Chris is moving away. I've written of him before, the recovering fundamentalist who is generous as the day is long, passionate, a doting father and the kind of friend who always shows up when you need help moving or replaicing the kitchen subfloor. A man who lets everyone around him know how much he cares through deeds and honest, forthright joy.
He is, in short, a treasure.
Monday will be his last day in Ohio. Politicians may talk about the recovery but it hasn't come here. My brother moved down to Florida in April because he couldn't find work in Cleveland. Now Chris is headed from Columbus to Atlanta. He has a job, but the company is in trouble, losing money hand over fist and he thinks his days are numbered. He's been looking for work for a few months but nobody's hiring, at least not at the wages he was used to. You see Chris is a damned good electrician. He's way smarter than most tradesmen, loves the work and throws himself wholeheartedly into everything he does. Oh, he's not flawless-- he sometimes gets ahead of himself-- but he can manage people and when you give Chris the job all you have to do is supply the material and get out of the way.
But right now he can't find work at a decent wage. So Tuesday morning he'll pack up, kiss his wife and children goodbye and head south so they can make their mortgage.
I'm going to miss him. Granted my waistline will be better for it: Chris loves to eat perhaps more than I, and our long discussions are often punctuated by massive calorie intake. But the talks are worth it, full of conversation on books, architecture, current events, theology, fast cars, ethics and more. Talking with Chris is just plain fun.
I have long regarded my friendships as one of my biggest blessings. I have many friends, and some friendships stretch back over 30 years. No one has been a better friend to me than Chris Hachet.
I hope his stay in Atlanta will be temporary. But we live in a world that seems more interested in pulling people apart than bringing them together.