Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By John Davis

The beauty of living in Worland


February 21, 2017

The beauty of living in Worland is that you’re so far from major population centers. So, we can enjoy the advantages of small town living, such as knowing your neighbors and having their friendly support, a lower cost of living, and avoiding the crime and congestion so often found in large urban areas. For me as an outdoorsman, it has meant the ability to easily travel to unspoiled, unpopulated and beautiful places where I can hunt, fish and hike.

The problem with living in Worland is that you’re so far from major population centers. Much as I dislike certain aspects of large towns, they have some things just not available in Worland, including a large number of excellent restaurants, shopping for items not sold in Worland, large art museums and major league sporting events.

All this went through my mind a couple of weeks ago when I drove to Salt Lake City to attend a Utah Jazz game. This has become a yearly tradition for my son, Dan, and me. He works for Utah State University in Logan and thus it’s an easy drive for him to come down to Salt Lake. But long before he journeyed from the American Heritage Center in Laramie to Utah State in Logan, I started going to Jazz games, starting way back, in 1986. In 1986 the Boston Celtics won the NBA championship. They had a terrific starting five (known as the “Fab Five”) consisting of Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish, and I wanted to watch this great basketball team, one of the best teams in history. Just seeing Larry Bird shoot free throws was worth the price of admission, although the Celtics ended up losing the game. The day before, the Celtics had played a big game against their arch rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, and they were apparently tired when playing the Jazz.

It wasn’t long before two additions to the Jazz, John Stockton and Karl Malone, changed everything about the team. I loved to watch Stockton run his team like a great puppet master, mostly by making impossible passes to Malone, who then made impossible shots. If it weren’t for that blankety-blank Michael Jordan, the Jazz would have won the championship.

After Stockton and Malone left, the fortunes of the Jazz were up and down, mostly down. When they had Carlos Boozer and Darren Williams their teams were good, usually going to the playoffs, but not getting very far. Recently, they haven’t even made the playoffs. But this year, after several years of patiently building a good squad, things have changed. The Jazz are easily a playoff team, and it’s been exciting to watch this young squad do so well.

So, as I mention above, off I went to Salt Lake. And in Salt Lake my son and I first had a very good meal at the Market Street Grill (an excellent seafood restaurant) and then attended the game between the Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies. Utah was favored: they had previously beaten Memphis and had a better record. The game was held in downtown Salt Lake City in a big arena, of course, holding some 20,000 people. It’s always an exciting event, with this big crowd, although I quickly tire of all the noise and the cheesy promotional events. But the games are usually quite enjoyable. This one wasn’t, however. Memphis got slightly ahead of Utah early and never let up. Past about the middle of the second quarter, nothing the Jazz did had much effect on the relentless Grizzlies, they just kept pulling ahead. It was a frustrating game to watch.

Oh well, at least the trip home had some great scenery; more snow than I’ve ever seen.

John Davis was raised in Worland, graduating from W. H. S. in 1961. John began practicing law here in 1973 and is retired. He is the author of several books.


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