Friday, August 19, 2022

GATRs abound in North Fork

by By Larry Wilson
| September 15, 2021 12:30 PM

What a glorious week! Warm and sunny, then the smoke from the west returned and the week ended with a heavy night rain.

The good weather was perfect for season ending social events—two GATR’s (Gather at the River) and a fish fry, Due to a prior commitment I missed one of the GATR’s but did attend the great one at the Holycross River Park, Nearly 50 people attended with great food—grilled meats including steaks, hamburgers brats and hot dogs and, as usual, a wide variety of side dishes. The diverse population of the North Fork always make these events fun and interesting, We have people from every walk of life. We have doctors, lawyers, college professors, businessmen (and women) and workers from a ton of backgrounds. The only group I have never seen represented are nudists but I am keeping my eyes open. I suspect mosquitoes and horse flies keep them covered up.

I also attended a wonderful fish fry at the Gary Byers compound.Wes Martin brought back a great mess of halibut from Alaska and he, his brother Charlie and friend Larry Hoerner did a masterful job of smoking them on the grill and deep fat fryer. Again, there were a ton of side dishes and desserts. I really enjoyed the halibut but also visiting with teaching colleague Allen Jacobson as well as former students.

Finally, the GATR at the Ray Hart compound sponsored by Molly Shepherd and Ruth and Larry Kinsolving and 40+ guests combined all of the above — good food, great people, and a lot of laughter.

One additional ingredient was recognition of Ray Hart, not only as a friend and neighbor but as an academic. Not many North Forkers know a lot about his working life except that he taught religion. Many of us knew that he taught religion at the University of Montana and left there to go to Boston University.

Few of us knew he was Chairman of the Department of Religion, Director of the Graduate Division and Dean of the School of Theology. He also co-founded departments of religion at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Arizona, New Mexico, Princeton, New York and Florida.

The American Academy of Religion now award an honor, the “Ray L Hart Service Award” each year to remember his importance in the field of religious studies.

Obviously, an outstanding man in his field. More awards are coming since he has also founded two academic chairs at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in philosophy of religion.

Next week—the story of a rumored North Fork nudist 30 years ago.

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