I most certainly won't be the first to pen a gushing obit to WCCO's Darcy Pohland... and I surely won't be the last.
Neither first, nor last, matters much to me.
Darcy was a human measuring stick, though she never asked to be, nor most likely ever wanted to be.
Fact be told, she was... just because she was so excellent.
I can't recall when it was that I met Darc, although it was on a story. Her tenacity was immediately evident... I believe it was a snowy Minnesota day, that kind that stops wheelchairs in their tracks. Darcy was on that story, her photog Nancy Sohoo (I believe) was helping get Darcy to the interview spot.
The offhand challenge of getting to that interview, and the spots that required b-roll, weren't enough to phase Ms. Pohland. Not much could.
Darcy and I used to laugh when we'd run into each other. Invariably, it was at a crime scene... a place tragically lacking in hope, love, or humor. Darcy, thank goodness, would bring all three. A gallows joke would precede a nice talk about her shop, my shop, how mutual friends were doing, etc.
I never saw a chair.
Darcy was that much of a force to me, someone who refused to let a moment of fate (in the bottom of a swimming pool) stop her, limit her, or define her. She loved her Vikings, Gophers, and all Minnesota sports and pastimes... from where she witnessed them. She never complained to me that she had to watch them from a wheelchair, although she probably wept occasionally in the dark about it. Only occasionally... because she was too busy doing stories, going to games, and smothering friends in love and attention.
Forget glass half full.... Darcy's was always over-flowing, at least in public where people would bask in her ever-present smile. I'm not a boy scout... life could not be a bed of roses for a former beauty queen and athlete who suffered a life changing injury that left her without the use of her legs. My associates from Channel 4 who worked with her on a daily basis would probably have a better handle on what demons, if any, nipped at the heels of Darcy's wheels.
I frankly don't care about those.
Her luminous presence was motivating to me, proof that life's heaviest misfortunes don't have to dim a powerful human light. I have often wrestled with whether I would have the courage, fortitude, and optimism to carry on as Darcy did.
Her light is out now... and I'm poorer for it.
We all are. God speed, Darcy... and let's hope the angels are Gopher fans. Otherwise, they're in a hell of a lot of trouble.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)