Deep into those “lives of quiet desperation” the great man wrote about around here, the trials and tribulations of others sort of our stock-in-trade – in a hopefully respectful way, of course.
We’ve always had an interest in people, something genetic we would guess. Our mum was a notorious conversationalist who could go on for hours over just about anything with just about anyone. Pops, who had a thing for speechifying himself, used to call us over to the kitchen window as Mom waited with the patience of a spider for unsuspecting passersby to walk past so she could pull them into conversation.
As a kid, we were almost embarrassed by the stink-eye some folks gave her as she distracted them from a walk or chore, gradually winning them over before the sound of laughter and deep conversation clear and true could be heard even from inside the house.
“That woman,” Dad used to say, shaking his head. “Could talk the ears off a statue.”
But pretty soon what began with mom innocently raking her yard or deadheading her Verbena ended up becoming a curbside party after she sprang her trap, strangers introducing themselves to one another, family pets straining at their leashes, other family members arriving to locate the lost ones mum had hijacked and we were summoned to fetch water or ice tea for them all.
Many months after she left us we could look out the kitchen window and see a familiar face lingering outside, waiting to be Shanghaied by “She Who Would Not Let You Leave.”
More than one would see us and wave before walking on, missing the woman who wanted to know about how their kids were doing in school or if they’d hit a home run or not. A couple left flowers from their own gardens on the low stone walls they would sit on to talk.
So that’s probably where the whole conversation thing started with us here at News24/680, our crew instructed that it was cool to take a more than passing interest with folks who wrote via our Tip Line or Flash Alert system. We’ve come to know quite a few of you over the years, one of whom was a “corker” of a woman whose personality came through even on her text messages.
Her name was Molly and her son can further identify her if he wishes. But we had reason to converse with him through the Flash yesterday and as soon as we learned they were related we asked about her and learned, to our chagrin, that we’d lost her last year.
“She loved news 24 680,” her son wrote. “I never got around to cancelling her account.”
We know how that works. You just don’t want to let them go.
So, in recognition of a woman with personality who we came to “know” through her writing and communications with us, this one’s for Molly.