Saturday, September 21, 2019

Faces: Past and Future Our Town

It's a tale of two pages of Sandpoint history unfolding on the same day. 

It involves a local football hero who earned his due as an NFL legend.

It also involves a plot of ground on a hillside in an area where locals used to ski or sled in the wintertime.

These two separate pages, which I had the good fortune to witness and document yesterday dealt with the past, the present and the future. 

Past history is written and remembered. 

Present history involves the process of permanence. 

Future history promises a film documentary, done from the heart as a labor of love by a lifetime fan of the local football hero.  

The future also involves beautiful piece of property up on Pine Street where future generations can enjoy and see nature as we see it today. 

Yesterday's two events didn't exactly parallel each other, yet they did happen in hallowed settings long revered by Sandpoint natives. 

In one case, an early evening reception was held at the 180-acre Pine Street Woods for those who uncorked the vision for this public recreational and educational plot, along with a host of dedicated volunteers and Kaniksu Land Trust staff members who continue to make that vision happen.

The other event occurred in segments, one in the beautifully renovated auditorium at the "many named" glorious brick structure on Pine and Euclid; the other, in front of the student body at a Sandpoint High School pep assembly. 

High school friends, family members, at least one super fan and teammates of Green Bay Packer great Jerry Kramer gathered in small groups to reminisce in front of cameras, capturing segments of the documentary. 

Later, most of the group and the camera crew moved on to the high school where surprise guest Jerry Kramer was introduced to the student body. 

In his short address, he told students about his big hands and big feet and how a coach told him as a sophomore that some day he'd grow into those and become a great player.  

"You can if you will," the coach added. Who knew that some day those words would fit perfectly as the title of a film featuring that once awkward kid??  

Meanwhile, as a light rain fell,  the folks gathered at Pine Street Woods stood beneath a tent and heard thoughts from nature lovers Henry David Thoreau and President Theodore Roosevelt as part of celebratory remarks aimed at all who had made this dream for the present and future generations come true. 

And, I'm kinda thinking that the words of that coach shared with the 15-year-old football upstart probably fit right in with the Pine Street Woods celebration. 

You can if you will

It's for sure that the good people of our town have demonstrated that thought many times over.

And, we're all the better for it. 

Good luck, Glen Aveni, with your upcoming documentary. 

Hats off to Jerry Kramer and to the Kaniksu Land Trust.

We're from Sandpoint and we couldn't be any prouder!

Once again, we are reminded that "our town" is pretty darned special. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Pine Street Woods Opening . . . YAY!

It's going to be a great weekend for the Sandpoint area.

Pine Street Woods has its grand opening tomorrow. 

If you don't know about this wonderful gift to our community and want to see exactly where it's located AND maybe even donate to the cause, check out the link below. 

Bill and I are very proud to be associated with Kaniksu Land Trust which, with a lotta volunteer help, facilitated this project which offers yet another beautiful spot for people to recreate, to learn and to appreciate nature. 

Bill has participated in much of the planning phases for the 180-acre tract of land west of Sandpoint. 

Don't ask me what he's done, but I'm sure the folks at the land trust can tell you. 

I do know that he's spent a numerous hours up there leading up to this grand opening.  

Plus, I know he's working diligently downstairs, as I type, on a presentation he'll be making during tomorrow's day-long activities at the woods.  

I think he's the forester doing the tree talk. 

Knowing we would be involved in some of the celebratory activities, I decided yesterday to spend a little time getting acquainted with the woods. 

I didn't hike or see as much as originally hoped, but that was okay cuz there are benches placed throughout the walking areas.

On one of the benches sat two women obviously relaxed and enjoying some visiting while looking over a beautiful meadow.

Upon getting closer, I recognized a family friend, Tina, and as I approached the bench, met her friend Tanya, a Spokane native who spends a lot of time up here and when her house is complete, will be living in Sandpoint. 

Forget the walk.  Here were two vibrant and fun ladies.  I just plopped down beside them, and while admiring the view, enjoyed a lively conversation. 

These ladies had brought their children for an afternoon weekly class put on by Kaniksu Land Trust educator Dave Kretzschmar.  Dave had a friend from the Waldorf School yesterday assisting him.

Those kids and their teachers took off so fast that this ol' lady couldn't keep up with them, so sitting on the bench, relaxing with a couple of the moms provided a nice substitute. 

While we were visiting, a pair of mountain bike enthusiasts pedaled along a trail below us across the meadow.  Soon, they came on another trail behind where we were sitting. 

By the time I said good bye to Tina and Tanya and walked down a pleasant shaded trail toward my car, moms were returning to the parking lot to pick up their kids. 

One of those moms was a former student and Cedar Post photography editor, Kelly, who now works for the U.S. Forest Service, so we enjoyed a brief visit.

A lifetime remains of opportunities to visit the Pine Street Woods, and I am looking forward to that. 

Who knows?  On one of those visits, I may even meet upclose and personal with a Sasquatch. 

We are so lucky to have organizations like Kaniksu Land Trust who work hard to preserve lovely pieces of property for public enjoyment and, more importantly, for the species already living there. 

Thanks for this gift. It definitely is a gift of nature which will keep on giving in so many valuable ways far beyond my lifetime.  

7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Ribbon cutting at 4:30 pm

Activities and events will take place throughout the day. All activities are free and open to all.
View the full schedule below.
For directions to Pine Street Woods, click here.