Stephen Woody

Good morning, Montrose.

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Butter Side Up……This year, two of the recipients of the Kit Faragher Foundation scholarships were from Montrose, County: Angeline Alcaraz and Nancy Coykendall. Two other graduating high school seniors were from rural Colorado, according to one of the Faragher board members, Dee Coram. The scholarships are extraordinarily generous: $10,000. They honor the memory of Kit Faragher who died in the attacks of 9/11 in New York City. Her siblings, Dr. Bill Faragher, and Jana Faragher of Montrose, along with family members, friends and Janus of Denver have worked to keep her spirit thriving through this scholarship foundation. A student from Geauga County, Ohio, where Ms. Faragher grew up, is also selected. Also granted this year were two stipends of $1,500, one to a refugee from southeast Asia. “Many of these recipients are the first members of their families to attend college,” Coram told me last week. Ms. Coykendall will be attending the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to study nursing. “The scholarship enables me to focus more on my studies, more on school without the stress of worrying about money,” she said. She’s a graduate of Peak Academy and works at the Coffee Trader in Montrose……Angeline Alcaraz will be attending Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction next fall. She’s a 2019 graduate of Montrose High School and hopes to become employed at Montrose Memorial Hospital. She wants to pursue a BS degree in nursing. “I’m grateful for the Faragher Foundation. It’s an enormous help financially,” Alcaraz says, adding, “but more than that, I want to be able to live up to the foundation’s legacy.” More than 30 graduating high school seniors have expanded their educations and futures as a result of the Kit Faragher Foundation.

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In the good ole summertime……The Montrose Botanical Gardens will have a summer solstice event Friday, June 21, from 7 to 10 p.m. It’s a “movable feast,” I’m told, with “libations,” and participants can wander through the gardens with tapas and sweet bites. Live music, too. Tickets are $30 & $25. Available: montrosegardens.org, or from Fabula, on Main Street……I see by the paper……A Laredo, Texas woman apparently didn’t appreciate her husband’s lack of response from a question, causing her to assault him. This, according to a story in the Laredo Morning Times last month. The couple were at a movie when she asked him if she was pretty. Some time passed. His lack of response irritated her and on the way home, she began to assault him. A relative at the couple’s home tried to break up the fight until the local constabulary were called. She was charged with two counts of assault. During court testimony, he said he didn’t hear the question.

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Recommended reading……When President John F. Kennedy told the nation that Americans would go to the moon and back before the end of the decade in a stirring speech at Rice University in September, 1962, it was a big gamble. The U.S. was considerably behind the Soviet Union in the space race. They Soviets had launched the first man-made satellite five years earlier. They had launched the first orbiting cosmonauts, the first woman in space. These communist successes had impacted JFK’s “New Frontier” political template as the space race had become an east versus west geopolitical test of technology and ideology. Moneywise, the price tag of going to the moon, $400 billion, was questioned by the Right as a waste, citing the need for more military spending as the Cold War heated up; and by the Left as frivolous, with needs in housing, health care and with Civil Rights taking center stage. ‘American Moonshot — John F. Kennedy and the Great American Space Race’ — by historian Dr. Douglas Brinkley — is a nimbly-written chronicle of JFK’s commitment to putting the country first on the moon. Next month is the 50th anniversary of the event, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface (July 20, 1969) while Michael Collins orbited above. Brinkley’s book examines the recruitment of top rocketeers after WWII, including Wernher von Braun, a former Nazi and favorite of Hitler who developed the Peenemunde rocketry program using slave labor that killed thousands of civilians in London with the V-1 rockets. Von Braun, while trusted by Kennedy, never quite had the favor of those in authority at NASA or the Pentagon. The race for the moon begat advances in technology, science and medicine. Too, before 1963, not a single major U.S. university had curriculum in computer science. After Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon Johnson maintained the race to the moon as he was an early believer in what the space program meant for national identity, also steering much of the program’s development to his native state of Texas and Houston. Major U.S. manufacturers competed vigorously for huge federal contracts, prompting the first American in space, Alan Shepherd, to muse to a reporter afterward, that his last thought before blasting off to the heavens was “the fact that every part of this ship was built by the lowest bidder.” It’s available through our Main Street bookseller, Maggie’s Books.

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I see by the paper, continued……Freddie Canfield, columnyst for the Silverton Standard and Miner, began his weekly column last week: “summer happened so suddenly on May 31 and has continued unabated ever since.”

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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