Circle Back and Thank Dear Friends for Making a Big Difference in Your Life…



St. Augustine, Florida

Tassie & Wilf in Costa Rica
Wilf and grand kids…

Ziggy

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine,_Florida  Quote from this website…

“St. Augustine (Spanish: San Agustín) is a city in the northeastern region of the U.S. state of Florida, and the county seat of St. Johns County.[4] Founded in September 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States.[5] St. Augustine lies in a region of Florida known as “The First Coast“, which extends from Amelia Island in the north to Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Palm Coast in the south. According to the 2010 census, the city population was 12,975.[3] St. Augustine is the headquarters for the Florida National Guard.”

It was a special day indeed…   Even though over 20 years have passed, it felt like yesterday when we met Wilf and Tassie at their gorgeous home on the inland waters of St. Augustine, Florida.  It was like hugging a brother and sister we have not seen in a long time.  The bonds of friendship are very strong.  Wilf and I fought many battles and won a few wars together as executives during big transition periods at Nortel Networks.  Getting results was no picnic at the beach in our careers.  What made it memorable and rewarding were the close friendships and teamwork so critical in achieving success…  Wilf is such a friend, who always had my back and could be trusted without question.  Breaking the code of taking ownership at Nortel was the key to success.  Those of us who loved the challenge of being on the hot seat with big responsibility for making it happen, were able to turn around the stubborn resistance to change and put a stake in the ground…  Wilf and I as leaders “broke the code” and never looked back.

The bonding of friendship often sticks for a lifetime.   I could not rest until eventually catching up with Wilf to thank him for making a big difference in my life.   It was not easy finding Wilf after he retired, but thanks to Tassie’s moderate interest in social media and Facebook, I had a break through just before we took off on our extended road trip this last September.  We made firm plans to get together during our adventure exploring Florida.

Tassie prepared a delicious lunch to share with us.  We talked for hours catching up on our lives, both the joys and the challenges.  Both Wilf and Tassie are amazing artists.  Tassie draws, paints and works with pottery and glass mosaic with Greek mythology as a theme.  Wilf paints mostly portraits and the scenic beauty of their home.  Their works of art are displayed throughout the home for all to enjoy.  

Wilf and I walked out on the long pier with Ziggy (pictured above) to be close to the water, feel the balmy breeze, and watch the sunset in the west while Tassie and Judy joined us.  We live on opposite coasts with our home some 3500 miles to the west of St. Augustine in Depoe Bay, Oregon.  We counted our blessings and renewed our long friendship.  We love life and only look to the future with thanks and optimism.  Wilf and I paid our dues so now enjoy life doing what we love the most and making a difference for others…  And the best part is having our loving wives at our sides, and our families and close friends to enjoy this special time in our lives.

Judy and I are most grateful for our long overdue visit with Wilf and Tassie.  I was honored to sign my book as a symbol of our friendship and what we care about the most.  We made a promise that we will get together again next year either back here in St. Augustine or at our home in Depoe Bay on the Oregon Coast.

We now start our journey home with stays in Destin and New Orleans.  We are excited about daughter, Sarah, spending time with us as she takes a break from work and school.  We have been blessed so far with an amazing adventure and safe travels, but look forward to returning to our home, sweet home…

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

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