My Inspirational Friends Part One

I want to take the opportunity to publicly recognize a few people who continue to inspire me to be a better person. I’m sure you have family members or friends who you admire, and I hope you’ll let them know.

First up, West Liberty Police Chief Kary Kinmonth. I hope that sometime soon you’ll have the pleasure of meeting Chief Kinmonth (so long as it wasn’t from speeding into town). The West Liberty Police Department does an incredible job with community outreach, fundraising and it’s all thanks to their fearless leader. Chief Kinmonth and his crew have created a series of police patches that have supported Special Olympics, Autism Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, and more. Their department also held self -defense classes for women and are active on social media.I admire Chief’s commitment to protecting the community of West Liberty, while also making the world a better place. My father was a Chicago police officer for over thirty years, and I have the utmost respect for all the men and women who made the choice to serve and protect.

“Taco” Tom Hendricks will be annoyed with me for acknowledging how much he’s meant to me. When I started on the radio in 2013, nobody had my back more here in Muscatine than Tom. The man continues to be actively involved in the community, and the work he and everyone with Muscatine Charities does is worth commending. “Taco” was beloved by his employees, respected by his peers, and always a great role model. I can only hope to give as much of myself, time, and resources as he has and continues to do. Maybe just don’t tell him that I wrote this, so he doesn’t yell at me (I still want to drive his golf cart one of these days).

Last, but not least, is my late Grandma Catherine, “Babe” as she was known. Simply put, Grandma Babe was an angel. Her parents died tragically when she was a newborn, causing her older sister, Billie and her to move in with their aunt and uncle. Grandma had eight kids, including not one but two sets of twins! I was her first grandchild, and our relationship/bond is something that I think about often.

This October will mark seven years since she’s been gone. She was the kindest, most welcoming person that I have ever known. Grandma spoiled her grandchildren as much as she could, but all we really wanted was her attention and love. I’m thankful for the twenty-eight years I had with her, and honored her legacy by giving my baby daughter, Lucy, her middle name, Catherine. I think it’s important for us to never forget those we’ve loved and lost. It’s certainly easier now more than ever to get distracted or even discouraged, but think about those who have and continue to inspire you. Tell them how much they mean to you, and if you’re fortunate enough to have a Grandma Babe in your life, go see them.