Pastor Elaine Watskey Will Be Missed At Mount Cross

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It was just about three weeks ago, while I was sitting in the 8:30 sermon at Mount Cross Lutheran Church (paying close attention and never once drifting off), that it happened.

Pastor Elaine Watskey announced that she had been called to accept another position within the church. May 17 would be the last time she would share service with our congregation.

I joined Mount Cross a little less than six years ago and Pastor Elaine has been the only minister I have known at the church. It will seem strange no longer hearing her begin the service stating the mission of Mount Cross and not asking first-time visitors if they would like to introduce themselves.

I’m going to miss Pastor Elaine’s energy, her contagious smile and her genuine warmth for humanity, especially for the young and for the disadvantaged. I will miss the determination she always showed as she took on what is wrong in the world — even within the church.

And I will miss the fervent passion she spoke with in standing up against all forms of discrimination, bias and exclusion.

I wish you the very best, Pastor Elaine. I will miss you (and Joe, too.)

This week’s music trivia question is, Can you match four of Pastor Elaine’s favorite music artists:

Peter, Paul & Mary

The Kingston Trio

Simon & Garfunkel

Jefferson Airplane

With each artist’s top hit:

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”

“Leaving on a Jet Plane”

“Tom Dooley”

“Somebody to Love”

If you are caller number five this week and have the correct answer, you’ll win two great prizes — a $6 gift certificate from Fireside Espresso and a gift certificate from the Sugar Shack for a quarter pound of fudge. Mmm, mmm. Good!

Now, let’s see how we did with last week’s question, which was: Can you name the recording artists who sang the 1958 hits, “Sincerely” and “Sugartime?”

Is this female vocal group: A) The Lennon Sisters, B) The McGuire Sisters, C) The Fontane Sisters, or D) Jennifer Baltz & The Paysonettes?

The correct answer was B) The McGuire Sisters.

You may remember that The Lennon Sisters — Dianne, Peggy Kathy and Janet — were featured on the “Lawrence Welk Show” from 1955-1968. The Fontaine Sisters — Marge, Bea and Jeri — charted 24 hits from 1951 through 1958, including their No. 1 hit, “Hearts of Stone.” They also backed Perry Como on many of his hits from 1949-1952. Jennifer Baltz, who works at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union inside Walmart and is a member of the Payson Choral Society, performed a beautiful solo at last Saturday’s concert, “It’s All About Love.”

Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Leeroy Watson, winner of a $20 gift certificate from the Candle Factory, good toward an exquisite, hand-carved candle.

Leeroy (spelled with two e’s) is a regular music trivia caller. His wife, Ellie, director of the Payson Humane Society, has been a past winner.

Leeroy and Ellie go back a long time together. They were high school sweethearts at Alhambra High School in Phoenix, were wed in the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas (with the ghost of Elvis looking on for good luck) and have celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary.

While living in Phoenix, Leeroy supported his family as a roofer, business owner and beverage house warehouse worker. He is now retired. He and Ellie moved to Pine in 2003 to “escape to a quieter life in the Rim Country.”

Leeroy’s interests include volunteering at the Humane Society and laying his luck on the line at the Mazatzal Casino’s Monday night blackjack tournaments. He is a big fan of country and western music and oldies rock ’n’ roll, with Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson being his favorite artists.

Lastly, it’s so wonderful to read that the Tonto Natural Bridge appears to no longer be a “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Hats off to all of the Rim Country folks, whose time, effort and perseverance has brought the world’s largest natural travertine bridge back to life.

I hope you enjoy another great weekend in the Rim Country. On Saturday, you can take in the Aero Fair at the Payson Airport and the first annual Antique Tractor Show in Pine; on Sunday, share good fellowship at the Payson Humane Society’s wine tasting at Gerardo’s; and all weekend long enjoy the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo. For details on these and other local weekend events, call the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce at 474-4515.

You can contact DJ Craig by calling 468-1482, or visit his Web site at DJCraigInPayson.com.

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