About 10 years ago, I received a phone call from Tom Poe, our local diamond and fine-jewelry store owner. He asked if he could send me a packet of information, along with an invitation to a meeting at a private residence here in town. My wife Lorrie and I went and we met other people, some we knew. We all had one thing in common, that we all had some knowledge of the timber industry and logging and the people who make it happen and moreover to discuss how to honor the men who gave their lives to this industry.
As the meeting progressed, Tom unveiled his idea to accomplish this. After taking a good look at the information and drawings and Tom’s salesmanship, I was all in and hooked. I did a lot of thinking about this whole product. I got to realize that logging, along with farming, is what put our city on the map and helped keep it there. So this needs to be done right. Later, Tom and I were talking and I told him the one big concern I had is that I didn’t want to drive by this for the rest of my life and be embarrassed that we fell short on our effort. I have always been proud to be part of the logging industry and I wanted to be proud of this project that is to honor these men.
Now, I’ve known Tom for a lot of years and I should have known better than to worry. One of the things I like about Tom, is when he takes on something like this, it’s “full head of steam and don’t sweat the torpedoes” mindset. When we got to look at the final plans and what it was going to take, my wife Lorrie said, if you guys can raise that kind of money and get the property that Tom wants, you will never have to do anything but be proud and I agreed.
So Tom and all of the people that were involved in this great monument to logging and the men who gave their all to make it happen, thank you all for the great job you did.
So now that three years have passed since the dedication and some evenings when the lights are shining on it, and I see people who have taken the time to read some of the names of the men dedicated there, I am not only pleased but proud to have been asked to be a part of this great idea.
Tom, there are many ways to say thank you, but from the bottom of my heart and soul, thank you for an idea and job so very, very well done.
Michael A. Maras