One of the best things about the MTA conference is seeing friends, old and new. One person I did not catch up with is Gary Johnson of Paul Bunyan Telephone.
.He should have been there to accept his MTA Public Service Award. The irony is that the reason he was not there was the reason he won the award. He was chairing a Rotary Club meeting and missed the awards ceremony. In conjunction with the Rotary, Johnson spearheaded the Lake Bemiji Dragon Boat Festival, which drew 63 teams and over 1,300 visitors in 2007. This festival, scheduled for August 1-2nd, has been a boon to the economic development of his community, drawing people from adjacent States.