i’m the new first lady!

last night, joe was installed as president of our kiwanis club. that makes me the first lady. 🙂

the meeting was great. my parents and joe’s dad came, and i was given an award for my work on the recent kiddie day parade.

me receiving award

i was so proud of my husband. he will make a fantastic president. he already has a lot of really great ideas for ways to increase our membership and get us more visible in the community. luckily, those ideas are things that our older members can do.

joe being installed

joe was *really* excited to receive the gavel!

joe with gavel

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dumb people

i have seriously had it with ignorant people. i have been receiving calls saying that the parade route published in the newspaper was incorrect. i checked the story, though, and it was correct. today, someone who called told me the bartow trader (a free publication) had the route wrong. i called the editor and left a message just letting him know it was incorrect and giving him the correct route for future years. he just called me back, and this is how that conversation went:

me: hi. thanks for calling me back. i just wanted to let you know that you had the wrong route and just wanted to give you the correct one for future reference.

him: i got my information from the cvb’s (convention and visitor’s bureau) web site.

me: ok. they must have it wrong too. i just wanted to let you know because we’re getting calls from people who are confused by two different routes.

him: i got my information from the cvb’s web site.

me: i understand that. they’re wrong too, then.

him: when they’re right, i’m right.

me: well, when they’re wrong, you’re wrong. i just wanted to let you know for future years so we can get the correct information out to people.

him: well i get my information fed to me from *kiwanis member name*.

me: well, she’s not with our club right now, and she hasn’t been in charge of the parade for several years.

him: well, i get things fed to me from *name*.

me: again, she’s not with our club right now. i’m in charge of the parade, and if you want to contact me next year i’d be happy to tell you about the parade.

him: fine. *hangs up*

wow. i have never experienced someone like that before. most people care about making sure the information they publish is correct. whatever. and how nice was i considering i was getting *very* annoyed?? 🙂

promote, promote, promote

i’m in the paper again! i have been trying to promote the hell out of this parade i’m planning. we’ve been in both local newspapers, i have psa’s running on the station, and we’re on bartow headlines. that’s in addition to the flyers we took to every single school and day care in bartow county.

i thought i had everything ready and was good to go. the t-shirts are being printed, we’re picking up snacks tomorrow at wal-mart and the inflatables are reserved. BUT…i just got a call from someone with the downtown development authority telling me i was supposed to tell them about our activities so they can shut down the city hall parking lot, order barricades and trash cans and make sure there is enough electricity for the inflatables.

i will be so glad when we’re on our way to the cabin saturday afternoon and i can relax.

the other side of journalism

for the first time in my life, i’m on the other side of journalism. i’ve been interviewed twice for the kiddie day parade i’m organizing, and each interview made me laugh. i wonder if the two reporters had any idea they were interviewing a journalist.

interview no. 1 was for the bartow neighbor. you can see the story here. the reporter broke one of the cardinal rules of journalism: always ask the person how to spell his or her name. even if the name is john smith, it could be spelled jon smyth. many of you know i have a very different name. most people spell my name katie. she also used courtesy titles but didn’t ask me which one i preferred. that mistake is probably the one i got caught doing the most at the chattanooga paper. i know it’s easy to forget, but it’s something i pick out. she also didn’t use any direct quotes, even though i gave her plenty. direct quotes really add to a story. and, she attributed inane things to me, such as the time the parade starts. every reporter knows, or should know, that you only attribute things that are not facts.

let’s move on to interview no. 2. i just got off the phone with the features editor for the main newspaper here in town. this interview was much worse than the first. her first question was, “how many years has kiwanis been hosting this event?” that would be a great question if i hadn’t already sent her the flyer (which she referenced) that said “the 52nd annual kiddie day parade. she asked me about some of the other projects we do, and i mentioned the scholarships we give out every year and the pizza party we do every month at the children’s shelter. her response: “so that pizza party, is it once a month or once a year?” seriously? wow. then, she too didn’t ask me how to spell my name. it better be correct. she was on the phone with me for about two minutes, so i’m expected a very short story.

the level of journalism in this town is astounding.

saying goodbye

the funeral sucked. i’m wiped out.

by sucked i mean sad. the service was very nice. the kiwanians, all donning our blue and yellow vests, were marched in and seated after the others attending had sat down. we had two rows reserved for us in the front. everything that was said about don showed what a caring person he was and what a deep faith he had in god. the thing that really stuck with me was when the pastor said that he went back to the hosptial after don had gotten out of surgery, thinking the doctor would have told him there was nothing that could be done and he would be discouraged. he walked into don’s room and saw don laughing and joking with others who were there. he had been told his prognosis, yet his faith was so deep he wasn’t worried or scared. that’s the kind of faith i want to have.

it was sad, and by the end of the service i couldn’t keep my tears in. i think the worst part for me was seeing his wife crying and no one in her family really consoling her aside from a pat on the back here and there. i wanted to go over and give her a big hug. it touched me to see her walk up to his casket, place her hand on his arm and kiss him on the cheek. i gripped joe’s hand tighter as i watched her say goodbye to her husband and soulmate.

it’s hard knowing don won’t be around. i’ve gotten so used to seeing him at kiwanis meetings, helping with the concession stand at the park and at airport authority meetings. but i know i’ll see him again, and when i do i know he’ll be smiling and laughing.

goodbye, don

one of the members of our kiwanis club died this morning. i’m still in shock because even though we knew he didn’t have long left, we thought it would be more than two days. don had surgery monday for cancer, which they discovered had spread to his organs and his arteries. the problem was, he had been told before that his cancer wasn’t going to be a big problem for him. yesterday, he was up walking around his hospital room. this morning at 6 he passed away.

i knew don in two ways — from kiwanis and from covering the city’s airport authority board, which he chaired. i thought i’d be seeing him at the next meeting. it just sucks because don was a really great guy, and i’ll really miss him.

kiwanis club 2 crop
don is on the far right in the front row.