At the Battle of Little Round Top on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa., as Union troops rallied to hold the strategic hill, U.S. Army Col. Strong Vincent, commander of the 3rd Brigade, gave his orders to Col. Joshua Chamberlain, leader of the 20th Maine Regiment: “This is the left of the Union line. You are to hold this ground at all costs!” Chamberlain stood fast, though the legend has it he said to himself, “Hold the line? How the heck do I do that?” At one point he mounted a list-ditch bayonet attack at the 15th and 47th Alabama of the Confederate Army, routing the Rebels. The 20th Maine kept Little Round Top, and the Union won the bloody battle of Gettysburg.
Holy Appomattox, Betsteroids! Have you ever faced your own Little Round Top, ripped with self doubt, unsure of your abilities? Maybe you faced 15-foot seas in a blowing gale, your pumps failing, gumby suit tight and not knowing if you’d save your boat, much less your life. Maybe you looked down at a guy in Code Blue, pulse weak, just a week out of EMT training on your first run, a defibrillator sputtering, hoping that the next charge would shock his heart into a steady rhythm? Maybe you’ve been clean only a week and really, really want that bottle of Everclear, but you’ve got your AA sponsor on speed dial and it’s only eight hours until the next meeting.
You can do this, sisters and brothers. You can hang in there. You can overcome the challenges life throws at you. You can pull in one more set, do one more shift at the espresso shop and fillet one more tote of salmon. You know why?
Because we’ve got your back — your six, as they say in the military. You have friends. You have people who love you and believe in you. You have hundreds of people who want you to succeed, because even if you’re not sure, they know.
“Breathe,” a friend said when the Betster had doubts. And she was right. Breathe. This cosmic town gives you air, sweet, beautiful oxygen, and you will do just fine. You usually do. And should you fail? We’ll pull you back up, stronger because of the doing.
Persevere, kids, because in this fine summer and the cutest little town in Alaska, everything will be all right. Step back, celebrate and enjoy your good work with these Best Bets:
BEST CASTAWAY BET: Artist Lynn Marie Naden made the cool alphabet letters at the Homer Public Library children’s room. She just loves making art out of natural objects. Learn her techique in Field Casting Workshops starting at noon today at the Pratt Museum. Call the Pratt to reserve your spot at 235-8635; $75 per workshop. All materials included. All workshops are the same. All ages welcome, children under 14 must bring an adult.
BEST WAIT LIST BET: We hear “Chicago” is so popular it’s sold out the rest of its run. But you know Homer people — sometimes they like space out the date and forget they have tickets. Get on the wait list if you want to see the show. For more information, call Pier One at 235-7333.
BEST STEADY HAND BET: You think you have the patience and skill to play bocce ball? Try it out from 9-10:30 a.m. Friday with Special Olympics Bocce Ball at the HERC Building next to Homer Middle School. Call 399-2500 for more information or to sign up.
BEST CREATE AWAY BET: Have some grandchildren in town who want to try their hand at art? Or maybe you just have a bored kid looking for something to do. Check out the Kids Mixed Media art class from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday at Homer Art &Frame Co. Call 435-3999 for more information or to sign up.
BEST CAN’T WAIT BET: Salmonfest is less than a month away, but if you can’t wait, check out some of the Salmonfest Music Series acts at Alice’s Champagne Palace. This week at 9 p.m. Saturday it’s The Barefoot Movement. CMT Edge called this Nashville band “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene.” Tickets are $10 advance, $15 door and available at the Homer Bookstore.