her since before moving to Corpus in early 2004, and though we've been in sporadic touch, we haven't really kept up with each other over the past few years.

When I met Vicki, I was 22 and she was 39. She doesn't have kids, but has a particular warmth to her that I always found maternal. She's extremely smart, tremendously funny, good-humored, perceptive, and very, very kind. She was a mentor to me, as well as a great friend. She was a temp working in the document storage room at Sematech, and I was brought in on a six-week temp assignment to help out.

The weeks grew to months. Vicki got hired on as a permanent employee, and (after almost two years!) I did too. We had the big storage room all to ourselves, with only the most infrequent visits from management. Well, we knew our job well; it wasn't rocket science, but anyway Vicki has a very strong work ethic. We worked really well as a team, so everything got done. We always had KUT playing on the radio in our work room. It was a fun place to be; other people at the company often came to hang out and visit, including such folks as Debby, the sister of someone I would eventually marry; and Mary, the wife of Robert, who would someday be my lead worker (and who has come to be a good friend in his own right) at the organization where I work now.

Eric was 17 months old when I began working there and got to know Vicki, so she was a little thunderstruck today to hear that he's about to turn 18 (years). I got pregnant with Katie just after starting that job.

She reminded me today of Salvador. How could I forget Salvador?! Working among boxes and boxes of technical documents, and occasionally doing bulk mailouts, we sometimes had to transport multiple boxes to the mailroom. We had a dolly for the purpose. Well - what else would we name a dolly? He was called Salvador, of course. The sweet thing is, apparently he, complete with his nametag, is still in use.

We also had a publicity photo of the dearly-missed CEO, Bill Spencer, which I had cut out and placed on a brightly colored background. I had various different costumes and props for him for different times of year - like a paper doll, you know. He had a Santa hat, an Uncle Sam costume, a pot of gold, etc. For Easter I had a big decorated egg with holes cut out for his eyes. I had totally forgotten about that.

I worked in that area for a while after Vicki had moved on to another department. Requesting a document, she once made fun of a former coworker who had asked for a technical document, volunteered to come pick it up, then heard where in the building we were and asked to have it delivered instead. Vicki came to the room to pick up her document, threw herself onto the floor, and clawed her way along the carpet with her fingernails. "So far!" she gasped, "so very, very far!"

One of the marks of a true friend is that, even after not talking to them for years, you find that the flow and spark of conversation is just as free and spontaneous and fun as it was when you hung out together every day. It was like that with Vicki today: checking up, laughing, on one another's latest developments; me asking after her work and her husband (he's such a cool guy!); her asking after Daddy and Joyce; kids, friends, work, life. And we will get together very soon.

Happy Easter; here's to the dear and wonderful friends who bless us and make our lives so well worth living!

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At March 24, 2008 1:28 PM, Anonymous debutaunt said...

Oh I LOVE Vicki. She really is one of the coolest chicks I have ever known. Please give her my warmest regards. I miss y'all!!!

I am long overdue for some Austin love. And if I make it in town, I'm getting your little state workin' bootie shakin' self out to go with me!! I remember those days... heh...


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