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Evan Hazard: ‘. . . dependable, prompt, and reliable,’ but forgetful

At the end of spring semester at BSU, departments housed in Sattgast Hall hold a scholarship recognition ceremony in the building’s largest classroom to recognize students who have been awarded scholarships for the next academic year. I usually go because the faculty like to have emeriti there who have helped in the scholarship program.

Elaine and I established a Hazard scholarship in biology in the late 80s or early 90s, and had a hand in establishing the Rhonda Severson Levinski scholarship several years later. (Rhonda was my lab assistant, a wonderful person, and later a beloved middle school science teacher in Woodbury. She died of cancer at age 38.)

The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. and is followed by lunch in the lower union cafeteria:  sloppy joes, chips, beans, veggies, brownies and such. So I had plenty of time that morning to do useful computer housekeeping. Nonetheless, I left home about 10:20, to be there in plenty of time, touch base with current faculty, and get a seat down front, where faculty often sit.

The ceremony went well, the only regret being that several recipients couldn’t be there because they were in the Hobson Union helping with “Share the Future,” which had been postponed from mid-winter because of bad weather.

STF is a program for area junior high students to acquaint them with the various sciences.

On the way home, I stopped for groceries at my usual supermarket. Nothing seemed amiss; M. Trouvé (Kitty)  greeted me and rolled over for a tummy rub. Then I noticed the caller ID flashing, both the red and green lights.

A lot had happened between 10:20 and my arrival home after 1 p.m. Unfortunately, I did not keep a record of how many voice-mails there were, but overall I’d received calls from several folks and had a visit from the City of Bemidji.

Turns out, in looking forward to the scholarship do, I had totally spaced on my weekly job of copy editing the Bemidji United Methodist Church Sunday bulletin. I usually show up at 10 a.m.  or a bit later to do my Strunk and White bit with the BUMC bulletin, and sometimes also the monthly church newsletter.

The oldest voice-mail was from Charity, our secretary/accountant, and there may have been others from Krista, our ministerial coordinator, and Rev. Gay, our pastor. Charity had asked if I was planning to come in and do the bulletin.

She, Gay, and Krista had decided that there must be something wrong, because Evan is so dependable, prompt, reliable, and such*, and would have called or emailed if he could not come for some reason. (*He isn’t; he’s just lovable.)  Krista actually drove up here, rang the doorbell, and peered in all the windows, expecting to see me dead of a stroke or heart attack. All she saw was the cat.

I’m not sure whether that was before or during the visit by the police, ambulance, and fire engines; BUMC had called 911. Boy, did I feel stupid, and besides, the bulletin had not been copy-edited.  (Actually, it no longer needs editing as much as it once did. They are getting very good.)

I quickly sent Charity an email, cc-ing. Gay and Krista:   

“Subject: oops!  Charity, I blew it; I’m sorry. (Dave [a BUMC member and neighbor in The Meadows] just called, as I started to write this. Apparently you had the police out looking for me. Dave said I might get a few more calls.)  Last evening I knew I had copy editing to do before the 11 a.m. awards session at Sattgast, but I sure didn’t know it this morning. Peace, Evan”

I shortly got another email, which read, in part:  

“Charity is the least of your worries, buster!  You had me DARN worried. . . .. Krista.”  Actually, next time we met, I got a hug, not a thrashing. But it didn’t stop there. They knew nothing about the Sattgast do, but they did know I volunteer at Sanford Health where my boss is Kari Knudson, Volunteer Coordinator and also a BUMC member, and that I work out at Sanford’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine therapy gym, Peak Performance.  

So they called Kari, who raced to Peak and found me not there but got two neat therapists, Lyndsey and Darla, worried about me. I had a lot of people to answer to. Fortunately, an unrelated factor had held up bulletin preparation, so I copy-edited it the next morning. It’s good to know one is loved.

I even called the police station to apologize for all the trouble the city went to. The woman who answered thanked me, but said, “We like happy endings.”  Amen.

Evan Hazard, a retired BSU biology professor, also writes “Northland Stargazing” the fourth Friday of each month.