I’ve had that old hymn, "I serve a risen Savior…," in my head all day. It could be because of Easter, but it is more in thinking about the Community House in Red River. The CH is a wonderful old log building in the center of town where all sorts of community activities occur. During the summer months there is square dancing almost every night except for Monday Movie night and Sunday’s Sing Song.
As a kid growing up in RR, we spent a large amount of time at the CH. On Sunday Sing Song I can remember standing by my dad while he sang the old hymns. He would point to the words and teach me how to read the flow of the music and words. I loved those times standing next to him and singing the old songs especially when we were allowed to call out our favorite song to be sung next. We also attended church there on Sundays. One of my first memories of my friend Kathy was her dragging her little sister into Sunday School both wearing matching dresses with lots of petticoats. I was so jealous – not just of the dresses, but mostly because she had a little sister. So when I finally got a little sister, I named her Kathy.
My brother and I were square dancing with the old folks by the time we were eight years old. Often we would get bored with the dancing and play tag or other games on the green grass in front of the building. RR doesn’t have too many grassy areas – it is the Rocky Mountains, ya know! I have a very vivid picture of us all sitting out on the large covered porch talking and playing and waiting on the next favorite dance. My friend Janetta was there, but she was supposed to be working at her parent’s restaurant, Texas Red’s. She was "the muffin girl" and was supposed to put muffins in baskets for the waitresses. But Janetta would slip off without a word and head to the CH to dance with the rest of us. I can remember being in awe of her – that she had no problem doing whatever she wanted to do even though she was supposed to be "working." It was not so odd to have your kids working in a resort town - Craig and I worked at our parent's laundromat giving out change.
Toby and I got married at the CH in 1977. It was the perfect wedding place for me. The log walls and rustic atmosphere were everything I ever wanted in a wedding place. It was the place where I had spent so much of my childhood and such great memories. It was the place where I had first loves and first heartbreaks.
Tomorrow I will be at the CH in RR again. This time will be to attend the funeral of my friend. It is most appropriate that the service will be there – a place of memories – a place of happiness and sadness - a place of beginnings and ends.
The Gill Grin.