Philip, my friend of 30-plus years, loved good food, good wine, good company, and a good debate. He loved to tell stories – and he had quite a few “Gaye Lynn stories” because we met in the late 80s when we were both new adjuncts at ACC, me in the Government Department and Philip in the History Department. Philip worked by day at the Texas Education Agency and taught History classes by night. And we spent many an evening in the basement of Rio Grande holding office hours and developing an enduring friendship.
Philip and I were part of a small group of friends who met regularly over those 30 years for “beer night” at The Tavern. Out of that group, two are now gone. I lost my stalwart friend Rex last year, and I lost my stalwart friend Philip this month. It’s a blessing to have friends over the course of decades, friends who see you through hard times, friends who love to tell stories about you when you were an earlier, younger version of yourself, friends who make you laugh, friends who tell you the truth, friends on whom you can call anytime, anywhere.
Philip loved teaching History at ACC. And in his day, Rex loved teaching Government at ACC. Think of the thousands of students they influenced. Think of all the students who dread walking into a required History or Government class when the semester starts, and who walk out at the end of the semester understanding the power of learning about history or politics or policymaking.
Today, as we are so tired of 2020, worn down, and ready for a brief Thanksgiving break, I give thanks for all my friends and colleagues at ACC who persist, reinventing their courses, and teaching our students. And in the spirit of Philip and Rex and decades of beer night at The Tavern, I raise a metaphorical beer in praise of your good work.
Thank you for what you do.