In February 1967, a young lady showed up for her first day of work at the Auburn, New York law offices of attorney George M. Michaels, our own Lee Michaels’ father. (George is famous in New York – you can look him up on wikipedia). Lee, a young whipper-snapper fresh out of law school, joined the firm about two years later, and Carol has worked with Lee ever since.
But the story goes back further; Lee and Carol went to East Auburn high school together. Carol was two years ahead of Lee. Carol tells the story of how, back then, one of her teachers told the girls, “treat the under classmen well because remember, you could be working for them one day”.
Times have sure changed. Today, any teacher who made a statement like that would be accused of rank sexism. But guess what — that teacher was right! Carol ended up working for Lee for 43 years. And she worked with the rest of us ever since we joined the firm, too. She has been our head secretary and office manager for decades.
On her last day of work recently at the Auburn personal injury law firm of Michaels & Smolak, we decided to take Carol, and the entire office, out to the Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles, to celebrate her outstanding 45 years of loyal service and to surprise her, with a gift. (Carol roundly rejected our desire to give her a retirement party — way too humble for that). But what do you give someone who clocked in 45 years of dedicated work, who hardly ever missed a day, who usually got to work BEFORE starting time, and who was, to boot, fun to work with? A gold watch? That didn’t seem a good fit.
Well, we remembered that Carol had a great time a few years ago when she went on her first cruise with her husband, Jim. So at the Sherwood, we handed her some tickets. Not just any tickets, but for a cruise-for-two through the breath-taking Alaskan seas.
I shot this picture of Carol and Lee at the Sherwood. Does she look 73? I think not. If you see this young, sparky gal, congratulate her and wish her a happy trip, and retirement. She deserves both, and so much more!
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