I can see the quizzical looks on faces already. What in the world do Cinco de Mayo, Appalachia and Oz (Australia) have in common? And how do they fit into Ellen's theme of the women in her life for the blog this month? I want to tell a story today, a story of a friendship that travels from the mountains of southwest Virginia, to Australia, and to the limits of human imagination and technology. A friendship that embraces the esoteric, the mystical, the mundane, the creative, the depths and heights to which women can aspire and descend.
I started working at an AT&T call center in Lebanon, Virginia, in July of 2006. We had what was at the time one of the largest training classes to date at the center. I do not remember the exact number, but there were more than 60 of us I believe. Have you ever been in a group of strangers and someone just stood out because their energy and aura were so sparkling, their laugh so infectious? That was Dove. Her full name is Wynonah Dove Bush. I am about old enough to be her mother, but that is neither here nor there. I liked her. She was fun, and smart, and infectious. She was a singer, and could - and can - out-Dolly Dolly. A powerful voice in a short thing with one of the biggest personalities I have ever seen.
We became friends, and this is where Cinco de Mayo comes in. She had a Cinco de Mayo party at her house and Roger and I went. Good Lord, we had fun. We drank too much Sangria, feasted on Grilled Shrimp, and I made pico de gallo, guacamole, and Mexican restaurant style rice. We sang Karaoke, and laughed and cried and talked about stars and souls and spirits and reaching beyond here to whatever is there.
This was not the last time we partied together, not the only time we sat and talked by flickering firelight. Her path went her way, and my path went my way. In the ten years give or take that I have known her, she has been on such a journey, and oh how I have loved watching her and being a small part of it. She went to Australia as a tribute artist (she does Dolly, and is awesome) and met the love of her life, Mauricio. She now lives in Sydney and works at Macquarle University as the FIRST Robotics Programme Administrator . She still sings, and her current business card is shown here.
I love and admire Dove for many reasons, but mainly because, well, she is Dove. My friend, a fighter and dreamer who goes after her dreams with a determination that is beyond belief. She absolutely forges her destiny through grit and determination. And has one of the biggest, most generous souls you will ever encounter.
So Feliz Cinco de Mayo, my lovely Turtledove. May your fiesta of life never end.