Ailing MPD Sgt. Jesse Garcia III was more fatigued than anticipated at his fundraiser Monday. Staying at a hotel near Jimmy’s Event Center in Vadnais Heights, Garcia dropped in on the benie as his energy level allowed while an estimated 600 to 1,000 circulated.
“Last night we were in Regions Hospital until 4 in the morning, so he’s tired today and dehydrated,” said Michael Gabriel, who has been Garcia’s constant companion during this medical marathon. Gabriel, who is married to Garcia’s sister Monica Garcia, lost his job the same day JGar3 — as the event T-shirts read — received his cancer diagnosis. “Had an opportunity to go with Jesse on his first appointment [when] we found out he had stomach cancer. It’s been just an incredible journey. Lots of appointments that last weeks at the Mayo Clinic,” said Gabriel, who has known JGar3 a long time. “I met Jesse when he was about 11 years old. Met my wife in seventh grade and have been happily married since,” he joked, as Monica averred, “Life partners.” She also said, “We’ve been blessed to be with Jesse.”
Somebody I know who’s good at estimating crowds said 600 people were in the event center when I asked. “I’ve heard [there’ve] been more than 1,000 people” in total, Gabriel told me.
There was one person Garcia wanted to make sure I saw. “Did you see the baby?” he asked me.
I saw her, applied Purell, held her and she cried. Her mom told me Vienna wanted to go to her godmother, who was also standing there. Later Vienna was crying in the arms of Garcia’s mom, Donna Collings, who said her granddaughter is a very good baby.
Although there were more than a half-dozen babies at the venue, I didn’t have a bit of trouble identifying her. JGar3 had told me that word was she looks just like him. After scouring the room, eyeballing babies, I was able to find the one with Garcia’s beezer, which he also has passed along to his son, Jesse IV.
JGar4’s mom, Sheri, said Michael “and my boy are two of the people who are a strong presence for JGar3 but typically don’t like to receive credit due. Both are a strength for JGar3. JGar3 has said he doesn’t know what he would have done without his sister, Monica, and brother-in-law, Michael. Little Jess is the one on the sidelines, quiet yet steady and strong.”
I think they should start calling him Tall Jess, for reasons obvious on my startribune.com/video. Garcia told me his teenage son “has been being strong for me and I feel blessed.”
The community of friends from his east St. Paul roots are another blessing for Garcia.
Bob Kroll, incoming president of the Minneapolis Police Federation and a Garcia friend, said Wednesday he didn’t know yet how much was raised.
I told Kroll how well planned the event appeared. “There was a core group of about eight of us, but then we had over 60 volunteers,” said Kroll. He laughed when I told him it was unusual for me to be at a benie where guns and bullets were auctioned items.
A daughter for Carlson
Fox 9 anchor Kelcey Carlson gave birth to Kathryn Dorothy Elizabeth, according to a note she posted on Twitter with a photo of her husband holding the baby and flanked by their sons.
Parenting with Prince
Some people are glad the soundtrack of their lives includes very little Taylor Swift. Swift is fine, fine, fine, but she is no B.B. King.
Actor Rebecca Romijn knows what I’m talking about based on what she told CBS’ “Late, Late Show” host James Corden about the musical influence she is exerting over her twins’ lives.
“One of the only fun things about being a parent,” joked Romijn, “is you get to curate what your children hear, read and watch for the first time. Really for me it’s been mostly about music. So I’ve introduced them to Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton first. Then they got really into Michael Jackson. Now they are sort of into Prince; getting into Aretha. When we are in a store and a Stevie Wonder song comes on and one of them goes, ‘Is this Stevie Wonder?’ I’m just like, ‘Somebody’s doing a good joooob,’ ” she said, sing-songy.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.