If I’d realized I could/should have given a speech, here’s what I’d have said:
Of course, I’m deeply grateful to the St. Anthony Park Foundation for this award. But let’s be clear: Anything I’ve done in this neighborhood is because I thought I saw a need.
• The students at the elementary school didn’t have a music teacher in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. So, though hardly trained, I tried to use my enthusiasm to encourage them to love singing. Kathy Malchow at the piano made that possible.
• Same at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church. In the mid ’70s, there was no children’s choir. So, I started one for grades 1 to 3. As those kids aged, I started one for grades 4 to 6. When those singers asked, “What next?” I started a junior-senior high choir. What fun we had on those Wednesday afternoons and evenings. The late Carol Schoen and Michelle Christianson at the piano made that possible.
• Ditto with 4-H Club. I’d learned so much in my active rural 4-H career. There was no club for my girls here, so Mary Nelsestuen and I started the Northern Lights 4-H Club. Upward and onward with demonstrations, Share-the-Fun presentations, learning Robert’s Rules of Order, County and State Fair for a good number of Park kids.
• I’d written a bit for the Bugle, but when the editorship opened up, I gladly accepted and enjoyed it greatly.
After it came time for me to resign, the obituary position opened up, so I accepted that. I believe readers deserve to remember old neighborhood friends fully, and other readers deserve to meet former neighbors posthumously. I’ve tried to be faithful to that commission.
• Because of those endeavors, other writing/editing and family responsibilities, I never had time for community groups like those planning the Fourth of July activities.
Thankfully, others did that on all of our behalf, just as they continue to do today. We can all be grateful and we’re all richly blessed because of them.
St. Anthony Park
(Editor’s note: Mary is a former editor of the Park Bugle. Last month we reported that she was named a co-recipient of this year’s Michael Brasel Spirit of the Park Award, given by the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation. )