After reading all of the biographies here I’m reminded of a theme similar to something out of Frank Herbert’s Dune. “I was a friend of Jamis. Jamis taught me…” Like every contributor here, I know Mel, (yeah, I said Mel. I’m not her Dad, nor am I her agent. I’m that elusive “other person” Steve referred to). Unlike every contributor here I’ve never actually met her in person.
That’s really unusual given the fact that we attended Southeast Missouri State at the same time. One would think that a guy would notice a striking blond reading from a Penthouse magazine in the student union. It wasn’t that big of a university and I was there for 5 years. I know for a fact I ate often at the same restaurant that she worked at. Sadly I didn’t ‘meet’ Mel until I found her profile on MySpace back in ’06 and I thought ‘she went to SEMO and seems like a neat person I would like to know more about’ and get to know her I did.
Mel was a friend to me when I was in a dark and distant place, like the beacon from a lighthouse pointing out where the shoreline is. Depending on how you look at it, she’s either responsible for almost getting me killed or saving my life. One of her messages literally made the difference in timing, whereby had it gone a few minutes the other way I would have been on the receiving end of an Iraqi rocket which ended two other people quite gruesomely. Thankfully Mel taught me that 2+2 can equal 5 given exceptionally large values of 2 and because of that I was once able to return the favor in a way.
In keeping with the theme I noted earlier, Mel’s taught me quite a few other things along the course of our friendship:
(1) In all things be happy, the worst is already over and the best is yet to come.
(2) There’s more to life that what we can perceive with our senses.
(3) Don’t judge a book by its cover, those people are airbrushed to look better anyway.
Mel is truly unique, fearless, loving, and focused. A lot of that comes through in her stories and her personality.
Oh and don’t call her Mel, she really hates that!
Wherever the Air Force says is home