Vaughn and Emil are both leaving in the next month. Vaughn picks and packs and ships orders with Robert, and like Robert, is a master of the medium of cardboard. It’s a cliche to say, in times like this, that somebody is not replaceable, one-of-a-kind, but you have to work here, with Vaughn, to know how true that is about him.
He’s moving back to home state Colorado to work in a family business, but first goes to Japan for a while to work in a program that does organic farming.
Emil, who also goes by Mile—-not Miles—-is our main bike packer and gopher supreme, always doing whatever’s needed, quickly and well. He was a customer here and only 18 years old, when we called him up cold and asked him to work here. It was his first job, which means it is the only job he’s ever had. He has a 54cm AHH that he put 700c wheels on, for some reason, I don’t know. And Albatross bars and a rack, and it looks great. I’m so glad he got a groovy bike out of this. He is only 19, after all, and is a film student, and is going to concentrate full-time on school.
Both Vaughn and Emil are those rare people, so unlike me, who are so mellow and friendly and kind and solicitous of others, that nobody will ever utter an unkind word about them. The thing about Rivendell that makes me the most proud is the people here, and Vaughn and Emil have made work here better for all of us.
It’s often unescapably hot here in the Summer, and olive-oil freezing in the winter.
We have beautiful bikes (meaning, at least, that I likem), but the amenities are few, and it’s not the kind of workplace one can show off to one’s relatives with pride. It’s a big cheap building, as unimpressive as it gets. Having Vaughn and Emil here, seeing them so much, working with them, makes up for that so, so much, for all of us.
They probably weigh 250 pounds combined, but will leave two huge holes to fill.
Nobody here is sure we’ll be able to do that, and we’re in no hurry, but the time will come, so wish us luck.