Daily Archives: August 8, 2013

Brimley ‘proud’ of HATS legacy

by nathan oster

Greybull’s most recognizable resident says he is proud of what has been accomplished in the past five years by the Hands Across the Saddle organization, which he helped to establish shortly after arriving in town.

Wilford Brimley has appeared in movies and on TV and as a pitchman for both Quaker Oats and Liberty Medical. But if you ask him, he might just tell you he’s every bit as proud of the charities he helped launch — organizations like Hands Across the Saddle, which will hold its fifth annual banquet on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Herb Asp Community Center.

“I’m of the opinion that this little town has raised close to a half a million dollars and benefitted over 200 families just in the last five years,” he said.  “I am very proud of this community and the people who have participated in this event thus far.”

Brimley is adamant about one point: HATS isn’t about him or his wife Beverly.

“My wife and I both have a belief that we are charged with a responsibility to leave things a little better than we find them, which was the original and sole purpose of starting this charity,” he said. “We became aware there were people in this community who need a little help now and again — and they should be entitled to get it without sacrificing their dignity or going through a lot of nonsense.

“This charity has done some wonderful things,” he continued. “A man was on his death bed and he needed his tooth out. He was in pain. (HATS) paid for it.

“Just the other day, I answered the phone and a lady was asking if the charity would be able to help her with her medical expenses.  I said, ‘Well I certainly hope it can … because that’s what they’re there for.’  Now obviously, there’s a limit to what (HATS) can do.  It cannot solve anyone’s medical crisis.  But it can make the pain a little easier by providing a motel room, gas money, or something along those lines, when people get in a pinch.”

Brimley said another thing folks need to know about HATS is that the organization never has a difficult time getting well-known acts to participate.  This year, Baxter Black will be making his second appearance at a HATS event.  Last year, Riders in the Sky entertained.

“Each and every year, someone has come here to entertain on a volunteer basis, with no pay other than the applause and love of the audience,” he said. “The first time we did this, out in Shell, my friend Red Steagal made a comment that I’ve never forgotten. In the middle of the performance, he was moved to say, ‘To those who think our nation is going to hell in a handbasket, you should be in Shell, Wyoming tonight.’  I couldn’t agree more.  Each of those subsequent event nights, and in the bronc riding I did put on for three or four years, the support of the community has been magnificent. Heck, Baxter Black asked if he could come back.

“If you stop and think, how many charities do you know that are totally self supporting, in that nobody gets paid anything? Every dome that is donated finds its way to people who truly need the money.”

For that, Brimley said he’s eternally grateful.

“There are people in this town who pitched in, put their shoulder up against the wheel and pushed this deal through the mud and mire and made it fly.  Everybody knows who they are. They know who they are.”


Current controversy

Without any prompting, Brimley said he wanted to comment on the recent arrests of Myles Foley and Lori Davis, owners of the Historic Hotel Greybull.  Brimley said he has been following the developments closely and is disturbed by some of the things he’s seen.

Brimley said Foley and Davis have demonstrated the same desire to “leave things better than they’ve found them,” pointing to the improvements they’ve made to the hotel, including the launch of Mylo’s Coffee Shop and The Speakeasy.

“He and his partner are trying to leave things better than they found them,” he said. “Now I don’t know the facts of his situation. I’m not a lawyer. But I’d like to hope that if the police had it to do over again, they would rethink some of their practices.”

He said his comments could also be extended to the county attorney who requested the arrest warrants and the judge who signed off on them. “Before you go into a place like that at lunchtime and put those people in handcuffs, I’d hope they would all rethink that before they did it again.”

Brimley said he’d “leave it for the courts to decide” the guilt or innocence of Foley and Davis.

“I would just hope that there’s the same treatment for everybody in this city and for everybody who comes to this city, does something, or commits a misdemeanor or is misunderstood,” Brimley said. “If they need to be handcuffed, let’s do that. But if something can instead by decided with a citation or a conversation, it should be.”

Brimley’s final thought on the matter referenced people “being scared to death of repercussions” if they stepped forward to support Davis and Foley. “I don’t know who they are and I don’t care, but I would hope that we don’t live in a society where we have to be afraid of those we have hired to protect and serve us.  If those people are afraid of repercussions for stating their opinion, something’s wrong with that picture.”


HATS future

Brimley said he has grown to love the community and “this part of the world,” but that all good things eventually end.  He said the time is coming when he and his wife will “sell out and leave here,” but that he doesn’t know when that will happen.

Until then, he’ll continue to be involved in HATS.  Whether he’s here or elsewhere, he has no doubt that HATS will go on.  “I think it’s to a point now where (HATS) has its own wings, its own feet beneath it, to where it will carry itself.

“I’m very proud of the fact, though, that this one of the footprints that we will leave.”

A similar organization that Brimley helped establish in Oklahoma continues to thrive in his absence.

“This isn’t about us,” he emphasized. “It’s an opportunity for people who’ve been somewhat fortunate to return that good fortune to their community.  That’s what it’s all about.”

Otherwise, Brimley said he’s doing well and enjoying life.  He doesn’t have any movie or TV projects in the pipeline, either. “I don’t have any interest in that anymore,” he said. “I did it already.

“Besides, I keep myself fairly busy doing one thing or another.”


Averages climb in annual livestock sale

by nathan oster

While the total sales figure fell short of last year’s, averages were up across the board for Friday night’s junior livestock sale at the Big Horn County Fair in Basin.

“It was a good sale,” said Sara Schlattmann, longtime clerk of the sale.

The total sale, not counting add-ons, brought $188,592, which was slightly less than the $190,756 generated by the 2012 sale.  But Schlattmann was quick to point out that fewer animals were sold this year, too.  In 2012, 138 were sold; this year, there were 132.

Schlattmann also pointed out that with “at least another $9,000” as her reporting time of Monday afternoon, it’s looking like, “We are going to have quite a bit more money in ‘add-ons’ compared to last year.”

Averages climbed across the board.

The 20 steers that sold brought an average of $2.86 per pound, up from $2.72 last year.  The top seller in the beef category was owned by Kade Gifford, whose steer brought $5,227.50 and went to Lovell Drug/Cody Country Stores.

Turning to goats, the six that sold brought an average of $11.08 per pound.  Dusty Miller had the top seller, as Greybull River Feeds paid $1,750 for her goat.

The 57 lambs that sold brought an average of $7.25 per pound, up from $6.85 last year.  The top-selling lamb, belonging to Ammon Bullinger, brought $1,400 and went to Basin Pharmacy.

The sale prices in the hog category were up as well.  The 47 hogs that sold brought an average of $4.91 per pound, up from 4.30 last year.  Will Dalin had the top seller, a hog that brought $2,070. Security State Bank was the purchaser of that steer.


Rudd wants to help veterans

by marlys good

Chris Rudd started his job as a veteran’s advocate on July 1 and he’s trying to get word out to the 1,118 veterans within Big Horn County about the Veterans Outreach and Advocacy Program because he would “like the opportunity to assist as many as possible.”

Rudd, who covers the northern region of Wyoming, (Anna Ornelaz covers the southeast and Ronda Lee the southwest) saw the job listing online, applied, and is contracted through the Wyoming Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Division. He works out of his home in Greybull.

Rudd explains that his job is to connect service members, veterans and their family members with resources that will help improve their quality of life. “I have the ability to visit veterans seeking assistance in their own community,” he said. “Our primary focus is post 9/11 veterans who may be facing problems with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), other mental health problems and/or substance abuse.

“We can also connect veterans to resources that will help them deal with many other issues related to deployments such as combat operational stress, difficulty communicating with a spouse and children, anxiety, employment, underemployment or housing concerns, feelings of detachment, financial hardship, sexual trauma and any other issues that stand in the way of happiness.”  Rudd said there are also quality-of-life funds set aside to help post 9/11 veterans who are currently in treatment.

Rudd, a 1997 graduate of Greybull High School, is currently a member of the Wyoming Army National Guard. He enlisted in December 1998 and was called to active duty shortly after 9/11 to do airport security and force protection.

He was deployed overseas from 2004-05 where the guard provided residential security for the top five officials of the Iraqi interim government, and again in 2009-2010 as a convoy commander doing escort missions between Kuwait and Iraq.

His son Garret, now 9 years old, was born while Rudd was serving his first deployment so he missed the first 10 months of his life and missed another year during his second deployment.

“I know all too well some of the stresses that veterans go through,” he said “I encourage them to contact me or one of the veteran’s advocates in their region of the state, so they can assist them in finding the resources to improve their quality of life. Confidentiality is of the upmost importance to us.

Rudd said, “I had no idea that someday I would go into social work, but I enjoy it. I love the job.”

Rudd, the son of Dana and Sheila Rudd of Greybull, can be contacted by calling (307) 202-0482.


Harry Allen Dooley

Sept. 6, 1964 – July 31, 2013

A graveside memorial service for Harry Allen Dooley of Basin will be held at the Burlington Cemetery Saturday, Aug. 17 at 10 a.m.  Harry, 48, died July 31 at St. Vincent Healthcare Hospital in Billings.

He was born Sept. 6, 1964, in Worland, the son of Russell and Beverly Allen Dooley. He grew up in the Big Horn Basin area and graduated from Greybull High School.

He married Jennifer Elizabeth Lowe Feb. 18, 1988, in Greybull.

Until his health deteriorated, Harry enjoyed farming, working on vehicles and riding horses. He loved camping, fishing and hunting. His most cherished times were those spent playing with his granddaughters; watching them grow brought a smile to is face.

His wife Jennifer Dooley on April 29, 2011, a niece, and his paternal and maternal grandparents preceded him in death.

He is survived by his son, Michael Dooley and daughter Elizabeth Dooley, both of Basin; his parents Russell and Beverly Dooley of Burlington; two brothers, Bruce Dooley of Maui, Hawaii, and Paul Dooley of Riverton; his sister, Stephanie Pharmer of Maui, and two granddaughters, Autumn and Cassy Lewis of Basin.



Leland Clyde Cathcart

OBIT CathcartDec. 3, 1943 – Aug. 4, 2013

Funeral services for Leland Clyde Cathcart will be held today (Thursday, Aug. 8) at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland, Colo. “Lee,” 69, died Aug. 4 in Colorado after an extended illness.

He was born Dec. 3, 1943, in Basin, the son of Wendell and Ora Taylor Cathcart. He graduated from Greybull High School as an honor student in 1962. He enjoyed all sports, excelled in football and was the co-captain of Greybull’s state championship football team.

He worked in management in the oil field service industry in Casper, Houston, Texas and Farmington, N.M., for 30 years.

He grew up fishing with his three brothers and fishing continued to be one of his passions for the rest of his life.

Lee was a loving and dedicated husband, father and grandfather. One of his most unique traits was a tendency to antagonize, in the most loving manner, all those he knew. He was full of life and took advantage of every opportunity given to him — from church ministry, to traveling, to family life, to traversing the great outdoors.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Cheryl; two daughters, Cindy Price of Cape May, N.M., and Audra Bernal of Fort Collins; three brothers, Fred Cathcart of Denver, Ron Cathcart of Austin, Texas, and Randy Cathcart of Springfield, Mo.; and four grandchildren.


Keisel the foreman of line-building project in Steel City

by dale grdnic

Brett Keisel made a huge entrance when he arrived at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, and his performance matched that during the   team’s first full week at Saint Vincent College.

The 12th-year defensive end arrived at camp in an enormous dump truck, saying that the area was like a construction zone. Keisel also wore a No. 99 hard hat because the Steelers were “constructing our team.”

With a foreman like Keisel, the Steelers very well could build into a championship team, but they appear to be under the radar at the moment. Division rivals Baltimore and Cincinnati, the defending Super Bowl champion and playoff team, respectively, are favored. And perennial doormat Cleveland is expected to be on the rise. Where does that leave the Steelers?

“People can say what they want and believe what they want, but we know what we have in this locker room,” Keisel said. “We feel that we have the team and the talent to get back on top, but our first goal is to win the division. Good things happen when we do that, so we’re building toward that.”

With four new starters on offense, three on defense and youth everywhere on the depth chart, Keisel knows that the Steelers have a lot to prove

“The biggest thing we need is our young guys have to step up and seize this moment,” Keisel said. “Training camp is hard, especially for the young guys, because they’re taking most of the reps. They’re the ones the coaches want to see. That should show how well they can do.

“Either they’ll be able to do it, or they won’t be able to cut it. But I’m excited to watch them and see the strong ones rise up and do things to help us win games. I feel like we’re going to be tough this season, but there are still a lot of question marks right now.”

Keisel was given a couple days off during the middle of last week, which he described as “maintenance days,” but he appears to be practicing as hard as ever. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has ramped up the daily workouts with more hitting than ever during his seventh camp, and everyone has responded.

“Big brother Keisel can still get it done,” fellow defensive end Ziggy Hood said. “We look to him for guidance on and off the field. He still has a lot of energy and can still play at a high level in this league.”

How long that can continue should be addressed by Keisel and the Steelers at the end of this season, which is the last under his current contract. Keisel signed a five-year, $18.885 million agreement with a $5 million signing bonus before the 2009 season. He is scheduled to make $2.825 million this season and will become a free agent in 2014. There has been no talk yet about an extension.

“You know, I just want to go out and enjoy this year,” Keisel said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with everything, but this is the last year on my contract. So, I’m going to go out and give it my all and have fun and see what happens. … I enjoy camp, and I enjoy being up here with the guys. I like going out and competing and proving to myself that I can still get the job done.

“As long as my coaches and teammates feel like I can do it and I feel the same, then, let’s do it. (And) if it is the end, I want to go out on top. (But) I want to go out on top even if it’s not the end. With 12 seasons in the NFL, that’s pretty good, especially with a great organization like the Pittsburgh Steelers. We’ve brought a couple trophies home, but we want to bring back another one.”

And with veterans like Keisel leading the way, there’s no telling how far the Steelers can go this season.


(Dale Grdnic is a freelance writer in Pittsburgh who writes occasional stories on Greybull native Brett Keisel and the Steelers.)




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