Pat Kultgen knew she'd seen the white dove before.
|Pat Kultgen and Carolyn Pustejovsky|
She's a Facebook hawk, and on a recent day, she was out at her barn near Lorena, tending to horses she raises as a passionate avocation.
And there it was, a snow-white dove with clipped wings, perched as big as life and pretty as a picture, the very one she'd seen before, posted on Facebook.
“This dove showed up at the barn three days ago. It belongs to Carolyn Pstejovsky, who lost her son in the West blast. I am 30 miles south of West (upwind) and the bird had clipped wings. Its mate survived; all the babies are dead or missing. The blast was on April 17.”
Naturally, this brought out the bird dog, the nosey newshound in The Legendary Jim Parks.
Somewhere, a whiskey-throated desk man from the spirit world intoned, “You mean you didn't ask? Kid, there might be work for you at the phone company. Y'never know...”
I just had to ask.
“How did you locate Mrs. Pustejovsky? Is the bird tagged? I know it's a stupid question, but I just have to ask...”
Mrs. Kultgen replied, almost immediately, “That's a good question.”
She wrote back, “The bird was not tagged. The bird was returned home via social networking, technology, and old-fashioned prayer.”
Like most mysteries, this one has a logical explanation – if you know where to look. Then and there, a little committee formed to solve the riddle, almost immediately.
“...Shortly after the blast, someone posted a picture on the Facebook page, 'Pray for West,' of a white dove on a pile of rubble. I remembered that one of the comments said the bird belonged to someone whose house had been destroyed, and she was looking for others. I sent a text to a friend of mine, asking if she knew who had lost the birds. Within minutes she replied she didn't, but sent the number to the West City Hall. The woman who answered gave the number to the church where Carolyn works. She answered and emotionally told me she would be right out...”
Calmer heads prevailed. It just wasn't the right time of day for something as important as bringing the white dove home - to West.
Horse sense won out.
“...I suggested she wait until dusk, when the bird would roost. For the next few hours, I prayed the bird wouldn't fly off, and I put out extra food. When they arrived, she told me she had been praying to her dead son for guidance when I called...”
This was the time for action. The moment had arrived.
“We found an old minnow net and a stool and the bird calmly let us catch it. The effortless flow of the events was surprising; the fact it happened at all was hard to believe.”
Now that the moment had passed, Mrs. Kultgen began to feel its importance; the momentous gravity of a truly amazing happening began to sink in.
“I wish there was more I could have done to help them. The depth of their loss and grief is beyond my comprehension. As a side note, I'd like to add it is their young grandson who is selling hot dogs to fund the memorial park in West...”
Hot dogs, all around. Hot dogs for everyone, I say. Any style – New York, Chicago, Kosher or not, it's only a thing when you stop and think about it. With or without the relish, mustard or horse radish – salad peppers – whatever.
This is a good day for hot dogs.