The memories are deep in the crevices of these walls that made up our office.
While faces have come and gone— many of us remaining have been here for at least a decade. And for those that are newer, we are the historians who can explain the whats and whys of the building. Many of us were here when we worked on the other half of the building that was rather humble with ugly restrooms and stained carpeting. Imagine our excitement when we moved to the newly renovated side of the building where everything was new, new, new! We took pride in those offices.
The photo below is courtesy of a coworker. This was back when the building was being renovated in 2006. Behind that future “drive-through” window, is my office.
Here’s a look at my office in 2013.
Here’s my same office ready for moving day 2018. It never looked this clean before. 🙂
Other unique features to my office was a partial window by the back exit. I stored my ventriloquist’s doll, Percival, at the window to greet passersby. Coworkers would comment they looked forward to the messages from Percival. If you look on the street view on Google Maps, you’ll see Percival in the window at this address. I consider that a bucket list accomplishment. 🙂
Here’s a broader view on moving day 2018. We added the keypad to that back door somewhat recently. You’d be surprised what kind of interesting characters would wander in to our offices over the years….
Enough about the building. The building is nothing without people to fill it.
People have gotten married and have children of their own. People have divorced and remarried. We’ve gone to funerals for coworkers and figureheads of the company. We’ve gone to funerals for spouses and even a longtime vendor.
Our great long halls have so many memories of people who have come and gone.
The photo above and below features Marvin Gardner. The photo below is from Thanksgiving 2015. That Thanksgiving luncheon, I was fortunate to sit with him and his wife. Marvin passed away the following year.
I remember when he was more nimble and would walk the halls very quietly. He’d sneak up and startle people on purpose. I used to joke we need to add bells to his shoes.
You can read more about Marvin Gardner and how his embroidered patches went to the moon.
Office dogs have run through the halls, often sliding on the smooth concrete floors. At least two dogs that roamed the halls have since passed on. Even they have been memorialized in one way or another through a magazine article or blog. That’s one of the advantages of a family run business.
Below is a photo of Railey – the office dog. He has since passed away.
After a few years, Rusty came on board with the company. He was a small dog for about a day. Then he grew to be a giant puppy.
The office dog policy is pretty relaxed. Additional dogs are welcomed with open arms including this small lapdog that I snatched for an afternoon of reading. All our dogs have an appreciation for machine embroidery. 😉
Back to the building: Power outages and floods happen periodically on our street. We would all gather outside watching as overconfident drivers would attempt to drive through the temporary ‘rivers’. The most shocking was the BMW driver whose car got stuck and a fire truck had to rescue him. The man had to crawl out of his window to safety. Police cars blocked the streets to prevent more drivers from getting stuck. Of course, times like those spark ideas. I saw a strange opportunity to pull out my miniatures and take a photo that day. Looking back, I’m glad I did.
I was explaining the move to a friend who is also moving offices later this year. He said, ‘yeah, our move won’t be quite that sentimental.’ That’s one of the differences between a formal corporate environment and a small, informal multi-generational business.
Odds are high I have at least one more blog before wrapping this up!