Faces in the crowd - Karen Allen

by G Corwin Stoppel

Allegan is full of hidden gems, and sometimes I think it almost takes a visitor or new-comer to see them. Those who have lived in a community sometimes take them for granted. That is why when Mr. Wilcox proposed a column FACES IN THE CROWD I was raising my hand and asking, “Put me in the game coach!” Periodically we’re going exploring, seeing some of the gems.

Far more important is to see the human gems. Every community has them, and sometimes they get overlooked. They don’t run for office; they don’t try to run everything. They just get on with their job and make life better for all of us.

If you have ever gone in to the gift shop side of the Allegan Pharmacy any time in the past eleven years, you have undoubtedly met Karen Allen.

To begin with, Karen not 0nly knows her merchandise, but she knows where to find it. I happened to be there one day to see if she needed more of my murder mystery novels when a customer was buying a gift. Very quietly Karen asked, “Isn’t that like the one you gave last year?”

She’s everyone’s friend, and I think everyone things of her as their friend. She’ll tease, laugh, and then the next minute, if the person mentions something more serious going on in their life, she is compassionate and caring.

She’s the community’s premier philosopher. I blundered on some names and she said, “Oh, that all right; I make that mistake all the time. I suppose we have names because if people shouted, ‘Hey you!’ we’d all be yelling ‘what?’ and we’d be more confused.”

Think of her as Ms Congeniality of the Business District. Well, perhaps one of several people who deserve that title. That’s what makes Allegan such a special and wonderful place. She’s front and center in the ranks of our neighbors who genuinely loves to help others.

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