Friend a Day – Anjila Olson
I’ve known Anj for a long time. I worked as a hawker on her stage during the 1987 Renaissance Festival season. I’m not going to pretend all went well with us that year. I was finding my voice and it turned out that I wasn’t all that interested in being a hawker. That was my fault.
But you know what? You can get beyond a bad experience with someone because sometimes good people make bad decisions.
While she is moving on from it now, Anj spent the last several years at the festival as Alice the Cook. The festival is a strange beast that combines entertainment with education and it typically errs in the direction of entertainment. It is hard to fight against that tide.
But that is what Anjila did. Day after day, she worked to teach people something in an entertaining way. I don’t think her form of work was ever as appreciated as it should have been.
As a performer, I never walked by her stage without being offered something to eat and/or something to drink. With all the health issues she deals with, she never ceased to be concerned about the health of everyone around her.
When Anj commits to doing something, she commits to doing it as well as she possibly can. She spent hours of prep time every day she played Alice.
I see that commitment in every other part of her life. I see it in every career choice she has made. She is someone who will work as hard as she possibly can to make things happen.
She has a very genuine smile that is almost always present. When she is around, she makes others feel like they are the most important thing to her.
It was may fault that we got started on the wrong foot all those years ago. I’m glad that an ill beginning was overcome. Anj is a great person.
Right now, her husband is recovering from surgery. I’m going to link to his Gofundme page because that recovery is expensive and insurance doesn’t cover everything. Whether or not you know Anj and Chris, do them a favor. They deserve it.