Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Gentle on My Mind, Triplets and Reclaim Idaho

When I was a student at the University of Idaho, I earned most of my college expenses through the work-study program, which for me, involved working at the Radio-TV Center on campus.  

I performed general office duties but also copied and sent out tapes to radio stations, featuring news or concerts from the university's agricultural and music programs. 

After three years of working at the center, I decided to take a class in radio announcing. Loved it!  

We learned the basics about adjusting controls on the board and controling our voice while speaking into a microphone. As a requirement, we hosted our own weekly radio show on KUID-FM. 

The hosting did not involve a lot of work because most of the programming was pre-taped, so once we did our introductory spiel, we simply pushed a button and the radio equipment did the rest. 

The one aspect where we could add a creative touch and actually do some live announcing came at the beginning with our introduction.  We could pick a tune, play it and then work a mix of voice-over with music in the background.

I chose Glen Campbell's "Gentle on My Mind."  It was my most favorite song at the time. Its catchy sound and its images rang true to me, and, of course, it had that good ol' country romantic theme.  

By the rivers of my memory
And for hours you're just gentle on my mind
Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines . . .

Like many people, I'm sad to see Glen Campbell has passed on.  I loved just about every song he ever recorded and can remember making sure to watch the "Glen Campbell Show" every week on TV. 

As someone stated, Glen Campbell dominated a lot of rivers of my memory.  He is gone, but happily the trip to Phoenix, the Rhinestone Cowboy and those gentle hours with the mind will continue to strike a chord among all who loved his work.

RIP, Glen Campbell. 

Justine, Sefo, Jacob, Grace and Laura Laumatia.
Laura, our niece,works as an environmental specialist
 for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. 

How cool!

The Laumatia Triplets went back to the land of their birth last week and ended up being featured in the Samoan newspaper. 

It's been fun watching the Facebook photos featuring the cultural smorgasboard they've been experiencing while visiting their Samoan family and participating in Samoan traditions. 

Jacob, Justine and Grace moved to North Idaho from Samoa about 13 years ago, as documented by the Spokesman-Review newspaper in the second link above. 

Equally fun:  their friend Jade, a member of the Coeur d'Alene tribe immersing herself in Samoan culture.  BTW:  we often call the triplets the "Quadruplets" because Jade is with them pretty much every time we see them.

They'll all be back home soon, preparing for their sophomore year at Coeur d'Alene Charter School.  So glad they had this opportunity. 

The vision has turned into reality.  A concept, which many would consider Quixotic may have come in contact with a few windmills around Idaho.  

I don't know if Luke and Garrett and their team had any stand-offs against windmills, but I do know they pulled off their plan to inspire both attention and support toward keeping and enhancing Medicaid in Idaho. 

One of the reasons their vision may have been a bit tenuous is seen in the photo above. It's called that green Medicaid Mobile, which by now is adorned with signatures of Medicaid supporters from throughout the state. 

The 1976 RV apparently held together and kept on truckin' down the road as the team visited 20 communities throughout the state and more than likely a few in between. 

I congratulate and thank these motivated, smart and caring young men from Sandpoint for devoting their summer months to creating a grassroots movement called "Reclaim Idaho." 

What seemed like an impossible dream, ranging from filling the Panida Theater for an evening with Pulitzer Prize Winning author Marilynne Robinson to the just completed journey our the state has been pulled off and impressively so. 

The dream of making a difference within our state continues on in the months ahead as Dr. Luke Mayville so poignantly explains in a Facebook post below.  Hat's off to Reclaim Idaho, to its founders and the many volunteers who helped bring the dream to reality. 

Here's Luke, and Happy Wednesday to all:  

Dear Fellow Citizens and Friends of the Reclaim Idaho campaign,

We did it. Two months ago, all we had was a 1977 Dodge camper, a map of Idaho, and a sense of urgency.

We knew that there were 78,000 Idahoans who fall in the “Medicaid gap”—who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance. Here’s something else we knew: In spite of the fact that 70 percent of Idahoans want to see our government take action to address this problem, our elected representatives have done nothing.

With your support and encouragement, we refurbished our old camper into a “Medicaid Mobile,” and we hit the road on July 25th. Between then and now we made 20 stops from the Panhandle to the Tetons and back again.

We made it on TV, public radio, and local newspapers all across the state. We rallied in Farmers Markets and on bandstands. We spoke to gathered crowds in cities, we knocked on doors in tiny towns, we swarmed parking lots with flyers and sign-up sheets in communities where, we were told, no one would sympathize with our message.
In every community we visited, we found overwhelming support for the expansion of Medicaid.

We heard stories of hope. We met young Idahoans determined to run for office and older Idahoans engaging in the political process for the first time. We heard stories of pain: Cashiers and cooks who lost Medicaid coverage because they went out and got a job; young single mothers working two and three jobs to cover medical bills of relatives while also trying to raise children; people who will leave this state that they love, and who will leave family behind, simply because they can’t find affordable healthcare in Idaho.

Everywhere we went, we found resounding support for the policy of expanding Medicaid. We have a green camper covered in Sharpie signatures to prove it, and the towns written beside the names are not just Moscow and Boise. They’re also American Falls, Blanchard, Blackfoot, Wallace, Cottonwood, St. Maries, Priest River, Challis, Shelley, and so many more.

On Sunday we wrapped up our final stop at the Raspberry Festival near Cottonwood. The tour is finished, but this campaign is far from over. After hearing so many stories of pain and hope, we are more determined than ever to reclaim the best traditions of this state and this country.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to share stories and reflections from our time on the road. We’re convinced that if the voters of Idaho hear the stories we’ve heard, they will demand change in 2018.

For those who have joined this campaign, we will work in the coming weeks to develop a clear plan of action for how you can make a difference in November 2018. We firmly believe that this election cycle is an unprecedented opportunity to fight for strong public schools, protected public lands, and affordable healthcare for every Idahoan.

Stay tuned, stay engaged, and most importantly of all: Keep believing that we are all in this together, and that change is possible when we organize around the values that unite us.

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