During C week she told us, “I was in the CAR listening to the radio and Offenbach’s CAN-CAN came on. So, naturally, I had to pull over and do a can-can on the CURB.”
Naturally. If you’re Goody Cable.
Now she’s busy collecting first-hand stories for every country in the world. Every single one. So that her grandchildren will have a more personal connection to the world.
Like us, Goody is committed to knowing the most fascinating people to be found. Her employees at the Rimsky-Korsakoffeehouse in Portland once found a customer so scintillating they tied him up so he wouldn’t leave. And her guests at the literary-themed Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport must share the choicest bits of their lives by playing Two Truths and a Lie.
Goody has an endless supply of bits to share. We knew her five years before she even got around to telling us the story about Jesse Jackson sleeping in her bed. (Note to her grandchildren—she wasn’t in it at the time.)
And, no, she’s not a character in The Crucible. Goody’s her real name, short for Gudrun.
1. What motivates you to get up in the morning?
What motivates me most to get up in the morning has changed throughout the years. As a child it was helping dad milk the cow and sharing our dreams. In college it was getting to the cafeteria when the cutest guys were there. As a young mother it was crying babies. As my children grew older it was getting them off to school so I could have the house to myself (and often go back to bed). Since then one of my main motivations in life is to have nothing compelling me out of bed. All about choice.
2. What keeps you awake at night? What obsesses you?
What keeps me awake at night is trying to squeeze every moment out of the day that I was hesitant to get up to in the first place! One more page to read, one more thought to think, one more idea to discover, play through and reject, perhaps! I am obsessed with ideas. It doesn't matter if they're trivial, fruitless, ludicrous, stupendous or mundane. They each receive the same amount of initial enthusiasm, juice and either tender fizzle or a year or two of obsession. Once in the holds of the obsession I can still run (a loose word) two businesses, spend time with 5 grandbabies, play with friends, fall in love with new friends, and do all the I-it survival stuff. But the obsession keeps my playing field happy and healthy.
3. What do you struggle with most?
I have to answer the next three questions out of order.
My personal philosophy is what I call the 90 and the 10 per cent. We have a lot of living to do. I would say about 10 per cent of it is important and 90 isn't. So I give my all to my 10 per cent. That means energy, time, emotion, effort. I sort of let the 90 slip. That gives me a lot of time and energy to give to the things that matter to me. The trick is: I have to respect the 10 per cent of the people I love. And I love a lot of people. That is probably my greatest struggle.
I'm always learning valuable lessons. I think the most important is to ask yourself the most important questions and be true to yourself with the answers. Keep the Joneses out of it.
I created the idea of a hotel for booklovers as a trap for me to meet interesting people because I decided that's what I wanted most in life. The question wasn't: What do I want out of life? It was: How do I want to spend my time each day?
I know how to keep myself happy. It involves tricks and games and not looking at life head on a great deal of the time. I see an awful lot thought the corner of my eye. When a person brings me great joy, as many people do, I cherish them. And I know how to fend off nay-sayers. That can even be fun!
4. What is the most valuable lesson you've learned?
5. What is your personal philosophy or motto?
My name is Gudrun Cable, I go by Goody. I own a coffee house called the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House in Portland, Oregon, and co-own The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon. Professionally I'm an assimilator of the mundane. And a really good one. My children are Marya Aslakson, Trevor and Austin Cable. My grandchildren are Tor, Jules, and Leo Aslakson, and Xander and Dante Cable. They are very young and I'm preparing with great diligence the view of the world I plan on showing them.