Blog #145 I talked about my Palo Alto Womens floor recap. In this Blog I want to talk about my Friend and Nordstrom Buddy Daryl Curley.
I transferred from Arden Fair in 1996. We found a house to rent in the Fremont area so I crossed the Dumbarton Bridge every day to get to work. My day would start out pretty early because you never knew what day the bridge would bring you. Somedays the traffic was bad and others it was worse.
I’d usually grab a coffee before I got to the store and get there early enough to set the floor. Daryl and I got there about the same time every morning and he’d always greet me the same way. Good Morning MISTER Normart. He’d always have a melody to his greeting too. We’d talk to each other as we’d watch the floor each day and bounce ideas off each other throughout the day.
We’d go to lunch frequently together depending on whether or not there was a vendor in the store or a team function that day. We would usually go to a few different spots, Max’s Opera House and they crafted amazing Pastrami Sandwiches. There was also a restaurant behind the store that made incredible martinis (which was after work) and also a nice lunch menu.
We loved going to McDonalds when they had the Monopoly contest. Both of us were like little kids trying to complete our boards and were super competitive with each other. Daryl and I would would laugh and just have a great time together. It wasn’t real close to the store either so we could enjoy the nice weather as we walked over.
As things started getting more stressful in our jobs due to business or lack there of, Daryl would stroll casually near my side of the floor and say MISTER Normart, I think an “Adult Beverage” is in order. We would go to the Martini place and talk business, Life, strategies, whatever…
Daryl would ask me what my strategy was for setting expectations and such. How to maximize hot items and so forth. I would bounce my ideas off him and take his advice on whether or not it would work. We both learned from each other which was great. He also had a great sense of style, especially his great ties.
Sometimes it would be a two Martini day depending on what was going on. I had a commute so I timed it when traffic wasn’t so brutal for my trip back. On one memorable night we were walking back to the store and we ran into the largest skunk I’ve ever seen. It was the size of a medium size dog. “If that thing sprays us, we’ll never get the stink off” Daryl said with a chuckle. We backed away very slowly then ran towards the store but away from the skunk. Was that a real skunk or the martinis?
Daryl was an avid golfer so my weekends were spent with my family mostly and we would catch up every Monday on what each of our weekends entailed. He was usually in good spirits which helped me with all the stresses of tough business. Occasionally we would do things together like a football game (Blog 128) or dinner as well.
Every now and then we would get together over at his place for drinks and fun. This is when I got to know his wife Sue Ann a bit better. She is warm, loving and really interesting to talk to. I always enjoyed our conversations and for her to put up with us shoe dogs, I might add patient as well.
Enjoyed success together
I’m glad I got to see our departments enjoy success together too. Winning is fun and doing it with a buddy is even better. He developed a really great Ferragamo business and we developed our team and our mix to enjoy a really great increase YOY. It was nice to see him laugh and I’m sure he felt the same way.
Then I got transferred again to Valley Fair this time. The store was going through a re-model so business was tough again and more stress put onto my plate. I was so self absorbed, I fell out of touch with Daryl except the weekly phone calls we made to each other. When I left Nordstrom and moved to Target we rarely spoke. Even today I feel incredibly guilty about this.
Target for 3 years then on to Zappos going on 16+ years. One of us reached out to the other, in fact it may have been Sue Ann. We talked about getting together or staying in touch.
When I heard the news my Friend and Nordstrom buddy Daryl Curley had passed away in July 2017, I felt sadness over take me. How could I let such a beautiful friendship be taken for granted. I do these Blogs to help others with my experiences in business and life.
This blog #146 is about friendship and watering the friendship often so it keeps growing. Don’t neglect a friendship, we aren’t guaranteed anything in life.
“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”
– Mercedes Lackeyo
If only I kept in touch…
SIZES... SIZES... SIZES... SIZES...
…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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Great blog. I have felt similar feelings of regret when one of my old friends passed away and we hadn’t kept in contact. I learned that sometimes people are in our lives for a reason and a season and not to have regret over it.
yes true, its still hard though
You’re a great guy. Im sure you must have made a difference in everyone’s life you’ve touched!
you are too sweet