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"What I've got they used to call the blues; nothing is really wrong, feeling like I don't belong … Walking around, some kind of lonely clown … Rainy days and Monday always get me down.”

That '70s hit was sung by brother/sister duo, “The Carpenters.” What I've personally been feeling lately though, is not what they call the blues, and something really is wrong.

My computer dictionary describes depression as “…a persistent feeling of unhappiness and hopelessness,” listing symptoms like, “…dejection, poor concentration, lack of energy, inability to sleep, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.”

It's not like these feelings are total strangers; they've visited me every five years or so since I was 19. Like the Carpenter's second verse, “What I feel has come and gone before; no need to talk it out; we know what it's all about. Walking around, nothing to do but frown, rainy days and Mondays …”

My depression has nothing to do with the weather, but today's thunderstorms clapped an undeniable analogy.

When I took my dogs for a Sunday walk to the nearby canal, the sun was shining. But within half-hour, we were stumbling back up that muddy hill being pelted by chilling rain and threatened by thunder and lightning.

That's how the segue from wellness to depression seems. So warm and pleasant, it's difficult to imagine rain ever falling again. But suddenly there's instability in the air, dark clouds hovering low, howling winds, pouring rain and thunder rumbling dire warnings. The daily forecast is always, “Unseasonably cold, wet and dark,” with emergency storm warnings, “Seek refuge immediately and don't venture outside.”

The '70s song lyrics circling my mind lately is Terry Jacks' Seasons in the Sun: “Goodbye to you my trusted friend. We've known each other since we were 9 or 10. Together we climbed hills or trees, learned of love and ABCs, skinned our hearts and skinned our knees. Goodbye my friend it's hard to die, when all the birds are singing in the sky. Now that spring is in the air, pretty girls are everywhere, when you see them I'll be there … We had joy we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, but the hills that we climbed, were just seasons out of time…”

One of my most trusted boyhood friends is Lester Stephenson. Of all our Pennsylvania Conemaugh Township High '72 graduates, Les is undoubtedly the most financially successful. After owning restaurants and hotels all over the country, several years ago he moved back home and bought a local business. When I was visiting my dying Mom in April, we got together. I e-mailed Les last week, telling him that my “thoughts in knots” that began that week still remain without remedy.

Part of Les' thoughtful, empathetic reply was, “Yeah Doug, I think we all go thru some things you're experiencing.

Maybe it's our age or circumstances, old memories, missing lost loved ones, etc. I know your OCD probably intensifies it, but I believe this is kind of a crucial time in our lives. We're not young, we're not old, we've achieved some things, haven't achieved others, miss the guidance and steadiness of those we've lost. I don't know — I think it's a screwed up age to be!

“One of the reasons I moved back from Atlanta was because I was starting to feel lost. I was struggling with my faith, the way I felt about myself, priorities, etc. I needed to get back to something familiar…”

Once in the late '90s, I felt my regular Cody crew had disrespected me the previous day at the gym. Next day I arrived announcing, “You have killed the clown. The clown is dead!” I was half-jokingly threatening to not be the group jester any longer since my feelings had been hurt. It didn't last long though; a clown must perform.

These last few months, I've felt like the class clown inside me has literally been murdered and replaced by an insecure bully — a confused and frightened introvert.

My favorite song in 1971 ended with, “Now looking back over the years, and whatever else that appears; I remember I cried when my father died, never wishing to hide the tears. And at 65 years old, my mother God rest her soul — couldn't understand why the only man, she had ever loved had been taken, leaving her to start with a heart so badly broken…” “… And when she passed away, I cried and cried all dayyyy. Alone again… naturally.”

I cried the day Mom died this spring, just like I'm sure she cried all day when my sister Wanda died in '05 and sister Brenda died last year. Maybe too much death is what triggered this mystifying presence back into my life; who knows?

But until the clown inside me can be resurrected, I have warm memories of Mom, Dad, Wanda and Brenda — and great old song lyrics to walk me through this raging storm inside my head.

Take the money or keep autonomy?

The announcement that federal money — $400,000 to $700,000 annually — may be available to fund the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic poses some difficult questions for the clinic board, as well as community members.

The clinic, with a second branch soon to open in Cody, has survived thus far through generous community support and volunteer efforts, but with limited hours one evening a week.

The federal money would enable the clinic to operate on a full-time, 40-hour-per-week basis, but with the strings and red tape that accompany federal community health programs. But the “free” in free clinic would cease to exist — instead the organization would see needy patients on a sliding-fee basis.

The next few months will require an exhaustive look into the pros and cons of the proposal. The Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic Board is divided on how it views the offer, but as Dr. Nick Morris, who along with his wife, Madelyn, founded the clinic, asked, “...the ethical dilemma is, if they're going to give someone $400,000 to see eight times the number of patients, shouldn't we consider it?”

Prior to the proposed meeting with federal Community Health Program representatives in October, donors, community members, volunteers and — just as importantly, the patients receiving services at the clinic — need to voice their opinions to the board about how the clinic can best serve low-income and uninsured people in Park County and surrounding areas.

A federal community health program would have more resources and reach more people — but is the current free clinic model the best choice, with the clinic drawing its strength from continued community support?

July 15, 2010 3:23 am

Sarah Elizabeth (Wirth) Borrego

(July 27, 1973 - July 9, 2010)

Sarah Elizabeth (Wirth) Borrego, loving wife, mother, daughter and sister, died Friday, July 9, 2010, in Seattle, Wash. She had been a patient at the University of Washington Medical Center for the past month, where she was awaiting a double lung transplant. She had been suffering from a rare lung disease since February.

Sarah was born in Worland on July 27, 1973, to Steve and Elaine (Enes) Wirth. Her three older sisters, April, Maylee and Laurel, were delighted to have a “baby doll” sister to play with and to mother. The family remembers her big, beautiful eyes and her spunky spirit.

She grew up in Wyoming, but graduated from high school in Bend, Ore., where her father had been transferred with his job. Following graduation, Sarah attended Northwest College, where she studied music.

Sarah met Johnnie Borrego in Rawlins, and they were married on Jan. 22, 1994, in Laramie. She loved being a housewife and mother to their three children: Jonathan, 16, Joshua, 14, and Jordyn, 14.

At the time of her death, Sarah's family lived in Havre, Mont., where Johnnie works for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Sarah loved music and blessed many lives with her musical talents. She was the organist at the LDS Church in Havre.

Sarah is survived by her husband and three children; her parents; father-in-law Rudy Borrego; mother-in-law Rayetta Kirkley (Dale); three sisters, April Hornbeck (Kurtis), Maylee Lemmon (Kent) and Laurel Anderson (Daren); sister-in-law Brandie Beadle (Brian); brother-in-law Joseph Borrego (Stephanie); 12 nieces and nephews; grandparents-in-law Ruben and Mary Borrego; and her best friend, Assunta McGrail.

She was preceded in death by her step-mother-in-law, Marie Borrego; grandparents Jim and Margaret Wirth and Bettee and Ken Enes; uncles Jerry Corbett and Marv Enes; and aunts Shannon Enes and Nell Cowgill.

Funeral services will be on Saturday, July 17, at 11 a.m. at the LDS Church in Powell, with burial in Byron following the services. Vistation will be from 6-8 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home on Friday, July 16, and also from 10-10:45 a.m. at the church prior to the funeral services.

A college fund has been established for the Borrego children, and contributions may be sent to Wells Fargo Bank, Havre, MT 59501.

Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangments, and online condolences may be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net.

July 15, 2010 3:20 am

Ruth Catherine Trina' Davis

(Sept. 1, 1933 - July 8, 2010)

Ruth Catherine “Trina” Davis, of Shell, died July 8, 2010, at Billings Clinic Hospital in Billings.

Trina was born Sept. 1, 1933, in Rockford, Ill. Trina was one of 13 children born to David Hunter Jr. and Helen O'Donnell Hunter.

She graduated from East High School in Rockford and then moved to Billings to attend nursing school. While living in Billings, she would visit her sister Shirley in Shell, where she met Irvie Davis.

Irvie and Trina were married in 1957. Together they ranched in Shell, raised five children and were actively involved in the community.

Trina was a unique soul with many interests. She grew a fine garden and treasured the time spent outdoors. She relished her surroundings; taking note of subtle changes many of us pass by. She was a voracious reader. She was up by 4 a.m. every day, tending her garden, doing crossword puzzles and drinking coffee. She was engaged in life and in bed by 7 p.m. every evening.

The kids around Shell loved Trina. She enjoyed their antics, encouraged their free spirits, and simply understood the joys of childhood. Irvie and Trina's place had an open-door policy and everyone felt welcome and appreciated. Visitors could depend on lots of warmth and good humor.

Trina was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Irvie; her brothers David, Jack, Joe and Logan Hunter; and her sister Shirley Tanner.

She is survived by her children Jim (Helyn) of Buelton, Calif., Irvin of Greeley, Colo., Amy Markham (Phil) of Harlan, Iowa, Ruth Long (Bill) of Cody and Alan (Becky) of Sheridan; grandchildren Arika, Andrew, Will, Katie and Sara; sisters Harriett Johnson of Green Valley, Ariz., Bernedette Johnson of Rockford, Ill., Merrylynn Von Cramm of Virginia, Nora Bond (Richard) of Maui, Hawaii, Janet Avery of Mt. Enterprise, Texas; brother Charles of Turarosa, N.M.; sister-in-law Velma “Birdie” Johnson of Thermopolis; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Memorial services will be Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010, at 11 a.m. at the Shell Community Church. Memorials may be made to the Shell Hall.

July 15, 2010 3:19 am

Lydia Hill

(Dec. 27, 1920 - July 11, 2010)

Lydia Hill, 89, died Sunday, July 11, 2010, at Powell Valley Care Center.

The daughter of Jake and Lena (Michaelis) Hill, Lydia was born Dec. 27, 1920, in Ballatine, Mont. She attended school in Worden, Mont., before moving to Billings, where she was employed as a waitress and a nanny.

She moved to Cody before the beginning of World War II. On March 27, 1943, Lydia married Glenn E. Hill Jr. in Eureka, Calif. She was a homemaker and an active member of First Presbyterian Church.

She and Glenn taught Sunday School and were members of the Mariners. They were involved with the Senior Center, and they loved to travel.

Lydia was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Glenn, in 1999; and three brothers, Victor, John, and Jake Jr.

She is survived by her daughters, Teresa Coorough (Jim) of Powell and Shirley Klentz (Gary) of Riverton; three grandchildren, Bryan Coorough (Tory) and their children, Skyler and Abbey, of Gillette, Keri Smith (Andy) of Casper and Kyle Klentz (Heather) of Riverton; four sisters, Clara Michelcic of Billings, Hana Ness of Duluth, Minn., Rosie Freek of Billings and Minne Steffan (Jim) of Grand Junction, Colo.; a brother, Adam Hill (Alice) of Shepherd, Mont.; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Friday, July 16, at First Presbyterian Church in Cody, followed by the funeral service at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery.

Ballard Funeral Home of Cody is in charge of arrangements.

July 15, 2010 3:18 am

William J. Bill' Mudd

(June 28, 1959 - July 12, 2010)

William J. “Bill” Mudd, 51, died July 12, 2010, at his home in Powell.

Bill was born June 28, 1959, to James Dean and Leota A. (Craig) Mudd.

He graduated from Natrona County High School in Casper in 1977. He was an avid outdoorsman, and he worked as a technician for Qwest.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents and a grandmother.

He is survived by his life-long partner, Tammy Joyner; his brother, James Mudd; and his sisters, Arlette Mascarenas, Kimberly A. Mudd and Kelly Hatcher.

At Bill's request, there will be no funeral services.

July 15, 2010 3:18 am

Marsha Fetzer

A memorial service for Marsha Fetzer will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 23, at the Presbyterian Church.

Interment will follow at Crown Hill Cemetery.

July 20, 2010 3:15 am

Lake trout elimination

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Aboard Freedom, Yellowstone National Park summer employees, Jake Boone, left, and Hannah Gundernan, right, prepare to unleash a gill net to capture unwanted lake trout in Yellowstone Lake. Mount Sheridan rises in the distance. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

Extreme measures needed to save Yellowstone Lake native cutthroat trout

Since the mid 1990s, the National Park Service has endeavored to eliminate lake trout from Yellowstone Lake. But the race to save native cutthroat trout there could be lost unless the service adopts extreme measures, said a Trout Unlimited member.

Park Service personnel say they are working on it and will adopt tougher measures in the future.

July 13, 2010 3:38 am

Free clinic to change?

Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic board mulls offer

Which is better for the Big Horn Basin community — a free clinic with community support and limited resources, or a government-funded clinic with far more resources, but accompanied by federal red tape?

That's a question Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic board members, and eventually the community, will have to wrestle with in the near future.

"I didn't, like, graduate high school and in my yearbook write, ‘Be in a soap opera,' as future plans,” said Daniel Cummings, a 2005 Powell High School alum.

Nevertheless, today (Tuesday), Cummings will make his television debut in a recurring role on the long-running ABC soap opera, “General Hospital.”