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May 2008

What she didn't know

My friend Sharon died before I could tell her that I loved her.

I hope she knew it anyway. What she didn't know is that her words of advice carried me through some of my darkest hours living at the Coast.

My friend Sharon, a fellow Pisces, left me speechless more than once. She had a way of saying things that made you cock your head to think. Subtle and sharp, at once. I remember walking into her house one afternoon to find her ripping pages out of her journal and throwing them into the fire.

What the hell are you doing?

Burning my morning pages.

Seriously?

Sure. Who's going to want to read this after I'm gone.

Wow. We are so different.

She was a Wisconsin-born European. She didn't seem to care what everyone else thought. And she didn't give a shit about the local leash law. She had a way of enjoying ordinary moments and creating extraordinary ones. She didn't hesitate to call you out on the lies you tell yourself. In fact, around Sharon it was hard to be anything but yourself - and not just the best parts. She told the truth about things and used her hands when she talked. She was a healer and yet suffered herself. She was as strong as she was fragile.

We got word she was sick. I took Sam to visit, sure we'd be back again soon. Maybe we could come over and read to her, I thought to myself as we left that last afternoon. Sam, as I may have shared, seems to have been here before. He seemed to know something I didn't that afternoon. He was so wiggly all day but when Sharon wanted to hold him he simply sat still on her lap and looked out the window with her. She told me he was beautiful and to enjoy him. Not to worry about the details. Not to rush. And I trust those words will carry me through darker hours to come.

We were going to visit again soon. I planned to bring chocolate. Instead, I made brownies to serve on a fish platter in honor of her, my fellow Pisces.


What a great little town doesn't need

If you've talked to me for more than ten minutes, you probably know where I stand on the issue of strip clubs, porn shops and the like. Imagine my surprise while reading Saturday's News-Register that a bar on my street will be adding "adult entertainment" to the menu. Awesome.

Let me paint a little picture for you. I walk around this town pushing Sam's stroller feeling safe and grateful to live here every single day. A typical day's walk usually includes a stop at the post office, the coffee stand (even if it's just to say hi), a trip through the local grocery store to recycle cans/bottles and strolling around this "great little town" (that really is the town motto).

So I have to wonder what kind of person walks around this "Great Little Town" with its safe neighborhoods, children riding BMX's and playing at the park, its outdoor pool and friendly people and says to themselves, "Man, all this little town needs now is a strip club." No one. That's who.

What I got from the city council meeting last night was that while the council can't do much to stop it from coming, the citizens can apply enough (legal) pressure to encourage the owner this isn't the place for his, uh, enterprise.

So Sam might be joining his first picket line via Baby Bjorn if this thing takes. Meanwhile, I'll be asking anyone that'll listen to write a letter in protest and for God's sake don't let me see your rig parked near his joint.

Dear Mr. I-want-to-ruin-a-great-little-town and contribute-to-the-subjugation-of-women:

Let me introduce myself - I'm the one who walked by as you sat in the doorway of your tinted-window establishment this afternoon; I was the one pushing a stroller and hissing at you.

Are you out of your damn mind? You're going to put a strip club in a shared parking lot with the local grocery store. So when I send my kid to the store on his BMX for some milk, he's going to peddle his happy little self by your joint? Because, see, before this little brain child of yours, this was exactly the kind of town where I'd feel comfortable sending my kid down the street.

What possessed you to decide "hey, what this friendly, safe, clean and mellow town needs is some pole dancers in pasties?" What made you think that was going to be okay with us, the locals? What made you think property owners here wanted to invite perverts and people who disrespect themselves and their own families from near and far to get off and get drunk and drive around our town?

So help me God there isn't a person I'm not going to talk to about this and encourage to write a letter during this comment period. And if, as I suspect it will, be passed, I will be the one picketing with my baby tucked into his Bjorn.

With disgust and dismay,

Nathalie Hardy