A Tribute to a Very Good Attorney

We all have people who enter our lives and make a big impression/impact. Sometimes those folks stay in our lives and sometimes one of us moves on and while there’s no longer personal interaction, their influence lives on

Way back in my early years, I went to work for an attorney to fill in for his secretary who was on maternity leave. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing . . but I did know how to type and I guess he figured he could put up with me for 6 weeks til his secretary returned to work. It ended up that she didn’t return to work and I stayed there for about 3 years. During those three years I joined the legal secretaries group and was active with them. 

There was one particular firm in town that has an excellent reputation . . great attorneys, excellent pay, good benefits but it was very hard to get a job there. No one ever left that firm until one day, Allen Smith’s secretary got married and moved out of town. Because I was friends with some of the secretaries who worked there, and because they knew job openings were rare, and they worked hard to get good folks in there, I apparently had befriended the right secretaries. One of the secretaries, Diane, called me one morning and asked if I would come and interview. I still remember what I was wearing that day .. a dress that I had made that was not one of my favorites. I said sure and she said “can you come at lunch today?” I walked to their office and Allen stood in the doorway and interviewed me. He was a runner and was in a hurry to get to the Y so he could run with his buddies. After about a 10 minute interview, he said “When can you start?” 

I had gone from working on a very slow paced one attorney office to one of the largest firms in town that was very fast paced, very demanding .. a completely different work environment. They took great care of their employees and expected a lot in return.

Allen was an amazing attorney . . a brilliant man. He had started his work career as a petroleum engineer and when he went back to law school, and joined up with that firm in Lake Charles, he brought a wealth of petroleum experience (and clients) with him. He mostly did oil field defense and I learned so very much from Allen and from my years working at that firm. I worked for him for 6 or 7 or 8 years . . I cannot remember. Then I went back to school to get my paralegal certificate and became a paralegal there and worked for a couple more years. Once we adopted Chad, I no longer had time to put in the hours required at that job and left there to work part-time for another wonderful attorney in town and stayed here til  Vince and I got married and Chad and I moved to Kentucky.

Allen passed away this week. I am only one of a countless number of folks who were influenced by Allen Smith. Allen was an attorney that folks were proud to know. He had a great reputation professionally and personally. Not that we need more attorneys in the world, but we could use more Allen Smiths.

I was very blessed to know him and to have worked under him for the years that I was at Plauche, Smith & Nieset. I am thankful for the knowledge he shared with me, for his patience and for the opportunities I was given during that time. 

The legal community, as well as Allen’s family, lost a wonderful man this week.


Watch Out For The Kitty

I was trying to go back on the blog and search to see if I had already shared this story and I found this post from when we had a cat living in our garage in MO. It was not friendly and this was Chad trying to convince Mr. Kitty to come closer.

Chad and Mr. Kitty

Yes, we had a big dumpster in our back yard.

I don’t see where I’ve already shared this story but if I have, please remember .. I’m getting old! :)

You must first know that Chad and Nicole can’t have pets at their apartment. At Addie’s other grandma’s, out in the country, they always have pets – dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, rabbits. Their mama cat had kittens a while back.

One day the maintenance guy had to come to Chad’s apartment to work on something. As he was leaving, Addie looked at him and said “Be careful for the kitty!”  Nicole said she and the maintenance guy both, at the same time said “What kitty?” Addie was off  . . she had said what she had to say. Nicole was trying to convince the guy that there was no kitty!

I can just hear Addie’s other grandma saying to people as they leave . . be careful for the kitty.

Yesterday I was video chatting with Addie. Chad was home and I was talking to him so when it was time to go, Nicole told Addie to go tell Granny bye. She walked over to the iPad . . I was saying bye and she said “Bye . . Be careful for the kitty!” 

I crack up every time she says that and I think it’s just the standard line for her now after she says goodbye to anyone.

And, speaking of the little darling, daddy brought home ice cream.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Obviously she found something work checking out in her ice cream. Look at that face!

And don’t forget . . be careful for the kitty!

Rita’s Coat

Getting Rita to do her business outside . . let’s just say it’s a good thing I love her.  We have a couple of good weeks and just when I start to trust her, she leaves a surprise. I’m way past the point in my life for putting up with that out of a dog so we’re going to try to put her in the kitchen at night . . more of a confined space, and see how she does and if that doesn’t work, she’s in a crate and if that doesn’t work . . she’s in the chicken coop! Not really. I’m confident we can get to the point where she’s trustworthy.

Rita's Coat

Rita’s Coat

See the ears? She does not like her coat. Worse, sleet hitting it makes a sound that scares her half to death. She’ll get used to it and hopefully one day she’ll realize it keeps her warm (or warmer) and dry. It’s ok Rita. I don’t like coats either but this time of year, I’m happy to have them!