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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.

The approximate 90-minute extravaganza features about every medium possible to tell the story of life and music on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

His photography utilizes video backing enhancing a 13-song score co-written by Hall of Famer Charlie Black and Alex Harvey with lyrics telling the story of a young paperboy’s relationship with his hard-nosed fiddle playing Indian father Vic Cordier and Rouillier’s ascension to song writing and recording fame in Nashville.

A staple fronting the band Sugarfoot, Rouillier uses the family middle name of Ryan reached a pinnacle writing several number ones recorded by top artist like Phil Vasser has never forgotten his roots.

For years he returned to host a writer’s night after a scholarship golf tournament in Ronan and holds his Missoula and Mission Valley friendships near.

Rouillier’s great grandmother traipsed over the mountains after Chief Charlo was forced to leave the Bitterroot by the Indian soldiers at Fort Missoula eventually landing in what then was called Mission.

This production will bring native dancers, an Indian choir and several Nashville stars like Lari White to the campus stage and ahs offered several internships in order for students to be included in the presentation.

UM’s famed Entertainment Management Program also has been utilized along with help from the UM Jazz Band and Show Tyme Academy dancers.

The score was arranged by Nashville’s Charlie Judge. With close to sell-out crowds providing great esthetics the entire presentation is being filmed with the hope of attracting a PBS showing and in the long run maybe a road show.

Limited tix available at 243 4051





Good Bye Willie

By Mick Holien

The major spokesman for human rights of our time is celebrated today on the third Monday of January and here living in the midst of a govern nation aside from the occasional notice and the presence of a three-day weekend, has the significance of Martin Luther King Day slipped to oblivion.

  1. As generations past – what is it that they say about remembering or duplicating our history.

The birthday of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated in 1968, has been long recognized, as a time to pause and recognize what Dr. King represented as the chief spokesman for non violence to protest racial discrimination.

But the move to declare the day as a national holiday did not come without controversy as in 1979 the bill fell five votes short as opponents argued against the cost of a holiday and precedent set by honoring a private citizen,

Although pres Reagan originally opposed the measure he signed the bill in 1983 although it was not celebrated till 86.

But it wasn’t until 2000 when Utah became the last state to designate a Martin Luther King Jr.

And in May, 2000 South Carolina became the last state to designate it as a paid holiday.

But it is not observed nationwide although in 2007, 33 percent of the country recognized the day, a 2 percent increase over the prior year.

I sure we all have experienced subtle discrimination but in junior college I felt the direct blunt.

My roommate was willie, a brother from Mississippi, who was a heck of a quarterback and a run-pass threat.

Since my job was to squat and put the ball through my legs to the signal caller we became quite well acquainted to say the least.

I was engaged to a young lady from a what I decided not tom identify European country and was excited for her family tom meet my good friend.

But upon going to their residence, this was in Washington state, I quickly learned the deep seated hatred and prejudice from my girl’s father.

After we left he forbid her to see me again because I had been so bold to bring an African American to his house,.

The rest I guess was history. As I think back I guess I am lucky I discovered the possibilities I faced and I think of what happened when this day of fighting discrimination yearly passes


My Town or Yours

By Mick Holien

You know how I love lists and I was thinking the other day when after the prompting by a Kansas City radio station the town of Ismay briefly changed its name to “Joe.”

Ismay is the smallest incorporated town in the state although its population has doubled since that 1993 effort. At last count there was a counted population of 14.

While documenting some of Montana’s odd names which maybe we can do in a later list for submission I thought maybe a listing of the weirdest named towns might prove interesting.

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Bobby's in Charge

By Mick Holien

Truth be told dear listeners: I count Head football coach Bobby Hauck and the Hauck family as good friends.

Now that is not to say I am journalistically challenged when it comes to asking any question in an interview session.

Actually it probably gives me an edge and you can be the judge of that when you listen to some of what I glean from the new head man in a session this afternoon.

But here’s your chance to take part.

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Hawaii More than a Tourist Destination

By Mick Holien

The true freshman, who shook off the disappointment of an overtime sack, grew up on the next play connecting on a pocket beauty as Alabama colored the National Championship Crimson once again.

And while Tua Tagovailoa told reporters he couldn’t figure out how Nick Saban found him in the Islands, a glance at the lineage of quarterbacks in general and St Louis high School in particular quickly makes his discovery abundantly clear.

College football’s handsome young poster boy follows in some huge shoes not only including his protégé Oregon grad Marcus Mariotta but one the Grizzlies are well aware of.

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Dickie in Elite Company

By Mick Holien

It has been 22 years since Montana’s Legend of the Fall was recognized by football’s elite in New York City.

After engineering a final drive that propelled Montana over heavily favored Marshall to claim the 1995 Championship in 1995 Dave Dickenson became the only Montana player to ever win the Walter Payton Award as the Nation’s top offensive player which was presented in New York City..

Adding to his unprecedented list of laurels he now becomes one of nine players and three coaches selected by the National Football Foundation to this year’s class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Only the second such Montana player so selected, he was the only FCS players chosen from a list of 98 division players.

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Good Monday Morning Albeit a Bit Late

By Mick Holien

Well it finally happened. I sharply awakened several hours pre-dawn to the realization that turning my desk light out a few precious hours before I never gave a thought to writing In my Opinion.

Now to say I must have lost it, to space out my daily dribbling, would some would say imply I once proverbially had it, which sometimes I jokingly asked myself whether that is true.

And it wasn’t as if I didn’t have anything to say or had perused a back log of ideas and discarded them to the wind; I just was so pre-occupied with a myriad of televised football and basketball - some of which I predictably dozed through – that yep I prioritized the obligation to the point of oblivion and Heaven forbid went to sleep.

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Lists

By Mick Holien

It seems at the dawn of a new calendar there are those folks who feel compelled to rate everything they can think of on lists.

Oh I guess it makes for fodder for radio hosts to fill time with their compilations except that most of the results are predictable especially now with the ease of finding statistics which is the founding of the majority of the material.

So on this warming Friday with the Lady Griz breaking a 30-game road losing streak by prevailing through the Fargo chill and the men running over the Century mark for the first time past a Division-1 opponent in almost two decades, I picked out a few things on a couple of surprising I think … you got it … lists.

Oh yes and by the way both teams remain unscathed after three league games and share the circuit lead and the Grizzlies were a bucket shy of tying the school’s all-time single game scoring mark..

My first list has to do with the worst cities in the Nation to drive in.

Now while you could pretty well fill out the list yourself with Miami ranking at the top of the 25.

Fill in your blanks, then call up msn.com and see how close you got.

But in the middle of the pack, standing amazingly as the 16th worst driving city is Spokane and east to the valley.

Now I admit I feel like I have extra knowledge since I drove to and from the city every work and school day from 1970-80, but yes I know it’s likely changed considerably.

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Don't Look at Me That Way

By Mick Holien

I am just plain disappointed and I am really surprised it didn’t hit me sooner.

And I am sure there are friends who will say we’ve been telling you that for months. So Ok I relent I am a slow learner.

So what has prompted my epiphany when imo rolls toward the weekend?

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It is Just Time for Jerry

By Mick Holien

I have long known that I shared a distant commonality with iconic offensive guard Jerry Kramer who long has been credited with the block on Dallas defensive tackle Jethro Pugh that opened the crease allowing Packer quarterback Bart Starr to score 50 years ago propelling Green Bay forward where the next time out they won Super Bowl II.

The “Ice Bowl” victory, played at kickoff temperatures of minus 13, allowing Green Bay’s to capture a third straight NFL Championship in what proved to be legendary coach Vince Lombardi’s final game.

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Elvis was in the Building

By Mick Holien

The last time I was in Elvis’ building, I got married so I’ll let you gauge my anticipation or excitement in advance of joining an admiring crowd to spend New Year’s Eve in his presence.

Now let me qualify I am not a huge Elvis guy although I do like some of his music but I can say if the proof is in the pudding this edition, running by the name Jeffrey Elvis, does an awesome job with his voice but even more entertaining energetically engaging the crowd, especially the ladies.

And graciously spending 30 minutes for an interview after a near three-hour performance ranks above and beyond the call.

Three hours in advance of the bewitching hour Kwa Taq Nuk in Polson was the host for a free Elvis get-together and 2018 kickoff.

Jeffrey Elvis, a former long-haul truck driver, developed the Elvis persona singing to himself on cross-country stints from his home in Lynden, Wash.

And realizing the road life away from his wife of 30 years and three teenagers wasn’t in his or their best interest, he had a bit of an epiphany assuring the Lord that he’d carry His message if given the opportunity.

“I believe it was a gift from God,” he said in reference to his voice’s development which he then paired with costumes and Elvis’ physical antics. “He gave me something to say.”

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Just A Good Man Was Lars Olsen

By Mick Holien

Here as we turn our thoughts to an incoming storm of Pineapple Express proportion and although we are putting the finishing touches on the 12th and final month of 2017 my thoughts leap forward to another year 2018.

But alas to stall for just a solemn moment to remember those who didn’t stay around for the passing to another year.

The latest, earlier this week, epitomizes all others and attending Lars Olsen’s memorial service Thursday in Deer Lodge the trip gave me pause to consider how we were brought together and how I treasured our long distance friendship.

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The Longs Are Quite A Family

By Mick Holien

The Long family, part-time residents of the Finley Point area east of Polson, has long been known for its philanthropy .. No let me put that another way – Howie, the NFL Hall of Famer, and his wife Diane, have long been philanthropic without being recognized for their contributions.

And while the Longs have been a perennially strong supporter of the Mission Valley’s Boys and Girls Club, son Chris, a 10-year NFL veteran now playing for Philadelphia, received his recent share of notoriety initially for sharing a teammate’s protest of unjust treatment of minorities by police then for his financial contributions to non-profits.

 

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Here Goes Hoop

By Mick Holien

A fan’s glance at a college basketball schedule could mistakenly lead one to believe the break in game action and classes over the holidays is for rest and recuperation and an opportunity to kick back and watch your gridiron brothers, if they are so fortunate anyway, to toil their wares for the final time of the 2017 season in some kind of Bowl activity.

But for some there is posting of the grades that could well throw a wrench in the team’s makeup. I vividly remember landing in Colorado for Montana’s final non-conference game against the University of Denver only to be told by the coaching staff that one of our starting guards hadn’t made the muster and would be required to sit until he was able to get himself eligible and that wasn’t the only such time.

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Drug Companies

By Mick Holien

It certainly was challenging to watch a National news story this week about the pricing of prescription drugs proceeding by a 60 Minutes program focusing on the unconscionable salaries and bonus received by major drug company execs even while being calling on the carpet for delivering an inordinate amount of painkillers like OxyContin and Fentanyl.

Major drug companies have been accused of providing enough opiate-type drugs to devastate every resident of several small towns all the while earning volumes of money because of increased production.

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Just Some Kin Folk

By Mick Holien

When you have been hanging around sports teams as long as I have it is certainly bound to happen.

Team rosters begin to fill with familiar names of the kin whose fathers or even mothers in some cases played on teams for whom I broadcast games.

And of course when you watch a pair of stellar athletes saddle up to each other in college the first thing that comes to my mind – after that they of course live a happy life – is I wonder if their offspring might possess a similar athletic skill set.

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One Fat Guy

By Mick Holien

I used to think Americans were a nation of people who unnecessarily obsessed about their weight, but I have since come to the conclusion that while we are an overweight nation quite frankly we don’t seem to be all that concerned about it.

I have to admit – when I was a big no fat guy I hated it but I didn’t hate myself.

I weighed north of 320 pounds in 2001 and when I look at a picture of Gurns and me and see what I looked like, I just find it hard to believe.

I tried a lot of different weight loss programs and I can say that Weight Watchers probably was best with Nutri System a close runner-up.

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In Memoriam

By Mick Holien

The Grizzlies weren’t all that sure what they had when Stew Morrill and his staff recruited Delvon Anderson from San Francisco City College in 1990.

While the 6 foot 4 inch junior college transfer with whom I share a birthday averaged a double-double and made better than half of his shots it was his toughness that brought his recruitment to UM where Morrill was in his final season before taking the Colorado State job.

Del joined a class with All-leaguer Kevin Kearney, Eric Jordan, Keith Crawford, Nate Achison, and a pair of Montans sharp shooter Roger Fasting from Glendive and the big fellah from Geraldine Daren Engellant. Current Griz coach Travis DeGuire was a transfer sophomore while the underclassmen included Nate Covill, Gary Kane, Josh Lacheur, Jeremy Lake and Matt Kempfert.

You can find those names on a lot of historical Grizzly ledgers as that team went 23-8, won a Big Sky Conference title for the first time since 1975 and made the first of consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

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Early Christmas

By Mick Holien

Try as I might to take the cure I am an impulse purchaser of all things gadget.

Anyone who sees what catalogs I pack home from the mailbox especially this time of year and the number of routine emails I receive pitching me the latest product can attest it isn’t even comical.

And you would think because I know I am afflicted I could just say no but thus far, even though I now am on a fixed budget I have drawers of things I thought were the latest and greatest and they either didn’t work or maybe I never even got them out of their packing.

And now of all things comes post on Facebook documenting the latest 15 gadgets we just can’t live without and don’t you know I had to scroll through them.

Since I just opened the latest package I thought I would share it with you in case you might learn of something that I can pass along to you.

So here goes from Miles Kimball.

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Early Signings

By Mick Holien

A 72-hour signing period beginning Dec 20 allows football recruits from the class of 2018 to make if official what institution they hope to play for.

Like before those early signees will be permitted to visit campus after their senior year begins and while it now seems once a player has decided they contact the media, even though coaches cannot comment until the official Letter of Intent day starting the first Wednesday of February and running through April 1.

So it this a good change?

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Office Supplies - Part 1

By Mick Holien

You know I’d like to think I have my ducks in a row as well as the next guy but if that is true why does my desk, even as organized as it was yesterday, always look thrashed and hide things.

So how many pens do you own.

All my print years makes me darn particular about how my pen feels in my hand – I love a good pen. It’s just they are so darn expensive.

I have one drawer completely full of every imaginable office supply and another filled to the brim with pens, the majority of which probably are full of dried ink.

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