We all are beholden to our Marge
Your voice: Ella Cather-Davis
I met Marge Schott sometime around 1987 at Fifth Third Bank. She burst from the elevator bigger than life, bearing a box of donuts to share, chatting amiably with my fellow executive switchboard operator, Angie. She regaled us with a story of cows getting loose on her property in Indian Hill. This was an amusing picture to me, as I lived on a farm at the time and had cows. I was picturing a designer cow out for brunch, dodging BMWs.
Marge laughed hard and was a bit brash, but her face seemed very kind to me. Rumor had it she was there to try to keep the Cincinnati Reds baseball team in Cincinnati, to make a personal plea to Clem Buenger. And, I was told that I'd better believe that not even Marge had that much money. But she did just that, and at great personal sacrifice.
Over the next decade I would hear "Marge said this" or "Marge did that" or "Marge brought Schottzie on the field" or "Marge swore." She was 75 years old at her death in March 2004. Sometimes when the people we love age, they may get a little louder and speak their mind more easily.
There are many reasons for these things, including health issues and the realization that little time is left to express themselves and they are entitled to be a little outrageous at the end. We do not stop loving them or impinge upon their dignity for these things.
Did Marge care what was being said about her? Well, perhaps a little, but she was off tilting at windmills again, just like when her husband Charles passed away in the mid-1960s and she became responsible for his company - and more importantly to Marge, responsible for the employees of Schott Buick. This meant that these folks had to have jobs.
Marge understood the work ethic. She felt: You work in this life. If you are fortunate, you give back.
Now we all are seeing the wealth she and her husband amassed over the years, being auctioned off to (what else?) benefit the Schott Foundation and the various charities she designated (the first of three auctions was Friday at Starlite Ballroom.). There she goes again! What will we do for her? This bigger-than-life person who, for the brief moment in time that was her life, gave Cincinnati all the love in that great big heart of hers.
We are beholden to you, Marge. Well done . . .