Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Friends Everywhere"

Back in 1982, I was offered a new job and a transfer by Hilton. It required me to move from Chicago to Dallas. Although excited by the opportunity, I was hesitant to leave Chicago and all my friends. But I got great advice from my boss, Bob Wishon. The first nugget was to have a good reason if I turned it down, because I would eventually stop getting offers. The other was something like, “The great thing about moving around for the hotel business is that you end up with friends everywhere”. I took the leap and began a new adventure in Dallas.

Earlier this week, Ron and I started a long distance road trip. We headed south through Illinois, and made our first stop in our former home city of Memphis. There we met a group of good friends for Happy Hour, and enjoyed lots of hugs and laughter. That night, we were overnight guests at our good friend Dave’s home. I wish we could have stayed longer. But we were on the road again the next morning.

The next evening, we arrived in Dallas to visit our dear friends, the Gradidges. We’ve known them for twenty years. Although it’s been almost 16 years since we left Dallas, we have remained close friends who visit with each other several times each year. That night we had a lovely dinner together, and stayed as guests in their home.

Bob Wishon’s advice was right… I moved three times during my career with Hilton (Chicago to Dallas, Dallas to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to Memphis), and each time we met wonderful people who have continued to be good friends. We treasure every one of them.

Just a road trip footnote: We faced threatening weather driving from Dallas through Wichita Falls. Concerned, we tuned into the Weather Band on the car radio. The National Weather Service did not alleviate our concerns as they were forecasting rain, dangerous wind gusts, large damaging hail, tornadic winds, lightning, increased fire potential, and flying lawn furniture and trash cans. And we’re pretty sure we heard something about flying monkeys and “Auntie Em”. Fortunately we managed to skirt the storm and head safely for Albuquerque.

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