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.
Lars, who had hands as wide as your spare tires, was, and this is sheer compliment, just a simple man.
When he looked you in the eye across that kitchen table, maybe accompanying by a touch of whiskey, you’d better of had a reason to be there and be ready to participate in meaningful, yet often comical, conversation.
In my case, especially after broadcasting more than 1200 Griz games, you might expect that this stout man who demanded I come to his ranch so I could brand some cattle had an observation or two for me especially about football.
A pretty good athlete himself about a half dozen from the class of 1956 joined some 150 folks to send him to the next life.
A life well led and just a good man – with Lars you knew right where you stood and what he thought about you. Oh yes and everybody else. He always wanted me to get to his tailgate across Campus Drive from the south scoreboard. By the time I could get there –three years ago – struggling to football games was too tough on him.
Lars and wife Mary Ann used to come to Polson occasionally to visit me, staying in the same room at the Port Polson Inn but when my boat broke down at the dam and had to be towed in he let me know in no uncertain terms of his dislike with water and how bad he had to relieve himself waiting like the gentleman he was until we reached the marina.
I know you have a Lars Ole in your life, Go see them.
Rest in peace Lars and look right away for George he is just on the other side of that Rainbow Bridge.