Sunday, May 18, 2008
An Era Ended
Do you ever have one of those "moments" in life where when it's done, you just sorta got sit back and go "uhhhh whoah...that sure was meant to be". Well, this morning I had one of those. Back in 1972, after graduating from the MN School of Business and living over on the U of M Campus waiting for Dan to graduate, one of my first jobs was at the Eleanor Moore Model and Talent Agency. My boss Ellie Moore, was famous in the Twin Cities for her modeling career and now her modeling agency. She was expanding into the TV and Radio markets and hired me to be her right-hand gal. I didn't realize it at that time in my life, but it was the perfect job for me. Had I stayed working there for her, I'm sure I would have owned the place by now, as the job had every aspect of what I now realize are the things I enjoy about being out in the workplace. Ellie took me under her wing...introduced me to people like Loni Anderson (of the WKRP-TV show), Nick Nolte (now famous movie star) and a host of Metro TV personalities. She took me along on TV commerical shoots, she took me along when she went shopping in the prestigious Oval Room in Downtown Daytons (where she was treated like a star), brought me over to her home on Lake of the Isles for lunch (I was so in awe), she signed me up for a membership to her health spa (which were things only for the rich and famous back then), she let me drive her fiery-orange camaro convertible sports car around town on her errands, and she pretty much taught me everything she knew about clothes and makeup. Her words of "Sandi my dear, when you find a pair of pants or shoes that truly fit you and you love them, then buy them in every single color they come in!" still stay with me to this day. Her studio was located down off Lake Street a block up from Lake Calhoun, I took the bus down Hennepin Avenue daily to get to work, and my monthly pay-check from her totaled $304.00 per month. I LOVED working there. However, life had different things in store for me such as children and a move back to Pelican Rapids in 1973, so my time there lasted only a year. I never saw Ellie again. After moving back to Mpls. in 2004, my thoughts often turned to going to look Ellie up. Then about 2 yrs. ago, Ria called me and said the twins had an interview at her studio and wanted driving directions. This led me to a trip back over to Lake Street on a Sunday and a walk down memory lane as I peered into the windows of the studio that was still black and white but had expanded even into the building next door. I had asked Ria to inquire as to Ellie's whereabouts so that I could look her up. Ria found out she was still living but in a nursing home close, but was told that she probably wasn't of sound mind enough to know who I was. Aha, I made a mental note to spend one of my free Friday's going back to the studio, introducing myself and getting her address so I could at least pay her a visit. Even more than a year ago, I was lunching in the basement of the downtown Daytons store at the entrance of their restaurant there and I look up and she this impeccably dressed gorgeous elderly woman. She had on cream slacks, a matching long cream jacket and had the same paige boy hairstyle as Ellie used to wear. I did a double take and thought "that looks JUST like Ellie".... she walked up to the hostess as if she owned the place, the hostess recognized whoever she was and immediately seated her. I SO wanted to go see if it was her, but in the back of my mind I had remembered Ria saying her staff had said she wasn't well enough to recognize anyone so I didn't approach her. Well, as you know how life goes, that free Friday to go find out where she was never came. Quite often though, when reading the Sunday Trib I would scan the obituaries, just thinking to myself that maybe I'd at least see an obit for her if she had died. Seriously, I have done this for the 4 yrs I have been here on the rare Sundays I actually read the paper. Well today, the strangest occurence of events happened. Richard went to take a nap after his morning route, so I grabbed my coffee and the paper.... I so rarely do this anymore. I came to the obits and did my usual glance at the "M"s... and there was an obit for an Eleanor May Moore....I let out a sigh and read it. I thought I remembered that being her middle name. BUT, the obit stated she had children which I knew she didn't, so I let out another sigh of relief that it was not her and mentally committed myself to going to the studio THIS Friday to find out where she was and go visit her. Then, for some reason.... I turned to the next page...... and there it was. A huge picture of the woman I remember in 1973 as Eleanor Moore. An obituary for her under the "Q's".... Eleanor Moore Quam. She had gotten married. I stared sorta in disbelief....I turned back to the prior page..... that Eleanor Moore had died on May 15th.... I turned back to the page with her pic... this Eleanor Moore had died on May 14th! Two Eleanor Moore's in the same Sunday paper on different pages...it was one of those times of feeling sad for moments when reading then first one, then feeling relief when realizing it wasn't her, the re-commiting myself to doing something I had wanted to do for years, then within another few moments feeling REALLY sad again that yes indeed, she truly had died. And then realizing, how close I had come today to not even reading the paper and if I had not seen the first obit under the "M's" I probably for sure wouldn't have seen the second REAL one under the "Q's"..... and then realizing that God put that there so I could find some closure to this little piece of my life. So, tommorrow I shall go say goodbye to one of the best bosses I've ever had at her memorial service over in Edina. It won't be the reunion on a free Friday I had hoped for, but I shall give Miss Eleanor Moore a smile, and a thankyou for being a part of my life.... oh and by the way, for those of you that know me, I've always carried a piece of Ellie in my life. She's the one who gave me my signature gold coin ring I have worn on my right pinkie finger for the last 36 yrs!