From My Window: Fire chief’s letter reveals problems

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
Since I was a small child I have often heard two of the silliest of phrases uttered by man: “We’ve never done it that way before,” and, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Both of those phrases translate to my feeble mind as “I’m satisfied. Why try and improve something? Let’s wait until it is really broken to repair something instead of maintaining or improving it.”
I always thought of a fishing pole. A wooden stick with a string, hook and a worm will still catch a fish, but isn’t it great that someone improved the experience with good line, a fiberglass rod, snelled hooks and lures?
Well, there is something wrong at Meeker Fire and Rescue. Take a look at the list of suggestions offered in a letter from former Meeker Fire Chief Marshall Cook on how the department can be improved. (See this page.)
The fire department situation may not be broken, but some first aid certainly appears in order. Why wait until it is broken to do something about it?
With more than $8 million in the department’s reserve fund, not to mention the additional $4 million that covers the pension fund, there is plenty of cash on hand to make needed fixes.
No one is advocating a spending spree, but Cook clearly outlines some repairs that are needed soon, and sitting on massive cash reserves benefits no one.
Maybe the May 3 election (voting at the fire house) will produce some forward-thinking board members who will take Cook’s words to heart and improve things before they are fully broken.
(On May 16, Cook will begin his new post as fire and life safety liaison with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in Denver.)
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If they’re not careful, Meeker’s High School Drama Club may take over some of the attention the athletic teams have long enjoyed. Together with the International Thespian Society Troup No. 1284 and the Center Stage Youth Theatrical Group as well as a few parents, the ensemble gathered Friday and Saturday for “The Wizard of Oz” did a tremendous job.
The music was, naturally, unbeatable and performed very well. The acting was nearly at a professional level, the choreography was impressive, the voices were better than good and the entire production would have made any high school troupe mighty proud.
On Friday, the Meeker High School auditorium was packed; on Saturday it was just short of packed, so several hundred people were present to take in a wonderful production of a complex play.
From a tornado that launched Dorothy’s home, to Munchkin Land, to the forest and onto Oz, then onto the Wicked Witch’s Castle and back to Oz, the stage work was top notch and the entire production pretty well followed with song and action the original 1939 version of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Casting was excellent.
Mason Holliday played a great Dorothy—perfect for someone who can demonstrate a feeling of confusion, reluctance to try new things along with an innocence, yet comfortable enough in her role to provide a strong performance. Her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was clear, strong and brought tears to a few in the audience.
In some ways, Sena Zellers stole the show in her role as Scarecrow. Never did she forget that her limbs were only straw and something of a walking impediment with an occasional stumble, but the expressions on her face while experiencing those setbacks were priceless—absolutely impeccable.
Another outstanding role was played by Annalise Amack as the Cowardly Lion. It didn’t hurt a bit that her natural hair and her lion’s main were the same color, making it appear as though she had one of the thickest flowing mains you’ll ever see on a lion. But she also demonstrated the ability to go from cowardly when needed and to fearless when needed.
Savannah May as the Tin Man; Glinda the Good Witch played by Kolbi Franklin; and Ruby Holliday, who played the evil Miss Gultch and the Wicked Witch, all did a tremendous job of creating the roles as they were meant to be created.
There were several other key players in the musical—unfortunately too many to mention—who fulfilled their roles at a level that would make larger troupes proud.
The groups of Munchkins, Wilkeys, the evil Monkeys, the Jitter Bugs, the Poppies and the Ozians added greatly to the play. With the last major production given in Meeker being “The Littlest Mermaid,” Meeker can lift its head high with the quality of production available here, regardless of which group does it, although most members of one group are likely members in another or two of the groups.
Kudos to local adults Kevin Amack, Matt Holliday and Laurie and Gary Zellers, who added zing to their roles as Hickory, Hunk, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry.
Kudos also to the directing team of Laurie and Gary Zellers, musical director and costume director Shana Holliday, choreographer Kari Jo Stevens, set designer and props creator Nancy Richardson and technical director Bob Amick. Every facet of the play from the choreography to the acting, to the set design and the lighting was nearly flawless.