It was a typical summer day in the Regional History Department of the Community Library in the early part of the century. A Hawaiian version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was playing on Paula Barovetto's computer speakers while she was typing a transcript of an oral history tape I had made the day before. I was shooting rubber bands at ornaments in a ficus tree when suddenly Paula took off her earphones and said, " Spa, we should get a blender and make mai tais in the vault!" I said, "Damn fine idea, Spaula!"
She was a great assistant, loved her job and there wasn't any assignment she was afraid to tackle. It might have been the first real job that she had ever had because Paula was a free spirit and just couldn't understand the restrictions of time. But, she got so much done in the time that she put it in, who cared? So, on a particularly warm, lovely morning in August I wasn't surprised when Paula would call in and say, "Spa, it's a perfect day for tennis and I could get a game in an hour in Hailey." I would say, "But, what about work?" She would counter, "Spa, look out the window!" I would say, "Damn fine point, Spaula. See you at one. Don't forget we have to do the oral history research at The Casino at six." "OK, bye!"
Our kids had grown up together. Her son, Sean, and her two daughters, Krystal and Darianne, and my two daughters, Elizabeth and Emily, were very close and had learned the art of embracing the social scene in their formative years. She was a great mother to all of them and plenty of other young kids in those days. She delighted in watching them all grow up and experience life. She was a great "Mom" to many and many of them used to call her at the library to see how she was doing.
She also had a particular love for older folks and spent many years volunteering at Blaine Manor, helping out any way she could. She was especially helpful in picking up her older pals and taking them to appointments or just grocery shopping. She was a great "Daughter" to many and many of them used to call her at the library to see how she was doing.
And, now she is gone and life is a little sadder. The big "C" got her finally and she passed on the 27th of May. On the first of June, last Monday, I, along with about 50 of her friends, received an e-mail from Paula:
"Just a note to let you know I have transcended this beautiful planet and am now in an even more incredible place. I am watching you as you receive this note and I am now in that paradise we all dream about."
That's our Paula. That's my Spaula.
Nice talking to her.