This post originally went out on Seattlest.
That’s our dog. Her name is Feta. She’s a shedding, loving, bear of a St. Bernard. We call her ‘walrus’ every so often because of how she lies down. She’s a bit anxious and is still getting used to people. Sometimes, she’ll meet someone that she’s comfortable with, calms down, and nuzzles up next to them and she will be the dog we know she can be. One of the people she took immediately to was our friend Kim Ricketts. If you’ve ever met the amazing Kim, you’d know that her presence was magnetic. Feta figured that out. And all of Kim’s friends knew this as well. We had a cherished friend and a special person.
Kim Ricketts was a remarkable person. She had an uncanny ability to inspire and connect. Her love of reading was infectious. I remember all of my times with Kim. They each had their own story. And as a longtime book person, stories are one of the things that fueled Kim. Connecting people was another. And for that I’m also thankful. For Kim connected us to so many people; authors, chefs, visionaries. She introduced me to people that soon became my friends. Talk to any local chef, food writer or purveyor, and reader, they’ll each have a great Kim story.
Kim Ricketts passed away Monday after a fight with blood cancer and AL amyloidosis. A brave soul if there ever was one, I was honored to call her a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with all those close to her
A few stories that I’ll always remember of Kim. A few years ago, as I was just dipping my toe into the world of the local food community, I wanted to attend her Cooks & Books event with Eric Ripert. I barely knew Kim (or anyone else in the Seattle food scene) at the time, but she was so warm and welcoming and wanted me to be there. I said that I would be coming by myself. What did Kim say? “You can sit with me and Eric!” Honored to say the least. She barely knew me, but welcomed me openly. That’s the type of person she is. It was an amazing night, all brought to us by Kim.
Another story; Kim can be a whirlwind of conversation and movement. It’s a delightful thing. She’ll get engrossed with meeting people and catching up with friends. On one of the first occasions that I met her, I noticed that her voice was starting to go (as it was apt to do). Ever the gentleman, I offered her a cough drop. She said, ‘Honey, there is nothing that will help with this voice.’ She then continued to converse with those nearby. She would always lose her voice by the end of the night. I can still hear that voice in my head. It’s a distinctive one; raspy with a hint of a squeak. Undulating in tone and volume. Can you hear it? I always will.
An all those books that are stacked next to Feta? They’re from the many events that Kim held around town, the many events that I was fortunate to attend. We sent this picture to Kim in the winter. Of course there are stories in these books. But I’ll remember the stories of when I got these books. The dinners they were shared over. The conversations that were started by them. The friends made from them. Ultimately, I’m thankful of the time that I spent with Kim and to be a small part of her story. It still continues by carrying on her legacy. We can start by having dinner and a conversation with friends.