Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Goodfellas

Men of the valley


By JODY ZARKOS
Express Staff Writer

Men.

To put it in their words, "Yeah, cool."

Men haven't received the best press in the last few months; Tiger, Jesse, Ben to name a few that have recently plunged from grace. But we are not here to point a finger, rather a pat on the back, to celebrate, shine a light and take an up-close look at our weathered friends on the occasion of Father's Day.

How did we come up with seven men for Goodfellas? The parameters were not overly involved—more along the lines of who is a good guy. And the follow-up query: What makes a good guy?

For us, the common denominator among this group was not hard to decipher. They may take their jobs or vocations seriously, but never themselves. It's a refreshing change of pace, given the prevailing "me-first" attitude that plagues so many people these days. These are men that put the public, their families and our community tops on the to-do and give-to list, and we are all the better for it.

Our inaugural group includes even-keeled Bart Lassman, chief of Wood River Fire & Rescue, Glenn Hunter, the eternal Suns' hockey captain, Dr. Rich Paris, a trusted physician in the valley for 30 years, Idaho native Clint Stennett, who is waging a brave battle against brain cancer, stalwart Sun Valley ski patrolman Whiz McNeal, everyone's favorite coach Reamy Goodwin, and Richard Odom, the feeling man's guru. With a little prompting, they provided us with words of wisdom. See what they had to say on pages S3 and S8.

Noted author and former resident Ridley Pearson took time out of his busy schedule to reflect on his relationship with his father, Robert, a longtime Bellevue resident, who passed away on New Year's Day 2008. Known to millions of recovering alcoholics as "Bob P.," Pearson dedicated himself to the AA organization and helping people find peace in their sobriety.

We take a look at the latest craze in creature comforts—man caves. Whether the space is dedicated to playing music, watching games, or shooting pool, men are getting what seems like a world away from it all while not going anywhere at all. They are the ultimate mind trip.

We examine the relationships of fathers and sons who work together and find out what life is like on and off the job site.

Our Man on the Street query poses the question, "What makes your dad cool?" We canvassed 10 Hemingway Elementary school students and their answers may surprise and inspire at the same time.

Great gift ideas and family traditions can be found on page S6.

And we would be remiss if we didn't take a quick peak at the men's who shaped our cities. Our historical perspective is on S4.

On Sunday, June 20, we take time to celebrate and appreciate the men in our lives and simply say, "Thanks, guys."

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Dr. Rich Paris

While he is a general practitioner, Dr. Rich Paris is a smooth operator as well, putting the moves on his eventual wife and fellow physician, Kathy Woods, during medical exams in Denver. "She had ridden her bike and had Lycra on. I followed her up the escalator. It was love at first sight," Paris said with a smile. Married 20 years, the pair has three boys, Robert, James and Jon.

Medicine is an extremely fulfilling and stimulating career.

Why I chose to move to the Wood River Valley is because of the outstanding geography and unique population.

Satisfaction means setting realistic and demanding goals and having the good fortune of meeting those goals.

Birth and death represent the inpoints of existence for all the patients I work with and therefore presents unique opportunities to interact with patients and their families.

Walking in my front door at night I usually stop to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to live in such a unique and wonderful location.

I was glad to have the good fortune to be able to move to the Wood River Valley and be able to have my entire career so far in this unique location.

A good day is when I get to be outside hiking, skiing or kayaking.

Fear comes when you have to face the unknown or in some cases your own mortality.

Attending a birth is one of the most unique and exciting experiences that can be experienced by the family, the physician and nursing staff that are involved.

Advice I should take is my wife's urging to get more relaxation and regular exercise.

At the end of the day we should each feel we made it as fulfilling as we possibly could.

The things I tell my boys are to set and try and achieve goals and most of all be happy.

You can't stop worrying about things that you can't control but we all should try and do better at that.

If I weren't a doctor I would have made a heck of a high school biology teacher, but probably not as good as Larry Barnes at Wood River High School.

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Whiz McNeal

Whiz McNeal's first job in the valley was at Scott USA in 1973. He and his wife, Beverly, have been married for 27 years and have two kids, Langely and JP.

If people knew my real name they would know why I have a nickname.

Working on the mountain...yes. I don't know if you would call it work because it's a passion.

Sun Valley Co. is heading in the right direction. We know what does not work.

It's amazing the realization that I have been working for SVC for 30 years and I am as old as I am because it happens very quickly.

If I were a betting man I would have sold short during the recent downturn.

When you get all the ski patrolmen together Warm Springs kicks River Run's ass in softball.

I am never without fond memories.

My skiing style could be described as blue collar.

Once you have had a pro deal you will never pay retail again.

Fat skis allow people to extend their skiing careers.

My knees...the warranty has run out. But my mom just had a knee replacement at 90.

I have built two good kids.

My wife would say you didn't build them alone, loser.

When I moved to Sun Valley I never looked back.

The funniest is if anyone takes this interview seriously and being asked to do this interview.

My favorite season...geez, the next one.

I always stop to watch a leaky tire.

My friends are dear to my heart.

When I get mad I get mad.

Don't print this.

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Clint Stennett

Clint Stennett got his start as a local media mogul. In 1990 he began a political climb in the Idaho House of Representatives, where he served for four years before being elected to the Idaho Senate. Four years into his tenure in the Senate, he was named minority leader. Stennett was sidelined by cancer in 2008 and retired from the Senate in January 2009 to wage a battle against a foe he calls "a life lesson." Stennett lives in Ketchum with his wife, Michelle.

A good horse...Hooter was my once-in-a lifetime horse. Incredibly calm from a young age, he was a patient teacher and had an amazing spirit.

Time well spent is bird hunting with my dog, Custer. Watching his joyful tail, following his busy nose, flushing birds, just makes me smile.

When Michelle said "yes" it was the happiest moment of my life. We were at the base of the Fall Creek waterfall on the South Fork of the Snake and it was my birthday. Lucky me!

My heroes make the most of even small opportunities. Courageous. Good listeners.

I am going to wait and see what life brings.

Three words I live by are love, joy and laughter.

War is usually ego driven. Rarely is it justified and it always takes its toll on resources and lives.

Politics has taught me how to compromise and what I stand for.

My most valued gift is my wife.

Cancer sucks, but it is a life lesson.

I take pride in my family, friendships and relationships I have been blessed with, my work in the Senate and my businesses, and the time I spend in the outdoors.

Vulnerability is I can't help that I am sick, but I choose to bravely move on.

The last two years Beyond words. Tough. Blessings.

The best lessons are the ones we don't ask for.

Partisan politics are never productive and not my style.

If I am buying, it better be a good value.

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Reamy Goowin

A resident of the Wood River Valley since 1993, Reamy Goowin is father to three children, Georgy, 14, Jack, 13, and Ry, 10.

It drives me crazy when my setter gets a perfect pass and does not deliver a hittable ball.

Coaching is everything.

I wish all sports would go back to schools. No more privatized sports.

A hero is my mother.

I get excited about going to the ranch.

I cherish my time with my kids. I cherish my time in Sayulita, Mexico.

People are funny.

If I am slacking off kick my butt.

There is nothing better than hitting a cut three-iron into the wind to about ten feet.

I loved it when Georgy's team won the state championship this year in hockey

Golf is the toughest game.

Winning and losing aren't everything. Playing the game is.

In my ultimate sports fantasy these days? I would win a national championship in platform tennis with John Baker. It's an incredible game. As a kid it was definitely being Pete Maravich.

When I drive my car I like my hand out the window.

Getting older is fine.

If I had to be someone else in town it would be Starr Weekes, Phil Hebert and John Sensenbrenner all combined.

My future girlfriend is in the middle of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (laughs).

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Richard Odom

Richard Odom has been practicing yoga since he was a 13-year-old boy. Landing in town in 1974, Odom has been holding classes for the masses ever since.

Gurus are teachers. I don't see myself as a guru. I am just like you—learning along the way. I have a lot to say and I will share with you my personal experiences.

The hardest...I think one of the hardest things for us to do is let go of the moment and be ready and open for the next moment. Me included.

I reap the benefits of other people's hard work. In the form of all my pleasure and my livelihood and my pursuits here are all because of the efforts of someone else. I live the unity of humanity. We are all sustaining each other.

Before I discovered yoga I put way too much effort in everything I did and was way tied up in knots. Yoga is about untying the knots.

Time well spent...I wrestle with time efficiency and organization. Uh. You got me.

Men in tights...you know I am involved in a type of work where I see men in tights and it makes me laugh. Cycling, skiing or dancing, it seems like a piece of absurd clothing for men.

I found a way to be myself and make a living at it. All I do is babble up there, although it is a source of power. I read a lot of the things they don't have time for. I was a poor student myself so I reach pretty deep to find ways to communicate.

Breathing is the hallmark of my work. There is the connection between the mind and body and all the traditions and the world have a discipline of breath control and breath cooperation. It is the essence of my work and I learn more and more about it all the time. I am fascinated with how much we hold our breath. It gets us into trouble.

My dreams are fueled by my imagination, which is pretty profound. My dreams are constantly being fulfilled and I have to be careful what I ask for.

My students always amaze me with their stories. Once in a while they come to the surface and I am blown away. Some people are carrying a heavy burden and it reminds me to live my own life with poise and gratitude.

The best compliment: I love smiles. If I get a smile it's a major compliment.

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Bart Lassman

A valley resident since 1974, Lassman managed the Pioneer Saloon before he became a firefighter in 1988. He has been Chief Lassman for 12 years—as long as he has been married to his wife, Evan Lister Stelma. In Lassman's spare time you can find him on his road bike, fishing or skiing.

I could not live without the support of my family and colleagues.

Fire is unpredictable.

I want what everybody wants, adrenaline.

We have grown gracefully and cautiously, the community and the valley as a whole.

Getting along is the key to success.

It's sad—It is never sad. It is just life.

My work has been a wonderful journey.

There are so many experiences to share.

When I look to the future of the Wood River Valley, I see great possibilities.

I never dated anyone other than my wife (laughs).

The most surprising thing about my life is that I continue to get excited about going to work.

Relaxation is gardening with my wife.

One person I looked up to was Allen Brunocini, retired fire chief of the city of Phoenix. He actually built his department around teaching his people and trusting them so you don't have to micromanage. He had a phrase: "Be nice." If you are just a nice person people will respect you and treat you well. He surrounded himself with intelligent people.

Survival is picking the right friends.

My parents were crazy to stay in Minneapolis.

Playing rugby taught me team building and selecting good beer.

If you haven't called your parents lately, pick up the phone and tell them how much you love them.

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Glenn Hunter

"Hunts," as he is fondly known around the rink, landed in Sun Valley after playing college hockey at the University of New Hampshire. Married 12 years to wife Linda, Hunter runs his own landscaping company.

My memory is faulty.

The first person I met in Sun Valley that I remember would have to be John Weekes. I tracked him down at the rink. I told him I was going to go to another camp, and I was leaving town and might be back. His line was something like,"I can't guarantee that I can save a place for you." I hooked up with a couple guys from back East and eventually wound up in a van with three other guys, and a case of beer. It was the time of Animal House and Slapshot. I think we were in Phoenix. The guy driving the van was one of Carlson brothers who played one of the Hansen brothers in Slapshot. I think it was Steve, but I can't remember. Another couple days and I said, "This is not working," and I came here permanently.

Defensemen don't exist anymore.

My hero was (Boston Bruins forward) Donny Marcotte.

Getting older: Overall more plusses than minuses, but I am still young enough to say that.

I was never the student I should have been.

On the bench with Pat Kearney or Tim Rappleye. Kearney 'cause he was a yapper. But he was actually better in the back of a Suburban on a 10-hour trip than he was on the bench. Rappley: Weekesy was still coaching and Raps was at end of bench and he kept saying, "Fresh bodies down here, coach." Hilarious.

I like to sit around and be a slug. I really sit around a lot. I am really pretty lazy. I like to survey my domain. That is what I call it when I walk around the yard.

The only joke I remember was one that Mike Murphy told years and years ago. It dealt with sprinkling a powder. Let's just say the punchline was, "The pharmacist and person getting the drug were confused as to what a schnauzer was." It was great joke.

People would be surprised to know that I was a tutor. Because people used to be surprised by that. Hockey players have a Neanderthal quality. That I drink much less beer than I used to. I have never owned a house in my entire life.

I take pride in the fact that I, to the best of my knowledge, have not created too many enemies. I have only been married to one woman. That I think I was a very positive influence on her son. That I at least got a small bit of my dad in me. My dad was great guy.

Memories that will last tend to center around hockey games and a lot of my memories center around my dad. The older I have gotten the better the memories have gotten. He would just drive us to the games and keep his mouth shut. He was never one of those obnoxious parents. His dad died when he was very young, so he never got to do things that other teenagers did. I think he got a vicarious thrill and enjoyed the fact that I did get to do those things.

My last best hope is that my wife's side of the family leaves us with a lot of money.




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