Tag Archives: Geppetto’s

Day 347: Matt

18 Mar

About a week or so ago, my friend Connie (Day 264) sent me an email asking if I would consider giving a pie to the man who was the Head Coach of the Snowboard Team at Ashland High School.  This man had been her son’s coach and she really thought highly of him.  Connie told me the coach’s name, that he worked at the high school in Health Ed, and might also work at a restaurant.  That’s all I needed… or so I thought.

When I called the high school, I was told that Matt was not working there this term.  I left a message on an answering machine in the gym, but never heard back from anyone.   Then I called the restaurant only to find Matt has not worked there in a while.  If I was to give Matt a pie, I needed help finding him, and so I wrote Connie again asking, “Do you have Matt’s number?”  And she did, and since it seemed unlikely that I would be able to surprise Matt,  I chose instead to just call him and spill the beans.

Matt listened as I told him my name, a little bit about my pie project, and that Connie had suggested him for a pie.  Matt thought it all sounded great… only trouble was that he was out-of-town at the State Meet with the Ashland team!  In fact, he was riding the chair lift as we spoke.  We agreed that I would bring him a pie when he got back in to Ashland and he thanked me.  And then he asked, “What did you say your name was again?”  I told him, “Karen Amarotico.”   “Karen!”, he laughed,  “It’s Matt… remember?  We worked together at Geppetto’s!”  Then it hit me… “Oh!  You’re that Matt!”  I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still find it strange that this kind of thing seems to happen a lot these days.

I knew Matt would likely be on his way home today, so this morning I began to make a pie for him.  Looking at all of the apples on my counter, an apple pie was the logical choice… but it needed something extra.  And so after thinking about it for a moment, I chose to make Kick-ass Apple Pie.  It just sounded like the kind of pie a good coach deserved.

When I contacted Matt, and arranged to deliver his pie today, he told me the good news:  Ashland High boys and girls teams each won the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboarding Association’s state championship Saturday!  This was printed in The Oregonian, “Coach Matt Faurot said he had “a pretty strong feeling” his squads would end up on podiums. His teams were talented, deep and, for the most part, injury-free all season.” You can see the rest of the article here.

Congratulations to both of the Snowboard teams!  And Thank you, Matt for your tremendous efforts, for sharing your skills, and helping the kids succeed.   Are you sure your name isn’t spelled, “Far out?”

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”  Vince Lombardi


Day 281: Mark and Betty

12 Jan

Marionberry Cream Cheese Tart

Many years ago my husband and I worked together at Geppetto’s restaurant to help pay our way through Southern Oregon University.   Emile was an experienced line cook and I worked a variety of positions including host, prep cook and baker.  One of the people that we worked with there was Mark.  He was a line cook but he also waited tables occasionally.

One of my fondest memories from that time occurred during the period when I was pregnant with my daughter.  During my second trimester I always seemed to be hungry.  But not for just anything – I craved protein.  At school each day I ate a tuna salad sandwich and drank a quart of milk for lunch.  After school I would walk to Geppetto’s (on the days that I worked) and by the time I got there I was ravenous. When Mark was cooking on the line, he would make me a breakfast sandwich almost as soon as he saw me come in. I really appreciated that. It was amazing how much food I consumed!

Yet even though Mark helped to keep me fed, he also teased me mercilessly about my expanding belly.  Finally one day I brought in a tape measure to compare our waist sizes.  Lo and behold, when we put the tape around our waists, they measured within an inch of each other… and Mark was not expecting.  He quit teasing me after that.

I knew that surprising Mark would be difficult and so I called him to tell him that I wanted to bring him a pie.  It was then that he told me that his Mom, Betty, might be a better pie recipient because she would enjoy sharing it with her friends.  And so today I brought a Cream Cheese Tart topped with Marionberries for Betty… but once Mark saw it, he said that he just might want to taste it before she took it home.    And that my dear is a compliment…  from my good friend Mark (aka Badger).

The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.  ~Author Unknown

Day 84: Joanie

29 Jun

If you’ve lived in Ashland a while, you probably knew Joanie. When I came to Ashland in the fall of 1986, I began hearing about her from her friends and co-workers at a restaurant called Geppetto’s. Joanie had painted a mural and her artwork was on the menu and the awning. It was easy to sense her presence even though she was not around. And it was hard not to be impressed and a bit in awe of her.

Joanie and I didn’t share a lot of history – I arrived in Ashland after she had moved away and was amazed at the wake that she had left behind. When I finally did meet Joanie, I was a little bit intimidated, but I loved how she was not afraid to speak her mind. That is not something I was encouraged to do.

The biggest bond Joanie and I shared was my daughter, Alexandra. They shared a kindred spirit and a fearlessness that I cannot fathom. When we attended Joanie’s wedding in Seattle, my daughter (who was 2 1/2 at the time) was restless in the pew and fought to be set down. I gave in and put her down and turned my back for a moment and when I looked again, she was gone from my sight. I didn’t know what to do or where to look for her and then I heard laughter. My daughter had left me and gone up to the alter where Joanie and Tucker were, and she was picking up rose petals, oblivious to the audience that was there.

Today is Joanie’s birthday and this morning I brought an apple crumb crust pie to the Jefferson Public Radio studio at Southern Oregon University to honor her memory. May she forever live on in our hearts.