The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

So Long


August 2, 2018

There are certain people that we meet in our lives that are unforgettable. They tend to make you laugh at their stories and make you think.

You look at them and think their lives are something very unique. And it makes you feel good just knowing them.

Dave Powers was that unique individual.

I met him in 1968, about a year after he came to Ritzville with his wife Sally to farm her family’s homestead.

He contacted my brother Larry and I to pull rye out of one of the fields a few miles outside of Ritzville. He had a plan to get rid of the rye and over time he certainly was successful.

Larry would later drive tractor for Dave and Larry told me some of the stories that Dave would pass on to him and they were very funny.

In 1974, Mike Bauer asked me about the possibility of playing Rugby for the local Lind-Ritzville Rugby Club and also the basketball team. I couldn’t pass those opportunities up.

I knew the local guys and we had a lot of fun playing together. I often said that there were times that we got on the bus to go to a game and didn’t ask until the bus left the parking lot where we were going.

I learned a lot about this game and how much pride these older guys had in wanting to win every game we played even though we were still learning on the go.

I remember watching Dave, John Wellsandt, Brian Miller and Dale Ross work their butts off in the scrums and line outs. The game is not easy and there aren’t any timeouts and if you take a rest you will be in trouble quickly.

We had some very impressive games against young college teams and had some interesting success at tournaments in Canada, Seattle and Portland. The highlight was a tournament in New Orleans that I was unable to go to.

In the winter, the Ritzville Rugbies would play basketball and there was Dave and John. Each week during warm ups the story telling would begin.

It seemed that Fox Powers and John would be telling about some of the escapades from a skiing trip or something that happened on the farm and we would be laughing and the other team had to wonder about us.

Once the game started Wellsandt and Powers would be playing some of the toughest defense against some really good players. Their job wasn’t to score but to get rebounds and bother the other team and they certainly did that.

We had a lot of fun and had a lot of success for a bunch of defensive minded ball players.

At the fifth quarter get together, we laughed about some of the air balls, missed free throws and physical play, and then the stories were told and the laughter ensued.

I’m sure that some of us thought those times would go on forever or at least we hoped they would. We were having too much fun and a lot of the laughs were because of Dave Powers and John Wellsandt.

These guys were highly intelligent but the kid in them sometimes ruled the roost.

Last Saturday at the celebration of the life and times of Dave Powers, Dick Miller talked about the purchase of the Rugby bus to help get the team to games and tournaments.

He also said that if the Rugby bus could talk there is a good chance that the movie would surpass the National Lampoon Vacation movies in comic value.

Over the years our team has aged. Many former team members attended Dave’s service and we shared stories and of course caught up with our time away from each other.

Over the years we have had our health issues, knee replacements and retirements.

We had a great time honoring Fox and once again Dave Powers brought people together for a good laugh and a cold one.

So long, Dave. You are the most unforgettable character I’ve ever met!


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