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Mary Ann Holser was a dear friend. She helped me, a single parent, and my son and if she had not helped me, we would have been homeless.
The house I was renting in Eugene, OR was bought for investment by a Korean and his realty company told me I had to be out in 2 weeks (right at finals time--my last final before getting my degree in Broadcasting/Visual Design). He had raised the rent instantly by an added $350 more per month and I did not have that much so quickly.
I asked the realty company if they would at least write me a letter of recommendation because I had cleaned up the motor boat gas tank and wringer washing machine, black berry bushes, hornets' nest, black widow spider's nest in the back yard plus I had gotten the windows all replaced with double pane windows, a new oil heater that was more efficient, and insulation into all the walls and attic. I did all this and was just a renter. But they said,"No we won't do that. And you have to be out in two weeks!" It was hard finding a place to rent as a single parent with a child. It was raining and I had to walk the streets looking for a place to live with my child. My car was in the shop for major engine repairs.
Mary Ann called me up (I had not even called her to ask for help) and said, "I heard you are looking for a place to stay. My husband and I are going to be traveling. Would you be willing to stay at my house in trade for watering the rhodadendrons and feeding and walking my dog?" I broke into tears and said, "Oh, absolutely! Thank you!" I stayed less than 3 months till I could save enough for first and last months rent. She was a very kind person with a heart of gold.
I met her through the Democratic party. We were both working on canvassing neighborhoods door to door to collect signatures to get ballot measures on the ballot for voters to vote on. She also had a wise plan for health care for the nation and I hope someday, our country gets to see such a plan.
She told me that she thought I had led a very interesting life and she said she wanted to write a book about me. I don't know if she ever did but she did inspire me. I had pulled myself and my son out of an physically abusive, domestic relationship and strong women like Mary Ann inspired me with a new courage to make a difference. I went sky diving to raise money for the world hunger project and aired information about the project on Public Access TV. I was part of the first group that started that public access TV charter. She also inspired me to become a State Democratic Party Platform Convention candidate. I got three proposals on the state platform and two of them became law eventually: about not discriminating against potential renters based on the number of children, gender, ...etc. She was an activist with an intelligent, active mind and knew how to make grassroots politics work.
I will truly miss her. I am still in tears and wish the entire family and friends my sincere condolences. May the warm memories of what a wonderful woman she was live on as a light in your hearts to inspire you. She inspired me!!!!! Rest in peace, dear friend, Karen Ludwig. 6020 Brookridge Blvd, Everett, WA 98203.
Tagged under# Memories # Friends
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