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It certainly was an inopportune time to need to drive from Tacoma to Spokane in order to catch the next morning flight to Chicago in order to drive to Louisville.

But such was my fate – 18 years ago – May 18, 1980.

Seems like only yesterday. It is one of those days indelibly etched in my mind.

I was trying to qualify for the National Mixed Tournament by finishing high in the Washington State Finals in Tacoma, Wash. Then Mike McPherson of Colfax and I were headed to the National Men’s Tournament in Kentucky to catch up with the remainder of our teams who paired each summer and traveled to a myriad of high-stakes events round the Country.

After glancing up at the television I noticed in passing night-like conditions and ignited street lights in Yakima, Wash., enough information to stop me short and ponder our next move.

I was born on the Columbia River in Skamania County in a tiny hospital in White Salmon, a cross river from Hood River, Ore. And heard a share of stories of Harry Truman, an iconic character who lived in the shadow of a dormant Mt St. Helens.

And early word that he refused to leave and pictures of the plume’s altitude convinced us we were headed east post haste. Ha little did we know I-90 shut down early paralyzing the state and it wasn’t until the following morning, Monday, that we opted to sneak over the North Cascades Highway to drop into Spokane at the top of Sunset hill.

Of course it also was closed but only barricaded and we surmised that authorities would be busy enough on the crucial truck route than to worry about a couple of bowling junkies.  

True enough as we crept through town after town much to the chagrin of the locals amidst confusion because authorities advised either to wet the ash or not; to scoop it with s little dust as possible; not to breathe it because it was acrid; oh yes or just leave it alone and stay away.

My blue 1979 Luv pickup not only performed admirably and ran about another 100,000 miles after the adventure which screeched to a stop as the WSP stopped me inquiring just what I thought I was doing.

Boldly producing press ID I told him the bags were full of film when actually it was all bowling balls.

Busted we waited out faith but the Trooper directed us down the Interstate to our respective exit with a stern warning about lying to the Man – yeh that Man.

Finished for the day but not deterred we conspired next edition with the anticipation sweeping you into the weekend, just sayin’



Devil or Angel

By Mick Holien

Having done so some 15 years ago you wouldn’t think I would have a problem when I am handed some form that asks for the status of both my employment and my companion status.

It is not that I mind the latter except for the box that since divorced or single.

Now I am not trying to interpret just what someone is trying to learn about me not knowing that my three wives have left me single or the type of person I am if, which I assume the single box is for, I have never tied the knot.

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About Time

By Mick Holien

I’ve talked before in this corner about what I have desriobed as the vital roll sports plays in the psyche of a community and on the larger scale the country.

Maybe it is the fellowship of competition although I might favor the heydays of say the high-cleating Ty Cobb or the win at all coasts demeanor that say Pete Rose played with.

Now a days with free agency the majority of your opponents probably have been teammates at one time or another and kibitzing even during the heat of competition is common.

Why even the fifty-yard line in pre-game no longer seems sacred and I even noticed a visiting team at Washington Grizzly Stadium have a group photo taken while posing on the mid-field Grizzly after the game.

Unconscionable I say and I know a few guys who would burst through the gathering like melting butter.

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Father's Day

By Mick Holien

Pretty serious and pertinent stuff IMO delved iknto last week with the five-part series on suicide where there not only is plenty to accomplish but an equal amount to learn about all aspects.

An already on this first of the week I have been approached by listeners either with different views, which is what this is about, or to share similar feelings and circumstances.

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Suicide - Part 5




By Mick Holien

Lake is the seventh leading count y in suicide deaths with 109 deaths in a population of some 438,000 and the Flathead Indian Reservation has the second most suicide incidents in the state trailing only Roosevelt County where the Fort Peck Reservation is located but by almost four percent.

And since the county in which we live satisfies many of the elements contributing to suicide but few of the top tier assistance that leaves those of us who share their space to be knowledgeable and involved.

First of all the social factors:

While we like other corners of the state pride ourselves about it rural residency and social isolation are prime social factors in the proliferation of the disease.

Yes I did say disease not a wanton act of self destruction.

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Suicide - Part 4



By Mick Holien

It is interesting to note that in the week since I started writing this series, I have had no fewer than three different families comment that either they believe someone in the family is suicidal or they already know someone who has committed this heinous act.

We have spent the better part of the week examining suicidal signs, your possible reactions along with a glimpse into my life and experience.

This has not been a clinical or professional effort but a blue collar effort of information gathering.

Now after a diagnosis and/or counseling or in-patient treatment:

If you have encountered someone in or who has completed treatment you know how some of them are real con artists and need to be aware they will tell you anything they think they want you want to hear to advance their agenda.

Statistics indicate completing treatment is a first step but be aware a suicidal person is more apt to kill themselves not necessarily in the depths of depression but during as three-month period when the depression begins to improve.

Here are a few more pointers from the Montana Suicide Prevention website ( possibly to help you decide after their release if they are harboring suicidal thoughts and just how serious they might be.

  • Take what they say with a grain of salt because they really good at telling you what they think you want to hear.
  • Though difficult and challenging be candid by asking if a plan has been formulated and exists.
  • Can such a plan actually be formulated?
  • Is there someone available who could lend assistance to help them carry out such a plan?  

So what to do and what help are available?

If there has been an attempt or someone has reached out to you:


Call 9-1-1 NOW while not leaving the person alone, then take them to an Emergency Room or await emergency assistance whichever is quicker.

Let a family member know while assessing whether alcohol or drugs are involved.

The immediate assistance of a trained professional is of utmost importance.

While again I encourage you to seek help from the aforementioned website which is loaded with information and suggestions about seemingly every stage of a possible suicidal situation.

Other resources besides include:

The American Association of Sociology (202-237-2280) or

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (888) 333-2377.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center, (877) 438-7772.

In the Treasure state there also is a crisis text line: Text MT to 741-741 is a free line for people in crisis.

And please remember the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255 (Talk) or

In closing we have given you an abundance of information that we hope will at least send you to the right place for help if you somehow become involved in an emergency situation or even the early stages of a person crying help for help.

From a personal standpoint I can tell you it sometimes happens very quickly and often involves an unlikely person to be in such a situation.

Nothing that we have talked about over the six segments is meant as advice, medical or otherwise, during a time when the word SUICIDE fortunately seems to be a hot-button issue.

This has been our attempt to increase awareness. I hope it did so.

Just sayin’


Thanks for listening.



Suicide - My Recollections Part 3


By Mick Holien

I have long been prompted to write or record my personal overview and recollections of suicide, its corresponding effects on me and concern at least, fear at the most that some unidentified gene may well make me more of a candidate to claim my own life.

I think it is no different that someone who is concerned about say hereditary medical issues, one of which I will include in this series and other potential maladies or even tendencies.

Coming from a tiny and equally rural Washington state Columbia River town where it seemed everyone was related and probably knew too much of everybody’s business, I knew early on there was a family suicide incidence.

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Suicide - part 2


By Mick Holien

Not only was it surprising to learn late last week that Montana led the nation in the number of suicides per capita but equally so that recent studies have shown that added publicity dealing with suicide prevention increases the amount of deaths.

But just as concerning is that it took last week’s deaths of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to learn that federal data indicates suicide rates have consistently risen for years across demographic lines in most states.

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This is the initial installment of a series

By Mick Holien

It struck me as peculiar that Kate Spade’s father told the media Thursday morning that his deceased daughter showed no sign of being suicidal the night before she apparently took her own life.

While Spade reportedly long battled depression and accompanying anxiety, her husband and business partner Andy Spade told, but she was seeing a therapist, taking appropriate medication and while admitting her difficulties seemed to have things in perspective.

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By Mick Holien

If there is one thing that competition, meaning not just sports, often has an opportunity to teach a participant is sportsmanship.

And that I believe goes beyond offering an open hand to help a fallen competitor to their feet or that obligatory hug at competition’s end.

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Hall of Fame

By Mick Holien

The newest and sole inductee to the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame came to the University small in stature but after his stellar career occupied the tallest position on the career receiving charts.

Matt Wells, 5-7, 160, already is in the Hall as a member of the ’95 championship team, showed early on the kind of receiver he would be in the passing offense of Don Read catching 31 balls as a true freshman for 373 yards while converting 25 of 29 PATs on his way to sharing Frosh of the Year with Yohanse Manzanarez.

A first team All Academic with a 3.68 GPA, the Ashland, Ore., product was a 10-letter winner in high school, and corralled a remarkable 123 catches for almost 2,488 yards and 31 scores while Ashland High ran the table through14 games to claim the state title.

D Twice all-conference, Wells captained the football and basketball team while being named MV P his senior season as it could be said the Griz started their championship run with a seventh straight winning season, but this time only at 6-5.

By the end of his sophomore campaign Wells closed in on the 1000 yard career mark and stood 15th on the all- standard. He followed that with 725 yards as a junior, tenth most in a Griz season, and advanced to sixth on the career list behind Gurnsey, Shalon Baker, Bill Cockhill, Mike Travathan and Brian Salonen.

A multi-All American as a senior, Matt moved to the top of the receiving standard eclipsing the 1000-yard receiving mark and catching 61 balls for 10 scores.

Grizzly teams were 22-6 in league and 40-12 overall in Wells’ stupendous career and if you include playoff games he caught an amazing 248 balls for 3,342 yards but he also made the most of the educational opportunity by being named an Academic All American three times and was a four-time league choice.

A Divisional vice president for AIG, a financial and insurance corporation, Wells now lives near Kansas City, ironic because his first ever Griz action was catching 12 balls against K State.

He will officially be inducted into the Hall later this fall.


Ryan Rouillier Scores

By Mick Holien

Tim Ryan Roulllier’s record-setting symphonic presentation that broke an attendance revenue record in Missoula last year has drawn rave reviews as Public Broadcasting System affiliates have begun using the musical as part of its nationwide fundraising campaign.

But while several large market stations already are playing Rouillier’s artfully crafted musical to highlight its national fundraising efforts.

 Several large market Public Broadcasting System stations already are playing Rouillier’s artfully crafted “My Grandpa’s Fiddle, the soundtrack of my life” allowing their listeners the pleasure of partaking in Rouillier’s dream show.

Talented country singer Mandy Barnett will take the place of Lari White who died shortly after the Missoula show.

It has already been seen in Seattle, Los Angeles and New York but probably won’t be seen in Montana until KUFM’s annual fund raising near the end of the year.

Early estimates, according to Tim, indicate as many as 30 to 40 million people have already seen the show with some prognosticators forecasting a sizably more estimate.

An additional success story comes from former Grizzly hoopster Brian Qvale, who just completed his season with Lokomotiv of the European VTB united league.

He started his career seven years ago in Turkey and also played with Belgium and Germany before moving to Europe this season.

A two-time winner of the Eaheart defensivn award, he also mwas named to the defensive team by Colllege

Originally from Williston, N.D. Brian was a four-year letter winner who started for the Griz beginning in 2007. At career’s end Brian also was eighth in scoring and also stood eighth in rebounding.

A true gentleman who played locally in the CASA golf tournament several times.

Married to Mandy, a former Lady Griz the couple have two children.


News Hot Off the Press

By Mick Holien

Tim Ryan Roulllier’s record-setting symphonic presentation that broke an attendance revenue record in Missoula last year has drawn rave reviews as Public Broadcasting System affiliates have begun using the musical as part of its nationwide fundraising campaign.

But while several large market stations already are playing Rouillier’s artfully crafted musical to highlight its national fundraising efforts.

Read more ...

Changing Services

By Mick Holien

Maybe just maybe major companies with whom we all have decided to depend on for what we now believe are routine services should obligate the time and energy to do what most customers are so inclined to perform on about a yearly basis.

And I really don’t know how I found the time to do so when I was working a full-time gig.

Probably a decade or so I was prompted by a family crisis – that is I no longer was bringing in enough capital to pay my regular obligations – to take every conceivable expense and see if I could just eliminate it or figure a way to get the same service for less money.

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Back on the Headsets

By Mick Holien

Sitting across from Dennis Erickson at lunch in Billings a little over a year ago, the venerable former Montana State University quarterback had me convinced that a couple years younger than I am he’d reached the point in his diverse career that he would hole up in Coeur D’Alene at least part of the year and watch his son Bryce coach football, maybe lending an eventual hand at Lake City High School.

An assistant at the University of Idaho the last three years Bryce took over for Van Troxel, a former Grizzly quarterback, who left Hellgate in 1994 to start the Coeur D’Alene program from scratch holding the reins for the past 22 seasons.

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Is it time?

By Mick Holien

Well I guess I have taken the first step – moving methodically and carefully but taking my friend Karen’s sage advice of trying a loner to possibly replace my yellow who made the trip over the Rainbow Bridge now for close to a year.

So here at my feet while I type on the keyboard is an approximate five-year-old yellow named Boone.

The kennel has been reconstructed; a pair of doggie doors reopened and the garage doors closed leaving him free rein of the house, garage and kennel.

But with lake days just coaxing me to give it all a try.

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It's a small world indeed

By Mick Holien

It should not surprise anyone that Jason Seaman engaged an armed attacker who opened fire at the Indiana middle school where he taught science and coached football.

While he was shot three times Seaman continued to engage the man in suburban Indianapolis last week until he was able to knock the weapon away and tackle the shooter who reportedly later told police the act was vengeance for being bullied.

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Thoughts on Memorial

By Mick Holien

No matter what that calendar says it is again the traditional “Weekend of Change.

Finally, after an extended actually old days traditional winter, Memorial Day, dreary and rainy or not, IS HERE accompanied by a regular weekend – can I get an AMEN - is just what some Doctor ordered.

Now the prep we all do in advance of the month’s remainder we know isn’t guaranteed to light the sky with gleaning sunshine but late night temps mellow just a bit and the daytime high finds it easier to reach 60 degrees and sure isn’t about to squander time on Flathead Lake when it easily reaches to 70 degrees.

But we all know that is not the half of it.

I sure it is for you the length of time sunlight continues to brighten our days – extending chore time – and more importantly our attitude. It makes for some late campfire starts but we probably get less sleep in the summer anyway.

But please look at Memorial Day as something more than an extended spring weekend.

It made sense to honor the Nation’s Civil War dead by decorating graves and thus the May 1868 initial moniker of Decoration Day.

But after World War 1 it was determined the recognition should made of all war dead.

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My TV Habits Revealed


By Mick Holien

It has always been interesting to me to watch the effect sports have on its home and adjoining community, its people and even its reputation.

The question of the day is who do you root for?       

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Television Habits

By Mick Holien

I don’t fashion myself a television junkie, you know never missing an episode, but with the magic of digital video recorders (DVR) I have to admit I hold a pretty hefty library of weekly I can’t miss dramas.

And there are even some I enjoy or look forward to so much – wait for it – I even watch them live.

So what is my favorite – Maybe it is Tom Selleck, who gasp I would trust to buy insurance from, or the remainder of the cast who seem like a “real” family, but I anxiously await “Blue Bloods.’’

The remainders I can power watch and mostly am attracted by subject matter more than a particular star.

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Think Aout It

By Mick Holien

One can certainly tell it is that time of year.

Signs are abound not the least of which are the new and beautiful blossoms on my 32 fruit trees, the majority of which are cheery trees that provide me with just enough summer sweetness.

The Griz Vox vessel sits patiently on Holien acres, with the way the lake is filling it won’t be long until my slip at Country Club Shores will protect another visitor.

Unfortunately there are several other circumstances that rear their ugly head often involving our tourist visitors sometimes significantly dampening spirits.

As a weekend reporter there seemed nary a summer when there wasn’t a falling death at Mission Falls or even like recently at Mud Lake.

Our spectacular views and animal encounters sometime entice what can only be described as stupidity and often result in fatal decisions.

There are the usual bear encounters some of which arguably were unavoidable but some of the antics displayed on the National Bison Range only invite an unfortunate incident. We don’t have a petting zoo folks and if they took into consideration the speed and especially acceleration of these animals.

It really wouldn’t be a bad idea to include as part of a visitor packs such things to be aware of in addition to even swimming.

A recent tragedy prompted today’s IMO.

I read where one of the men attacked by a Mountain Lion believed the animal was stalking them, apparently unaware that the animal is reclusive and hunts its prey in just that way.

They probably had a sense that something or someone was watching and indeed they were being hunted. Let’s face it Cougars are just plain sneaky and have been known to come right up on a porch looking for food or a small animal.

Several years ago a small child was snatched from an Evaro Hill yard and killed. Of course such occurances are infrequent nut knowing that Evaro Hill is an animal pathway to Glacier National Park might well be helpful.

Just sayin;


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