Your Town, June 16, 2013

Happy Father’s Day!

What special gift did you give dad in honor of his day? A new tie? Sporting goods or tickets to a game? A shirt, a bottle of wine? 

In honor of Father’s Day, I’m listing the top three gifts my dad gave to me.

1. Through his genes, Dad gave me the knack to fix broken things. Shortly into my stint as a single parent, something “snapped” deep inside the clothes dryer and the barrel wouldn’t turn. Unable to afford a call to a repairman, I carefully removed the dryer’s front panel and, on hands and knees, studied the machine’s innards with a flashlight. Using diagrams from the Internet, I diagnosed a broken idler pulley, removed the culprit, ordered the new $12 part online, and installed it when it arrived. I was so excited to test out the new part, it wasn’t until I’d screwed everything back in place that I realized the illuminated flashlight was still inside.

The giddiness comes from Mom.

2. Discipline. I realize that discipline these days can be a controversial topic. Dad’s strict discipline would be frowned upon for today’s child-raising. We were spanked when we disobeyed or misbehaved, and grounded at the drop of a hat. We knew there were consequences for bad behavior. During Dad’s rehab at a care facility after a mild stroke, our visits included intimate father-daughter talks and I asked him once why he was so darned strict when we were little. He smiled at me, reflecting on years long past and said, “I was only trying to protect you.”

3. An appreciation for classical music. Yes, along with the heavier metal that my ears tend to crave, my iPod has a healthy dose of Mozart and Vivaldi. Dad enjoyed the classics, a fine glass of wine and practicing his astute vocabulary. I spent a lot of time looking up words, in an effort to know what he was talking about. 

These days, I too enjoy a violin strain and a fine merlot, and my bookmark to is quite worn and dog-eared.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Thank you for the gifts you gave me.

Spoons Bistro and Bakery, 3090 North 12th St., will host a Father’s Day barbecue from 
9 a.m.–2:30 p.m. today.

Items on the grill are barbecue pork, bratwurst, gourmet burgers and chicken fried steak. A dessert bar will be offered.

Proceeds benefit HopeWest, formerly Hospice.

Wallace Smith, with Strive (formerly Mesa Developmental Services) has organized a car wash to benefit Special Olympics.

The free car wash will be from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. June 29, in the Sutherlands parking lot. All donations will go to Special Olympics. Call Smith at 200-7826 for more information.

The vegan potluck this month for the Grand Junction branch of Vegan Life Colorado will feature a lively discussion on “summertime veg (or otherwise) reading” ­— what delicious books are you food for thought?

The group will gather at 5:30 p.m. and eat at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Community Room at Lakeside, 3150 Lakeside Drive. For the potluck, take a vegan dish, free of animal products to serve eight, the recipe with all ingredients listed and your own place setting and beverage.

Call Marian at 255-0417 or Rhonda at 245-8315 or visit for information.

Kids Aid, a local nonprofit that provides food during the school year to Mesa County students who don’t have enough to eat on the weekends, has hired Mary Beth Luedtke as its new program director.

After a teaching career that included teaching children with special needs, Luedtke worked in the nonprofit sector in a number of positions, including director in a local nonprofit for more than a decade.

Visit or call 712-2847 for more information.

After serving up pancakes recently at Two Rivers Convention Center, the Kiwanis Club of Grand Junction took a moment to honor one of its former members with the dedication of a city bench.

Longtime Grand Junction resident Guy Stephens died in 2008. He was a Kiwanian, downtown proponent and business leader who was active in the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Merchants’ Association, the precursor to the Downtown Development Authority. He helped found Crimestoppers of Mesa County and the Art on the Corner Project, a news release said.

The park bench in Stephens’ honor is at the corner of Fifth Street and Rood Avenue, near Alpine Bank.

The eight-member team of veterans representing Grand Junction returned home from the Veterans National Golden Age Games with nine medals.

The National Games were June 1–5 in Buffalo N.Y.  More than 700 veterans from 43 states, Guam and Puerto Rico — plus more than 1,000 volunteers — competed, told stories, greeted old friends, made new friends and had a wonderful time together, a news release said.

Debra Scott won a gold medal in horseshoes and a gold medal in bowling; Darrel Chapman, a gold medal in golf, a silver medal in horseshoes and a bronze medal in bowling; Tom Blachley, a silver medal in golf and a silver medal in bowling; and Joe Replogle, silver medal in bowling and bronze medal in air rifle.

Team coach Henry Bullock, a Veterans Affairs recreational therapist, worked for a year with team members to improve their physical strength and athletic abilities. Bullock also helps train veterans for the annual National Disabled Veterans’s Winter Sports Clinic, and was presented the 2013 WSC Commitment to Excellence Award earlier this year at the Aspen event.

The team is sponsored by the Grand Junction C.H.A.M.P.S Veterans Association, a nonprofit that raises funds for veterans ages 55 and older so that they may enjoy the benefit of recreational therapy and compete in activities to showcase their talents.

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