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
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
When we started Vernonia’s Voice six years ago, we did so with the intention that this newspaper could be the voice for all of our community. We have purposely asked for and received content that reflects many divergent opinions, thoughts, and ideas about issues happening in and around Vernonia. We have welcomed Letters to the Editor, articles, stories and regular columns from all types of people, with all types of viewpoints, about all types of issues and interests.
We have also occasionally rejected content for various reasons-the quality of the work, the specific message it contained, or because it was just not something we wanted to see in print in a publication that has our name on it.
I am learning that printing other peoples work, especially if the editor and publisher don’t agree with the author’s point of view, can be very tricky business. We, the publishers, in the end, are responsible for the content we publish. Even when someone else’s byline appears on the article. Even if we don’t agree with the content or the message in an article or column that we decide we should publish. Read More