Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Miss Sylvia

As I have mentioned before, there have been a regular cast of characters that have come in and out of my life. Some larger than life, some hard to believe, but all seriously entertaining.

I worked for a Judge as her Judicial Assistant. Naturally, one of my jobs was, not necessarily to control who saw her, but at least to give her fair warning who was on their way down the hall to her office. I had only been working for her two or three weeks, when I looked up to see an older lady standing at my desk.

A little background here, the judge was not a trial judge, so we did not normally have anyone from the public in our chambers. Other than UPS, Fed-Ex, the mailman, and our significant others, the chambers were incredibly quiet. So I find myself looking at this lady who looks exactly like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillys accept a little taller and a little younger (picture the gray hair in the bun and the glasses). Before I can say anything, she says (in very country southern drawl), "Honey, is she back there?" "Yes, Mam, she is. May I help you?" I replied. Before I could say anything else, she had turned on her heels and was heading toward the Judge's office.

By the time I got around my desk to try to stop her, she was well on her way down the hall. She may have been older, but she definitely was not slow. I followed her into the Judge's office. "Miss Sylvia, what brings you to town?" the Judge said as she stood up from her desk. "Well, Pretty, I was on my way to the Bi-Lo, they are having a sale on butter, two for one, and just thought I'd stop by."

The Judge looked at me and could tell by the puzzled look on my face, I was clueless as to who this person was. "Miss Sylvia, did you meet my new assistant?" "Well, no." Then she turned, looked at me and said, "I bet you think I'm just this crazy lady, what coming in here and not telling you I am." That would be correct, I thought to myself. Then the Judge asked, "What have you been up to?" "Well, I don't have time to visit, I've got milk in the car. You know the Food Mart was running a sale on it this morning. But I've got something out there for you."

When I turned around with her to go to her car, I realized that would not be necesary. All 4 of our attorneys were standing in the doorway. "Well bless my soul, I didn't see y'all." Listening to the affectionate way they spoke to her, I knew there was a story here someone needed to tell me. As they all went to help her with what ever was in her car, I turned to the Judge. "What just happened here?" "That was Miss Sylvia." "I got that much." "She was a client of mine when I was in private practice. Her husband left her and I managed to get her a fairly significant divorce settlement and introduced her to a stock broker to help her invest her money. Don't let her fool you, she is a savy business woman." I realized quickly, I did not need make an enemy out of Miss Sylvia.

After I watched Miss Sylvia drive off in her new Lincoln Continental, I went into the kitchen to see what the attorneys were so excited about. Sitting on the kitchen table was this incredibly rich chocolate concoction, 2 plant cuttings wrapped in wet newspaper, a 12 pack of Diet 7-Up, and 3 random newspaper articles clipped from the local paper. From behind me, I heard the Judge laughing, "Oh, and by the way, she is also, a super cook. She is always bringing us some kind of dish. The cuttings are from her yard. You should see it - it is gorgeous." "What about the newspaper clippings and the Diet 7-Up?" "Well, we never know what the articles are going to be about. But they will be something she thinks we need to read. And, the 7-Up is for me. That's what I drink."

And that was my introduction to Miss Sylvia.

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