Jeff’s Corner

Hello, Hello, and Howdy

I’m going to turn back the clock to New Year’s Eve, 2009. We were at Brian’s house for his annual staff party (the staff was much smaller then), and Brian made an exciting announcement that Doug and Kelly were joining our team in January.  

I missed the preface to this and thought, what the crap, Doug and Kelly are the two Health Inspectors in Fredericksburg. In reality, Kelly is Brian’s sister, and Doug his brother-in-law. This began the metamorphosis into what GCV is today. Doug’s job was Operations Manager.

Doug, Kathy, and I grew up together at Grape Creek, all the while Grape Creek was growing at an exponential pace. He and I would mop the tasting room floor together and hand-wash the tour trolley once a week. Even though Doug was upper, upper management at GCV, there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do.

So, today with a sad heart, we have to say goodbye. Doug is moving on. Last Wednesday was his last day, and we celebrated and said adios with lots of good food, drinks, laughter, and tears. (My keyboard is getting wet right now.) We wish nothing but happiness and good fortune for you, our dear friend.

This story would be 1000 words if I tried to define the scope of all he did at GCV. Doug has been an integral part to every aspect of our evolution. There is not a single job he hasn’t done, and was always there for us with patience and support.

One thing I do have to mention is that he managed the maintenance and grounds crew, and we all know the unmatched grandeur of our landscape. We all cherish the beauty of where we work, as do our guests.

On a more personal note, Doug, Kathy, and I became close friends. We shared a mutual respect for one another that was undeniable. My 40 year tenure in hospitality has always been driven by customer service, and he is a master. Working side-by-side, interacting with guests, will be some of my fondest memories.

Beyond that, when things have been bumpy in our personal lives, Doug was always one of the first to reach out and offer support.

There are no words I can write, Dougabie, that could express how much we will miss you. I would even sit on a phone book again with you at dinner.

By the way, I love the snap shot, Chelsea. You captured the playful spirit of his soul…