Since all I've received in my in-box this morning are the usual Cialis, Viagra, male enhancement ads and another of those desperate letters from someone overseas who's come into a huge amount of money which needs to be stored in my bank account, I can't yet report on Operation Back-up.
I'm sure our sheriff's personnel will send an email when they have the time. For now, their focus has to be to get to Mississippi safely and with all their donated goods. Check back today because if I do receive word from them, I'll post it.
Today is Zap Day at the Hair Hut. It occurs every two months, and, as always, it's time. The summer sun has done a number on my hair, taking nearly all the color. Besides that, it needs a trim, by an expert and not a botched-up attack by my fumbling hands.
This weekend marks the 19th Farragut Reunion (only one more next year), and I'll be going down there tomorrow to snap some photos of returning WWIIl veterans who did their basic training at Farragut Naval Training Station. This will appear in an upcoming Sandpoint Magazine article, honoring the 60th anniversary since the end of the war.
For any readers who've never seen my "Sailor's Ahoy" story and want to learn more about Farragut's history during WWII, you can google "Sailors Ahoy." For some reason, my power of giving you a link just doesn't work this morning.
Anyway, once there, you can read about the thousands of young men who came to the shores of Lake Pend Oreille between 1942-1945 to train for their involvement in the war. I've been fortunate and blessed, because of this story, to hear from numerous veterans or their families who often provide me the sequel to each recruit's life after Farragut.
Tomorrow, I'll meet Clyde Stone, an 81-year-old Bonners Ferry native who trained at Farragut. His friend Patty Burlingame is taking him to the reunion. I'll probably interview him by phone today, and then we'll enjoy some additional visiting tomorrow as we take in the festivities, so aptly coordinated by Al Leiser. Al's a dedicated historian and eloquent speaker who's devoted his heart and soul to the stories of these veterans.
Bill and I will be taking my mother to a USO-style variety show at the Panida tomorrow evening. I have no doubt this will be a very nostalgic experience for her, especially because she worked as a draftsman at Kellogg Field in Battle Creek, Michigan, during the war. She's very proud to be among the "Rosie, the Riveter" crowd.
Gotta head off to the Hair Hut, so check in later. Maybe I'll have some additional news from the traveling Bonner County troopers.
Friday morning update from BCSO records supervisor Tia Abey:
Two updates from Elaine Savage, received at noon Friday, Sept. 9, 2005--most recent first
You can see I am using my personal email and am at a hotel in Boise. Now I will start home. I had a good night's sleep and am ready today.
I spoke with Captain Drake briefly--the cell service in Wyoming is horrible, but at least I do know they made a successful pick up in Twin Falls and are on their way. They stopped to sleep last night only because of a blown tire. But they did sleep.
I talked with Susan Bowman last night, and with the help of her sister Marsha Olgilvie, they have received donations and pledges for at least $6,000.00, so a second trip is very realistic.
Without the help of generous citizens of Bonner County this Operation Back-Up would not have happened. Captain Drake, when he received the email enlisted the help of the FOP, the Bonner County Sheriff's Guild and all volunteers. He made an Operations Plan and implemented it.
He had had the support of Sgt Darryl Wheeler with Sandpoint PD and Lt. Doug Harris from BCSO. These two have been busy behind the scenes, where it is critical. Deputies Matt Hathaway, Kevin Hayes, the Inmate workers, Cpl Dianna Moore, Tia Abey, and Amy Palmer have all collected cash, sorted and boxed donations, written receipts, etc....all in addition to their regular duties.
Training coordinator Lisa Brown does just that--- coordinates everyone and their various functions and keeps Cpt Drake apprised. Priest Lake Search and Rescue INC. volunteers raised $1,100.00 just within their membership. How can I adequately express my thanks to them?
I am very proud of their work and thankful to their familes for supporting them in their endeavor. I can't forget the entire staff at BCSO who have pitched in to help and filled in the gaps the five who are traveling have left. Their work is being carried on as if they were here.
The past twenty four hours have been exhausting-but joyful, After we got underway at 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday night we picked up more personnel and more donations on the way.
Our first stop was at Kootenia Co. Sheriff's Office and the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, and there we were joined by two Shoshone County Deputies with a U-Haul trailer filled attached to their vehicle. They also brought along $2, 330.00 in cash and Kootenia and CPD had donations also. A lady had donated $500 in cash. Forgive me her name and business name are not with me any longer, but it was her vacation money. I think that is a fine example of the support this operation is getting.
On to Moscow PD, their personnel had another U-Haul trailer filled which was attached to one of our vehicles, and the lobby of the PD was full of food. Most was for the Deputies as they travel, we sorted thru what we could use, and donated the rest to their local food bank.
A business had donated homemade organic sandwiches, organic fruit and vegetables, and that was very well received. We also collected cash donations there. We received applause and congratulations from strangers who walked by and were very supportive of our efforts. Moscow PD personnel stayed up late to assist and had hot coffee ready. When I have access to the names I will include in my final re-cap.
The next stop was Lewiston PD. What a sight. The back parking lot was so full of donated goods we were stunned. Another fine showing by the good people of Lewiston and surrounding areas. All of us pitched in and sorted, boxed and loaded items we now are experts at determining what is most needed. They also had food items for the Deputies and what could not be loaded was also donated to the food bank.
Now for a true adventure---fueling all of these vehicles, when we pull into a gas station it is an all out assault. We strategically plan for the best use of space and move in, efficiently fuel, and move out with the least amount of disruption to their customers.
The Flying J attendant came to the parking lot, applauding and invited every one in for free coffee and soft drinks on her. We explained we had enough to float a battleship, but she insisted, so we had some much needed caffeine. Our special thanks to her; seems everyone in Lewiston had heard of Operation Back-Up.
Now on to Boise. We traveled thru the night stopping in Grangeville to top off the tanks and there we were joined by the UnderSheriff and Jail Commander from Idaho County SO.
Near McCall, we pulled over and everyone took of advantage of a couple-hour nap. Then, we were on our way to Boise.
In Boise we were met with a host of media, almost another truck load of good and $3,000.00 in cash. The news media covered Operation Back Up on every local station's evening news and radio. They also had food for hungry Deputies, who by this time are turning down food--- WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT!!!!! We have some good photos to send home.
Just east of Boise, the trip ended for the support vehicle, and I will be limping it home. It just could not keep up and was taking more fuel than was practical. The U-Haul trucks are very fuel efficient. Since our donations are keeping us going, I made a decision to leave them and send them along their way faster, and I forgot to add we had been joined by a Nampa PD officer and his father. So the Deputies now have relief drivers and everyone can sleep.
Still onward these tired-but-determined-to-deliver law enforcement personnel go. They were stunned, then embarrased by all the attention, but are proud of their efforts. People are genuine in their expressions of support and are proud that this state's law enforcement personnel have stepped up.
Next page soon.