8/1/2013 1:43:00 PM I am running out of words, yet another great community champion has passed
I am sitting here in absolute shock, trying desperately to figure out what to write. For the first time in my publisher career I am without words. My mind is still trying to figure out what happened Sunday at the triathlon. I am numb, heartbroken, scared, sorry, sad, dejected, and even thankful. In case you have not heard, Chisago Lakes has lost one of its best. Sherwin Johnson was tragically taken from us Sunday afternoon. He was struck on his motorcycle coming home from ironically the triathlon where he had just volunteered the first five hours of his day.
Something Sherwin was known for - volunteering. Sherwin and I and a few others were draft marshals for the bicycle portion of the triathlon. We were in charge of making sure athletes were okay and if they needed assistance, we were there to help. I must have spoken with Sherwin 15 times on Sunday. Every little talk ended with Sherwin getting a hilarious little jab in whether it was about me or Gregg Carlson stopping for coffee along the bike route. He told me and others, this was the most fun he has ever had helping with the triathlon. The last time I saw Sherwin, we were close to the end and I told him I was going home to run a water station at my house. We exchanged goodbyes and he stayed behind with the last bicyclers. That was the last time I saw him. That was the last time I will ever see him.
I am so heartbroken for Sherwin's family. He was such a class act. A silent giver. He volunteered everywhere. He was a fireman for 21 years, he is the face of the Chisago Lakes Sportsmens Club, he volunteered at the food shelf, he volunteered at Trinity Lutheran, he was huge in the Lindstrom Historical Society, he served on the Karl Oskar Committee for years, he was this year's Community Ambassador. I could go on and on about how much Sherwin gave back to the community, but the most important thing is he is no longer here. While I can sit here and write pages about how influential Sherwin was in our community, the most important thing is his family. I can't begin to tell you just how sorry I am. Diane is such a wonderful person and doesn't deserve this. They had something special, really special. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Sherwin was one of a kind..without question one of a kind. I apologize for all of the melancholy columns I have written lately. It seems like our community just can’t get a break recently. Hopefully this will be the last time I write about the passing of someone in our community. There has to be brighter days ahead.
If you would like to see something really cool that you and your children will get a kick out of, set some time aside this Sunday. That’s when the annual Threshing Show tractor caravan will be meandering its way from Eko Backen to the Threshing grounds in Almelund. You will see many old and new tractors in a caravan that begins at 10 a.m. The route that you can view the tractors is Manning to Old Towne Road. The tractors will head towards Chisago City and turn east on Stinson Avenue. The tractrs will cross at Shoquist Lane and head east on North Avenue or Sportsmens Drive. The tractors will stop for a brief time at the Sportmens Club. After a break, the caravan will continue to County Road 14 and head north to 316th Avenue. It will head east on 316th to Furuby Trail. They will break at the Beeksma residence before continuing to County Road 12. They will go north on 12 to Highway 95. East on Highway 95 to the Threshing Grounds. There will be over 100 tracors taking part in the caravan. It is really a sight to see. I hope you have a chance to come out and enjoy the parade.
A huge thank you to every single person who got involved in volunteering for the trathlon. The triathlon was a huge success that would never be possible without the hundreds of volunteers. My family and four other families ran a water station once again this year. For the most part runners were very appreciative of all the volunteers taking time out of their busy schedules to help them out. We have an unbelievable fountain of volunteerism in Chisago Lakes. Thank you so much for all that you do.
Last week, I took another car full of donations to the homeless shelter in Pine City. The employees were blown away at the generosity of our area. They wanted me to pass along their most sincere and heartfelt thank you. I am still collecting for future trips, if you would like to donate just drop your stuff off here at the Press. Thank you for giving.