Lucille Downer’s “death notice” broadcast prominently on Jack’s Country Store reader board last week, directly above notice of a sale on Walla Walla sweet onions, definitely caught my attention. Not so much because Lucille passed, at 93, but because of the juxtaposition with affirmation that life does indeed go merrily on without us, and we must grab every opportunity to enjoy it!

Quite appropriately, the 28th Annual Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival is this weekend, July 14 & 15. A wonderful celebration of the Walla Walla Sweet Onion. It has all the usual accoutrements of a quirky little summer festival, with music, competitions, vendors, and in this case, onion-based food. And I love sweet Walla Walla onions!

But even more than that, I love my friends living in and around Walla Walla. You know who you are! Those people who’ve known me—the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the silly, at least two of them all the way back to 1972.

And for the record, I forgive one of them for standing up for me, instead of kidnapping me and locking me in the closet until I came to my senses, the day I made one heck of a big mistake. The story is enough to make one cry, even without a Walla Walla Sweet!

Love you guys! … And RIP Lucille!