Howard's Blog

This is Howard C. Park's blog. Interests: live music, simulations and modeling, languages, iPod, social and business networking, systems thinking, history of science, management, BBQ, trivia, good coffee, organizational learning, traveling, personal histories.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I had a somber and sobering day Monday.

My family was in LA for our annual California trip. Katheryn and I had planned on visiting Rose Hill on Monday morning. That's where my grandmother is buried. About a month ago, I learned that one of my graduate school friends was also buried at Rose Hill. I got in touch with her husband who had put up a beautiful dedication web site for her.

Rose Hill is a beautiful place. It's a very tall hill and it's very easy to get lost. I always take a GPS just in case. The combination of driving up the main swerving road and searching for my grandmother's gravesite always gives the experience a journey-like feel. I think I know exactly where things are... then I find myself lost in the slopes somewehere.

My graduate school friend is on the other side of the hill; I had never had a reason to drive all the way up the hill. Another journey, another find, another pause, another set of memories.

Later that day, I check my email and learn that a work friend had died in a car wreck. He and his family were returning from a river trip when their minivan was hit by a truck that had swerved into their lane after losing a tire. He and two of his daughters died in the accident. A third daughter later died at the hospital. His wife is now recovering at the hospital with their 4th daughter. A fifth daughter has been released from the hospital and staying with a friend of the family.

I had never worked on a client project with Gary Galle. He and I did work on several proposals and various small projects over the many years we were both at Andersen, then KPMG Consulting, then BearingPoint. He was a good man who often talked about his family. I think he was the rare breed in consulting who strived to keep things simple. The last several years have been tough for the world of consultants, with increasing demands, shifts in marketplace dynamics, and of course, the continuous RIFs (reduction in force). Gary survived this crazy consulting world, through the collapse of Andersen, through-out-of-town projects, through changes in management and companies. I hate the cliche, but he really was a team player, always ready to lend a hand. He didn't ask, "what do I get from this?", he was always ready to contribute.

I've been getting some updates that are being sent to colleagues. A memorial service is being planned.

Another pause, another set of memories.
|| hcpark, 12:35 AM


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