Life With Ferris: Cotty Kale Was Tiny, But She Made A Big Impression

Sunday, August 25, 2013 - by Ferris Robinson

Cotty Kale did not look like the kind of lady who could eat cheeseburgers and hot fudge sundaes. She was tiny, with delicate bones and enormous brown eyes that looked right through you.


She was my mother's friend, but somehow I never thought of her as a grown-up. I met her when I was 14, and was already bigger than she was. She talked to me like we were the same age, making funny little comments and listening to me like I was the most interesting person she'd ever met.


When my parents went out of town and Cotty popped in, I thought she was just coming to visit me. And even though I was surreptitiously packing up to go out of town with my boyfriend, I was thrilled to see her. She asked what we were doing and I told her the truth.


She didn't look shocked at the idea of two high school kids packing up contraband and heading for sure trouble. She just looked at me with her brown eyes that never, ever judged and then cocked her head to the side.


"I don't think that's such a good idea," she said simply. "It might be better if you didn't do that this weekend."


We didn't go.


In hindsight, I know my mother asked her to check in on me. Make sure I wasn't getting into trouble. But truly this didn't occur to me until I had my own teenagers and enlisted the help of my friends to keep them on the straight and narrow.


I think this says a lot about Cotty Kale. Not just that I didn't know she was ordered by my mother to drop by, but that I took her advice.


I was blessed by this little lady. I was fortunate enough to enjoy her company for many lunches with some of my mother's other friends who I consider to be my own friends. Cotty always had seconds, no matter what I was serving.


At one birthday lunch for my mother, my gift was a bird clock from Walgreens. Not my best present to her, but I was busy cooking. My siblings presented her with an art book by one of her college professors. My mother was so moved she began to weep at the table, awed by the thoughtfulness and importance of this gift.


Cotty Kale immediately picked up the pitiful bird clock and passed it around the table, noting that she'd always wanted to hear an owl hoot three times at 3:00.


I saved all of her letters. She wrote to me after every luncheon I hosted. She encouraged me when I needed hope and she made me feel special. Always.


Dear Ferris,

One star, the sun, makes the world go around. Tie people together, keeps love tight and people laughing. You are the sun and the moon and the stars, and you are one of God's most blessed. We'll never be able to thank you enough.

Cotty 

Cotty Kale was tiny, but she leaves a great big hole in this world.

ferris@waldenloghomes.com






Brainerd Mission Cemetery To Hold Flag Raising Ceremony June 8

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Regents' Council of Chattanooga (Chief John Ross, Judge David Campbell, Chickamauga, Nancy Ward, and Moccasin Bend Chapters) and The Tennessee Society of the Sons of the American Revolution John Sevier Chapter, will hold the annual flag raising ceremony at the Brainerd Mission Cemetery on Wednesday, June 8 at 2:30 ... (click for more)

BlueCross BlueShield Of Tennessee Health Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant To The Next Door Of Chattanooga

The Next Door of Chattanooga accepted a $50,000 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation in April. Funding from this grant will provide each woman served by the non-profit with ongoing, gender responsive treatment in an environment that is collaborative, nurturing, and empowering.  "The mission of The Next Door is to live out our faith by providing ... (click for more)

Woman, 26, Who Was Set To Testify In Murder Trial, Is Shot And Killed On Elder Street

A 26-year-old woman who was set to testify in an upcoming murder trial was shot multiple times and killed on Wednesday morning. Chattanooga Police responded to the 2100 block of Elder Street on a report of a dead person on the side of the road near Old Ringgold Road and Westside Drive. Police located Bianca Horton.  P olice established a crime scene.  Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Attorney For Bobby Stone Hits Berke, Fletcher For Commenting On Pending Case

The attorney for Bobby Stone on Wednesday said it was "fundamentally wrong" for Mayor Andy Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher to comment on the case in which Mr. Stone is charged with domestic assault against his wife, Berke advisor Lacie Stone. Attorney Lee Davis said the comments were unfair and "a disservice to the court." Mayor Berke denied any inappropriate contact ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The American Dream, 2016

On this, the week of commencement, junior high graduations, and achievement at every level is displayed, we stand with hope and wonder as the next wave of promising Americans gives our nation the reason we pray for our next tomorrow. On Monday, as Vice President Joe Biden addressed 950 cadets who would become 2nd Lieutenants by the end of the day at the United States Military ... (click for more)