By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Hank and Sandy Tarter were more than willing to attend the Jan. 26 Keizer First Citizen Awards Banquet.
They just didn’t expect to be left speechless – and highly honored.
The Tarters were named Keizer’s First Citizens, several months after selling Keizer Collision Center on River Road to Kadel’s Auto Body.
The President’s Award went to Richard Walsh, who will be profiled next week.
“It was such a shock,” Hank said. “My mind went blank. Then I realized, ‘Oh criminy, we’re going to have to say something.’”
Sandy noted the couple had attended the banquet most years and Kadel’s was paying for their tickets. Besides, the couple had nothing else planned and had a chance to see old friends.
“It was no problem getting us there,” Sandy said. “But we never dreamed what was coming.”
Bob Zielinski, who won last year’s First Citizen Award along with wife Pam, started giving some details about this year’s recipients. Then some details like the winners owning a gold mine and their son having worked in the business came up.
“It started off kind of general,” Hank said. “Then it’s like, ‘Hey, wait a minute.’ He started saying some things and it started to get personal.”
Sandy started noticing that as well.
“We were in the Rotary,” she said. “We own a gold mine. Then I thought, ‘Uh-oh, this could be us.’ It’s just a huge honor. There are so many people out there more deserving.”
The Tarters moved to Keizer in 1975 but didn’t really feel connected to the city until opening their autobody shop in 1988.
For more on this and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the Feb. 1 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.