Hasty Ruminations

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Montana: Indian for "Heaven"

The heat came on in the trailer this morning.

We arrived in Glacier National Park last night. Actually, we’re in the town of West Glacier, at the entrance to the park. Since the national parks restrict the size of campers, I rented a commercial site, plugged in the water and electricity, and cooked dinner.

Bush should explain how he uses my tax money to build 1,000 feet long aircraft carriers, but he cannot build a campground for my 33' trailer.

We are at 6,100 feet elevation in the Rocky Mountains. It was hot yesterday afternoon, so I ran the air conditioning in the trailer just to cool things down. I left a ventilator fan on when I went to bed, and at 6:00 am we needed some heat. It was about 53 outside, as crisp and as clear as it has been since leaving Minnesota two days ago.

My camp site is small, so it took a fair amount of backing and pulling to get the 33’ trailer and the 30’ truck into the 50’ space. I was taking it slowly, to avoid doing 400 HP worth of damage to anything. Clyde Bozo, one of my new neighbors, lost all patience with my patience, and came to my window to encourage me to turn the wheel harder. Accompanied with the inane head wagging, grotesque arm waving, incomprehensible grunting and obnoxious grimacing claimed by denizens of New Jersey as some kind of heritage. Sure enough, a “Nutley, NJ” sticker in the windshield of his lightweight pickup truck. So, lapsing into Jerseyeze, I sez to him, “Eah, whadexit?” Taken aback to hear his own dialect in the pristine, 300 million year old rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains, he paused as his brain tried to reboot. With him on the ropes, I delivered my coup de gras: “I’m doin fine. Fuggedaboudit”, as I closed my window and shifted to drive. Ah, you can take Joisey out of the man,…

Yesterday, I stopped in Great Falls, Montana, for a nostalgic visit to Great Falls High School. I found it, appearing much as it had the last time I saw it during a family trip in 1960. It was built in about 1920, and my Mom and her brother and sister graduated there. The teachers provided a great education: Mom enjoyed literature and debate all of her life, Virginia became administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force and Jack was the first radio announcer (a role he reprised when it went to TV) for “Meet the Press”. Mom was in the class of 1940.

Grandma Roney raised her kids alone as she ran a boarding house in Great Falls. When Jack got the radio job, they all moved to Washington DC. Grandma rented out two rooms in the house to boarders, and one of them was a sailor. He was in town while his aircraft carrier, USS TICONDEROGA, was being outfitted at the Washington Navy Yard for the war in the Pacific. My grandmother told him, “Now you stay away from my daughters.” So of course he and Mom met, fell in love, and became my parents.


  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger Mellie Helen said…

    You mean, you can take the man outta Joisey, but you can't take the Joisey outta da man. As evidenced by you!

    I love the story about how your parents met! Sweet!


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