By Alan Sorensen
How can anyone say theres nothing to do in Havre? Do you have any idea how many fun things I didnt get a chance to do in the Havre area during the last six weeks?
Neither do I, mostly because my memory isnt that long. I do remember, though, that I didnt go to the circus last night because of my arm. Im hoping that the circus may be the last fun thing I have to miss as the summer season gets its real send-off this weekend with the Independence Day celebration.
Im banking that my recovery will be substantially complete in time to ride the Hi-Line powwow highway that opens next Thursday with Brownings Indian Days celebration.
I did get to spend some fun time, though, at the Montana/Wyoming Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp at Camp Kiwanis. That was the first of the double flushing the self-inflicted pity pot that I wrote about Friday morning got later that day.
First, photog Ryan drove us out to the MDA camp where we visited with campers and counselors. Every camper had his or her own personal counselor, a golden-hearted volunteer who served as that campers personal valet, shadow, and best friend. The campers and their counselors were joined at the hips, figuratively speaking, for the entire week of baseball games, canoe and horseback rides, meals, seminars, latrine duties, and cabin time.
Counselors, I found, come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, and ages. More than a few of the 45 or so counselors from around the state were firefighters, but many, too, were high schoolers.
Then, invigorating visits from Three-Wheeler Keeler Friday and Saturday did the rest of the job.
Im in nearly perfect health other than a couple of broken bones and a stretched nerve thatre in repair, but all those folk were the ones sporting grins instead of grimaces.
I have another confession to make. Years ago, members of our illustrious firefighting fraternity in Havre warned me that people would think I really liked my kids if I kept writing about them. Well, the last of the kids is scheduled to fly from the nest later this month. (That may be another reason I was on the pity pot.)
Spud heads for Tacoma/Spanaway Monday and Chy-An, whos off to sunny Santa Ana, Calif., later this month, will be within spitting distance of Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, and numerous beaches. Then it will be just me, Spuds two kittens, my geriatric cat, the ants and roaches, and my dead-fly wallpaper.
Ive been looking forward to a quiet house for years, but now that its impending, Im feeling a little old and lonely. I may just pay my AARP dues and head over to the Senior Center for pinochle, pool, and camaraderie.
I heard several news reports this week that said Asian Americans feel suspect because of a few negative news reports: Chinese contributions to the Democratic Party, Chinese acquisition of American weapons information, Chinese retribution for the NATO bombing of a Chinese Embassy. The Asian Americans fear retaliation and persecution from government agencies and civilians because of the bad press.
I have three responses:
Our country was built on outside contributions, just as our country and its multinational corporations try to build and control other countries with their outside contributions. You dont think campaign funds and other politically-motivated contributions from England and other Western European countries are funneled into our political landscape every day? You think Jaguar, Yugo, Bayer and other foreign industries dont contribute? (And by the way, where would we be today without the contributions made by Lafayette and that Polish guy during the Revolutionary War?)
Military armament secrets are becoming more illusory as scientists around the world network better. Shared knowledge, in almost every instance, is good.
Havre wouldnt be half the town it is without the contributions of its American citizen residents of Asian heritage. Kato, Harada, Sasaki, Hamaoka, Yamamoto, Woo, Liu, et al: they are our history. Theyre our past, present and future. They fill our yearbooks. Much of my pride in Havre (and the freedom I enjoy today) I owe to them and I thank them.