By Alan Sorensen
I'm old, I'm fat, I'm a grandfather, and Sunday afternoon I become a father-in-law. Got any more good news?
Yeah. My oldest pulled up to the office at 6 a.m. today to let me know that he and his lady and their two adorable kids made it in safely from Seattle. They left at 5 p.m. and arrived here at 6 a.m. They lost an hour crossing into Montana, so the trip actually took about 12 hours. Not bad.
So, instead of taxing my tired old brain today, I thought I'd come up with all kinds of little opinions and tidbits that popped into my mind this week. Some may stir controversy; others may just leave us all scratching our heads.
I got a little taste last week of what Fossil Festival might be like and I liked it. The mother of one of the most popular members of my class of '67 (Hurray), John William Gearheart, was in Havre to make a music presentation at our alma mater. John died suddenly our junior year. He fit in with everyone in the class: He was good academically, played in the band and sang, went out for football, worked outside of school, and never used his astute sense of humor to hurt anybody.
I think every class has a John Gearheart. I'm glad his mom, Marion Gearheart, will be coming back to Havre each year to award some worthy HHS musician with the scholarship that bears his name.
At Fossil Festival, we'll be able to remember John together. And there'll be the others we've lost, particularly the Jane Ryans and Gary Gormans who left us in the early years, and the boys who died in Vietnam.
Speaking of Fossil Festival, I was reminded this week that Sandy Anderson isn't putting this thing on all by herself. There are hundreds, nay, thousands of helping hands. But two of the most helpful so far, I was told, are my buddy Diane (Jones) Lamphier of HHS and HPD and Mike Spencer, a Great Falls High grad, who's doing everything possible to have the fairgrounds ready for the September invasion.
Election Tuesday. Think I'll vote for the only Havre High grad running for a state office, even if he does have a bit of a condition. He showed his stuff up here during some tough water rights negotiations. He stayed cool and helped make it possible for others to do their jobs.
How about those Little Shell? They've been kind of hard to track down since the Department of the Interior announced their tribal status Friday.
I grew up in a Little Shell neighborhood. I could have told the government they were Indian. Even the government acknowledged they were Indian when it sent out the meager Pembina (10 cent treaty) monies a few years back.
I did manage to get ahold of John Gilbert in Chinook. (Actually, he'd gone fishing and got ahold of me with his cell phone.)
"A great burden has been lifted off all the council members and the Little Shell people waiting for the day that never comes," the former Tribal Chairman said. "The wait is long last over.
"Now the great task of getting down to business for the benefit of the Little Shell people is before us. We must also remember to thank all past councilmen and chairmen who have also helped share this long, long fight for federal recognition and all other councilmen and other tribes who have supported us."
After we all take a breath and savor the moment, of course.
How about those KG boys, again? Placing in 15 out of 17 events. Didn't seven of their graduates from last year get college athletic scholarships? I remember when the two schools (Gildford Broncs and Kremlin Foxes) only had seven graduates between them.
It looks like they'll be back in the hunt again next year. Their seniors only scored 30 of the teams 75 points.
And how about Havre High, taking fourth in the All-Sports Trophy hunt behind the strong showing of its golf and tennis teams. We didn't even have those when I was in school.
When I return to work Monday, I'll have a daughter-in-law.
It just keeps getting better and better.