Tag Archives: rural America

12 Churches and 5 Bars


It was another cold, dark, and howling night in Little Twig, Montana.  No longer below zero, the wind had picked up again and slapped Daphne in the butt as she literally blew into the saloon.  At the end of the bar in his usual spot stood Cowboy Clay with his Chardonnay.  Carl nursed a whiskey a seat down from where Clay stood and Soot was to the right of Clay also sipping a whiskey.  One bar stool next to Carl was open and Daphne slid in and threw off her long down coat.  Claudia had already poured her a glass of  Sauvignon Blanc and set it down in front of her.  Daphne pulled out her cell phone and placed it on the bar.

Daphne:  I waiting for one more call and then I’m done for the day.

Soot:  I’m getting rid of my cell phone.  We never needed them before.  Why should we now?

Clay:  Well what happens when you get stuck in a ditch?

Soot:  Well, maybe I wouldn’t have gone anywhere where I’d get stuck with no way of telling anybody where I am.  Maybe these phones just cause people to be reckless.  What did ya think about that?

Carl:  You could be right, Soot.

Clay: I don’t know.  I think people are going to be stupid whether they’ve got a phone or not.

With that the first round of the Philosophy Club finished and it was on to the next round. Continue reading

Magical Places and Radical Dreams

Paul Street recently noted in a piece called “Hope Killer for Re-Hire” http://www.zcommunications.org/hope-killer-for-re-hire-brand-obama-and-the-management-of-popular-expectations-by-paul-street

that Barack Obama in his 2004 Keynote Speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention called the United States “a magical place”.  Hmmm?  I thought.  Like “Oz”, the Easter Bunny’s garden of eggs, Santa Claus’ workshop, and George Clooney’s bedroom, America as magical is a big fat myth.  (Well, I’ll give you that George’s place could be dreamy).  Continue reading

Like at “Cheers”, Everybody in a Small Town Knows Your Name

And what prescriptions you just picked up at the pharmacy. Before you can get home to tell your husband that you are pregnant, the gals at the pharmacy have spread the word. If you get stopped by the cops, by the time you drive the three miles from the Frosty Freeze to Janet’s Hair and Nails, everybody at Janet’s asks you if you got a ticket.

In the city, you don’t know everybody who is sick or who has died.  In a small town, every illness and death is part of your life.  Maybe that’s why it can be glum going.  And it has been pretty glum here lately what with a slew of bad things shaking us all up as well as very bad weather to dampen our spirits.  The up side is that pretty much everybody pulls together and pitches in to get people through rough times.  No different I would imagine though from villages all over the world.

Stir Crazy w Update on the Ground Blizzard

Before the Wind

Will I succumb to cabin fever and go stir crazy inflicting my husband with all manner of diatribes about unfeeling fascists and greedy grifters?  It’s been snowing on and off since last Thursday.  Most of the time I could make it into town except last Saturday when it was too icy to travel the 3 miles in to town (Yes, I’m lucky. Some of my friends must drive up to 20 miles to town).  That day they closed the interstate from here to Columbus, MT which is about 37 miles. Friday night the snow and ice got serious, but the town was packed.  Our monthly art show at our artists cooperative gallery was on as well as a benefit Italian dinner at The Homestead B & B.  The town was also still crawling with hunters. Friend Phyllis said that it was treacherously slick coming from up the Boulder (the river valley where they shot “The River Runs Through It” and “The Horse Whisperer”), but if she said, “If I let a little bad weather stop me, I’d never leave the house and have no social life at all.”  She had very fashionable high heeled boots on for the art show, but confessed she had her heavy duty boots in the car for the drive home.  My friends Dave and Omi drove from Livingston (35 miles away) for the prime rib at The Grand, but he’s a Teamster.  They laugh at ice and snow. Besides, there was no wind. Continue reading