By Alan Sorensen
I'm ashamed this morning and don't know when I'll be able to forgive myself.
I missed Jane Hulett's funeral yesterday morning. Every time I tried to get away from the office something came up that I thought was important. I finally finished up about 1 p.m. The funeral was at 10 a.m.
I've avoided funerals for longer than I can remember, partly because I'm afraid of developing a pattern. It sounds childish, I know. But it seems that by living my whole life here in Havre I've become familiar with almost everyone. How do I justify going to one funeral and not another.
But Jane Hulett was different. She was my second mother. I think we all have one, and she was mine. Not that she needed anymore kids. She had plenty of her own -- Mickey, Dan, Fred, Jim, Tom, Joe and David (and Brownie) -- each one a success story.
Their home in the deep east end, just across the alley from Washington School, was a haven for all of us neighborhood kids. It seemed that everyone was always welcome in the biggest little house in town.
She raised seven kids, held down a full-time nursing job with odd hours, and made sure her husband, Charles, had a full lunch box before heading to work early each morning. It was amazing that she found time to play pinochle when we asked. She was a master of juggling her schedule to get everyone to where they needed to be when they needed to be there.
Her life would make a great book.
I last spoke with her about a month ago when we were both in physical therapy at the hospital. Despite everything, she still had that great smile and drive.
Jane Hulett was always there for me, just as she was for all the kids in the neighborhood. I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't there for her Wednesday night or yesterday morning.
I was asked to ask someone at the employment office why the state's new building on the corner of First Avenue and Second Street doesn't have a sloped roof. I ran into Pam Harada just the other day and she said that it does have a sloped roof, just not a peaked roof.
The slope can't be seen because of the masonry that surrounds the roof. Holes were left in the masonry to let water roll off the roof. Because there are no eaves, Harada said, there will be no dangling icicles.
Harada said the state considered putting on a peaked roof, but the cost would have required down-sizing the building. The state opted for more floor space rather than a steeper roof.
We'll see how it works out.
I went to the driver's examiner's office last week and put in for a new driver's license number. All I had to do was pay $5, sign a couple of forms, and stand still long enough to make a silly face while my photo was snapped. I was done within five minutes and informed that my new license will have the same expiration date as the old one.
When my new license arrives, I won't hesitate to pull it out and show to store clerks and bank tellers who want to note my driver's license number. It won't be my social security number, anymore.
I've wondered aloud more than a few times why there aren't more people lined up to give blood when the Red Cross blood drive hits town. We have more than 10,000 people living here and more than a handful are adults. The quota of 110 units seems paltry, to me. Blood letting is not only less painful than years ago, it is still a healthy thing to do despite all the fuss about HIV and AIDS.
Now Havre High kids are taking charge with their own blood drawing. What a great way to start adulthood. There will be plenty of sweat and tears to go along with that blood as they get older. But then again, blood, sweat and tears are what make life exciting.
The Blue Pony girls gave it a good shot last night, but Glendive's slow-down offense and tenacious man-to-man defense turned out to be the perfect formula for an upset. Don't turn off the radio, yet, though. There's a lot of tournament left.
P.S. Don't forget: The Thanksgiving Day dinner at St. Jude Social Hall runs from noon to 3 p.m. Home delivery will wind up before noon.