Everyone is invited to attend Pine resident and author Charles W. Meister's book- signing party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library. The event is sponsored by Pine Library Friends and is a celebration of the publication of the 83-year-old's latest book, "Religion: Bane or Blessing?"
There is no obligation to purchase the book, and I'm sure the library will have one or more copies on their shelf to lend.
Refreshments will be served while guests have a chance to discuss the topic with the author himself. In the 367-page book, Meister combines and compares the theological ideas of hundreds of writers, philosophers and leaders. The book defines unitive and divisive religion and dares to submit that all religions are based on the premise of human kindness toward all, and yet most religions violate that very principle.
Chronicling the good, bad and the ugly in the human search for spirituality, Meister works from 10,000 B.C. to present-day events, noting that most historical events have religious significance. Meister begs the question, how can we human beings harm another human being, physically, mentally or emotionally in the name of any God? And then answers with a Bill of Spiritual Rights.
The book is rich in theological quotes from history's great contributors. My favorite quote in the book is from the late Barry Goldwater. "I've never been in a place on earth that I would call ugly, because when you talk to the people there it begins to be a little beautiful. I have a strong feeling that when this world eliminates the social, language and religious barriers, there will be peace. I think that's the way the Lord wants it."
The kindness of neighbors
The generosity of the Pine-Strawberry community seemingly knows no bounds, as evidenced by these two reports.
The Pine-Strawberry Medical Center Walk-a-Thon: Together walkers and sponsors have raised $5,457.92 for our community-owned clinic. During the third annual stroll about Pine, walkers were given a quiz to answer. Winners were; Coglan (adult) and Emily Jordan (child). The walkers with the most sponsors: Jeri McDaniel (adult) and Melissa Vaillancourt (child). Funds raised will be used to purchase equipment for the clinic keeping our rural community up on the latest in health-care technology. If you have never needed to stop in and meet nurse practitioner Gail Phylow and her office manager/husband Bobby, you should make it a point to pay them a visit. The Medical Center is on Hardscrabble Road, next to the Fire Station. Call 476-3258 for questions and appointments.
United Blood Services: An impressive number of residents rolled up their sleeves for the United Blood Services' drive Tuesday. The inaugural fall drive brought in 93 precious pints to stock the shelves for those in need. As a "thank-you," the 93 donors were each given a T-shirt. And because our community has taken on this active role in donation, United Blood Services has committed to coming up four times each year. Yet almost three years ago they were considering not coming up at all. Thanks to volunteers and concerned citizens like Leslie Alexander and Sonja Hunt and members of the Pine- Strawberry Medical Center Auxiliary, the trend of contributing has once again become a constant theme in Pine-Strawberry.
As fall arrives, shops and restaurants in Pine-Strawberry work on winter hours. The Pine Visitor Center and Museum located in the Community Center is now open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed Sundays. And for those of you who have read just about every book in town, the museum just received a shipment of books about Arizona and Western genre books for adults and children. If you have a bookworm, Western history buff or an out-of-towner on your gift-giving list, stop in at the museum. If you have any questions or would like to arrange a group tour of the museum or the Strawberry Schoolhouse, contact Melvin Van Vorst at 476-4791.
Calling all community groups
If you or your group are not getting mentioned in this space, call, write or e-mail me. I am beginning to gather my list of all activities, meetings, organizations, etc. here in the Pine-Strawberry community and want to hear from you. I can be reached at 476-2500, online at firstname.lastname@example.org or HCR 01 Box 1544, Strawberry, AZ 85544.