From the Editor

Thank You Jamboree Committee!

Another Friendship Jamboree and Logging Show weekend has come and gone.  From what I heard throughout the weekend and have read on social media following the weekend’s conclusion, people around the community were very pleased with what they experienced at Jamboree this year.

The Jamboree Committee has been meeting throughout the year, working on plans to expand and improve Jamboree.  The committee had several goals this year: increase attendance and participation, increase the number and variety of vendors, and provide live entertainment and over-all make the event more family friendly.  It seems like they succeeded on all fronts.

Although sparsely attended at times, the entertainment was, for the most part, top notch.  It was almost impossible not to notice the large increase in vendors along Bridge and Adams Streets. Activities for kids were on prominent display from the large climbing wall to the magi show on Friday evening.  And I think everyone noticed the increase in the size of the crowd.

All and all it seems like the Jamboree Committee met their goals and provided for a fun and entertaining weekend for our community.

All of this would not have happened without the hard work of the numerous volunteers who help make Jamboree happen each year.  But this year involved a lot of extra work and several individuals need to be recognized for their outstanding efforts.  Ernie Smith was the Chair once again and pulled together a terrific team.  A very special thank you should be directed to four individuals who have been involved throughout the year and were just about everywhere, doing everything, during the weekend.  Alicia Normand, Jessie Taylor, Randy Carlton and Lance Kemper did an amazing amount of work on pre-event logistics and planning, advertising the event, pre-weekend set up and post-event clean up. Every time there was a need they volunteered.  Without these four this weekend would not have happened.  Thank you! Read More

from the editor-what you don’t know about jamboree

Many people attend the Vernonia Friendship Jamboree and Logging Show each year in Vernonia.  Many people return year after year because they enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new people.  Others enjoy the events: the parade, lawn mower races, horse gaming and logging competitions.  Others enjoy the food, music or other activities.  Some celebrate our heritage, whether it’s the logging culture or the fact that Jamboree weekend has been a part of the Vernonia community for almost sixty years.

The Vernonia Jamboree and Logging Show Committee recently distributed a survey to find out just how much attendees really know about the Jamboree.  Mostly they wanted to know if people really understand who organizes and pays for Jamboree.  It turns out many of us don’t understand just how Jamboree actually comes together each year.

According to the survey results, over a third of respondents think that Jamboree is run by either the Chamber of Commerce or the City of Vernonia. One third had no idea how much it cost to organize and run the Jamboree each year.   A third of those  who responded thought the Jamboree cost $5,000 or less to run.   Read More

from the editor

On August 22, 2013 my father, Thomas Laird died in his home in New Britain, Pennsylvania.  My sister Suzy, his brother Rich and I were all by his side when he passed.   On September 7th we held a memorial service for him at Doylestown Presbyterian Church, his church for forty-five years.  His service was a real celebration of his life. He had insisted that we should play Dixieland Jazz music, as he was a fan, and he wanted everyone to rejoice that he was with now with his Lord in heaven. Dr. Jerry Rife’s Rhythm King’s, who perform hymns and spirituals in the Dixieland style, played during the 30 minutes prior to the start of the service, and set a joyful tone in what is usually a stoic situation. People actually clapped as they finished each number. During the service we sang some of his favorite hymns, as he always really enjoyed that part of his faith.  Suzy, brother Rich, a friend from church-Mary Schull, and I all spoke about his life. Common themes were his love of scripture, his many, many friendships and his warm, welcoming, and fun loving personality. Jerry and his band played a rousing and upbeat version of “How Great Thou Art,” full of soaring solos and a huge finish. After a final hymn, the band led the crowd out of the sanctuary, playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” and we marched down the street to the church’s fellowship hall for a reception. This is how dad had always said he wanted his service to end-marching to “Saints.”   Afterwards we had so many people comment on the service, saying that they really enjoyed the celebratory feel and the upbeat music. It was a perfect tribute and a sad, but wonderful day.

The following are the words I spoke in remembrance of my father:

First of all, I would like to send my very heart-felt thanks for all the love, support and caring that has been expressed and shown to myself, Suzy and our family during the last few weeks.  The amount and depth of the kind words, thoughtful remembrances and expressions of love has been almost overwhelming.

I have been left almost speechless by the reaction to my father’s passing.  I have received cards from and spoken with people I did not know and had never met before,  as well as old friends, who have repeated the same sentiments over and over again- “Tom was like family to us.”   Read More