Search This Blog

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Here it is--Jordan, Montana, located in Eastern Montana, a long ways from anywhere.  It is the county seat of Garfield County, which contains r 4848 square miles of farm land, sage brush and some very rugged country.  I found an interesting blog about it.  The writer is wrong about the distance to Billings, but it is still interesting.
   I remember watching North to Alaska at the Rio Theater, our one and only"show house" in town (as we called it), and thinking how much those streets full of sloppy mud reminded me  of the unpaved streets in Jordan during  the spring when the snow melted, the frost went out and the streets were filled with gumbo mud.  Now, it has paved streets, but fewer people, and no Rio Theater.  This is the sign for the rodeo that has happened and it is hanging across the top of anti-meth sign.  Now, I regret not going to this rodeo while I was home.  Our dad took us to nearly every rodeo in Jordan when I was a kid, because he like to socialize, and so did Cowboy and I. 

Garfield County High School--home of the Mustangs.  This is the same building that my aunts and uncles, Cowboy and I went to; it is getting close to 75 or 80 years old--maybe older.  I am sure whoever wrote Wolves at the School House Door,  would be the first to say, "Tear it down and build a new one!" 
This is the dorm where my aunts and uncles lived, and Cowboy and I also lived when we were in high school.  The girls and the cook lived on the top floor, while the boys and the dorm matron lived on the bottom floor.  We ate some really good food in the basement.  I will always remember Friday at noon when Mrs. Hendry served those fresh baked carmel rolls--delicious with cold milk!  Kids washed the dishes, mopped the dining room and kitchen floors, set the tables and helped in the kitchen.  We were assigned our chore for 6 weeks at a time.  Some did a much better job than others.  I always liked it when either I, or Marilyn Crane were on dish duty, because we got the dishes clean!  Most of the time I re-washed my tray before I ate.  We had to be checked in by 8:30 or 9:00, and if we checked out to the show, the dorm matron, Ruth Young,  called the show house to verify our attendance.   It is closed now, which is a shame, because Garfield County is huge, making driving to school a big chore for some of those folks, and very expensive.  I still think about my room mate Pat Frady, and the other girls that I got close to while living there.
The new bank, and a cool 77 degrees that day.
This is the hotel made into a motel.  It has been there as long as I can remember and longer.

/Veterans' Memorial at the VFW Hall.
Great uncles Cort, Grove and Orson Dutton served in WWI; Joe and Bruce served in WWII and I somehow messed that picture up.
I like war memorials; we need to remember the boys and girls that sacrifice so much. 
There are also two bars in town where you can drink just about anything and play poker until you are broke.  My dad enjoyed a trip to town to talk to the locals in the bar, and mainly argue politics with Tom Fitzgerald and Bobby O'Connor.  All of them are gone now, but I still have Dad's letters relating some of the action and conversations.  He described Bobby O'Connor dancing like this--"He got out on the floor, and looked like a sage hen rooster strutting around." 
I like the sense of humor here!  Ansel Crum used to own this bar and he didn't like to serve food, "Booze is where I make my money," and he didn't like people trying to make "special food orders" to slow things down.  He had a sign posted on the wall that stated:  "This is not Burger King.  You will not get it your way.  You will get it my way or you won't get the son-of-a-bitch."  Yep, they get straight to the point in this little town!

The Hell Creek is still for sale!
In case you are interested in buying, here it is.
And then there is "Basquo."  Arnauld Ellisalde, but everyone just calls him Basquo.  He is a French Basque, who came to the US in 1950 because he was afraid France would go communist after the war.  Gene Lacosta sponsored him, and he landed in  Miles City in a propeller plane.  He worked for Gus Anderson at first, and then started working for "Big Mitch" (Michael Guesanburu) during the 60s.  Basquo is retired and lives in the old fire hall, and here he is seated at his card playing table with an antique fire truck in the back ground.  He will always ask you if you want a beer or some wine if you stop in to see him.  The French doctors diagnosed him with diabetes, so instead of ordering 40 cases of wine he ordered 20.  This is a year's supply for him.  When I was growing up here, Garfield County was a melting pot.  There were people from Scotland, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and England.  Now, they are all Americans; the people from the "old country" are all gone, and Basquo is the only one left.  I miss all these people, and their accents.  I miss Montana, and it is always so good to go back, even though it continues to change, it will always be home.

No comments:

Post a Comment