We repeat what Katee Morgan Fobare's fellow Winter Carnival Committee members have said about her: She was totally on top of an elaborate show, working incredibly hard to do so many tasks that her death now leaves a gaping hole in the web of Saranac Lake's wonderful and venerable annual party.
The committee members will work their way through it, but it'll be hard to discover and do all the little things Katee did.
We loved her for her vivaciousness, her smiles and her honesty. She was frank about her cancer and the pain it was causing her, not in a complaining way but realistically. Despite her health, she devoted herself entirely to the Carnival effort, never missing an obligation, letting go of only a few duties and stepping in quietly to fill countless gaps - including many of those left by her fellow old-guard Carnival Committee leader Don Duso, who died six months ago.
Perhaps most of all, we'll miss that moment on Coronation day every February, with the buzz of Winter Carnival building in the air, when Katee would stop by our office and slip our editor an envelope, to be guarded in strictest confidence, containing the names and bios of that year's king and queen. That trust allowed us to write an editorial that night for the Saturday morning paper, praising the monarchs. We felt honored that she found us worthy.
For that matter, all Saranac Lakers and Saranac Lake lovers should feel honored that Katee Fobare saw this village's Winter Carnival as such a wonderful thing that she sacrificed so much of herself for it. It really is as great as she thought it was, and we're grateful to her for giving further evidence of its value by her dedication.
Fellow committee member Barbara Martin said she feels like Katee will be watching as the committee plans the 2011 Carnival (Feb. 4-13, theme: "Medieval Times"), but we hope that in heaven they'll let her off the hook of worrying about it. She deserves a break.