Webb leaves Polson with many heartfelt memories
There is so much to visit with you about. As most all of Polson knows our Honorary Downtown Police Beat Officer Barry Webb has left us. We know he is looking down and no doubt frowning at times about the way we are handling things.
In my eight years, Barry worked his way into my heart and my wonderful memories of Honorary Officer Webb. He was a joy to see as he “gumshoed” the beat. Main Street, 1st Street East and the Senior Citizens Center were just part of his normal route. Barry brought many a smile with his smile and various euphemisms he would call out as he and Polsonites' paths would meet.
The memorial service was Saturday March 20, at 2 p.m. in the Linderman gym. Several hundred citizens were in attendance. Presbyterian Minister, Dave Anson, the church choir and some of Polson's best people recounted their days and memories. All did a splendid job. Laughs abounded as we heard the memories expressed and most of us experienced. There were a lot of moist eyes at times but far more smiles. Yes, that was Polson's Barry. Doesn’t get much better than that.
It also reminds each of us that some have more than less frailties. However, it’s how we treat people that in the end develops our reputation.
How about those fall and winter accomplishments of our Polson High Schoolers? Three-peat Rausch was one tough hombre as were several other wrestlers both here and down the road southbound 14 miles. Then the men's basketball team did us proud at State. Yes, we can be proud of our youth. Speech and debate, drama, band, Lady Pirate hoops, and chorus groups plus soccer — what a richness they all bring to our city.
As you most likely have noticed, Main Street is having new water lines placed deep down. Jensen Construction of Polson is doing the work. They are doing a yeoman job so as not tie off Main Street traffic or pedestrian crossings too long. Kudos. Our Street Department sprang into action quickly trying to corral the dust left over.
The city's sweeper failed to cooperate and went to the repair shop. The State of Montana Department of Transportation's local crew immediately pledged their support and the streets are pretty doggone clean. That dispels negative rumors about inter-agency cooperation. Thanks Bill, Shad and Kasey.
While unable to attend The Annual Firefighters Ball, we understand a large crowd was present. Our own Director of Water and Sewer and 18-year veteran of the department, Tony Porazzo was awarded Firefighter of the Year.
I also noted from their brochure that Assistant Chief Pete Bishop has recorded 27 years of service along with Captain Ernie Butts 25 years. Five others have 13 years or more in the traces. That makes a powerful statement about our fire department members headed up by former Polson City Police Officer, John Fairchild. A salute of our coffee cups to all mentioned above.
Now on to more in the way of traffic matters you may find interesting. Should you open your car door as a bicyclist or car goes by, we hope all that happens is minimal damage to all involved. However, it is your responsibility to be sure there are no hazards headed your way prior to exiting your vehicle.
Of course leaving your vehicle with the car keys in the ignition is just a recipe for disaster. Not locking your vehicle only invites a thief to enter and take your personal items. You will feel violated, I assure you, if you are a victim.
You may wonder why we enforce speed zones so diligently. If you are going 20 mph and a need for a emergency stop develops, it will take (under ideal conditions) 46 feet to complete the stop. At 30 mph, it takes 87 feet to stop.
With spring officially here we will hopefully see a fair amount of rain given the lack of moisture this winter. However, with rain — especially in copious amounts, traction in your car, on a bike or motorcycle can be seriously challenged. Hydroplaning will cause your car to lose traction with the street or highway, thus your safety is greatly imperiled.
Well, time for this writer to close. Remember it’s nice to be important but so much more important to be nice, a practice our Barry made an everyday ritual.
(Doug Chase is the Polson Chief of Police).