By Robert Lucke
Barry Remus is a man with a second job this year and sometimes third and fourth jobs. Most all of those jobs involve Havre youth programs and even though Remus got into those jobs when his children were in those activities, his children are grown, moved away and still he works tirelessly for the youth of Havre.
I am only working with youth baseball this year, Remus said. I run the concession. That is my job. I am really scaled back this year trying to get some free time.
Remus would have lots of free time, he is quick to point out, if his wife did not approve of his being in so many activities for so long.
My wife has been great. She doesnt complain, Remus continued. I think she has a sense of pride that I do these things. When will you be home is about the only thing I hear.
Remus has been involved in youth activities in Havre for a long time.
My son is 30, said Remus. I probably started when he was in grade school here in Havre. That is a long time.
Remus has coached activities but emphasizes for those like him who were not very good at coaching, there is plenty else to do around youth activities.
I handled concession stands for a long time. Probably close to 18 years, Remus added. I was in the HHS Booster Club, I think I was president there for four or five years and for a while I had three concession stands to operate at Legion Park, Sixth Avenue and the Slow Pitch Complex. That really was like a second job. You just ran from one field to another. I may have made some money for the program but it was really hard on me.
So what drives Barry Remus?
I like being around the kids at Legion Park. It keeps me young, Remus said. And I like talking to the adults in the stands. I really have some interesting conversations. And I like watching baseball. That is probably why I am there and when I cant talk to the adults there any more, I probably wont be there anymore either. Besides my wife would probably run me out of the house anyway.
Remus is a native of Great Falls who first came to Havre as a student at Northern Montana College. After graduating from Northern he served in the armed forces, taught for a few years, did carpentry work and has been working at the Havre Job Service Office for close to 18 years.
What I found when I first came to Havre to go to school is that the people were really friendly here, Remus said. They would say hello to me on the street whether they knew me or not. I had not seen that before and liked it and do you know it is still that way in Havre.
Remus is the first to acknowledge that doing volunteer work is as good for the person doing it as for those benefiting from the work.
We started to fence at the field across from Patterson Park. It was fun and it was physical labor which was good for me because I sit behind a desk all day. And there is a lot of pride in it too. A fellow from Malta came up to me the other day and asked how we ever got such a good field. That made me feel real good.
Through the years Remus has noticed that kids as well as parents have changed.
I think kids today are so knowledgeable. TV, Internet, they know everything. Like those shootings. It is all right there instantly, Remus said. At the ballpark you can really see changes. I think there is less respect for adults these days although the group this year up there is great!
Parents have changed as well.
I think parents have changed. There is so much more to do. We often wonder where are the parents at games. It used to be that parents didnt miss games. Now, sometimes there are just a few. Do you think those kids dont notice that? I can understand a parent not being able to make it to a game once in a while but not going to one out of six, what is going on in that family? And you know kids dont get into trouble playing ball.
Remus has sort of a twofold mission in being so dedicated for so long to youth activities in Havre.
So many people take, take, take. I like to give back, Remus said. This community has been good to my family and me. It doesnt hurt to give something back.
Not only that but Remus said it makes him feel so good when he is involved in volunteer work. He said it will make others feel good as well and that there is always something to do.
A group of us caulked some bleachers last night and I really ache today but I have this really good feeling, Remus said. Want to feel the same way? Just walk up to someone and say, What can I do?
That is the secret of Remus and like so much else he does, he has passed that on to his neighbors.