By Ashley Lodato

When you’re as scrupulous an investigative reporter as I am and new information in a recent story is unearthed, divulging this information is ethically mandatory. Such is the case regarding my reporting on various Sunflower Run-related apparel snafus.

Last week I mentioned that by borrowing Brooke Lucy’s running shoes, Jill Sheley had been able to jump in mid-race to fill a last-minute gap on a relay team. Well, it turns out that she actually borrowed all of Brooke’s clothes (minus the undergarments)! Brooke finished her leg of the relay and learned that Jill would be subbing for a sick teammate. So Brooke stepped out of her clothes; Jill stepped into them.

We all have secrets from our earlier lives. Some we take to our graves, while others we release into the public sphere once we reach a certain age. I recently wrote about a woman who was a local backhoe-driving millworker. Doing my exhaustive research for that story, I learned that the woman was not just a log-hauling badass, but was also a former statewide Alaskan beauty pageant winner. When I heard this, I realized that I need to write a whole column about Methow Valley residents who have won obscure titles. At first, I was thinking the column theme would be “Former beauty queens of the Methow Valley,” but I’ve decided to broaden the scope to include other accolades.

I’ll share, for example, my own brief moment of glory many years ago as the National Female Poling Champion. In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that the field consisted of fewer than 10 women, as poling is a little-known (and even less practiced) whitewater canoeing sport. Also, the reigning champion and the only woman in the country who actually had poling mastered was in labor on the day of the championships and thus did not compete, leaving the door wide open for me to bask in the faint glow of the poling spotlight. Still, those of us who have not enjoyed a long history of holding athletic titles are happy to rest on our laurels when we get the chance, so I’ll claim my ancient award with pride.

Anyway, you get my point: sometimes the people you least expect have skeletons like the poling championship in their closets, and I’d like to reveal those surprises, for those who are willing. Has enough time passed that you are willing to share your own moment of glory? 

The first on-the-ground project of the new Fire Adapted Winthrop will be held Sunday (May 20), and your help is needed. Willing volunteers should show up for any stint between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. for a cleanup work party (pulling dead limbs and small trees out of thickets and into chippers). The location is the junction of Riverside Avenue and the Methow River bridge (near 3 Bears Café & Quilts). Free bottled water and snacks will be provided. Call Nancy Farr at 996-2017 for more information.


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