Our Relay Refresh RoadTrip headed south to the Atlanta, Georgia area, just in time for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, to visit with Eclair Martinek, who planned on watching The Food Network instead of the big game. She has been a resident of Second Life for over 10 years having read about it in a magazine article that gave it a very positive spin. A long time AOL Chatroom enthusiast, she thought it sounded like a good place to explore.
She has a computer room with two Windows 10 gamer desktops and large screen monitors. Knowing we would ask, she admitted to just emptying her trash and still having 99,180 items in her inventory, most of which are sim design related. She uses a Samsung cell phone to stay connected with her daughter and her two grandchildren, ages four and two.
Eclair loves smooth jazz and instrumentals and named Paul Hardcastle and Chris Standring as her favorite musicians. She loves to cook “home comfort food” and watches The Food Network. She taught us that you can freeze a newly opened bag of potato chips or just baked brownies to keep them fresh to eat another day. She laughs a lot and said she “has the wrinkles to prove it”. She finds humor in everything, especially animals, and owns a dog, two rescue cats, and two parrots.
Her favorite times of the year are spring and fall because the mild temperatures of those seasons last longer in Georgia. She loves spring in RL and because of all the pretty colors, she enjoys fall in SL. When asked about her heroes, she without hesitation said “mom and dad” who were married 66 years. She said they were fantastic parents and dad always encouraged her to “go and do it” and mom was always there with a “pat on the back”. She lost them both six years ago, but still feels their presence in her life. She started Relaying when someone came to her sim, Pacifique, and asked her if she might be interested in building on the Relay track. She, of course, said yes and has been involved in Relay ever since as a designer.
Most recently she designed the four Christmas Expo sims that raised money for Relay over the holidays. She has designed sims for Fashion For Life, Christmas Expos and Relay weekends. She told us that “you can not grow unless you’re challenged” and she takes every new build as a personal challenge.
Her favorite parts of Relay weekend include coming in early as a designer to build and the fun atmosphere before the big weekend. She told us she loves when the sims finally open, the “chat” comes alive, and the “energy” is palpable. She told us she enjoys everyone being friendly, being together, and being centered around a common cause. Eclair told us she Relays for her dad, a Vietnam vet, who battled three forms of cancer, living to be 85 years old. She was caregiver for both him and her mom in their last five years.
Her favorite Relay story is from 2016, when she was asked to design the Relay Survivor Caregiver area and bring the vision she was given to life. She talked about listening, understanding the vision, and seeing the build take shape in her mind. She was proud to say that she “nailed it”. When the pictures and stories of the survivors and caregivers went up, it all became very real and personal to her. She vividly remembers the “lantern release” where lanterns are released in memory of those lost or still fighting the battle. She told us it was very moving, grabbed a piece of her heart and brought her to tears.
Eclair is a woman who literally uses the close to 100,000 items in her inventory for Relay related builds and also offers her full sim, Pacifique, to be used for Relay related events. She stands ready to use her skills as a designer and builder for any Relay project. She is passionate about her “small part” in Relay knowing that it takes a lot of small parts to make Relay For Life successful in Second Life.
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