Two originals: One fateful day took Jean Hadley, Sam Linn

August 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

Dixon CMYK 2016It is more enjoyable to write about people in a positive way, laughing with them at the funny things they do, touching family events, and the moments in their lives that pull at the heartstrings of others.

But when we lose them, it hurts at first, until we have the time to reflect on their lives, learn about them through family members and friends who knew them best, and hear intimate stories that touch us.

Aug. 1 was a tough day. Sam Linn and Jean Hadley, both 71, passed away within hours of each other, on an otherwise ordinary day, just living their lives. Sam was at the Wednesday Community Dinner regaling his regular dining companions with his wit, humor, charm, and ability to spin tales in a goofy Norman-Rockwell sort of way. Jean was at the beauty parlor.

Jean was a very sweet woman who gave her time, love, and commitment to her family, her town, Silver Crest School, civic clubs, and her life partner and husband of 45 years, Dennis. A friend said she was the type of person who lived the mantra, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, say nothing at all.” She sang in the Silvertones. She was a sorority “sister” for decades. Each time I visited with them at their “usual” table at 3 Ten Water restaurant, she was demure while Dennis would talk about things of many natures – politics, sports, farming, family, and what the kids were up to. When she spoke, it was brief, deep, and a perfect complement to the conversation. To the Hadley family, best wishes – keep the sweet memories of this lovely mother, wife, grandmother, friend, and community servant with you always.

Sam. What can you say about Sam? I first met him perhaps 50 years ago. He was an absolute character. In the dictionary, if you look up the words, “outgoing”, “charming”, and “witty”, it should also say, “See Sam Linn.”  He was a fixture at the Live Local Marketplace and Café, where he and his compadres solved the world’s most complexing issues drinking coffee and fancying themselves as the “Book Club.” He loved his bright green Porsche 914, soccer, and had a breadth and depth to him that was not always obvious except to those who knew him best. It was very fitting that Stu Rasmussen honored him on the Palace marquee. “Farewell, Sam”. One of kind.

And a segue, perhaps, from my comments regarding people and their lives. I am beginning to hate Facebook, with serious consideration given to jettisoning it for awhile or eternity. I could go either way. There are so many bizarre, cruel, thoughtless, and mindless things posted it is becoming painful. Heaven forbid that you post a comment that puts either political party in a less-than favorable light. The jackals come out with teeth bared. Bad experience at a restaurant? Just torch them on Facebook. This just in! “My fork remained upright in the sticky rice. Terrible.”  My fork remained upright in my carrots at the same restaurant. Isn’t sticky rice, by its nature, likely to hold a utensil?

It does have benefits – connecting with friends, especially old friends who you WANT to talk with, seeing cute baby pictures (Manna from Heaven for me), and adding your name to the dinner chain when someone you know and love passes on or a prayer chain when a child becomes seriously ill. Setting up events. Selling something.

But it has so many pitfalls. People hide behind the “mask” they think it provides. Families void of dinnertime conversation because everyone is texting. “Fake news” becomes a “fact” for the lazy and gullible. Let’s see how many “likes” I can garner by posting my political leanings on a page of like-minded people. It is getting weary.

It’s been said that you should not write (or post) anything your grandma would not like. I am so glad my grandma isn’t around to see this diatribe and the lack of modesty, discretion, and graciousness. 

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