Spotlight on Diane Morgan
Diane Morgan reaches across the lunchroom table. Someone needs something—a slightly expressed need for salad dressing—and Diane stops our interview to say, “Sit down, no just sit down; I’ll go get it for you. What kind of dressing do you want? Thousand Island? Okay.”
“Diane’s so nice—she always does those things,” says Linda Demirel Barnes from the Neo Art School, another nonprofit at the Good Shepherd Center.
Linda has drawn up a chair next to us to say hi to Diane. The lunchroom provides a place for Wallingford Community Senior Center members, staff from nonprofits in the Good Shepherd Center, and visitors to enjoy community together. It has the air of a favored neighborhood restaurant and a school lunchroom.
Linda says Diane “brings clippings and visuals and lots of really good feathers” to the art school. The children at the Meridian School (also in the Good Shepherd Center) sometimes mistake Diane for a teacher, she’s so often at the art school.
Helping people and enjoying their company seem to be driving forces for Diane. When WCSC was in need of funds a number of years ago, it was natural that Diane would speak on the Center’s behalf before the Seattle City Council. She went with other members and says, “We had a lot of fun together. [We said] it’s a good community, a lot of people came in that really needed [that support].”
Diane enjoys WCSC activities like Scrabble, mahjong, and the Enhanced Fitness class. She also attends the writing group led by Marilyn Michael.
“[Marilyn will] tell people how they can get things published, help edit, make suggestions,” Diane says. Diane has kept a diary for years, saying she writes about what she did that day, like going to museums with her son or grandson.
Diane’s childhood involved a lot of moving: her father was an army physician. That provided the opportunity to live in Tokyo after WWII. She has fond memories of seeing the country and attending Sophia University. Diminutive in stature herself, Diane remembers it was a “real experience to be taller than most of the people.”
She returned to Washington State to study history and art at the University of Washington. A marriage soon after college graced her with five children.
Every Spotlight interview produces an interesting story: Once Diane was hit in the head with her own cane—the result was tragic. She was walking into the Green Lake branch of the Seattle Public Library and noticed a woman outside. The woman was older, nicely dressed, and noticed Diane. Diane doesn’t know why this woman picked her out, but says, “She waited for me when I came out of the library, saying ‘You know what you did! You know what you did!’ [and] blocking my path. She reached down, grabbed the cane, swung it up, and conked me on my head.”
The resulting spike in blood pressure sent Diane to the hospital. A blood clot caused macular degeneration, which ultimately ended in her losing the ability to drive.
Fortunately, Diane lives near WCSC and can walk to enjoy cozy meals with friends, events, classes, and the company of all the people she knows there. When asked what she likes best about WCSC, Diane says it’s “all the nice people I’ve met and continue to meet.”