The notice of the passing of two friends in the same issue of this newspaper can have an impact on one’s own life expectancy.
Loualta Vogel and Roger Stewart will both be missed. I met Loualta when she was the Centralia College librarian and I was a student when I could squeeze in some class time while working at KELA.
In recent years, we met weekly at her home to play word games such as her favorite “Upwords” and the “Sunday Jumble” I faithfully clipped from each Sunday issue of The Seattle Times.
A lunch together at her kitchen table always followed. I’m sure there are still many who remember when she and her husband Paul were the owners of the best known tavern in the area, The Olympic Club. After recovering from a serious fall, she spent her last days with her daughter’s family in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
The passing of Roger Stewart leaves another empty spot. We were less than a block apart as booksellers for a while and had, over the years, many conversations about books.
But I remember him most as a former owner of Gallant Lady, a boat that our church youth league occasionally hired for evening cruises in Commencement Bay.
It was the deck of that ship that I first had to courage to put my arm around a girl’s shoulder.
There was no noticeable reaction.
We will miss them both.