Two Eighth Grade Girls

By Beacon Staff

There’s a reason so many people are walking around Columbia Falls with a sunburn today.

But it’s not because they spent too much time at the Pinewood Park pool, or the waterslides.

It’s because they were part of the crowd who spent their morning at the Columbia Falls Junior High football field, celebrating the life of Joe “Bear” Greene.

I met Joe a few times at Junior High teacher events (my wife teaches sixth grade at CFJHS), but really didn’t know him well.

It says a lot about a guy when over 700 people gather in the middle of a work day to laugh, cry and talk about their friend, co-worker, teacher, son, dad, husband and coach. At what is by far the nicest memorial I’ve ever attended, I heard about a good man that I missed the opportunity to befriend.

My loss.

Eight hours later at the Columbia Falls Farmer’s Market, I spot two girls getting their faces painted and my mind’s eye sees a good photo. I take a few shots for a CFalls page Beacon piece about the Farmer’s Market, but I don’t notice specifically what’s being painted.

My wife taught one of the girls so she goes over to say hi. When she comes back, she suggests that I take a close-up of the girls.

Why? Because two eighth grade girls with everything else in the world to think about, are still thinking about the loss of their teacher.

They’re having “Joe Bear” painted on their cheek.

And they have a bit of a sunburn.