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September 26, 2012     The Adams County Record
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September 26, 2012
 

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Page 8 Wednesday, September 26, 2012 Community Spotlight Rich Laine Council Homeboy Works Rich Laine is the newest Council City Councilman. His smile is as wide as he is tall. Witl his wry humor and outdoor vital- ity, he could easily have walked out of a Patrick McManus short story. He summed up his values in life succinctly. "I look for character in wood and people;' he grinned. Born in Lewiston, Idaho, he moved to Council at age 2. His dad was a diesel mechanic for Boise Cascade. Later his mom remarried John Balderson. Rich recalls a good childhood, fishing, swimming and skiing, later working for Hornet Creek ranches. He learned early not to take life for granted. Ten days. before Rich's 13th birthday, his dad died of heart failure. Rich recalls the men who helped raise him then. ``You lose one, you gain many other mentors, like Albert Campbell, Bill LaDuke, Huck Paradis, Herb Woods, Dick Fisk, and Frank Yantis," he reminisced. He's deeply grateful to the men at the old Council Sale Yard every Saturday. "I'd hope to fill their shoes someday," he said. In school, Rich roared through football, basketball, and track. Shop classes gave him foundry, cutting, welding, drafting, and lathe work. 'Tm really glad shop is back: he said. 'tA lot of my heart came from there" He married Ty, his grade school sweetheart after graduating from Council High School in 1979. Their strength is love with a strong dose of respect; "best buds forever," he called it. Rich loves being a husband and a dad. "Once I had a baby in my arms, my dreams went in other directions;' he recalled about raising his 4 daughters Brandii, Ashlii, Codii, and Chelsii. His girls loved sharing activities with him, until boys took center stage. He coached elementary school basketball, and T-ball through high school fast-pitch softball, driving everyone to games in his ll-person van. Having a house full of women was challenging. "There was plenty of estrogen poisoning," he laughed. "Getting into the bathroom was something else. I had to shave in the bird bath" He worked at Silver King mines on the crushers and float decks. He also ran the ball mill -- a huge cement mixer twice the size of a living room, full of steel balls over 21 years, he took "We're. waiting on the a 10-year construction economy to improve" he break in between. A explained. self-admitted jack of His support for all trades, he always youngsters never lagged. discovers something new He coached and umpired and interesting to do. His at Parks and Recreation unique wood collection for 16 years, and took features birdseye pine many boys hunting and and tamarack, and other beautiful scores. He works with horn and wood to make unique cabinets, shelves and plant holders. "Living in this valley you learn how to be self-sufficient and creative" he said. Rich and Ty once tried city living, lasting about 6 months in Boise before returning to Council. and water, which ground "Street lights weren't for the raw material 5 times me" he sighed. Starting in finer than flour. From 2004 they toiled hard to there the precious metals make their Quail Hollow were removed at the cottage rental, gift and flotation decks, coffee shop a unique Employed at Evergreen Council business, but Forest Products for it's been closed a while. fishing. He remembers their delight. "The smile was a lot bigger on their faces than it could ever be on mine;' he grinned. Rich also loves being papa to his 4 grandsons, helping them share the outdoor life. A devastating accident almost destroyed that life. In 1998 Rich crashed offof a 12 foot roof after sliding down a 9-12 roof pitch for 33 feet. He crushed his knee, and shattered his pelvis and hip. Rich drew lots of inspiration from others who came to see him, especially 88 year 01d Herb Woods, who The Adams County Record for Good had suffered a terrible crushing logging accident himself. He worked determinedly to recover from his injuries. "The outpouring I got from the town when I was laid up ...the benefits, cards, and letters...it was amazing;' he related. "I've still got a hitch in my giddyup," he said about his injuries, but he pushes to do the activities he loves, like gardening and building his home. When asked to join the City Council over a year ago, he wanted to give back to his community. City Council membership has been a learning curve of grasping the entirety of the role and doing the right thing for the whole. He's proud of the council budget management. There are lots of problems-- decaying infrastructure, repairs to roads and water systems, airport upkeep, difficulties trying to enforce junk ordinances, resident complaint s , sale of the HUD donated house for charity funds. On top of it all there's the impending Highway 95 bypass. ``I'm really scared for Council," he acknowledged. "What can we do to help promote By Deb Wilson this town? I lay awake thinking about our children having to leave to find work." He hopes Council can reflect more of its history, how it was a peaceful place for the Indians, a struggling home for pioneers and miners, a mill town. "We want people to stop here with interest," he said. He hopes local people can become more involved, and bring productive ideas to the table rather than just bickering. 'Tm a lover of life; I like to put smiles on people's faces 7 he added. He passes on the good morals he's learned to his offspring. He gave his mom, Lenis Laine, a home on his property, where she loves sitting on the porch he built her, making crafts and watching the deer. He still cares deeply for area seniors, like former teacher Wilma Watson, who helped him survive school after his dad died. He'd like to see a teen center here, like the old Lumberjack Caf family center he grew up with. Recently he enjoyed a "Blue Moon float," a soul cleansing night and day white water trip on the Salmon River with his huge family. His nephew, Matt Laine, owns Wild River Adventures there, great for steelhead fishing and rafting. It helped him pause and appreciate all that he had lost and gained. "I'm fishing in deep water now" he grinned. "Just put your caring out there. It'll come back around and make you happy." $I099! Steve's Automotive & Towing A Professional & Complete Auto Service Family AFFORDAI FULL 8am to Monday lumber available - 2x6, 2x8, 2xl O, Douglas Fir. 99 Custom pre-hung, bipass, wood by the lb. fittings bifolds, 2194 Hwy 95, Council 208-253-3614 Lube, Oil, Filter $25.95+ + on most ears (up to 5 qts.) ( Perfection is our Goal ) ( Honesty is our Policy )