Stephen Woody

Good morning, Montrose!

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Butter Side Up……Everett Cencich is a member of the Navy Band Southwest that’s stationed at San Diego. He’s a Montrose native, MHS graduate — Class of 2005. His group will be in concert July 22-28 all over Grand Junction, so says proud father, Rodney Cencich. It’s Navy Week Western Slope. The group will perform at KAFM radio, local farmer’s markets in Fruita and downtown GJ, the Avalon Theater, the GJ airport, Stocker Stadium, the Rimrock Rodeo and other venues. Schedule and times: check out the group’s Facebook page. He’s an E-5 saxophonist and joined the Navy in 2011 after earning a jazz performance degree from the U. of Denver and a master’s from Colorado State where he was a teaching assistant. Auditions are rigorous and all service bands attract top musicians. “We’ve got tremendous music programs here,” Rodney Cencich says, citing Montrose music educators, such as Josiah St. Peter, Sean Lund and others as motivators for his son’s success. Everett’s sister, Irene Cencich, also served her country in uniform. She joined the Navy in 2006, serving for eight years, then four more in the reserves. She lives in D.C. and works for the NSA……They’re the children of Rodney and Barbara Cencich. Rod is a retired educator and was one of the participants in the MDP’s “Letter Writers Conference” of January, 2011. Writers from the left, middle and right convened, spoke civilly and shared stories; there was laughter, too, as I recall. We had lunch and shared thoughts about Montrose’s future, and about the Press. While touring the 24th annual Black Canyon Quilt Show last weekend, I noticed Barb Cencich’s lovely quilt entry, “Home Sweet Home.”

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One step and one giant leap……If you’re a certain age, you’ve a story about your whereabouts when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon fifty years ago, July 20, while Michael Collins orbited over the lunar surface. Here’s one more. Our American Legion baseball team had swept a doubleheader from rival Texarkana. Knowing the landing was imminent, we raced back to Marshall, Texas to watch on television. Still in smelly, dirty uniforms and leggings, we watched the big event on a 12-inch, black-and-white television with tin foil wrapped around the TV’s “rabbit ears.” (You’ll have to Google it, youngsters.) The live coverage was in my good friend’s Jim Ammerman’s bedroom, along with underage Budweiser. He was a third baseman then; nowadays, still in the practice of jurisprudence after four terms as a judge. Don’t think high fives had been conjured then, likely just handshakes and cheers. Proud to be Americans, to have beaten the Russians, proud to have realized President Kennedy’s 1962 challenge. He and I roomed together in college for a while. We’re still in touch regularly today. He and his family have been out to visit. So how long was that first step? Three and half-feet. From the last step of the Eagle to the moon’s surface.

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I see by the paper……There was another kerfuffle in the Persian Gulf last week. Iranian gun boats tempted fate with a British fuel tanker. A British frigate got in between and prevented the situation from escalating. Its name — the HMS Montrose. Local insurance/financial services wizard Howard Davidson spotted the story in the NYTimes and passed it along. The HMS Montrose has a crew of 185 and is deployed from Bahrain. It was launched in 1992, measures 436 feet, and displaces 4,800 tons…….That ship is not to be confused with the USS Montrose, a decorated Victory Ship/Haskell-class attack transport, named for Montrose County, Colorado which saw action in WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Launched in 1944, the ship was sold for scrap in 1970. Its bell was given to the city the same year. It sits outside City Hall. Local historians — Marilyn Cox, Dona Freeman, Elaine Hale Jones — have written about the USS Montrose.

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Quotable: “I take 30 percent of my kids’ ice cream. That’s how I teach them about taxes.” – Bill Murray, American actor.

Stephen Woody was the publisher of community daily newspapers for 38 years in four cities, including the Montrose Daily Press, 1997-2011.

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