Mason County News
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In Mason, Talent in No Short Supply
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 • Posted February 9, 2011

Authors. Painters. Sculptors. Singers. Dancers. Story tellers. Runners. Drivers.

I recently had a conversation about some of the many skills of people who live in Mason County. We all know about Fred Gipson, Gene Zesch, Bill Worrell, Dewey Martin and Matt Hey. There are so many folks who have already made their mark in the world, in a variety of fields and disciplines.

But, we have so many others with incredible talents and skills. Many of them have shared those abilities with us, some have kept them quiet. Any way you look at it, we in Mason County are blessed to have an abundance of artists, athletes, scholars and professionals who are sought out by others for their talents.

Beth Williams is a singer, songwriter and entertainer. Those of us who have been blessed to hear her work are pleased to call ourselves fans. Of course, she also teaches music. She works with children and adults to help them find the musician inside themselves and to develop those skills.

There is Carol Kothmann. Her interest in pottery keeps growing, barely keeping pace with her ever-growing skill. She is unafraid to try new techniques and new avenues, and once mastered, she moves on to learn more. Her husband, Eldon Kothmann, chose photography. What began as a hobby has grown into more, and Eldon's work exhibits and eye for color, line and composition usually only found after decades of practice.

Bob Etter is another photographer who has allowed his delight in the visual to grow into an art. He knows that one must pause and look more closely sometimes in order to find the beauty. He also knows that there is something interesting in every situation, and he is patient enough to find those moments.

Rosemary Davis is a fan and an advocate of the spoken word. In normal conversation, she is engaging and animated. But, give her a book to read, and suddenly Rosemary disappears and characters emerge. They roar and laugh and whisper and shout, and she makes it all happen with just a change in inflection and a tilt of her eyebrow.

Mike and Sheila Innis have both lived full lives. They've been all over and they've experienced it all. Mason was supposed to be a retirement home for them; but, they keep discovering new passions. A few years ago, Mike focused on gardening and the outdoors. Then he developed a fascination with air rifles. Now, he and Sheila have begun experimenting in the kitchen. Several times a week, they try out some new baked good and share it with us, and we are always impressed.

The list of people with amazing skills just keeps going. The ones who are good with children, the ones who are adept with a gem saw, the ones who discover our history.

What exactly is it about our little community that develops people with so many skills and talents? Whether it's Mendy Beaty and her cake creations, or Chuck Bearden and his washer boards. We have everything covered.

I like to think that it's the spirit of the possible that is so much a part of Mason. In this community, rather than being told that you can't do something, people are encouraged to find out what they can do. Those of us who think we don't have as many talents are enablers of those who do, which makes us just as important to the creative process. By encouraging and supporting our friends and family, we allow them to discover their potential.

Along the way, we occasionally discover some potential of our own, and our own support groups push us forward.

Don't be surprised when your neighbor bursts into song, or when your cousin dances across the lawn. In Mason, it's all just part of the creative process finding its own way.

It’s all just my opinion.

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