Couples mark special occasions at Jazz in the Park

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Helena is fortunate to be an annual host for Magic City Smooth Jazz/Jazz in the Park event. Held at the amphitheater this summer on July 9, the concert featured the Joe Carnaggio Trio and Phil Denny.

To the background of the music, I photographed the many faces in the crowd enjoying this free concert under the canopy of trees adjacent to Buck Creek.

And, I came across some familiar Helena-ites celebrating special occasions.

Michael Johnson and Lora Lunsford were celebrating their first meeting 11 years ago on July 9 at Movies in the Park.

“My two daughters, Jazzy and Sage, were with me and Lora was in charge of the kid’s entertainment before the movie,” Johnson recalls. “We didn’t say much, but I met her again at The Bead Biz the following week. I don’t recall the movie, but I remember what she was wearing!”

Johnson, Graphic Design teacher at Oak Mountain, soon afterwards set up a workspace in Lunsford’s store, Bead Biz, where the couple each worked on their creative pursuits until Bead Biz closed in the fall of 2016.

The couple married in a ceremony near Buck Creek on July 9, 2015.

Nearby, Jack and Stephanie Gray and Cathy Saviski were chilling and recovering from Jack’s 70th birthday party the previous month.

Molly and Colquitt (Coke) Clark, active Helena Kiwanians, enjoyed a musical evening back home from extended travels. (Contributed)

Molly and Coke (Colquitt) Clark had just the previous day returned from an Alaskan cruise of the Inside Passage from Vancouver to Anchorage and were on that very evening celebrating Molly’s birthday.

“Alaska has been at the top of our ‘bucket list’ for many years,” they shared.

“During several stops for shore trips, we saw towns not much changed from the gold rush days; went whale watching and saw 15 whales; visited Juneau, the state capital, that you can only reach by boat or airplane … no highway in our out.”

They also saw many glaciers and vivid evidence of their shrinkage in the last 50 years.

The second half was a land trip traveling by train to Denali National Park.

“Scenery impossible to describe all the way; visits to the home where Huskie dogs and puppies are raised, trained and prepared for many famous races,” Coke related. “These words and our photos are totally inadequate to describe the beauty of this state. You simply have to put it on your own ‘bucket list’ and go there!”