Raves for 1997 

The Best of '97

Nine Missoula celebrities share their top ten memories from an indelible year

Photos by Jeff Powers

Barbara Evans
Missoula County Commissioner,
Jim Crumley's neighbor

  1. Beginning my fourth term in January as a County Commissioner. (I do appreciate the support from the public.)
  2. My husband's full recovery from angioplasty in March.
  3. My daughter, Karyn's, success in her new temporary employment agency (Work Force).
  4. The awarding of the bid for North Reserve Street (I have high hopes that the project will be completed by October 1998).
  5. The almost-finished interchange project that will provide better access to the airport and the new Missoula Development Park.
  6. My post-election vacation in Seaside, Oregon, where I proved to Charlie Brown that I could "outshop"him!
  7. The formation of Citizens for Common Sense Government and the changes on the city council.
  8. The fun and camaraderie of my Missoula Kiwanis Club.
  9. The gift from Hal Fraser of the video of "Les Miserables"-- a truly wonderful performance!
  10. When the decision comes from the state Commissioner of Political Practices vindicating the Citizens for Common Sense Government regarding the frivolous charges of the New Party, it will be frosting on the cake!

Jim Crumley
Author, French cultural hero

  1. I never watched David Letterman longer than 10 seconds.
  2. I survived a week in Muncie, Indiana, at Ball State where David Letterman is known as a semi-religious figure, and the only thing I saw on the street was a dead dog who accused me of being a babe-magnet.
  3. Missoula's only major religious figure and notorious babe-magnet, Cine-Man, didn't make me kiss him after he shaved his mustache. Even though I would have.
  4. I spent five hours in Charlie B's without buying a drink.
  5. Nobody called me a sissy because I was afraid to go to the john during Event Horizon.
  6. I made it to The Depot without killing anyone after the movie.
  7. The recently retired Bill Kittredge came into Charlie B's.
  8. The forever retired Doug Peacock gave me the largest bag of chantrelles I've ever seen.
  9. The pot of chili I made for Shorty, Thumper and Martha didn't kill anybody.
  10. I made it through the year without robbing a service station, declaring bankruptcy, going to jail, admitting my insanity or shooting myself in the foot. Which in my world makes 1997 a hell of a year.

Christine Staggs
Missoula Downtown Association Board President
Owner, RedBird restaurant

  1. Opening, owning and operating my own restaurant -- RedBird.
  2. Downtown Rocks!!!! Caras Park Pavilion, singing with The Temptations, Soul of Missoula.
  3. Each December I receive a secret batch of two dozen frosted sugar cookies from my best friend Valerie just for MY consumption.
  4. Montana Tavern Owners' Association and restaurateurs comprise and create 16-4-420: cabaret licenses without gaming for fine dining establishments.
  5. The passing of Lady Di and the heightened awareness of the tabloid press.
  6. The loss of the Stoverude Clock on Higgins.
  7. Friends. Family. New friends. New family. More friends!! More family!!
  8. The passing of Mother Theresa.
  9. The revival of velvet.
  10. The emergency of the 1997 "Free Form Woman."

Larry Frost
KECI TV anchor

  1. I survived another year on Highway 93.
  2. No one went postal during the 1997 legislative session.
  3. Ted Kaczynski's cabin made the trip to California, convincing the rest of the nation we all live without running water. This should slow the growth rate at least slightly.
  4. All the flooding preparations paid off and there was very little damage.
  5. Jerry Seinfeld proves his timing is still impeccable as he decides to go out on top.
  6. Ravalli County Sheriff Jay Printz won his case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Agree or disagree with his case, Printz proved once again the judicial system does work. Even for a sheriff from rural Montana.
  7. I only gained back 10 of the 50 pounds I lost in 1996.
  8. Record snowfall drove skiers to the brink of orgasm and reminded all of us that shoveling snow is an unnatural act.
  9. El Niño proves to be a blessing by keeping all of us from whining about the snow and cold, at least so far.
  10. Montana Rail Link made the right choice about where to derail a runaway train, then made a pledge to send all of its employees to the Midas School of Brakes.

Sheryl Noethe
Poet

  1. Mount Jumbo and Open Space made us visionaries
  2. Montana Rail Link didn't have any chlorine spills that we know of.
  3. No additional drilling in the northern Rocky Mountain front.
  4. School levies passed, allowing us to touch the future.
  5. Ted Turner gave a billion dollars to the United Nations. Think, Peace Keepers.
  6. Tibetan refugees continued to find Missoula a refuge.
  7. No leaky Exxon tankers cruised the Clark Fork.
  8. Republican legislators preserved our freedom to die at high speeds on Montana highways while protecting us from the right to make choices over our own affectional preferences.
  9. Public repulsion was focused upon the massacre of Yellowstone bison.
  10. The Full Monty.
    (Most Beautiful People: The handful of dog owners who pick up after their pets in the parks and lawns and sidewalks.)

Tom Webster
Director of the University Theatre,
University of Montana

  1. Renovation of the University Theatre/New Job: Although it was bittersweet leaving the students and staff at UM Productions, my new job offers an exciting career challenge.
  2. Richard Thompson/ David Wilcox concert: Why Mr. Thompson isn't a superstar in a music business comprised of the likes of the Spice Girls remains one of life's great mysteries.
  3. Flats fishing and snorkeling in the Florida Keys.
  4. The Full Monty: It was a pleasure viewing a film that relied on dialogue and humor to entertain, rather than gratuitous violence and special effects.
  5. Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose: A wonderful and enlightening book about one of the premiere adventures in history.
  6. ZZ Top at the Gorge and Adams Fieldhouse: That little ol' band from Texas can rock with the best of them, the Destroyers were fantastic and the Gorge is a great venue.
  7. The Blackfoot River: I received some new snorkel gear this summer and spent numerous afternoons being one with the fish at Red Rocks.
  8. South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas: 600 bands, five days, Tex-Mex, barbeque, chicken fried steak and Shiner Bock beer. A good time is guaranteed.
  9. The Beartooths: Traveling with a liquor, food and cigar aficionado has its advantages, and this is truly wonderful country.
  10. Impending fatherhood: Last but not least, my lovely wife Lori and I are expecting our first child in February.

Sharon Barrett
University of Montana Journalism Professor

  1. My father died.
  2. My mother-in-law died.
  3. My Aunt Rosemary died.
  4. My Uncle Howard died.
  5. My friend Vi Campbell died.
  6. My daughter's godfather, Jorge, who was also my dear friend, died.
  7. My Aunt Myra died.
Each of these deaths involved a painful, debilitating affliction: Alzheimer's, bone cancer, stroke, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, malignant brain tumor, lung cancer. Thus I would wrap numbers 8, 9 and 10 into one thing: This fall, Oregon voters reaffirmed an earlier vote that people should have the right to physician assisted suicide.

Paul Stanton
Owner, Duckboy Cards

  1. The end of the winter of 1996-97.
  2. Kite-skiing on frozen Georgetown Lake.
  3. Publication of my book, The Duckboy Way, or Quack in the Saddle Again.
  4. The staff at Village Health Care Center, who cared so well for my mother during her last 22 months.
  5. The kindness of friends and family who were there for us when Mom passed away.
  6. The comet.
  7. Summer visits from out-of-state friends and relatives.
  8. The day the last visitor went home.
  9. Laurie's smoked turkey.
  10. The end of the New World Mine.

Sarah Frick
Editor, The Hellgate Lance

  1. Frying fries, filling drinks, and waiting on the public at Arby's became my first real job and my first paycheck (which quickly dwindled every other week).
  2. My first try at independence and responsibility, living with my sister, away from my parents in our quaint little apartment on Eddy Street.
  3. My neighbor Tyler became a great friend and brought me many boxes of animal crackers.
  4. The year before my graduation was full of worries, doubts, and fears about the future as I quickly tried to "plan"the next year of my life.
  5. Not making the soccer team my senior year.
  6. It seemed as though every time I turned on the TV there was another death. Princess Diana and Mother Theresa did not directly affect my life, but I will always think of 1997 as the year that they died.
  7. My bike became my ride from work and back, and I now have the strongest legs ever.
  8. Working with a wonderful staff on the school newspaper, The Hellgate Lance. We fought, we cracked jokes, we made our publisher nervous by pushing our writing to the limits.
  9. A whole new meaning of friendship from this past year.
  10. It's doubtful that I will remember everything from this, my last year of high school. But I will remember the people who have affected my life; one in particular, my journalism teacher, Mr. Seitz.

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