I first met her in 1978. I was 22 and at that time she was around 30. She is a true Texan, warm hearted, strong willed and full of fun. She is also highly intelligent and is one of my true heroines as well as being my best friend.
We met when we were both working in the oil industry. She was an engineer and I was a librarian. She was one of the first women to make a real break through in a very male dominated industry and I admired her strength and tenacity, a true feminist and an example of how to apply strength and determination without losing one drop of her femininity and sense of humour.
We were close friends in those early days and eventually she returned to her native Texas. Inevitably we didn't see so much of each other, the Atlantic Ocean being a huge barrier between us.
I had the chance to visit her two years ago in 2007, having not seen her for 20 years. We spent a week touring around the area of Texas where she lives and re-visiting places we'd been together years ago on my previous visits. When I visited her home, she still had many of the little gifts I had given her displayed proudly on her shelves, and we were able to share so many great memories and fun stories together.
It was as if there had never been a gap, we were just as close as ever. When my holiday was over we both wept at the airport and I wish she were nearer so that we could spend time together more often.
I know she is there for me though and if I pick up the phone to her she is just the same, constant and true.
I love her dearly and this is my little anonymous tribute to her and what is wonderful is that I know she would write something along similar lines about me too as I know our admiration is mutual.