Behind the robe

I have a robe that I wear in the morning.  It keeps me warm on cold winter days when getting the coffee for my wife.  My robe is not symbolic of a foundational element of our society (although I still have a West Point bathrobe I won in a bet on the Army-Navy game more than 40 years ago!).  And even when “zooming” into a meeting, I would never think of wearing my robe to work!  But we have over 40 colleagues who do wear robes to work every day – and these robes represent their impartiality, objectivity, wisdom, and fairness.

Many of us will never see the inside of a courtroom unless we are serving on a jury (and please answer that summons!).  However, what happens there is a cornerstone of our society – keeping our community both safe and civil.

Judges make life altering decisions every day of the week, whether overseeing a criminal trial or resolving a civil dispute.  What does it take to be a judge, and why would anyone want the stress of making those kinds of decisions?

To find out more, I recently spent some time with Judge Timothy Ashcraft, the Superior Court presiding judge.

As you can tell, Judge Ashcraft takes his role very seriously. However, did you know that behind that calm, measured demeanor lies the spirit of a stand-up comic?  It’s true! I learned that during college he had a routine that he took to the stage at comedy clubs!  That story reminds me that behind the mystique of the robe, judges are real people – they are our neighbors.  I even went to high school with Judge Karl Williams – go Curtis Viks!

My thanks to Judge Ashcraft for the time he spent with me.  Our entire interview was more than 20 minutes.  I can’t thank him and his colleague enough for their critical service to the residents of Pierce County.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you get to spend some peaceful time in your robe this weekend!