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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

It wasn’t supposed to end like this. What started out as a normal Monday morning a few weeks ago, ended up becoming a shocking tragedy when three men, Dr. Bill Tryon, Christian Silaghi and Juan Pablo Garcia, died in a freak accident in Desert Hills.

Dr. Bill Tryon was a well-known and beloved Veterinarian for big animals, serving the area for thirty years. If you had a horse, donkey, cow or goat, you probably knew Dr. Tryon. He made house calls, of course. So he drove to our little ranches, barns, mare motels, round pens, stalls or wherever we needed him…and whenever we needed him. Horses need immunizations and teeth floated, checked for injuries, birthing of foals, have colic outbursts and require last stages of life care. Sometimes Bill would be at his best when we were at our worst – a distraught human and a very sick animal. He brought comfort and encouragement. He helped us and our animals.

One time my horse Baxter was very ill with colic. Dr. Tryon must have come out at midnight on a hot July night. After examining Baxter he shook his head and said, “You need to prepare yourself. He is as sick a horse as I have ever seen.” I started to cry but Bill gave me some mundane tasks to do, administered medicine to my big horse and said “staying calm” is a good thing for Baxter’s sake. Then he said, “Baxter’s time might be up, but being here with him matters.” My horse lived and is still kicking ten years later.

Dr. Tryon had a reputation of compassion, knowledge and integrity that made him a champion among horse owners. He was a hard-working, straight talking man and was highly respected (by humans and the animals he cared for). We lost so much that fateful Monday.

Stop the clock, freeze the hands of time, Dear God we all wish we could just go back and change this. Make that day disappear. Bring back this good and decent man. Stop the young men who raced, without hesitation, to save Bill, only to meet the same terrible ending. We lost three kind souls that day.

We are sometimes able to witness courage that takes our breath away. On television we recently watched as three men on a small boat went to rescue a woman that was trapped in her car in the floodwaters in Louisiana. You could hear her screaming for help, could see a man taking a shovel and breaking the windshield and then in an unbelievable moment, jumping off the boat into the murky water and grabbing the woman by the arms, pulling her out of the sinking car to safety. She screams, “My dog, my dog is drowning.” The young man then dives under the water and comes up a minute later with a big white dog.

Heroes take the first ten steps towards the disaster (while the rest of us are running away). They are the best of humanity, displaying the finest in true selfless compassion, risking all to help or save another. There is no thought, only action, and in this we see the greatest sacrifices known to mankind. In that moment that Dr. Bill Tryon had fallen 20 feet down into the grain silo, Christian, the neighbor and Juan Pablo, his Vet Tech and colleague took immediate action to help Bill. Down the hole! Help our friend! Courage is not measured by the outcome, but by the hearts and deeds of those who risk their lives to rescue those in their time of need.

We know that life is fragile. We are all vulnerable to mishaps and disasters. Tragedy may strike in a moment, but sorrow is played out over time in a million different ways. We may have a hard time digesting what happened, so we look to our faith to help us navigate through it.

Native Americans claim that the eagle soars to guide the newly departed spirits to heaven. The wind rustles in the trees to free us of our sorrows. The rain falls to cleanse our souls. The sunsets come to soothe our troubled minds. The sun rises to bring us hope and comfort. The moon rises to restore our inner peace. And this week, when we glance to the heavens may we see three stars shining brightly to help us find the beauty in a dark sky.

Dr. Bill Tryon, Juan Pablo Garcia and Christian Silaghi. We remember them. We honor them. We miss them.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at