Harmon twins’ moves on professional front leave dad proud, but unsettled

By Gary Harmon

Editor’s note: Every year around Tax Day, Sentinel staffer Gary Harmon observes the birthday of his twins, Sean and Paul, with a letter he shares with readers.

Dear Sean and Paul:

Sad to say you are not in Grand Junction to read this. On the other hand, it’s been a while since the stars have aligned in that way anyhow.

Still, it’s your birthday and according to custom (mine,) it’s time to review the events of the last 365 days, give or take.

I used to be the expert. OK, an expert, as your mom was the expert, on you guys. That’s pretty much changed. I know only what I glean from conversations we have on the phone or in the snippets from texts and the conversations we have during all-too-short visits here and there.

I think there are now people in your orbits who know much more about you, whether you wish them to or or not.

To bring you up to speed, Sean, you are in Ohio doing the supply-chain-management voodoo that you do.

OK, the latest word is that you are about to sign on to a job in purchasing at a plant in Ohio, which will culminate a two-year training process that started in North Carolina and took you to the Cincinnati area.

During your purchasing rotation, you distinguished yourself enough to get a mention in a local purchasers’ newsletter, which was pretty impressive for a guy whose buying experience was theretofore limited to, “Sure, I’ll take a cheeseburger, well done. And fries.”

I happened to call last night to ask about something regarding our coming weekend — Should I bring your fishing rod? — and while we had a pleasant conversation, you had to cut away because you had to make a long drive home from work and it was about 9 p.m. your time.

I’d like to get into more detail, but you now live 1,438.9 miles east of your mom and me. Hey, at least it’s just a matter of turning right on Interstate 70 and driving for 21 hours.

Paul, you’re heading to a statistics internship this summer with the E&J Gallo Winery.

While that’s no small thing, it means you’re unlikely to spend any time with us.

I think you sealed the Gallo deal when you asked your interviewer (also a statistician) whether you would analyze the responses of professional wine tasters.

On learning that was the case, you said, “Obviously I’m applying for the wrong job.”

It’s highly improbable that most statistician types would come up with that observation.

You got the statistics internship, so I guess the question of whether you were interviewing for the right job remains an open one.

In about a year, I’ll bring you up to speed on how each of your experiences went and I’ll remind you then, as now, that each of you still has a room in Grand Junction should you need to settle and regroup for another foray.

I did want to mention that events in the last year have left you without grandparents as the last one, my mother, died soon after you guys helped us move her from Idaho to Utah, making sure she had a lounger that your mom’s father liked. It wasn’t exactly an easy move, but I like to think it served the interests of both of the grandparents. I also like to think they both approved. All of them, actually.

It’s so far unsettling and a point of pride for your mom and I to know that you have actually changed addresses and seem to be faring well without our constant presence.

Somewhere there’s a lesson in that, probably more for us than you.

In fact, we’d like to hear from you more often. Just a text. Or two. Or 10. No need to stint.

Love,

Dad

Gary Harmon is the senior reporter in the Sentinel newsroom covering Mesa County government, federal agencies and the Western Slope’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.


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