This is an actual testimony about the people of Rim Country. My husband and I met their kind friendliness when we moved to Arizona and drove here to explore the area in 1968. We bought a home in Pine when my husband retired in 1977. I got involved in the community and, on request of Mr. Ritter, took over writing news/columns for the Payson Roundup. I made many great lifetime friendships in the area -- especially with the longtime residents and young families like the Licavolis. We watched their children grow. They are now still here in Rim Country, having their own babies and working for the community.
Bill and I sold our home and moved to Payson in 1991, where we were lucky to make dozens of friends on our own street. Many of them by now have moved away, but I brought my brother from Colorado, who was over 90 and in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and I cannot tell you the help and the compassion I have from his (and my) neighbors. Since then, my brother has died at the age of 96. My husband of 55 years died at 89 and my sweet 12-year-old dog has died.
I don't know what I would have done over the years without my dear friends and neighbors in Payson.
Today, they take me to Phoenix to banks, doctors, to shop, for at 81 years of age, after spending 55 years of nursing as a charge nurse, I can no longer drive.
On Monday, my friend was taking me to the bank, when she turned on the corner of Evergreen Street and the left front of the car dropped into a ditch. Every person driving by stopped to see if they could help.
Finally, within fifteen minutes, two fellows in two separate trucks, stopped by and asked my friend to get behind the wheel as they lifted the car. We were out in two minutes and I don't even know their names. These fine fellows saved the fee of some $100 to $150 for a tow truck.
After two days of finally snowing, I had two feet plus of snow. My doorbell rang, and a neighbor named Jim from up the street whom I never met, but who knew my husband, came to check on me to see if I needed help, food, medications, whatever.
After 27 years here, I knew Rim Country people were topnotch friends to those they knew and to total strangers.
After spending my youth in Europe, years in Canada, and over 45 years in the United States, I must tell you, Rim Country folks are first class people. God bless you all, my dear friends, all of Pete and Mary Licavoli's family members, Pauline Ivey, Alice Wright, Roger and Judy Carter, and many others in Pine, Strawberry and Payson, and the lovely caring people who help others, and whose names I do not know.
Joan Lasys, R.N., Payson
Editor's note: This letter was shortened to fit within our 400-word limit for Letters to the Editor.