By Alan Sorensen
Jim Pasma was my Boy Scout Troop leader. He ran a spit-and-polish unit. He will be missed.
I dont know whats happening to our holiday spirit these days.
I only had one trick or treater last Sunday and that was my grandnephew whose father had to drive five miles to get him to my door. No neighbor kids stopped by. I even left the bowl of bite size tidbits on the front steps thinking maybe someone blown by would grab some goodies. Nary a nibble.
Now it looks as though, in all likelihood, there will be no community Thanksgiving Day dinner at St. Jude Social Hall this year. That dinner attracted between 500 and 800 home delivery or sit-down diners each of the last 17 years.
The dinner isnt dying for lack of funding. Its dying because the anonymous donor who started it and kept it going had hoped from the outset that some club or organization would step forward to take it over. None ever has.
Now, after all these years of ramrodding the whole affair, volunteer Kelly Stewart is finally going to devote herself to her family this November. There has been some sort of medical emergency in Stewarts family each of the last six years, but she has managed to juggle things around enough to get dinner on the table for Havre on Thanksgiving Day.
Another medical emergency has arisen this year, and this year Stewarts going to devote herself to getting her loved one well.
I doff my hat (a tip of the Hatlo hat?) to Kelly, the anonymous donor, and the other 100 plus volunteers who fed us all those years. Thank you.
Now that holiday tradition, as short-lived as it was is, is going the way of the Christmas Stroll.
Ill just have to console myself with a Cornish game hen, the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade and its Rocky Boy contingent, and some holiday football fare. We couch potatoes can adapt.
I didnt watch 48 Hours on TV last night, but Roger in the back (we call him the professor) told me this morning that Larry Brubaker was on. Brubaker, a Havre native and former student body president at Northern, is apparently the FBIs leading authority on Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
The more active among us may remember that Larrys older brother Ken managed the Hi-Line Lanes for years and then bought Peps Lanes in Big Sandy. I havent seen either Brubaker for years, but a glance at the phone book informed me that Ken now lives in Fort Benton.
Anyway, isnt it good to see a Havre kid make it. And on prime time TV, too. The last Id heard, Larry was an agent in North Dakota. Roger said hes in Minneapolis now.
It is well to remember that Larry also dabbled in NMC football, which Ill use as a segue to remind everyone that MSU-Northerns final home stand is just one week away at Blue Pony Stadium. Thats the stadium with the big white N on the hill that firefighters saved yesterday from a wildfire that swept east down Cycle Valley and crossed the fence into the grass at the west end of the stadium.
I havent seen Larry at any of the tailgate parties so far, but maybe Three-Wheeler Keeler and I will run into him next week.
Dan Keil, of Conrad country, told the Rocky Boys/North Central Montana Water System audience a while back that there are more than 54,000 water systems in the United States. Of those systems, he said, only 16 serve areas with 1 million or more households. About 2,800 systems serve 10,000 to 50,000 homes, while 4,328 serve 3,301 to 10,000 homes. More than 8,000 systems serve communities or districts of between 1,000 and 3,300 homes, while 5,937 serve 500 to 1,000 homes.
The number that impressed me the most was the number of systems serving 101 to 500 households: 17,116. Can you imagine each of those water districts having to build $5.5 million water treatment plants that comply with existing but not future federal drinking water quality standards. The annual upkeep and regular expansion of the plants capabilities would keep those 101 to 500 households in perpetual debt unless theyre all named Gates.
Arent you glad Havre has running water? Dont you wish everyone did?