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Posted by pastol on 29 August 2017 - 07:20 PM
Before I retired, the company that I worked for had a very large what we called "Regional Office" in Charlottesville, VA. During a migration of our data centers from the Regional Offices to 3 hubs in the south (Atlanta, Dallas & Phoenix) I was assigned to coordinate the Charlottesville move. I got to know the people in the IT department (back then it was called DP) very well. They were a smart group. Well-oiled and the shop ran like a top. It was a fine mix of personalities and all of them very friendly people. They were kind and fun and always treated me like they'd known me forever. Right up to the day I retired I kept in touch with them. Often I'd call to run something by them to get a reaction. Corporate Headquarters was talking about implementing this or that and I'd call people in the "field" to get a feel for how it would directly affect them. Corporate was really good at that, coming up with ideas without thinking about how it would affect those people that were one step closer to our customers than we were. Charlottesville was more often than not the office I'd call.
I remember the town very well. Very small, the University of Virginia and the company that I worked for were probably the 2 largest employers in town. The town always struck me as a little economically depressed, but not overtly so. They did have a few cool restaurants in town that only the locals could tell you about. In spite of the school, there seemed to be no nightlife. But parts of the town were very pretty and the second you crossed that not so invisible line to out-of-town everything transformed into a scene of beauty that was breathtaking. Many times after dinner I'd get in the rental car and just drive, just taking it all in. I lived in Phoenix at the time. This was a wonderful escape from sand sand and more sand. The lush tree lines and rolling hills were calming and soothing. The air smelled good and people often waved at you for no reason at all. Just 2 travelers passing as the sun went down.
I went up to Monticello during one of my trips there. It was interesting but a bit unsettling as well. "These were the slave's cabins." Holy shit, they were like 10 x 10 shanties. I'd seen enough and never went back.
But all in all it was a very nice little town, nice people and some very good memories. I've tried very hard to disassociate all of the news lately from those memories. I want to remember the beauty of the place and the people that I knew there with a smile and that same feeling of warmth that I always felt previous to the brouhaha of recent days, all over statues. Can't that be discussed without the entire calamity? Evidently not. It is very disappointing to have a small group of people try to twist those memories. In time I will push those events to the back of my head. At the same time, I'd like to think that Heather Heyer's memory will live on. It will be a convoluted argument that will play out in my head for some time. In the end, hoping that her mother finds the peace that she deserves would be the best approach.
Posted by Navy on 27 November 2016 - 02:46 PM
A few years ago, my wife and I visited Savannah, GA - I've always liked "the old South" and nothing says "Old South" quite like Savannah. Unfortunately the weather was uncooperative which gives us an excuse to go back and visit again.
A few shots from Bonaventure Cemetery - featured in the movie / book "From The Garden of Good and Evil"
We also visited Tybee Island - I love lighthouses - I guess it goes back to my Navy days .
Posted by Navy on 09 November 2016 - 08:51 PM
P.S. Navy's avatar is at my house too... he was the chef for our labor day BBQ weekend. (rubbing the meat seemed to take him a very long time though if I recall... ).
I had to find this and dig it out of the archives. Holy crap - look how young (and thin) I was. And Tyler - the kitchen must bring you flashbacks!
Posted by bill98533 on 25 December 2014 - 08:16 PM
A beautiful story.... makes you understand that things happen for a reason
The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.
On December 19 a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.
On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.
The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors, and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.
She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.
Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials 'EBG' were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.
The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.
The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for that one day for a housecleaning job.
What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.
One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.
The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.
He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again in all those 35 years.
The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.
He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.