Glenn Potts

October 2, 2007 at 7:15 pm 8 comments

Last night one of my former co-workers, Glenn Potts, passed away.  He had esophageal cancer.

I worked with Glenn for many years and we exchanged pleasantries frequently when we passed each other in the company kitchen.  But, I didn’t know him all that well.

When he got sick, I started to send him some letters and some postcards as I traveled.  In this day in age, letter writing is a pretty dead art.  I rarely get letters back, so I don’t expect them.  I especially did not expect it from Glenn. 

But, with everything on his mind and all that he had to face, he took the time to write me back an actual, physical, multipage letter.  And there, I got to hear about his visit to Estes Park and the time he tried skiing and ended up under a truck in the parking lot.  He made me smile.  He made me laugh.  It was a very nice letter.

One thing that struck me about Glenn when I worked with him is he would almost always eat lunch alone.  I’d catch sight of him at Cracker Barrell or Stone’s and would invite him to join our hefty crowd, but he would politely decline.  He always opted to eat at his own table and read his paper.  Now at the time, lunch was my social hour.  I would even venture to say that lunch’s primary purpose was socializing…and then maybe, perhaps, eating would be a runner-up.  Coming from that perspective, I’d spy Glenn and his paper and wonder if he was lonely. 

This May, I started working on-site at a company in Roanoke and with three exceptions, I’ve eaten alone each meal.  At first I was quite annoyed with the prospect.  This is LUNCH, afterall, my favorite part of the day.  Without companions, I read magazines, worked on crossword puzzles and caught up on letters (some to Glenn).  As time went on, suddenly I developed a deep appreciation of the alone time.  It was peaceful.  It was productive.

“I get it now,” I wrote Glenn in July.

And that, for me, may end up being the memory of Glenn that best stands the test of time.

Entry filed under: Glenn Potts. Tags: .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. geekhiker  |  October 2, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I almost always eat lunch alone, and it’s nice to know that there are kindred out there. Enjoy your lunches, friend.

    Reply
  • 2. Clint  |  October 3, 2007 at 7:34 am

    I’ve eaten lunch with co-workers less than 15 times in my life..

    Reply
  • 3. Carolyn  |  October 3, 2007 at 7:54 am

    I usually eat alone too, and I remember when I first told mom & Vicky that I eat alone, they felt sorry for me, and I didn’t understand why. I used the time to be with myself and play games or surf the internet. Or work on any chores I needed to get done.

    Reply
  • 4. tgaw  |  October 3, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Hahah, all that time I thought Glenn was the outlier, but perhaps it was me all along!

    Reply
  • 5. Chriggy  |  October 3, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I too prefer to eat alone. I see my coworkers all day. I don’t need to be spending my lunch with them too.

    Reply
  • 6. tgaw  |  October 3, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    I’m not quite living by the Glenn lesson today. I was part of a lunch crowd of nine today.

    Reply
  • 7. Barbara Hotchkiss  |  January 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Hi there, You don’t know me from Eve, but i came upon your wonderful blog (& would love to know how to create my own if you think this is a good way to go for a technochallenged being!) while googling Glenn Potts, my former brother~in~law (married to my sister Carol)… Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the post you wrote about Glenn. He was a special guy, that you were aware of, and we all miss him! Cheers! “bara” Hotchkiss (Ithaca, NY)

    Reply
    • 8. tgaw  |  January 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Aww thanks for your kind words Barbara! And WordPress.com makes it pretty easy for people to create a blog for free. I find it pretty easy– so hopefully it’s a good fit for the “technochallenged” as well. : )

      Reply

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