Monday, August 25, 2008

Farewell to Friends

We held a going-away party last night for several of the folks that I work with. It was a nice time on a beautiful Sunday evening, enjoying the good company and salty air on Pensacola Beach. It felt great to relax amid the sounds of Bob Marley, the clinking of beers, and the cheers from the beach volleyball court outside. You would have never have guessed that a tropical storm was supposed to have hit the night before.

We all pitched in and got them some gifts. Someone also got them signed Blue Angels posters (didn't I tell you the Blues were big around here?)

The P31 family and spouses. We put the "fun" in dysfunctional! :)

Can't beat that Pensacola Beach view...

It was bittersweet, however. By this time next month, four of my friends and coworkers will be gone. While I'm happy that they're moving on to better situations, I'll be sad to see them all go. With JT, I'll miss his eternal optimism, his love of all things aviation, and jamming on guitar with him. Cindy's genuine kindness and sweetness always helps brighten my day. Tim and I are always on the same wavelength when it comes to sci-fi shows and guns. And the TRACON just won't be the same without JR's sense of humor, intelligence, and the aroma of his awesome cooking. When they're gone, the emptiness will be felt.

One funny thing to note is that we'll still be working with Cindy and JR from afar. JR's going next door to Mobile Approach, which borders us on the west. Cindy's headed to the western area of Jacksonville Center, which sits on top of our airspace. So, at the very least we'll be able to give them crap over the landlines. :)

We've had a lot of people go over the past year. There have been many retirements, a couple promotions, and a few trainee transfers. When I arrived last August, we had 46 people either here or inbound. In only a year, we're down to 35, including CPCs and trainees. Several more CPCs are eligible to retire right now, and an additional number within the next six months to a year. It's safe to say we'll be seeing more farewell parties soon enough.

Maybe it gets easier to say goodbye after a while, but I've never really been good at farewells.

Here's to JT, Cindy, Tim, and JR. Best of luck in everything you do.

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