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May 1997

Kay Hockensmith's three R's: retirement, relaxation, and the Rockies

"I really don't know what I'm going to do yet. All I know is that I'm planning to take the summer off to do some work around the house." Sounds like a plan for somebody who's put in 18 years helping UCAR and NCAR keep their own house in order.

Kay Hockensmith
Before she retired on 2 May, Kay Hockensmith spent a good part of her UCAR tenure as a buyer in Purchasing, acquiring hardware and software for NCAR and UOP operations from a variety of vendors. She started out in Finance and Administration as an accounts payable supervisor and then went into a data-entry position in Purchasing. "After you do that for a while, you know all the basics. The buyer position came up in 1988 and I went for it."

Is it fun getting paid to shop? "It is. We [in Purchasing] have been at it long enough to know where the good deals are, but a lot of times the end user has done the research." For instance, one of her clients was the Research Aviation Facility, whose staff relied on Kay to help them locate aircraft parts. "They do a lot of the detective work [to find parts] out at Jeffco. As long as you've got the stock number, you can pretty much find what you need from Air Force bases."

Kay put in her share of mileage commuting to UCAR from a 5-1/2-acre spread south of Loveland, where she's lived since 1979. She looks forward to spending more time at home and with her son and two granddaughters, who live in Loveland. She's also got a daughter in St. Joseph, Missouri, to visit. Twice each year, Kay returns to her roots with a sojourn to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where she grew up. "All of my [extended] family's still there."

Baseball is the one certainty in Kay's upcoming summer: "I'm a big Rockies fan." She attends games with a neighbor who has one-quarter of a season ticket (about 20 games).

In between trips to Coors Field, she'll tend to her plants both indoors and outdoors, including a very special one: the gigantic philodendron that inhabited--nay, took over--her office in FL1. (See the feature "A (Work-) Space Odyssey" in the November 1995 issue of Staff Notes Monthly, available on the Web. Kay and a group of her colleagues carefully carted the fantastic fern out of her work space during her last week at UCAR. It's now happily ensconced in her living room. •BH

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu