I need to be honest. For years I have thought the City of Lakewood would honor me, during my lifetime, for my crowning achievements and pioneering spirit which were instrumental in helping establish the City of Lakewood. I am much like the City of Puyallup’s Ezra Meeker. I figure in 100 years, school kids will be read about me in their history books.
I arrived in the Lakewood area in 1969 as a part of an advance party to help prepare for city-hood. Maybe that is the problem. I thought advance party meant drinking at the Lakewood Terrace, so, of course, when I arrived, I did more than my fair share. Eat, drink and be merry was my city motto back then.
Politically, I was way out in front voting YES for Lakewood to become a city. In fact I voted 2 or 3 times. That is 2 or 3 times in each election. Not many people realize that it was my prolific voting pattern that made city-hood for Lakewood a reality.
I have attended at least 6 city council meetings for an old fashioned civics experience.
With all of that, I can’t understand why there is not a life size bronze statue of me prominently located at one of the newly renovated city entrances.
I just never have been given the respect I felt I deserved.
Maybe I should be more like Ezra Meeker. I could charge people $7 to tour my home. Of course members of the Lakewood Historical Society would only pay $5. Mention President Becky Huber’s name and you can get in free when using the back door.
While historically, mine is a story of dashed hopes and broken dreams, I am happy to report things recently changed. A delegation of our city council presented me with a brass plaque commemorating my contributions, large and small, to the positive progress of our city.
They made me swear to secrecy as to the delegation’s membership identity, so I can’t tell you who made the presentation. If you ask anyone on the council, they will deny knowing anything about my award.
The important thing for me is the fact that I have finally been given the recognition I think I so richly deserve. Not everyone gets a brass plaque and now that I have one, I feel a lot better.
I did notice the plaque date did not read 1996, which is our city’s year of incorporation, the delegation told me the city is ever mindful of being good financial stewards of our citizen’s tax dollars.
Back in 1897, some guy ordered this plaque, but, to date, failed to pick it up. The plaque maker’s clearly posted policy states that any goods left more than 30 years are subject to being disposed of. The plaque maker felt after 118 years the original customer would probably not return for the plaque, so the original customer lost the plaque and his deposit.
The plaque customer’s loss is our city council’s gain. They bought my plaque for $1, which was a lot of money back in 1897.
Here is my plaque which clearly describes my true impact on the City of Lakewood.