As a kid, we spent a lot of time in Pecos, Texas, visiting my grandparents and uncle. I remember always being so proud whenever my cousin Katchie came by. She was clearly the life of the party. I could hear family talking excitedly about whether or not Katchie would be there. It was a guarantee that everyone would have an above average share of laughs. I liked her a lot myself, but also, I remember being so proud that she was named Katherine, too, and I was named after her. How cool, I thought, to be named after someone that everyone likes so much. I would later find out I was named after lots of Katherines in the family, but she was the one I knew and liked best.
When I was probably 12 or 13, Katchie invited me to come stay with her for a week one summer. Although I was excited to have been invited, I was a budding teenager (therefore moody and hormonal) as well as a little shy. While I loved Katchie and loved sitting on the floor across from her as she sat next to Ranny on the big blue couch on Hackberry, I was a little afraid to be away from home staying at her house instead of with Ranny and Papa. It was a really nice week. She let me watch all the Nick and Night I wanted (obviously way cooler than my mother) and she chaperoned me about town as her namesake. I was also so intrigued about how bold she was to have a good friend in Governor Ann Richards, the (gasp!) Democratic governor I knew my parents and grandparents did not approve of.
As a college student and then an adult, my visits to Pecos began to dwindle. But I knew we would always have a good time when we came for Christmas. A party at the Faulkners, Christmas Eve service at St. Mark's Episcopal followed by dinner at Katchie's with Christmas at at Katchie's followed by Christmas dinner at Ranny's. I always loved that she served Mexican food for Christmas dinner (which was also excellent). It was so Katchie to think beyond the traditional institutions.
Katchie herself was an institution herself. She will be missed.