A Little Good-bye Note

"Write about me in your blog," she said, waving good-bye.

About five years ago, I walked out of our old 110 Fifth Avenue office and turned left onto 17th Street, where, continuing west, I'd soon meet Latarria Hardy for lunch at Maroon's. It was so hard to decide, but I had the baked catfish. Tari had the jerk chicken.

She was just starting with Primedia, and would be taking over our classified advertising. She would, in fact, be our Classified Ad Department. I'd be happily handing over to her all of Stereophile's very delicate accounts, making her familiar with the system, in general.

Anyway, lunch was delicious. "It was so nice to meet you." "Yes, it was a pleasure." "We'll have to come back here sometime." "Definitely!"

I probably don't have to tell you that we never made it back to Maroon's. Days go by. We did, however, travel together to Las Vegas for CES, and to Los Angeles for the Home Entertainment Show, and we worked together through all sorts of changes and moves, and it was always a pleasure. So, I'm happy and sad to say that Tari began her new job with the New York Times yesterday.

Yo, Tari. Next time we meet, let's make it Maroon's. You can expense it, again.

Back at 110 Fifth Avenue, I sat in a very small and ugly cubicle, directly across from Christina Yuin, whose friendly eyes and smile made those early days much more enjoyable. Because I started a couple of months before Chris, she assumed I had answers to simple questions. "Hey, Stephen, do you have contact info for..." "Hey, Stephen, where do we keep the..." "Hey, Stephen, have you ever heard of..." "Hey, Stephen, where can you get a good slice around here?"

Invariably, I was no help. Sorry, sorry, sorry, I'd say. I swore to her that, one day, I'd have an answer to one of her questions.

Later, Chris would introduce us to her daughter, Eden. Eden came on to support our sales staff, and became my very good friend. Eden and I learned to appreciate the fine art of the barbeque chicken slice in pizza joints from Union Square to Murray Hill to Morningside Heights. And Chris would often let us tag along on delicious dinners with the most interesting and entertaining people in our industry.

But some of my favorite days of all were in the summers when Chris would treat the entire office with fresh produce and delicious rhubarb pie from her upstate New York home. I'd love it when she'd call me downstairs to help her unload from her car all the beautiful tomatoes, squash, and zucchini. So, I'm happy and sad to say that today was Christina's last day with us before she starts her new job with Wall Street Communications.

"Hey, Stephen," she asked me this morning, "can you give me an e-mail address for...? I want to send a little good-bye note."

"Sure thing," I said.