KERR AM750bnr

By MICK HOLIEN

There is just not anything like Sunday at Augusta … the usual packed gallery …the pomp and circumstance on a beautiful Georgia day,

But a huge part of the Masters tradition was lacking this year because of the first-time absence of one of the sport’s mainstays.

With no deference to Gary Player, who joined ageless Jack Nicklaus for the traditional tee-off but it marks the first time since 1955 that Arnold Palmer and his congenial smile was noticeably not present.

Player hit his tee shot a little shorter than the 77-year-old Golden Bear who tipped his hat to the skies in recognition of his old friend who died last year at the age of 87.

Admittedly I have unfortunately never been to the Masters and confess I wouldn’t be able to describe the difference between a five iron from a three or a seven.

There is a difference right?

A half dozen years ago though I stood outside waiting anxiously for Palmer to arrive at the awards dinner for the National Sportswriters and sports broadcasters association in Salisbury, N.C.   

While representatives from most states were in attendance it was a social affair but I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to catch a few comments with the golfing icon.

He graciously stopped before entering and was kind enough to give me and my pal Gwen a few minutes but took the opportunity to reach around her waist to her backside where I would say he just gave her a little palm nudge.

He was in his eighties.

Please don’t be offended but if you knew Gwen, who has since lost her long battle with cancer, it wouldn’t surprise you to know rather than being upset she smiled and reciprocated.

As a dinner guest Palmer was seated with Jim Nantz, who was again being honored as National Sportscaster of the Year.

Since I have attended a few of these banquets since first winning the state award in 1988 I have come to know the cordial Nantz, who himself is easily approachable.

Later as dinner was approaching I noticed Palmer get up and walk across the entire venue approaching another table where I noticed another familiar face.

Nudging Gwen to get her camera ready here comes Arnie to embrace Furman Bisher, the iconic renowned former sportswriter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Palmer was well into his eighties and Bisher in his 90s and to me it represented a rare occurrence when a superior athlete pays homage to a media member who simply like Palmer was the best in his profession and whose eloquent words were respected as much as was Palmer’s golf game.

It was a touching moment and was my headline for the three-day event.

Several weeks later came an email from Nantz at CBS Sports calling my description of that moment in a Flathead Beacon column one of the finest he had ever read while capturing an “important moment” in his life.

Surprised I was thankful that I recognized what was happening.

Arnie signed a baseball for me that night and while I had no real reason to his absence and the presence of his widow made me appreciate even more fully than usual how it isn’t always all about what happens between the lines)

Just sayin’





Trippin'

By MICK HOLIEN

You will notice that the audio portion of 750kerr.com makes it easier in order to access since the programs are now listed in order.

Our course we would prefer that you o listen to each program live on the radio but if you can’t, well here you go.

Griz vessel made its fourth journey to “little” water in Polson Bay after journeying far north earlier in the week.

But I certainly would not say it was an uneventful trip as not only did I take back-to-back falls onto the concrete, the second of which left quite a goosegg and a slice up my right eyelid.

Read more ...

What the Heck is An Aber

By Mick Holien

I guess I never gave it a second thought – Aber Day Reunion – Everybody remembers those big parties with over-the-top music that prompted thousands to a remote Miller Creek gully location where the OK Rodeo previously was held.

I want to set aside confusion that this concert has anything to do with planting trees (Arbor Day) and instead has been regenerated to continue a platform of cutting edge music featuring the state’s most famous band, the Mission Mountain Wood Band (M2WB), which traditionally upstaged more name and popular groups when returning to the Missoula event.

But since I have been asked who they are and what this is trust me when I say Sam Riddle performing on the same bill as his father, M2WB’ bassist for the first time, Andrea Harsell and Luna (Rohaa)joining the evening, well we’ll be talking about it the rest of the summer.

Read more ...

What Shoulder Season

By MICK HOLIEN

When I served a couple of tours on the executive board of Glacier Country, the outfit basically that spends your bed taxes focusing on the promotion of tourism, the ongoing challenge was to extend what we call the shoulder seasons.

Those are the months of the year when visitors don’t routinely visit our area and might need some incentives to be encouraged to come our way.

Various integers in our area work diligently to produce events that not only get people out of their abode but also to attract those out-of-state pocketbooks.

The highly successful Cinemafest is one solid example in Lake County.

Read more ...

Always Coach Epperly

By MICK HOLIEN

When a man or women is tabbed with the moniker “Coach” the first name instilled upon them at birth disappears forever being replaced by the lifetime description that only can be earned by the respect accorded their direction.

While my first coach Billy Frazier is long since deceased and sometimes is affectionately recognized by former players as “Fox” Washington and Gonzaga Prep Hall of Fame football mentor always will only be coach to me.

Read more ...

My Kids

By Mick Holien

I don’t know what it is about when you get older things and situations that seemed so important at the time when you were in say your forties just seem to diminish over time.

While I haven’t yet really unfortunately solved that dilemma with my two children, something I will continue to attempt to look toward, I came to the realization a few months ago that a bad moment I had with a longtime dear friend a decade ago and a second with a couple nearby just flat needed to somehow he rectified.

Read more ...

Jan Dell

By MICK HOLIEN

I was somewhat of an odd day for music – Sunday afternoon of fourth of July weekend.

But that sure did not seem to matter as arriving at Missoula about 20 minutes after 3 found me searching for blocks around the Sunrise Saloon to find a decent parking place.

And then I was chagrined to discover a $5 cover charge – something I can’t ever remember paying in Zootown, a sentiment shared by several but approaching the Strand Avenue watering hole there was little doubt just why I made the trip.

Read more ...

Here I Go

By MICK HOLIEN

I didn’t pick a great time to challenge 93 North to Missoula but having no choice I ventured down the road twice in the days of advance of Independence Day.

Now don’t ask me why I would do such a thing but the Vox vessel wa not yet wet and with one trip to say good bye and the other to say a long-delayed hello.

The first trip to Zoo town was to join other former Missoulian employees to honor former editor Jeff Herman while the second was to catch up with music pal Jan Dell – hey do you remember – for a little music from some members of the old Ranch Band.

Read more ...

RIP Bill

By MICK HOLIEN

A telephone call to 9-1-1 prompted Kalispell law enforcement to knock on Bill Epperly’s pickup side window maybe expecting to encounter a stalker or some other type of criminal activity.

What they discovered was Bill, doing what he mostly did throughout his life – watching, listening, coaching or teaching some kind of sports.

Legend husband, father, mentor and lifetime coach Epperly died Thursday.

Read more ...

Why Baseball

By MICK HOLIEN

I confess I am a lifetime baseball fan who was exposed to the Nation’s pastime before I was double digit aged.

My namesake uncle told me to gather up my Sears purchased glove cuz we were headed an hour down the Columbia gorge across the river to Multnoma Stadium in downtown Portland where the hometown Beavers were to square off against the Eugene Emeralds in a Northwest League matchup when imo continues.

Initially being more attracted to the popcorn vendor than the game it took little time into Uncle Mick’s game explanation and a penciled scorebook before I was hooked.

Read more ...

Say What?

By MICK HOLIEN

I’ll bet you thought my background was comprised mostly as being the Voice of the Grizzlies or maybe you heard me for the first time when In My Opinion hit the airways in October or maybe you Read my Unabomber or Alberton chlorine spill Missoulian coverage.

Or maybe even just maybe you are one of those fine folks who bought one of my trio of books about the history of University of Montana football.

Read more ...

I can't drive fast enough

By MICK HOLIEN

You remember the Treasure state’s Interstate speed limit was recently elevated to 80 mph right?

And you probably recall those five buck times and the words safe and prudent in reference to the wild west of Montana we share just with wildlife.

But will the raising of the limit ever be sufficient for a seemingly large section of our population that fly up behind you, I guess in an attempt to blow you off the road, even when you are traveling five to 10 miles an hour faster than the posted limit.

Yep I’ve been on the road again and after making a 600-mile approximate 30 hour round trip to Big Sky resort south and west of Bozeman.

Some of my Highway Patrol and Beach Transportation friends might tell you that I have been known to travel at well over the speed limit.

But several years ago I was compelled to slow down and while you might get me traveling 45 in a 35 or maybe 50 in a 60, 84 or so on the Interstate might be about right for me.

Read more ...

Hall of Famer

By MICK HOLIEN

My deceased longtime radio friend Dave Wilson was inducted into the Montana Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Saturday night.

And it was an extra special occasion because his family, which includes his son Mark, who has dominated the Billings morning ratings for many a moon, and his wife Cheryl attended.

But there were other surprises in store and what a special and surprising night at Chet Huntley Lodge at Big Sky.

Read more ...

A sincere thank you

By MICK HOLIEN

When I initially approached Anderson Broadcasting about my idea for an opinion segment, I thought the possibility probably would be a stretch.

After all we live in a relatively small burg, diminutive enough that seemingly everybody knows each other, at least if they are not somewhat related, and accompanying the proximity we probably know more about each other’s business than is healthy.

Now I am admittedly am a curious fellow and seem to possess the affinity that people I either know well or am just meeting tell me things they might not easily share with others and I have asked questions of folks most of my life – usually from people who aren’t interested in even talking to a reporter – and well you get the idea.

Read more ...

My remembrances of the late Tim Bush

By MICK HOLIEN

The time does fly by. It seems like only yesterday when No. 91 used to prowl the Grizzly front from his end position.

And from 2000 to 2003 there wasn’t any player in UM history who rush the quarterback more effectively than Tim Bush.

It is hard to believe that the Kellogg product has been dead seven years last week after being killed in a mine accident near his Idaho home.

Read more ...

Just About Time

By MICK HOLIEN

Since my boat only goes in then comes out of that treasured body of water that I gaze at every day I suppose I don’t pay enough attention as I drive by the various check stations that have been set up since the last time I took the vessel anywhere many years ago.

But when you are dealing with the protection of a 197-sqare mile body that happens to be recognized as not just the largest freshwater lake in the western United States but also one of the 300 largest lakes in the entire world, protection of the treasure of Flathead Lake certainly can’t be taken for granted.

Read more ...

The Boys Are Fishin'

By MICK HOLIEN

About as close as I am interested in making my way into an ice shack any time soon was completely satisfied Sunday in three-part harmony because of an imaginary visit accompanying the Port Polson players fishers.

And what a frolicking journey it was as visiting actor and Lewing future son-in-law Matt Loehrke joined Neal Lewing in anticipating the visit of imaginary TV host Cubby Cvernan to their Minnesota icy man cave.

Adapted from Man’s Musical Comedy, described as a “straight forward look into a chilly Wisconsin world where ice fishing and the Green Bay Backers are among life’s most important cornerstones,” strongly resembled those imaginary creatures featured on Montana radio portrayed in part by Mark Ward as Captain Catchem.

Read more ...

Tim Hit a Grand Slam

By MICK HOLIEN

I am sure that many of us have been disappointed after attended some kind of concert or play or other type of entertainment that was preceded by a wealth of publicity that led one to believe to miss attending was not to participate in the Second Coming.

And that certainly was the case with Tim Ryan Rouiullier’s Saturday night performance of Play me Montana at the George and Jane Dennison Theater in Missoula.

Read more ...

It's Tim Time

By MICK HOLIEN

Well it’s almost here and tomorrow is the day for Tim Ryan Rouillier’s unique presentation of Play Me Montana.

Accompanied by the Missoula Symphony Orchestra more than 125 performers will take the stage at one time at the George and Jane Dennison Theater, you know the University Theater next to the music building, at 7 p.m. Saturday in what’s billed to be a most unique and highly enjoyable arrangement.

Long a dream of the St Ignatius native, who played on the 82 UM Big Sky Conference championship football team, he completed all but his student teaching short of a UM degree.

Read more ...

Flag Day

By MICK HOLIEN

Wednesday while not recognized as a federal holiday the day’s moniker is annually celebrated by veteran’s groups and others for its importance.

One of the oldest of the Nation’s such recognition, June 14 was first arose in importance during the Second Continental Congress in 1777 when they recognized Old Glory as this Nation’s national sign or in 1885 depending on whose information one recognizes.

Read more ...

Autographs

By MICK HOLIEN

After I recently began to sell sports and other memorabilia and autographs I have been collecting as an investment in some cases since the sixties, I am often asked first what my most prized possession is and what my most valuable piece is.

A couple of questions I never really gave much thought to until I started pricing some things to put out on the national scene because I have come to discover especially locally my top-end stuff seems overpriced.

Read more ...

mick featbnrmtgrizosgood

Montana Music Minute