I traveled in Time…30 years…this morning. Not in H.G. Wells Time Machine…but by listening to a CD of Garrison Keilor and The Hopeful Gospel Quartet…that Jonathon got for me. I first listened to the wonderful harmonies of the Quartet…30 years ago. I had a cassette tape of their performance and was more than a little proud to have a vehicle that possessed a built-in cassette tape player. I played the tape on my way to my job as Assistant Superintendent of Building Services and I played it again on my way home to my little house in Elkville. We were in the midst of staff reductions resulting from budget cuts and my colleagues and I refused to reduce our vital service to our beloved University…to make a fiscal point… The rich melodies were an encouragement to me…as I worried constantly about our department and its continued viability.
I wrote the new Director a welcome note…and I told him that some of the best years of my life were working my entire career in Building Services. I went on to say that he would be working with consummate professionals throughout his organization. During the Christmas Season, I am reminded of the kindness and love, and dedication of the housekeeping staff…for all whom they served. They believed that our mission was as important as any mission of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…and that we were vital to the recruitment and retention of our most precious Campus Citizens…our students…
Some time ago a chancellor told me that Civil Service staff came third in line behind faculty and the A/P staff. After hearing this grossly incorrect statement a few times…I told him upon his completion of the creed that I would leave the meeting if he said it again. I went on to say that without Civil Service Staff there would be no SIUC.
Music can change my mood and lift my spirit…in a moment…especially when the singers are engaged emotionally in their art…and ministry…
I recall the cassette well from my childhood. I’m happy that you’re enjoying the CD!