I remember the first time Jackie Fleming walked into our newspaper office in 1979. We had a weekly paper, the Bethel Island Beacon
. I could not believe how beautiful she was. She announced, “I’m Pat's mother" and handed us an ad for Pat’s marine equipment business. I was stunned. She did not look old enough to be his mother. I don't remember what she was wearing, maybe a red top with white shorts. Quite a first impression. Then, I asked her if she could write an article about the new boat toilet regulations and the new Coast Guard rules. I’ll never know why I asked her that question. But she wrote the article and it was interesting. It was a life changing encounter.
We have been friends ever since that day. She soon became a reporter for the Beacon
doing lots of feature stories and a weekly column. Most people grabbed the paper when it came out on Friday and turned right to Jackie’s column. She was more popular than the obituaries and that’s saying a lot for a small town paper. She knew everything about the island and wasn’t afraid to tell the stories.
Here she is on the bridge of a freighter on one of her many trips around the world.
Jackie moved away earlier this year and the place just isn’t the same without her. Thank goodness for e-mail.
Labels: family, island life, paper pieced people, quilting