Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Memorial for Mo-vember

No matter how lucky you’ve been in your family and friendship circles, you can’t avoid having lost loved ones to the evil of cancer.  It strikes me as so very fitting that the same month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving is the month that we now draw attention to battling that pernicious disease in men.  I say this contradiction because I’m incredibly grateful for so many close friends who have fought off their cancers and are again healthy today; and also for the men who made an indelible impact on my life, fought the great fight and ultimately left us, including my dad who died in 1999.

Kent Dorrell
This month, I’m thinking especially of Kent Dorrell, our LA-based wholesale rep and one of our most popular colleagues.  Kent and I started at Allen Edmonds within a few months of each other.  He had an incredible eye for style, quality and new product direction, and I learned a great deal from him.  Kent passed away on September 30th, having miraculously survived a brutal bout with leukemia several years ago but then battling liver cancer since 2011.  He definitely fought a strong and courageous fight all the way to the end, as valiant as anyone can.  He even did a trunk show at a customer’s store just a few days before his passing.

Kent’s perspective from his previous victory over leukemia, and his naturally gregarious and positive personality, gave him a lovably upbeat approach to life and to all who knew him.  It was infectious -- a gift he gave freely and unsparingly.  Whenever I traveled with him to visit customers, the affection between them was inspiring.  Kent taught all of us how to live, how to treat friends and strangers alike, and how to see the best in everything and everyone around him.  We will truly miss Kent Dorrell.

Here’s to Kent Dorrell and to all the Kent Dorrells in your lives.

Be healthy, wear sunscreen and have a good Mo-vember.

Best wishes,