|I am camped this morning at a run-down, spartan,
VFW recreational site on Ewlett Lake. This official
notice was placed in the mens outhouse:
Public Notice- Recreational Area Vandalism and Theft Alert:
Your campgrounds and recreational sites experience vandalism every year. Please take the time to report incidents and violations of campground rules as soon as possible-
Thank you. You should have this information written down in case of emergency.
Lake Ewlett, a large reservoir created by the damming of the Marais River by the Tiber Dam, 14 miles south of Chester. They fish walleyes here. No live minnows allowed. What would the good walleye fishermen of Minnesota think of that? Sun up- not one boat on the water. Sunset- again the lake empty. What kind of walleye fishermen are these? If I have time might bring out the canoe, although my monofiliment line is badly twisted from all that trolling in Gibson Reservoir.
|Enter the Duck
The dog was barking. It was a warning bark. It was the distinct bark warning me of an approaching human. It was a guy named Duck. He was coming over to "bullshit." He has been staying at the campsite four down from mine. He has been there a month. Duck is fifty-ish, short and stocky with unruly reddish hair that with a brush could be tamed if need be.
|He is wearing a pair of
faded pink No Fear baggy shorts and sporting the kind of
tan one sees in the tropics on people addicted to the
sun. Ducks campsite, like all the campsites on the
little, perhaps eight-acre, Bear Paw Lake, 14 miles south
of Havre, Montana, has no shade. The sun has been brutal.
It soon becomes apparent that Duck has come to see if he
can borrow some "doobie" material. I tell him,
I cant help.
He says its no big deal, hes got friends in Havre. No big deal at all. Then Duck starts to talk. Its like Duck hasnt talked with anyone for a long time. He goes and goes. Hes a professional card dealer, just back from Reno where he was working a tournament, 36 hours of dealing, plays cards too, better dealer than player, got gigs lined up in Reno, Tahoe, got a gig next month subbing in Vegas, lived in Kona with a guy who brought in 1500 pounds of hashish, stood in a marijuana field on the island of Hawaii where the plants were this high, buds this big, goes to Zihuantanejo (Zee), Mexico in the winter, has been for ten years, likes the old Mexico, been all over Mexico, likes the old Mexico, is a double English major, sometimes subs as a teacher when hes in these little towns, just wrote a piece for the Harve paper on a friend of his that just died, old pal, learned a lot from this guy, learned about life, its a little testimonial, should come out tomorrow, paper usually waits a couple days, couple months ago best friend died, couldnt make the funeral, was in the middle of a tournament, he woulda understood, but woulda like to have been there, born in Havre, lived all over Montana, Whitefish, Missoula, Billings, all over, thinks this particular spot is the best place in all of Montana, and hes lived all over, dont tell anyone about it, caught 40 fish in the lake yesterday, little bass, some trout, small, this big, liked my set up, nobody would ever think I have anything of value in a van looks like this, well, gotta go, I looked busy, liked my tarp, didnt need shade himself, sun person, cant get enough sun, liked the dog, whats the name again? Zelda, and mine? Oh, yeah, and he went.
Couple things from the Havre local paper, possibly the smallest daily I have ever seen. Eight pages. Fifty cents. The Havre Daily News.
The lead story, the same lead story in every newspaper I have picked up in Montana- Death Toll Mounts on Roads. Its the same story: record pace for highway fatalities. Most deaths occurring at night, when there is a speed limit, most accidents involving out-of-staters, its the aggressiveness of the drivers, not their speed. For the year deaths are up, 148, 31 more than last year. The articles are often accompanied by comments by selected locals, "With the change of the speed limit, have you felt any less safe traveling this summer?" With the exception of the mandatory "yes" everyone thinks the no-speed limit is great.
Also appearing on the front page is:
Kremlin (MT) man sets high mark for Pronto Pup record. "Ricky Martin surpassed his goal of fifty Pronto Pups at the Great Northern Fair without any visible side effects Sunday night." He consumed 43 pups over the first five days of the fair and finished off the week with 52 pups eaten by devouring nine on Sunday. He said, "I might have a challenger for next year- my brother, Randy. He says I better practice up to beat him."
Montana Jerks. Historical Society researcher tells students about our states biggies.
"Ike Gravelle was a jerk. George Gore was a jerk too. And Montana Historical Society researcher, Dave Walter says Gravelle and Gore- two dubious characters of the 1800s whose shady deeds wrote them into the black book of Montana history- arent that different from jerks in the area today." It goes on to tell about these two jerks and some other jerks, including the Unabomber. There is an inset that reads, "At least most of the jerks came from somewhere else."
Several Montana papers have a "Heros and Zeroes" or "Cheers and Boos" feature, where good deeds are publicly applauded and bad deeds are put out there for public chastisement. The Zeroes for today are:
The lady at the fairgrounds who was setting on the rail in front of the handicap area who when asked to move made the comment that next year she should bring her wheelchair.
The 16-year old New Hampshire boy who killed a classmate with a blow to the head in an after school fight.
It was not mentioned whether or not the lady at the fair was from out of state.