Autumn Delights!

My favorite time of the year is fast approaching…and you can already feel it in the air!

The Fall Equinox begins, Saturday, September 22 at 8:54 PM, Central Standard Time.

The Fall of the year is a time of renewal for me…and it always has been.

I was hired at Southern Illinois University on October 10, 1978…and it was a great day in the lives of the Brooks family.

I, vividly recall, the crisp and cool afternoon that I began working at the University.  I could not believe my good fortune…and I realized…on the first evening that I worked…that my life had changed…for the better.

I always suffered from some trepidation, when promotions came my way.

I cold see an opportunity to become a crew leader, which in those days was titled a Building Custodian. and my ultimate goal was to become a Building Service Worker III…which was a, foreman, or the manager of several Building Custodians and their housekeeping crews.

However, when the Assistant Superintendent position was offered to me…I initially refused it…but finally accepted due to my respect for, Ray P., the Superintendent…at the time.

I had been interviewed for the Assistant position, by the Assistant Director of the Physical Plant and the Superintendent of Building Services and the bulk of the interview consisted of the Assistant Director criticizing my job performance as a foreman.  The criticisms of my performance were trumped up charges and actually belonged to my colleague, who was a friend of the Superintendent.

Now, it would seem that I was not a real candidate for the position…but in reality…I was the candidate for the position…if I wanted it.

I arrived at home in the early morning hours…and remained awake through out the night until my wife arose the following  morning.  She told me that if I did not want the position…I should decline it.

I did just that…but I acquiesced

when I saw the pained look on Ray’s face…and I knew that the position was one that I should endeavor to succeed in.

I am glad that I did.

We moved to Eldorado, Illinois in the Fall and the air was chilly and soon cold.  Dad had to lay fire in the four or five fire places that were throughout the house.

When I was getting ready for first grade at Hillcrest School…it was cold enough to see your breath.

We sat on the front porch, on Friday nights, and watched the Eldorado Eagles, high school football team, play…with, the legendary, Boz Adams, as their coach.

I dropped my pencil in Mr. Adams Health class…and he assigned me 250 lines to write…many years later.

My birthday, along with my lifelong friend Steve, is on the 24th of October.  Close to Halloween…which might explain my love for monster and scary movies.

Thanksgiving is a big event in our home.  It is Mary Jane’s favorite holiday of the year.

When I was a child…I watched the Macy’s Day parade…and that was about it…as Mom was focused on preparing for Christmas.

For the past 30 years, Mary Jane, has prepared Thanksgiving Dinner at our house and we have our family attend…to enjoy the fellowship and the joy of the holiday season with us.

I retired, after 32 years and 2 months and 3 weeks…at the conclusion of 2010…close to Christmas…which is my favorite holiday.

Ultimately I became the superintendent of the department, that I had first entered as a janitor, and the job was offered to me as a take it or leave it proposition…or perhaps, the administration indicated, that they would…just…contract the housekeeping department…which would result in all of us loosing our good jobs.

Once again, I took the challenge…and was determined to not allow an administrators lack of confidence in me…be the flag that I flew!

I am glad that I did.

I love Autumn and all of the rich memories that it stirs up…much as an inviting campfire.




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