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

Articles written by Dick Geary

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 By Dick Geary    Columns    April 24, 2019 

The Shack

I've mentioned a number of times the constancy a person experiences when raised on a rural property. The phenomenon crosses generations and allows...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    April 17, 2019

The phenomenon of dying rural towns

The other day I was in a town about 100 miles from here. Townsend used to be a dynamic place, but there are a lot of empty storefronts there now. The...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    April 10, 2019

Myriad pets, both domestic and wild

Rural children grow up with fewer organized activities than do their urban counterparts, but they enjoy a variety of country opportunities not...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    April 3, 2019

Family comes through in untenable situations

This winter I spent some time in both retro and introspection. The results aren't very good, I'm afraid. I showed some promise as a child, but when pu...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    March 27, 2019

The demanding life of a ranch matriarch

I don't know how our paternal grandmother managed. She wasn't different than any of the women who raised families in the early and mid-20th century. T...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    March 20, 2019

Grandmother Ethel

With most of the news being about politics these days, I think often about our maternal grandmother who was a dedicated Republican in the Eisenhower...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    March 13, 2019

The birds of spring, a harbinger of summer

This last siege of storms has made for long winter. The snow is welcome, but it may delay spring grass and the return of migratory birds. As kids,...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    March 6, 2019

The cold frustration of winter

This last blizzard got me thinking about how hard the old timers had to work just to keep the house warm from September to May, and to cook every day...

 

Kenny

When I was at my sickest in Brazil, and my legs didn't work to the point I sometimes couldn't get off the toilet by myself, I remembered a rancher...

 

'Sundry rubber goods'

I've always kept myself on the outer edges of society, preferring to observe its actions and ideas with a soft contempt, always keeping my "ironic...

 

Learning patience from the farm flock

Years back almost every ranch kept a "farm flock" of 100 – 200 ewes. They provided extra income from their wool and lambs, but could be a nuisance...

 
 By Dick Geary    Columns    January 30, 2019

An ongoing loss of heritage and history

Some time ago I saw a photograph taken at the Helmville cemetery on the day they buried my great grandfather in 1922. In the picture there's a...

 
 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...

 
 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....

 
 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...

 
 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 yea...

 

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...

 

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...

 
 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...

 

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....

 

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...

 
 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... Full story

 
 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...

 
 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...

 

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...

 

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