Getting to Know Nurse Practitioner Nicolette Hampton

August 11th, 2017
Nicolette hampton: Nurse Practioner

Nicolette Hampton: Nurse Practioner

Getting to Know Nicolette Hampton

Getting to know individuals can be full of surprises, information and satisfaction. Each of those three features becomes woven into a whole with results that can identify any person as being different from another. Sometimes that person is a not yet a twenty year old university student whose compelling nature indicates she will go far. Another example is a woman of over ninety years in age and yet has the convictions, character and principles ensuring the fact she has always spoken out when faced with unsettling situations.

The person we are getting to know in this article is Nicolette Hampton who  finished the requisites for being a certified  Nurse Practitioner last year and works with Dr. Brandon Mickelsen.  But, let’s look at her early life first. She shared a genetic bond with her grandmother Vera Valera, the owner, manager and cook at La Paloma, a well known restaurant in Pocatello. Until she died during her eightieth year, this woman was there for Nicolette with advice, encouragement, laughter, common sense and familial friendship. The strength of their relationship had a strong effect upon this young woman when making decisions about what direction her life was to take. In fact, not everyone can have been so fortunate as to have experienced such a deeply important relationship.  Nicolette’s parents were there, but her grandmother was that one person who could give advice, provide comfort, and urge a child to take a step and then two steps and then run with the wind. Any of us who have had that type of a relationship with a parent or grandparent is uniquely fortunate in so many ways. Why?  Because growing up to be a happy and meaningful person is never easy if faced alone. This does not mean Nicolette was overly guided. Instead, she had the benefit of being close to a person who could provide strong but sensible suggestions, insights and alternatives for facing life’s questions and problems.

Nicolette was a tomboy as a child. She had two younger brothers and shared a love of cars with them. She learned such things as changing sparkplugs, batteries and tires and then learned to drive with a stick shift. In secondary school, where she went to Pocatello High School, she thought she might want to be an attorney but after working on a project which involved doing some research in the hospital, she felt a strong rush of adrenaline as she watched how quickly nurses worked and made decisions while at the same time being so kind to patients. Those qualities helped her decide that would be her aim.

As a nurse, she has worked with Dr. Brandon Mickelsen who has been an excellent mentor as she learned first about the many aspects of a nurse’s job such as making patients comfortable, helping doctors with procedures and many other tasks such as keeping lengthy records about patient progress. After working as a nurse, she decided to study to become a Nurse Practitioner. This tough task matches Nicolette’s energy, intelligence and ability to see what needs to be done without having to wait for someone else to tell her what to do.

There is more to the life of this energetic young woman than helping people with medical problems. She has been married to Jason Hampton for thirteen years. This fellow works for the Fire Department in Chubbuck and (considering the myriad of fires facing south-east Idaho)  his life is often busy beyond what one could expect. The Hamptons have two sons, ten year old Kanon and five year old Krew. The family goes camping and Nicolette loves to have time in the mountains or close to a river or lake where all four of them can enjoy the gifts that nature offers.

The most compelling aspects of Nicolette Hampton are her intelligence, vibrant personality and diligent approach to medicine. She sees a patient as a human being and not just a client with a medical problem who is depending on a knowledgeable professional to help. She listens, which exhibits one of the most important understanding of what it means to be a professional. Also, she has a passion for the work she does which becomes immediately apparent to a person needing her help.

She also believes that when making decisions about what profession a person will aim for, one must not be afraid to take risks. The most important consideration is that one must strive to find a career that is challenging but satisfying. Her cheerful continence can quickly reassure anyone she is helping that here is a person who truly loves her job and is capable of solving the problems that come with providing medical help. Along with her professional stance, she is a happy person and would be a joy to have as a friend.

 

 

Getting to Know Priscilla Hearst

August 7th, 2017
Priscilla Hearst

Priscilla Hearst

Getting to Know Priscilla Hearst

Young or old, people can impress us with their attitudes and perspectives. If young, they give us thoughts about how they may affect their surroundings and perhaps even bring about change within our society. Those who have lived long lives may provide us with illustrations of how we can, and should, take stronger positions when faced with important issues. Priscilla Hearst provides an example of the latter. But, that is a decision you must make for yourself. All this piece can do is to offer a brief description of her life. Then, it is up to you. So, here goes.

Priscilla Fox spent her young life in Oakland, California, living with her grandparents during the depression while her parents both worked to keep their family solvent during that difficult era. Her father was a union organizer and mariner. During the depression, he became captain of a ferry boat which carried people between San Francisco and Oakland and her mother was employed as a foster mother.  Her parents then moved with her to Lake Washington in Seattle. Those years are remembered as ‘tomboy’ times during which this little girl learned much from her father about politics, government and speaking up when a situation called for it.

Priscilla graduated from the University of Washington after majoring in Social Science.  Upon graduation she was employed by the Seattle Police to work with juveniles.  She then went on doing graduate work at the U of W in Political Science. During that time, she had a professor with an interesting way of teaching: he would ask a question and then encourage students to respond by using facts employed to present logical arguments. That professor suggested to a post graduate student who worked for him, Joseph Hearst, that he should get to know this young woman who was outstandingly convincing. The result led to their marriage.

The Hearsts then moved to New York where Joe received his Ph.D.  After that he took a position at Whitman College in Washington before coming to Idaho State University.  Joe taught Political Science and eventually became Dean of the College of Arts and Science. The decision to come to Pocatello, Idaho was based on the natural wonders that surrounded it along with the Bannock-Shoshone Reservation, the mountains and the snow.

The Hearst family comprises four children: Alice with a Ph.D and a law degree; Jonena, with a Ph.D.; Joe junior with a law degree and Melissa who worked her way up to being well known and highly respected in the Forest Service.  All four exhibit the forthright and clear thinking qualities of their parents.The children were interested in horses so Priscilla tackled horsemanship. Then she became a 4-H leader so they could gain a broader understanding of horse care and riding.  She also worked with other youngsters so they could learn about the geology of this area and the many aspects of caring and training of dogs and horses. She also helped them learn about plant growth and use. Her  method of working with the children in 4-H was generated by her understanding  that learning takes place when we are actively involved and having fun at the same time.

Priscilla also worked to guide young unwed mothers; those for whom family situations were difficult; and others who were affected by any number of issues that can send youngsters and teenagers in a negative direction.  All of these efforts were the result of her education in Social Science and her natural understanding of the human condition. In addition to encouraging the Hearst children and doing Social work, Priscilla also sustained her interest in young people and their need to be happy and secure. Most of all she attended to the need for love and the means to be a responsible part of humanity.

Priscilla tells of one situation in which she was working to help a Mexican child’s physical problems. To that end, she wrote a letter to the Health Department in Texas, asking for help. She received an answer several months later that consisted of one negative sentence written at the bottom of her letter to that Department. So, she made a copy of that letter; typed another letter critical of that Health Department’s casual response and sent it to the Governors of Texas and of Idaho in addition to several influential  individuals. The outcome was that Priscilla was contacted by several people, including both Governors, to apologize and thank her for standing up for a child’s needs.

Another memory indicative of Priscilla’s caring for young people is that of a young fellow, a brother of an ISU student she helped by providing a home for him as he progressed at ISU. The young fellow appreciated her so much for how she was helping, that he sent her a stone Buddha from Vietnam, where he was stationed in the army. A week after receiving the statue, she was notified that he had been killed in Vietnam.  Shortly after that, someone stole the Buddha from the little garden in front of her house. She now has another Buddha, but telling the story of the original stature and its meaning brings a tear to her eye.

Priscilla was also influential in starting the Frank Church Symposiums that take place yearly at ISU. Her intention was to give students a task for which they could present information from far and wide that would honor the aims of Frank Church and help ISU students become acquainted with people and issues from around the world. She attends each of the yearly events

Those three stories are included here only as a sample of the depth and breadth of the feelings and concerns this woman has along with a respect for facts rather than unproven ideas. I see it as a capacity for caring, being responsible, taking the time and energy to investigate ways in which to help others and then having the confidence to act upon them. Those concepts should live on and provide a pathway for accomplishment as shown in response to misguided actions. Above all, Priscilla believes that if you want to grow old happily, it is important to extend happy deeds and thoughts to others. Priscilla Hearst had her 90th birthday a few months ago and is still an intellectually active thinker.

 

Getting to Know Allison Billmeyer

July 29th, 2017
Allison Billmeyer

Allison Billmeyer

Getting to Know Allison Billmeyer

Pocatello has residents of all ages, interests and abilities. Sometimes, however, we think we know people just because they have been here for years and years. At other times, we look at young residents of our town and perhaps think they probably don’t know themselves enough to be interesting. In both cases, we might be wrong, so the purpose of these articles is to provide a glimpse of random individuals so that 1) we might expand our understandings and 2) develop our abilities to find out more about others by listening and learning.

For this exercise I chose a nineteen year old young woman willing to talk with me about her personality, interests and perspectives. Glimpses of these characteristics are visible in her activities and education, so here we go.  Allison Billmeyer lived in Arizona, Kansas and Wisconsin until 2007 when her parents moved to Pocatello, Idaho. Her father, Kurt Conrad Billmeyer, died when she was almost ten  years old and so the adults in her life have been her mother, Cynthia Billmeyer, her grandparents and family friends.

Life can be tough when one of our parents is no longer present to help develop our intellect, interests and ways of interpreting the world. Allison, however, has done well in school, has had many friends and was a busy girl throughout elementary school. Most of all, she has a mother who through genetics and a caring nature, has been extremely important in giving Allison the freedom to pursue her interests and desires.

When the need to choose a secondary school came about, Allison decided upon the Idyllwild School of the Arts in Southern California. This school is nestled in the mountains above Palm Springs. Although close to the California desert, evergreens and altitude keep the school area beautiful and sometimes it even brings  snow in winter. Allison had made an early decision that theater was going to be in her future.  Why? Well, partially, she saw the intent of most plays is to examine different ways of life which can affect not only the perceptions of audience members, but the actors. For her, this implies using her empathy to understand the range of human nature and its variety of expression.

This young woman exhibits such characteristics as being independent, desirous of making her own decisions and also willing to deal with the results. This can be painful for those who take the wrong direction when making decisions; but for Allison it provides an opportunity to look for other pathways. Her descriptions of her capabilities include being independent, curious, adventurous and friendly. Each of those can include the possibility of taking a wrong turn at times, but with a shrug of a shoulder, Allison not only marches on but sees these experiences as a way of learning. When it comes to problem solving, she seeks solutions without asking someone else to take over.  Intuitive thinking sometimes requires trying things in different ways,  and for that she enjoys the challenge.

After graduating from secondary school at Idyllwild, Allison applied to the University of Utah so she could continue her education in acting.  When I first met her, one of my comments was to encourage  traveling and meeting residents of those countries. My purpose in doing that is to encourage others to learn that we are all more alike than different. People often say that to travel to other countries takes lots of money, but there are so many opportunities for going abroad such as teaching English, joining the Peace Corps, joining an NGO, going to college and so on.

I was somewhat taken aback  when Allison described her travels in the U.S. plus  traveling abroad with her church group. As an example, this summer, she and several other students of her age went to Spain and hiked two hundred miles of the Camino Santiago Trail. They did that in two weeks and then she came home to Pocatello to spend time with her mother before going on to Salt Lake to take a summer course in math and get a job so she can save  money for school. Courses at The University of Utah. as per their descriptions, will provide her the opportunity to enhance her desire for learning about acting. They will also undoubtedly expose her to other valuable information and  understandings.

To discuss personality styles is interesting but often difficult when individuals have not explored the reasons and inclinations they exhibit when making decisions, personal choices, and ways of learning. With Allison,this discussion had the effect of opening doors to thought, intent, aims and perceptions. For me, it was a truly interesting experience because her understanding of her own intentions and ways of seeing the world had clarity.  For all of us, personality attributes are important, but sometimes they are thought of as being blurred, misunderstood, or not useful when guided in specific directions or pathways to be taken in order to achieve ‘important’ goals. For that reason, I usually suggest that students should wait until close to finishing college. Therefore, when meeting a person such as Allison, my first response was “wait to decide what your future will be;  explore possibilities so that you have tested a variety of choices and then turn your  energy and intellect toward your choice.”  Oops! she was several jumps ahead of me. So, I was glad to have had the opportunity to interview such a bright and forward thinking individual. Thank you, Allison.

Getting to Know You

July 17th, 2017
Brian Grandstaff

Brian Grandstaff

Glimpses of Pocatello’s Interesting People

We see old friends and/or meet new people when we go to club meetings, rodeos, musical events, the grocery store and the list goes on. Sometimes, we find out later that those people have had experiences and abilities of which we were not aware.  These articles will be focused on helping you get to know them.

Brian Grandstaff is the subject for this story. Why? Well, when you see the trophies he has won during his years of car racing; hear snatches of his conversations with others and observe his management skills, it becomes evident that this interesting fellow is an asset to Pocatello. But first, let’s learn a bit about his background.

Grandstaff spent his early years in Iowa. His three sisters and one brother were a part of his life but his most compelling activities were focused on raising calves for 4-H projects which are valuable ways of learning for young people. This activity taught him about responsibility and the value of sticking with a task until it was completed. He worked with several breeds of cattle, although his favorites were the two Angus calves a cattle farmer entrusted to him and then  enabled him to win a championship prize in his class at a State Fair.

After finishing high school, he moved to Billings, Montana where he met Lisa, who would become his wife. They then moved on to Colorado and finally to Pocatello, Idaho. Grandstaff’s transition to these mountainous States introduced him to many available sports such as climbing peaks, skiing and hiking and then learning to hunt and fish. He had enjoyed those years in Colorado but then a job opportunity brought him and his wife to Pocatello. Upon moving here in 1994, his first venture was up Gibson Jack Creek to Elk Meadows which introduced him to the wonders that also existed here.

For Grandstaff, growing up was being outdoors, free to explore and find interesting things to do. His parents helped him with interests such as raising the calves for 4-H and fixing whatever malfunctioning mechanical object he could get his hands on.  As he approached adulthood however, this guy began to understand, without reading a book on ‘how to do it’, that problem solving can be developed through experience if enough attention is given to it and enough satisfaction is received from success. This capability moved him away from the often accepted ‘my way or the highway’ technique of dealing with problems, employees, clients and/or families.

Aside from capabilities related to job satisfaction, Grandstaff’s family life is most important to him. He and his wife Lisa have two children: twenty year old Zack and a twenty two year old sister. Here again, Grandstaff’s ability to stop and think before acting or making decisions has been well used in developing the skills necessary for bringing up children. This is not to say that he was automatically perfect but rather that he used his ability to learn when dealing with the many issues that arise for everyone  as their children mature. Of course, we never know if our children agree that we have had useful skills when it comes to their development but understanding is extremely important, both for sustaining parents and ensuring positive results as children grow up.

Grandstaff became involved in car racing in 2003 and has several (I counted nine) trophies displayed on a shelve in his office, but then I saw another group of trophies in another room. He talks about car racing as an activity that causes such a strong adrenaline rush that it is difficult to calm down after a race, so he is now stepping aside and will give his time to help others with their racing cars and techniques rather than  continuing  his personal attention to winning. His son, Zack is also involved in this sport and has developed skills that will keep him at the front of the pack in any race when he is not studying at Idaho State University.

Because Grandstaff is in the business of selling tires and providing mechanical solutions to car problems through that business, now identified as Brian’s Tire and Auto Repair Point S, his interest in racing has brought more customers to his shop where their satisfaction  is his highest priority.

So, what does the future hold for Grandstaff? Well, he plans to retire in about five years and then be able  pursue his interest in car races as a spectator and also give more time to those many outdoor interests which the Pocatello area provides. Regardless of how his future develops, I believe this person will continue to be an outstanding example of what can be done when one uses thought and problem solving in making decisions and enjoying life.

Charlotte Fire five years later

July 9th, 2017
Beau Marley, Khristi Cummings and Steve Leaman

Beau Marley, Khristi Cummings and Steve Leaman

Treon Maroudas with two statues

Treon Maroudas with two wood carved statues

Susan Jensen and Glennie Weidert

Susan Jensen and Glennie Weidert

jackie Blanchard in front ofa coverd bridge

Jackie Blanchard in front of a covered bridge for use in walking to the other side of the creek

Khristi Cummings and Betty Anderson carrying food out to the buffet table

Khristi Cummings and Betty Anderson carrying some of the food out to the buffet table

Ty & Betty Anderson

Ty & Betty Anderson

Jim Riggs and Tonya Nix

Jim Riggs and Tonya Nix

Karen & Russ Cconnor

Karen & Russ Connor

Archie & Vickie Winslow

Archie & Vickie Winslow

Sue & Roy Miller, Khristi Cummings

Sue & Roy Miller, Khristi Cummings

Two Sheep Camps

Two Sheep Camps

 

 

Another sheep camp

Another sheep camp

Five Years After the Charlotte Fire

As we all know, the Charlotte fire decimated many parts of the Mink Creek and Gibson Jack Creek areas. Beyond that brief statement lie several stories, one of which is briefly described here.

During one beautiful evening this last week, a group of about twenty five people gathered at the home of Steve Leaman to recall the Charlotte fire and enjoy valued friendship. It is difficult to put into words a summary of that fire as it burned its way into so many individual memories.But, let us focus only on this area and the memorial party  that took place there.

Almost twenty acres of land confined between the Gibson Jack Road and south to the ridge on the north side of Mink Creek comprises the Leaman property. Five years ago it contained three houses, a cabin, four covered bridges and a barn. In addition there were two Sheep Camps (the small covered wagons serving as home to sheep herders), a wind mill, some antique cars and farming equipment.

It is difficult, if at all possible, to put into words the years and years of care, carpentry and gardening plus all of those activities that add up to a well kempt and thoroughly enjoyed property.  So, let us focus on the beauty of the area where the party took place. A pool of cascading water surrounded by large river-worn rocks is met by a spacious lawn beyond which grow young juniper, cedar, pine and alder trees These trees are still young enough for deer to nibble on their branches. But, they also provide shade and shelter for them Most of all, the peace and tranquility permeating this property provided the atmosphere which was noted by each of the guests.

Conversations with these  interesting, friendly and  informative people continued throughout the entire evening. Topics moved from one subject to another as guests were introduced and old friends chatted. Everyone had interesting tidbits to share with others as the array of tasty foods was placed on the buffet table. I saw people I had worked with over forty years ago; met new people who described all sorts of interesting information including a really unique stone house on Garfield, long walks with friends and their dogs, the skill required when playing percussion instruments in the symphony orchestra plus a myriad of other interesting facts and perceptions. One couple talked about their house which was almost surrounded by the fire and yet did not sustain damage.

There were more introductions and conversations along with lots of laughter. All of it set an example for a definition of being a truly great party. In addition to the beautiful array of food and the serene surrounds, this gathering was so pleasant, cheerful, friendly and gracious that it will be long remembered by all in attendance. Beyond some talk about the fire and several stories about individuals and families who suffered, the gaity of the party continued. The rest of this article, however, is devoted to one survivor and that is Steve Leaman, party host and owner of the 20 acres.

Almost sixty years ago, Steve, then a two year old little boy, became a resident of Gibson Jack.  It was too early for kids in those days to sit and play digital games, but it would be easy to surmise in no uncertain terms that this little guy would have been outdoors anyway investigating and wandering as he took in all of the natural pleasures to be found in that area which was, for the most part, previously untouched.

As Leaman grew, he became more and more interested in the trees and other plants which grew on his parent’s property. His interests included, with the help of his father, digging holes and then planting tiny sprouts not yet qualifying as saplings. He watched them as they gained height and substance. During the following fifty years, he continued his citizen science interest in the plant life on the Leaman property: watching the growth, investigating the animals that made use of the protection provided by trees and also keeping track of the grasses and wild flowers that thrived there.

His interests continued, branching into a study of the plants most favored by the deer that came in all seasons to feed, rest and give birth to fawns. Steve’s interest in preserving areas for wild animals encouraged his decision to keep grasses, bushes and weeds available without using chemicals or plowing because his concern was for the creatures that, over time, began to see the area as their habitat. As an aside, it should be noted that mule deer tend to depend on using the same migration and habitat routes and areas with great consistency. In the last several years, because Gibson Jack and Johnny Creek have an increased population of humans, the deer have found houses and fences where they used to find food and rest. Some people complain about deer presence, but most remind themselves that the deer were here first and that there are things to plant that won’t be eaten. Besides, it is nice to look out your window and see several deer resting under an apple tree (while they wait for the fruit to fall). If you doubt this, check it out.

For over thirty of  these years, Steve Leaman  entertained people at Christmas time by dressing as Santa Claus and standing on the side of Gibson Jack Road with twinkling colored Christmas lights and a ho,ho.ho for everyone who passed by. This was known by so many who still remember it as a  yearly event. It stopped only when a new Gibson Jack resident complained to the city that it could be dangerous (even though no report of danger had occurred before).

During the rest of each year, this guy built the four covered bridges, a cabin close to the top of the ridge above his house, put up a wind mill, and worked. In addition, he took loving care of his mother, the late Donna Leaman.

As an aside, the bridges and the cabin were built using lumber from barns and houses built in earlier times. Why? Well, old lumber has a rustic appearance perfect for the things he built.

Another of Leaman’s efforts has been to post signs along Bannock Highway so that deer crossings are made obvious to drivers. We could go on, describing the efforts he has made to save or rescue dogs found running in streets or describing his actions in rescuing dogs that had been cruelly treated.  The stories one could tell about some of those rescues are touching and sometimes very funny. Still, some drivers continue to be of the opinion that animals, whether dog, deer or whatever are extraneous and so protection or consideration is not necessary.

“Wait a minute”, you say: “I thought this was about the effects of a fire?” Well, it is, but that day in July 2012, when smoke could be seen rising from the Mink Creek area had a long lasting effect upon Leaman. This, in no way is meant to diminish the anguish of the many others who had homes and gardens destroyed with such speed and intensity that within a few hours damage to buildings, trees  and human psyches was complete.

Despite the fire consequences, Leaman did not let it interfere with his helpfulness to other people whether it was to offer a ride into town, help in doing all sorts of building tasks and/or just being kind. He, in turn, was helped in many ways; money to purchase equipment and materials for building, you name it. All of these efforts were made in return for the help he had provided for people in years past. Although it took several months, his insurance was finally settled and he went back to work taking care of his mother, building a new house, new covered bridges and planting dozens of trees. His personal anguish did not affect his ability to help others. After living in a camp trailer for several months he was able to move into the new house. But, these are merely the physical things that took place. Along with them was still the emptiness that accompanied losing what had taken so many years to complete.

As with the death of a loved one, losing your life long efforts to create a sanctuary for animals, a quiet place where you can feel invigorated but away from  everyday issues and problems that rise up when least expected can all be too much. And yet, this fellow manages to put aside his personal anguish in order to continue caring for other people and the animals that are so important to him. Lots of history was burned away with that fire but the human brain has a capacity for dealing with injury, whether physical or mental. For Steve Leaman, much of what has sustained him is the kindness, help and good feelings of all those he had sustained during the first fifty five years of his life.

One could call on upon a saying such as “What goes around comes around”, but if we rely on “Time heals all wounds” we eventually learn that it is what we have offered to others that will come back to us. As an example, Steve Leaman is outstanding. So, let’s return to the party and the lush green grass, bushes and trees along with the gentle sound of a water fall engaged everyone in the sense of quiet and warm togetherness surrounding this group.  n addition to some of those who had worked so hard to defeat the fire were still others who were friends but all were woven into the atmosphere provided by this fellow with his ability to create an environmental haven for humans, plants and animals.

If you say to yourself, after reading this; “Wow, she must be smitten by this guy.” Just remember that people who are kind, helpful, hard working and also truly understand the importance of our Idaho environment are to be treasured. They can also be honored for helping others to realize that the word ‘wealth’ is far deeper and has far more implications than a stack of dollars.

 

Revive @ Five: off to a swinging start

June 9th, 2017

isj Revive @ Five for sunday 5 28 17 IMG_2574

 

Paisley Davis and Kim Robinson

Stormy Heinz and Caitlin Pankau

Stormy Heinz and Caitlin Pankau

Charlotte Blair

Charlotte Blair

Shelley Leen and Dena Millward

Shelley Leen and Deno Millward

Deanne Coffin, Cheryl and Kiley Quinn

Deanne Coffin, Cheryl and Kiley Quinn

Patricia Burke Williamson and Walter E. Wyland

Patricia Burke Williamson and Walter E. Wyland

Shanna and Gordy Robinson

Shanna and Gordy Robinson

Mike Settell

Mike Settell

James & Pam Pascali along with Bubba and Indiana (my apologies to James having spent too much time being sure the dogs were in the picture

James & Pam Pascali along with Bubba and Indiana (my apologies to James because I spent too much time trying to get the dogs int the picture)

Eddy Carnahan and Brian Davis

Eddy Carnahan and Brian Davis

Marilyn Raymond

Marilyn Raymond

Revive @ Five Arrives for the Summer

A beautiful day: one during which you could take your dog for a walk without wind blowing both of you about or a day when the jet stream (not a con trail) fills the sky with magical twists and turns and a breeze softens the heat of a sun that we haven’t  been blessed with, at least so far this summer. But here it is, almost the end of May and everything seems to be perfect, at least on Wednesday, May 24.

People, ranging in ages from itty bitty babies being held or pushed in prams by their mothers; young high school students, whether in small flocks of exuberant girls or “grown up” boys; older guys talking up a storm about baseball, politics, the price of potatoes and more; couples full of smiles and good cheer while sipping the icy cold beer available along the periphery of the Old Town pavilion;and  elderly individuals sitting at picnic tables while listening intently to the music of the concert presenters for this session.

The combination of gentle sunshine, good food and good music ensured happiness to any and all of those who had come for the pleasure offered by the Bannock Civitans. That organization has organized and officiated over Revive @ Five for years and years. For this first of the summer occasion, the ISU Credit Union sponsored it as homage to Educators. Amazing; A perfect afternoon and evening initiated the beginning of summer and all of the relaxed but fun Wednesday evenings available for anyone and everyone who wishes to enjoy this weekly event.

If you are a parent, don’t worry about your teenaged offspring getting into the beer because Civitan has members situated at the outer edges of this area waiting to adorn you with a white plastic bracelet if you are old enough to quaff the beer. In addition there are other Civitan members diligently on watch for anyone drinking beer without said white bracelet.

The music provided for this opening summer event was presented by the Jim Jamz who have not played for Revive @ Five before. However, a list of each musical group will be posted before next week’s presentation. This event is popular enough that musicians usually have to sign up early on so they can participate. And, music varies from hard rock to soft melodies and everything in between and/or beyond. They are all good, depending on your preference but you can be sure that there are many which please everyone.

The caterers are also varied and generally satisfying to every hungry person present. For this opening Wednesday, PVs Uncorked provided food. This restaurant, situated on Main Street, has wine tastings along with appropriate foods , usually on Wednesdays (and maybe more often) in the restaurant. I didn’t see what they were serving at Revive but have tasted their yummy offerings at other times in the restaurant.

At the same time the musical event is taking place, the Farmer’s Market also offers vegetables and fruits along with other offerings.  So, if you need to stretch your legs, you can always stroll through what is offered at the Market.

The additional magnetic power of this weekly event is the fun of chatting with friends, and/or meeting new friends with whom you share appreciation of the offerings provided by Revive.  It would be difficult, if not impossible to find any individual looking and behaving in a grumpy manner here because there are so many different avenues to take.

Happiness is important, and even though I have mentioned that positive attribute as being available to all whatever the occasion, I personally see Revive @ Five as a wonderful way to ensure that a glow of happiness can easily come to the surface. So, if you were not present to experience the positive nature of this opening event, make sure to put it on your calendar for the rest of summer.

 

New Knowledge Adventures Luncheon: May, 2017

May 26th, 2017
Cathy McPherson and Rebecca Williamson

Cathy McPherson and Rebecca Williamson

Diane Porter and Barbara Dailey

Diane Porter and Barbara Dailey

Pauline Havens

Pauline Havens

Sylvia Papenberg

Sylvia Papenberg

Pete & Audrey Cole

Pete & Audrey Cole

Barbara Bain

Barbara Bain

Deborah Jeppson, Sharon & Jim Manning

Deborah Jeppson, Sharon & Jim Manning

Janet Boehm and Deborah Jeppson

Janet Boehm and Deborah Jeppson

Mary & Bob Gehrke

Mary & Bob Gehrke

Betty Holbrook and Nancy Dafoe

Betty Holbrook and Nancy Dafoe

Ann & Kelvin Smith

Ann & Kelvin Smith

Erica Lothepeich, Jane Thornley and Helen Beitia

Jane Thorley, Erica Lothepeich, and Helen Beitia

Susane Miller and Betty Holbrook

Susane Miller and Betty Holbrook

New Knowledge Adventures Annual Meeting and Woodcarvers Show

Pocatello has a wide variety of restaurants, musical events, theater presentations and much, much more. Beyond those attractions, Pocatello has beautiful surroundings and opportunities for learning. All of those can create enrichment and stimulation which should help each of us to generate happy thoughts and outlooks.

Looking at and experiencing many of the activities that can stimulate positive reflection and action, first prize should go to New Knowledge Adventures (NKA). It offers an array of opportunities, whether you want to share an area of your expertise or learn new techniques and/or approaches to artistic or intellectual perspectives. Every year, this group of more than five hundred adults (aged fifty years and above), picks classes from a catalog newly printed every semester. This catalogue contains amazingly interesting and informative descriptions of available classes.

Having presented three or four programs over the years, I can continue to say, with great enthusiasm, that it is just as much fun to help others learn as it is to participate in learning. During the last two years I have introduced Barn Quilts and the outcome obtained from each of the classes has been worth every bit of the time and care that was involved. Further, each person had fun while learning this skill.

The main thrust of this article, however, is to point out what learning does for any and all of us. As birthdays go by, we can become a victim of thinking “my learning days are over”, “I’m tired of having someone inform me about things that are of no consequence “, and “I don’t think I can take in anymore information because my brain is already  full.” One could continue advocating for other reasons as to why learning is just too much trouble, but let’s look at the contrary side of this argument.

Our lungs need oxygen to breathe, our stomachs need food to replenish energy, our bodies need water in order to keep all systems and especially the brain functioning; our muscles and bones need exercise so that all of the nutrients can make their way throughout our bodies (and the list goes on). So, if we decide that learning is ‘old hat’, then we are denying our capabilities to make use of ourselves.

Proof of a need to learn, gain enthusiasm, have interesting or newly gathered information to share with others, or just get out of the rut some people fall into can be seen in those who lead NKA and participate in its offerings.  Why? First of all, it is much easier to face the world when we are happy. And, while happiness comes from within, it is absolutely important that we use our senses to generate new ideas, achievements and/or proficiencies.

Being listless, lacking humor, ideas, or perspectives and the like can put us individually into a somber attitude that cries out, “Don’t talk to me because I won’t have anything to say in order to respond. Besides, I am too old to get excited, interested or merely able to be happy.”  To those who feel that way, I say take a class, learn to paint, get new information and/or attitudes into your brain and you will be amazed as to what can awaken you to new ideas, views of the world and the like.

Today, our world needs positive thinking, understanding  (for example) of history,  artistic ways of brightening our immediate surroundings, the rule of law and the wide variety of traditions and customs held by people from different parts of our world. Most of all we need happiness. That comes from inside us, but one sure way to arouse that feeling  is to do things that stimulate our ability to think, wonder, inspire and more.

So, here we are with a choice of events fitting into curriculum, social events, history, travel, and community service. In addition there is always a need for officers, committee chairs and others who are willing to put in time and energy to help keeping this organization moving forward in its beautifully positive manner. For only $35 per semester, you can have it all. For more information, call Shirley at 282 4789 and she can direct you.

Watershed Guardians Have a Party

May 16th, 2017
Mark & Sue Holbrook

Mark & Sue Holbrook

Batsy Hely,Tim Norton and Dana Olson

Batsy Hely,Tim Norton and Dana Olson

Venita Petti, Rob & Colette Thompson

Venita Petti, Rob & Colette Thompson

Colette Thompson

Colette Thompson

Bruce Padian and Mike Settell

Bruce Padian and Mike Settell

Amy Jo & Mitch Popa

Merrilee & Bruce Padian

IMG_2547                                                                                                                                     Amy Jo & Mitch Popa

Marita & Dwight Worthington

Marita & Dwight Worthington

Liz & Scott Jordan and Joan Brendt

Liz & Scott Jordan and Joan Bernt

Kasey Wozniak

Kasey Wozniak

Tim Norton and Mike Settell

Tim Norton and Mike Settell

Kitti McCoy

Kitti McCoy

Watershed Guardians Have a Party

When this group has a party, it is super: great food, great conversation and a great description of a complicated story: ‘Reverse Rendezvous’. Of course, somewhere in this event, there is a catch so read on and find out that collecting data on beavers, their habitats, and their contribution to watershed health is important.

Semi-aquatic animals known as beavers have given us a story that is worthy of investigation.  Instead of understanding this, humans have, in the past, destroyed beaver dams, thinking they were harmful to rivers and streams. Hunting and trapping were, and in some places are  still used.

One especially weird method that would cause you to laugh if it wasn’t so ridiculous was to put individual beavers into wooden boxes, load them in a plane and then parachute those boxes into unpopulated mountain areas. As the chutes hit the ground, so the story goes, the box would break and the lone beaver would be free to start a new life in the wilderness. This puzzling action ignored the fact that beavers need water, are family oriented and mate for life. Besides, climbing out of shattered box would make anyone, regardless of species, confused, terrified and unable to take the next step toward a functional existence.

Currently, increased precipitation is affecting the Portneuf River and creeks that feed it. This focuses renewed attention on these animals and the subject of their benefits to wetlands, flooding, and watershed protection. In addition to re-assessing the value of Beaver dams, there has also been a sharp decline in trapping, partially because beaver fur hats are no longer a hot item and partially because when trapping is consistently done in one area the number of beavers decreases.  Succinctly put, because we need their help, attention is now being given to the positive value of this species.

An active group bent on increasing knowledge and determining accurate numbers of beaver in the Pocatello area is Watershed Guardians. So far, they have found beaver populations to have greatly decreased in number.This group of individuals value their environment enough to put on snowshoes or cross country skis in winter and get their boots muddied and wet in spring, summer and fall to tromp along rivers and streams to collect data on water temperature; beaver population growth or demise; study the effects of willow, aspen and other tree growth along river and stream banks; effect upon trout populations; relation to water temperature and more.  Underlying these activities is the desire to get out and see for yourself rather than to merely read information gathered by others.

We do have much to learn about these creatures.If you Google Beavers, you will find tons of concrete evidence related to this species and its contribution to watershed management. Information also helps us begin to understand that animals have an intelligence that goes far beyond merely taking up space. In fact, their contributions to our environment (and to us) are steadily becoming better understood.

After looking through information about beavers, then Google Watershed Guardians for it has nicely provided facts  directed specifically toward our area. To be active, help find the necessary equipment needed for the exploration as to why beaver populations are so greatly diminished.  Then, get out into the areas where rivers and streams could support this species. By doing so, you might help collect important data and be actively involved in a project that would help our area.

The participation of individuals who care about the future of our planet and are willing to use the cognitive part of their brains is needed to discover and evaluate information collected through continued study and research.  So, here we are in a university town filled with people who love the mountains along with the plants and animals that live in them.  So why not participate in the activities of this local group so that our benefits will continue to provide us with a magnificent area?

Mike Settel, originator of the Watershed Guardians has, with the help of other members of the group, put together a host of informative materials that can be found online. So, read them and if you love this environment, contact Settell and get busy. It would not only be fun and exploratory but also connect you to a caring and interesting group of people who are serious about protecting this area.

ISU Women’s Club Monthly Bridge and Luncheon Get Together

May 16th, 2017
Helen Beitia

Helen Beitia

Ellen Bates

Ellen Bates

Janice Matteson Howell

Janice Matteson Howell

Donna Sagness

Donna Sagness

IMG_2485

Clarice Rice

Jan Green

Jan Green

Cindi Coffland

Barbara Asboe

Midge Rose

Merianne Anderson

Midge Rose

Midge Rose

Cindi Coffland and helen Beitia

Cindi Coffland and Helen Beitia

A Glimpse at the Idaho State University Women’s Club Monthly Bridge

As previously stated in one or more articles about the friendly behavior of residents in the Pocatello area, here is another example of a group that definitely fits into that category. The Idaho State University Women’s Club, which comprises many of the wives of ISU professors, deans and/or other administrators, also includes many others with professional connections that are personal. Regardless, many of these women have played bridge together for years and years and years. That is not to say that the ISU Women’s Club is dedicated only to the card game of bridge. Instead, the club is responsible for many activities described later in this article.

Before providing  information about the several other Women’s Club events,however,  let us concentrate on the Bridge group: its major characteristic continues to be cheerful and sincere. First, the Bridge group plays once a month during the school year (September through May), usually at the Juniper Hills Country Club. Numbers range from sixteen to twenty with some of the members having been involved for a long time. Some have studied several ways (conventions) for playing this game but many continue to think of it as “party” bridge. The group has lunch before starting to play bridge and lots of conversation goes on during that time. Then come the games, the goal of which is to get the highest score. However, several prizes are given out at the end of the afternoon, one of which is for having the lowest score. So, is playing bridge the only thing Women’s Club members do? Not at all.

A Spring Brunch is held, usually in the Student Union Building. This occasion, which is coming soon,  focuses on collecting money for the raffle of a beautiful quilt, painting or surprise. Money collected for that raffle is then used to help provide scholarships to young women who are doing well in their classes. This form of help to ISU is well received and may have an influence on those students who are trying to decide where they might enter the professional world after completing their undergraduate work.

There is also a ‘Club Night Out’ when members have dinner and see a play at the Westside Players theater when its season begins in February of each year. That is another purely fun event for relaxing,  chatting with friends and enjoying the presentation.

Another of the Women’s Club activities are the two fairs (one in the ballroom at the student center building in late Fall and the other in the Spring on the lawn in front of a University parking lot on Fifth Street). Both events feature items made by community members and university associates. They are lively events, good for conversation and also quite wonderful based on the art works displayed for sale. Both serve an additional benefit and that is to become acquainted with the creatively artistic capabilities to be found in our community.  In addition, both usually provide opportunities for children to try their skills in painting or writing.

The latter two events and the attention they provide for children to have ’hands on’ opportunities to develop creative skills is laudable because while children need the education that comes while sitting with intense attention to a teacher’s words, they also need many occasions for exploring ways in which they can exercise not only the cognitive possibilities held within their brains, but the random and creative tendencies that can enhance unique  capabilities and/or professions.

So, if you have a connection to our university, check out the ISU  Women’s Club  for friendship and accomplishment. In addition, you will find ways in which to develop your skills related to activities that will help our community and help your many interests to be sharpened and appreciated by others.

The ISU Civic Symphony Along With Two Choirs Join Forces to Conclude the 2016-17 Season

May 1st, 2017
Carol Leiby and Brent Trego

Carol Leiby and Brent Trego

Dan Rodgers & Kathleen Lane

Dan Rodgers & Kathleen Lane

Lincoln Schuyler and Shawn Higdem

Lincoln Schuyler and Shawn Higdem

Pat Reeve and Helen Lindley

Pat Reeve and Helen Lindley

Patsy Eike, Pete & Ronda Black

Patsy Eike, Pete & Ronda Black

Karen Thomson and Darla Hulse

Karen Thomson and Darla Hulse

Bill Seymour and Janet Warnke

Bill Seymour and Janet Warnke

Kathleen Lane and Sandra Nokaes

Kathleen Lane and Sandra Nokaes

Janene Willer

Janene Willer

Sue Skinner

Sue Skinner

Marge Williams, Hope Ofisa and Laura Larson

Marge Williams, Hope Ofisa and Laura Larson

Norm & Barbara Schroder

Norm & Barbara Schroder

Gina,Jennifer, Karl and Barry Endo

Gina,Jennifer, Karl and Barry Endo

Judy Gravis and Karl Endo

Judy Gravis and Karl Endo

Peter McDermott and Diane Bilyeu

Peter McDermott and Diane Bilyeu

Mark Neiwirth

Mark Neiwirth

Idaho State Civic Symphony and Over One Hundred Vocalists

Beautiful, while somber and serious; Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah provided the orchestra, Camerata Singers and ISU Concert Choir an opportunity to join together in a mixture of voices and instruments that was not only outstanding but perfectly in alignment throughout the at least three hours of the performance. In addition, four soloists: Diana McVey, Michele Detwiler, Geoffrey Friedley and Tyler Oliphant provided stunning emphasis for various parts of the presentation. Together, this group of over one hundred fifty musicians gave a performance of Mendelssohn’s two works that truly  fulfilled the composer’s intention to “provide a means to the achievement of a better, more harmonious society and thereby a better life and a better world for all humankind” as noted in the Program Notes and written by Geoffrey Friedley.

One could say, with sincere emphasis, that we do not need to continually experience musical offerings that excite, elevate blood pressure, and sometimes even confuse the brain into supposing that it has found melody and rhythm in whatever is being heard. This is not to be negative about current musical preferences, but this concert did offer music that spoke to the soul and the intellect without scrambling the cognitive brain abilities.

Words from the Old Testament perhaps provided solace for those who see today’s world as fraught with violence, alternative truths, and a host of other actions which convey mistrust, antagonism and movement away from the beauties of our natural environment whether in the United States or elsewhere. Enough! There is no sense in converting the solemnity of this concert into a subtle tirade about life in this era.

The combination of voices from the ISU Choir and the Camerata Singers was beautiful. In addition, the sight of so many fellows wearing tuxedos was impressive as of course were the ladies in their evening gowns. Above and beyond the contribution made by these two groups were individual voices provided by the soloists. Each of them gave the audience a glimpse of musical excellence as they emphasized parts of the presentation as a whole. Scott Anderson, choral director, is well known throughout the musical world. His leadership in choral events certainly is obvious when we listen to this contribution to the program.

The orchestra was beyond being merely pleasing; it was super. I am still delighted by the excellence it provides for all who attend its concerts. Realizing that although much of that excellence has been due to the leadership provided by Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Grant Harville, it is still absolutely necessary to understand the individual abilities of orchestra members are beyond being merely important. This combination of musicians from our University and our Community deserves a bravo from each of the audience members!

Seasonal sponsorship by the Portneuf Health Partners and this program’s sponsor Vogts are only a part of the attention given by the media and the grants given by the Idaho Commission of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and others. Above all, perhaps, is the devoted leadership provided by the Board of Directors. These individuals have tirelessly given of their time, their intelligence, and their understanding of group co-operation to influence the success of this symphony orchestra. Led by Kate Fornarotto during this 2016-2017 year, it has worked to encourage volunteer opportunities and fund raising.

One last note: the program for 2017-2018 has already been put together. So, get your tickets now and be ready to be pleased.Those programs will include Saint-Saens Organ Symphony #3, a Halloween Community Concert, Beethoven symphony #2 with cellist Zuill Bailey,Joy to the World:and ISU Christmas, Rachmaninoff: with pianist Nataila Lauk, and Double Orchestra: BOLERO! with the Idaho Falls Symphony. Per usual, there will also be other presentations during the school year.