K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door

Let Katie be

Toledo Free Press
By Jeremy Baumhower

Attention fellow citizens of Northwest Ohio:

As some of you may have heard, one of Toledo’s most famous alumna just went through a divorce. Not only is she going through one of the more public break-ups in recent memory, she is going through it with her 6-year-old little girl. Katie Holmes and her daughter, Suri, have been spending some time in Toledo, away from the paparazzi, trying to catch a breath and get their feet back underneath her.

I am writing this “Open Letter” to ask my fellow residents to allow Katie and Suri some normalcy while back in Toledo … meaning please just let them be.

Katie, Suri and their family tried to enjoy some shopping at Westfield Franklin Park on Aug. 12. How do I know this gossipy tidbit of information? Because I witnessed Katie and her sister flip though the close-out rack at a clothing store while Suri hung out with her cousins, playing. I mention the close-out rack because while Katie may have been married to one of the most famous men on the planet, there she was, holding Suri’s stuffed animals in her arms, while shuffling through the various clearance items. Katie looked like a woman who’d recently been through a divorce. She looked skinnier than the last time I saw her, and it almost appeared she had forgot how to smile. The gawkers started almost instantly, trying to sneak their phones out to snap a picture. I saw one woman hide in a rack of clothes trying to capture a digital image. I really felt bad for Katie.

Anybody who has been through a divorce knows you need your support system; you need comfort and usually you need your family. Katie Holmes is no different from any of us in that aspect. Any Christ the King parishioner knows how strong, close and genuine the Holmes family is. Although very private, especially since Katie’s success, their warmth and compassion has never changed, showing why Katie is still so grounded.

Her family and this town are the perfect ingredients needed for a broken heart.

There is a reason most of us choose to live in Toledo; it’s comfortable. Toledo has little traffic, we have plenty of great food, a close distance to Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago and most of our families are here. Toledoans are mostly kind, warm and neighborly human beings. Katie and her daughter can live a laid-back life here, if we would simply allow them.

Some radio stations sent out Facebook updates asking for Katie “sightings,” encouraging listeners to snap pictures, almost giving it the feel of a manhunt. I am going to ask you to do the opposite. Please, if you see Katie Holmes in public, with or without her daughter Suri, leave her be. She has put the city of Toledo back on the map, and did so in a positive way. She has earned her privacy, especially shopping on a Sunday at the mall. If she chose to move back home or at least spend more time here, it could mean good things for our city.

Katie Holmes is, now more than ever, closer to you or me. She’s a recently divorced single mom, with a bright-eyed 6 year old girl at her side trying to figure out what’s next. She shops with her sisters at Westfield Franklin Park, she enjoys close-out racks, all while carrying her daughter’s stuffed animals, if that’s not Toledo, then I must not be from here.

If you see Katie Holmes out and about, Instead of asking her for a picture, or an autograph, how about you wish her a simple “welcome home.” Let’s treat her as a sister and mom and let’s remind her why her family still chooses to call Toledo home.