O.K., some housekeeping is in order. First off: The class of 1971 reunion changed its 50-year-reunion venue from the Methow Valley Community Center to Jere Seguin’s place on the Twisp River, just west of the Burgar Street neighborhood. The celebration begins at noon on Sept. 18 and runs “’til the cows come home.” Classmates and friends are welcome to bring food for a potluck. In addition, Mountain Meals will be there all day with their food cart. For more information, call or text Mike Mauk at (509) 449-0605.
Second: The Twisp Fall Art Walk is fast approaching — it takes place on Saturday, Sept. 25. As in past years, this event will host local artists and crafts alongside organizations with lots of hands-on activities, all in a family-friendly atmosphere. Live music and food will be on hand.
Third: Unfortunately, due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the county, many of the sports competitions for Liberty Bell High School (LBHS) athletes have been postponed or closed to spectators. I am going to say it: Shame on those parents who have decided it’s their prerogative to skirt the mask mandate and ruin it for the rest of the fans and parents, who now are unable to watch their kids play.
Kudos to Michael Wilbur, the LBHS activities director, for his swift communication regarding this ever-shifting situation. Rumor has it that the New York Times visited our school district last week to showcase the success of our COVID response to keeping kids in school. This success has much to do with leadership at the school, and compliance by our parents and students with the rules and guidelines. Let’s hope this continues and that school remains open.
Communication from the school district this year has been filling my in-box, as the district has stepped up its outreach in response to feedback. I receive, on average, five emails or texts per day from various administrators, teachers or coaches. If I had to estimate, it takes at least 30 minutes a day to read them all, and even more time when follow-up is required.
This isn’t a complaint — just an observation that information overload might start setting in. Thankfully, I have a friend who is more organized, who calls me to confirm that I received an email and reminds me to fill out forms on time. See, it really does it take a village to raise a child (or at least to be a parent).
One such email Liberty Bell parents received this week was regarding an incident involving intolerance. The defacing of a Pride flag by an individual encouraged a group of seventh graders to march the halls adorned in rainbow colors and pride-wear in solidarity with what the Pride flag represents — dignity for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. At the same time, other students donned American flags in a counter-demonstration. LBHS Principal Crosby Carpenter’s letter said it perfectly — the use of the American flag was “misguided and an attempt to fuel culture wars in schools.” The American flag stands for all Americans, for all people.
I noticed all the flags on 9/11 around town. Their display evoked a collective grief and a sense of unity. But the American flag should never be associated with hate, bigotry, discrimination or misguided patriotism. It’s the ultimate symbol of freedom from oppression, that we’re united by a common belief that democracy, in its imperfect forms and many evolutions, is worth defending. Patriots of all races, sexual orientations, genders, and ethnic identities have died for this flag. It’s time for all proud, tolerant, and freedom-loving Americans to take back the flag, because it’s our flag, too.