Link Mathewson was the kind of friend you knew would always be there for you if you needed her. Her friends were everything to her. In fact, she made a point of never losing touch with a friend, from childhood on.

Link passed away a few weeks ago, and the world is shining a little less bright with her not in it. Having known her for upwards of 25 years, I can honestly say I never remember her greeting me with anything other than a lovely smile over the years. If she had a care, she certainly didn’t show it. Always fun to be around, we both enjoyed the society editor beat for several publications in town, so we knew of lot about the charities and people involved. Our writing styles were very similar in that we always showed the charity in a positive light, knowing how hard it was to raise money for a good cause.

No matter what, however, we usually ended up talking about food, a subject near and dear to both of us! We were always comparing notes on the newest restaurant in town. I remember reading in the Register about a new hot dog restaurant opening in Buena Park called Portillo’s Hot Dogs nine years ago, and Link was the first person I called to hightail it there to try it out. I knew she was a Chicago girl, and this was a hot dog eatery straight from The Windy City, a U.S. city having a great reputation for the dog. So, we hit the freeway and the carpool lane and were at Portillo’s in a scant 20 minutes from Newport Beach! Portillo’s is a family-owned restaurant that has been in Chicago and its burbs??? for more than 50 years, so we knew we were hitting hot dog pay dirt. We both LOVED the “Signature Dog” and thus began our many trips up the freeway to hot dog heaven.

Link was always a inspiration to me. I don’t think I’ve ever known of another person who never spoke ill of anyone. She just didn’t have the time or inclination. There was too much to enjoy with writing her restaurant column in Coast Magazine, covering new restaurant openings and meeting for quality time with friends. And, she had many of them. More than 300 showed up for her memorial and reception.

Here’s to a dear friend taken too early from us. She couldn’t have been 81 years old! She didn’t look, act or think like a person that age. Link definitely brightened many, many people’s lives during her short time here. I’ll be thinking of her the next time I’m eating that famous Portillo’s hot dog. I sure hope they have hot dogs in heaven. She will SO love it!

Photo, courtesy of Mike Munson