Teacher, Coach Gets An Education

Rattlin' the Rim

A stunning, almost 3-D, quilt by Leslie Peacock of Payson, earned the “Leap of Faith Award” and the prestigious Best of Show at the recent Strawberry Patchers’ Quilt Show.

Photo by Max Foster.

A stunning, almost 3-D, quilt by Leslie Peacock of Payson, earned the “Leap of Faith Award” and the prestigious Best of Show at the recent Strawberry Patchers’ Quilt Show.


Having spent most of my life as a math teacher and football and basketball coach, I’m obviously naive when it comes to quilting.

But even with my lack of knowledge, I was highly impressed by what I saw while touring the quilts at the Strawberry Patchers’ 18th Annual Quilt Show June 13 and 14 in the community center.

Before I attended my first-ever quilt show, my naiveté took front stage when I asked local quilter Maureen Pastika how winners are chosen.

I’m accustom to football games. You know, the game ends 7-6 and we all know the winners.

She corrected saying “The ribbons are awarded by viewer’s choice. The viewer’s usually pick one they like for its color, pattern, and what the focus fabric is.

“The awards are completely picked by what the show attendees like, except the special awards.”

Wow, I’m glad football is not judged that way. The attendees would never have picked the Longhorns when Payson High was playing in Show Low, Blue Ridge or Snowflake.

Knowing now that when it comes to quilting I am dumber than dumb, I browsed through the quilts searching for ones that caught my attention.

My top pick was a stunning, almost 3-D, quilt done by Leslie Peacock of Payson. It eventually earned her the “Leap of Faith Award” and the prestigious Best of Show.

Leslie’s wasn’t the only outstanding quilt, however, most all of them were visually stunning works of art.

In coaching, the highest compliment to be given is “Nice job.”

So quilters, “Nice job.”

New chief

When former Pine Strawberry Fire Chief David Staub resigned June 2 to take a similar position in Payson, a man with years of firefighting education and experience replaced him on an interim basis.

According to Gary Morris’ biography, he has a bachelor’s of science degree from Arizona State University in industrial supervision and a master’s from the University of Phoenix in organizational management.

He has also authored nearly 100 articles that have been published in fire and EMS magazines.

Morris served in the U.S. Air Force as a crash rescue firefighter and retired from the Phoenix Fire Depart­ment as an assistant fire chief.

Early in his career, he worked as a paramedic for 15 years and was also the Seattle Fire Department fire chief and chief of the Rural/Metro Fire Department in rural Maricopa County. He and his wife Ginger bought a home in Strawberry eight years ago and have been full-time residents since 2007. He volunteers for the Fuel Reduction Committee’s re­seeding project and with the local food bank.

He also has competed in the Fire on the Rim mountain bike race and is a member of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue.

Before Staub left for Payson, he and Morris underwent a three-week briefing period to ensure a smooth transition.

Ambitious library agenda

Whether it’s answering questions about Social Security or entertaining children with educational movies and programs, the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library has it all.

Upcoming movie offerings include “Ernest and Celestine,” to be shown June 26, followed by “Axel,” July 10 and “Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure,” July 17. All three begin at 1 p.m.

Refreshments will be served, there is no admission and children should bring their own pillow to be comfortable on the floor.

Call (928) 476-3678 for details.

“Social Security Claiming Strategies” will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon July 30 in the library’s activity room. The program is billed as educational only with no sales of any kind. Some of the topics to be covered include:

• Why it’s generally not beneficial to claim benefits early

• How to utilize spousal benefits to increase lifetime income

• The benefits available to ex-spouses and how to claim them

• Income restrictions when one takes Social Security early

Also at the library, Didgeridoo Down Under comes to town 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, June 21 in the library’s activity room.

It is billed as an Australian-themed show that combines music, culture and science.

Didgeridoo is the third program in the children’s series “Fizz Boom Read” that the library offered for the first time this summer thanks to memorial contributions honoring former Library Friend Sherry Semrad who died Feb. 4.

A book review of “Adventures of Lil’ Cub Mercy Flight,” authored by Barb Stratton, is another offering on the library’s ambitious summer calendar.

It will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, July 12 in the main library. Copies of the book will be available to purchase and refreshments will be served.

The story is about a small Piper Cub airplane and a mercy flight to deliver medical supplies to a doctor in the high desert. During the flight, Lil’ Cub encounters bad weather and high winds, but Lil’ Cub talks to himself — he must keep going because people are counting on him to deliver the much-needed medicine.


Friends of the Pine Library is hosting a potluck lunch at noon, Monday, June 23 in the library’s activity room located just behind the Cultural Hall at the Pine Community Center. So, stir up a favorite brunch item to share and invite a friend to introduce to the friendly group.

Trail work in June

Work on the Arizona Trail held June 7 and 15 continues tomorrow June 21 and wraps up June 29 with a Major Work Event.

All work is done from 8 a.m. to noon.

Volunteers should bring their own lunch, snacks and water for tomorrow’s session, but on June 29, lunch will be provided by the Pine Straw­berry Fuel Reduction Committee.

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a continuous, 800-plus-mile diverse and scenic trail across Arizona from Mexico to Utah.

Pine, Strawberry and Payson are among the Gateway Communities on the trail.

For more information, go to: http://psfuelreduction.org/

Dollar General in Pine?

Local residents are gearing up for a special hearing to be held 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 25 at Pine Community Center. The meeting will allow residents to voice opinions on the possibility of Dollar General store being built on the northeast side of Highway 87 directly across from Old County Road.

The property is currently zoned both residential and transitional residential, but Beau Woodring of Scottsdale-based Southwest General Development wants to rezone the property to commercial so that the store can be built there.

Block party at community center

John Lake, the pastor at Church on Randall Place, is inviting all locals to kick back and enjoy themselves at an old-fashioned block party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 21 at the Pine Community Center.

The free event will be highlighted by food, games, a bounce house and more, Lake promises.

The Prescott-based Christian gospel band Covenant 31 has accepted an invitation to perform as special musical guests.

Call Lake at (928) 970-4249 for more information.


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