My grandfather, the OldOld Man, was made from special stock. World War II vet. All-American Quarterback. Father of three. And he was pure John Wayne, down to his diction. So much so, in fact, that his fellow church usher, Walt Stram, would always tell us about the time a member of the congregation was being less than honorable to their wife. Walt said the flock didn't tell the pastor, but instead told the OldOld Man. That next Sunday, the OldOld Man walked up to the man in his pew, bent down, handed him a program, and discretely said, "I think it's best 'you leave town." Nobody heard from the man again. Cowboy.
Last Spring, we told the OldOld Man that Katie would be driving back to Chicago with her mother. For the next 10 Sunday calls, the OldOld Man repeatedly asked when Katie was coming. This summer, on the 11th Sunday, Katie was able to have lunch with the OldOld Man. Two days later, as her and her mother were on I-80 West passing back through Des Moines, I had to call and tell Katie the OldOld Man gave up the ghost. 95 years old, and that old war hero was holding on to see her one last time before he left the battlefield.
Katie begets such endearment. She's the spark of madness felt in a wink, a glimpse of hope in the warming sun, and that touch of relief felt in the first drops of rain during a drought. She's mercurial yet merciful, beautiful because she's powerful, powerful because she's intelligent, intelligent because she's thoughtful, and thoughtful because she's kind.
But before anything else, she's an artist, giving her the ability to create from whatever's around, be it in business, painting, quilting, or Mother Nature.
Yeah. Katie's that once-in-a-lifetime girl, made from her own special blend of magic, of morning dew & marionberries. Speaking from experience, Katie can make even the most ardent of Chicagoan give up their future summers in Wrigleyville and move across the country during a Polar Vortex, and then move again from Bay Area as they're getting used to it, all just to see what she might do next. Her whole life prepared her to live here between these mountains & that sea.
Fellow Garibaldians should commission Katie to work on city council, unleashing her marketing prowess and passion for her maternal homeland. While some folks see modern ruins in the Garibaldi downtown, she sees its gritted-teeth spirit, and a chance to restore the luster of its original pioneering panache. She'll shine an incandescent light upon the north shore of Tillamook Bay, which will allow the rest of us to get back to focusing on the many incredible wonders that first attracted everyone to the Oregon Coast.