Saturday night, I received a text from a friend and former co-worker. The text was simple, “Mary died Wednesday.” I knew he was too broken up to type much more. We worked together for almost 8 years, I spent 40 plus hours a week for 8 years that is a long time.
Mary was the concierge, I would always say oh her job is so easy, she doesn’t have to deal with x, y, or z. I never thought 10 years later I would be a concierge striving to be like Mary. Mary knew everything and everyone. She made magic happen every day. She was good, damn good at her job. Her crowning achievement in my book, acquiring a red Porsche for a celebrity guest. You can’t rent a Porsche here, Mary called a friend. Mary didn’t grow up here in Savannah, we knew she once was a model and a dancer, she had the grace of a time forgotten. She was kind and had a very eclectic way about her, Boho would be the easiest way to describe it. She drove a tan Jeep Wrangler and smoked like a chimney (my God did she smoke). She would do anything for anyone and she was gracious. I remember her stack of thank you cards she would write weekly. I remember asking her what they were and she said love notes to those who matter (concierge speak for restaurants). When my daughter was born she called me weekly to check on her, she did the same for my son. She sadly had an accident several years ago and everything fell apart. I tried several times to go see her, she did not want visitors on the days I tried. I of course did not want to force her, especially because I was a reminder of her previous life before the accident, I was doing what she loved to do.
When I first embarked on my concierge journey, I was cocky – oh I got this, I can do this with my eyes closed. It is amazing how the universe brings you back to reality (real quick). The very first guest I assisted on my very first concierge shift ever asked, “where can I go fly fishing?” At that moment I finally realized how amazing Mary was at her job. Where I fumbled, she would not have, she would have rattled off five places to go fly fishing, prices and times. She made me the concierge I am today, I try everyday to be as good as Mary was.
Today we said goodbye to a wonderful person, who taught me the art of hotel concierge from afar. I never worked under or with Mary, I only watched the magic happen and it did happen over and over again. I am extremely lucky to have crossed paths with Mary Hurn, God Speed my friend, I think of you often.