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Farragut host to reunion and rockin’

Farragut State Park rocked last Saturday with groups representing just about every age group. Cranking off the day was the Farragut Navy Training Base 24th reunion, starting at 9 a.m. with a flag-raising and memorial service for the fallen.

Surprisingly, more than 100 veterans, family, friends and well-wishers surrounded the flagpole, where several speakers held court. Former assistant park manager, Al Leiser and current manager, Randall Butt were the featured speakers. Leiser celebrated his 24th appearance as program director for these events. Though Leiser retired from park service several years ago, he returns each year as a volunteer for his vets. Following the ceremonies at the Brig Museum and a walk through by most of the vets, the crowd dispersed to Sunrise picnic area for snacks and a plethora of war stories.

Special mention was given to Ranger Errin, who headed up the refurbishing of the museum. Cookies and breakfast rolls, donated by citizens of Bayview, plus coffee were served. Later Saturday night, the group reconstituted itself at the Athol Community Center for dancing to live music provided by The Coeur d’Alene Big Band.

Just across the road, a younger crowd rocked out at the amphitheater. Epic Productions held its second rock concert at the venue which was the first in many years to use the facility. The event featured several top-flight bands led off by Foghat, with special guest Goldy McJohn. Other bands included Civilized Animals, which mixed traditional guitars with brass and sax producing a rather nice mix; and Leon Hendrix, brother of the late, great, Jimi Hendrix. Java Kola also appeared, along with the Hooters Girls.

The crowd estimated at 1,400 strong was rocking and swaying to the tunes and having a great time. Noted at both concerts was a rather colorful character, reputed to be called Seth, who pranced and danced out front of the stage.

Just up the road at the new riding arena was a playday for the Northwest Mounted Shooters. These intrepid horsemen and women, ride down on a target shooting black powder blanks which if fired accurately, will pop balloons. Many balloons were used up during this exhibition of great horsemanship and shooting from a moving platform.

The new area was dedicated Friday afternoon with a ribbon cutting, er’ shooting.

Prior to the weekend, we had what turned out to be interesting and a bit humorous. We’ll let Timberlake Fire Chief, Jack Krill tell the story in his own words:

“I didn’t get any photos, but we had an interesting call Thursday night. Someone called the firehouse to report that a deer was stuck between a float home and dock at Harborview marina. The crew at the station called dispatch to have fish and game called out, and then they called me at home to check it out. I was flagged down by a man at Highway 54 and 5th who directed me to the location. A large three-point buck was chased by a dog onto the docks and then fell into the water about 6:30 p.m. in front of float home 10.

“Steve, the cook from the Buttonhook, and another man were there, and also called Fish & Game. The deer was calm with his head resting on a tire and his hind end resting on cables. I called for the rest of the Timberlake firefighters because it looked like it could get complicated. We weren’t quite sure how to get the deer out, but we came up with a plan to shift the float homes enough to give the buck room to swim out between float home 10 and 11. One firefighter guided the buck by the antlers and another used a broom to free him from the cables while the rest of us shifted the homes. After over an hour in the water, the deer still had a lot of energy and swam to shore. He landed near the Navy base fence, but was trapped between the fence and water. The fish and game officer was able to eventually get him through a gate in the fence and back into the wild.”