It started the night we met, back in 1998 or 1999 here in San Miguel. It was a fluke that I was at a dinner for "Newcomers" as I did not even live in San Miguel yet. I was later to discover that neither did Sue and
Vandy Anderson! It was the Universe putting us together.
The first conversation was my asking Sue if we had met previously. I kept wracking my brain as to where it could have been...........we never did, over the next seventeen or eighteen years, figure out if we had ever met. We knew that night, we later discovered, that we were going to be friends forever.
At that memorable dinner, we discovered our connection to be Galveston, where my Dad had had a house since the early 60's until he passed in 1976; Evergreen Helicopters or any kinds of aircraft; San Miguel; and the list went on and on. We were intrigued with each others backgrounds and lives.
Subsequently, in 2000, I found a property in San Miguel and moved here. But, also, I spent much time in Houston with my family and Galveston with Sue and Vandy. I soon learned that the idea of me staying anywhere but with them was not a good idea, according to them.
In fact, in reflecting back over the last week, I realized that once I stayed with them for over a month! Every time I would say, "I think I better get going", they would say "No, stay another week!" and I would.......
Sue and I loved walking the beach, eating seafood, talking, laughing and just being "soul sisters". She
would call me or I would call her a couple of times a month, if not more.
The question from Sue always was, "When are you coming up? Your room is ready" or my question was,
"When will you be here?" Just like family. Vandy would get on the phone and say, "I'll be waiting on the curb". They gave me my own key, which I lost. Then another and another....til they told me the next time they were going to collect a deposit! I never lost the last key - I still have it.
When Ike hit Galveston, Sue and Vandy were here in San Miguel. We were out listening to Doc Severinsen the night it hit and then beginning the next morning, my house and computer became "Command Central" for checking on, talking to and keeping track of all their friends, family, ports, etc etc etc.
Sue and I went to the Tuesday traveling market called the Tianguis to buy used clothes for her to take back in the car to wear while they did whatever it was they were going to have to do to restore their house. Little did we know how bad it was going to be...........she said she wore and wore those clothes til they were rags.
That was when I spent the month with them up there trying to help in whatever way I could......which, it turned out wasn't much as it was just a disaster of epic proportions. Having gone through Alicia in 1983 and a few other storms while living in Baton Rouge and in Nassau Bay, I thought I could be of help, but Ike was
bigger then anything I could imagine.
After the recovery was over and Sue and Vandy could again travel, they headed, of course, back to San Miguel. They loved being here so much. To sit on the bench in the jardin, see many old friends, have lunch with "the gang" or just "be" which is what San Miguel is all about.
Here are a couple of photos of them in the jardin or at lunch at Gayle's or wherever.
Then I would be driving up a couple of times a year. Sue would call and want to know what day I was leaving. I would tell her and then as I was driving, about four hours into the trip, my cell phone would ring and it would be Sue saying, "Have you gotten to Matehuala yet?" That's the midway point between San Miguel and the border. We would talk and laugh and she would ALWAYS say, "Call me as soon as you cross the border". Which I always did.
Then, in reverse, while I was in Galveston/Houston, the fun would begin. Some of my most favorite memories are when the three of us would get in the car to go somewhere, but before the time was over, we had traveled in the "Mafiamobile" to all the nooks and crannies of Galveston with Sue and Vandy regaling me with all kinds of tidbits of humorous or horrendous stories. Some I could never repeat again.
It was fun whether we went to Sonny's for hot dogs or the Artillery Club for drinks and dinner. Anywhere was fun with them and ALWAYS an adventure. Sue always wanted to go to Shrimp and Stuff or to one of Tillman's restaurants where she could have a bacon wrapped thing that I don't remember what was inside.
We could spend hours talking about almost nothing but still have fun, always.
It was fun to go to the charity events as well, the Plank Owner's event, the Seaman's center event and the event I called the Eye Ball, which was actually when Vandy was named the Man of Vision or something like that at Moody Gardens. I liked to walk several steps behind them and watch all the people come over to greet both of them with such affection and admiration. Always, always, so many people. It made my heart happy.
For one thing, Sue and I are both Aries. She would start telling Vandy where to turn and I would chime in with where to park or some silly comment and he would go bonkers. We did it just to be funny. Vandy always took the bait.
One of our last sorties was one evening, we three jumped in the car and went on a road that I had only been on a few times in the past. We were heading West. No other cars and no other people were seen. We stopped at the end of the road and as we did, I said to Vandy and Sue, "Well I wonder who is going to show up who knows ya'll". Of course I was joking and so help me, right about then, a man rode up on a bicycle, took off his helmet and said "Hi Sue and Vandy. What are you doing out here?" The three of us started laughing hysterically. It was the man who owns the The Spot. We had to fill him in on the joke. What a great, fun memory that I'll always cherish of two of the absolutely greatest, kindest, zany people that I have ever known.
How do I end this post? I don't know. I've pondered writing this for a week. It seems so inadequate to attempt to describe seventeen or eighteen years in so few words. It's not possible. It's also very surreal
to me that this is the end, period. No more silly phone conversations or road trips or dinners. How can that be? There is a huge hole in my heart that will take years to heal, if ever.
I KNOW that all their friends in Galveston and all over the world feel the same way. If ever, any of you who are reading this and are coming to San Miguel and want to get together, please, please do get in touch with me here on this blog by commenting or at email@example.com. I'd love to meet each and every one of you.
Vaya con dios Sue and Vandy.