A Tale of Two Women
by Diarmuid McGuire
This is the story of two women who don’t know each other but probably should. One is an icon for those who know her. The other is our governor, perhaps a towering figure someday but currently a work in progress.
The icon is former Ashland gas station owner Ana Delfosse. As a teenager, Ana walked across the Andes from her home in Chile to Argentina, seeking an alternative to sheep ranching. She found a job working as a mechanic in an auto repair shop owned by a bandy-legged young athlete named Juan Fangio.
Fangio went on to become the world’s leading racecar driver, dominating the Formula I circuit in the late ‘40s and ‘50s. Ana went with him as a mechanic on his racing team and part-time driver. They piloted for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati. Juan won five world championships in ten years.
Governor Kate Brown grew up in Minnesota, earned a law degree at Lewis & Clark, practiced family law, was appointed to Oregon’s legislature in 1991, rose to the position of Senate Majority Leader, was elected Secretary of State in 2008, and ascended to the governor’s office this year following the meltdown of John Kitzhaber. Not exactly walking across the Andes, but not chopped liver either.
Today Ana Delfosse holds her head high, as one would expect of a racecar driver, but she faces new challenges. A few years after her beloved husband, Curt, died in 1998, a corporate fuel supplier repossessed Ana’s 76 gas station in Ashland. Today she is fighting to pay her home mortgage and control a chronic disease, scleroderma. (An autoimmune condition, Ana’s scleroderma is probably related to years of exposure to automotive chemicals and solvents.)
Meanwhile Kate is trying to figure out how to govern Oregon. In part, this will involve environmental protection and fossil fuels. Specifically, she needs to deal with the Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector project in Southern Oregon, which will inflict serious damage on our natural resources and, as part of a huge North American fracking/export boom, will contribute to global climate destabilization.
Currently Kate favors Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector because it will create a few new jobs in Coos Bay. You can support these two remarkable women and help make the world a better place. Here is how:
Mark your calendar and plan to attend a benefit art auction and reception for Ana Delfosse at Green Springs Inn on Sunday, April 19. (See ad for details.)
Then find a post card and write something like this to Kate: “Nix Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector. It’s bad for Oregon, bad for the planet. If you don’t believe me, read www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/methane-fracking-obama-climate-change-bill-mckibben.”
Mail it to:
Kate Brown, Office of the Governor
160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street
Salem, OR, 97301-4047