Six questions for a 36-year employee

Randy Gordon for Quarry

A younger Randy Gordon — note the clunky computer monitor and Rolodex on his desk.

Employee Recognition 2015 V4Last week, we honored 110 employees who reached milestone anniversaries (10, 15, 20, etc.) working for the City. We laughed, we cried and we were just so doggone proud of all the great work represented by these good folks. The infographic on the left tells some of the story. (Click to enlarge)

For a more personal story, we asked our longest-tenured honoree, Parks Manager Randy Gordon, to share some of the highlights (and one lowlight) of his time here. If you’ve ever enjoyed a City park or an event like Christmas Family Night, you owe a thank you to Randy.

What’s the biggest difference in our parks system today compared to 36 years ago?

The size of Round Rock and the number of parks. We had only three people in the entire department then. Now there are 44 just in the parks division. When I came to Round Rock in 1979 there were about 12,000 people and now it’s over 105,000. We started with just a couple of pieces of equipment — an old truck that rattled just driving down the road and a mower or two. Now we have to keep inventory of all that we have.

What’s the most unusual item we’ve found in a Round Rock park (that we can share with the general public)?

Someone sleeping in the grass one morning and not knowing if they were OK. It turned out they had a big party the night before and fell asleep in the middle of a park. When I first saw what looked like a person laying in the grass early one morning, my mind had all kinds of ideas what I was about to walk up to. Thank goodness the young person was OK. I woke them up and they just seemed to walk on home like nothing had happened. What a relief!

What happened on your best day working with the City?

The best day working for Round Rock is actually two days — July 4th and Christmas Family Night. Sure it’s a lot of work, but at the same time it’s great to see so many people enjoying all the efforts our team had put into it. The tradition continues to grow and change.

How about the worst day?

The worst day has to be when not only our city but our nation witnessed the tragedy of the twin towers in New York. It just reminded us all that we not only belong to the community of Round Rock, but also to the larger community of our nation. Such a tragedy seen from our offices and homes seemed to be a surreal experience that has changed the way we look at the world around us. It won’t be forgotten. I have to also mention that when you’ve been here a while and you lose someone here at work that you know, you can’t help but think about how short life is. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 90. We should be thankful for what God has given us and not take any of these gifts for granted.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

Chocolate mint.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

I would like to have dinner with my grandfather because I was very young when he passed away and I’d like to hear his stories about working a cotton farm in West Texas. I’d also like to have dinner with Jesus Christ because, well after all he’s the only one in the world who has demonstrated His love to us all when He not only died for our sins but also rose again to give us new life, hope and purpose. The third person is someone I haven’t met yet so I look forward to finding out who that will be.