June 2013 Montana Best Times | Battle Of The Little Bighorn | Insurance

MONTANA

June 2013

A Monthly Publication for Folks 50 and Better

Having a ball in Montana
Tiny school, great education Choosing service over retirement Educator has led a musical life

Where are they now? The Five Phases of B.J. Thomas and the ‘Raindrops’

B.J. Thomas was 27 when he recorded “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” the theme song for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Courtesy of Wrinkled Records/MCT 

By Gregory Clay McClatchy-Tribune (MCT)

The year was 1969. What was on the “it” list? • The upstart New York Jets shocked the world by rocking the vaunted Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, • Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, • The U.S. unemployment rate was a paltry 3.6 percent (imagine that!), • “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” And B.J. Thomas, then 27, had a scratchy throat at a most pivotal time that year. Thomas, born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas, was summoned to Los Angeles to record “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” the theme song for the popular movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” But the singer’s voice was ailing. Except there was no way he was going to miss this opportunity to work with the incomparable Burt Bacharach and Hal David, two of the most accomplished music composers in history. And there was no way you turn down an opportunity to be associated June 2013 —2

with a potentially classic Paul Newman-Robert Redford movie. “I had a bad throat at the time,” Thomas recalled one Sunday afternoon. “I had a little laryngitis and back in those days, we smoked a lot. You add that with singing a lot of shows in three weeks, I was worn out. But I wanted to show up. It says something for showing up. I didn’t want to call in sick.” In fact, when Thomas sang in the studio that day, one of the production members remarked that Thomas was trying to mimic Newman with his voice — all the while not knowing the real story about the throat issue. Despite being under the weather, Thomas aced his recording. Fate was on Thomas’ side — Phase I, 1969. Phase II almost derailed him. Robert Redford, remarkably, didn’t want the song incorporated into the movie. Can you imagine? We have a problem with Robert. “He wanted a nouveau art film, didn’t want some little pop song in there,” Thomas said. “He had a huge problem with it.” See B.J. Thomas, Page 17

Opinion.....................................................Page 4 Savvy Senior.............................................Page 5 Travel........................................................Page 16 Volunteering..............................................Page 18

INSIDE

On the Menu.............................................Page 20 Calendar....................................................Page 21 Strange But True.......................................Page 22

News Lite
Swimmer to haul 2,000 pounds of bricks
ALGONAC, Mich. (AP) — A long-distance swimmer plans to swim 22 miles across Lake St. Clair this summer while hauling dinghies filled with 2,000 pounds of bricks. Jim Dreyer has made direct crossings of each of the five Great Lakes. He’s scheduled to begin his swim on Aug. 5 from the Clinton River Boat Club near Algonac, and the event is to raise funds and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. The swim is expected to take 30 hours and end Aug. 6 at Detroit’s Belle Isle. Dreyer said the effort will be one of his most challenging, The Grand Rapids Press reported. “It will be a real ‘train of pain,’ symbolic of the pain felt by Michigan families trying to keep their heads above water,” Dreyer said. “However, instead of sinking with the weight of our burdens, I believe that together we can triumph and be the bricks that rebuild lives, rebuild communities, and strengthen the foundation of this great state.” When Dreyer swam across Lake Superior, he towed a boat loaded with 250 pounds of supplies. Dreyer has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Michigan to help fund building projects for up to 75 affiliates through the Cornerstone Strength Swim Campaign.

Members abstain from vote on abstaining

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Three members of a Michigan city council have abstained from voting on a measure that would have prevented them from abstaining on future votes. AnnArbor.com reports that Ypsilanti City Council member Pete Murdock proposed a resolution that would have required council members to only vote “yes” or “no” on each issue unless they had a financial or professional conflict. Mayor Paul Schreiber and council members Susan Moeller and Brian Robb abstained from the vote to show their disapproval of the resolution. The resolution failed, with Murdock and another City Council member voting “yes” while two other council members voted “no.”

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Opinion

Little noticed by the media was the April 26 death of country music legend George Jones. It was a one-day story for most news outlets. Jones, 81, didn’t get a lot fanfare like the death of a rock ‘n’ roll superstar would have. But he should have. In a Time magazine ode to George Jones written by Merle Haggard, a country legend himself, Haggard called Jones “the greatest country singer who ever lived.” For most of us who like country music, Jones — with his unique, smooth, sliding voice that could put several intonations into a single syllable — represented the old kind of country, before the genre developed a pop sound that is basically rock with a country twang. Jones’ style wasn’t cool by today’s standards, but it was genuine, pure country, with no bubble gum attached. Jones was certainly not without his faults, famous for his early wild days and struggles with alcohol. But he mellowed later in life, and, according to published accounts, for the most part got a grip on his problem. His hits included renown tunes like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “White Lightning,” but to me his greatest song of all is one he produced in his late 60s, “Choices,” which aired in 1999 and for which he won a Grammy. I confess I had pretty much forgotten about Jones when the song came out. But when I heard it on the radio, I was floored by the searing lyrics that were a big departure from the typical country song. While Jones didn’t write the words himself, to listeners it obviously reflected his life, and contained a powerful message: June 2013 —4

George Jones, we will miss you

I’ve had choices since the day that I was born There were voices that told me right from wrong If I had listened, no I wouldn’t be here today Living and dying with the choices I’ve made. I was tempted, by an early age I found I liked drinkin’, oh, and I never turned it down There were loved ones but I turned them all away Now I’m living and dying with the choices I’ve made

Now that’s a song. I wish George Jones were still around to give us more like that. All I can say is, George Jones, we will miss you. — Dwight Harriman Montana Best Times Editor
MONTANA

A Monthly Publication for Folks 50 and Better

P.O. Box 2000, 401 S. Main St., Livingston MT 59047 Tel. (406) 222-2000 or toll-free (800) 345-8412 • Fax: (406) 222-8580 E-mail: mtbt@montanabesttimes.com • Subscription rate: $25/yr. Published monthly by Yellowstone Newspapers, Livingston, Montana
Frank Perea, Publisher • Dwight Harriman, Editor • Tom Parisella, Designer

Jim Miller, creator of the syndicated “Savvy Senior” information column, is a longtime advocate of senior issues. He has been featured in Time magazine; is author of “The Savvy Senior: The Ultimate Guide to Health, Family and Finances for Senior Citizens”; and is a regular contributor to the NBC “Today” show.

How to Find Lost Life-Insurance Policies
Dear Savvy Senior, When my father passed away we thought he had a life insurance policy, but we haven’t been able to track it down. Do you know of any resources that might help? – Searching Family Dear Searching, Lost or forgotten life-insurance policies are actually quite common in the U.S. In fact, it’s estimated that around $1 billion in benefits from unclaimed life-insurance policies are waiting to be claimed by their rightful beneficiaries.   While unfortunately, there isn’t a national database for tracking down these policies, there are a number of strategies and a few new resources that can help your search. Here are several to get you started.   Search records: If your dad died recently, searching through his financial records is a good first step. Check his files for a policy, records of premium payments, or bills from an insurer. Also contact his employer or former employer benefits administrator, insurance agents, financial planner, accountant, attorney or other adviser and ask if they know about a life insurance policy. Also check safe-deposit boxes, monitor the mail for premium invoices or whole-life dividend notices, and review old income-tax returns, looking for interest income from, and interest expenses paid to life-insurance companies.   Contact the insurer: If you suspect that a particular insurer underwrote the policy, contact that carrier’s claim office and ask. The more information you have, like your dad’s date of birth and death, Social Security number and address, the easier it will be to track down. Contact information of some big insurers include: Prudential 800-778-2255; MetLife metlife.com/policyfinder; AIG 800-888-2452; Nationwide 800-848-6331; Forethought 800-3318853; John Hancock johnhancock.com – click on “Contact Us” then on “Account Search Request.” locator service program that can help you locate lost life insurance, or offer resources that can help you with your search. To reach your state insurance department, see the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website at naic.org – click on “States & Jurisdictions Map.”   Search unclaimed property: If your dad died more than a few years ago, benefits may have already been turned over to the unclaimed property office of the state where the policy was purchased. Go to missingmoney.com, a website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, to search records from 38 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The pull-down menu under Links connects you to a map and addresses for unclaimed-property agencies. Or, to find links to each state’s unclaimed-property division use unclaimed.org.   If your dad’s name or a potential benefactor’s name produces a hit, you’ll need to prove your claim. Required documentation, which can vary by state, is detailed in claim forms, and a death certificate might be necessary. If you need a copy of your dad’s death certificate, contact the vital records office in the state where he died, or go to vitalchek.com.   Tap MIB database: The MIB Group Inc., an insurance membership corporation whose main purpose is fighting fraud, offers a policy locator service to help consumers in their searches for life insurance policies. This service, however, only tracks applications for individual policies made since 1996. The service costs $75, requires an original death certificate to get the ball rolling, and takes about seven to 10 days to produce a report. To learn more, visit policylocator.com.   Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.

Get state help: Some state insurance departments have a policy

 

June 2013

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Having a ball in Montana
A lot goes into getting ready for upcoming Victorian balls 
By Dick Crockford Montana Best Times
DILLON — Montana’s summer tourist attractions include a host of activities related to the state’s rich Western history, among them a variety of historical reenactments that help bring the past to life again. Of course, there was more to the Old West than battles, gunfights and cow punching … there was elegant dance, the kind that helped bring a genteel influence to the wild frontier. Generally organized by the “leading women” of the community, a fancy ball helped relieve the monotony of outpost life. For that sort of event, Dillon’s Sandy James said, one needed the services of a suitably appropriate orchestra, most likely a group on the order of Prof. R. Alexander James & His Distinguished Dance Music Ensemble — “said with the appropriate Victorian puffery,” James laughed. “more seasoned” members are at least a couple of generations removed from those olden days. Most of the dance ensemble’s members come from the ranks of the popular Dillon Junior Fiddlers, an instructional and performance group of young people of wide renown in Montana and the West for their talent and enthusiasm when it comes to music. The Jameses founded the Junior Fiddlers more than 30 years ago. Playing for the grand balls provides an outlet for the more advanced Junior Fiddlers, Sandy said. Those who are not Junior Fiddlers include mostly family members who have a love for historic re-enactment. It is that

Two balls rooted in history

For several years, the Dillon-based group has been featured regularly at two of Montana’s more notable Victorian-style grand balls held in connection with historical re-enactment events. The flavor of the music mirrors the times it represents, even though several of the players are in their teens and even the

Above: Maggie Magee and Jeannie James enjoy a laugh during a recent rehearsal. On the cover: Jeannie and Sandy James are the heart of Prof. R. Alexander James & His Distinguished Dance Music Ensemble. MT Best Times photos by Dick Crockford June 2013 —6

high interest in reevents are held in connection with hisenacting that is the toric re-enactment background for the programs — Virginmarriage of the ia City’s reflects the James’s group with events surrounding the historic balls at the community’s Virginia City and Gold Rush roots of Hardin. the 1860s and HarT.J. Wald of din’s commemorates Lodge Grass serves the 1876 Battle of as “dance mistress” the Little Bighorn for the balls in both — the ensemble communities. As plays music that was such, she is responin existence and in sible for teaching the vogue at those dances, including times. the grand march, The Jameses got and for calling the their start, Sandy dances at the ball, said, in connection and generally prowith a 1996 historividing marshaling cal ball that was services. Photo courtesy of Jeannie James organized by the “Picture a room of Virginia City Presover 100 very excit- Virginia City’s Grand Ball continues to delight and entertain, year after year. ervation Alliance in ed and nervous reaction to the sale of the Bovey family have them at the 1876 Grand Ball dances guests who depend on hearing every word properties in Nevada City and Virginia (in Hardin). This all came together quite I say so that they will not look foolish,” nicely when the bands who were (original- City. At the urging of the late Tom SarWald said, describing her role in a recent gent, who was well known in historical ly) playing for the 1876 could no longer email. She added, “However, they cannot re-enactment circles, particularly in make the trip from California.” bring themselves to listen. They are just regard to “vintage dance,” the Jameses In 2009, James and his orchestra helped too excited.” were recruited to organize a group of Wald said she uses a modern sound sys- Dillon celebrate the centennial — which musicians to perform popular period was actually in December 2008 — of the tem, her “Italian heritage and a Butte music of the day. city’s former Union Pacific Railroad upbringing as well as a good and longThis year, the members, besides Sandy depot. standing relationship with Sandy, Jeannie and Jeannie James, include their daughter, Each of these different historical setand the band” to accomplish her tasks. Amy Kadrmas, Katie Thornton, sisters tings required music appropriate for the “Being bossy helps,” she said. time, and definitely nothing later. Sandy, Ingrid and Britta DeGroot, Maggie Magee This is the 15th performance season who thoroughly researches period music and Savanna Stewart, with Isabella for the James ensemble, which has Kadrmas in the role of apprentice. for the group’s performances, is careful played for every Virginia City ball, and to make sure a performance’s program is for the past 14 years in Hardin. Those Preparing music & costumes authentic. He has led the group in pertwo communities have constituted the Preparation for playing the balls formances that have highlighted everybulk of the performance schedule every includes finding the appropriate tunes, thing from Stephen Foster tunes to ragsummer, though there have been other which Sandy does year round, and adapttime for “Titanic balls” — a musical engagements, representing other periods ing them to the particular talents of the genre that is not part of the current of history. performers. offerings. Those appearances include two stints in “A lot of (the music) is learned by ear,” Wald said Sandy’s talent as not only a Missoula, a couple of performances in he said, with practices beginning in May musician but also as a musical historian Ashton, Idaho, one in Malta and a couple or so. “The kids are amazing.” Featured ensures the historical integrity of each in Butte, including last summer’s festive instruments include piano, string bass, celball. observance of the centennial of the Silver lo, flute and, of course, violins — not fid“The songs they play are the very songs Bow County Courthouse. Wald said the dle, Sandy intones. that would be played at a ball of that parJames ensemble began performing for the Jeannie tends to the costuming for the ticular era,” Wald says. “Sandy has Virginia City dances in 1999. It was the performances. For the men, things are fairfollowing year when she first served as the worked really hard at this, and he never ly simple and straightforward: correct hats, stops studying. He knows the history of Virginia City dance mistress that she met coats and trousers change little for the these selections, and when he tells the parthe couple. time period from the mid-1860s through ticipants the history, they take an interest The bonding was nearly instantaneous, the 1870s. Women’s fashions were another in it, as well.” she wrote in her email. matter. Civil War-era hoop skirts give way Sandy, tongue in cheek, puts it another “The first year I met Sandy and worked to bustled dresses for the 1876 ball, and with him, I fell in love with the family and way: “Mostly, we play fiddle music.” the various fancy touches reflect the Since the Virginia City and Hardin their music,” she said. “I knew I had to June 2013 —7

changes in fashion trends of the day. In preparation for this years’ events, Jeannie is making at least three ball gowns herself. Even once the dresses are ready, there is the matter of getting into them, she said. “Getting into those garments is quite a chore,” she said. Wearing hoop skirts poses a challenge, too, especially when it comes to sitting, she added. “She puts in a lot of work,” Sandy said of his wife’s effort. And then there’s the hair. The Jameses

daughter, Amy, helps out there. Still, that part of the preparation can take as long as three hours. “For the men, it’s considerably shorter,” Sandy chirped. Daughter Amy Kadrmas, who has been associated with the group since its founding, says her dad is a real stickler when it comes to maintaining the proper setting for each particular performance and its reflection of history. “He always collects stuff that’s absolutely true to that time period,” she said, mostly in regard to the music performed.

But, she added, the same goes for the costuming, too, as well as the women’s hair arrangements. Persons planning to attend any of the balls may be relieved to know that appropriate ball gowns and other costume items are available. Such items may be procured through Toni James in Virginia City and Kathy Stenerson in Hardin.

Rules, but ...

The actual dance venue can be as simple as a dirt-floored pole barn, as was the case for a few years in Hardin, to a suitably

Folks looking for something a little different when it comes to summer adventure may want to pack their Victorian ball gowns and top hats when they visit Virginia City and Hardin this summer. Well, perhaps that is a bit much to expect, but visitors to these particular communities will have the opportunity to take in Hardin’s 1876 Grand Ball on June 20, the Virginia City Grand Victorian Balls on June 22 or Aug. 17, or all three. All three feature music by Prof. R. Alexander James & His Distinguished Dance Music Ensemble (see main story). This year’s Hardin soiree is the 19th annual 1876 Grand Ball, traditionally held on the Thursday evening of the week commemorating the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The full weekend is Hardin’s Little Bighorn Days celebration, focused on the re-enactment of the famous battle in which Lt. Col George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry suffered complete destruction on June 25, 1876, at the hands of an American Indian contingent led by Sioux Chief Sitting Bull. The ball, held in a large tent set up on Center Street in downtown Hardin, begins with the Grand March at 7:30 p.m. Participants are expected to be in period-appropriate full dress. All tickets — limited in number and priced at $30 — are sold in advance, with none available at the door, so interested persons should inquire as soon as possible. T.J. Wald, dance mistress for all three events, said she can hold purchased tickets at the door. All ages are welcome, and light refreshments are included in the ticket price. For any novices, as well as those who would just like to brush up on their steps before the big event, lessons are offered June 2013 —8 

By Dick Crockford Montana Best Times

Here’s what you need to know to take part
respectively, and also highlight the 150th anniversary of the town’s establishment following the discovery of gold in Alder Gulch. Sponsored by the Virginia City Preservation Alliance and the Montana Office of Tourism, the Grand Ball for Peace of 1864 will be held June 22, with the Grand Ball of Peace 1865 on Aug. 17 to celebrate the ending of the Civil War. Both balls will be held in the Community Center Ballroom in Virginia City. Dance lessons will be held at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on the day of each ball, again with a $5 per person fee. Ballroom doors open at 5:30 p.m. Promenades down the Virginia City boardwalk 6:30 p.m. precede each of the two balls, and spectators are welcome to line the boardwalk on both sides of the street. The Grand March will begin at 7 p.m. in the ballroom, with spectators welcome in the upstairs gallery. Donations are appreciated. A “light repast” will be served at 9:30 p.m. for ball participants, according to the website, http://virginiacitygrandvictorianball. com. Civil War era dress is recommended, since the balls reflect a social activity that took place in Virginia City, Montana Territory in the 1860s. Tickets are $60 for couples, $35 for singles, and $15 for persons 15 and younger. Entrance to the balls is by prepaid ticket only. A ticket reservation form is available on the website, at http://www.virginiacitygrandvictorianball.com/apps/documents. Persons should download and print the reservation form, fill it out and mail it with their check to Grand Ball, c/o VCPA, P.O. Box 55 Virginia City, MT 59755. For more information about the Virginia City balls, persons may contact Karen Shores at (406) 682-4935 or (406) 4310714, or Janet Allestad at (406) 660-1453.

Proper etiquette was a must at Victorian balls if one was to avoid committing grievous social gaffs, and booklets like this one helped guide those intent on putting their best foot forward. at the tent that afternoon, at 1 p.m., for an additional $5 per person. The 1876 Grand Ball website, www.1876grandball.org, notes that while “only period-dressed participants” will be allowed onto the dance floor, observers are welcome to watch from the sidelines for a $5 fee. For more information, persons may contact Wald (cell 406-794-4685, home 406-639-2219). This year’s Virginia City balls commemorate events in 1864 and 1865,

Image courtesy of Jeannie James

grand community hall, as in Virginia City. No matter what the setting, though, when the music begins and the couples glide out onto the dance floor, sashaying to waltzes and high-stepping to Virginia reels, the transformation to olden days is remarkable. Wald described a “grand ball” as an event to which “people have always worn their finest clothing and participated in dances of the era.” She said it was customary for families to teach the dances of the time to their offspring and so on for generations. There were “rules” to follow at a grand ball, and the rules were passed on as well. For example, Wald said, no one danced without knowing the dances; doing so would be socially unacceptable. “And, a lady was never to walk across the floor without a man by her side. And, my favorite … it was a man’s obligation to make a lady look her best, so he knew the dances very well and if ever she made a mistake he would kindly take responsibility for it.” The Jameses say the old-style music and traditional dance has wide appeal, and to more than just the older set. For those who have never tried it, the

good news is that lessons, courtesy of Wald, are available. “The only real rule is period correct clothing,” she said, pointing out that the grand ball dances would not be the same “if there were people on the dance floor in blue jeans and T-shirts.” She added that on the other hand, “We are not strict, because it is just too much for people to remember in just one dance lesson before the big event. I always hold an orientation/dance lesson the day of the event, where I teach approximately six to 10 dances and a Grand March (an actual choreographed march of all participants).” Wald said the participants learn the dances very quickly, “and that evening I call the dances and literally tell their feet what to do two seconds before they are to do it. With the education they had at the lesson and me bossing them around, they have all they need. It works well and I think the participants are amazed at their ability to pull it off. I can tell by the smiles on their faces all night long.” Jeannie says the grand balls attract a significant number of younger folks who get a glimpse of social life from bygone days. “I like the fact that it does bring history to life,” she said.

Sandy calls it a “participation sport.”

A good time

The Virginia City balls incorporate a full lineup of appropriate cultural events, and in Hardin the focus is on the annual reenactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in which Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and nearly all under his direct command in the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry died on June 25, 1876. “Trademark” numbers on the respective dance cards include the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” for the Virginia City balls — performed, Sandy said, in an “appropriately soul-stirring” manner — and “Garryowen,” an Irish tune that served as Custer’s regimental march. All in all, though, for the performers, what really matters is bringing history to life in a light-hearted and somewhat fantastic setting. “The real joy of music is being at the production end of somebody’s good time,” Sandy grinned. Dick Crockford can be reached at publisher@dillontribune.com or (406) 683-2331.

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From Dylan to Aretha Franklin, superstars rocking in retirement 
By Nicole Tiggemann Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Denver
Generations ago, retirement was thought of as a time to take it easy — a time of rocking on porch chairs and reminiscing about the good old days. But that’s not the case with the current generation of retirees. In fact, many older people today continue to rock on. Just look at some of the superstars touring and performing concerts this year who are old enough to collect Social Security retirement payments. They’re still rocking, but not in chairs. Bob Dylan is on tour, as he usually is during summer months. Dylan is 71 years old. But with a recent album and new tour dates, you’d never know he was of retirement age. Neil Young is touring with Crazy Horse to support their new album. The “godfather of grunge” is 67 years young. He’s become the “Old Man” he sang about in his Harvest days. Paul McCartney’s current “Out There” tour may more appropriately be called his “Up There” tour. The former Beatle is now age 70. Willie Nelson is “On the Road Again.” The music icon is 79 years old and seems to be on nonstop tour. Aretha Franklin is 71. Carlos Santana is 65. Carly Simon is 67. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are both 69, as is Joni Mitchell. Leonard Cohen is 78. B.B. King is 87. They’re all still See Rocking, Page 11 June 2013 —9

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Small school, great education
Teacher of one-room school house talks about rewards of her job

Teacher Kathy Currie and her dog, Petey, sit recently outside the Nye School, which was built in 1931.

MT Best Times photos by Jillian Shoemaker

NYE — The one-room schoolhouse tradition is still alive and well in Stillwater County, Montana. Thirty-nine-year teaching veteran, Kathy Currie, 61, is part of a special kind of rural America, where one teacher can still provide an education to rural children. Currie teaches at the Nye School, located in the small community of Nye at the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains, 37 miles southwest of Columbus. 

Jillian Shoemaker Montana Best Times

From Michigan to Nye
June 2013 — 10

Currie has been teaching in Nye for the

past 11 years. She made the move from a 28-year teaching position and hometown in Michigan after her youngest sister moved to Montana. Currie said she would come to visit ... and kept coming back. “I just fell in love with this place,” she said during a recent telephone interview. “I thought maybe when I retired I’d come out for part of the year — but retirement was too far away.” So, she started exploring teaching options out West. She remembered one interview that took her 14 miles off a highway, down a dirt road and fording a river. The next day she interviewed at Nye. “Once I saw this place, I knew this was good,” Currie said.

Currie loved the location, and said that even though it might seem isolated, the roads in Nye are well maintained and it’s always easy to get in and out of town. Currie explained that there are three one-room schoolhouses in the county — the other two are in Fishtail and Molt — but that anymore they really are “one teacher, one class” schools. These are not the antiquated schools of yesteryear. Rather, they are filled with technology and modern amenities. Her classroom has laptops and a SmartBoard as well as an iPad for the students to use. From year to year, Currie has had anywhere between two and nine students, grades kindergarten through eight. There

is no minimum enrollment, due to the schools “isolation status.” The Nye School has no principal, and the only administrative staff is the county superintendent.

Life at the Nye School

If you walk into the Nye School, you might find students grouped around their desks, each working on different levels of

give a presentation to work on their speaking skills, too. To handle the task of educating all the grade levels, Currie said sometimes the first-graders might learn some secondgrade math, and sometimes those secondgraders will get a refresher on their firstgrade principles. Currie admits its “not easy to do” but that everything important gets accomplished.

I feel really blessed to be in this situation.
– Nye School teacher Kathy Currie
math, while on the other side of the room the students are learning music. The school does have a music and physical education teacher that drops in once a week, but otherwise, it’s just Currie and her students. For most people who have never experienced a one-teacher school, there are many questions, and Currie has answers for everything. Students are held to the same state-mandated standards as larger schools, with goals and objectives for each grade level. Currie said she covers just about every subject, from math, language arts, reading and writing to oral language, technology, science and social studies. She said that one-room teachers have to excel at “cross curriculum teaching.” No class stands on its own — every class has an opportunity to teach another subject at the same time. For example, worksheets on social studies might also be geared toward teaching students grammar. During that same exercise, students could stand up in front of their class and Rocking, from Page 9 performing their music. Of course, some of these well-known musicians may not be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. But all of them are of retirement age. So where are their rocking chairs and knitting needles? It’s hard to believe, looking at all of these mature stars, that retirement used to be associated with bridge and shuffleboard. It’s not just musicians. In fact, many people decide to put off applying for retirement benefits. And even after they do begin collecting benefits, many “retirees” prefer to keep working — or at least moving and shaking. Most people know that you can begin collecting early Social Security benefits at age 62, with a reduction in the monthly amount. The full retirement age is gradually going up from 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954, to 67 for people born in 1960 and later. You can delay retirement even further and receive a higher payment when you retire, up until you reach age 70. And another thing that has changed since the past generation: you can continue to work and still receive retirement benefits. Learn more about Social Security retirement benefits by reading our publication on the subject at HYPERLINK “http://www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs” www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. When you’re ready to retire, the best place to apply is from the comfort of your home computer, with some of your favorite music blaring in the background. Begin the process with our Retirement Planner at HYPERLINK “http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retirement” www.socialsecurity.gov/retirement. Crank up the tunes, and start planning before you head out to your next concert. June 2013 Currie juggles all jobs at the school. For example, she’s the only one who answers the phone. To help the students and to make sure she can give everyone the attention they need, Currie tells her students to remember “I’m not your only resource.” She encourages — and teaches — them to use the resources at their disposal, such as the Internet, dictionaries, thesauruses and worksheets, etc. The interview was studded with a happy chirping noise heard in the background — made by Krissy, the cockatiel, which is part of the schoolhouse family. Always up for a challenge, and with clearly a kind heart, Currie explained the Nye School does “quite a bit with critters.” Over the years, the school has been home — and refuge — to two cockatiels, many fish, a chinchilla, a bearded dragon, rabbits, chickens, ducks and Currie’s two cocker spaniels. This year, the students are eagerly awaiting for ducks to hatch from the incubator. The community stands behind Currie Kathy Currie is surrounded by the colors of a happy elementary school. and the Nye School. She said they welcomed her in, and that the community always supports the school’s endeavors. Currie said that as long as someone in the community wants an education, she’s here to provide it. In her spare time, Currie helps out at her friend’s ranch. She said one of her favorite things to do is help “push the cows around” on her 4-wheeler. She likes to take trips into the mountains, and said the 4-wheeler is her horse. Currie speaks fondly of her students, saying they are very independent and bright, and that they know how to “take care of business.” Next year will be her 40th year as a teacher, and she has no plans to retire any time soon. “I’m still enjoying it ...” she said. “I feel really blessed to be in this situation.” Jillian Shoemaker can be reached at editor@stillwatercountynews.com or (406) 322-5212.

— 11

Choosing service over retirement
Fergus County commissioners relish their work for community

Fergus County Commissioners, from left, Ken Ronish, Carl Seilstad and Sandy Youngbauer believe in community service, a principle they each say is behind their urge to run for political office.

MT Best Times photo by Deb Hill 

By Deb Hill Montana Best Times
LEWISTOWN — Six years. That’s the commitment required of anyone who successfully runs for the office of Montana county commissioner in Fergus and most other counties in the state. A lot can happen in six years — grandkids grow up, friends move away, cattle herds are improved or dispersed, gardens are planted and harvested and planted again, spouses retire. But Fergus County Commissioners Ken Ronish, Carl Seilstad and Sandy Youngbauer have each chosen public service over the rest of life. Some might argue that a so-called June 2013 — 12

“cushy” job with good benefits is explanation enough for why anyone age 50-plus might run for office, but that’s not what motivates the Fergus commissioners. They say it is not the easy government job people think it is, and even if it were, the opportunity to be of service is what convinced them each to jump into politics. “I’m the oldest person in the courthouse,” proclaimed Ken Ronish, saying he will start receiving Social Security this year. “I was 55 when I first ran. I had just finished a career with the grain elevator out by Denton. I started working there when I was still in high school, and might be there still, but it closed. I was used to helping people and had thought about run-

ning when I was younger. Running for office seemed like a good way to keep serving the same people.” “For me, it was the chance to give back,” said Carl Seilstad. “I’ve lived here my whole life, and it was time to give back. That was my first campaign slogan because that’s how I really felt about the opportunity — I wanted to do something for the community I grew up with.” “I’ve been in public service all my life,” said Sandy Youngbauer. “First with the military and then with the Postal Service. I reached the point of retirement from the post office and thought it was time to look for something else where I could be of service.”

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something bigger, to make a difference.
– Fergus County Commissioner Carl Seilstad

cated about their county,” Youngbauer pointed out. “Once you get elected, you realize you should have gone to more meetings.”

Age doesn’t matter

Days long but rewards great
In Fergus County, the job of commissioner is considered to be full-time. Each commissioner is elected to serve a district within the county. The work involves many miles on the road, heading back and forth to community meetings, legislative sessions in Helena or meeting with commissioners from other counties. In addition, commissioners are responsible for the county’s human resources, budgets, and oversight of all county departments. The responsibilities are large. The days can be long. The pay, a little over $42,000 a year, is not huge. So why not just join the RSVP program or volunteer as a classroom aide, if one wants to be of service? “If you care about your constituents, the people you live with, you try to find a way to look out for them,” Ronish explained. “That’s why I ran for this job — it seemed like a position where I could do something good for people.” “I was asked to run by people in my district,” added Seilstad. “I did a lot of research before I decided. I went to the newspaper and read articles about the commissioners, I spoke with the Clerk and Recorder at the time to learn the issues. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something bigger, to make a difference.” Serving her first six-year term, Youngbauer said the learning curve for getting things done is steep. “You get elected and suddenly you realize there’s no one there to train you,”

Youngbauer said. “MACo (Montana Association of Counties) offers training for new commissioners that is very good. But even with that, there is so much to learn. There are new laws all the time, and you have to know what you can and can’t do.” “There’s a lot of complexity to everything we do,” agreed Seilstad. “We deal with land development, the budget process, how to get the biggest bang for the buck. People think we have all this extreme power, but we have to stay within the law and answer to the voters. And I’m powerless unless I can get my colleagues to agree to go along with me. It takes a while to learn how to make things happen.” “I like the challenge, though,” Youngbauer added. “When I was in the military, all I had to do was do my job, but now I need to answer to the voters. It’s something new every day — it keeps my mind active.” Ronish pointed out that many, perhaps most, people don’t realize how “tight” county budgets are. Input from the public becomes a crucial part of trying to figure out what will be funded and what will not. “I wish people knew how much we do with the little money we have,” Ronish said. “Public input is huge,” Seilstad said. “None of us want to see taxes raised, so we rely on members of the public to tell us about the impact of each decision we make.” “It’s people’s responsibility to get edu-

Seilstad and Ronish, both veterans of several terms in office, have decided not to run again once their current terms expire. “Three terms is enough,” Seilstad said. “It’s time for me to find something else to do and have someone else come in with new ideas for the commission.” “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Ronish said, “but I have eight grandkids, so I know I’ll be seeing more of them once I am not in office any longer. It’s been a sense of duty that has kept me here this long, but now it’s time for someone else to handle the issues.” Asked whether voters should look for someone younger to replace them, both Ronish and Seilstad said age doesn’t matter as much as commitment to the community. “We need good people to step up to the plate, no matter what age,” Seilstad said. “I’d urge anyone that thinks they might be interested to get involved ahead of time and participate. Come to the meetings and see what is going on. Whether you are 25 or 50, it will be a learning experience. The voters will decide if you are doing a good job or not.” Youngbauer hasn’t committed yet to whether she will run again or look for other ways to give back to her constituents. “If I feel I can be of service still, I’ll run again,” she said. “If not, I’ll find another way to serve. I think it’s in all of us, to help people. That’s why we’re sitting in this office.” Deb Hill can be reached at editor@lewistownnews.com or (406) 535-3401.

News Lite
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Woman spots her stolen car in drive-thru

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KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — A Washington woman whose car was stolen from her apartment complex saw the stolen SUV hours later — in the drive-thru of the McDonald’s restaurant where she works. The Tri-City Herald reports Virginia Maiden called police after seeing her SUV in the drive-thru. Officers arrested the driver, a 22-year-old Kennewick woman, at the restaurant. Police found clothes in the car that had been stolen from department stores. June 2013 — 13

Miles City educator has led a musical life

Terry Annalora rehearses the Treble Choir Feb. 1, 2011, in the Custer County District High School gym before the next day’s concert. The Treble Choir is the high school’s advanced all-girls choir.

Miles City Star file photos by Steve Allison

MILES CITY — During a career that spanned close to four decades, one wouldn’t be surprised if Custer County District High School Assistant Principal Terry Annalora, previously chorale director for many years at CCDHS, would have trouble picking out the highlights. But a few are more memorable than others. Conducting his choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and again at Ground Zero. A trip to Washington, D.C., with the choir performing on the steps of Lincoln Memorial. Many trips to state and regional competitions, where his choir more often June 2013 — 14 

By Don Cogger Montana Best Times

than not performed with distinction. But he and his charges finding themselves booted from the Jefferson Memorial in D.C. in 2007 for attempting an impromptu rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was definitely an experience to remember. “It was called an unlawful gathering, any time you have over like 10 people,” Annalora, 60, said. “I knew we weren’t supposed to, but all the kids were in a group, so I looked around, didn’t see a park ranger there, so I gave the kids the downbeat. They got about as far as, ‘Oh say’ and I feel a tap on my shoulder and there’s the ranger. Of course the poor guy was just enforcing the rules, and I knew

we couldn’t do that. The poor bugger got booed by all the tourists there, but I told them he was right.” Now, after 37 years in the education field, 28 in Miles City, the former leader of a generation of school-age performers is calling it a career. He announced his decision at last month’s meeting of the Miles City Unified Board of Trustees. Annalora hadn’t intended to retire for a couple of more years, but budget shortfalls in the district made the decision to step down a little easier. “The district was looking at downsizing the assistant principal position,” he explained. “At the time, they weren’t sure if there would be no position, half time or

full time. Since I’d only been planning to do this for another year or two, I decided to go ahead and retire.” Annalora, a graduate of Sacred Heart High School Class of ‘71, attended Montana State University-Northern for two years before transferring to MSU-Billings, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in K-12 Broadfield, an arts and humanities course, in 1976. He taught at Malta High School for five years, where he met his wife, Myra. Eventually, Myra decided she wanted to attend Miles Community College’s nursing program, and Annalora found himself back in his hometown, teaching at his alma matter Sacred Heart. The couple later moved to Great Falls, giving Annalora the opportunity to pursue his master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Montana. While studying at UM, Annalora went to Europe as tenor soloist for the Mendelssohn Club Choir. “That trip to Europe was a great experience,” Annalora said. “We got to see a lot of neat sights, from the Alps to Budapest, Hungary, when it was still in the Iron Curtain. After that, I got a call from Casey Stengel, then superintendant in Miles City. He offered me Norma Hartse’s position as choral director at CCDHS, and I’ve been here since 1985. A ton of things have happened in that amount of time.” There were 29 boys and two girls in the program in three choirs when Annalora took over; now there are six different choirs and more than 200 kids in the program. “I’m pretty proud of that,” he said. “It was a big accomplishment. And Mrs. Hartse put together such a great program to

A life of music

Terry Annalora directs the Treble Choir in a 2011 rehearsal. build on, I really admire her.” Annalora passed the torch of the chorale department four years ago to Lindsey Wilkerson when offered the assistant principal position. Now, as he prepares to step down from that post, he hopes his legacy is one of an educator and administrator who always put the needs of students first. “One of the things I hope they don’t write on my tombstone is, ‘He was a great music teacher,’” he said. “I would like folks to just acknowledge that wherever I was, it was a little better than when I left.” CCDHS Principal Jaime Ogolin has worked with Annalora since 1991 when Ogolin began his teaching career at the high school. For the past four years, the two have worked closely together as the lead administrators of Custer County’s only high school. Ogolin said Annalora will be missed.

“I’ve known Terry for 20-plus years,” Ogolin said. “Our relationship has always been strong, and it’s been a great team effort. It’s a challenging position he has, and at times we felt like each other’s only friend. We had a lot of stresses and a lot of laughs together.” Ogolin went on to say every decision Annalora made as a teacher and administrator was always in the best interest of the kids. Calling him perpetually “upbeat and positive,” Ogolin believes Annalora has the energy to continue should he have chosen to. “We worked together closely these last four years, so we understand what each is thinking,” he said. “I will miss the teamwork the most.”

Not resting on his laurels

Though retirement looms, Annalora will not be resting on his laurels. Beginning next year, he has agreed to teach an Elements of Music and Humanities course two days a week at Miles Community College. Should he find an accompanist, it’s his goal to start a choir at the college as well. He’s said he’s delighted to be staying in Miles City, and is grateful to the community that has supported him for so many years. “I would just like to thank Miles City and the school district for all the support,” he said. “I’ve been very, very lucky, and I had a lot of great kids to work with. And they were willing to work. I worked them hard. I hope I was someone who prepared them for life. Dedication, family, hard work, it all pays off in the end. I have no regrets.” Don Cogger can be reached at starnews@midrivers.com or (406) 2340450.

Here are 5 ways to protect yourself when you’re in the hospital 
By AARP/MCT
Each year, more than 180,000 people die in U.S. hospitals from preventable accidents and errors. And while an even larger number of these incidents are not fatal, they can still turn into a nightmare for the patient. So how does one safeguard oneself against becoming a victim? The April/May issue of AARP The Magazine reveals how hospitals fight efforts and how patients can protect themselves with a few simple tips. • CHECK CREDENTIALS: Make sure the hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission, the chief hospital accrediting organization in the U.S. ( www.qualitycheck.org ). • ASK QUESTIONS: “Overwhelming data show that when patients actively participate in their own care, they have better outcomes,” says Dr. Peter J. Pronovost, patient-safety expert at Johns Hopkins. • BRING AN ADVOCATE: Another set of eyes and ears monitoring your care helps. “I slept in a cot by my mother’s side for two days when she was in the hospital,” says Dr. Robert M. Wachter, associate chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. • BE PERSISTENT: Make sure providers follow standard procedures for common practices like inserting IV lines. • SANITIZE SURFACES: Guard against superbugs with alcohol and bleach wipes. June 2013 — 15

Travel

Bucket List Adventure: A ‘brave’ adventure with Disney

Glamis Castle, where the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother called home.

Kathy Witt/MCT 

By Kathy Witt McClatchy-Tribune (MCT)
Ancient castle ruins rock. Mom and Dad may relish family time unplugged from workday electronics, and grandparents admire the beauty of a rolling green landscape given over to rugged coastlines and pristine lochs, Highland ponies and paint-splotched sheep. But the tween and teen set will be captivated by broken castle walls, windswept towers that harbor the perfect hiding place and the remains of a fortress that once shielded the Scottish crown jewels from Oliver Cromwell’s army and their 1649 siege. On Adventures by Disney’s new family vacation to Scotland, an eight-night odyssey from Edinburg to the Scottish Highlands to the Isle of Lewis inspired by Disney Pixar’s 2012 Academy Awardwinning animated feature film, “Brave,” kids will ooh and ah over lots of castle ruins. And all will follow in the footprints of Merida, the headstrong teen a millennium ahead of her time, to experience the magic of her homeland — and perhaps even change their fate. In this mystical, bonny land of bagpipes, burns and bens (the latter two the Scottish words for streams and mountains), multi-generational clans will find an adventure in storytelling come-to-life, a tour de force that casts a spell as intricate as the heirloom tapestry Merida and her mum, Queen Elinor, weave in the movie. Practice your archery skills at Glamis Castle where the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother grew up. Ride ponies through June 2013 — 16

the ancient Caledonian Forest at Rothiemurchus Estate where you’ll see the same trees Merida and her pony, Angus, gallop past. Play hide-and-seek with new friends at Dunnottar Castle — clifftop castle ruins that inspired Merida’s family fortress in the movie. On the Isle of Lewis, cross into the circle of the Callanish Standing Stones, just as Merida does on her own journey. Magical and mysterious, the stone monument marks what is considered the most famous prehistoric site in Scotland. This being Scotland, a visit to the Loch Ness Exhibition Center is a must. Six galleries uncover the hoaxes, eyewitness accounts and illusions related to sightings of Nessie. The center, with its first-rate exhibits, interactive floor and underwater wave laser animation is a Scottish Tourism Board five-star attraction. This being Disney, the visit wouldn’t be complete without a canoe or boat excursion across Loch Ness, the deep freshwater lake where the elusive cryptid purportedly dwells. The scenery on this voyage is breathtaking, with sweeping views of forested shoreline, hills and glens dotted with sheep and mop-top Highland cattle, and the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

A Scottish adventure comes to life

The ‘power of the mouse’

It is no secret that the name Disney opens magical kingdoms all over — and this is no less true in Scotland. Behind-the-scenes tours of castles. Exclusive access to places no other tours visit _ like Dovecot Studios, a century-old specialist tapestry studio that has never before opened its doors to the public and where you can add See Bucket List, Page 17

B.J. Thomas, from Page 2 So the movie’s first ad campaign began _ trying to get Redford to acquiesce. Officials from Twentieth Century-Fox, the movie’s production company, worked on Redford. So did Paul Newman. And Bacharach and David. Finally, Redford relented and the rest is history. In hindsight, Redford admitted as much during an interview with reporters at the Sundance London film festival in 2012. According to the Daily Mail in London, Redford revealed, “A film that I was in, ‘Butch Cassidy,’ the music played a huge role. I didn’t see it at the time because I thought it was stupid. Suddenly there was a scene where the guy was singing ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’ and it wasn’t even raining. Well, how wrong was I?” As it turned out, Newman rode his bicycle during the famous scene as Thomas sang what later became an international hit. The movie and song were forever melded into a symbiotic relationship that would have suffered without either component. That was fate on Thomas’ side _ Phase II. Six weeks later, a healthier Thomas rerecorded the song with Bacharach and David in New York for single-sales release to the public and radio-station usage. He was on top of the world before he almost

lost everything during a sordid era we will explore later. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” has become synonymous with the name B.J. Thomas. Those six words vaulted him into the national consciousness. “I was in the right place at the right time,” he said. “And they made him (Redford) see the light. It was one of those perfect fits _ the music, the song, the composition, the movie, the scene.”

A fit for everyone involved. Call it an eclectic convergence. Newman’s extraordinary bicycle scene became a signature moment in the iconic movie, Thomas reaped the benefits of a No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, Bacharach and David won an Academy Award for “Best Original Song” and the movie itself garnered three more Oscars as well as more than $102 million in revenues from a $6 million production budget. Now, we’re into the next century. We will call this one Phase III. Billy Joe Thomas turns 71 on Aug. 7. He uses the “Billy Joe Thomas” name for signing official documents; otherwise call him B.J. And when he writes it, he drops the periods. Thomas lives in Arlington, Texas, with his wife Gloria. Their three daughters are adults now; he has four grandchildren. Thomas attends Rangers and Cowboys games. “I have sung the national anthem for them, too,” he beams. But retirement? No way, Thomas says. He’s been doing this gig since singing in the church choir as a teenager in the Houston area. His newest CD release is called “The Living Room Sessions.” It features duets of Thomas’ most popular songs with Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett and Sara Niemietz, among others, with an acoustic touch. “I do love what I do,” Thomas says. “I love to record.” And tour.

Bucket List, from Page 16 some wee stitches to a tapestry depicting the characters from “Brave.” Specially arranged meals accommodating everyone’s food issues and accompanied by kilted musicians. Another special Disney touch is the kids fun night, but the big kids are entertained, too. While junior adventurers join in a pintsize version of Highland games (Tug-of-War, a Wellie Boot Toss), the adults partake of grown-up fun, like a tutored tasting of what the Scots revere as the “water of life” _ Scotch whiskey. Tending to everything and everybody and dispensing local lore, jokes and room keys along the way are the Disney Adventure Guides. Equal parts tour director and storyteller, the highly trained Adventure Guides meet you on arrival, travel with you throughout, hand out lots of snacks on the motor coach (including the iconic and delicious Scottish tea cake, a marshmallow puff on a biscuit and covered in milk chocolate) and make each person feel like a VIP _ children and adults alike.

Premium price — and adventure

Lots of TLC has gone into the planning and execution of Scotland: A Brave Adventure and it carries a premium price tag. Families are cosseted in the comfort and elegance of four and five star accommodations, like the tony Kingsclub Hotel & Spa in Inverness

and the exquisite Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. Meals are more akin to events: picnic lunches on castle grounds or in an ancient woodland forest, hotel dinners overlooking cityscapes and at charming eateries favored by locals and set amidst picturesque surroundings. The trip is worth every (British) pound and the fun begins even before you leave home, with the arrival of a Disney kit containing travel documents and backpacks for each adventurer. Every detail of the itinerary is attended to with an impeccable thoroughness and aplomb _ from meeting you at the airport to whisking your luggage to your room to entertaining and genuinely caring for your kids. And it concludes on a high note _ with a twilight visit to Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city on Castle Rock, a mountain that formed after a volcano erupted more than 340 million years ago. Adventurers arrive as the day’s visitors are departing, storming the castle amidst the fanfare of bagpipe music and setting sun, for an exclusive peek at the Scottish crown jewels _ the very ones rescued some 364 years ago at Dunnottar Castle _ and a farewell feast befitting the royal setting. There are lots of surprises along the way, including a visit by a certain riddle-spinning crone _ the very one that confounded Merida. By trip’s end, everyone is blinged out with a lanyard bejeweled with the much-coveted Disney pins, from Mickey Mouse welcoming guests with a Scottish “Failte!” to Merida closing with a Gaelic blessing, “Turas math dhut!” (good voyage). June 2013

— 17

Thomas figures he makes between 60 and 70 shows a year. He still sprinkles a few gospel numbers among the pop and country tunes. “I followed Mahalia Jackson,” he says. “It was very moving music. Ray Charles had a kind of gospel base, too.” But The Man was Elvis — Thomas’ idol, right down to Presley’s 1970s hairstyle. “I liked the mutton-chop sideburns, too,” he says. Many of his concert appearances nationally tend to be in southern states and America’s heartland — Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas — his home base. Internationally, Thomas loves South America. “When I go to Brazil and Argentina, I hear a lot of ‘60s and ‘70s music,” he says. “It’s played in Spanish, Portuguese and English down there. Some people down there may not speak English, but they can sing your song in English. A lot of them have a feel for it.” Arlington is just small enough to provide a comfortable living and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is just big enough for quick trips to Argentina. After “Raindrops,” Thomas appeared at the 1970 Academy Awards to sing his movie hit. On stage that night, he was surrounded by dancers and bicycle riders as Hollywood re-created the artistic Paul Newman scene. But that signature song wasn’t Thomas’ only claim to fame. Earlier in 1969, his

“Hooked on a Feeling” was a chart topper. Then, after “Raindrops,” his career zoomed with “I Just Can’t Help Believing” in 1970, “Rock and Roll Lullaby” in 1971, “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” in 1975 and “Don’t Worry Baby” in 1977. From 1969 to 1977, Thomas was one of the hottest pop singers in the land. He had made millions, but he later squandered much of it because of drugs, alcohol and financial mismanagement. Imagine if Redford would have gotten his way with “Raindrops” in 1969. Well, suddenly, the actor’s recalcitrance didn’t seem so important in Thomas’ life anymore. “A lot of people probably weren’t saving their money back in those days,” Thomas says. “A lot of entertainers back then weren’t watching their money. It was a cultural and societal thing. And I was never money crazy anyway.” With that, welcome to Phase IV (The Abyss Revisited). “I had some problems with alcohol and drugs,” Thomas said. “We didn’t have the information about addiction back then, like you do now. At 15, I started using alcohol. I was around alcoholism. I had some family members who had issues with alcoholism. My father had problems with alcoholism. When you abuse, you kind of pass it on to your children. I’m glad I got through it. “I did the whole nine yards.” Nine yards would be cocaine, marijuana,

speed, amphetamines and barbiturates. But he didn’t do needles, he says, because his father had forewarned him as a scrappy youngster — “no intravenous drugs.” Some weeks he spent a few thousand dollars on cocaine. Then, Thomas and his wife decided to take a break from the music business. He said a 12-step program helped immensely. “We left Connecticut and moved to Texas, got away from the music business to concentrate on my addiction,” Thomas said. “I only did some one-nighters (shows). It took me a few years to get a handle on it. I am alcohol-free now, I’m drug-free. I haven’t had a drink since I was 33 years old. Same thing with the drugs.” In the early 1980s, Thomas re-established his music career in full force in a different genre. His recording “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love” reached the No. 1 spot on the country music charts as did “New Looks From an Old Lover” in 1983. And remember the hit television show “Growing Pains,” which aired from 1985 to 1992? Guess who sang the theme song? Thomas on vocals for “As Long As We Got Each Other,” along with Dusty Springfield. But he cites another blessing, one more sentimental in spirit and eternal in longevity. A blessing we will close with for Phase V. “If I never had ‘Raindrops,’” Thomas says, “I still had a great life. I’ve had a great marriage, great children. I’ve been fortunate.”

RSVP
Gallatin County

Below is a list of volunteer openings available through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in communities across southern Montana. To learn more about RSVP, call (800) 424-8867 or TTY (800) 833-3722; or log on to www. seniorcorps.org. - Bozeman and Belgrade Sacks Thrift Stores: Need volunteers to sort and price items, Monday–Saturday 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. - Bozeman Children’s Museum: Welcome desk volunteer(s) needed for 2 hour shifts Monday – Saturdays. - Bozeman Deaconess Hospital: Variety of opportunities to volunteer. - Bozeman Lodge: Volunteers are needed to help with Wii-Bowling on Mondays, 3 p.m.; Bingo on Saturdays 1:30 p.m.; and once a month on Saturdays, 3 p.m., for birthday parties. - Bozeman Senior Center Foot Clinic: Retired or nearly retired nurses are urgently needed, 2 days a month, either 4 or 8 hour shifts. - Child Care Connections:  Front desk help needed Thursdays from Noon – 1 p.m.  Volunteer will greet clients, answer phones, and general reception duties. - The Emerson Cultural Center: Volunteers needed for front office greeter/reception, Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. - Gallatin Valley Food Bank: Deliver commodities to seniors in their homes once a month. - HRDC Youth Development wants to help: Seniors in need of yard work including raking, trimming bushes, etc.  - Habitat for Humanity Restore Belgrade: Volunteers needed for general help, sorting donations and assisting customers. - Headwaters Heritage Museum:  Volunteers are needed June through Sept. for 2 and 4 hour shifts.  - Heart of The Valley: Volunteers especially needed to love and play with and cuddle cats, do carpentry work, be an animal bank collector (asking local businesses to display an animal bank for donation collection) or birthday party leader. - Help Center Telecare: Volunteers needed

- American Cancer Society Road to Recovery Program: Needs volunteer drivers to escort cancer patients to treatments. - American Prairie Reserve: Office Assistant (10-15 hours per week) needed to help maintain office filing and storage systems, organize office supplies, process and distribute mail and run errands to post office. - American Red Cross: Blood drive ambassador needed to welcome, greet, thank and provide overview for blood donors. Phone team volunteers needed to remind, recruit or thank blood donors, excellent customer service skills needed, training will be provided, flexible schedule. - Befrienders: Befriend a senior; visit on a regular weekly basis. - Big Brothers Big Sisters: Be a positive role model for only a few hours each week. June 2013 — 18

RSVP, from Page 18 3-4 mornings a week 8:30–11 a.m. to make calls to homebound seniors, providing reassurance, check on safety and wellbeing, and access up-to-date referral information to vulnerable individuals. - Museum of the Rockies: Variety of opportunities available. - RSVP Handcrafters: Volunteers to quilt, knit, crochet and embroider hats for chemo patients, baby blankets and other handmade goods once a week (can work from home); accepting yarn donations. - Senior Nutrition Volunteers: Volunteers needed to help seniors with grocery shopping, meal and menu planning, and companionship, 2 hours a week, days and times are flexible; deliver commodities to seniors in their homes once a month. - Sweet Pea Festival:  Looking for volunteers to help with office retail sales (July 9 – 26) for 2 or 3 hours shifts Tuesdays – Fridays.  - Thrive Child Advancement Project (CAP): Seeking mentors to students in grades K-12, one hour commitment a week, training and support provided. - VA Montana Healthcare System: Volunteer DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Help needed to coordinate driver schedules to transport eligible veterans to and from the VA for medical appointments. - Your unique skills and interests are needed, without making a long-term commitment, in a variety of ongoing, special, one-time, one-shift events. Contact: Deb Downs, RSVP Program Coordinator, 807 N. Tracy, Bozeman, MT 59715; phone (406) 587-5444; fax (406) 582-8499; email: debdowns@rsvpmt.org.

double clutch. - The Yellowstone Gateway and the Depot Museums: Greeters needed for the summer. Will train and work with your schedule. - Various agencies are in need of your unique skills and interests in a variety of ongoing and one-time special events, including mailings throughout the summer. Contact: Shannon Burke, RSVP Program Coordinator, 208 So. Main St., Livingston, MT 59047; phone (406) 222-2281; email: livingston@rsvpmt.org.

tions open for on-call, ongoing events. Contact: RSVP Volunteer Coordinator Cheryll Tuss, 404 W. Broadway, Wells Fargo Bank building, (upstairs), Lewistown, MT 59457; phone (406) 535-0077; email: rsvplew@ midrivers.com.

Musselshell, Golden Valley & Petroleum counties

Fergus & Judith Basin counties

Park County

- Community Learning Partners: - Volunteers to tutor adults and help prep for their GED. Will train you and work with your schedule. - Handcrafters meets every Thursday at the Senior Center and has a variety of interests and projects to work with a great group. Bring your ideas and skills to share. - The Senior Center Kitchen: Needs summer help so some of the long term volunteers can take a break. Great company and free lunch. - The Senior Center Main Street Thrift Store and Community Closet: Volunteers needed to fill a variety of positions. Choose your own hours. - The Shane Center: Volunteers needed Mondays and Fridays, 9-11 a.m. to answer phones, show visitors around and assist staff. - The Yellow Bus: Needs drivers Friday and Saturday afternoons. Must be able to

- Boys and Girls Club: Volunteers needed to assist staff with elementary children Monday-Friday on field trips and for food preparation in the kitchen. - Central Montana Museum: 25 volunteers who can help in 3 hour shifts. The museum is open 7 days a week, 9 a.m.4:00 p.m., Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day.  - Central Montana Senior Citizens Club: Volunteers to plan, organize, clean, repair and set up for events; help with Saturday senior dances, pinochle on Tuesday and Friday p.m. - CMMC Auxiliary: Volunteer at the help desk or in the gift shop, assist with blood drives and fund raising events to help fund the ER remodel, knit and crochet items, bake cookies. - Community Cupboard: Assist clients with selection of items, record keeping, unload delivery truck. -Council on Aging-Grubstakes: Regular volunteers and substitutes needed for home delivered meals, kitchen, hostess, foot clinic. - Friends of the Library: Volunteers to sort book donations, and prepare for and work the monthly sale. - Heart of Montana Animal Shelter: Volunteers needed to help in the secondhand store. - Lewistown Art Center: Volunteers to help set up monthly shows, assist with special events, or work in the gift shop. - Lewistown Library: Volunteer to read to groups or individuals, dust and clean, take care of videos, copying and scanning. Assist with nursing home outreach monthly. - Treasure Depot Thrift Store: Volunteers to cashier and sort donations, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. - RSVP: Needs volunteers to help with the implementation of a new program: My Neighbor In Need in Lewistown, also need volunteers to occasionally transport large items such as furniture, appliances, etc. - RSVP has a variety of volunteer posi-

- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT): Learn skills to protect yourself, your family and community during a disaster/emergency. Will train in vital emergency skills. - Food Bank: Distribute food commodities to seniors and others in need in the community. - Golden Thimble Thrift Store: Volunteer to organize and sell quality used goods. - Meals on Wheels Program: Deliver meals to the housebound in the community, just one day a week, an hour and a half, meal provided. - Musselshell Valley Historical Museum: Greet and guide visitors through the newly renovated museum in Roundup. - Senior Center: Volunteers are needed to provide meals, clean up in the dining room and/or keep records, meal provided. - Senior Transportation: Volunteer needed to drive Senior Van to meals, fundraisers and appointments, one day a week or month, no special license needed, meal provided. - RSVP offers maximum flexibility and choice to its volunteers as it matches the personal interests and skills of older Americans with opportunities to serve their communities. You choose how and where to serve. - Volunteering is an opportunity to learn new skills, make friends and connect with your community. Contact: Abbie Nichols, Volunteer Coordinator, South Central MT RSVP, 315 1/2 Main St., Ste. #1, Roundup, MT 59072; phone (406) 323-1403; fax (406) 3234403; email: rdprsvp2@midrivers.com; facebook: South Central MT RSVP.

Custer & Rosebud counties

- COPS (Citizens Offering Police Support): Members are needed - applications can be picked up at the RSVP Office. - Custer County Art and Heritage Center: Volunteer receptionists needed, includes some clerical work, varied shifts, and days; also needed someone to take minutes at meetings. - Custer Network Against Domestic Violence: Volunteer needed with the crisis line. - Forsyth Senior Center: Volunteer See RSVP, Page 20 June 2013 — 19

On The Menu
When June arrives in Montana, it’s barbecue time. Friends and neighbors get together to enjoy the warm air and a meal that is eaten outdoors. Burgers and hot dogs are the usual fare. But you can make a barbecue a memorable meal by serving stuffed burgers. Regular burgers tend to be a bit on the dry side at times. But a stuffed burger has moist ingredients that help it avoid having the texture of a hockey puck. The cook must be diligent when it comes to sealing the edges where the bottom and top patties meet. Gaping holes will allow some of the cheese to seep out.

With Jim Durfey
The burgers will have less flavor and the grill will be messier. You’re sure to find a stuffed burger among the recipes below that will please your palate and make your guests think you are the master when it comes to cooking over briquettes. One note of caution: The Havarti Stuffed Pesto Burgers are better suited to adult diners. Many kids are compelled to slather burgers with lots of catsup or mustard. The great flavor of these burgers would be masked if they were assaulted with those condiments. 8 large slices Havarti cheese Salt and pepper to taste 1 c. mayonnaise Lettuce, tomato slices and/or avocado slices Mix 10 ounces pesto and ground beef until well incorporated. Add eggs and mix well. Add salt and pepper. Divide burger mix into 16 patties. Add one heaping tablespoon pesto on top of eight patties. Place folded slice of Havarti on top of pesto on patties. Finish by adding unadorned patty on top. Carefully press sides together. Grill on low to medium heat. Combine mayonnaise and remaining pesto. Garnish cooked burgers with pesto mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato slices and/or avocado slices. Note: catsup and mustard should not be added to these burgers. It would be sacrilegious.

Stuff them with stuffed burgers

Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burgers
1 1/4 lb. ground venison or ground sirloin, (at least 80 % lean) Salt and pepper to taste 4 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed 4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled Make eight patties. Evenly distribute bacon and cheddar on the indented halves of four patties. Top top each with another patty and press edges together to form seal. Cook on hot grill for three to five minutes per side depending on desired doneness.

1 1/4 lb. ground venison or ground sirloin, (at least 80 % lean) 1 1/2 tbsp. hot sauce 6 oz. mixed wild mushrooms (or store bought mushrooms), sauteed and drained 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled Mix hot sauce and ground meat thoroughly. Form into eight patties. Distribute mushrooms and blue cheese evenly on top of the bottom four patties. Top each with another patty and press edges together to form seal. Cook on hot grill for three to five minutes per side.

Blue Cheese and Mushroom Stuffed Burgers
RSVP, from Page 19

Havarti Stuffed Pesto Burgers
4 lbs. ground venison or low fat ground beef 2 - 10 oz. jars basil pesto 2 eggs

musicians needed to provide entertainment. - The Historic Miles City Academy: Volunteers needed for Thrift Store, maintenance, and cleaning. - Holy Rosary Gift Shop: Volunteer cashier needed. - Holy Rosary Health Care: Volunteers needed for front desk. - Holy Rosary Hospice: Volunteers needed to help with hospice patients. - Miles City Soup Kitchen: Volunteers needed for receptionist, servers, and cook’s assistant, shifts never more than 3 hours, work one day a month or more. - RSVP Adopt-A-Spot: Volunteers needed to help clean up the cemetery road on June 29th. Meet at the Friendship Villa Parking lot at 10 a.m. - Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is an opportunity for volunteers June 2013 — 20

to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their Medicare and other insurance paperwork. - Spirit Riders: Members needed for funeral escort. - VA Community Living Center: Volunteers needed to assist with activities for veterans. If you are interested in these or other volunteer opportunities please contact: Betty Vail, RSVP Director; 210 Winchester Ave. #225, MT 59301; phone (406) 234-0505; email: rsvp05@midrivers.com

Dawson County

- If you have a need for or a special interest or desire to volunteer somewhere in the community, please contact: Patty Atwell, RSVP Director, P.O. Box 1324, Glendive, MT 59330; phone (406) 377-4716; email: rsvp@midrivers.com.

June 2013 Calendar 
— Monday, June 3
• Western Art Roundup and Quick Draw, through June 16, Riverside Park, 

— Sunday, June 9 • Festival of Cultures, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Rocky Mountain College Campus, Billings — Wednesday, June 12
• Matthew Quigley Buffalo Rifle Match,

Spotted Eagle Recreation Area, Miles City • Beartooth Run, 8:30 a.m., 5K and 10 K, Red Lodge

Miles City
• Montana Watercolor Society Members Show, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11-5, through 

— Sunday, June 23
• Pioneer Day and Open House, 10

June 21, Lewistown Art Center, Lewistown 

— Tuesday, June 4

through June 16, AG Lee Ranch, Forsyth — Friday, June 14
• Annual NRA Rodeo, through June 15,

a.m.-4 p.m., Range Riders Museum, Miles City 

— Thursday, June 27
• Music on Main Street, 6:30-8:30 p.m.,

• Bogert Farmers Market, Tuesdays

Jim Duffy Arena, Gardiner
• Ranch Rodeo Calcutta, 7 p.m., Bison

through Sept. 24, Bozeman • State High School Rodeo Finals, through June 9, Gallatin County Fairgrounds, Bozeman

Bar, Miles City 

— Saturday, June 15

Thursdays through Aug. 15, Bozeman • Headwaters Country Jam, through June 29, the Bridge, Three Forks 

— Wednesday, June 5

• Big Timber Farmers Market, Saturdays 

— Friday, June 28
• Big Timber Rodeo, through June 29,

• Livingston Farmers Market, Wednesday

evenings through Sept. 25, Miles Park, Livingston 

— Thursday, June 6

• Makoshika Youth Program, held Thurs-

days through July 25, Glendive • Dinner Theatre: Whose Line is it Anyway, through June 8, 7-9 p.m., Roundup Central School, Roundup • Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park: Campground Programs, Thursday and Friday evenings through Sept. 2, Whitehall

through Sept. 13, Lions Club City Park, Big Timber • Livingston Dance Club, country western dancing, 7-11 p.m., American Legion, 112 N. B St., Livingston • Ranch Rodeo and Bronc Riding, 1 p.m., Eastern Montana Fairgrounds, Miles City • Mosquito Run and Bug Walk and Festival, street dance, seed-spitting, wing-eating, Miles City • Wilsall Rodeo, through June 15, Wilsall • Wilsall Local Montana Products and Services Show, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Wilsall Dance Hall, Wilsall

Big Timber
• Mount Helena Music Festival and Art Mart, through June 29, Helena • Snowy Mountains Muzzleloaders Rendezvous, through June 30, Lewistown • Livingston Art Walk, 5:30-8:30 p.m.,

downtown Livingston 

— Saturday, June 29
• Sweet Grass Fest, Big Timber • Bluegrass Festival, Starting at noon,

Pine Creek United Methodist Church, 2470 E, River Rd., Livingston 

— Friday, June 7

• Big Timber Gun Show, through June 9,

Big Timber Civic Center. • Wing Across the Big Sky Bird Festival, Lewistown • Livingston Wheels: Rockin’ and Wheelin’ Car Show, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Best Western Yellowstone Inn, Livingston • Smith Sales Auto Swap Meet, through June 8, Miles City 

— Wednesday, June 19 • Little Big Horn Days,( Fort Custer and Plains Indian Exhibit; Train-O-Rama; Quilt Show; Historic Book Fair; Arts and Crafts Fair; Indian Club Dancers; Old West Youth Parade; 5K Walk/Run; Family Fun Night; and free Confederate Railroad Concert) through June 23, Hardin — Thursday, June 20 • 1876 Grand Ball, 7:30 p.m., Center Avenue, Hardin — Friday, June 21
• Custer’s Last Stand Re-enactment, 

— Sunday, June 30
• St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival,

4 p.m., Sundays through Aug. 25, Anaconda • Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale: Symphony in the Park, Pioneer Park, Billings • Trout Unlimited Annual “Burgers, Beer & Bluegrass” fundraiser, 5-9 p.m., Miles Park, Livingston 

— Saturday, June 8 • Buzzard Day, Makoshika State Park, Glendive • The Lewistown Art Stomp, second Saturday of each month, June through Aug., from 2-5 p.m., Main Street, Lewistown • 2013 Electronics Waste Recycling Fair, Hazardous Waste program 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Park County Fairgrounds, Livingston • Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-noon, Saturdays through Oct. 26, Riverside Park, Miles City 

— Monday, July 1
• Livingston Roundup Rodeo, through

through June 23, 2-3 p.m., Hardin
• “Food for All 2013” Fundraiser “Party in Paradise” for Food Pantry, Miles

July 4, Park County Fairgrounds, Livingston 

— Tuesday, July 2
• Depot Festival of the Arts, through July 

— Saturday, June 22 • June Jubilee, downtown Dillon

Park Band Shell,6 p.m., Livingston

4, Rotary Park, Livingston
• Livingston Roundup Parade, 3 p.m.,

• 100th Fishtail Family Fun Day, Fishtail • Erin’s Hope Project “Kids Bow Shoot,”

downtown Livingston • Home of the Champions Rodeo and Parade, through July 4, Red Lodge
June 2013 — 21

Send STRANGE questions to brothers Bill and Rich at strangetrue@cs.com

By Bill Sones and Rich Sones, Ph.D.

Could you remember 6,000 hiding places?
Q. Who’s the “hippocampus hero” of the bird world, displaying its prodigious long-term memory? A. A Clark’s Nutcracker that “during winter and early spring can locate up to 6000 caches of pine seeds it had buried earlier,” answers psychologist David G. Myers. Among all animals, this member of the crow family is contender for champion memorist. According to Scott Haber of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “Not only do the lives of Clark’s Nutcrackers revolve around their pine seed diet, but the pines themselves have been shaped by their relationship with the nutcrackers.” In fact, the seeds the birds don’t retrieve play a crucial role in growing new pine forests. Q. If your descendants thousands of years from now happen to discover some of your writing, will they be able to read the text? “Numbers, question words, and other simple nouns have similar staying power.” So if your descendants do speak a form of English and happen to read your writing from today, they may find some meaning in simple sentences like “What is your name?” or “I drink water.” “There’s a slim chance they might even comprehend ‘Hello from the year 2013.’” Q. You know of people who “talk with their hands,” but what might an elephant talk with? A. Amazingly, as reported by his zookeepers at South Korea’s Everland Zoo, Asian elephant “Koshik” has learned to mimic five words in Korean by sticking his trunk into his mouth and creating humanlike tones, says Susan Milius in “Science News” magazine. These sounds are said to remind Korean speakers of actual words: “annyong” meaning “hello,” “aniya” meaning “no,” “nuo” for “lie down,” “anja” for “sit down,” and the vowel sounds in “choah” for “good.” Intrigued by these reports, University of Vienna bioacoustician Angela Stoeger visited Koshik and watched as he would “curl his trunk from the right side and put the tip into his mouth before sounding off. While it’s impossible to see what his trunk tip does, the resulting sounds approximate the pitch of tones in human speech.” It’s still unclear, though, whether Koshik uses the words with a good sense of their meaning (“Current Biology”). Being a lone elephant at the zoo for seven years, Koshik may well be starved for interaction with his caretakers, prompting the mimicking. As Vincent Janik of the University of St. Andrew’s put it, “Copying is a very effective way of addressing someone. If I copy everything you say after you say it, you will turn toward me and pay attention no matter what the actual content of your or my utterances are.” Adds Milius: Other such possible mimic talkers are “an orphan harbor seal named Hoover, hand-raised in a bathtub before moving to Boston’s aquarium; and a white whale called NOC, whose occasional speech-like sounds confused a human diver in the whale’s tank.” Q. Going by artistic renderings of the event, how much was eaten at “The Last Supper”?

A. Many of the words will likely be incomprehensible, even if the people call themselves “speakers of English,” says David Robson in “New Scientist” magazine. After all, we struggle to read texts such as “Beowulf” from just 1,000 years ago. Certainly English is in constant flux, as “The Oxford English Dictionary” adds 2,000-2,500 words every year, according to one of its editors. Moreover, many grammatical rules are shifting; for example, irregular verbs that are not used frequently are more likely to become regular verbs, changing their past tenses. According to Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel of Harvard University, there is a 50 percent chance that “slunk” will become “slinked” within 300 years. “To be” or “to have,” used in about 1 in 10 sentences, have “half-lives” of nearly 40,000 years (the journal “Nature”). The more common words are, the longer they tend to linger. Short and easy words that represent important concepts are tough to dislodge, as the word “nama” from “Beowulf” clearly lingers now as “name,” adds Robson. June 2013 — 22

A. That depends on what years you’re talking about, say Daniel L. Schacter et al. in “Psychology: Second Edition.” When researchers Brian and Craig Wansink analyzed 52 paintings of “The Last Supper” done between 1000 and 1800, they noted most of them show bread, fish and wine on the table, with portions tarting out at roughly size 3 out of 10 (with 10 representing a very large portion) and staying that way for some 400 years. But by about 1500, they had grown to 4 out of 10, then all the way up to 7 out of 10 by 1800, and extrapolated to close to 9 out of 10 by today! Interestingly, “the main dish increased 69 percent in the paintings, the size of the plate increased 66 percent and the bread 23 percent over the time period studied” (from psychologist Susan Albers in “Comfort Cravings”). As the Wansinks said, the centuries-old tendency of portion sizes to get bigger and bigger reflects “the gradual shift from food insecurity to food abundance” and may help explain why obesity rates keep rising. Q. The stuff is made up of eight parts carbon, ten parts hydrogen, four parts nitrogen and two parts oxygen. So when was the last time you indulged?

A. You may be doing so right now, if you have a cup of coffee or tea or a cola or energy drink in your hand, since the chemical formula above is for caffeine, says Murray Carpenter in “Wired” magazine. Statistically, “Americans plow through 15 million pounds of powdered caffeine annually — enough to fill a freight train two miles long, all 270 cars loaded to the brim.” And now for a few caffeinated highlights of our 5,000-year addiction:

2700 B.C.: Chinese emperor Shen Nung reportedly discovered tea when leaves blew into his cup of hot water Circa 1000: Coffee, previously eaten as beans, is first dissolved in water 1300s: Coffee roasting is discovered 1734: J.S. Bach composes the “Coffee Cantata” 1886 and 1898: Coca-Cola and PepsiCola are introduced 1930: Nescafe instant coffee comes on board 1993: Starbucks goes public 2003: Stay Alert gum is introduced 2011: Sheets, melt-on-the-tongue caffeine strips, are marketed. Concludes Carpenter: “We have become creatures that turn caffeine into motion, and

Q. It was 1941 when New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio went on his record-setting 56-game hitting streak. One obvious result of such batting tears is that the team can win more games. What surprising effect on the teammates had long gone unnoticed until statisticians pointed it out? A. “Like a popular politician with long coattails, a baseball player on a hitting streak seems to lift the performance of those around him,” says Nathan Seppa of “Science News” magazine. Mathematical analysis by Joel Bock and colleagues of the California software engineering firm Scalaton has shown that batting streaks where a play-

the corner store is our filling station.”

er gets at least one hit in 30 or more consecutive games also raise the batting averages of the streaker’s teammates by 11 points on average, as reported in “PLOS ONE.” There have been 28 such streaks since 1945. Many factors might explain such “contagious” hitting, says economist Jeremy Arkes of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Perhaps pitchers are forced to go around the guy who is hot, giving better balls to the rest of the line-up. Plus, by getting on base a lot, the streaker might be distracting to the pitcher, increasing the likelihood of his making mistakes. “And some of the effect might result just from having a hot hitter in the clubhouse. There is extra excitement and extra purpose to playing.”

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Crossword

Across

1 Faraday’s field: Abbr. 5 Paris is in it 10 __ champêtre: garden party 14 Love letters? 15 Exploits 17 Bali specification 18 It’s more acceptable when it’s self-mocking 19 Danish director von Trier 20 NBC’s usual “Must See TV” night 21 Flight segment 22 Clerical garment 23 Way to spread the green? 26 Impatient cry 31 Green 32 Shade tree 33 About, legally 35 Single __: tournament type 36 Kinky dos 38 LaBeouf of “Holes” 39 Mollycoddle, with “on”

40 Code word 41 United nations, perhaps 42 Order in an oater 46 Bleep, say 47 Stew staple 48 5-Across poet 52 “… by good __, yonder’s my lord”: “Timon of Athens” 53 Isn’t serious 54 Started to shoot 57 Crowning 58 Conversation barrier 59 Hana Airport’s island 60 Federal inspection org. 61 Invite for 62 Old, in Oldenburg

American film actor with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star 9 See 49-Down 10 Vanua Levu’s archipelago 11 Slaughter with a bat 12 Vegas tip 13 Cabinet dept. with an Office of Science 16 Bad thing to have loose

23 Recoil 24 Prefix meaning “other” 25 Treadmill settings 27 Valley where Hercules slew a lion 28 Where fliers walk 29 Recuperating at the Royal London 30 Covered in bling, say 34 “No sweat!” 36 Child psychologist’s

Down

1 Hollered 2 Regional asset 3 One with a long commute, probably 4 Arresting characters 5 Poolside refresher 6 Form foam 7 Words of dread 8 Philip __, first Asian-

concern, briefly 37 Minnie Mouse’s peke 41 Antioxidant food preservative 43 Demeter’s Roman counterpart 44 Find hilarious 45 Swamp tree 48 Down Under swagman, in the States 49 With 9-Down, conspiratorial group in “The Da Vinci Code” 50 Fit well 51 “Oíche Chiún” singer 53 Hindu god of desire 55 Miércoles, por ejemplo 56 Three-pt. plays

June 2013

— 23

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