HUMAN SPIRIT ILLUMINATED DISASTROUS 1995 GAS EXPLOSION
This editorial column appeared in an April, 1995 issue of the Traverse City Record-Eagle following the natural gas explosion. On a Sunday afternoon, Alden Lumber Company didn't ask where to send the bill. Instead, they sent employees after hours to deliver hundreds of sheets of OSB board to the downtown district, where volunteers put on hard-hats, rolled up their sleeves, and began securing businesses that were left vulnerable when their storefronts were blown open. Shattered glass filled the roadway and sidewalks. Fire district auxiliary members made soup, brewed coffee and delivered sandwiches to the hundred or more workers, law enforcement officers and firefighters who remained on scene cleaning up and keeping watch on the fire, which smoldered for days. Antrim County's emergency service mobile unit, then directed by Bill Drollinger, remained on scene for days, while they offered any support that was needed. The Mancelona community came together for one another, counting their blessings, and slowly moved forward.