Yet another friend has passed away and I find myself, sitting quietly, in a numbed state of mind. Double-tough and yet double-tender, Lani Crockett died on March 16, 2018.
She graduated from Del Norte High School in 1974, receiving her degree (I think in ‘Women’s Studies,’) from Humboldt State University in Arcata, finding employment as a social worker at the Del Norte County Department of Health and Human Services. Lani was there for about 12 or 13 years before her passing.
But what I remember about her best is her working as a bartender at Rowland’s Restaurant in Crescent City. My brother, Adam worked in the kitchen for Pete Kaufman at the time and so I’d go in and sit at the bar while waiting for him to finish up.
Lani often talked about horses as she loved riding and chasing the ‘south bound end of north bound’ cattle across the Smith River. I’ve often thought her excitement must have been contagious as I eventually moved to Northern Nevada and took up ‘cowboying’ to make ends meet.
A warm glow falls over me and tears fill my eyes as I think about Lani and that oh-so-lonely period in my life. Yeah, I had a bit of crush on her back then (I’m sure I wasn’t the only one though) and I’ll always remember her vibrant laughter, sweet smile and kind words — forever.