Santorum’s right-hand man

By Jim Stanford on January 4, 2012

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Rick Santorum celebrates Iowa showing, backed by Foster Friess.

Here’s Rick Santorum celebrating last night his victory in the Iowa GOP caucus (later revised as an eight-vote win for Mitt Romney).

And who’s that standing behind Santorum on the stage but Jackson Hole financier Foster Friess.

Friess, he of the recent Income Inequality is Good for Everyone blog post, has been a longtime supporter of Santorum, the evangelical former Pennsylvania senator much derided for his remarks about gay sex. Friess organized a fund-raiser for Santorum at Tucker Ranch in 2004 that netted more than $500,000 for his failed re-election bid and charitable foundation.

Friess’ cameo was first noted last night by Joe Milczewski and re-Tweeted by Wyoming Public Radio’s Butter Bob.

Milczewski has held some sad-sack jobs for the Wyoming GOP, including press secretary for Barbara Cubin, but his analysis of the Iowa caucus has been astute. “Iowa is meaningless. Watching Family Guy reruns for the next week will give you just as much insight into who the nominee will be,” he wrote.

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Posted under Politics, Religion, Republican Party

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banishing the darkness as 2012 dawns

By Jim Stanford on January 4, 2012

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Warding off evil spirits.

The New Year’s Eve torchlight parade on Snow King has become a must tradition, part pagan solstice celebration, part night-skiing derby and part community rally.

2011 wound down with a carefully choreographed, if a little slow, procession of lights on Snow King, capped by a fireworks display. A familiar face was back to help lead the festivities: former Ski Area Manager Jim Sullivan.

With White Pine near Pinedale closed, Sullivan has returned as an instructor to the King’s ski school, where he began his career in 1973 under the tutelage of Bill Briggs. Sullivan is applying many of the precepts Briggs taught him as he guides clients, including a blind skier last week.

The torchlight parade on the King dates to the 1940s or ’50s, Sullivan says.

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Posted under Holidays, Religion, Ski Resorts, Sports

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Jesus gives the Broncos a pep talk

By Jim Stanford on December 18, 2011

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Do the Patriots have a prayer today at Mile High?

Tebow’s run has been remarkable, as he shatters the myth of who can or cannot play quarterback in the NFL. His minimalist, late-game heroics are reminiscent of George Blanda in 1970.

One would think the Saints are God’s team, given the miracle of Super Bowl XLIV.
Lord knows the Jets could use some divine intervention.

(Mobile viewers need Hulu Plus)

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Posted under Entertainment, Humor, Religion, Sports

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why we always believe

By Jim Stanford on October 25, 2011

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Rounding third Knight! The Mets will win the ballgame! The Mets win!

It’s curious how our society commemorates events especially in five-year cycles. Witness, for instance, the mass hoopla over the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which surely stung no less on the eighth or ninth anniversaries.

But I’ll play along. Twenty-five years ago tonight, I became an eternal optimist.

Down two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning, with two outs and two strikes. “Hoping against hope that something will start to happen,” as Bob Murphy said in the radio broadcast.

I write this not to rub salt in the wounds of Red Sox fans, wounds no doubt salved by the balm of ’04 and ’07 titles. I’ve always argued we share a common enemy in the Yankees.

I write this because the Mets’ comeback to win Game Six of the 1986 World Series was as close as I’ve ever come to witnessing a miracle. Especially for a teenage boy who grew up in New York rooting for the Mets, Jets and Rangers, enduring year after year of futility.

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an interview with Jimmy Herring

By Jim Stanford on June 29, 2011

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Jimmy Herring with John Bell at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

With Widespread Panic preparing to return to the Tetons for three shows at Grand Targhee, I spoke with guitarist Jimmy Herring last week from Taos, N.M., where the band had an off day. A North Carolina native who has played with the Allman Brothers, Aquarium Rescue Unit and The Dead, Herring joined Widespread Panic in 2006, following the death of original guitarist Michael Houser and an interim stint by George McConnell. The grizzled axe man, who favors a Stratocaster, has been widely hailed by fans for injecting new life into the Athens, Ga., band, celebrating its 25th anniversary on this tour.

We spoke a bit about our backgrounds. (I first saw him play with Col. Bruce Hampton and ARU back around 1991 or ’92.) He was gracious and thoughtful, speaking in a warm Southern drawl. After small talk about Southern heat vs. the chilly breeze of the West, we jumped right into the Targhee shows.

JS: Are you familiar with the venue, Grand Targhee?

JH: I’ve heard about it, but I don’t know if I’ve played there before.

JS: It’s a tiny ski resort that sits at 8,000 feet in the Tetons. All of the Widespread Panic shows in the Jackson Hole area over the years have been down in the valleys. This time the band will be playing up in the mountains. There probably will be some snow on the ground.

JH: Unbelievable. Will it be cold?

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Posted under Music, Religion, Ski Resorts

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