There are relatively few people with whom I share a mutual admiration. Don’t get me wrong: I like a lot of people and there are some people who like me, but that is different than my definition of a mutual admiration society. The first person who comes to mind is the first person who used the expression, “mutual admiration society” to describe our friendship. Her name was Viola McHugh Fauss and she was David’s grandmother. “Olie,” as she was called by her grandchildren, and I formed an instant bond upon our initial meeting. Like me, she was a career woman whose work defined her life. She was no warm and fuzzy grandmother; instead, she enjoyed talking about her glory days working in downtown Atlanta. Instead of writing notes, she typed them, which always impressed me! Olie and I had great times together. She worked during a time when most women had no aspirations of a career; she worked hard; and she worked until she could no longer do so. She was my kind of woman! The next person with whom I have a mutual admiration society is, of course, Bob. (In case the reader needs a reminder, Bob was my best friend, office mate, and favorite person in graduate school. He is one of the dearest friends I have ever had. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for “my Bob.”) Bob and I have a running debate on who, between the two of us, is smarter. I say he is and he says I am. That sums up our relationship! Two other people, one who is alive and one who is no longer with us, also come to mind in the category of mutual admiration society. They are both attorneys, clients, University of Florida law school graduates (proving, once again, how open minded I am!), and among my favorite people. One of them is Buddy Schulz, who is amazing in as many ways as it is possible to be amazing, and the other was the late Pat Geraghty, who was super cool in every way, including being a true “Parrot Head” (Jimmy Buffett fan) like me. Perhaps, if I gave this topic more thought, I would be able to come up with a longer list of people with whom I share a mutual admiration society, but the fun part of writing this post is that I gave absolutely no thought to the four people about whom I wrote. They came to mind instantly!
One thing that comes to my mind about Mutual Admiration Societies is realizing that one is in one. What I mean is, we often get acquainted with people we admire, from afar or up close. The part that is different about mutual admiration societies is the “mutual” part. This may not be immediate. It may take time to grow, but it may take more time to recognize. I know I had this going on with Dr. Fran Kinne, about whom I’ve previously written, and I share Melissa’s admiration of Buddy Schulz. And, there have been others who I’ve had in my life as mentors and friends, but a Mutual Admiration Society means the parties share a commonality of respect and both benefit from the relationship in somewhat equal measures. Those are rare and to be treasured. One cannot seek a Mutual Admiration Society, they find you. May you be so fortunate to find such connections!