The walk/race I participated in this weekend up in Mt. Shasta was founded 35 years ago by Dr. Jim Parker, a local physician and avid runner. He started Mountain Runners, and that group has sponsored the race and raised tons of money from the event, the proceeds going to a variety of community beautification projects.
For the last ten years I lived in Mt. Shasta he was my GP, and helped me through some pretty rough times. I admired and respected him tremendously.
Eighteen months ago he was diagnosed with ALS, and didn’t think he’d make it to last year’s race, let alone this year’s.
But he fooled everyone, and was the Grand Marshall of the parade on the 4th. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him this year, but I saw him from across the street and thought he looked really good.
But apparently he was hanging on by force of will to see just one more 4th of July.
I found out as I was driving home that he had passed away.
He has left a tremendous legacy. There is not much in the downtown area in terms of enhancements that he was not a part of.
At about the midway point of the 2-mile walk, I snapped this photo of the balloons across the street with the mountain in the background. It is one of my favorites, and every time I look at it I will think of him.
Thank you so much for all you have done for our community, Dr. Parker… RIP