This Eads High School Graduation seemed a little more special this year. Maybe it was in part because of the wonderful prelude music played by pianist Leisha Peck and senior guitarist, Rhett Uhland, singing and playing his own composition, "Always Coming Home." The speeches given by seniors: the welcoming by Chance Fowler, Salutatorian, Cameron Crow, Valedictorian, Fred Turner, and the farewell by Micah Crawford were delivered clearly. Trenton Rittgers led the "Changing of the Tassels" following the fine class photo video by Micah Crawford and Chance Fowler. The senior parents had decorated the stage with very large photos of the 15 seniors above the letters of the Class Motto:" In the end, it's not the years of your life that count. It's the life in your years" - Abraham Lincoln. Superintendent Glenn Smith and Principal Besty Barnett introduced and commended the School Board members for their service. Those members are: President Ralph Berry, Jessica Sierra, Keith Crow, Marlynn Eikenberg, Larry D. Gifford, and Marty Miller. Senior Frederick Lee Turner's poem, "To See Life" was printed on the program. The greeters, Zachary Haase and Madison Kelley were the Junior Escorts. This means that at this time they as juniors have the highest grade point averages. When Principal Betsy Barnett recognized each student as they received their diploma, she had such a heartwarming way of telling some of each student's qualities and some obstacles in their growth experiences as she gave their scholarship awards. As a family member or friend of a senior, Mrs. Barnett has such a lovely way to relate these facts, it leaves some wiping tears or nodding their heads, "true, true" or "wow, wow." All these seniors have college and career plans. Another surprising thing about graduations is that the audience is filled with many people that the locals do not know because they are proud relatives and friends who have come from far and wide to see these young people graduate: Tyler Barton, Joey Burk, Micah Crawford, Cameron Crow, Chance Fowler, Patrick Hollis, Dustin Nelson, Caden Parker, Kelly Ramos, Trenton Rittgers, Lakota Roberson, Avery Snover, Frederick Turner, Rhett Uhland, and Stephen Wilson. At this point these students have scholarships or grants totaling $94,345.00 for their college of choice. Congratulations to the teachers and administrators and the sponsors who shepherded these precious students: Mr. Joe Wagner and Mrs. Mary Vasquez and parent liaisons, Ms Hallie Barlow and Mrs. Monica Uhland.
After the ceremony, some students went to their homes and others to the American Legion Hall for receptions and late day meals. When we went to one of these parties, it was really raining. The ice cream at one party tasted like it was homemade which I really do like. Later when Terry and Shalyn Laird came to my home to pull a bent metal broom handle out of the back of my power chair, they told me that it was indeed "homemade." Those parties were hosted by the Crawford-Weeks and Roberson families Darwin Nelson and his parents, Phyllis and L.D. Nelson hosted a party and dance at the Haswell Center. Gary and Pam Crow hosted a reception for their grandsons, Cameron Crow and Stephen Wilson at their home east of the Golf Course. Kelly Ramos came running through the rain to bring me some of her good chocolate cake. There were no doubt other gatherings that I didn't not know about, like lots of Barlow relatives who were in town for Chance, so they no doubt celebrated too.
The seniors and their sponsors had a good time for several days in and around Glenwood Springs on their "educational trip" where they did touring and recreational activities like water rafting, game rooms, and "dressed up" to eat out in a more formal place.
This is a very important announcement for senior citizens: The Brunch is Thursday June 1st and not June 7th as appeared in my column last week. The Brunches at the center are on the first Thursday of the month and has always been so enjoyable just to relax and have time to visit. On the same day, June 1st, at 2:00 p.m. will be a 101st birthday party for Pansy Foxworthy and at 6:00 p.m. there is the Annual Dinner Meeting of the KCDEF at the Court House. Two new business will be highlighted as well as the announcements of the Citizen of the Year and the Volunteer of the Year. This is a catered meal. It would be helpful if those who plan to go would RSVP to Jan Richard's office a 719-438-2200.
Sharon Johnson is a person whom we really miss volunteering with in Eads. She wrote an encouraging note last week and wrote that she enjoys life in Louisville, CO but says she surely likes to read the Kiowa County Press to know about "what is going on".
Charles Barber of Longmont and his sister, Shirley, of Denver stayed overnight in the Cobble Stone Inn last week. They came to decorate their mother, Faye Barber's, grave and then stayed over Thursday night. I went there to buy one of their thick crusted pizzas and attend a meeting so I was surprised and happy to see them.
Last week, Laura Negley and I left early in the morning for five days to help and to teach at the Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the Lutheran Church in Kit Carson. Several mornings during the week, we saw Commissioner Cindy McLoud as she walked up and down two blocks of Maine Street watering the potted flowering plants. The flowers add such a pretty sight to the buildings along the way. Last week, Mike Crain and Domonic Hernandez painted the turquoise and white trim on the Museum. It really looks so much better. Like the Salvation Army Store, it is a teal color now. What a nice change, at least in my opinion. I like color! It is better than so many browns.
We were at the cemetery at twilight last week. It was lovely to see so many tiny solar lights twinkling. I hear that we can buy them at the HealthMart.
Over the week-end there was lot of cattle branding and people going to the lakes to camp or spend the time in boating and fishing. We are blessed that the lakes are filling up with lots more water and we are still getting of showers. The country sides are greener than we have seen them for many years.
The Mountain Men families had their annual Rendezvous on Rush Creek south east of Kit Carson last week. The people who go there dress in period clothing, sleep in tents or tepees, cook over open fires and participate in skill games like people did a hundred or more years ago.
Commissioner Donald Oswald asked me if I would be going to the meeting about "broad bands" Thursday evening. When I asked what that meant, I decided I certainly did need some education on that topic. A lady came all the way from the state of Maine to inform us and ask us questions. It seemed that much of her information about our county was based on responses to surveys. I think she was quite surprised that the people who came to the meeting were satisfied with their internet service and all the progress that had been made. It was informative to have Pat White and an officer employee from the Eastern Slopes Rural telephone company there from Hugo.
Parents sponsored the Eads Middle School dance party last week in honor of the Eighth Grade class. Their party was at the American Legion Hall where Darwin Nelson was the deejay.