R. Chatham and the Montana land-rush boom and bust cycle

Beaverhead Summer Twilight

Today, Midcurrent posted a link to an interesting article in the SF Chronicle about Russel Chatham and his relationship to the land-rush boom and bust cycle in Montana over the last decade.

This is especially interesting to me only in a tertiary way because last night I was talking to a good friend of mine who recently re-located to Tulsa from Missoula and is patiently waiting on his house to sell in Missoula. So much for a a place to crash in banana belt

A few years ago, I would’ve bet dollars to doughnuts that the phrase “wainting on a house to sell in  Missoula” was pretty much like saying, waiting on the Yankees payroll to drop below $50 million — as in, never gonna happen. Yet, here we are.

The piece is fairly forgiving in that it doesn’t belittle him or play up the obvious “this economy” slant. There are no sappy, or wistful overly nostalgic glimpses of the boom years, where places like the Yellowstone club had waiting lists, instead of foreclosure lists.

Honestly the best part about the piece is it celebrates what we here at the Fiddle and Creel really dig, and that is good hard work. Sitting down by yourself, and getting it done. Granted for Chatham getting it done may mean a year or more of work. But here is a guy, who gets to it every day, without any kind of reassurance form the outside world. No Twitter followers, no hit counter, no link exchange, or likes or pluses. He’s just there, by himself, getting it done.

Finally I have to say there is a distinct Jim Harrison-esque quality about the quotes from Mr. Chatham, not to mention a distinct physical resemblance. I’m not sure if I’m putting that on him, or if he hangs out with Mr Harrison, but there is just something about the gritty, open, vagueness of his quotes that smells like the big crazy bear-i-son. Just saying.

Here’s to staring into the landscape, inventing lies.


2 thoughts on “R. Chatham and the Montana land-rush boom and bust cycle

  1. “If it works, then I’m successful because I’ve made up a lie that they believe.” — Chatham is successful….I believe his lies. Thanks for the link to that article…

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