Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thanks to Francie -- Part of the Thanks Giving Series

Francie was my mentor, unofficially at least in my eyes, at the first law firm I worked for. I knew instantly I would like her when I walked into her office and saw the Albert Einstein poster looking back at me, saying "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds," and the framed magazine cover emblazoned with "I don't think ladies should be lawyers." (Special Report on Gender Bias and Women in the Law, Cover story for the ABA Journal, The Lawyer’s Magazine, December 1, 1986) (Yes, someone actually said this, out loud, as recently as that, and he was, get this, a Judge speaking to a female attorney about to present her case in his court.)

Although Francie would probably never think it of herself, I saw her as humble, honest, down-to-earth and just so friendly, qualities you don't always associate with "attorney" or "law firm partner." She had the supreme quality of being able to joke about almost any challenge and always carried on without hesitation when dealt an unfair blow.

She is, hands down, one of my best examples of "Don't let the bastards get you down." And although I know in her humility she would likely say this is overblown, she is also one of my best examples of nobility, perseverance and compassion.

Thanks Francie for setting a great example and being a good friend. If it is true that what goes around comes around (and I believe it is), you've got lots of good things coming your way.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Oh No, He's Got a Hoe

In the steamy summer heat of the Oklahoma plains, yellow squash grew in my grandparents garden, to grand proportions. Despite their size, they were quite docile, so I never really understood why exactly my brother found them so intimidating. Perhaps it was their crooked necks or their bright yellow skin.

It never really seemed important until one day my young friend Amy and I found ourselves accosted by the typical younger sibling wanting to refocus our attention on something much more fun such as wrestle mania or monster truck rally, or some other such thing not at all appealing to two prissy grade school girls. Try as we might, we just could not convince him we did not want to play.

Eventually we retreated outside, where he followed and where we happened upon the perfect tool of persuasion, the yellow summer squash. Perhaps in my brother's mind it was somewhat akin to the giant squid, because when Amy and I each picked one up and turned toward him, he ran. And screamed. Like a girl. Now this was fun. Maybe playing with your younger brother wasn't so bad after all.

And so we ran, each with a bright yellow squash in hand, chasing him round and round the house, around the outbuildings, through the yard, up and down the drive way, Amy and I laughing all the way, with him occasionally looking over his shoulder to see if we still brandished our squash, the magnificent summer squash.

There was just one problem with our squash waving rampage. In this larger than life game of rock, paper, scissors we were playing, there were several things that would come out on top over squash. Something probably Amy and I should have considered. Then we wouldn't have been so surprised when he emerged from behind the house wielding a hoe.

"Oh no! He's got a hoe."

When we saw it we ran. And screamed. Like girls. And so he chased us both, round and round the house, around the outbuildings, through the yard, up and down the driveway, laughing all the way.

Political Spotlight of the Week

This week the Political No No of the Week Award takes a back seat to the political spotlight focused on the passing of former President Gerald Ford, the man who I, even as a budding Democrat, backed in my kindergarten mock presidential election. Can't say my decision was based on political positions, but gee he seemed like a nice guy. In all seriousness, I must tip my hat to anyone who is willing to endure the slings and arrows, incredible stress and never-ending work hours that the presidency brings.

Happy New Year!

After a brief holiday respite, I'm back, blogging away for your reading pleasure.