Gatewood Galbraith, a recent (and often) candidate for Governor of Kentucky passed away sometime during the night. I saw the news posted from his running mate Dea Riley this morning on Facebook and the news hit me like a brick.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Galbraith - known simply at Gatewood to many - at a picnic out at the Glass Garden in Ravenna several years ago. What an interesting gentleman he was. I was very skeptical about going to the function, but a friend was catering the event and we wanted to show our support to her. I had seen the stories about Gatewood since arriving in this state. And saw the pictures of him fighting his causes by disrupting events at times. So, as I said, I was skeptical.
When I worked at my very first newspaper in Idaho, a weekly called The Clearwater Tribune, one of my co-workers was a great influence on me, both personally and professionally. I have often reflected how Cheeta Brown shaped my early newspaper career. She was just so knowledgeable - about everything. She took me to the woods and showed me vegetation that I could eat to survive, she showed me how to paste up a newspaper, she taught me to cook and showed me a thing or two about sewing. She was a poet too! I've still got a poem she wrote for me back in 1984 that was about a true-a-thing written about me as anything ever has been. (Goodness knows that sentence doesn't make perfect sense ... oh well!)
Anyway, one of the things I remember Cheeta telling me? Never indulge in politics publicly. Not if I intended to remain in the publishing business. Never put a bumper sticker on my car, nor a yard sign in my yard. Quickest way to ruin your career, she told me. Now, I'm not entirely sure that it's true in today's world, but I have held that close in my mind my entire career. So, publicly going to a political event was scary ground for me.
But, like I said, I was going to encourage Kim and show my support. Who knew that I would be so intrigued with the speaker that day - Mr. Gatewood Galbreath. A very fascinating man. He had some good ideas too. Yes, he had a few quirky ideas too, but don't all politicians? Do we really support every platform that a person runs on? Well, I don't at least. But I won't talk politics with you. Not ever.
Back to Kentucky's loss. It is a loss, in my opinion at least. He surely cared about this state. Who can't say that? He ran for governor FIVE times. He stuck around. Between campaigns, he still voiced his opinion. He still tried his best in everything he did to improve the state that he loved so much. He was truly a "Kentuckian" through and through. He held to his convictions, with a true passion. It dawned on me today that had he won the last election, he wouldn't even have served a day. It's a sad day for many Kentuckians, myself included.
Until next time......