By María-Inés Lagos
The words that come to mind when thinking of David may seem hyperbolic to those who don’t know him, but I am not exaggerating when I say he is incredibly enthusiastic, friendly, generous, caring, and engaged with people and the world around. He has the best tips for restaurants and paradores, anything that has to do with travel and enjoying the local scenes.
His interests are wide ranging. Often times the first morning e-mail comes from David, sharing the latest news pertinent to our professional endeavors. Keeping abreast of what his colleagues are writing is also one of his passions. When I leave him an off-print in his box, that same evening he would have read it and sent me a message with the most perceptive, knowledgeable, and generous comments! How does he do it I ask myself? So organized and attentive, a truly amazing colleague.
In addition to being a charismatic speaker and storyteller, David has the talent to engage others in conversation. One of his most awesome qualities is how he makes people talk, not only students and colleagues or friends, but our own children! He asks the questions we would love to ask but are afraid to utter, and thus through his savvy approach we, parents, find out what they do at work and what their plans are, without having to ask ourselves!
I just loved his joyful enthusiasm when he came up with an idea for one of Janna’s significant birthdays. He proudly gave me a preview of a power point “show” he had prepared for her. (Our offices were across the hall at the time). The gift included, of course, surprise travel with Mediterranean cruise, and more. During our sixteen years in Charlottesville, David and Janna have been superb hosts who have introduced us to many fun activities. At Charlottesville’s Garden Week we met John Grisham in his own garden, the periodic Cooking Club gatherings with interesting mystery guests and creative recipes were always intriguing, his annual Oscar night party (with baked Alaska) continues to be a departmental ritual, and so many other occasions.
Now that he is retiring from the University of Virginia I have no doubt he will continue making life enjoyable to those around him! Feliz jubilación, David, y gracias por la amistad y el contagioso entusiasmo.