I’ve been blessed throughout my life to be around some pretty cool people, not like Eric Clapton or Winston Churchill cool, just “regular cool”. Recently one of the cool guys in my life decided to retire from being at our workplace and start driving a school bus, which sounds like a prison sentence to me, but Mike has solid reasons for doing it. At the tender age of sixty some years of life he’d like to try something different and get off of his feet, which sitting in the drivers seat of a school bus does fulfill. Never having done something like this Mike is kind of jazzed up and excited. He’s been in the Navy, been a salesperson, fulltime artist, and department manager in grocery store…so working with children and having to maneuver said school bus through city streets is, in my mind, like herding cats. I wish him nothing but the best, he deserves it.

Mike, by the way, was the main encourager of me starting this blog. He’d listen to my ideas and read my writings and encourage me to find someway to get them on-line. He pointed me to the guy who could get me started and usually comments via e-mail regarding my latest blogs. Most of you haven’t read his witticisms, which is a shame. Mike’s also one of my biggest fans when it came to me getting started into officiating basketball. During our usually busy and stressful day Mike would ask me about either this blog or my games which, for that moment, would distract me from the day and onto something pleasant. I’d walk away from that conversation feeling better. Thank you Mike for encouraging me to do both blogging and officiating. Thank you also for your many Navy stories, and your service to country and our company.

Now folks in my family and close friends usually get some sort of tongue-in-cheek humorous attempt at a Top Ten List, so with no further adieu:


#1…The way that he always led us in Hot Yoga before the store opened every morning. So flexible that Mister Ryan!
#2…The way that he looked a lot like the Lorax from Dr. Seuss whenever he let his mustache grow out. Spooky-looking Lorax.
#3…The way that he would warm-up the company Christmas Party crowd with his Burl Ives rendition of “Have a holly jolly Christmas”.
#4…His near world record attempt of eating 25 pickled eggs in ten minutes.
#5…His near world record expulsion of said 25 pickled eggs in fifteen seconds.
#6…His love of the Republican party.
#7…His enate ability to whistle the song “Dixie” through his nose. It sounds uncannily like a piccolo.
#8…His wife Judy’s Holiday Rum cake. It should be considered a National Treasure. Dead serious.
#9…His total joy of regaling us with stories of his and Judy’s children and grandchildren. They’d travel to Antarctica to see them. If you belong to Mike and Judy Ryan, forget about it…you can do nothing wrong, they are so proud of you and they will love you always and forever. End of subject.
#10..His love of being a people person. While others preach it, Mike’s old school. He likes people…most people…some more than others…hell…he’s over sixty…give him a break…he probably just needs a nap or something…or a laxative…probably both…and maybe a pickled egg or two.

Happy retirement Mike!! I will miss you.