Friday, September 22, 2006
I travelled to Lexington on September 15th 2006 to mourn the loss of my friend Bobby and to be wrapped up in the support and love of my friends that I left behind. It was one of the best and saddest trips I have ever taken.
I stayed with Scott Hardy for the three days, who graciously let me sleep in his bed (alone people, alone) while he spent his nights "farming" and pretending not to surf porn.
We're close - but not surf porn together close, so that is probably for the best.
The first day we got there I had the luxury of walking around a place I used to work being loud and disrupting people from getting their work done to force them to visit with me. It was terrible fun. And joyous.
I thought my heart would burst when I saw Paul and Scott ambling around the back of the building inspecting the ceiling that is still leaking - three years later.
Michele Kocinski and I headed over to SHAMROCKS to make sure tables were available. And of course I had to hunt down the beer cheese - I MISS KENTUCKY BEER CHEESE. Waitress bring this woman BEER CHEESE! Man, it is good stuff. I highly recommend it. I just wanted a vat of it for myself, and a spoon. Before long the old crew started to gather.
It was sort of funny how it didn't actually take more than a few minutes for old crew and new crew to segregate into their own pods, but maybe that had more to do with senior managers hanging out on the old crew side. Regardless, by 8ish the Galls team had almost completely taken over the patio of Shamrocks, and the cigar smoke was choking the air and it was Makers and Coke all around.
Saturday it was the memorial service which was truly so beautifully done. It was presented as a celebration of the people's lives. It was very hard but so thoughtfully done. I was able to hug so many people and tell them I love them, I think some of them were probably faintly horrified as it's not something I just go about bandying about - but I couldn't help it. I felt compelled not to let my chance go by. I talked to Bobby frequently, but I don't know if I EVER told him I loved him and I did love him so.
Probably the thing that had me choked up the most was that the Capitol Police from the US Capitol had flags flown at Half Mast at the Capitol for everyone from Galls who died on the plane - and had those flags sent to be presented to the families. It's such an honor - the highest honor that department can bestow on someone. I was seated between Scott and Tom and I thought that me keening and sobbing might just be too much for them, as they were maintaining their composure.
I had a surreal Kentucky moment during the time after the service when the catering was brought out and everyone was visiting. Once, when we still worked together we were talking about something that wasn't right or that didn't make sense and Bobby said to me "Lord that's like a wedding without Ham and Biscuits." I had later brought this up at dinner with Scott Hardy and his girlfriend at the time who concurred - you couldn't have a wedding without ham and biscuits. The husband and I were like baffled, what the HELL were these people talking about?
But when I looked over at the catering table.......what did I see?
You guessed it.
Ham and Biscuits.
I wasn't even hungry but I had to eat one.
I spent the late morning and early afternoon at Danna's catching up and gossiping. Danna's got her groove back. She made steaks for lunch and then I went and met up with my family who brought me sweet little niece down for me to meet for the first time.
I introduced my family to the joy of the Kentucky HOT BROWN at Ramsey's. Plus we feasted on Missy's Pie. And we all nearly burst from it.
Since Blogger won't let me post more pics.....looks like I'll have to do a very short part 2.
Posted by Gidge Mcneal at 12:01 AM