by Myndi Brogdon

Our little community was rocked as the phone chain worked its way from Payson to Pine and Strawberry, carrying the tragic news of Gail Phylow's death.

Gail came to the area when she was hired by the Pine-Strawberry Medical Center Board of Directors after a long, exhaustive search.

"To get that kind of person is special," Jean Bean said. Bean is currently serving as the board's vice president and was on the board when Gail and husband-office manager Bobby were hired in December of 1998.

If you had an appointment with Gail, you felt like family ... care and concern for your well-being were top priorities to the community's nurse practitioner. Besides serving as our caregiver, she provided physicals to students and donated her fee back to the school's sports program.

Most recently Gail led a drive to gather funds and donated items for the rural school of Plankton, S.D.

Now, her friends and family have rallied to show support for her family.

Donations have been gathered at local spots and the memorial service was standing room only.

The board has begun the search for a new caregiver to run the medical center. They have had at least one applicant and are expecting more in the coming weeks, Bean said.

In the meantime, patients' needs are being met, one phone call at a time.

Volunteers are working with Bobby to copy records and work out prescriptions with other doctors.

"There are a few doctors who are taking new patients," Bean said. And while they are handing out those names, they are not recommending any one office.

"I'm sorry that (the patients) have to go through this," Bean said. "The board has never dealt with anything like this before."

Art and Books, Sun and Fun

A Book For All Seasons is hosting an artist day in the sun from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 28. The shop is located on Hardscrabble Road in Pine.

Featured will be award-winning artist Florence Vaughn from Kansas. Prints of her Native American will be available plus crafts and art from the guests located on the shop's front lawn. Local clairvoyant and intuitive reader Tim DeCorte will also be available for personal readings from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Feel free to call in advance for an appointment, 476-5152.

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