By Sarah Schrock
A rare and unusual thing happened last Friday night in town. I thought something might be afoot when Thursday night we saw Terry Hunt and Laura Love out to dinner at La Fonda Lopez. As Friday rolled around, rumors were circulating.
Word on the street was that an impromptu jazz performance was happening at Mick & Miki’s Red Cedar Bar and it was not to be missed. Family Dog was to host a trio of jazz horn players from New York City. Texts, phone calls and social media chats went out, and people started mobilizing. Be there or be square!
With an out-of-town guest coming to visit us all the way from Madagascar, scheduled to arrive at the Wenatchee at 7 p.m., and two kids at home, I didn’t quite have the luxury of not being square. But one one-quarter of my household made it, and the report was that the convergence was fabulous. With lead saxophone, trumpet and clarinet players from NYC, Family Dog stepped up their game and rose to the musical entourage’s mastery. Wayne Mendro is reported to have played his best yet. Mick & Miki’s was packed wall-to-wall, and the dance floor saw more feet than it probably does all year long.
Earlier in the day another important gathering took place at the Methow Valley Senior Center lunch. Attended by friends and family for a casual celebration, Mary Bean celebrated her 102nd birthday! I have spoken of Mary many times in my column. As my next-door neighbor, Mary Bean has been an inspiration on how to age.
I had a visit with Mary following the election. I wanted her wisdom and insight into the mayhem.
I figured since she has lived through 16 presidents, the Second World War, the rise and fall of colonialism, fascism, communism and too many isms to count, she could give me some perspective.
Mary was disheartened by both presidential candidates. She said she’s never seen a lineup of candidates as unworthy as the two in the then-current election. Most importantly, however, she feels that money has corrupted in the election system. In her reflections, money never played as large role in presidential races as it does now. Mary contends that, in the past, people were voted in based on their accomplishments and merits; it didn’t matter who had the most money. Today’s system is disgrace in the eyes of a wise and graceful woman.
When we first moved into our house eight years ago, Mary was 94. She chopped her own wood, mowed her own lawn, drove a car, tended her garden, shoveled her drive and cooked for herself. Immediately, we were struck with her fortitude.
Over the years, Mary has permitted herself to back off a little. She gave up driving two years ago, much to her disgust — she’d love to still be behind the wheel — she’s let people do some of the heavier work around the house. At 102 she has an active social life, an active spiritual life, and an active physical life attending exercise classes and volunteering. Happy birthday Mary — we feel blessed to have here for another trip around the sun.