Cats seem to like to curl up in boxes, bags, and containers while they sleep, maybe because they feel safe and secure. People create and live in their own boxes for the same reasons, but a life well lived is a life lived outside of that invisible box. Even cats have more fun when they are free, and, believe it or not, people do, too. This story is as much about moral boxes as it is about a night out at a local male strip joint in Seattle called Papa Bear’s … and I don’t mean the patriarchal bear from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, although I have to admit a tall, muscular one would appear on stage later in the evening.
Seattle gets wet and rainy in the winter and the only places to socialize are inside venues, like homes, churches, malls, movie theaters, restaurants, bars and lounges … and there are still quite a few of those in that Pacific Northwest city. Seattle used to have a number of piano bars back in the day as well, and rightly became the location of the movie with Jeff and Beau Bridges called, “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” about two brothers who were pianists competing for fame, fortune, and the love of one woman.
It was one of those empty, soggy, Saturday nights after my divorce when the kids were spending time with their father and I didn’t have a date. My friend, Cindy, didn’t have one either, so we decided to check out a new piano lounge on the Eastside to listen to music and commiserate about being dateless over a drink or two. Her mother, Margaret, was entertaining a friend from out-of-town for the weekend, and she and Flo asked Cindy if they could come along, too.
As a result, the four of us planned to make it a night on the town together and we arranged to meet down in the hotel piano lounge in Bellevue. We sat around a table back by the bar chatting over our wine while the pianist played the magical music of Vangelis’ ‘Chariots of Fire’ on his grand piano near the windows. It was one of the pianist’s first nights in the lounge and it was strangely empty, a situation that would change drastically once word got out regarding his talent.
After a glass of wine, our discussions became more creatively engaging and Margaret kept commenting about how much she liked the piano music with Flo readily agreeing with her. The older women proceeded to catch up on all the news of family and friends, while Cindy and I talked about our latest mates, dates, and dining experiences over a second glass of chardonnay. Once in awhile we slipped in what had transpired at work that week, but that was not a favored topic of conversation on our days off.
Taking a quick break, the two of us left Margaret and Flo to their own designs in the lounge to walk through the lobby and down the stairs to the Ladies Restroom. Conversing over the sinks while we washed our hands, I had a brilliant idea and, chuckling, mentioned to Cindy that maybe we should try to get Margaret and Flo over to Papa Bear’s, a male strip club on the north side of Seattle. I added that I thought it would be more fun to watch their reactions than to see the strippers’ performances, which were actually a bit amateurish, but entertaining none-the-less.
Cindy’s face lit up like a light bulb at the mental image of her somewhat prudish mother sitting in front of the stage at Papa Bear’s watching the scantily clad young men gyrate in G-strings. Grinning widely and grabbing a hand towel, she responded with, “Let’s do it!” Laughing at the imagined reactions of the two older women born and raised during a very different era, we finished wiping our hands dry and speculated on how we could execute our plans.
Those were the days when the Women’s Liberation Movement, triggered by the direct availability of birth control to women, created many new opportunities and freedoms for the female that were not accessible to them in prior decades, among them being a license to express their sexuality in numerous ways that transcended traditional, old school morality. Back in the 1980’s, the advent of Chippendale’s male strip club in the Los Angeles area started a movement across the cities in the country toward establishing somewhat lucrative male strip joints for the newly liberated female patrons, some of whom had never seen a semi-naked male in their life, and certainly not on stage.
Papa Bear’s was one of those copy cat clubs operating in North Seattle when they had no competition at all, rendering the owner quite well-off in a short period of time. The sleazy, shack of a night club had opened up in the last few months in a warehouse in the north city area and, out of curiosity, a couple of friends of mine and I had checked it out a few weeks earlier. The performances were always sold out and every table was full on Friday and Saturday nights with lines of excited, twittering women along the sidewalk waiting to get in that extended down the block.
Compared to the Chippendale’s venue, Papa Bear’s was a bit of a dump with a make shift stage, curtains hanging from rafters overhead, and simple tables and chairs placed randomly on the floor boards around the room. Very startup budget friendly, so almost every dime of the entrance cover fees went into the owner’s pocket. That was okay. We didn’t care. Going there was more of a statement about our newly accepted sexual expression than anything else and Papa Bear’s attracted female crowds from as far north as Bellingham and as far south as Tacoma and Olympia.
Fixing strands of our mutually blonde hair in the mirror, we giggled and discussed our clandestine plans. At first, my friend, who looked like my sister, hesitated because her mother was of a conservative moral bent in her late sixties at the time and she did not think Margaret would agree to go there if she knew where we were actually going. In fact, Cindy told me later that, if we did manage to get her mother over to the male strip joint, she didn’t know if she herself would be alive the next day because Margaret would make her displeasure known as soon as they were alone … but, with a giggle based on anticipation, she said that she would risk it and we should do it anyway. Such courage, she had.
I told her that we would just have to make up some kind of story to convince them to go with us without telling them where we were going and asked her to leave it up to me when we got back to the table. I had no idea how I would present the idea, but figured I could create a plan before we finished our wine and left the lounge. Laughing at the irony of the whole idea, we went back up the stairs and through the lobby to return to the table where the two older women talked over their drinks while the pianist took a short break to speak with several people sitting near the piano.
Remembering that I had dated a bank president off and on a couple of months ago, I decided to use that experience as the tool for presenting the issue to Margaret and Flo. I looked over at Margaret, who reminded me a little bit of Joan Crawford, the movie star, with dark cropped hair framing a dramatic face that always sported red lipstick. Leaning forward over the table, I asked, “Hey, Margaret, you really like this piano bar?”
“Why, yes, I do,” she answered with a nod of her head in the direction of the pianist who had returned to the piano to sit down. “He’s really good.”
The sexual metaphor just hit me and I used it. Wanting to lead in to the deceptive carrot-on-a-stick story to get the women to go to the strip club, I sighed before suggesting, “Well, a few weeks ago, my date took me to this terrific organ bar in North Seattle and I think you and Flo would enjoy the music there as well.”
Cindy kicked my shin under the table while hiding her grin behind a hand as the pianist began playing ‘Macarthur Park,’ and I had to stifle a groan from the pain. She had connected the play on words all too well and was having trouble keeping her expression serious. So was I, and I gulped down some more chardonnay to drown the urge to laugh.
With a quizzical expression, Margaret asked her attentive friend if she had ever heard of an organ bar, to which Flo responded that she had not. And of course Flo hadn’t … because there weren’t any real organs bars around Seattle back then and I seriously doubt if there ever were. Oddly enough, I found out many years later from my cousin from Minneapolis that they really did have true organ bars with real organs in that Minnesota city, but the fact escaped me on this particular night.
To further convince the older women to accompany us to North Seattle, I added that this particular club had a giant Wurlitzer with fancy pipes … and, realizing again that my choice of words was an analogy of the male strippers’ private parts, Cindy kicked my shins even harder under the table while stifling a giggle. She bent down to pretend like she was getting something out of her purse, so the women would not see her laughing. I had to keep a straight face as well and, bending down where few could see me, I stuck my tongue out under the table at my still chuckling friend.
Composing ourselves, we sat up straight in our chairs again and took a sip of wine. I glanced at the bartender who was looking at us with a puzzled expression and I realized he could see all the under-the-table pranks, but could not hear the conversation. We must have appeared very strange to him that night … or maybe very drunk. In retrospect, we were definitely a little of both and that impression did not change all that much over the next few years. I tell you, those were the days of frolic and fun, pranks and parties, and we had the time of our lives.
Margaret looked over at her friend and asked her what she thought about going to see this giant Wurlitzer with fancy pipes and Flo replied that she had never heard someone play an organ before, but she thought it was a great idea and that they should go. Sounded to me like she had never gone to church, but different strokes for different folks, I figured … then realized that phrase would apply to the dancers at our destination in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. It was all I could do to keep from laughing harder, so I took another gulp of wine and the room started to spin. Nodding affirmatively at us, Margaret said she wanted to listen to the piano music just a little while longer before we left, so they finished their drinks and, being a designated driver, I ordered a coffee to sober up, not that it did much good.
We all left the lounge during the pianist’s next break and walked out into the foggy mist to my car in the parking lot. Cindy left her wheels at the hotel where we would retrieve it later, and I drove my fancy Lincoln Continental Mark IV with the moon roof, leather seats, and my name engraved on the dash board. Those days of living a life of luxury with fancy houses and automobiles were my karmic past life. At least that’s what I tell people today when I drive my Toyota Corolla. A good car for sure, but it is nothing like that beautiful Lincoln Continental.
The two older women got into the back seat, chatting about the piano music, and reminiscing about social events from long ago while Cindy slipped into the passenger’s seat and I climbed behind the wheel. Driving along streets illuminated by lights that gave off a ghostly glow in the dark, we made our way from the hotel to Bellevue Way and turned right to drive to the 520 onramp which led past Yarrow Point and onto the floating bridge across Lake Washington.
That bridge was a one-of-a-kind, believe me. When high winds hit the structure, it swayed across the water like the ground undulating during an earthquake and the authorities had to close it down more than a few times during severe storms to prevent commuters driving off the sides into the dark, foamy deep. I can tell you that Bill Gates is one person who would get disgruntled at sunken cars and soggy occupants washing up on the beach in front of his Lake Washington home near that same floating bridge.
Entering the jointed pavement, we could hear the Lincoln Continental wheels began their thump-thump-thump over the metal seams in the road resting on the water. I had to turn on the windshield wipers because it had started raining and, in the haze of the bridge lights, we could see the fog floating over the lake below, making the night time scene around us appear ethereal. It actually reminded me of the eerie setting in a Bermuda Triangle movie I had seen. The women in the back seat were too busy talking to notice much of anything until we passed the Huskies Stadium at the University of Washington on the right and the waterways of the arboretum on the left.
When we drove near Portage Bay, I could hear Margaret and Flo commenting from the back seat about how beautiful the modern residential house boats on Lake Union were. In the rainy mist, the lights from the houseboat windows shone as if through an opaque plate of glass onto their attached garden decks and over the water in the fog. To me, they looked like fairytale homes floating through the clouds. No property taxes either back in those days, I thought to myself – just moorage fees. Turning north on I-5 at the University District and wending our way up past Green Lake to the 85th street exit, I turned west to go to North Seattle and could hear the older women still chatting away in the backseat, oblivious to their surroundings.
I really cannot remember which side street the nightclub was on, but it could have been the old Route 99 which wends its way up the coast to the Canadian border. I knew that parking at Papa Bear’s was always a problem, so I had no choice but to drive past the nightclub in my search for a parking space. The windshield wipers kept an even whoosh-whoosh rhythm in the rain as Cindy and I searched in vain for a place to pull over and found none. Nervously glancing in the rear view mirror, I wondered if Margaret and Flo would figure out where we were going, but they didn’t seem to connect the dots … yet. Thankfully, they were still engrossed in their conversation centering on bits of gossip about old acquaintances.
Driving down the street a few blocks and finding nothing, we knew we had to turn around and go past the club again which would be risky. We could see that the line waiting to pay the cover charge to get into Papa Bear’s extended almost a whole block and the gaudy, stark marquee lights were hard to miss as they pulsed through the mist with a yellow, blue, red, and white glow. Both Cindy and I exchanged wide eyed looks and held our breath in anticipation of the older women realizing this was the Seattle ‘organ’ bar we had talked about … but, surprisingly, they didn’t.
As we drove by the entrance to Papa Bear’s Male Revue establishment, we could hear Margaret comment to Flo about ‘that horrible place where men take off their clothes on stage.’ I looked in the rear view mirror to see her frowning and pointing at the blinking nightclub lights of the marquee through the back seat window. We could hear her friend respond with equal distain that she didn’t know what this world was coming to when women would go wild like that and she replied that they must all be insane. Cindy and I glanced at each other while we held our breath, and waited for the ball to drop. It didn’t.
They were still clueless and conversing with condescension over the lack of morality in Papa Bear’s, in the city, in the state, and in the country at large. Margaret commented with conviction that these young women had no Christian values anymore and Flo readily agreed with her. Unbeknownst to the older women in the back seat, Cindy hunched down and, mimicking her mother’s words, pretended to pout with a wag of her index finger in the front seat where they could not see her. We started laughing silently at her antics as well as the humor of the situation and, personally, I only hoped our good-natured humor would be allowed to last when the older women found out they had been had.
I could hear Flo say, “You remember when we were growing up? A lady had to be prim and proper! And she had to be chaperoned until she got married!”
“Do I ever!” Margaret answered matter-of-factly. “A lady who was not prim and proper was not a lady!”
Chuckling to myself and realizing that definition would leave me out of the prim and proper loop, it sounded to me like the long-time friends thought the world was sliding down the morality mountain faster than greased lightening, but don’t most people as they age? Hey, everything is relative … and usually goes in cycles; I reminded myself, and, at the same time, thought that it could be harder than I had anticipated to convince those two gals to go into that so-called sleazy, seedy, strip joint. Concerned, I quickly turned to look at Cindy and mouthed, “Should we still do it?”
My friend understood my pantomime and, with a wide grin, emphatically nodded a ‘yes.’ Rubbing her hands together in glee, I could see she was already enjoying herself immensely. We didn’t know how her mother would react after Margaret found out we were heading to ‘that immoral den of iniquity,’ but, despite the uncertainty, we held firm to our plans. Margaret piped up from the back seat something about where were we going and I just told her to trust me … Yeah, right …
I had to drive by the girls waiting in line to get into the club three times before we found a parking lot with empty spaces a couple of blocks to the north of the nightspot and I pulled in to an empty parking spot. Turning off the engine, we got out of the car and, shivering in the cold, damp air, pulled our coats tighter around us. The misty rain had stopped, but there were mud puddles all over the parking lot that we had to step over and straddle, so as not to get our shoes wet. Cindy and I walked in front while the two older women wandered behind us across the road and down the street lined with old brick warehouses and office buildings, many of which had ‘For Lease’ signs in the windows.
Margaret and Flo followed dutifully, chatting with their heads down to watch for mud puddles, so they could avoid them. Surprisingly, the older women did not look up until we reached the space under the blinking marquee where they must have seen the reflection of the nightclub lights in the rain puddles on the sidewalk. The looks on their faces when they realized where we were going were priceless and I deeply regretted not bringing a camera because they both gasped and put a hand to their mouths in shock.
“I thought you said we were going to an organ bar!” Margaret declared, glaring at both her daughter and me. “Now, where’s the place with the giant Wurlitzer?”
Chuckling, Cindy stepped up to the bat … er … bar, and told her, “We are going to an organ bar, Mom. And they do have a giant Wurlitzer like Leila said … just not the kind you thought she meant.”
While my friend and I laughed harder and harder, Margaret and Flo stood stock still, not moving, like they really did not know what to do now that they realized we were all heading into that sordid joint called Papa Bear’s. The astonishment showed on their faces and we had no idea what would happen next which, in a way, made the situation even funnier. With a shake of her head, Margaret reiterated that I had told them to trust me and I merely shrugged and chuckled, telling her she could trust me because we were where I said we would be.
“Well, it’s sort of a play on words …” I explained, giggling, and added, “Where ever we are, there we are ….”
“Right, Mom,” Cindy laughed. “We are there where we said we would be … and this is the Wurlitzer organ bar with the fancy pipes!”
Two of the young women ahead of us who heard her comment turned around to say they liked the phrase and they gave her a high five; then they nudged the gal in front of them to pass the word along to the next person in line about the giant Wurlitzer organ bar with the fancy pipes called Papa Bear’s. The phrase caught on fast. Almost everyone standing in line started laughing before Flo got the joke; then she began giggling along with the rest of us.
Margaret hesitated as if her decision to join us would condemn her to a fiery afterlife filled with horned devils dancing naked before throngs of screaming floozies and she looked like she was trying to decide if she should turn around to walk back to the car or go inside. Flo came to the rescue by telling her that they weren’t getting any younger and they should just enjoy themselves for a few hours. Margaret paused to look over at her friend with a concerned look on her face before she reluctantly agreed that Flo was right; then responded that it wouldn’t hurt to go inside to see what all this immoral fuss was about.
With surprise mixed with amazed anticipation on our faces, Cindy and I motioned for the two ladies to go ahead of us in line and watched while they stepped through the door to pay the cover charge. We had to thank the young man taking the payments at the door for breaking the ice and getting the older women to loosen up. His public relations’ skills were exceptional because he asked both of the older women for their ID’s, a fact they would never forget. Pulling out her driver’s license and showing it to the handsome young man, Margaret laughed out loud when she told us that they asked her for her ID like she couldn’t believe it.
She and Flo talked about it all the way to the table inside and it looked to me like they both forgot momentarily they were in a sleazy male strip joint. Cindy seemed very pleased that her mother was taking the risk in order to have the most memorable, laughable evening of her entire life and that made me smile. We found a table near the back wall, sat down, slipped out of our coats and draped them over the backs of the chairs before the bare-chested waiter came over to take our wine order. The two older women twittered back and forth about him being nakedly risqué … and he still had his pants on. Oh, well, they would find out what their phrase really meant soon enough, I thought to myself.
After the waiter had brought us our drinks, a bowl of chips and some salsa, the canned music blared into the room with the popular tune sung by Marvin Gaye called ‘Let’s Get It On.’ The bedspread curtains (at least that’s what they looked like to me, also realizing those would be quite appropriate to the occasion) opened to reveal a buff young man walking out on stage dressed in a business suit, business shoes, shirt and tie, and hat. He began to dance to the musical beat, while slowly removing the coat first, then the tie, and melodramatically tossing them to the stage floor. With a whisk of his hand, he took off his hat and threw it into the crowd of squealing women in front of him before slowly unbuttoning his shirt, revealing a muscular chest.
The audience went crazy. Beside me, I could hear Margaret and Flo gasp as they stared at the action on the stage, mumbling they did not like the nudity … but they started giggling while properly looking anyway every so often … before looking back to the stage because they did not want to miss anything. Cindy was watching the two older women’s reactions and, noticing I was looking at them as well, giggled and gave me a wink. She was having a great time seeing her mother in the throes of shock mixed with delight. It took maybe five minutes for the performer to remove his shoes, socks, and pants as he gyrated to the song. Soon, he had stripped down to that tiny G-string covering not much of anything and the young women screamed.
When the last phrases of the song ended and the music stopped, the dancer stepped down off the stage and wandered through the tables, pausing to kiss random, giggling girls who slipped ten and twenty dollar bills into his G-string. All I could think of when I saw the wads of green bills hanging from that strap was – Damn, do they make good money! Enough to pay for college, I figured; then realized that some of them probably were starving students eager to make the bucks to cover the college costs.
Wandering through the crowd, the corporate suit stripper passed by our table and Cindy tried grabbing one of those twenty dollar bills from his hip, but he wiggled away while taking her hand and, raising it to his lips, kissed it romantically; then he left the room. Margaret exclaimed to us that he had kissed Cindy as if she could not believe her eyes. Flo just laughed and laughed.
The music started again and this time it was a Paul Revere and the Raiders song called, ‘Indian Reservation,’ prompting a brown skinned, dark haired dude dressed in Native American garb to enter the stage in his moccasins, leather fringed pants, beaded suede shirt, and wearing a fancy, multicolored feather head dress. He held an old fashioned rifle and reminded me a little bit of Geronimo in those old tintype photographs.
The young man was joined by two other dancers dressed in native garb and, together, they proceeded to step and spin to the music like they were performing a rain dance … or, more aptly, a fertility dance which was actually the same thing … while removing their garments down to beaded G-strings. When the loud squeals of delight and cheers from the female audience became deafening, Margaret and Flo cracked up and began cheering them on, too.
The handsome Indian group was followed by a blonde, muscular chap who undressed from a military costume by wiggling around to the Olivia Newton John song called ‘Let’s Get Physical’ After he bared his body down to his G-string, he jumped off the stage, grabbed the hand of a shrieking, heavy-set gal in a flowered dress sitting in the front row and pulled her up onto the stage with him where he managed to sit her down on a wooden chair. Gyrating seductively to the music, he began performing a lap dance while the brunette in the flowered dress screamed with pleasure not taking her eyes off that G-string.
When he wiggled closer to her lap, she suddenly grabbed his buns in her hands and squeezed them to the delight of the audience. The dancer looked surprised, but didn’t miss a beat and the woman’s friends sitting at the table in front of the stage cheered her on. There was a birthday group of six young women sitting at the table next to us and the antics on stage were too much for the younger gal who grabbed her coat from the back of the chair and draped it over her head, so she could not see the stage. For the rest of the evening, she sat in her chair with her coat over her head like she was wearing a brown tweed burka. Every so often, her hand would mysteriously appear from under the heavy shroud to retrieve the beer bottle on the table which she pulled under the coat to take a drink. How the birthday girl blew out her candles and ate her cake during the show was beyond me. While Margaret and Flo laughed and laughed at the lump, I was fearful they would do the same with their coats … but they didn’t.
The next performer to come onstage was dressed in a bear suit like the papa bear in the fairytale, ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears,’ and he was followed by two other dancers also dressed in bear suits representing the mama bear and the baby bear. They entered the stage stepping and spinning to Michael Jackson’s song, ‘Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough.’ A male Goldilocks sporting a wig who wore a checkered dress, pinafore, and white knee socks ran onto the stage behind them and also began gyrating to the catchy music in black Baby Jane’s. The bear suits came off first to reveal muscular bodies in G-strings and the strippers gyrated around wearing only the bear heads for awhile.
Goldilocks feigned fear and ran around the stage as if she were looking for a way to escape. When the male dancers removed the bear heads to reveal they were human, the blonde braided wig wearing male in the dress appeared to relax with a smile and, flirting with the used-to-be-bears, began removing clothes down to a G-string. Everyone clapped and cheered. I assumed this fairytale act was the signature Papa Bear act for the club, although it certainly left something to be desired in my mind. They could have added some humor between the bear … er … bare beats and it would have been a hit.
The bears and Goldilocks were followed by a black skinned, uniformed pilot dancing and stripping to ‘Brown Sugar’ by the Rolling Stones … and a young man slipping out of a doctor’s uniform to the tune of ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ by Rod Stewart … and a weight lifter who was already almost naked gyrating to the tune of ‘Shake-shake-shake, Shake Your Booty’ by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. All of them slowly and seductively removed garments to the beat of the music. It was apparent that girls in the audience were getting quite drunk because they were shouting for the dancers to take it all off while they screamed and clapped.
The highlight of the evening for us was the ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’ who came out on stage and started dancing to Glen Campbell’s song of the same name. He was dressed in a rhinestone studded top and pants that looked like a one piece white jump suit, and, stomping his rhinestone decorated cowboy boots on the stage, he tipped his white cowboy hat with the sparkling hat band to the ladies of the evening. With the stage flood lights full on him, he looked like a dazzling, dancing Christmas tree during the holidays and it was all I could do to keep from reaching into my purse to grab my sunglasses to cut the glittering glare.
He unzipped his jumpsuit top to the beat of the music and threw it into the air, revealing a hairy, muscular chest. Spinning around, he wiggled his bottom a few times before slipping the pants down to the ground and smoothly stepping out of them while the song’s guitar twanged. All he had on now was a skimpy G-string with a sparkly strap, his studded boots and the white hat. He jumped off the stage and, keeping in step with the music, he danced through the aisles stopping only to kiss the ladies that slipped fives, tens, and twenty dollar bills in the stone-studded strap that held his tiny G-string.
When he started passing by our table, I reached over to slip him a twenty dollar bill, so he would do a hand stand table dance on the ceiling for us. Removing his hat and handing it to me, he grabbed an empty chair, climbed up on it and then stood on the table before putting his hands down by his booted feet and doing a handstand. Being tall, the bottoms of his cowboy boots hit the ceiling, so he kept rhythm to Glen Campbell’s music as he wiggled, jiggled, and stepped around on the ceiling for us. Shocked and awed, Margaret gasped, putting hands to her cheeks; but she continued to look upwards at the rhinestone cowboy. Flo laughed along with us while she, too, could not take her eyes off the upside down dancer. Watching the women, Cindy and I giggled so hard, we thought we would wet our pants.
Sadly, the cowboy was the last performance of the evening, and, putting on our coats, we joined the throng of drunken women exiting the nightclub. I tell you, it was a night to remember for each of us and the two older women talked about it all the way back to the hotel. We said our good byes and the three of them climbed out of my car to get into Cindy’s car, so she could drive them home.
Years later when Margaret developed dementia and could not remember things very well at all, she would remember that night out at Papa Bear’s clearly every time we brought it up – and then she would laugh and laugh. How many of us have the courage to take the risk of experiencing life outside of our invisible boxes during our lifetimes? Margaret and Flo did – and they never regretted it. Margaret didn’t know it then; but, with courage of conscience, she had made the decision to climb out of her moral box to sample a life well-lived … and live it, she did. In fact, we all did.