How many steps does it take to get from the 1995 Mariners run still etched deep inside my mind to the political battle being waged right now in Olympia over building heights? Not far enough. It is actually scary close.

Step 1. One of my favorite afterglow memories of the 1995 run was this article from Sports Illustrated (my earlier reference here). The scene is basically a bunch of guys waiting to go into a wedding until the Mariners game (part of the heroic stretch run) is over. This inappropriate line (you’ll see in a bit) is included: “Gayle’s wedding? It’s her second.”

Step 2. Who is Gayle Fink-Shulz, is she still in Washington State? I wonder how she feels to be immortalized in a classic article about the Mariners. Well, she’s already pretty famous, and not because of a game or a set of games.

From the PI:

At the funeral for her husband, a state trooper killed in the line of duty, Gayle Frink-Schulz realized that many of the more than 3,000 officers in attendance saw in her their wives and mothers.

They knew it could be them lying in the flag-draped coffin. They wondered if the people they held dearest could endure their sudden, violent death.

At graveside, a woman approached and embraced her. She whispered that her husband, also a motorcycle officer, had been killed two years earlier.

“At that point we just held each other and cried,” Frink-Schulz said.

As she struggled through her own grief, she decided that other families — and law enforcement officers — would benefit from an organized support system. In early 1994, she helped form the Washington chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, or COPS, a group that helps the family, colleagues and community deal with the deaths of officers in the line of duty.

Yeah, dude. Its her second wedding because her police officer husband died in the line of duty two years earlier. I have a hard time weighing the gravity of the 1995 Mariners and Mrs. Frink-Schulz’s wedding, but I keep on coming back to Gayle on this one.

Step 3. The view from the Washington State Law Enforcement memorial has become a part of whether to allow tall buildings to be built in certain parts of downtown Olympia. From the Little Hollywood Blog:

Gayle Frink-Schultz of the Behind the Badge Foundation, gave perhaps the most compelling testimony of the day. As the widow of Washington State Patrol Trooper Steven Frink, Ms. Frink-Schultz explained how she came to be involved with the planning of the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial on the Capitol Campus which overlooks the debated isthmus region.

Frink-Schultz also explained the state’s heavy involvement in the project since 1999: site selection with the Capitol Campus Design Advisory Committee, stabilization of the hillside, landscaping and construction of a retaining wall as part of the Heritage Park hill and walking path – “all to create a place of serenity, honor and respect.”

“….I found a new mission in life after my husband’s death. Steve’s death taught me there are things in life that are irrevocable, things we cannot control. But, I also learned that there are things in life that are important and that we do have choice over….This is one of those times.”