Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

Articles written by Dick Geary

Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 30



 By Dick Geary    Columns    January 23, 2019 

Rites of Passage

It took me a long time to fully appreciate the differences between a rural upbringing and an urban upbringing. These differences are not especially manifest, but they exist. Montana has no large...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    January 16, 2019

Habits of cleanliness

Our mother had four children under six years old in the house (two more came some years later,) a wringer washer, but no clothes dryer or dishwasher. Frozen foods came later, so every meal took a lot...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    January 9, 2019

The just noticeable difference

That summer that I was ten - Can it be only one summer that I was ten? May Swenson – The Centaur [1958] We all say that as we age, time seems to pass more quickly. There exists in the human...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    January 2, 2019

Feeding the haying crews

Tis not the meat, but 'tis the appetite Makes eating a delight. Of Thee, Kind Boy John Suckling 1609 - 1642 The haying crews were large during the years that the ranches put up loose hay. A normal tea...

 

The changing culture of ranch life

Agricultural techniques, like all other facets of life, have progressed over time. With cattle and other agrarian businesses, the cultures themselves have changed. I'm old enough to remember when a...

 

Ranch Christmas and Forgotten Santas

In the days of loose hay, when the cattle were fed by hand, Christmas meant two days of extra work. - the day before and the day after. In order to lessen the time spent with the cows on Christmas...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    December 5, 2018

The Brazilian irony of murder and murderers

I was eating lunch at the hotel in Barra do Bugres, where I had been sent by the Peace Corps. The establishment offered rooms plus meals, and was the only place to stay back in the early 1970's. In...

 

Road trips and roller skates

Back in the 1950's people didn't travel much. The vehicles of the day weren't that reliable, tires weren't dependable, and the roads were difficult. Our maternal grandmother lived in Deer Lodge, 50...

 

Gilding the technological lily

One afternoon, back in the 1990's, an old friend and I were philosophizing. The question came up as to what technological development of the 20th century had, or will have, the deepest effect on...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    November 7, 2018

Good neighbors, good fences

Robert Frost wrote that one time he came upon the owner of the land next to his. The man was building a fence in the woods, where there was no actual need for one. When Frost asked him why, the fellow...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    October 31, 2018

Re-adjusting to the seasons

Winter lies too long in country towns; bangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen. Willa Silbert Cather 1873 – 1947 The consistently warm weather in Brazil spoiled me. It took about a...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    October 24, 2018

Respecting the Halloween traditions

Every fall, about 2,000 years ago, the Celts celebrated a festival they called Shahmain (show-in). As the centuries passed, some Roman and Catholic Church activities were blended in with the Celts'...

 

Lessons from the hospital in Cuiaba'

I still think a lot about the hospital in Cuiabá. That place changed me a lot. I used to be quick to become irritated with the smallest thing, but that doesn't happen anymore, because there were so...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    October 3, 2018

Term Life

I have the propensity to make decisions with little forethought, then when things fall apart, cast around for help to get out of the situation I created. My siblings have always come through,...

 

The Yearling Days

Here in western Montana most ranches are what's called "cow/calf" operations. The owners maintain a herd of cows and sell the offspring at about six months of age, the calf crops go to feedlots, most...

 

Grouchy ducks, grumpy geese and other undesirable animals

Our mother was out at the clothesline while the rest of us were in the house. Suddenly, she burst through the back door, so frightened and angry she couldn't speak clearly. She kept asking for a shotg...

 

Surviving with help from Rosana, a person of rare caliber

I had been incubating a case of pneumonia for some time before I got sick enough that a woman whose name I didn't even know took action and saved my life. For some weeks, I had been getting weaker...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    August 29, 2018

Family milk cows, and the chores they meant, now a thing of the past

Along with the beaverslide stackers and teams of horses, the family milk cows have disappeared into the past. I don't think anyone misses them. The state of Montana initiated brucellosis testing of...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    August 22, 2018

Farm flocks, Judas sheep and surprise of ovine intelligence

For many years it was traditional for almost every ranch to run 100 – 200 head of sheep. "Farm flocks" they were called. That lasted until to the mid 1970's when the coyotes and prices both got so...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    August 15, 2018

Of baptisms, calving and making the most of an embarrassing situation

Matt stood in front of the mirror knotting the $80 silk tie his wife had given him for his birthday. He called to her, asking, "What time to we have to be at the church?" Liz, his wife, answered, "We'...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    August 8, 2018

Find the real Montana in Helmville on Labor Day weekend

Labor Day marks the end of summer in Helmville and most of Montana. The hay is baled and the cattle haven't come home from the native pastures. Children are either in school or about to start. For...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    August 1, 2018

Old Habits Die Hard

Old habits die hard. The nights are getting chillier, now, and even though I haven't hunted in over twenty years, I still find myself thinking about the coming hunting season. This came from my father...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    July 25, 2018

Fun and guilt at the Tri-County Fair

During the loose hay years, we kids would get a respite of four days, and that was the tri-county fair in Deer Lodge. It was the high point of our summer. We were in 4-H, so we always had a project,...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    July 18, 2018

The old pensioner and the lessons that stick in the memory

Chris was a "pensioner," as they called retired people back in the 1950's. He lived in a little cabin at our place, and died when I was eight or ten years old. I spent a lot of time with Chris,...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    July 11, 2018

Lessons and life as kid at the old Helmville School

The old Helmville school house was an imposing structure. It was two stories high, with a bell tower, and sat on the highest point in town. It was probably built in the late 1800's, and still serves...

 

Page Down

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018