Four years Ago Today

Connie Hinesley was my best friend. She and I met the first day I came to Georgia in 1993. After about an hour of seeing how I dealt with the situation on the apartment property where she and I would be working together, she came into my office, leaned over my desk and said, in a way only Connie could, “You might as well pack your ditty bag and go on back across the State Line Missy. These Georgia rednecks are going to eat you for Lunch!” With that, she turned on her heel and walked out of the office.

I sat in my chair, starring as she walked out the door. She was no more afraid of me firing her than anything. That afternoon, on the property, we had a drug raid, a shoot out, two domestic fights, a fire in a kitchen and one run away child. I called before five and asked for a transfer to another property. I was moved the next day!!

Connie stayed on that property until it sold and she came by to see me on the property I was moved. Although it was on the other side of Atlanta, it was quiet, but I was afraid to go outside after dark. I have never seen as many STRANGE creatures in my life. She laughed at me for calling them creatures. She wanted to know if I needed an assistant manager. All I could remember was what she said the first day I met her.

I became terribly sick and she took care of me. I had nobody in the State which knew me. My husband and son was in Alabama, not making the move until my son finished his school year. She made sure I got to the hospital, stayed with me through the medical procedures, and then took me home. I would not have made it without her and her husband, W.M. If you heard the two of them, you would have thought they would have fallen out in the floor to fight in another minute, but the love they had for each other was fathomless. He was a city boy and she was a country girl; talk about two opposites.

Connie and I started working together on a rather large property in Marietta, GA. I don’t remember the name, but it was rough. She was one of the strongest women I have ever seen, both mental and physical. However, when we ran up on a ‘mid-night move’ once, I saw what a weak stomach she could get.

We walked into the apartment, and over half of the possessions had been left in the unit. Baby strollers, high chairs, clothes, food, trash, items in the refrigerator and even a roasting pan in the stove. Connie took out that pan, popped the top off and there was a dead chicken in that pan that had been in there for about three days in HOT SUMMER NO AIR-CONDITIONING IN GEORGIA locked up tight apartment. She hit the back stairwell of that unit and hung over the rail for what seemed like thirty minutes heaving her insides out. It hit me funny and all I could do was laugh. All she did was cuss. I have never toted such a cussing, and when I thought she was through, she would get a whiff of the dead chicken and here it would go again.

She would tell one on me. We were walking the grounds after a bad freeze close to Christmas. She and I were patching leaks, because all the maintenance men were so tired and working on major leaks, we were out trying to patch ceiling holes so heat wouldn’t escape through holes. I was stepping over a speed bump on the outside on the pavement and both feet shot out from under me and my butt hit the ground first and my head second. She said I sounded like a bull bellowing. She didn’t know if I had killed myself or not. She was laughing so hard, she wet all over herself, and she had to get someone to stand over me, until she went home and changed pants. She came back, I was still on the ground, out cold. By then I was coming around. It just knocked the breathe out of me. My butt was so bruised but my head wasn’t hurt. She watched me all day, and it wasn’t until the next day that the maintenance man told me she had to go home, and he stood watch over me.

I could tell you all sorts of stories about what she and I got into and out of from 1993 until the day she died June 17, 2009. I miss her every day that God let’s me see another sunrise. I miss her every day I see a body of water and a fisherman out casting a line. I miss her every time I see a Maxine cartoon or now an Aunty Acid cartoon. I miss her every time I want to tell a good friend a secret that means something to me, and I know she would take it to her grave. She took many with her.

Connie, I miss you and you are very much still loved. I am but one day closer to seeing you again!

Always, and then some….db


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