Secretary of TWNA
The Third Annual Rudy ‘Rebel’ Baker Award for outstanding volunteer community service in the Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood was presented to Mike Grayson in honor of his late wife, Margie Grayson.
Margie and Mike Grayson moved into Tillicum about 10 years ago. Their youngest son, Mikey, enrolled in Tillicum Elementary School. Margie volunteered at the school, helped with classroom projects, and chaperoned on field trips. She got to know most of the Administration there and continued to help out after Mikey went on to Woodbrook Middle School.
They bought a house in Woodbrook (American Gardens) and Margie met the school bus everyday to walk the neighborhood kids home. She knew the neighborhood was rough and kept an eye on the homes in the neighborhood.
She called the police whenever she saw signs of illicit activity. She continued to watch and take notes while the police followed up on their investigations. Finally, she called during a wild party that involved a car being burned in the driveway of a nearby rental house. The police, sheriff, and DEA all showed up and arrested about 10 people. Some for theft and 3 for making and selling meth from their mobile meth lab – the car in the driveway. The house was cleaned up, but she still kept an eye out for drug use in the neighborhood. She always worried about kids. If a kid ran away from home, they would often end up at her house. She would talk to their parents and work with them until they returned home or moved out on their own.
She was a proud Native American woman that became disabled by her rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. When she could not walk up to the bus stop, she would sit in her yard and watch for the neighborhood children.
If a family needed food, they knew they could get some from her or show up at one of her regular neighborhood barbecues to eat. She didn’t hesitate to yell at cars, “Slow down, there are kids playing here!” She fought as long as she could but passed on less than a year ago.
Everyone still slows down on her street. She was such a strong presence that it is hard to believe she is gone. I don’t know if she ever knew Rudy ‘Rebel’ Baker, but she was very much like him – watching out for her neighbors and trying to keep them safe.
The award was presented at the monthly Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association meeting in January. Our next meeting will be February 5 at 6:30 pm. We will be taking nominations for the 2009 Annual Rudy ‘Rebel’ Baker Award starting in November, so be thinking about it.