13 June 2010

Little Annoyances Impede Progress

We're posting a photo of the depot during the locomotive move in 1989 as a reminder of just how far we've come in efforts to restore the historic Potlatch depot. As interior work winds down on the north end of the building, it's the petty stuff that seems to creep in. Like the door between the ticket office and the hallway being off 1/8 inch. This was just enough to postpone moving day for Karen Rohn and Julie Kerr as they seek to open their new business BLACKBIRD STATION (at the Depot). Brian Magelky, one of the HPG board members and a steady volunteer these past three months, remembers our optimism that this interior should only take three weeks. Yeah, right! Things never go according to plan, but if the HPG had known three weeks would become three months, would members have ever stepped forth to move ahead? Likely not. But now on June 13, it appears Karen and Julie can start moving in their inventory.

Giving credit where credit is due, here's a review of the team that has brought us to this point: Jim West, project manager, has been in Potlatch nearly every weekend, putting up sheetrock, hammering, measuring, doing everything but enjoying weekends at home with his family. Sometimes he brought his family, including wife Becca, daughters Tori and Delaney, brother Mike West, and sister-in-law Barb West. Then there's HPG vice-president Brian Magelky, who has driven out from Moscow nearly every weekday and most Saturdays, as well, sometimes bringing son Aaron, a proud HPG member. Brian is a skilled cabinetmaker so tackling the uneven and rough construction in the depot has taxed his patience at times, but he's been a steady and appreciated presence. Then there's past HPG president and current treasurer Don Somers who has been on the ladders, patching holes and improving the walls, and doing whatever else has been necessary. That contribution is huge. Current HPG president Jack Coyner faithfully tended to insulation chores on the second floor, sacrificing a pair of glasses in the whole effort. He's ridden herd on electricians and plumbers, coordinated efforts with volunteers and tenants, and covered a variety of other construction chores not exactly in his line of expertise. This group of volunteers has been the backbone of getting things done. Additionally, Karen Rohn, Julie Kerr and Mike Bryngelson have thrown in countless hours of sweat equity on behalf of Blackbird Station. In a nutshell, we defied the experts who said we needed a half million dollars to get things shaped up in the interiors. The monies left over from the 2007 redo paid for electricity and plumbing, insulation, phone service, and all kinds of building materials and fixtures. We're not done yet, but this week Blackbird Station can finally move into new quarters. We wish this venture every success! And thank you for bearing with us as the HPG steps into uncharted waters as landlords. Volunteers in this case probably never thought this would be one of the duties!

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