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






Brigham Young Coach Sitake Honored During Chattanooga Visit

Kalani Sitake, the head football coach for Brigham Young University (BYU), visited the greater Chattanooga Area over the last several days. In honor of his visit, Mayor Andy Berke and the city of Chattanooga named April 25, 2017 as Kalani Sitake day.     Governor Bill Haslam named Coach Sitake an honorary Tennesseean, and the state of Tennessee’s House of Representatives ... (click for more)

River Gallery To Feature Erin Gafill, Dennis Heckler In May

River Gallery, 400 E. Second St. has announced their May exhibit will feature artists Erin Gafall and Dennis Heckler.  An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 5 from 6:30-8 p.m.  Both artists will be present at the reception.   "Erin Gafill's deeply rooted influence from her family inspires her work in Bug Sur, Ca. When Ms. Gafill is not spending her ... (click for more)

Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Predatory Law Firm Targeting Grieving Families

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III on Wednelsday announced the filing of a lawsuit against a Texas law firm, its sole attorney, and two investigators working for the firm, in connection with the tragic Woodmore Elementary bus crash. The civil enforcement action, filed in Hamilton County Chancery Court, alleges that the Witherspoon Law Group PLLC, based in Dallas, ... (click for more)

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Leads To 1 Of The Largest Meth Seizures In Hamilton County

Agents with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Special Operations Division, along with personnel from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Chattanooga Police Department and the DEA, arrested Mathew Turner, of Chattanooga, in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express in Tiftonia on Tuesday night.     A search of Turner’s vehicle revealed approximately ... (click for more)

Don't Clog Up The Last Remaining Semi-Unobstructed Route Into Town From North Of The River - And Response (2)

The proposal to turn Hixson Pike in Riverview into a more pedestrian friendly street is more than absurd.   Let's be honest. This is the last semi-unobstructed route into town from north of the river, due to I-27 construction and the bike lane/parking lot that is North Market Street.  So, now the businesses in Riverview would like parking on this main artery? ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A One-Sided Opportunity

State education commissioner Candace McQueen has apparently fallen and hit her head. She most certainly needs to be examined after she came to Chattanooga on Monday and told the Times-Free Press about an exciting “partnership.” Are you kidding me? Despite the newspaper’s editors actually touting the venture as “promising,” the lady is clearly dancing by herself. With her Achievement ... (click for more)