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He was my first "minion" I could call my very own, that I didn't have to share with anyone. His desk was outside my office, and I would yell in a silly sing song voice "oh engineeeeering coordinatoooor" and he would come half running hair flying everywhere, screeching to a halt with a start, his calm voice in direct contrast with the chaos before me would say something just as silly like "what is your wish, mistress" or something as silly.

Richard worked with me at InterCon, and was the go to guy for ordering stuff, putting stuff together, writing stuff, or doing other stuff that I didn't have time to do when I was VP Engineering. We lost touch after InterCon became no more, but he was one of the "fixed points in time" as the Doctor would say, and I always thought I could hang out with him again sometime.

Alas, that is not to be. I'll let others speak of the rotten 2 months he spent in the hospital and what series of medical catastrophes finally claimed his life, but for me he'll always be my engineering coordinator, and someone I will dearly miss.

Fly free, Richard. You will be missed.
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Thank you all for the well wishes and offers of assistance. It will take time. He was the most special creature I've ever had the honor of taking care of, and we will mis shim tremendously for the rest of our lives. It was unexpected and shocking, which makes recovery that much more difficult. Time will help.

For those wondering, it was congestive heart failure.
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We are not ok. I'm not coming out for awhile.

Sadness

Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:54 pm
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My absolute favorite law professor, and the man I had for three classes, Contracts, Administrative Law and Law and Religion, passed on August 26. . I found out today. I've had several "famous" professors, Ken Feinberg of the 9/11 victims fund and now the gulf coast fund, Sam Dash, Watergate Prosecutor that G. Gordon Liddy loved so much, but Steve Goldberg was my absolute favorite. He had a heart attack at age 63.

I was a first year in Contracts class when Professor Goldberg called on me. I pretended I wasn't there. About a week or so later he called on me again. I still didn't say anything. I really didn't feel like being grilled by the contracts professor in front of the class of 120, and was a bit...chicken shall we say. Another week went by and the third time he said, "Now I KNOW you're here....and I'll just keep calling on you until you answer, so why not just get it over with?" So the little squeak came out of the chair in the back row (I always tried to sit in the back) "yes?" He asked some innocuous questions, then said "See, it wasn't so bad, was it?"

Not much happened in Admin law, and he did call on me a few times and I actually answered. My favorite class, by far, was Law and Religion, where our small 10 person class had basically a weekly one on one with Steve. It was always a very vibrant and dynamic discussion, and everyone had to think (including the Professor). I was pregnant that semester, and was doing a study on First Amendment freedom of religion vs. state interest in protection of a child. During my research, I found that there were about 125 forced (as in court ordered) C sections per year, despite the mother's refusals. I was rather upset about this, and I remember Steve being concerned that this might upset me in my condition, and perhaps I might need a different topic :-). I did keep the topic, and got an A on the paper.

After graduation, as we were all walking to the parking lot, Steve caught up with me to congratulate me on passing the 3 years of doom. It was pretty easy to catch me, as I weighed over 200 lbs and could barely waddle :-). I thanked him and asked him why, after working so very hard first year, my grades were mediocre. Yet during my last semester I didn't go to class much (one class I went to opening day and last day), didn't do any real homework, yet made the Dean's list. He leaned over and whispered, "Don't tell the 1Ls, ok?"

My last memory of Steve was when I called him to ask whether or not he would mind being a reference for me for getting into GW's LLM in litigation. He said he not only remembered me fondly, but would be delighted, and mentioned the paper I wrote back in 1991. Wow!

He wrote three "non straight law" books, "Bleached Faith: The Tragic Cost When Religion Is Forced into the Public Square" (2008), Seduced by Science: How American Religion Has Lost its Way (1998), and Culture Clash: Law and Science in America (1994).

Professor Goldberg, you will be very missed.
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It is hard to put into words the gratitude I have for the people of our community. I haven't run this letter past the family, but I can tell you that throughout this horrible ordeal, even when times were darkest, your support has been a comfort and a blessing to them and to me.

It is no secret that there have been rifts in our community over the years, and that we have become somewhat polarized over certain issues. It is also no secret that Jack was usually the one to reach across the aisle and try to mend those rifts, whether successful or not. I am gratified and humbled that in his absence, others are doing the reaching, and offering their hands with genuine love to those with whom there were differences in the past. This is the greatest legacy Jack could have left us. And nowhere is that more prominent than in Jack's son Alex.

Throughout the greatest pain of his young life, Alex is showing the maturity and the ideals through which his father became so loved by so many. Through the grief and darkness he has never lost sight of who his father was, and what he meant to all of us. At times, through our telephone calls, I can hear his father's voice, saying exactly what Jack would have said.

We have a debt to Jack that can never be repaid, but we can remember who he was, and what he stood for. He would be so proud of Alex, and of all of those people who have stepped up to take care of the family: those who offered assistance in whatever way they could, those who dropped the pretense of differences to come together and mourn the man, and those who simply think he would have been a great guy to have known.

For those of us who had the privilege of knowing the man, nothing will ever replace the loss in our hearts. But we can remember, we can reach out, we can learn to compromise, and we can support each other.

Thank you all.
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I loved Socks. He was the coolest occupant of the White House in a very long time. He shall be missed. Amazing that this cat lived so long.
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I think I'm giving up on them for awhile. *sigh*
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trying to take care of this sick seahorse, another one just up and died. I'm down to two. I have no idea why the other one just died, but I found her this morning. I am not pleased. *sigh*
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Late this afternoon, a friend instant messaged me asking a rather odd question. I asked her what was wrong, and was told that her father had died suddenly and unexpectedly We spent the rest of the afternoon talking, and I'm really hoping she's feeling a bit better, but what can you say when a family member has left you so suddenly? It started me thinking about how briefly we exist upon this earth and how our lives may end at any moment.

So imagine my confusion when I was later told that a friend had passed through the veil. Phil Platt, a man who was highly animated, very opinionated, and one of the most colorful characters I had ever known left this world last Wednesday. He was a pilot, mechanic, and entrepreneur on Ocracoke Island, owning 2 bed and breakfasts with his girlfriend Nancy. He ran a charter company, a sight seeing venture, was a flight instructor, and built his bed and breakfasts with his own hands. He also left without warning.

So at dinner tonight I had several drinks to Phil's memory. No longer will Ocracoke be the refuge it once was, knowing Phil would be there to patch up the airplane if necessary, to find us a room if only on a couch, or to pick us up in his Model T. He will be sorely missed.

We also found out tonight that another friend had attempted suicide just recently. I'll be pondering what this means later. Right now I need a bit of rest.

While I'm resting..., have a look here at this wonderful video :-)

recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Happy mothers day to all you mothers out there. I'm going to call mine in a few, and my grandmother as well, since she's still kicking (literally) and causing as much chaos as possible. I guess I'm a chip off the ole block. Anyway, I celebrated by taking a walk to my circle in the woods and sitting there for awhile just looking at the trees and the way the light filtered through the leaves. The temperature was perfect for some contemplative thought. I sat on the stone bench that had collapsed over the winter months. I tried to put it back upright, but the slab was a bit too much for me today. I suppose I'll fix it later. The glass Witches Balls I put up years ago were still intact despite snow and rain and wind. It was great to watch the birds hopping through the dead leaves, and see how the new growth was coming to the ground. Very nice and peaceful.

And now I am waiting for poor Morgan to wake up. She lost another dog suddenly last night. Nobody's quite sure what happened yet. I came in last night at 2:30 am and Morgan was awake and watching tv, saying she was too sad to go to sleep. Poor kid. This is her second loss in such a short time. Much of this mothers day will be spent mothering. Go figure.
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The high winds are really pretty nasty, and for those of us who live in the woods, there is the constant danger of a tree coming down and doing something bad. They closed the schools 3 hours early today due to power outages and fears that the trailers so many kids are in will flip over. The high winds down in Blacksburg are having an effect on the injured at those horrible VA Tech shooting scenes since med evac choppers can't get in and all casualties are at 2 nearby hospitals, overloading their level 3 trauma centers. 22 dead, 28 in hospitals. I sit and watch the coverage on CNN and wonder. Since my daughter is going to college in 2 years, what awaits her? How can we help the parents of these kids who are now dead or injured? Why did the shooter do this?

A sad and scary day on so many levels.

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