People Out Loud: To honor and remember – Community supports local officers

July 2016 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

dixon2016By Dixon Bledsoe

It is painful to lose someone you love even when you expect it. Tougher still is to lose them when you don’t.

Silverton lost a sweet lady this month when Ardis (Ardie) Hatteberg passed away soon after a fall in her garden. She was 86. Ardie and her husband, Leonard, use to walk in our neighborhood. He preceded her in death after nearly 65 years of marriage. What I remember mostly about Ardie was her soft-spoken manner, her gorgeous garden, her love for her husband and sons, Rick and Ron. She was kind, said to be a cooking queen, and was genuinely pleasant to talk with. I don’t recall a selfish bone in her body. What I do recall is her love for our quirky little dog, Snickers. He always went to Ardie, and she always petted him and made him feel good about his eccentric little self. I was fortunate to see Ardie in the store just a few weeks before her passing. We talked about the old neighborhood, laughed about Snickers, and I asked her if she was still walking a lot, because for years, she and Leonard were religious about it. She said she tried. She still had a twinkle in her eyes and a smile on her face. Always a kind word and heart. That is what I will remember the most.

Larry Kassell left us too soon. The wonderful and quick-witted artist passed away June 11. It was his dry wit and wry smile while delivering it I will remember most. Larry was a gifted artist, photographer, typographer, writer, graphic design pro, and musician. I saw him early in the spring and we talked about art, the lovely home he shared with his wife Judy, his six kids and 16 grandchildren. Only two months later, I saw he and Judy at Gather, and he came over to chat. I knew something was wrong immediately and sensed that his time with us was short. The wry smile was there but so was a medical condition he discussed openly. Leukemia is not a kind disease, and with Larry, it left him short on time. I liked Larry, having met him first in the 1960s when my mother, Gloria Bledsoe Goodman, and he became friends. We were able to become reacquainted over the last three. It was a time to treasure. His art is expressive and creative. His kind and humorous wit was priceless.

It is a tough time for police departments, so nice to hear on the local level that Mount Angel and Silverton men and women in blue are feeling the community’s love and support. Mount Angel Officer Charlie Hall says in the wake of the Dallas shootings and even before that, he has had so many people come up to him, say thanks, and offer their support. A basket of goodies and a poster of support showed up at the department in the last few days, and it makes him feel good when the community he serves and protects has his back. “It makes me feel good when someone I don’t even know comes up to me, offers their hand, says thanks and shows their support.”

Silverton Police motorcycle officer Jason Bricker echoes Hall’s comments. “Since Dallas, and well before that, I have heard of businesses in town making officers welcome and have had numerous people come up to me to offer their support. A mother and her two small children saw me parked the other day and walked over to say thanks and to tell me she supported us in our job. That made me feel really good at a time we don’t always feel appreciated for doing a job that can be tough.” To the men and women in blue – Thank you. Thank you for being there and acting responsively when crises arise. As the old sergeant said on, Hill Street Blues, “Be careful out there.” We appreciate and support you, and we’ve got your back.

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