Friday, March 14, 2008

Emily and Jacque (and Rick!)

If you peek back at my first post (which was really an experiment to see if I was going to like the blogging biz), you'll see a fine picture of two former employees, and the promise of more info on what they are up to now. That picture was taken outside our former, downtown location, on one of the hottest Krazy Daze in history! Since I had been given a beautiful Barney costume, made totally out of heavy-felt, Jacque and Emily thought it would be a brilliant idea to trade off wearing it during the day. They were right - it was brilliant! The kids loved visiting with Barney while mom shopped. If I remember correctly, Emily was the only one to actually wear the suit, Jacque being the wiser of the two that day. Emily was never one to complain much, and when she did ask to be relieved of Barney duty, I went into my best best Attila the Boss routine, and she returned to work.

I have been lucky to have had many quality people employed at LDD, and they will all get their star on this blog. These two got first up because I had pictures! Emily and Jacque were both students at Lincoln when I hired them. Actually, I had known Jacque for quite some time in a rather peripheral way. Each spring, one of her neighbors hosted a pre-Memorial Day picnic, and Jacque and her family attended. Somehow, each year, Jacque and I teamed up for a game of beanbags against our good friend,Jim Mellberg, and anyone he could con to play on his side. Jacque and I always won. Then she and I would go in opposite directions for the rest of the day. We won many games of beanbags over the years; then Jim went and died on us. The game didn't seem right after that, so we switched to Trivial Pursuit. We dragged the game out of the closet, set the dining room up to the owner's specs, divided into teams, and played for hours. Again, Jacque and I were always on the same team. Thank goodness for that. She amazed me! We were never very deep into the game when people would begin to wander off to the kitchen to dig into leftovers, or break off to the den for quiet conversation. Apparently, the game was not much fun when Jacque kept answering all the questions. As with the beanbag tournaments, that TP game would be the only contact I had with her throughout the year. When she popped into the store to apply for a job, she clearly read the puzzled look on my face and said "You know who I am don't you?" Of course, I lied and said "yes," knowing that when she filled out the application, I could put the pieces together.

I can't remember how long Jacque worked with us. She went off to college at Mt. Holyoke, earning a science related degree. She is currently doing AIDS research in a New York lab, and will most likely be attending law school in fall. She continues to amaze me.

Emily auditioned for a Masquer play I was directing when she was a senior in high school. She had some crazy, creative energy that I knew we needed at the store, so I hired her. Most days, she would bounce into work after school, with the opening line, "Hey Bev, what would you think if we would________?" Fill in that blank with just about anything. She had so many brainstorms over the years, most of them dealing with theatre. We were constantly scheming and dreaming up new performance projects, and we dragged so many others into our little plots. The picture at the top is of Emily and our friend,Rick, after a performance of "God's Favorite" at the Forst Inn. If you have heard stories about the wild parties that follow productions, well, that picture shows the extent of the partying. Most nights, people are just too tired to do anything but sit, stare, and, of course, talk about the next project. The Forst Inn was a wonderful sandbox for us, and the owner, Ron Kaminski, was amazingly generous, and trusting of the ideas that we pitched his way.

Emily graduated from Grinell with a degree in theatre, and has been working as an actor ever since. She was recently one of 12 people accepted into the MFA theatre program at Yale - the same program that Jody Foster and Meryl Streep graduated from! Not bad compnay, huh?

We stay in touch, Jacque and Emily and I. They both have family here in Mantowoc, so I am happy to see each of them at least once a year. I gave the Barney costume away. Jacque and Emily will never have to worry about me asking them to wear it out to Kurtzs on their next visit home.

I'm still reading Jea Feraca's book. The Grapes of Wrath and Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind are next.