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

Articles written by Dick Geary

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 By Dick Geary    Columns    November 14, 2018 

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...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    July 4, 2018

In Brazil a reminder of the toils of old fashioned motherhood

When I was in Brazil this last time I was reminded of what our mothers, grandmothers, and those before them must have gone through before running water and electricity. I don't know how they did it....

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    June 20, 2018

Return, recovery and independent smoking

The trip from Sao Paulo to Orlando, Fla. was the ultimate misery. My feet were swollen and wept and burned the entire ten hours of the trip. Every seat on the plane had a TV screen where the...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    June 13, 2018

Dick Geary: Recovering from pneumonia and a few other things, and thankful for help

For most of my life I've considered myself to be a misanthrope, harboring a soft contempt for my fellow humans. I think that philosophy was a contrivance to protect my own fragile and shallow ego....

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    April 18, 2018

No more blind faith

It's like this. I'm now bankrupt in one country and stone broke in another. That takes some work. I've written about Beré. She works in the restaurant on the weekends and occasionally other...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    April 11, 2018

Surviving the seasonal hazards of the hayfields

Looking back, it’s surprising to realize how hazardous our ranch childhoods were.   We had scores of attractive dangers to lure us into difficult situations. We had horses, defensive cows with new...

 

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