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In mid-1988, as the time for me to assume the presidency of AALL at the end of the Atlanta meeting approached, the association's first executive director, William Jepson, announced that he would resign soon after the meeting. The presence of adequate staffing at headquarters had been a key element in my decision to run for president, so I was particularly appalled at the idea of the position being empty almost exactly as I took office. Then someone-I like to think it was Babe Russo but I can't remember definitely-suggested that Bill Murphy might be willing to serve as acting executive director while we conducted a search for a new person. I will never forget being overwhelmed by two simultaneous feelings. First, only at that moment did I fully realize how awful my life would be without an acting director. Thoughts remarkably like those described as near-death experiences flew through my head. But second, I felt an immense relief at being rescuedsimilar to the relief I feel when my migraine medication kicks in! I suspended both sets of emotions while I talked to Bill, and when he said yes, I focused only on the second; positive feelings of relief.