When you get to the point where you have a few miles on the odometer, you sometimes look back and think to yourself "Gosh, I was such an idiot back when _______________". The specifics aren't so important I guess, as everyone at those younger years makes mistakes. Actually "mistakes" is probably the wrong word, as as in the grand scheme of things that aren't so much errors as they are omissions...omissions of common sense, etc. Now I look at my oldest daughter, who will be turning 21 in a few weeks, and it really does make me look back to when I was young, in my 20's, clueless, but ready to try it all.
Anyway, there are a few people from back in those years who were kind to me, and who I probably never really ever thanked for that kindness. I know that they will probably never see this, so it's more symbolic than anything else but a late thank you is better than no thank you.
So here you go: some folks who were kind to me that I probably never really thanked....
I was a senior in college and in all honesty, I really didn't know what the hell I was doing. One thing that I did actually try,...at least a little...was to be active in the campus Catholic Ministry, Chi Rho. The advisor was Father Miller, who was also the pastor of the Catholic Church in Middletown, PA. Now days I realize that being a pastor is a lot of work, but every week Fr Miller took time to be with us knuckleheads to say Mass in the afternoon (in the Student Union Building) and to talk to us before and afterwards. Now I was the President Chi Rho my senior year, and to I didn't do much. I think I moderated a debate on abortion or something like that. Anyway, despite my general cluelessness Fr Miller was incredibly supportive, and at the end of my Senior Year he even gave me the gift of a very nice crucifix . I have that crucifix to this day, hanging in my bedroom, with a hand-written note taped to the back with the specifics of when I got it. So anyway, Thank You to Father Miller for being kind, for taking the time to actually get to know rock-heads like me, and for being a role-model of what a Priest should be...in this day and age it seems that there are few of you left.
Now I probably misspelled Tina's last name, but it's as close as memory allows me to get it. Tina was the Buyer that I was assigned to assist during the on-the-job training part of my stint at Bon Ton Stores. Actually, Tina and I worked for a s subsidary called "Mailmans/Maxwells", and she was a Buyer in the Domestics and Drapes area. Tina was young (probably not much older than me, truth be told), but had worked her way up to the Buying Office from jobs on the sales floor. She was very smart about the business and, most important from my persective, she was able to put up with my clueless nature and constant questioning. She even let me drive her car once. How wierd was I? Well let's put it this way: I went away on vacation and returned married. She didn't even know I was engaged. Anyway, Thank You to Tina for putting up with one hell of a wierd trainee and for trying to teach me about the business.
Deb was Tina's boss, and was, at least to an assistant buyer, a "big deal". All business. The Buyers who seemed to spend all their time goofing off also seemed to strongly dislike her, which probably meant that she had an actual expectation that folks under her watch would "work". Deb was also very kind to me. I was included in meetings, she took the time to explain things to me, and even went so far as to take me out to lunch when I got promoted and had to move to Carlisle. So Thank You to Deb for setting a good example and for treating me with dignity and respect, because God knows that I didn't always feel that way about myself.