Lesson 1 – My friend Art (comments please)

So I just got this course and already at lesson 1 I feel writers block and fear creeping in. What was I thinking I can’t write a memoir, I am not even sure if I know what a memoir is!

So I set the course aside and instead wrote a few words about a friend of mine that had just past away and the family had asked for memories. By the time I finished I realized what I had written was a memoir! Who knew I could write memoirs?  The lesson for me is that we all have memories, it’s finding our own special way of setting them down. I inserted the copy from my thoughts about my friend below. I would love some feedback on my style and my voice and if this is a voice that would catch people’s attention. Also any other feedback would be great~ I know it is a bit long for a post…. sorry.

My Friend Art

The other night when my husband Henry and I were reminiscing about Art he made a very strange statement. We were talking about what a flirt Art was, and believe me he was a flirt.  But then Henry said “I think Art loved you” my response was I loved Art also. Now I don’t mean love as in girl/boy love, Carol has the corner on that love, believe me.  I never saw a greater love story than Art and Carol’s.

This was a different kind of love. If you were Art’s friend you knew that he loved you and you couldn’t help but love him in return.  He was one crazy guy.

I remember the first time I met Art, I was 20 years old and working for a company in Northern Indiana one summer break during college. Art was my new boss. Each evening after the showroom closed I would gather up all my day end reports and take them back to Art’s office before locking up for the night. Art had just started with the company day before so I really didn’t know him.

But I knew he was strange.  I walked into his office and found this guy with a hippie Nehru type shirt on, a handlebar mustache and later I found out he carried a purse. Now I realize that “man purses” are more common today… but this was 1975! I mean really my new boss was a hippie with a man purse??? And if that was not enough, he said come in and sit down and then proceeded to offer me a… well let’s just say it was substance that is medically legal in 26 states these days! Let me tell you this very young, inexperienced girl from Indiana did not know what to say.  I graciously declined and then proceeded to sit there talking to this strange new boss of mine.

He immediately pulled from his wallet (the one in his man purse), a picture of his wife Carol and his baby girl, Becky. Oh my gosh I have never seen a man so excited or in love as Art was with these two ladies in his life. At the time I believe his family was still in another state and he was in agony at the separation.

From that moment on I knew that I had been blessed with one great guy for a boss and a lifetime of great friendship of over 40 years.

Shortly after this… Art introduced me to his longtime friend, Hank Porter.  Now you want to talk about weird, Henry made Art seem normal. I know, a scary thought!

Henry then became my boss and Art was moved on somewhere else in the company. About a month after becoming my boss, Henry fired me… thanks Art, great boss you left me with!

Now less you think that I am the pot calling the kettle black by calling Art weird, I must admit that I later married that same Henry Porter. Thanks Art, best gift you ever gave me.

But before Henry and got married Art had a few practical jokes to play. He always had a great sense of humor. One of the things I miss most about him

Henry and Art had gone to some sales convention in Acapulco. Since we were getting in earlier Henry had told Art to meet us at the beach bar when he arrived. However, no one told me this.

Henry and I were sitting on bar stools sipping some exotic beach drink and Henry decided to talk to some guy to the other side of him about sports, turning his back and completely ignoring me. Well I was not a particularly happy camper. Henry and I were not married yet, but hey I was in Acapulco with him.

As I was sitting there steaming, this very good looking gentleman walks up and sits down next to me. I mean in a beautiful tailored suit, clean shaven, and a panama hat to boot.  An a very smooth talker.  So since making Henry mad seemed like a good idea to me at the time, I struck up a flirt. Remember I was only in my early twenties then; I knew how to flirt.

Well it was immediately obvious to Art that I had no idea who he was so he was more than happy to play along. You can imagine my total horror when Henry turned around and said “Oh hi Art”! I thought Art would fall off his bar stool laughing and you can believe he was still laughing about it the last time I saw him a few years ago.

Art was a true renaissance man. He was the best salesman and business mind that I ever had the privilege of learning from. He loved his family with a fierceness and loyalty that was unheard of in that industry. He could negotiate a deal better than anyone.

He was an amazing cook and could throw one heck of a party. No one made a better Margarita or Bloody Mary. He actually showed up at the Denver airport to pick up Henry and I a few years ago and had a Margarita for me in the car! I don’t think that is legal so am definitely not advocating that!  I sure hope those recipes are written down by someone.

We watched Art mellow over the years. The Nehru jacket was gone, along with some of his wilder ways. He grew with grace into his older years, not content to just grow old. He continued to work and stay engaged in life. I marveled when he went whitewater rafting with his family just a few years ago. One thing I know is Art Hull loved his family. Carol was the center of his world, Becky the joy of his heart, and well his granddaughters were magical if you heard Art tell it.

To know and to love Art was a great joy, but to be known and loved by him as a friend was an even greater blessing. I miss you my friend, but I know that you are in a better place, (probably making margaritas for Jesus)


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4 Responses to Lesson 1 – My friend Art (comments please)

  1. Judith says:

    Now I love Art!
    I think your writing flowed very naturally and I was able to picture the scenes as if I was watching a movie.
    Some people touch our lives with a unique quality or just give us everlasting memories of moments because of their distinct personality. I love hearing about precious people even if I never met them. I like knowing they are out there, adding meaning to someone’s life.
    Thanks for your memoir about Art!

  2. Devora says:

    Thanks so much for your comment. It was very encouraging!

  3. Myra Medicine Waters Cheramie says:

    I had an Art too! I love your story. It brought to mind my friend of years ago. Sweet interesting story. I like the way you described the characters in this story. Good read.

  4. miazoelet says:

    It was a lovely read. Though I understand that every writer has their own style and technique to the art, for me it read like a flashback. Like instead of grabbing me and taking me back to the time and place, it was as if I envisioned you reading it at his funeral or something. I’m not a professional, but I just felt as if you were taking us back instead of taking us through a particular moment in time. Other than that, it was a good memory.

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