Sunday, January 3, 2010

Scott's Memorial

Yesterday on January 2, 2010 in the most amazing outpouring of love seen in Madison Park since the passing of Judge John J. McGilvra over one hundred years ago, friends and relatives of Scott Earl McKee memorialized his passing. With people lined out the door of McGilvra's Restaurant and up East Madison Street over four hundred well-wishers told Scott stories and drank his beer.

As if respecting the occasion, the Winter Seattle weather turned unseasonably mild as Madison Park residents stood on the sidewalk renewing old acquaintances and introducing themselves to strangers. Under the sunny skies we all searched for the "Scott connection" and it was a joy when that connection happened with someone you had just met. Invariably the connection had to do with a lifetime neighborhood guy with a generous nature, who had the "know how" to fix things, possessed an easy smile and had the ability to explain things to people who didn't have a clue about driving a nail, opening a can of paint, turning a screw in the proper direction or turning off the electricity before sticking their finger into an electric socket.

Former school mate and UW football star Greg Alex, there with his wife and granddaughter, talked about Scott's old station wagon that carried his pals to school; Edwin Weihe attending with his wife Noreen, recounted Scott loaning him tools for 30+ years and Scott's wife of six years, Kay McKee, remembered Scott's joy of being a father to his new step-sons Parker, Colin and Andrew.

Scott's mother Lola McKee was surrounded by her daughters Jane and Jeri, their children Kelli, Daryl, Todd, Lisa and Bryan and cousins Kirk McKee, Betty, Jack, Paul and Sandi and her husband Bill. With all of these loved ones attending along with her Madison Park neighbors, Mrs. McKee seemed to thrive off the positive energy emanating from the crowd. She looked radiant as one old friend recounted seeing Scott walking down 41st Avenue East a few weeks earlier as the neighbor was on a run and Scott called out, "You're getting slower!" She laughed recognizing Scott's ironic wit.

Mingling in the jam-packed McGilvra's, hosted by owner Peter Johnson, were lifetime residents John Gallen co-owner of Best Buds with Brenda Lorentzen and her sons Rory, noted arborist & Ross seen on "Deadliest Catch" as a commercial fisherman; Jim Hagen and his family and father, Steve Day and his wife Kim(Hagen)Day, along with her sister Nan & husband Ken owners of Nanny's Daycare. Also attending was the Stephens' daughter Alexandra, former soccer star with the McGilvra Raptors coached by the legendary Will Lomen, the former champion runner and author of the best-selling novel DEVON LOCH who was seen holding court with wife and banker Gwynne Lomen and Sally and Burt Straight 30+ year residents of Madison Park who were known for their wild makeup, weird outfits and unconventional behavior in their rabid support of their daughter's soccer team.

Other lifetime residents represented were graphic designer Brad Ingham of Zeppelin Design known for inventing the award winning Kid Valley hamburger chain logo and Neil Murphy well-known entertainment entrepreneur hanging out with former Attic Manager Rob Gentry now a "community organizer" which gives him all the qualifications needed to run for President and Scott's pal for 30+ years Mike Lazzereti known Attic and Red Onion supporter. Laughing with Mrs.McKee was another lifetime resident, Madison Park raconteur & artist Dick Lehman and his wife Karen. Dick writes the Award winning column in the Madison Park Times that chronicles the history of Madison/Washington Park. Unable to attend but filing reports from a secret vacation site was noted Madison Park Blogger, Bryan Tagas, who moonlights as a banker and real estate dilettante.

Other lifetime residents seen were land barons Dick and Nancy Clark, their daughter Carrie and Nancy's sister Lexi Robbins along with a fine representation of the Robbins clan: sons Todd & Spafford, former valedictorian at McGilvra Elementary School, his sister Sarah, brother Howard and his son former Garfield football star Bo, all six foot eight of him. Real estate mogul Tom Maloney and wife Christine, the girls tennis coach at Holy Names were seen chatting with Tom's mother Jan owner of Park Travel for over 30 years.

Lifetime Madison Parkers architect Dan Clancy and his wife Adele schmoozed with their neighbors Dave Hutchens and his wife Jennifer the award winning designer who, along with Lola McKee, had a major hand in organizing the wildly successful Madison Park Book Fair this summer. Noted rock and roll stars Paul and Nancy Dobrin, career residents, modestly signed autographs amongst a hoard of rabid fans.

Keeping a low profile was petroleum recycler & former IBM executive Hoby Douglass who is in the Madison Park top five of people who solicited the most free advice from Scott McKee and is in the top 1% of people who still need to return borrowed tools.

Thirty+ year residents Dr. Steve Chentow and his lovely wife Laurel attended but had to leave early because Steve thought they had to pick the kids up from soccer practice. Attending solo was another former Garfield football star and McGilvra soccer standout William Schulze one of the heirs to the Schulty's sausage fortune.

Another former athletic star attending was McGilvra Bandit scoring machine Connor Casabeaux seen with his sister Andrea and his ravishing mother Erin Gailey a 20+ Madison Park resident and neighborhood insider. Her neighbor, 20+ year resident Linda Lesnick was there with her daughter Lauren.

Others honoring Scott were real estate grande dame Janet Rooks; 20+ year resident Kathryne "Kit" McGarry mother of crusading attorney Tim McGarry; Kay McKee's brother Bo Peck, wife Susan(Rolfe) and daughter Analise; Mark Lunsford and his wife Lynn who emmigrated to Madison Park over twenty years ago from the far away kingdom of Anacortes and Marcy Rawn who grew up on 39th Ave. E. and used to help Spafford Robbins with his ABC's.

To the unnamed hundreds who attended Scott's Memorial you are honored by your commitment to the first family of Madison Park, the McKees. It was a great day made even greater by the hope that Scott knew we all loved him and will never forget him. Meanwhile life goes on and as always Madison Park Hardware will open at 8 o'clock sharp Monday January 11th. Scott won't be there but the memories of him will never leave.

If you would like to read Bryan Tagas' Memorial of Scott on his blog click here.

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