We always just called her “Lori.” I can tell you I had to wait until we got her obituary before I could find out her real name. It’s Lora Jane Randolph and she was the manager of the place where we hold court every morning – Tim Horton’s Restaurant in Portsmouth.
Lori was special to all of us who occupy the center table, drink coffee and solve all the world’s problems. What made her extraordinary was her professionalism, friendliness and the ability to memorize everyone’s orders. You needed to only walk in the door and she would already start on your order. That always impressed me. I used to like to throw her a curve once in a while just to see her smile.
But there was more. She knew how to run the ship. In fact, we often referred to her as “Sergeant Lori.” That’s because she knew the business inside and out and kept the staff organized and on task.
It is extremely difficult to say goodbye to someone you really didn’t know personally, but felt like you knew better than a lot of people you deal with every day. As I said, I didn’t even know her name, but I sure knew her smile.
It is not the same now. She was the one familiar face and she would ask me – “Are you gonna have your coffee over at liar’s corner?” It was that familiarity that drew us all to her.
We at “the table,” will miss her very much and to her family a big “thank you” for sharing her with us. From Richie, Rick, Stan, Jim, Mike, Tom, Derek, Kevin, Chris and all the rest at “liar’s corner,” comes a message loud (As always) and clear – “We will all miss you, Lori. Go rest high on that mountain, your work on earth is through.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.