Monday’s Potpourri

Hello Monday!

I think I may have overdosed on football this weekend – or maybe it was the barbecue ribs. There are still two NFL games left to watch tonight. The good news is that I still have some ribs left over!

It’s time for another potpourri edition from the past weekend! When there are several stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column. Today’s topics include:

  • Jess O’Hara & Closed Primaries
  • Jim Nelson & Kim Davis
  • Phil Drake & Helena
  • What the Hay Contest
  • Gary Richrath & REO Speedwagon


Jesse O’Hara Writes about Closed Primaries:

Former Montana state senator and representative from Great Falls (MT) Jesse O’Hara has written a column that I’ve seen in a few Montana newspapers about some in the Montana Republican Party wanting to have closed primaries.

O’Hara is against closing the primaries and he writes that the party bosses are asking the courts to limit voter choice in primaries in order to transfer power and influence from Montana voters to themselves.

He closes with this gem – Montana will remain the last best place as long as legislators put their constituents and conscience ahead of party bosses.

Amen to that. You can read his guest column HERE.

Jim Nelson Writes about Kim Davis:

Retired Montana Supreme Court justice Jim Nelson has written a column that was published in the Missoulian newspaper about Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Nelson writes that Davis is certainly free to believe, personally, whatever she wants. But she has no right or power to refuse to perform the duties of her office and to uphold the Constitution based on her personal religious beliefs.

Nelson closes out his column, writing this:

At least, as a nation of laws, let’s have the intellectual honesty to label Davis and people like her for what they actually are: not heroes, not martyrs, not defenders of the Constitution. They are the personification of ill will. They are the face of hate.

You can read Nelson’s column HERE.

Phil Drake Moves to the Capitol:

The Great Falls Tribune’s Phil Drake is the new Tribune Capitol Bureau reporter and columnist in Helena. You can read the announcement HERE.

I don’t know whether to congratulate him or send him a sympathy card. At least he has several months to get his feet wet (or run away) before the circus (also called the state legislature) returns to Helena.

I am enjoying Drake’s weekly column called Dome Lights. You can read this week’s column HERE.

Montana Bale Trail/What the Hay 2015:

Each year near in central Montana (Utica, Hobson, and Windham) area residents hold the “What the Hay” contest where they decorate hay bales. These folks are very creative.

You can see photo galleries of the event in the Great Falls Tribune HERE and from television station KRTV HERE. Funny stuff!

I do wish they would schedule the event before the NFL regular season begins.

Gary Richrath/REO Speedwagon:

I’ve seen REO Speedwagon in concert well over 20 times starting in 1977 at a Summer Jam concert at Royals Stadium in Kansas City Missouri. The last time I saw them play was in Great Falls (MT) in 2011. See my story HERE.

When they hit it big with their 1980 album called “Hi Infidelity” their lead guitar player at that time was Gary Richrath. Richrath wrote several songs on that album including “Take It On the Run.” He was also the writer of “Golden Country,” “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” and “Only the Strong Survive.” I consider him one of the greatest guitar players in the 1970/80s.

Richrath left REO Speedwagon in 1989.

I read this morning that Gary Richrath passed away on Sunday (Sept. 13). He was 65.

Rest in Peace Gary.

Here’s “Ridin’ the Storm Out” with Gary Richrath on lead guitar:

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