Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy 82nd, Mr. Eugene Smith

One of the men I've grown to respect and enjoy at Southeastern Seminary's Facilities Management Office is Mr. Eugene Smith. Today is his 82nd birthday, and the Shop celebrated with a surprise birthday party for him. He was blown away and got a little choked up at the 50 or so folks who showed up to honor him.

Here are two pictures from this morning. The first is Mr. Eugene opening his gift, a new CD player. He is a music lover. The second picture is Mr. Gene saluting me as I take his picture at the birthday cake table.

Mr. Gene came to work at Southeastern in 1980 when the furniture store in downtown Wake Forest closed where he had worked for 28 years. Now he has worked about the same amount of time at Southeastern Seminary. Mr. Gene is strong, hard-working, sharper and wittier than most of the young seminary guys, and quite a cut-up if you get a chance to talk with him. He told me this morning that he has two children, five grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.

Mr. Eugene works on a team with the mysterious name of Crew 18. Their assignment is to handle assignments no one else can. Their enigmatic name, according to Mr. Gene by way of another Crew 18 friend, Kirk Parrish, comes from a former technological era when work crews carried large shoebox-sized walkie-talkie phones on campus to communicate. His crew's extension was 18.

Happy 82nd birthday, Mr. Eugene Smith. May the Lord continue to bless you greatly!