What a wonderful article about Chris Byrd and the Byrd family (Dec. 12 Beacon: “Free as the Byrds.” We all grew up together in Martin City, then a community of large, self-sufficient families, mostly Catholic. My parents owned the Tamarack Lodge and daily trips up the hill to the Byrd’s grocery store for provisions and socializing were the norm. Chris, as well as all his siblings, worked in the store and all inherited Herman and Bernida’s sense of generosity, good humor and strong faith. The four-room Martin City grade school claimed a Byrd in every class for many years, and the first pews at the old St. Richards Catholic church in Columbia Falls were reserved for the Byrds.
I experienced Chris’ sense of adventure when I hitched a ride home from church in Columbia Falls. It was the family’s practice to say the rosary on car trips, and when Chris started driving I understood why.
I was saddened to learn of Chris’ illness, but it was good to read of his full life and to know he continues to be surrounded by the large and loving Byrd family.
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