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Tribune Staff

Two weeks ago, when my little sister came from Pennslyvania to visit, I had joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart; down in my heart … tooooo stay.

Well, not really to stay, since Joy and husband John only stayed five days. It wasn't “Joy to the World…” just Joy to Park County.

Oh, how I love song lyrics; unfortunately I can't think of any for her husband John. Few ditties were written with references to a name that's a euphemism for “toilet.”

But as long as Joy has John, John, John, John down in her heart, I'm happy. He's a chatty, jovial chap, but after roughly 3,500 hot miles together in a small car (they're currently tailgating brother Jess and his wife, Marti, on the way to New Mexico), Joy's probably thinking, “Will ya please shut up and quit being so dang jovial?

There wasn't enough time during her rare visit, but I'd always hoped to introduce her to some Cody women I've known over the years. Joy would en-joy meeting Hope Sheets, Love Murray, Faith Holler, and Grace Weaver, who worked with my older sister Wanda when she spent a summer here 25 years ago.

Any time you can get Love, Hope, Faith, Grace and Joy gathered together, it's a blessed union. No chance of a cat-fight there!

Sadly, I'm rapidly losing Blough women these past few years. Two sisters and Mom left me, leaving only two special “Bloughs gals” in my life: little sister Joy and little dog Trina. Per my dog/human calculations, Trina's a little older; Joy is 52 and Trina is about 9, making her 63. But as we know, today's 63 in dog years is yesterday's 49 in dog years.

Like myself, Joy confounds the aging process — she doesn't look too far removed from her class of '75 homecoming queen photos. My high school girlfriend Diane was runner-up, and since she sent me a Dear John (“Dear Toilet”) letter while I was in Cody that summer, it serves her right being only a lowly attendant to my sister.

Joy looks healthy as a horse; I just wish I could say the same for my other Blough gal. Until two weeks ago, my sweet little Trina dog was the runningest, jumpingest, hole-diggingest little Spaniel that ever lived life to its fullest. But on the horrible afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 11, a perfect storm of fluke, sickening events converged to rock my world.

I lack space to relate how each led directly to the next, but it ended with a carpenter on a job I drove to after changing my Saturday plans, backing over precious little Trina in full view of her doting, lovesick, constant 8-year companion, Trinity.

Her smashed foot would heal eventually, but the tail — cleanly broken at the base where all the nerves control functions — has left her totally incontinent. We're loving her up as best we can at home, but when I try tell her the messes she leaves aren't her fault and everything's OK, her sad eyes say it's not OK. Trinity and I will probably have to say our goodbyes later today.

It will be back to how it was eight years ago with just me and old stud Trinity in the truck now. And with blood, female family, it's only Joy now. As long as John doesn't back over her in some motel parking lot during their trip, Joy and I need to stick together. More phone calls and less negative childhood memories that I'm pretty sure never happened. She still claims that walking up our dirt road to the school bus, I made her lick dirt.

That just doesn't sound like me. I vividly remember always sticking up for her when sister Wanda would tease her. I secretly, but vigilantly watched over Joy when she reached seventh grade. She tearfully told me a bully girl named Sandy Richards picked on her and said her thigh-length hair was “witch hair.” It was I — skinny, peaceful, pimpled sophomore “UnderDoug” — who approached her two older, really tough brothers and made them an offer they chose not to refuse. They called off their little sister, who never bothered Joy again.

So I clearly was more of a hero than a tyrant who would suggest anyone lick dirt off a road. This column is a tribute to Joy and her husband named after a commode, so the next time I get home, I darn well better see this column framed and hanging on their living room wall. If not, as God is my witness, I'll force Joy to drink from the toilet!

Park County was privileged last week to host Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and his nationwide “American Civility Tour.”

Leach, a former Republican congressman, is traveling the country in an effort to change the climate of political debate in this nation, which has become increasingly hateful and destructive over the last generation. That trend has made it increasingly difficult for the country's leadership to make decisions on behalf of the nation.

What is necessary, according to Leach, is civility, which he indicated does not mean simply being polite, nor does it have anything to do with so-called “political correctness.” Rather, it means treating each other with respect, whatever our political differences.

Respecting the other person involves listening to his or her point of view, looking at an issue from that person's perspective and trying to understand why he or she thinks that way. Doing so is more likely to lead to rational discussion of differences rather than arguments filled with name-calling.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to fall into such arguments, with opponents questioning each other's patriotism, faith or intelligence. Once that begins, reason is abandoned and all hope of resolution of differences is lost.

Today, we are in the middle of a nasty political debate marked by anger and name calling on both sides. Civil debate has been completely abandoned in favor of shouting and negative advertising. Hardly anyone is really listening to the other side.

There really isn't anything new about this. American politics have featured such campaigning since the days of Jefferson and Adams, but it shouldn't be that way. In today's climate, this lack of civility has the potential to paralyze our nation's ability to govern itself.

We should make every effort to be respectful in our political discourse, listening to those with different points of view and trying to understand why they believe as they do, rather than writing them off as evil.

In other words, we urge everyone to be civil.

(Aug. 24, 1943 - Sept. 19, 2010)

Larry Eugene Guthrie, of Powell, died Sunday, Sept. 19 at Powell Valley Hospital. He was 67.

{gallery}09_21_10/auditorium{/gallery}

Work continues on the demolition of the old Powell High School natatorium/auditorium building on Evarts Street. The building, completed in 1952, was replaced by the auditorium in the new high school and the construction of the Powell Aquatic Center. For the time being, the space will be used for middle school staff parking until changes to the middle school are designed and completed. Tribune photo by Tessa Schweigert

Riverland Ag pledges improvements, crop contract variety

More acres in the Powell area may be planted to oats over the next few summers as Riverland Ag takes over the barley facilities operated by Anheuser Busch at Ralston and Powell.

“We are very interested in expanding this crop,” said Don Grambsch, president of Riverland Ag, which already has contracts in other areas of the United States with companies such as Quaker Oats and General Mills.

Plaza Diane garners gold-level LEED certification

For going green, Plaza Diane earned a gold-level certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, which is administered by the United States Green Building Council.

Plaza Diane became Park County's first LEED certified building and one of 10 in Wyoming, joining the recently-completed Old Faithful Visitor Education Center in Yellowstone and Washakie Museum and Cultural Center in Worland. The downtown community arts center's gold-level LEED certification was announced last week.

The Antelope Fire in Yellowstone had swelled to approximately 1,600 acres by Monday morning — 10 times larger than Friday's estimate of 150 acres.

The lightning-ignited fire, reported Sept. 14, is burning southeast of Tower Fall and west of the Yellowstone River.

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Yellowstone Quake players celebrate following a goal in Sunday's pre-season contest against Bozeman. Featuring a new head coach and 18 new players, the Quake open the 2010-2011 season on Friday, taking on Missoula in Cody. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Tune-up win vs. Bozeman sets stage for season

Last season, the Yellowstone Quake Junior A hockey team came one win from a date in the NORPAC championship series.

Armed with eight returning players from last year's roster and a new head coach, the team will look to take that next step when the puck drops on the 2010-2011 season this Friday.

Boys second at Lander

Despite each of their teams running minus one top runner, the Powell High School cross country teams fared well in Lander last Thursday. The Panther girls tied for first place in a hotly-contested three-way battle. Powell's boys were second behind the host school.

It was everything you would want in a match between two old rivals when the Powell Lady Panthers invaded the Cody gym Thursday night.

Everything, that is, except the final score. In a hard fought match in which two games required extended play and the largest winning margin in any game was only three points, the Lady Panthers fell to the Cody Fillies in four games, 26-28, 22-25, 27-25,24-26.

“The girls played hard,” said Coach Cindi Smith. “It was a good match. I'm really proud of them for that effort.”

All four games followed the same pattern, with the Lady Panthers pulling out to a lead early in the match, and the Fillies coming back to pull even. The Panthers reached 24 first in game one, but couldn't hold the serve and the teams traded points to a tie at 26. Cody scored the last two points, though, with the winner coming on a hard Cody hit that Kadi Cooley dug, but the officials ruled her effort a double hit.

In game two, the Lady Panthers fought back from a deficit to come within one point at 22-23, but Cody's big front line powered in two kills to take a 2-0 match lead.

Game three was more of the same, with a Powell lead melting in the middle part of the match and the teams trading points to the end. Behind 24-23 and with their backs to the wall, the Lady Panthers got a block from Kendra Ostrom that stopped match point and tied the game at 24. The Lady Panthers stepped up to score the next two points and win game three.

Game four again went down to the wire. The Fillies led late and had a chance to end the match, but the Lady Panthers held off two match points to tie the score at 24. They couldn't hold serve, though, and Cody scored the final point when their kill attempt hit the top of the net and spun over at an angle, evading a block attempt by Liz Tilley and dropping to the floor before a diving Olivia Rogers could reach it.

The win, which ended four years of frustration for the Fillies, triggered a Cody celebration worthy of the state finals. Powell had won seven straight regular season victories matches over Cody, dating back to 2006 and had also bested the Fillies in the state semi-finals last year. Early this season, the Panthers had taken the Fillies 2-0 in tournament play on this year's opening weekend.

The loss was the Lady Panthers first in conference play in four years.

It was a disappointing loss for the Lady Panthers, but Smith said a close match such as this one can be a positive. The home-court advantage may have given the Fillies a boost, but adusting to the noisy crowd “is part of the growing experience,” for the new varsity members.

Utlimately, the match turned on a few mistakes at critical times, and Smith said that will give her team something to work on.

“Tonight they'll be ready at practice, and will look at what worked and what didn't,” Smith said. “We'll continue to grow.”

Three Lady Panthers were perfect from the service line during the match, led by Ostrom who was 31 for 31. Cooley was perfect on 11 and Rogers on 14. Ostrom served two aces, while Randi Asay and Hannah Groves each served three.

Asay led in kills with 16, followed by Rogers with 12 and Ostrom with six. Groves led defensively with 20 digs, while Rogers made 14 and Ostrom nine. Tilley, Asay and Ostrom each made one unassisted block and assisted on two.

The Lady Panthers will be back in conference play this week when Lander and Worland visit the PHS gym. On Thursday, the Powell girls will be looking to reverse their fortunes against the Lady Tigers, who defeated them in a 3-game match in Billings at the Montana-Wyoming Challenge earlier in the season. Saturday they take on the Lady Warriors, who defeated Cody at home last week and are 1-0 in the conference.

Thursday's matchup begins at 6:30, following freshman and JV matches at 4 and 5 p.m. Saturday's match begins at 5:30 p.m. a change from the original time. JV competition begins at 4. The freshman team will be competing in Riverton.

Page 460 of 508

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