Category Archives: Life’s Stories
Although they’re also eligible to retire, some of my colleagues are not sure how they’d fill their days without the pattern of a daily job. So they are staying on. This is good, as their experience will be valuable as new staff joins, and the new leadership reorganizes, state government. Note, though, that they read absence of routine into the "Now What?" question, and vote for structure. There’s another reading for the question. I see a multitude of opportunities.
I’m a baseball geek and a fairly serious amateur photographer. Once upon a time I was a very serious bicyclist, and I’ve been a Democratic Party staffer. I retired late in 2010, after working for the State of Michigan for over three decades.
Mom & Dad had this neat desk. I’m not sure how they acquired it–probably a wedding present–but it’s been part of our lives for as long as any of us “kids” remember.
Mom & Dad were about to leave on vacation–New Orleans, I think–when Mom handed me a couple twenties and said I should get my bike working while they were gone. Not sure what provoked the assignment, but it’s fair to say it changed my life….
What I think the portrait misses is that Owen’s heavy workload was fairly seamless; I had contacts with him in several of his roles and he was always the same person, working on the same causes, and finding reinforcement from his friends and colleagues as he moved from meeting to meeting. A strenuous life, yes, and not everyone loved Owen Akers, but many did.
So they sent my heart attack to a committee, decided I was probably sick, and are likely to pay my bills. Then sent me a form letter written by a lawyer. That’s reassuring.
On Sunday afternoon, Dr. Duane Berkompas, his surgical team, and a host of other players saved my life. I was in no condition to be taking notes, or I’d list everyone by name.
As I was completing my analysis of my data, the PM authorized a mailing based on an 80,000 estimate. I hit “reply to all” and opined that the estimate was low, and supported the opinion with “better” data. I also pointed out that there were three estimates available and suggested that someone ought to figure out why we differed before committing to any of them.
When Dad died, someone gave Mom an Azalea to honor his memory. Mom planted it, tended it, cared for it; things didn’t work out. After a couple years of fighting for and with the plant, it was still just a twig in the yard. Mom offered it to me; hoping I’d have better luck.