……no, really, it happened right here, honest…..

One of the finest things about Montana is the characters it grows, an endless loop of memory for me–all of the wondrously funny people I have met here. I have met a few in other places but I don’t spend much time anywhere else, so they are mostly Montanans. The best of them drawl in rhythms much like a walking horse’s gait. The stories are quite wonderful. But they work best if there is a proper tempo and pauses at the precise times needed. It is a minor American art form, and, like the practitioners of all art forms, the best 0f them make it look and sound so very easy.  Putting the rumbling, drawling voice on the page is impossible, really, but one must try.                                                     “Well, one fourth of July we was all up in Red Lodge for the rodeo, and in a saloon having a drink or ten before it started, and pore ol’ Bob took on more’n he could carry and he slid off his chair boneless as a sack a grain, and laid there with his eyes shut, which got us thinkin’…so one of the bunch got an idea and he run off and called an undertaker had a bidness there to Red Lodge and got him to open his place up.  We carried Bob there and laid him out nice in a coffin in front of the chapel and we sat there fannin’ ourselves with our hats and lookin’ mournful until Bob woke up and then he sat up and saw all his friends a-sobbin’ away and then he divined where he was and he let out a beller you coulda heard in Havre and he jumped outta the coffin and run right through the plate glass door to the place and busted it to bits and as I recalled we had to put up the money to replace the door, which was five hundred bucks but nobody complained ’cause we admitted it sure was worth it…..Bob was a little sore about it so it was a good long time ‘fore I slept without one eye open, I kin tell ya…..’nother time –and that will have to wait, for another time…………..