Why I Love Mary Powell.
I’m going to write this without the permission of my friend. Nor the permission of Seven Days with using it’s front cover photo.
For many of you, I suspect, you know who Mary is by the ‘press’ she’s received over the years – as entrepreneur, banker and, most notably, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power. Every positive thing you have read about her is true- she’s a powerful, dynamic businesswoman. I’m not going to talk about what you can ‘google’ about her. All that stuff is out there.
I want to share with you why just the smile of her eyes or the touch of her hands can bring tears to my eyes and evoke a sense of warmth in my heart.
For me, she’s:
- The woman who marched into our little hole-in-the-wall breakfast and lunch joint, AfterNoonies, one morning and announced that Phoebe and I weren’t going anywhere. (You see, we were trying to find a location to have a real night-time restaurant in the Islands and were just about to pack-up our stuff, and our pride, and get out of Dodge). She and her extraordinary husband, Mark Brooks, apparently had just negotiated a deal on our behalf for our current location. A building we had our eyes on but was, financially, beyond our reach.
- The woman who relieved me of my role of bedside companion to Phoebe when she had just come out of surgery from her tongue cancer and was placed in the ICU. I had to get back to The Paddle to oversee a Friday night in August and was over-the-top worried about Phoebe being left alone. She said she’d be there, wanted to be there, needed to be there and took control as much for me, I suspect, as for my dearest friend, Phoebe. I’ll never forget walking away, looking back over my shoulder and seeing Mary cradle Phoebe’s little, beat-up body in her arms. With the warmest of smiles, and the saddest of eyes, she winked at me and her mere presence was larger than life. All would be okay, at least, for that evening in Phoebe’s life. To the day I die, I will never, ever forget that one moment in my entire life.
- The woman who politely, yet ever so succinctly, reminded me that due dates are due dates. Enough said.
- The woman who can walk into The Paddle, after a lengthy, grueling bicycle work-out (all sweaty and dirty) and still light up our restaurant and everyone around her. I swear, and I often tell her, she’s even more prettier, more handsome – more “all that” – when she’s just completed her exercise. (I’m blushing a bit but those of you who have witnessed this Mary – you know what I’m talking about!)
You know, dear readers, I’ll never forget what my mother once told me. It went something like: If you leave this place, we call earth, with a few people you really love, really care about and who truly love and care about you, consider yourself lucky and have lived a rich life.
Well, Mom – that’s me.