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






Partnership’s RSVP Program Seeks New Volunteers

Established in 1971 and now one of the largest senior volunteer organizations in the nation, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) engages more than 296,000 people age 55 and older in a diverse range of volunteer activities. Volunteers deliver meals, visit the homebound and dying, pack food boxes, drive clients to appointments, provide independent living services, recruit and ... (click for more)

Voting Begins Today For Overhead Sign Message Contest

Voting begins today to choose the winners from TDOT’s first ever Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Over the past two weeks, TDOT has received more than 3,400 entries for possible safety messages for the overhead signs located across Tennessee. The entries were narrowed down to 15 messages that cover safety issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding, ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Body Found On South Highland Park Avenue

The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating a body found at 2106 S.   Highland Park Ave.  The person’s identity and cause of death are unknown at this time. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call  423 698-2525. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available. (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College - And Response

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Value-Added Friendship

I need to take you through the back door on this one because it is a story that my friend Sandy Pohfal just sent me from Texas. Sandy happens to know Dr. John C. Dealey, a business-consultant wizard in Dallas whose advisory councils have made folks a lot of money. In turn, Dr. Dealey knows a guy he’ll only refer to as “Raymond.” Of all the guys I just mentioned, you need to focus ... (click for more)