Little League flagpole gets special attention

Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Little League Pledge

I trust in God.

I love my country

And will respect its laws.

I will play fair

And strive to win,

But win or lose

I will always do my best.

When the flagpole at the Kenai Little League fields on Spruce Street needed a new paint job this summer, Mark Epperheimer, Little League coach for the past dozen years, stepped up to the plate.

And why not? As proprietor of Epperheimer Inc. Sandblasting and Painting, Epperheimer is a painting pro. And, as a professional, he went beyond the simple repainting that a novice might do.

At the suggestion of league officials David and Carletta Gemmell, and with the assistance of his daughter Julie English's business, Sign Works, Epperheimer set off to decorate the flagpole as gloriously as the flags and banners it held high above the twin baseball diamonds.

The pole itself received a bright coat of royal blue, with 10 bands of red separating the lines of the Little League Pledge, as duplicated above, printed in white.

The project was nearing completion at about the same time the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was handing down its now-famous decision banning the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, so Epperheimer decided the flagpole should also include the words, "One Nation Under God," printed in large, five-inch white letters coming down the pole.

Asked if the addition was in response to the court decision, the 46-year-old Epperheimer said, "Some of that, but I just wanted to show the kids that they don't always have to agree with what the government does all the time."

Though of Little-League age himself during the Vietnam war when "question authority" became the rallying cry in many parts the country, Epperheimer said he is not a veteran but already has received positive comments about his work.

"The American Legion played there the other night and I got a good response from them," he said.

Not one to stand in the limelight or take credit for his work on the project or the many hours he spends with the Little League youth, Epperheimer quickly notes that his firm donated the painting service, but many suppliers donated the materials and Sign Works provided the lettering expertise.

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