January 18, 2015 – Somewhere north of Haiti
Vicki Peters Remembered in a Beautiful Moment on the NTP 2015 Cruise.
I said good bye to my friend today, in a ceremony of rose petals and glitter—perfectly fitting for a woman who had her sparkly moments. Words were spoken by some, but not by all. We each grieved our loss in our own way. Natalie Peters, her sister, brought ashes so that “Vicki will always be sailing” in her beloved Caribbean.
Vicki and her business partner, Tonya Hibdon, have been sailing the seas of the world with groups of hard working beauty industry professionals for twenty-three years. There are a few of us who have sailed along on trips numbered in the double digits whom Vicki dubbed as her “Navigators” and asked to look out for the new ones. There are a few who have never cruised with this group, and there are others who have never cruised anywhere at all. All of us have been touched by, guided by and even scolded by one of the most remarkable women I’ve even known.
This trip is bittersweet. I am grateful for this memoriam and closure, yet I miss Vicki’s practical hand firmly guiding our group. It’s been wonderful to sit and reminisce with others and relish the stories:
Kenny Gerenraich (Dr. G, himself) who joined us many times, was so rabid one year in his pursuit of the South Beach Diet that he brought bottles of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter to spray on his food. He made the wait staff keep it in the galley fridge for him, to be brought out every meal. He also demonstrated to us what it takes to create a surgical set up and how to maintain a sterile field.
Tim Farquhar, “Mr. Peters” in a pink tutu with his irrepressible friend Keith Lannon-who, by the way, resorted to purchasing a hammock to hang on his balcony to deal with the sleep deprivation caused by the symphonic renderings of Tim’s nasal issues.
With those two, high-jinx abounded. Their friend, Paul Rutigliano, went on his very first cruise with our group, and bought a ceramic sink in Cozumel to take back to Key West. Getting that thing off the boat and back home was an adventure! That sink is now reportedly a very festive bird bath.
There was the “Tiara” cruise, where all of us wore our crowns about the ship, and Tonya told us that she overheard someone remark, “What’s with all the crowns?” to which came the reply, “They’re all past beauty queens.”
There was the cruise that Mindy and George Borrego were unable to join us, so a life-sized head shot photograph of Mindy was glued to a wooden paddle was diligently photographed in various venues all over the ship and the ports of call.
There have been many wonderful memories, and for me, personally, these cruises have always been more of a “recharge” than a “discharge.” Although there were plenty of fun things to do and see, there have also been amazing educators who freely shared their knowledge and wisdom, and the innovative classes and competitions over the years have greatly enhanced my career.
In fact, anyone who was ever in Vicki’s presence found their career enhanced. Quick thinking. Practical. Salt of the earth. Generous. Loves nail techs. Pulls no punches. Says it like it is. All terms used to describe one of the most beloved industry members. That’s how she rolled. And it’s how she sailed, too.