Kathleen was a true creator of community. She was the cofounder of Community Storytellers in Los Angeles, a group that became my home, my village, within the larger city. She described it as an organism, not an organization, and she was both the heart and the embracing arms of that organism, welcoming newcomers and helping them find their places. She told a wide mix of stories - mostly folk tales, but also stories of her Mormon pioneer ancestors. She sometimes used puppets, sometimes American Sign Language, and always her voice and body flowing with story. I will never forget her telling of "The Frog Prince," which relied on the version in which the princess throws the frog against the wall, instead of the more familiar kiss. "Sometimes," she said, "it takes an angry woman to turn a slimy frog into a real man." The words were so powerful coming from someone who was so warm and gentle.
As soon as I heard, I called Penny, who had already heard. We had a nice chat, mostly about other things in our lives. It reminded me that it shouldn't take sad circumstances like these to get in touch with old friends.