Almost every employee I've had since I began my web page in 1996 has had a cameo appearance. Most of them are featured in Law Forum photos, group dinners, or with someone else (like Suzy's photo with Kevin and Sameer). Eric became a client and got his own Success Story, complete with appropriate humor.
But somehow Aaron got skipped over. He didn't attend many Law Forums, because he's too hyper to sit still on a plane for four hours; he hasn't the faintest interest in law school, and except for his college years, we didn't see each other very often. Yet his presence in my life places bookends on my dozen years in Seattle.
Aaron was my first employee when I moved west. His jobs included showing me the city, taking me clothes shopping, and teaching me how to make charts and graphs in Excel. Mine included letting him use my garage to rebuild his VW Beetle, chauffeuring him when he broke his ankle, and helping him find a post-college job that suited his skills and personality.
Eight years later, when I was deciding whether to stay in Seattle or return to the east coast, Aaron offered me a home while I considered my options. I made curtains for his VW Microbus and learned to understand football and soccer; he learned that dinner could be more than a protein shake, and I got to return to my artwork. Two of the three custom stained-glass windows I made for him appear below.
Aaron's bow tie tattoo is my favorite, although it was actually his cousin's butterfly tattoos that inspired my rosebuds. He says that every time he considers getting another (there are several on his arms) he remembers the bow tie pain and waits a while.
After a year as roommates, he decided to sell his house and I decided to head east. My sister Ardell, an awesome realtor, handled the sale, and he closed an offer from a member of his favorites, the Seattle Sounders Soccer team.
So given that my life in Seattle began and ended intertwined with Aaron's, it seemed ungrateful to leave him off my web page. And what greater success is there than to make a lifelong friend?
August 2013: Aaron is successfully moved into his new house, and now my sister Ardell has his parents' house on the market.
When I miss talking to Aaron, or seeing his VW Beetle, I go peek at a video on his facebook page, but they say I can embed the video here.
2017: Aaron tried to keep it a secret, but I figured out that he'd gotten married! Phoenix Zhou has replaced VWs in his heart.