Pages Menu

Community news for the Quincy, Washington, area since 1949

Categories Menu

Posted on Feb 20, 2019

One more word of thanks to the finder of smiles: Column

By Sebastian Moraga, Sports editor

My daughter disliked most everybody. Until she met Kaycie Tuttle.
Gabriela, well into her second trip around the sun by then, had inherited not only her father’s stunning good looks (it’s my column, shut up), but also my bump on the forehead (if you’re ever bored, try saying “cranial metopic cynostosis” 10 times fast), and my childhood years’ propensity to get cheesed off at everything and everyone.
Other than my mother-in-law, my wife and, sometimes me, young Ella had little patience for anybody on two legs, father and sibling included.
So try to imagine my surprise when on a softball game assignment with the kiddos in tow, Tuttle caught the eye of my little Gargamel-in-training, and they shared a smile.
And then another, and then another. And next thing I knew, Gabriela had her arms up and was asking for Tuttle to pick her up. The result is in the photo you see with this article.
This had never happened before, not with anyone she didn’t share a genetic code with. She flat out refused to get picked up by anyone other than mom or Grandma.
And now, this blonde gal from Toppenish she had never laid eyes on before, was her new best bud.
So when they ask me about Kaycie Tuttle an her tenure as athletic director of Quincy High School, it’s not wins and losses or dollars and cents I think about. I think about how she made my kid smile before I could.

Kaycie Tuttle and QVPR reporter Sebastian Moraga’s daughter, Gabriela.
Photo by Sebastian Moraga/Post-Register

Although I could never call her my friend, since she’s a source, I always appreciated how she showed my daughter that not everybody was tantrum-worthy, that there were some cool people in this world.
People willing to share a smile with you or to get you out of a locked restroom.
Allow me to explain.
It was Grant-County cold on a football Friday night and when nature called, the lines outside the restroom at Jaycee Stadium made me predict that I would still be standing in line (and, more than likely, in a puddle) by the time halftime was over and I had to return to the sideline.
So, I walked around the field and used the locker room’s facilities on the southeast corner of the stadium.
While I answered nature’s call, I’m guessing that one of the coaches saw that the locker room’s door was open, peeked inside, saw nobody and promptly closed and locked the door, leaving me inside.
I came out of the stall ready to watch the second half, and instead got that panicky feeling I get when an elevator’s doors take a little too long in opening.
In this case it was worse, the door wasn’t opening at all. But I had my cellphone, and Tuttle answered my call, and came to my red-faced rescue, with a quirky little smile on her face.
That quirky smile appeared less and less as 2018 wore on.
If you know Tuttle well, you know the reason why. If you don’t, you’re not about to find out why in this column.
But even in some exciting games, that smile rarely resurfaced, replaced instead by a look of resignation, which is what Tuttle will likely end up doing to her post as AD, to deal yet again with the unfairness of life.
It is my deepest wish that she overcomes it yet again, and that she smiles again, but also that life smiles upon her, as well.
Thanks for my daughter’s smile, Miss Tuttle. And thank you for everything.