Larry Banman: A speedy recovery desired for one of Kremmling’s best |

Larry Banman: A speedy recovery desired for one of Kremmling’s best

It’s time to rally around one of our own.

Last Thursday, Inell Harvey of Kremmling was involved in a one-car accident on the Trough Road between State Bridge and Kremmling. She suffered some broken ribs and is currently in a Denver-area hospital. Reports are that she is stable, but in quite a bit of pain from the broken ribs.

The details of the accident are yet to be completely sorted out, but that is really a secondary issue, to me, at this time. What is important is that she, in some way, be aware of the tremendous amount of care and concern that this community has for her. Goodness knows she has showered plenty of that love on this community for years.

Inell is the author of the Heeney Hearsay, a newsy column with a social twist that has appeared in the Middle Park Times for more than 20 years. As a former editor of the Times for about 15 years, it was my distinct pleasure to work with Inell on that column on a weekly basis.

One of the highlights for me was to see Inell’s smiling face every week and to experience her positive attitude toward life. Her column is the last of a genre that had been the staple of the community newspaper industry for many, many years.

The Middle Park Times used to include several of those columns, including the Social Whirl by Stella Wheatley and the Parshall Parcels by Barbara Mitchell. Each week, the reader could find out about birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, who visited whom and, often, what they ate while they visited. As our society “progressed” those columns slowly went away in favor of what the industry called “hard news.” As I see what qualifies as “hard news” in the national media, I find it hard to believe we have progressed very far. There are still many fans of those social columns. Helen Bumgarner, a lifelong resident of Middle Park, never failed to tell me that she wished the paper still had more of those columns. Up until my last days as editor of the Middle Park Times, I would hear from people who said the only reason they picked up the paper was to read Heeney Hearsay.

In addition to the weekly happenings, Inell always includes numerous pithy anecdotes, as well as tips for things like removing grape juice stains from your carpet and rust stains from your sink. I always depend on Inell to tell us when it is time to make clock adjustments for daylight saving time. Every once in a while she drops in a zinger of a line or a quote that only she can pull off with a mixture of candor and grace. Her humor is timeless and she has a way of relating to people of every age and walk of life.

I fully expect Inell to make a full recovery and return to writing her column.

What I hope for her is that nothing dampen her fiercely independent spirit. Her involvement in activities is legendary. She keeps a pace and a schedule that would exhaust most of the rest of us. One of my favorite Inell stories is about a trip she made to the New England area about 10 years ago to see the fall colors. After a couple of days on the senior citizen tour bus, she had had enough of the glacial pace adopted by the tour company. She rented a car so she and her traveling companion could “get out and see some scenery.” As I recall, she zipped around New England, occasionally touching base with the rest of the tour. She took her own “value-added” version of the fall colors tour in New England.

Inell has never wanted to be a bother or hindrance to anybody. It has been my pleasure to take her to a few events throughout Grand County. She always wanted me to drive but she insisted on providing the transportation. Her car was always full of gas, washed, vacuumed and yet she still always apologized that it was “a mess.” A perfect traveling companion, she expertly converses on a wide range of topics and insists on buying the treats for the trip.

Many people are the welcome recipients of her greeting cards at birthdays and anniversaries. We all cherish the hand-written and personal comments. She told me once what she pays in postage. Her weekly bill is greater than what I spend annually on personal correspondence.

Our society has become somewhat jaded. We see acts of kindness and are suspicious of the motives. How many of you, when you hear any of the three United States presidential candidates make promises, really expect to see any fruition from that rhetoric? How many times have you accepted what appeared to be a genuine act of kindness, only to trip on the attached strings at a later time? Inell is truly genuine. She is a person who has the true gift of giving. She gives selflessly, with no thought of “what’s in it for her.” It is the nature of almost of all of us to expect something in return. Inell seems almost embarrassed when you attempt to pay her back or give her a gift.

Again, I am not writing about Inell in the past tense. I expect to see her around town for many more years. What I need to do is look for ways to return a bit of that appreciation for what she has done for me and my family. A woman of faith, I know that Inell would appreciate all of our prayers. Acts of kindness in the form of cards and letters are always appreciated.

I know that she has a marvelous support system of friends and family. I have a feeling that what Inell may appreciate as much as anything is that we all look at our neighbors with a touch of the unconditional love for which she is known. The world will be a better place if we go out of our way for a few acts of random kindness or if we spend a little time looking at the world through her glasses. The world may look a little differently to all of us.

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