A flurry of fame but, alas, no fortune!

Almost to Ourselves

Last Wednesday when New York Magazine article about ICE and the Peninsula was published online — and even afterwards for a day or two — I got a bit of (probably undeserved) attention.  Emails and phone calls from friends and strangers came one after another.  Pretty heady stuff for this old lady.  But the headiest (if that’s a word) was when I got a call on Friday from our Lt. Gov.’s assistant that he would be in town and would like to meet with me.  Really?

But, in actuality, that wasn’t totally strange.  Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib and I had met before.  He had come to our house four or five years ago with a mutual friend.  I remember that visit vividly and, as it turned out, so did he.  “When I read the New York Times article and saw your name, I remembered our visit at your place in Oysterville. I thought maybe there was a chance we could renew the acquaintance,” he said.

Sunrise in Oysterville – One of the “Thin Places” ?

We met in the early evening at the Pickled Fish — the Lt. Gov. and two aides and me.  We had the place very nearly to ourselves and so we spent a pleasant hour reminiscing, among other things, about our earlier conversation about the “thin places.”  Oysterville is said, by some, to be one of those unusual spots in the world where the veil between  this world and the eternal world is thin… where one can walk in in two worlds at once.   The Lt. Gov. remembered that conversation; so did I.

Of course, we talked about other things, too.  His recent climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro with his assistant, Kristina.  Neither had even had backpacking experience before — never mind that Cyrus has been fully blind from early childhood — due to cancer, as I recall.  I remember asking him when we first met if he could remember colors and shapes — if he was old enough to have retained those concepts before he lost his sight.  And now?  Backpacking to the top of a 19,341-foot mountain?  In Africa?  Wow!

Kristina Brown and Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib on Mt. Kilimanjaro

The climb was  in support of a new statewide program called Boundless Washington that “integrates fun and challenging outdoor activities with leadership development training for young people with disabilities in our state,” according to one website. The program, set to launch in the winter of 2020, was established by the Association of Washington Generals  through a partnership with the Office of the Lt. Governor, Outdoors For All, and No Barriers.  Wow some more!

And, of course we talked about our Hispanic community here at the beach — how so many are still being targeted and, in fact. how the wait for  hearings has become longer and chances of being allowed to stay even less certain.  “How can we help?” he asked.  Oh, how I wish I had a ready answer.  Push for more federal judges?  Say no more private for-profit prisons?  Help us get to the bottom of why Pacific County has been such a target?

A Goodbye Portrait — The Lt. Gov. and Woman in Yellow Rain Hat

We talked until it was time for him to go to the reception he was hosting for “his” senators. (“I am in charge of the senate,” he reminded me with an impish smile.  Somehow, I was reminded that he is young enough to be my grandson… if I had one. )  He had called for a retreat here on the Peninsula to examine Rural Tourism.  The perfect place for such a discussion, I thought.  Almost as good as Oysterville where our visitors’ logs document an average of 10,000 tourists a year.  That’s a pretty good draw for a village of 15 full-time residents, eh?

It was a fun visit — a great conclusion to my two-day flurry of fame.  Too bad there was no “fortune” part along with it.  Or maybe it’s on the way…

 

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