First, to the Home.
Once again, the ICAA knocks it out of the park. This time with a guest lecture (for members only) by McApline Tankersly’s own Bobby McAlpine. The location was in a Home of one of his few Atlanta projects. Even though it’s tucked away in the heart of Buckhead, I’ve driven past it many times and always wanted to check it out first hand. Before actually attending the event though, I had in my mind that this was going to be a piece about architecture and style. However, afterwards, I think I’ll take it in a little bit of a different direction.
You see, this was an experience. Probably because everybody there knew each other and the setting was real comfortable, but, this was no ordinary lecture. Not in the least. Bobby’s approach was very candid and he had everybody absolutely captivated. And that means a lot considering that there were so many talented folks in the room.
He started out by telling of his childhood. Born the son of a mill manager in rural Alabama. Playing in one “dirt lot” after another. Until one day, when he was still quite young, he looked around and recognized that this was “not his world” … and then he sought out to find it.
He then relayed an anecdote about how a turn of the century business tycoon was about to make the speech of his career when he was tapped on the shoulder, only to be notified that his long time office manager had passed away. Afterwards, as the partners tried to come up with a proper eulogy for this lady and everyone was stuck with nothing to say, he announced that “She was born in 1888 in a barn, died in 1932 in a prestigious Manhattan highrise office…She was an astronaut.”
I love that!!!
He then began to take us through a stream of projects. Typical of presentations like this. Yet, his was full of color. Kind of the inside story. But, what caught me was that he was both humble and bold. What an amazing combination. Certainly the traits that I would love to develop more of in my own character.
When he wrapped things up, he hung around to greet everyone individually. Spending a considerable amount of time with anyone and everyone. A line formed to meet with him. This to me was the most valuable point of the evening. I found a few of his past students who were not standing in line like the rest, but, who were recalling stories of spending time in his classroom. You see, Bobby went back to Auburn University after he had established his own firm and taught for 9 years. These guys said that he was like no other. They spoke of the field trips they took to his current projects looking at things from a completely different perspective. (None of the other professors at the time had their own firm or projects). They talked about how he would let them try things their own way and then, after they had taken it so far, step in and show them a completely different way of “seeing” things. They spoke of how he would take to the ones who “truly got it” and commit the time to train them and develop them into a superstar of their own right. Absolutely cool. I am such a fan of the whole principle of mentorship and apprenticeship and it appears that he lived it.
Thanks to all for a wonderful evening,
All my Bests