This past Saturday, June 14th, Brandee and I along with our good friend Natalie hosted the 1st Annual Jack Brooks Law Cypress Reunion BBQ at Vasona Lake Park. The collection of great people and conversation was simply amazing! I cannot thank everyone enough for their participation.
The group was outstanding and was well-representative of the great culture of our Company. I am so personally proud to have such sincere and long-standing friendships with these people. Therefore, I would like to highlight some of the fantastic new memories from this event:
A blast from the past – Early days of Law Cypress (Randy Savoy)
A true testament of the great Law Cypress spirit is embodied in a long-time former employee, Randy Savoy. Randy was the engineering manager even before I started at the Company in 1989. He is absolutely a wonderful person and overall great guy. He attended the BBQ with his son, Peter, who it was a great privilege to meet. At the BBQ Randy shared some hilarious stories from long-ago which really helped to establish a fantastic story-sharing environment.
Although many of us hadn’t seen Randy in-person for many, many years, immediately when he showed up it was just like the old days when we were laughing, sharing stories and having an overall great time.
The longest distance traveled award (Mike Heiden)
Traveling the longest distance to attend the 1st Annual Jack Brooks Law Cypress (LC) Reunion award goes to….drum roll please…..Mike Heiden who drove all the way up from Los Angeles to attend the event!
Mike is the epitome of friends and family for LC. I personally knew Mike long before he became a LC employee and he was great fun. I’m glad to report, after not seeing him in a long time, he has built a fabulous life for himself. Brandee and I, as well as the others at the BBQ I’m sure, seriously enjoyed the conversations with Mike. It was sincere, refreshing and funny. Thanks Mike for making the long trip this year! Next year you are going to have a serious challenge to your longest-distance-traveled award I’m sure.
Comic relief (Carol and Jenny)
Another great memory from the event was Carol and Jenny, Kylie and Kaylee. These diva’s know how to rock-the-house and they did not disappoint! As everyone knows Carol and Jen are the core of the Law Cypress family. It’s amazing to see that as more things change, the more things stay the same. And this is certainly the case with our dear friend, Carol.
Going the extra mile (Bob Utley)
The incredible success of Law Cypress was certainly due to the fact that we had a great bunch of hard working people but a huge part of our success was also because of our terrific partners. One person in particular that was an extremely important part of the Companies success was Bob Utley of Fujitsu. Bob is best known for his charming personality and amazing magic talents but he also has fantastic business acumen.
It was a great pleasure to get to spend some time with Bob and his wife, Elisabeth, reminiscing about all the terrific times we’ve enjoyed together. A very special treat at the BBQ was Bob performing several magic tricks for the children. Although the target audience was the kids, I can tell you for a fact that the adults were also quite impressed with Bob’s amazing talent.
Bob’s positive contribution to the Law Cypress family is long-standing and much appreciated. He was never an official Law Cypress employee but he is, without a doubt, one of the family forever! Thanks Bob!
A friend of the Law Cypress family (Jim Hughes)
As a distributor of computer products, true success at Law Cypress could not have happened if it weren’t for our fantastic reseller and technology partners and there is no better representative of this group then Mr. Jim Hughes of Western Integrated Systems. Jim is an icon in the industry and I was so personally honored to have him join us.
Jim always has great stories and experiences to share. It is really fun to hear him tell his colorful tales. Sometimes I think he might exaggerate just a bit (or a lot a bit) but the ‘bigger’ and more ‘fishy’ the tales get makes them all that better.
As an animal lover, Jim brought to the BBQ his two precious six-year old dogs to enjoy the park. Being an animal lover myself naturally I wanted to introduce myself to his dogs but I was quickly warned by Jim to keep my distance. Jim, being the consummate practical-joker that he is, was dismissed by myself as being a joke so I extended my hand to pet his dogs. Naturally I did not believe that Jim truly had these vicious dogs and boy-o-boy was I wrong! I’m glad to report that I still have all my fingers in-tact; but barely. Jim, I can never tell whether you are serious or not so thanks for always keeping me on my toes!
A Jack Brooks protégé (Ivan Bermudez)
What would a ‘Jack Brooks’ event be without a little discussion about Jack’s proud football history as a great coach? One of Jack’s star football players, long-time friend and one of many ‘sons’, Ivan Bermudez, made an appearance. Yes, I said ‘appearance’. You see, Ivan is a legend in his own mind and his time is precious so anyone getting to see him is a great pleasure. Actually, I kid.
Ivan shared some great stories and memories of all the fantastic JB times. He probably knows Jack as well as anyone and it was fabulous to hear Ivan’s retrospect on Jack as a person, husband, co-worker and friend to everyone. Ivan, I would like to thank you, again, for sharing such awesome memories!
Studs-R-Us and the ‘new gen’ of Law Cypress (Freddy Bermudez)
Ivan’s cousin, Freddy, another ex-Law Cypress employee, arrived with Ivan at the BBQ. Freddy had been associated with Law Cypress for a long time through his relationship with Ivan as well as friendship with many other LC employees. Eventually I think Jack just made it official and hired Freddy on as an employee. Jack was notorious for hiring ‘lost individuals’ and Freddy embodied this spirit extremely well. *Just kidding Freddy*.
Freddy was a great addition to the LC team and his friendship is appreciated to this day. At the BBQ Freddy enjoyed discussing his massive biceps, huge chest and thick neck with anyone that would listen. I’m looking forward to seeing Freddy again. See you see bro!
The secret ingredient behind the scenes (Natalie)
I’ve mentioned Natalie a few times in this blog and now I would like to call her out specifically. Natalie is a dear friend of Brandee and mine. We have known each other for many years. She is the proudest mommy ever to her beautiful daughter and watching them together is pure magic.
Natalie helped organize the BBQ event with Brandee. Natalie (a.k.a. “Nat”) had a previous commitment that she had to attend later in the day so she couldn’t stay the whole time but, as she always does, stayed to help as much as she could. Nat, and her ham-for-a-daughter, typically keeps us tremendously entertained by singing the Frozen song over and over, are two of the most terrific people you will ever find in your life. Nat and Cookie – You are A+!
For those whom worked with Jack they know that one of his infamous phrases to utter was ‘so-and-so buddy!’. So, as a final tribute and until next year, Jack-buddy! – looking forward to celebrating in your spirit next year!
In all seriousness, Jack was absolutely a great people person and gave so many young kids opportunities to grow, learn and experience life without excessive coddling. In spite of his tough exterior he was a man of great values, as many of you reading this already know.
It was such a fantastic honor for us to host this event in Jack’s wonderful memory but also a great celebration of the Law Cypress spirit. I seriously cannot wait until next year! Speaking of which….
Next year’s event is already in-the-making (Lynn Law)
Brandee, Natalie and I would like to extend our greatest gratitude to the entire Law family for attending the event. In particular it was tremendous to spend time chatting with Lynn. She has graciously agreed to organize next year’s event already. So everyone get your creative thinking-caps on and start sharing your interesting ideas for the 2015 BBQ!
Your input is requested
As we plan out for next year I think a more organized approach would be to use technology! Yes, believe it or not, technology is our friend and many of us are in the technology business so we want to eat our dog-food *so-to-speak*.
Therefore, I am requesting that you contribute something virtually to this past event, as well as future events, by commenting, liking or suggesting something. Your input in valuable and we want to take the spirit of Jack as well as the vision of LC into this next era with passion and pride so please contribute something!