DAN HAMMOCK | THE DAILY WORLD Aberdeen City Attorney Eric Nelson officially retired at the end of the City Council meeting Wednesday evening. To celebrate, with gentle nudging from Mayor Erik Larson, he pulled at the ends of his bright red bowtie and opened his collar.

Aberdeen city attorney bids adieu

After he was honored by Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Director Stacie Barnum and Mayor Erik Larson at the Aberdeen City Council meeting Wednesday, now-retired city attorney Eric Nelson took his usual seat to Larson’s right. The council members, most of them, were wearing bow ties, Nelson’s signature fashion statement. Larson turned to Nelson and said since he was officially retired, “You can take off the bow tie. I’m taking mine off!”

Nelson tugged at the ends of his tie, drawing it open. A woman near the back of the gallery gasped, “Oh my gosh, that’s a real bow tie!”

Barnum earlier took to the podium with two gifts and a story to tell.

“I’ve worked with Eric for 22 years, and one of the first things I learned when I was in my early 20s is he scared me to death,” she said. “He also taught me there IS such a thing as a stupid question.”

One of the gifts was an apron, a jab at the fact that Nelson may be retiring after 29 years but his wife is still gainfully employed at the Port of Grays Harbor, so now it’s up to Nelson to get dinner on the table. The second gift was a gold anniversary clock. Larson told Nelson the clock was engraved with the sentiment, “The legend has retired. I hope you never have to check the time again.”

Larson continued, “You were the heart of this city, or at least its body armor, for a long time.”