Thursday, November 15, 2012

Charlie, the social butterfly

H-34 Charlie had a very busy schedule over Veteran's day week-end.

First off, USMC veteran John Pugh towed the old beastie from her nest to Oak street in downtown Sandpoint, so that she was positioned right outside the windows of one of our better restaurants in town called TANGO.  Inside, the event was the celebration for the 237th birthday of the Marine Corps, hosted by Marine Corps League detachment #1110 of Sandpoint, Commandant Robert Rutherford presiding.  It was a great occasion.  We expected 53 guests, and ended up with 65.  The cook and her crew had to do some mighty scrambling to come up with food to feed the extra 12 people, but she did a grand job.The food was excellent. The League garnered four new members from this event.

Here is John Pugh pulling Charlie out of the NorthWest auto body storage yard on
GN road out behind the Sandpoint airport.
In the background holding the gate is grandson Calvin Aerni, 16 who volunteered to help out.

Blatant commercial advertisement here:
Anybody in the Sandpoint area needing any auto body work, please consider using Northwest Auto Body.  My wife and I have both used this shop and can say from personal experience that they do excellent work.  Mel and his crew also do windshield chip repair that will save your windshield if caught in time.
Norhtwest is kind to allow us to store Charlie in their storage yard, at least for the winter.

Northwest Auto Body
1305 Michigan St.

Charlie sits patiently outside TANGO restaurant while 56 Marines and guests celebrate the USMC birthday party. The weather earlier in the morning had been down to 21 degrees with about ten knots of wind.  There was a bite in the air.  No complaints from this old workhorse.

As soon as the USMC birthday function was completed, John again towed Charlie two blocks down Oak street to a position in front of Union Bank, so she could be seen from the Panida theater, where the film  "Life After Service" by Mike Strain of  My Legacy Videos  was having its world premier showing.
Several local veterans were  featured in this 96 minute video speaking about how veterans re-adapted to civilian life after traumatic combat...or NOT in some cases.  This blogger was one of the featured, see this snippet from "LIFE AFTER SERVICE":

(PLEASE feel free to pass this snippet on to anyone.  It would be wonderful if
any vet might see himself in this situation and go on to get some help for PTSD.)

Charlie sits in front of Union Bank, a short block from the theater.  No one
went over to visit with her after the film as it was dark and cold out there.
John Pugh once again volunteered to tow Charlie a few blocks to the VFW hall where she spent the night at the edge of the VFW parking lot..  John had trouble seeing where he was going, and we have decided that from now on we will avoid night towing if at all possible.  We very nearly bought the neighbor's fence putting the helicopter into this third position.
Sunday we had an ALL-Veterans pot luck at the VFW hall.  Food, as always with pot lucks, was excellent and varied, and we had the pleasure of hearing youngsters read their winning essays from the VFW  "Patriot's Pen"  writing contest.  Remarkably, most of the winners were home schooled.

Right after the pot luck dinner, (and before it got dark) Sunday pm, Russ Fankell became the Charlie tow truck.  He pulled the helicopter a few blocks down Division Street to the parking lot at the Sandpoint High School for Monday's event.  Every year this school has the entire student body attend an assembly to honor veterans.  At 0900 Monday morning a bunch of veterans came to the school library where they were given coffee, tea and cookies, and then escorted into the gym by some of the most absolutely cute, most charming, erudite and well spoken young women in the country.  It was a great pleasure to speak with them and be escorted into the gym by these beauties.

Lori and Molly, two Sandpoint H.S. cuties!

As you can plainly see, it snowed a bit overnight.
Monday after school, Russ Fankell once again towed Charlie back to her nest on GN road.
Thank you John Pugh and Russ Fankell for your towing services, the use of your trucks and the generosity of you time for helping Charlie make these events.

A few months ago I had approached the police chief and asked him if we needed to notify the police of this kind of activity, or if we should have any special permits or any other beaurocratic bother. At the time Chief Lockwood said, "No, just do it."   Chief Lockwood has since retired and we got a new chief of police, so I once again went to the new chief with the same question.   Same answer,  "Just do it."

Thank you Sandpoint.

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