A blog to acknowledge those who should have been acknowledged and thanked more appropriately before, and to possibly help you in your lives and career by provoking thought, reflection and reading material that might well alter your career and life. If it prompts you to contemplate and acknowledge those in your life, even better.

Clif Lee

My journey of acknowledgement continues today with a shout out to Clif Lee. Clif lived in what he affectionately referred to as LA (Lake Alfred, FL).  Ultimately, Clif shared the "LA" experience with me as he was nice enough to allow me to sleep on his couch after my college roommate and I were politely asked to vacate our apartment as it seems we were at odds on some issues (an entirely different story for another day) with our landlord. Clif was/is 5 years older than I and worked at State Farm insurance as an underwriter in their Regional Office in Winter Haven, FL. Ironically enough, Clif was also the first person I knew who was in the insurance industry (the same industry where I spent most of my adult work life).

You see, Clif was one of those special people who was at the right place and time when I needed a friend, mentor and some direction. The friendship started in 1971 as a roommate, and continues yet today as I am in my transition phase away from full time employment (which Clif did a few years ago). Whatever my style (and some will say there is none) came from Clif. I still remember him saying to me as though it was yesterday “boy, if you are going to hang out with me, you can’t be dressed like that, and further, let me introduce you to an item called an iron”. What the heck did he expect from a farm kid from northern Indiana…..after all, black denim jeans were in style 5 years earlier weren’t they, and why on earth would you iron something that would be wrinkled shortly after going out into the Florida humidity? With that one line, Clif “accompanied me” to the store and bought me enough clothes to make me appear semi-presentable enough to “hang with” Clif, and his office friends. I am forever grateful that Clif was not into grunge wear, beachwear, or other unsuitable business attire as this was the time in my life when what I observed made a huge impression on what I became or emulated. In Clif, I saw a person who looked and acted like a professional and it was clearly something I wanted to emulate if at all possible. I just needed a head start and a role model. A lot of outfits and style have come and gone since, but the understanding of dressing appropriately for the occasion, always with a freshly pressed shirt or pair of pants came to me vicariously by watching Clif. Clif made me conscious of what others wore.  Later I realized that other people were, or soon would be, watching me.

If you had someone in your life (who saw you as you could be vs. how you were) reach out and tell them “thank you”. If you were lucky enough as I was to have someone who helped you out financially, pay it forward and do the same for the next person (assuming they have an interest and are not already making their own fashion statement).

Thanks again Clif for your friendship of nearly 45 years, and for seeing something salvageable or worthy of your time, cash and efforts even though well hidden in a pair of black denim jeans.

Until next time...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home