Some rather sad news to tell you all. I debated about putting it into the Gossip, but then I thought that perhaps a lot of you might not remember the password, so best go with this.
The first piece is that our friend, Dave Hendry (remember – the black sock has turned white?) that incomparable musician, and a very special person, died on Thursday evening, as he was getting ready to come and play music at Grapevine. We had been expecting it for some time, but expecting something and then confronting the reality are two different things. Dave had heart trouble for many years, and lately he only had use of about half or less of his heart – his pulse was 32 – and so his passing was inevitable. But however it is, we will miss him terribly. He first came to Grapevine when we needed music some 27 years ago – and, being Dave, he made a joke then, too. When I met him, he said that when I phoned, there was a neighbor sitting in their kitchen, and when he told his wife that Grapevine had called, the neighbor said: “Oh that’s a dreadful place! It’s a nudist colony!” I remember Gerry making some raunchy remark about that – something that he wished …. We had a good laugh about it.
The funeral is on Tuesday, at the Baptist Church on Highway 191, and the internment is at the Cochise Cemetery. I expect that many people will come to bid him goodbye.
The next thing I need to tell you is that there have been some staff changes at Grapevine, and for the better. I know that gossip has already been flying around the Internet about this, and so I thought I would set the record straight here. We have had to discharge several members of the staff, for reasons too personal to go into here. If you really need to know, give me a call, or ask me when you come back to the ranch.
At the same time, some beloved staff members are coming back – Bonnie is back in the front office, and Carlos is back as Head of Maintenance. The other new staff member, known to quite a few of you, is Susanne, Gerry’s daughter, who is moving down here from Montana to be the book keeper. She is not only extremely bright and good at anything she does, but she is also, being Gerry’s daughter, a superb horsewoman, and it will be good to have her here.
The other new addition whom some of you have met is Anne, who has taken from me the huge burden of managing the ranch. She is very capable, witty, intelligent and energetic, something which I am, unfortunately, beginning to lack a little. She is also very good at marketing and with computers, and we make a good team. I enjoy working with her and I enjoy her enthusiasm. She was 6 years in the Navy and, as a result, has the discipline and technical knowledge needed for her job here, as well as the charm and the enjoyment of being with people, so necessary to a position here.
And so, this time for real, do have a Happy Christmas, as we will do here!