By Alan Sorensen
Let's try something a little less contentious this week, OK?
How about we look at what's coming in September Fossil Festival and Festival Days. I'm sure there's more to do then, too, such as homecoming. But then, there's always more to do in Havre.
We'll just stick with the three F's and a D for now, OK?
For those who don't know, yet, what Fossil Festival is, it has nothing to do with the historic prehistoric digs near here. It has everything to do with the 1960s in Havre. The brain child of Sandy Anderson (I suspect her older sister, Shelly, had a hand in it, too, somewhere along the line), Fossil Festival is an all-'60s reunion for graduates of Havre Central and Havre high schools. As I understand it, their teachers are invited, too.
The whole affair is set to transpire at the Hill County Fairgrounds over the three-day Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-3. Labor Day, Sept. 4, is recovery and travel day.
Here's the rub. Whitefish is having an all-'60s reunion, too. Theirs is in late July and has the blessings of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Division Superintendent Kelly Duryea in Spokane, Wash. even presented a $1,000 grant to the Whitefish High School ALL '60s Reunion committee. The grant came from BNSF Railroad Vice President Richard Russack, who even wrote a letter in support of the reunion. In it he said, "It is a pleasure to be among your current supporters."
In making the presentation, Duryea is said to have said, "The Washington Division is pleased to participate in a significant way to promote the reunion committee's labors to bring back Whitefish of the 1960s."
Duryea reportedly identified a considerable number of BNSF employees involved in the project and welcomed the opportunity to honor the service of the many Vietnam Veterans within their ranks. He is quoted in an e-mail addressed to The Havre Daily News as saying, "Our employees are mightily engaged in the project, contributing heavily in time, money and talent. These men and women have professionally served our company with unwavering discipline and dedication for over thirty years. A request from them to aid their project is fitting in other ways as well."
The e-mail contains a later quote from former Whitefish Mayor Mike Jenson, a reunion committee member, in which he thanks the BNSF for the unsolicited $2,000 grant. (Things grow quickly in Whitefish.)
"This totally unsolicited gesture and the kind words from BNSF Vice President Russack and Mr. Duryea were most heartily and emotionally received," Jenson said. "Thank you, BNSF, for being a corporate part of our celebration of life, loyalty and allegiance."
What division is Havre in? And if the BNSF already came through with a grant, we should probably put something about it in the paper.
But then again, what do we want from the railroad? This is our reunion of the people, by the people and for the people. It should belong to the people, too. We don't have to hire the Bop-A-Dips from Missoula, we have the Squires from Havre.
Three-wheeler Keeler is at it again. Two years ago he suggested putting on a three-on-three basketball tournament during Festival Days. He thought it would be appropriate to hold it on the Carpenter Park courts because that's where the kids with game play.
It turned out that Festival Days is a tough time to host a youth tourney because it falls in the girls' season. That's why Master Sports held its tournament during the summer on Seventh Avenue between St. Jude and Pepin Park. Dan had no complaints.
I got word last Wednesday, though, that Dan walked all the way into the basement of city hall to discuss an adult three-on-three tourney for Festival Days with city rec director Dave Wilson. Dan was already headed back up the stairs when Wilson returned to city hall. They met on the stairs and, amid gripes about the stairs, Three-Wheeler posed his notion to Wilson. He even committed to putting up $100 if it would help get the tourney off the ground.
Dan's an early '70s grad, but he's got the stuff of Fossils. September 2000 should be a kick.