10 December 2007

A Gift For Those Who Need It (and have everything else)

An article in this morning's Gazette about a custom coffin-maker in Red Lodge Montana aroused my interest. A coffin is something most of us will need at some time or other in our lives, so it seemed logical to me to let others know what is available. The shape Mr Herzberg calls classic is the one pictured here. It costs $1175 though I suppose you could add some things that might jack up the price somewhat. And then if you live in Florida or some other faraway place the cost of shipping would have to be taken into account. He does personal deliveries within a 100 mile radius, which would include Billings.

I've always wondered why the "classic shape"? Kind of vaguely resembles a turd, doesn't it. I mean, it doesn't seem to correspond to the human body, does it? And it makes the construction a little more difficult. So, if anyone knows, let me in on the secret, even if it is something obvious.

[It occurred to me several weeks later to mention that if $1175 seems like a lot for a coffin, then you should check out your local undertaker's wares. And if it still seems like a lot, then maybe a family could go together on it. Just use it for display, then after the funeral, burn 'em, but not the coffin, which can be used again and again. Just an idea.]

08 December 2007

A Modest Proposal

While surfing the Net recently, I discovered that the 2008 baseball season will be the last at the House that Ruth Built. It will be torn down in favor of a New Yankee Stadium being built even as we speak just across the road.

And furthermore, that the new Washington DC Baseball Park will open for business in April 2008.

And Finally, that the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, will be saying a Mass at the Washington DC Baseball Park on April 17, 2008.

It seems to me that this might be a golden opportunity to combine history, urban amazement, entertainment, sport, and religious fervor in one glorious long Spring break. We could probably throw in a little old-time transportation kicks riding the rails from DC to NYC.

07 December 2007

Double Life?

I did a double-take at the grocery store yesterday. As most of you know, I get most of my understanding of what is going on in this country from the magazines and newspapers lining the checkout aisle at one of two Albertson 's stores in Billings Montana USA.

Here is what I want to know: Is somebody in our extended family leading a double life, posing as a hard-working Mom and Rider and Writer by day and posing for certain magazines at other times?

04 December 2007

1st Sunday in Advent

They call this one the metamorphosis of Cobb Field

The last couple of days have been very cold and a little snow has fallen so progress on the New BallPark has slowed. There are many piles of dirt around the periphery so I guess this means that the new playing field is going to be at least 6 to 8 ft lower than it used to be. There are lot of nice pictures at http://www.prpl.info/ including this one above.

I just sent in my order for season tickets. They have figured out how to get a few more bucks out of the faithful. From the above picture we need to keep our fingers crossed that the park will be ready by next June. I thought it would be good to get some seats just above the homeplate side of the Mustang's dugout, which has been moved to the third base side of the stadium, probably for the shade. But the worrying thing is that it looks like there may be sun on most of the seats, at least early in the evening. The artistic versions of what it will eventually look like take some liberties with perspective. Watch this space.

Some of the ways we celebrate the season in Billings Montana. Thanksgiving decorations at Mt Olive to the left. And a quick look at our new bishop co-seated at St Patrick's to the right. Of course, the usual miraculous events of Sunday morning were part of the excitement of the weekend.

As the perceptive reader will no doubt have noted, the above orphan italicized sentence was the only one that appeared and must have looked lonely. It was supposed to be accompanied by some other stuff including some pictures. I will try again today 12/4/07. The earlier stuff was from 12/2/07, the 1st Sunday in Advent. Please forgive the peculiar way of putting together this blog.

There was a lot going on over the weekend. We had a rehearsal on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon for the Voices of Christmas, a home-made celebration of the season with the Community Orchestra (I play trombone in that group), the Shrine Chanters, a ladies group called the Akzents, and two pros, Wally Kurth and Laura Twelves. The former was a regular on some afternoon soap and grew up in Billings. His family still lives here. Laura just moved to Billings and has a big voice and uses it well it various ways. She should be good in an operatic setting.

The concert was Sunday afternoon and went off fairly well. I think our Maestra Bollman has whipped the orchestra into a reasonable shape. She did get a little excited on one of our orchestra pieces and fortunately we ran out of music just before the runaway wagon would have crashed. I think the audience thought that was the way she planned it. Maybe it was.

And then of course, there was the whole audience, which filled much of the orchestra seats and most of the loge, a goodly number for this early in the season.

In the evening we went to First Presbyterian to hear and see Rocky Mountain College musicians sing and play their version of Lessons and Carols. I think our Dr Steven Hart is at least part wizard. The most memorable for me was a nice combination of that exceedingly beautiful and hauting "Of the Father's Love Begotten" with some African hymn with the latter in Swahili I am guessing. Nice, very nice. They have a new music faculty member whose specialty is the tuba, so maybe there will be some exciting things happening in town for the low brass.

I went back to check on the New BallPark today. They are working away as if their life depended on getting this thing done ahead of time. Though there are storms in the East and storms in the West, little old Billings is in the 50s today. This is exciting.

01 December 2007

No Country For Old Men

No Country for Old Men: My recommendation is Go see the movie! It's good. Lots of nice ordinary people get offed though. It reminded me of Flannery O'Connor's response to the question: Why are your characters and stories so bizarre? She said " When you are speaking to a deaf world, you have to shout loudly." Or something to that effect.

Those ordinary people are one of the high points. I swear they are real people, picked up off the barren plains of West Texas. Llewellyn Moss, the ordinary person who sets the whole thing in motion, is a little younger and a little more agile than I pictured from the novel. The evil psychopath is perfect and the Sheriff is the best I've ever seen.

No Country for Old Men: I like these Wikipedia entries. I wondered about a scene near the end where the good guy Sheriff figures out where the bad guy is hiding but then walks away. Wiki suggested that maybe the hiding place was in the Sheriff's mind. I am glad that others had a few problems with some of the loose ends.

26 November 2007

Wall Street Journal Jabs Ignorance Once Again

Is there another daily newspaper that puts Shelby Steele and Bernard Lewis on its opinion page on a Monday morning in late November? I doubt it. Check out http://www.opinionjournal.com/

Mr Steele reckons that Obama is Right on Iran and lightens my load of ignorance considerably at the same time. Perhaps Mr Obama is right for the wrong reasons but "even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then."

Mr. Lewis also enlightens me on why the Palestinians have been supported for so many years and on why the Annapolis peace conference may or may not succeed.

I guess I should have read these guys before today.

20 November 2007

Marching Through Montana with Navigator and Maggie the Dog

Left Missoula about 9am. The weather prediction from last night and even this morning sounded a little worrying, even on the trusty Interstate Highways, thanks be to President Eisenhower and the large number of willing Senators and Representatives who signed on for the New Deal for the Automobile and Construction Industry of the 1950s, the beginning of our vast system of interstate highways. Montana is probably the only state in the country in which the 90 or the 15 or the 94 feels like an autobahn with the accompanying need for speed.

There were a few rough patches, with hard slush etc., where I declined to pass the slower moving vehicles, and a few wiggles on some of the bridges, and of course, about 15 vehicles either in the ditch or the median between Missoula and Billings. Also saw a few places where the vehicles had already been pulled out. In any event, we arrived home at about 4pm.

This is what we found when we got home. See above right and left. Is there a Guinness Record for total number of catalogs received in a Xmas season or maybe in one day?

19 November 2007

T the N V: Spokane to Missoula

It may seem a little cautious or perhaps a little lazy to drive only about 200 or so miles on a Monday, but we enjoyed the Grant Tree Inn and the Montana Club so much on the way out that it seemed a reasonable place to stop on the way home too, especially when we managed to while away a morning in the splendid small city of Spokane, and knew that we were going to lose an hour to the clock on entering the splendid large state of Montana.

Spokane has much to be proud of: A river and a park run right through the middle; so does the 90, which is not great but it does allow one to get around fairly quickly; Riverside Park has an attractive clock tower (above left) saved from the railroad station when that transport mode met an untimely death, and a very large red wagon, together with lots of urban art, some of which seems to move mysteriously (above right) in the river.

Good hotels, restaurants, an outdoor ice rink, an arena that I suppose can be used as an indoor ice rink too, and an Opera House which is now the Performing Arts Center, together with a number of smaller theatres, a decent symphony and a jazz orchestra that has its own concert season.

Gonzaga University is also along the river, and I am sure there are other schools as well. I haven't even mentioned that they also still have a functional downtown, the Northwest League Class A short season Spokane Indians baseball team, and a very nice bookstore called Auntie's. (Left) I am sure there is plenty more but that was certainly enough to delay our departure.

18 November 2007

T the N IV: Off to Spokane

After our usual post-St Joseph/Our Savior brunch at the Issaquah Cafe, we started worrying about the weather and decided to take off for Spokane, so that we had a few days in hand in case it got worse.

Since we didn't get underway 'til about 1:30 pm it was getting dark by the time we got to Spokane, so naturally we had trouble finding the Red Lion. Carol claims this is because we have difficulty seeing at night, but it is more likely that advancing age with its various complications is a more complete explanation.

T the N III: Now We Are 60 Something Grandparents in Issaquah WA

Pulled into Issaquah on Thursday afternoon, 15 November. Motel 6 is the only one that takes dogs. They were pleasant people, and quite reasonable. Nick and Zack have grown quite a bit since the last time we saw them. Peg and Patrick are as hospitable as ever. It looks like we got here just in time. (See left)

They just put the house on the market and will start looking in the Tacoma area this summer. Naturally enough, the house was spic and span, waiting for potential buyers. (See below)

It is hard to get Nick's head out of a book which is probably a good thing. Zack is a pretty good reader and plays a mean game of chess and/or checkers. That is the Zackster to the right coming to Thanksgiving mass in a line with some tall girls keeping him under control.

They both are into martial arts with Nick sporting a brown belt already. The boys were still in school on Thursday and Friday though I think they have next week off, or am I thinking of Joan and her gang?

Peg and Patrick seem to have turned the corner into a comfortable middle age. Daisy the Expensive Dog is as goofy as ever. She and Maggie got along fairly well, though it was not love at first sight.

On Saturday evening we went to an auction in aid of St Joseph's Elementary School, which is actually split into two campuses, Pre-K through grade 3 at the church and grade 4 through grade 8.

Sunday morning early mass, well 8:30am is fairly early, and then off to the Issaquah Cafe for some of their famous B.O.B., which for the un-initiated starts with some biscuits on the bottom, with some sausage patties next, over which some eggs are laid, and then the whole thing is covered with some lovely white gravy, in other words, Breakfast on a Biscuit.

14 November 2007

T the N II: Through Darkest Idaho

On Wednesday, 14 November, we went over the state line at Lolo Pass on Highway 12 into the woods (right) of northern Idaho. It is a little spooky to be going slowly uphill with some snow on the road and then suddenly be heading downhill with that same snow but now gravity is not your friend. No wonder the eccentrics hang out in this part of the world.

We stopped for lunch in Lowell (population 24, no 23). As I was heading for the head I made a mental note that I probably would skip this room if it were dark. Good chili.

Curvy road, probably only 200 miles or so to Pullman but it took us about 5 hours to get across northern Idaho into Cougar country. Stopped in at Merry Cellars in the Old P.O. in Pullman and tasted some very nice wine. They gave me a little tour of the place too. I will report on the wine later.

13 November 2007

Touring the NorthWest I: on the way to Issaquah WA & Back

We took off in Carol's Navigator a little after 9am the Tuesday before the week of Thanksgiving. Made it as far as Missoula the first day, about 340 miles. The 90 was fine.

We stopped at the Wheat Montana place just beyond Bozeman (to the left) for some Powder Milk Biscuits: Heavens, they're tasty.

Later, we learned that Drummond MT, (see below) where we stopped for gas, is the Bull-Shipping Capital of the World. Well, I'm not absolutely sure but it might have to share that honor.

The Drummond High Trojans are playing for the Class C eight man football state championship in three days. I wonder what their mascot looks like.

The Grant Tree Inn Best Western in Missoula was excellent, with a surprisingly good breakfast, especially their sausages. And they like dogs. The Montana Club is a short distance away on Reserve St: it is an excellent restaurant, fairly new.

01 November 2007

All Saints Day

Mass @ 12:10pm @St Patrick's Co-Cathedral, Billings MT. The usual miraculous events occur. Very short homily, a little out of place: Father Tony said (I wish I would have had a recording device) "I am now in my 60s and all the people that used to take me to church and taught me to pray are still praying with me and for me, but in a different place." That sounds like a reasonable homily for All Saints Day.

31 October 2007

Nice to Find Someone Else Doing an Onerous Job

You may have figured out that I was planning on chronicling the tearing down of old Cobb Field as well as the building up of the new stadium in its place. I now have the pleasure of pointing my readers to a splendid website run by the Parks and Recreation Dept of the City of Billings. Let us call the link the New Baseball Stadium.

Mazel Tov!

The Past is Still with Us

Yesterday it was damp and cold, as sometimes happens here in Billings as mother Nature gets us ready for winter, so we turned on the furnace, put sweaters on, and Carol looked up one of her old favorite recipes for taking the edge off a cold day in Montana. This is from a newsletter put out by the management of a place we used to live in Cincinnati, back in the late 60s.

I was an intern and resident from 1965 to 1970 at the Children's Hospital and Cincinnati General Hospital in pediatrics and pathology. We lived in an apartment complex called Williamsburg of Cincinnati, a pleasant place to live with great neighbors.

One of the points of interest in the newsletter item is the high cost of trans-Atlantic calls in the 60s and later too for that matter. Isn't it amazing what competition and decreasing government regulation can do for us ordinary folks.

Edith and Donn Cramblette have both passed on, bless their souls, but Carol and I remember playing bridge with them whenever we have this chili. We had some last night without stale beer but with some excellent dark Moose Drool, brewed right here in Montana, I think in the People's Republic of Missoula, if I'm not mistaken. I drank the leftover beer and took a second helping of this really good chili.

Forgive me Mom, but what you called chili really was not, so for many years I thought I didn't like chili. That last sentence sounds like it was freshly translated from the German, but I think it gets across what I mean. Perhaps I will try to fix it at a later time.

29 October 2007

Something is Wrong at Albertson's

Albertson's is our local grocery store. They are usually pretty good, though the wine is a little cheaper and the selection is better at CVS Drug Store. Albertson's produce section is pretty fresh, at least the one on Grand and 13th is.

I worked for some years in my father's meat market when I was a teenager and before that too, so I like to check on the price of this and that from time to time. Usually I just check on the price of good steaks and ordinary hamburger because that is about all I can remember from the late 40s and early 50s.

In those days people often ate cheese if they couldn't afford meat. Nowadays it's the other way around. I am sure $2 a pound for ground chuck is a bargain because we used to sell it for about 40 to 50 cents a pound. Good steaks were about $2 a pound in 1950, and now they vary from $5 to $8 a pound, again a very good deal as most everything else is at least 10X as much now as then.

I was startled by the item above in the meat counter at Albertson's at 13th and Grand Ave right here in River City.

I hope you can read that they are trying to sell smoked oysters for $35 a pound!! I checked some other bags just to make sure it wasn't a mistake. Maybe Albertson's has taken a lesson from the airlines and this is really their equivalent to the full fare, fully refundable and changeable anytime coach seat price, which of course, no one pays, and everything else is some sort of discounted price.

I might guess that real Russian caviar might cost $35 a pound, but smoked oysters? Who do they think they are kidding? Are the Chinese buying up all the oysters in the world? Viagra is pretty cheap I'm sure, even in China, in fact it is probably cheaper there than here. And it works better than oysters. Have I not been paying attention again?

Of course my favorite place at Albertson's is the checkout lane where I get to know what is happening in the real world of Jen and Brad and Angelina. Isn't there a limit on the number of kids one person can adopt? This is a magazine prominently displayed at the checkout. I don't have the courage to open it up, but I did sneak a picture of the cover. I don't suppose their prime readers are guys, are they? How old are their readers? Maybe this explains some of the behavior I witnessed on my Semester at Sea jaunt this past summer.

Please don't ask, my ears are red already. I wonder if the author of the "Hands" article included handing your beloved some incredible ravioli?


I had an eery feeling things would turn out this way after the first game, a blowout, and an almost predictable result after not playing for eight days, especially after winning a dizzying 21 of 22 games before that long layoff.

That kind of trip needs almost daily fixes. Any baseball team capable of winning 21 of 22 games could easily lose 4 in a row.

This picture just above is of Main St in Hustisford, more accurately Lake Street, but everyone called it Main St in those days and probably still do. It looks about the same as it did in the 40s. The picture to the right is from a recent entrance into that fair village. In the 40s the population was 564.

I was reminded of my rough introduction to beginning statistics by the Sox sweep of the Rockies. I was 10 years old. I had lied about my age to get a paper route. My father had not yet hit upon the idea of using my profits from delivering papers from 5 to 6am every day of the year in deepest Wisconsin to pay for my orthodontic beautification. So I felt fairly fat in the wallet in early October 1950.

Murphy the barber had one of the few TV sets in the village. He had it brought down from the apartment above the shop (we lived above the meat market too) and set it up in the barber shop (a little further down the road on the picture above) so his customers could all watch the Series. In those days that was all that happened in the world for that week or so, or so we thought.

The picture to the left is the house we lived in in the 50s. I remember drinking pop and sitting on the front porch in the slightly cooler evenings after the scorching summer heat. Mr Johnson, our upstairs lodger, and the high school band and choral director and history and civics teacher, would join us. We thought we were fairly advanced in those days.

Perhaps you remember or may have read of the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies, the Whiz Kids they were called. They were to play the hated Yankees for the World Championship. In those days upstarts like Cuba and Japan were not even heard of in our baseball world. I was so convinced that the Phillies would humiliate the Yankees I bet Murphy the barber $1 on the first game. I couldn't believe it when the Phillies ace, Robin Roberts, lost that first game.

Murphy kindly offered to double my bet on the following day. I was a little wary but since my income in those days was about $3 per week, I thought I would take the chance. Double or nothing, how could I lose? Of course, by this time I was deeply hooked and eventually out $27 by the end of the fourth and final game. That was 9 weeks of delivering papers in the damp, dark days of early October, 1950!

So then I learned something about statistical arguments the hard way. After that I took to learning things the easy way: in school.

The picture above right is of the cemetery, duh, though I suppose it could easily be a setting for the 3rd Act of Wilder's Our Town, a play I am reminded of everytime I visit this particular graveyard because I knew so many of the people whose names are carved on the headstones. I loved the idea of a Stage Manager and particularly one who could violate the fourth wall at will, and could speak to his audience.

15 October 2007

Hurrah for the Ides of October

The ides of October, which I think is singular, either the 15th of some months or the 13th of other months, is often more favorable than the ides of March, especially if you use the Roman rather than the Julian calendar, and of course, it is particularly more favorable if your name is Julius. But then, not many parents name their kids Julius anymore. One of these days the breeders are going to revolt and switch from names of towns to colors, just you wait. Or are they doing that now? How about Orange Julius? Well, no matter, ever since I opened my first Crayola box, the normal sized one, not the huge one, I have wanted Burnt Sienna as my first choice were I to find myself back in the naming racket, the color, not the band. I only knew about the latter because I looked it up in Wikipedia.

Carol and I just returned from Oregon where the Shakespeare Festival (that is the outdoor theatre above, only used for evening performances from June through September) runs from late February to late October in Ashland, and a really good jazz festival has been held the 2nd weekend in October for the last 19 years in nearby Medford. I was surprised by a waiter, who had lived in Ashland for more than a couple of years, who said he had never heard of the Medford Jazz Jubilee. I suppose we could have found someone in Medford who was unaware of what was going on in Ashland, just 15 miles down the 5.

My favorite was Gem of the Ocean, August Wilson's ninth and penultimate exploration of a special family or group of people wrestling with their and our problems. This one is a part of Wilson's multi-faceted project of getting 20th century African-American life on the stage. The story takes place in Pittsburgh in 1904. Aunt Ester, a very old lady (285 years! to be exact), has the task of guiding younger generations in the business of soul cleansing. G. Val Thomas and Kevin Kenerly play some important parts wonderfully well, not surprising of course, but then all these players did well. The title refers to the paper boat Aunt Ester uses to sacramentalize the Atlantic Ocean passage that all their ancestors endured. Yes, there is something about water that has that hopeful quality.

Wilson is obviously getting more confident by this time (2003) as he seems to almost effortlessly engage his audience in the business of "making the invisible visible." Like Joe Dimaggio, effortlessly, going after a flyball to deep centerfield in Yankee Stadium, we are carried along by the players to another time and place, somewhere we could never have gone by ourselves. I liked the a capella singing of the ensemble, calling up rhythms and words from an earlier time and generation. Sadly for all of us, Wilson died in 2005 just after completing his tenth play in the series, called I think Radio Golf. I wonder if he was aware of his impending early death when he wrote this play? As Aunt Ester says, "It's all adventure . . . you signed up for it, and didn't even know it."

The director of Gem of the Ocean, Timothy Bond, says it is a “secular African-American Passover Seder.” It didn’t look all that secular to me, not all that Jewish either, except for the idea of passing over the ocean, similar to passing through the Red Sea, as constituting an identity for African-Americans. Highly recommended.

10 October 2007

Decline and Fall of Cobb Field, Billings, Montana

Back in the 1940s, when almost all of us were young, or not even imagined by our parents, though God probably had us in mind, a man named Bob Cobb and some friends built a ballpark in Billings, Montana. This guy was not related to the famous Ty Cobb, though he did invent a marvelous salad. Yes, that is true, leading to the now well known Cobb salad. A manly salad if there ever was one. This recent picture of Cobb Field shows the shadows, especially this past summer, getting longer.

I hope that one of these days someone will go through the back issues of the Billings Gazette in order to write a proper history of the ballpark. The little I know I gathered in dribs and drabs from folks who had been around the park since the beginning, guys like Ed Popp, who used to farm not too far away from the ballpark, and was a well-established long-time regular in the first row just outside the Mustang's dugout back in 1980 when I first started coming to games here. I saw some of those old guys at the last ballgame, shaking their head and fighting off a tear. Ed and I patrolled that first row of boxseats fairly regularly in the 80s and 90s, sometimes allowing a real fan to join us, as long as they would buy the beer. The picture to the right would have been taken from that seat right next to the dugout that Ed finally gave up.

The bond issue went through on the second try in the spring of '07 as all the fans realized they better get out and vote because otherwise their Mustangs were likely to pick up their spikes and head on down the road. Ironically, the first try at voting in a new park was a failure even though it had the slickest campaign I've ever seen here in Billings. The problem was it was so good it alerted every nay-sayer in town to show up at the polling place. Much better for the outcome was the low key, person to person campaign on the second go-around. The park aged fairly well, looking good even in the winter time. I used to love to sit in the bleachers about 9pm or so on a balmy summer evening, as almost all were at least in my memory, and watch an old DC3 still in service for what I don't know, rising gracefully from Logan airport atop the Rimrocks, so full of time that if you used your imagination you could easily transport yourself back 50s years to when the plane was new. That was how I saw it anyway.

This old park has seen a lot of baseball in the 60 or so years it has been in existence. Legion teams and the Mustangs, rookie league advanced for the Cincinnati Reds, and now lately, the revived baseball program at Montana State University Billings, has usually meant at least on average a game every day from April through Labor Day. Dave McNally was a big name for the Legion team back in the late 50s, going to the final game of the Legion World Series in New Orleans in 1960 I think. And of course, he did have more than a few pretty good years with the Baltimore Orioles from 1962 into the 70s. He and Curt Flood and Andy Messersmith were instrumental in getting the old "reserve clause," an almost medieval relic of a baseball rule overturned, and led to the modern day free agency.

Dave and Jeanne used to live a couple houses down from us on Ramada Drive here in Billings until he died from a lung cancer a couple of years ago.

There were others who played professional baseball from Billings. The one I remember the best was Jeff Ballard, who pitched and played 1st base for the Scarlets in the late 70s and early 80s. He went on to do well for Stanford and the Baltimore Orioles until he was hurt in an auto accident.

Some years ago I saw a guy start warming up in the park where the Mariners used to play; he still had his jacket on but his motion was so distinctive I knew it was Jeff from the stands in deep right field where I was looking around. I guess ways of walking and pitching and maybe thinking stick with us perhaps all of our lives.

The swimming pool was taken out even before the season was over. And lots of things were not repaired or replaced properly because we were soon going to have a new ball park, though in the end it was a remarkably close referendum. The old park, mostly wood, was knocked down fairly quickly and easily, and the early stages of the new park can be seen if you look closely. See above and below. The old outfield is still there with a few of the larger advertising signs still present as well as the old scoreboard. Maybe we will get an electronic one with all the bulbs working for the first time since I've been coming to the park.

Below is an artist's and maybe an architect's idea of what the new park will look like come July 2008. I found this in a Wendy's Restaurant on Grand Ave. Let us hope it is playable before that time as the college and Legion teams start fairly early in the spring. Even as the old falls down the new starts popping up as you can see above right.

[ Added later, 31 October 2007: I just discovered that the City of Billings has a webpage with a series of pictures from the destruction of Cobb Field to the building of the New Field, whatever it will be called, and not only are the pictures good but they also have helpful and sometimes funny comments attached to them. Good going, Billings Parks & Recreation Dept! Check it out by clicking on the page New Field.]

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue


Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here
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