When Arcadia asked me to write Legendary Locals, the first thing my friends said was “you have got to get Maggie Houlihan.”The second was “you have got to get her NOW.”
And so I called Maggie, explaining who I was and what I needed from her. She laughed and laughed and laughed. At some point during our long conversation she just happened to mention that she was actually lying on a hospital gurney waiting to have fluid drained from her lungs. Then they whisked her away and her voice petered out.
She was still laughing when she called me back after the procedure: “I told those doctors we’ve just upped the ante. You’re all dealing with a local legend now, I said, so you’re going to have to take really good care of me.”
It seems unbelievable that a whole year has slid by since Maggie’s passing. I had the privilege of being in her orbit for just four short months. I don’t know if there really were cloudless skies during the time I was getting to know her, and learning to let go, but when I look back on those sixteen precious weeks, I remember only sunshine.