Last Saturday and Sunday saw another big weekend in Whiting. Sometimes there's so much going on here, it's hard to find time to enjoy it all.
Saturday the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce held its first Chalk-a-Lot, with artists trying their hand at creating sidewalk masterpieces. I saw everything from "Starry Starry Night" to Mickey and Donald done on our humble concrete walkway.
I hope this neat event continues to grow. Granted, the next rain will wash away these works of art, but the creativity of a new Whiting event will linger on.
Later that afternoon the rededication of the newly-renovated Ray P. Gallivan football and track field was held.
Back in 1993, they named the facility after Gallivan. Members of the first team to play on the new field attended, as well as Sherwood Haydock, their coach. Cheerleaders, players, fans and family were all there and the dedication ended with the school band playing "Hail Sturdy Oilers."
Even though I hadn't a clue as to what Haydock was talking about when he described, in detail, the team's memorable plays, I was proud to be part of the community coming together, proud of the new state-of-the-art facility.
Ray Gallivan had been hired in 1928 as Whiting's football coach. In college, he played football with the famous Red Grange. And though his debut as coach was less than spectacular, he hit his stride in the 1930's. He also organized the school's first Booster Club.
I remember Mr. Gallivan as our principal. We all respected him and feared him a little as he was, in stature, a somewhat gruff, big bull of an Irishman. The one incident I always recall when I think of him involved this couple who were holding hands out in the hall. He came upon these students with his wrath for displaying such public behavior in his school.
He was a no-nonsense principal and somehow always seemed to be out in the hallway, making his presence known.
Our mayor, Joe Stahura, a Whiting High graduate, is another man who has the community's respect. This was certainly apparent at a recent mayoral forum he held at the Community Center as an overflow crowd eagerly came to hear the mayor's ambitious plans for our future.
Always prepared, Joe had drawings, charts, numbers and hard facts to back up his ideas. And as always, our mayor allowed plenty of time for questions from the audience. Although not everybody was crazy about all his suggestions, audience members listened respectfully and offered feedback, which I'm sure he will consider.
He's a particularly bright man who always displays a wry sense of humor in his presentations. Whiting is extremely lucky to have him at the helm.
And though much has changed in our little corner of the Calumet Region over the years, the one thing evident in these three events is the continual pride residents take in our community.
We may be smaller than most cities, but our loyalty and participation is big. Guess you can "chalk it up" to just loving our hometown.