lessons

This week on the podcast, we check in with Anna Haslund, the first Deaf storyteller to have shared a story on the Tell Us Something stage. We talk about her story and what it was like to share a story on the Tell Us Something stage. We also talk about her excitement to compete in the Miss America Pageant representing her state as Miss Montana. During our conversation, Anna also shares some of the unique challenges Deaf people face during the pandemic. After the interview, stick around for the story that Anna calls “Joe + Balthazar”. Anna's story takes us on a wild horse ride in which she performs a daring horse rescue on a forest service road in Montana.

Transcript : Interview with Anna Haslund

Welcome to the Tell Us Something podcast, I’m Marc Moss.

This week on the podcast, we check in with Anna Haslund, the first Deaf storyteller to share a story at Tell Us Something. We sat down in July of 2020 during the midst of the pandemic. And she shared with us what it was like to share a story at Tell Us Something, her excitement

to participate in the Miss America Pageant representing her state of Montana, as well as some of the unique challenges that Deaf people face during the pandemic.

All this, coming up. Big thanks to our Title Sponsor, The Good Food Store, and thanks to our Enduring Sponsors, cabinetparts.com and Blackfoot Communications.

Special thanks to our Champion Sponsor True Food Missoula. Each year across Missoula, nonprofits raise money during Missoula Gives for expanded programming, special projects or, sometimes, just to keep the lights on.

Tell Us Something looks forward to your support during Missoula Gives May sixth and seventh. Learn more at missoulagives.org. So, Anna,

[Marc] You’ve been coming to Tell Us Something for how long?

[Anna] Wow, I think it’s been about five years.

[Marc] So, how did you come to decide, that you wanted to tell a story?

[Anna] Good question. Let me see.

So, my interpreter Bonnie actually told me that there was an event called Tell Us Something, and I hadn’t heard about it.

And so I went and was in the audience. And then I felt that I could probably get up there too. And I know that there weren’t any Deaf people that had done it before, so I feel that would be really empowering for me to get up there and just tell a story.

And then the audience, oh my gosh, they were so supportive and so excited! And when I finished the story they were all applauding for me in sign language, and it was just such an honor and I, I like being representative for the community.

So, I felt inspired.

[Marc] And when you told your story.

What was it like afterwards?

[Anna] So, it just felt like a really big change for me.

I’ve always been a very, like, closed and personal person, but getting up there and telling the story, I felt, y’know, just some new emotions and I was able to get out of my shell some more and make some new friends.

And we all supported each other. It was great.

It feels like I’m part of a big family now [Marc] You are!

[Anna] Exactly.

[Marc] So you’ve done this twice. You’ve told a story twice.

Is there one that you enjoyed telling more than the other one?

[Anna] It’s hard to choose but I think the one that I told about the, the two horses, you know, Joe, and then the other horse. So, Yeah, I think those, that was my favorite one to tell. [Marc] Yeah. Everyone loves horse stores.

[Anna] Yeah.

And they know that when I was trying to make that sound, you know, for the kissing the horse? That the audience, looked like they really enjoyed that too. [laughter]

[Marc] Yeah. You told a story about heartbreak too

Did that guy,

did he get to listen to it?

[Anna] So yeah actually he did, and he contacted me, and you know he apologized for the whole experience. And so you know we’re friends, you know, once in a while we’ll see each other but just friends. [Marc] His loss

[Anna] Actually yeah! [laughter]

[Marc] So what have you been up to since then? I heard you have some news.

[Anna] So I am so excited to let you know that just last month,

I was in a competition for Miss Montana for the Americas, and I won!. Oh my gosh, it was my first time! And the first time that there’s been a Deaf woman, representing the state!

And so I think the first time going to be doing some kind of appearance is going to be in November of this year. And hoping that I can give speeches like in schools and different communities, and and really inspire people and empower — yeah so yeah. Montana’s

just my home and I am excited to represent it.

[Marc] That’s awesome.

So when is the pageant itself?

[Anna] So in October, sometime I’m going to be competing on the national level.

And I think next month I’ll get more information. But I’ll keep you updated! It’s on my Facebook page!

[Marc] Anna won the Miss Congeniality award during the Miss America Pageant. Ultimately, the crown went to Miss Virginia,

Camille Schrier.

[Anna] I know when I was in the pageant previously, I was given the award for Miss Congeniality.

You know we could always have more people around it, just everybody go together.

And I want to say, just thank you so much to my, my two directors they have been so nice and respectful, and professional and working with me and we all work together, so it’s been such a great support system.

[Marc] So, so proud of you. That’s amazing. Thank you so much for

letting us know about that.

[Anna] Thank you. You’re welcome.

[Marc] And so the next time you tell a story at Tell Us Something you’ll be Miss America, is that right?

[Anna] [laughter] Maybe! Is there anything else that you want listeners to know before we play their story, your story for them.

[Marc] Is there anything else that you want listeners to know before we play your story for them?

[Anna] So I think it’s important for people know, I wanted to share–

You know, with this coronavirus that’s happening, It’s been really hard for Deaf and Hard of Hearing to be able to communicate because of the mask requirement.

It covers most of your face.

So what’s been really cool is that there’s these masks with a clear window, that the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people use, I have a friend that actually makes them.

Emily, she’s from Washington State.

And there’s also a place of Darby here in Montana. And they worked really hard to provide the community with a way to be able to provide access for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

I know it’s hard like if you’re trying to communicate someone needs to read your lips, you have to remove your mask so for just for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people also it’s hard to communicate.

If they rely on reading lips. So, these masks are incredibly helpful. So that’s that’s a good idea.

[Marc] And, can you provide us a link to where we can order those masks?

[Anna] Oh absolutely, I’d be happy to give you that information for the contact.

[Marc] Great. Thank you so much.

[Anna] You’re welcome.

[Marc] And I don’t have any other questions. Is there anything else that you want to talk about?

[Anna] Oh, wow.

I don’t know! Let me see.

I could ask you about your experiences with your business. Maybe what do you think about inviting more Deaf people to tell stories?

[Marc] I mean, I’ve always wanted to do that, I don’t know how to encourage them. Do you have any advice on how I can be more inclusive?

[Anna] Good question.

So there’s a Deaf school in Montana that we could contact, and see if there’s anyone who will come and tell stories.

And they have interpreters there that we could put on video if we do do it remotely.

There’s always different access ways. And there’s —

I’d be happy to also myself just contact my Deaf and hard of Hearing friends and try to get them up here on stage to tell a story. I mean if I can do it, I think anyone can.

And I want to thank Bonnie, my interpreter and also Denise for interpreting. I know it’s hard to get interpreters for all the stories and all of your events and I know it can be frustrating and captioning is really frustrating and hard to get to look

just right. But the interpreting and the captioning is really important for people who aren’t completely Deaf but also hard of Hearing, and they can’t catch all the words.

So part of what I want to do is just help bridge communication gaps, and, um–

People, I know, are always fascinated with sign language, and they’re always watching the interpreter, which is great!

Like my best friend Erica, she got fascinated with sign language. And now she’s going into an interpreter program in Oregon to become an interpreter. So I’m so excited to see how she develops and I know when she’s done I’ll definitely be hiring her too!l

[Marc] Well, I can tell you this, that, I have a friend you this that I have a friend that knows ASL but she’s not an interpreter.

And, even before I started bringing Bonnie and Denise on to help interpret,

I didn’t know that I needed to bring on certified interpreters.

And so, I was asking other people to do it, and they kept telling me “no”. But they didn’t tell me why.

And so I’d been working on getting interpreters, interpret the stories for a couple years, before

I finally talked to Bonni–er, Denise, excuse me. And I asked her, like, what why aren’t, why isn’t anybody saying “yes” to this? And she explained

The requirement for certification.

And so then, finally,

We developed this relationship. And, here we are.

[Anna] And it’s great that you’re more comfortable, you know, having the interpreters there, and just having them be a part of the whole thing, and….

I know, communication is so important. And I know people don’t always understand that sign language is a foriegn language.

[Marc] Right.

[Anna] And that writing back and forth with people is ok,

But because it’s foreign language, that can be difficult. So using a certified interpreter, who knows ASL, it’s just so important to match communication styles.

With this pandemic. It’s changed so much. There’s so many emotions that people are experiencing, having to realize, you know, what can happen with the pandemic. It’s really difficult.

I know that we’re not alone with our struggles in communication and everything else and–you know, I know eventually, maybe, COVID will be gone. It could be years, it could be five minutes, I don’t know.

You can only try your best, you know, and like I always tease my friends, my family.

You know, like right now we’re sitting six feet away.

And sometimes, you know, I sign larger, and then, say, we’re not six feet away [laughter] and I say, “Oh, excuse me! That’s too close!” So.[laughter]

Yeah.

[Marc] Well, thank you so much, Anna, for being here today. And… uh oh….

[Anna] You’re welcome. And thank you for allowing me, you know, giving me the honor to do this little interview.

[Marc] Yeah,

[Anna] It makes me

[Marc] I appreciate you being here.

[Anna] proud.

[Marc] Thank you.

[Anna] You’re welcome. Thanks.

[Marc] After the break, watch and share her story, live on stage, and she shared it in front of a sold out crowd at the Wilma in Missoula, Montana. In September of 2019.

Thanks again to our Title Sponsor The Good Food Store, learn more at goodfoodstore.com.

Thanks to our Enduring Sponsors, cabinteparts.com, and Blackfoot Communications. Learn more at blackfoot.com.

Special thanks to True Food Missoula. You can find them at truefoodcsa.com. And Joyce of Tile, you can find Joyce at joyceof tile.com.

Anna Haslund loves the community with her kindness. Loves to help the community with her kindness.

She is the one who breaks the barrier and and can do the impossible.

Watch out for her crazy skill with yaassss kicks!

Her nickname is Anna Banana.

Note, that Anna is Deaf, and her story will be voiced by Bonnie Kurian.

The way to clap for Deaf people is to wave your hands like this. [clapping in ASL]

So, after her story is finished, the house lights will come up, and we can all show our love for Anna together.

Please welcome Anna Haslund.

[clapping]

[laughter]

>>About four years ago.

Me and my best friend Erica were in Frenchtown at an organization called Heart, which is an equine recreation and therapy organization.

We were volunteering with those horses.

Erica asked me if I wanted to go up to Flathead to pick up four new horses for this therapy ranch. And I was so excited, I said, “Of course I do”.

So it was me and Erica, and her half sister, Selena.

We met the owner up there at this other ranch.

And he said, “Go ahead and pick your horse.” So I looked at all the horses, and I saw this beautiful perfect horse. He was huge. Brown and flowing mane.

And I felt a little nervous though. I knew it was important that we had to be able to trust each other.

So I offered him my hand and he sniffed my hand and let me pet his nose. And I asked the owner, I said, “What is this horse’s name?” He said, “Oh the horse’s name is Joe.”

And I said, “Well, that’s really funny. My mom’s name is Joe [laughter] so, apparently this is meant to be. This is a good connection.”

So I got on the horse. We’re riding along. And the way most people communicate with a horse is they make a clicking sound, well I can’t click, so I decided to make a kissing sound instead. [laughter] it worked great.

It worked great. He liked it.

[laughter]

So a few months later, Erica and I decided that we wanted to take these horses out on a trail ride.

And there were four of us. Again, it was Erica.

Selena, she was about seven at the time,

And the ex-wife of the owner. I’m not sure how she got in the group but.

[laughter]

So we’re riding along. We keep going.

We’re on this forest service road. Was a nice big road. Perfect for four people, four horses.

So we’re all riding along. We go on up a few miles, we were just going to go up and turn around and come back.

Everything was going on great.

And of course I was on the lead horse, which is ridiculous, because I’m Deaf!

[laughter]

But, here I go. About 10-15 minutes, I started feeling in my gut like, “Something’s not quite right.” I turned around and oh my gosh, Erica is waiting frantically!

And I knew quickly, that something had to be wrong. So I’m trying to kiss at my horse again to get him to stop.

I turn, we turn around and we see that the ex-wife was on one of the meanest horses. She yanked on the reins and he kicked her right off. And she actually broke her leg.

So I look over at Erica.

And we see Selena. It’s her first time on a horse. Now she is scared to death. She’s screaming hysterically. And we knew that we needed to calm her down so that her horse didn’t get scared and buck her off.

So trying to keep her calm. We don’t want her to scare the horse.

And now we are trying to figure out, “What are we going to do now?”

How are we going to get four horses down?

And oddly enough, these two men come walking up the forest service road. We thought, “Well this is perfect timing.” And they asked if they could help. We said, “Uh, yeah, that’d be great!”

[laughter]

So we said, “How are you going to help?” “So we have a truck right over here.” So they were able to pick up the ex-wife and put her in the truck. Helped her out.

We said, “Bye.”

[laughter]

So then Erica takes me to the other horse, and she brings me the reins to guide the other horse down the trail and the reins slipped out of my hand. And the horse.

He just kept trotting along like nothing was going on. And I thought, “Oh great! Now we have a runaway horse!” So I have to get next to this horse. I’m riding my horse. I’m trying to use my horse to guide the other horse, so that I could grab the reins.

And while we were going down the Forest Service road, it was really curvy. We finally get to a flat spot.

I look at my horse, I look at the other horse, and I have this incredible plan. I know it’s a little crazy, but it’s a great plan.

So I’m talking to Joe, and I’m saying, “Stay here. I have faith in you. Do not take off on me. Just stay with me.” So I go over sidesaddle, and Erica is looking at me. She knows exactly what I’m going to do. [screaming] She tries to tell me not to.

 

I jump off a Joe. I scream, I land. I kind of felt like, Zorro, actually. [laughter] I jump over.

I land on this horse, this mean one. His name is Balthazar.

[laughter]

 

And I feel, “This is incredible! I really should be in a movie! This was amazing! I should be a stunt person.”

So I grabbed the reins. I pull him back.

Everybody’s absolutely shocked. Erica says, “You are insane! What the hell do you think you’re doing?!”

I said, “Well, I actually can’t believe I did that myself! [laughter] But, look, everything’s everything’s great now there’s no more problems.”

[small laughter]

So the ex-wife was taken to the hospital. Yes, she broke her leg.

Selena got over her fear of the horses, and she’s fine.

And Erica and I are still best friends, thank God. Now we have a story we can tell our grandchildren for years to come. What crazy risk takers we are.

[laughter]

[large applause and clapping]

For a video of Anna and her friend Erica, visit tellsssomething.org. If you want to support what we do, recommend the Tell Us Something podcast, to just two people who have never heard it before, and rate us on your favorite podcasting app, it really helps get the word out.

Please, plan on donating to Tell Us Something during Misosula Gives May 6th and 7th. Learn more at missoulagives.org.

If you ever want to drop me a line, you can find me ar [email protected], that Marc, M-A-R-C @tellussomething.org.

Thanks to our in-kind sponsors, Logjam Presents. Learn more about them out at logjampresents.com

Thanks to Missoula Broadcasting Company. Learn more at missoulabroadcasting.com

Float Missoula. Learn more at floatmsla.com.

GeckoDesigns.com

Missoulaevents.net, makers of Cheddarboard.

Podcast production by me, Marc Moss.

To learn more about Tell Us Something, visit tellussomething.org.

Stay safe, take care of yourselves, take care of each other, get vaccinated, and have a story-worthy day.

Because storytelling is an art, I’ve always hired local artists to design a poster for each event. The posters of Tell Us Something are amazing in their own right, and I thought that it would be fun to sit down with some of the artists to chat about their process and see what makes them tick. What inspires them, how they work, and how they came to design the poster that they designed for Tell Us Something. So, this week on the podcast, join me as we go behind the scenes with local artist Courtney Blazon. Courtney designed the poster for the June 2019 show. The theme that night was “What Are the Chances?”

Transcript : Interview with Courtney Blazon

welcome to the tell something podcast

00:01
i’m mark moss i know what i’m doing but
00:04
if somebody wanted to know how do you
00:06
become an artist i’d be like
00:07
you just work hard since around july of
00:10
2020
00:11
i have been interviewing tell us
00:13
something storyteller alumni about their
00:15
experience sharing a story on the
00:16
telesumming stage
00:17
why they chose to share a story and what
00:20
they’ve been up to
00:21
since having shared their story i have a
00:23
lot more of those interviews to share
00:24
with you
00:25
this week though i’m going to introduce
00:27
you to one of tell something’s poster
00:29
artists
00:30
for me it was important for my life and
00:32
especially
00:33
important for my work that i had a
00:35
studio at home where i could shut the
00:37
door
00:38
where like at a certain time at the end
00:41
of the day
00:42
i’m not looking at that piece of work
00:43
anymore because storytelling is an art
00:46
i’ve always hired local artists
00:48
to design a poster for each event the
00:51
posters of tell us something
00:52
are amazing in their own right and i
00:55
thought that it would be
00:56
fun to sit down with some of the artists
00:59
to chat about their process
01:01
and see what makes them tick what
01:03
inspires them
01:04
how they work and how they came to
01:06
design the poster
01:07
that they designed for telesomething so
01:10
this week on the podcast join me
01:12
as we go behind the scenes with local
01:15
artist
01:15
courtney blazon courtney designed the
01:18
poster for the june 2019
01:20
show the theme was what are the chances
01:24
i kind of knew pretty quickly what i was
01:26
gonna do for it
01:28
and i usually settle on an idea pretty
01:32
quickly
01:33
and i don’t know if that’s just because
01:35
i’m generally like
01:37
this is the time i have allotted for
01:39
this you better snap to it
01:41
courtney blaizon is an artist and
01:43
illustrator living and working in
01:44
missoula montana
01:46
she graduated from parsons school of
01:48
design where she earned her bfa in
01:50
illustration
01:52
she’s shown her work in missoula at the
01:54
brink gallery
01:55
dana gallery allez gallery and the
01:58
missoula art museum
02:00
outside of montana she has shown work in
02:02
seattle portland
02:03
new york philadelphia san francisco and
02:06
most recently at the center for the arts
02:08
theater gallery in jackson wyoming
02:12
hello good morning hi how are you
02:16
um well how are you doing good thank you
02:20
good thanks for agreeing to talk to me
02:23
today
02:24
courtney’s work has been featured in new
02:26
american paintings the western edition
02:28
studio visit magazine and juxtapose.com
02:32
she is a past recipient of a montana
02:34
arts council artists
02:35
innovation award courtney is represented
02:38
by radius gallery in missoula montana
02:40
big thanks to our title sponsor the good
02:42
food store and thanks to our enduring
02:44
sponsors
02:45
cabinetparts.com and blackboard
02:47
communications
02:48
thanks to our champion sponsor trufood
02:50
missoula and a very special thanks to
02:52
our blue ribbon sponsor
02:53
joyce of tile courtney blaizon’s pen and
02:57
marker drawings reference
02:58
fields of science history cultural
03:01
studies myths and fairy tales
03:03
her images take us someplace between the
03:05
known world
03:06
and a dreamscape a surreal marriage of
03:09
naturalism and fantasy the results can
03:12
be simultaneously whimsical
03:14
and grotesque witty as well as
03:17
disturbing
03:18
the tension of these unions suggests our
03:20
own struggle
03:21
to achieve balance in a chaotic world i
03:24
caught up with courtney blaizon last
03:25
summer
03:26
we chatted about the historical context
03:28
much of her work references
03:30
life as a professional artist and some
03:32
of the large-scale works
03:34
that she has done recently before
03:36
finally talking about the poster that
03:37
she made for tell us something
03:39
in june of 2019 i’ve also been thinking
03:42
about these interviews as a record
03:45
of a specific time in our collective
03:46
pandemic history
03:48
they shared glimpses into the moments of
03:50
life during quarantine
03:51
how we were coping and how we are
03:53
somehow continuing to go about
03:55
our daily lives
04:00
i just moved to a new place so that was
04:04
really nice
04:05
yeah lots of very i mean different than
04:09
a normal summer
04:10
like yeah for sure yeah um
04:15
yeah like our maid fares aren’t
04:17
happening
04:18
this summer in the same way so that’s
04:22
weird
04:23
are you doing a online version of the
04:25
maid fair
04:27
i mean somewhat but we’re basically just
04:30
posting everybody who would have been in
04:32
the maid fairs
04:33
page and sort of letting them offer
04:36
discounts if they want
04:38
but we’re not doing anything like
04:40
virtual
04:41
with video or yeah i
04:44
i just i feel like that kind of bubble
04:49
where that was like at the beginning of
04:52
sort of quarantine
04:53
like there was a lot of live events and
04:55
i felt like they were really popular
04:57
and like really necessary and i feel
04:59
like now
05:00
now that it’s summer especially and
05:02
we’ve kind of gotten used to the
05:05
the whole thing like i don’t know that
05:07
we’d be able to capture an
05:09
audience in the middle of summer inside
05:13
you know like i feel like that was the
05:15
way that we are all connecting
05:17
at the beginning of this and i don’t
05:20
know if now people feel like they can
05:21
just be together outside
05:24
distance that it’s just like
05:27
oh yeah it’s interesting it just doesn’t
05:29
seem like
05:30
it didn’t it ended up not seeming worth
05:32
our time
05:33
and a lot of our major artists didn’t
05:35
want to
05:38
extend their time towards trying to do
05:41
something special so
05:44
summer in montana is pretty short
05:48
take advantage of it yeah especially now
05:51
because
05:53
who knows what the winter is going to
05:54
look like right yeah
05:56
exactly yeah we just want to be outside
05:59
and
05:59
doing stuff as much as possible right
06:03
yeah i know some of the art fairs around
06:05
the state have still
06:06
happened and that’s another thing we
06:09
struggled with
06:10
but we just felt pretty worried about
06:16
like if if an outbreak had been traced
06:18
to our event we would have felt
06:20
really irresponsible right and and we
06:23
wouldn’t
06:24
uh we’re not even in a phase where we
06:26
would have been able to allow that big
06:28
of a crowd anyway
06:29
with missoula county so yeah so we just
06:32
decided to be
06:34
preemptively just cancel it and then
06:37
hope that we can recoup with
06:39
some of the other events that we have
06:43
i’m lucky that i don’t have all my eggs
06:44
in that basket though
06:46
so i’ve got other ways that i can still
06:49
make money and stuff
06:50
have you been talking to a lot of
06:52
artists and writers and
06:54
creatives i talk to
06:58
only one other tell us something poster
06:59
artist in the way that we’re talking
07:02
you’ve heard this idea on the tell us
07:03
something podcast before that
07:05
replicating
07:06
the in-person live performance vibe that
07:08
a traditional tell us something brings
07:10
is very difficult yeah i just feel like
07:13
certain things like in our
07:16
experience like in our in our creative
07:19
experiences
07:20
can translate to online and can be
07:23
just as successful if not more in some
07:26
ways
07:27
and then other things we’re just i think
07:29
we’re finding just can’t
07:31
you can’t duplicate it right yeah
07:35
yeah you just have to kind of roll with
07:37
the
07:37
[Music]
07:39
because it’s an unstable profession to
07:41
begin with like
07:42
yeah it’s gonna be unstable in any
07:46
way and i think like creative people who
07:48
are self-employed
07:50
already feel that instability or already
07:53
kind of know
07:54
how to chart those waters if they’ve
07:57
been doing it long enough
07:59
so it it becomes i mean at least for me
08:02
became pretty easy to adapt
08:04
to because i was pretty used to
08:08
feeling some moments of floundering
08:13
financially or or you know so yeah
08:16
for me at least it was kind of like
08:19
yeah no i wouldn’t say easy i if i said
08:22
easy i
08:22
don’t think that’s the word but it it
08:24
was a an experience i was kind of
08:28
equipped for because i i’ve had periods
08:31
of good
08:32
stuff happening in periods where i’m
08:33
like i’m never going to get a job again
08:36
you know kind of feeling you have
08:39
just built your career around saying yes
08:41
basically
08:42
yeah and i don’t it’s interesting
08:44
because over the past
08:47
two years i’ve been in the process of
08:50
saying no to more things and
08:51
cutting more things out of my life as
08:54
i’ve it’s become more clear to me what i
08:55
really want and then also i’ve been
08:57
getting enough work
08:58
where i’m able to say no to things like
09:01
it was really just last
09:02
year or two years ago that i quit doing
09:05
summer markets
09:07
um i basically except for the summer
09:09
maid fairs have given up vending
09:12
all together and i only do the summer
09:14
made the majors in missoula basically
09:16
just
09:17
because that’s how i started really
09:19
getting known i feel like if people came
09:22
to my booth
09:23
at market and so i still want to keep my
09:25
toes in that a bit
09:27
i’ve given up doing private kid lessons
09:30
because it just wasn’t something i
09:31
wanted to do
09:32
i feel like i’ve been in the process of
09:34
shedding a lot of those things that i
09:36
said yesterday
09:37
at the beginning of my career in favor
09:40
of things that
09:42
really made me fulfilled and
09:45
so it’s been interesting to have been
09:47
saying no to things that then would have
09:49
been pretty hard to do
09:50
anyway um it was like um
09:55
an interesting interesting timing to
09:57
have been
09:58
paring those things down um
10:02
yeah but you’re right i absolutely and
10:03
like i know a lot of
10:05
artists who wouldn’t go that route of
10:07
like just say yes but for me it just
10:10
was the right way to go about things so
10:12
i i had a really large
10:15
pool and then it made
10:18
when one part wasn’t working i could
10:21
always rely on another part to
10:23
pay my bills and so it’s always been
10:26
like
10:27
i’ve never felt too insecure because
10:29
i’ve always had something that
10:31
i could put my hand in and be able to go
10:34
okay i can make money this way
10:36
if commissions aren’t working right now
10:38
or but it’s only you know 10 years on
10:40
and i’ve
10:41
finally been like i it’s time for me to
10:43
i need to drop something or i’m never
10:45
gonna sleep
10:46
um you know so like i don’t
10:50
i don’t want to spend the next 10 years
10:52
making products
10:54
for for me like that’s not fun or joyous
10:57
or i’d rather take that energy and
11:01
try to build more clients for my
11:03
illustration work
11:05
so yeah it’s been like i’ve been in a
11:07
period of sort of
11:09
reconfiguring and growth and
11:12
it almost gave me sort of some time to
11:14
just like slow down and be quiet
11:17
and i was getting a lot of family
11:19
commissions during
11:20
this whole period and i i think because
11:23
people are home
11:24
and they’re thinking about their spaces
11:26
more
11:27
so that was really good for me or it
11:30
gave me a focus
11:32
yeah yeah and do you
11:35
draw everything on an ipad or like a
11:38
tablet or how do you how what’s your
11:39
question
11:40
not my family commissions like the
11:43
portrait commissions i do for families
11:45
are all
11:45
pen and marker on paper and then all my
11:48
illustration work
11:50
that is for like but i do a lot for big
11:52
sky brewing company and that’s all on
11:54
the ipad because they often want
11:56
corrections or
11:58
they’ll the packaging is not just the
12:00
can but it’s the bottle
12:01
it’s the bottle it’s the can it’s the
12:04
box that the
12:05
cans would come in plus the box that the
12:07
bottles would come in and
12:09
there’s a lot of different iterations of
12:12
one design
12:14
so the ipad makes it super easy to
12:17
do all those changes and then for my
12:20
personal work i
12:22
mostly do that on pieces of paper
12:27
with real materials and this summer too
12:30
i had a residency
12:31
at the historical museum and that was
12:35
six weeks so i had a studio on site
12:38
and i was able to just dive into
12:41
um historical research about missoula
12:44
and that was re that was another like
12:47
really
12:48
awesome thing to have during this period
12:53
i was going to just say when are we
12:54
going to get to see that that sounds
12:56
awesome
12:56
yeah so i am working on
13:00
it so i did this body of work that
13:03
showed at the missoula art museum
13:04
could be without a summer it was like
13:06
very very
13:08
huge drawings with lots of detail
13:11
you want to talk about a rabbit hole
13:13
head to courtneyblazon.com to see
13:16
courtney’s exhaustive process
13:18
for this project learn the history of
13:20
volcano tambora
13:22
see courtney’s early sketches for the
13:24
work and read the notes that she took
13:26
during her research and i’m doing i’m
13:29
doing something similar with this body
13:31
of work i’m
13:31
going to recreate the period of time in
13:35
missoula which was like
13:37
1890 to 1905 roughly
13:42
on west french street where that section
13:45
of town was called the badlands
13:47
and it was a really i mean it was a it
13:49
was
13:50
where all the brothels were we had a
13:51
chinatown
13:53
so i i’m going to create that i’m hoping
13:56
it probably won’t be for a year
13:58
when i do bodies of work like this i
14:00
think i spend
14:02
about half the time doing the research
14:04
getting the sketches ready
14:06
and then the second half of the time is
14:08
actually doing the work
14:10
so right now i’m still in research and
14:12
development phase but i’ve been able to
14:14
talk to
14:15
so many amazing missoulians who have so
14:18
much knowledge about
14:19
this period of time until march 2021
14:24
you can check out the historical mural
14:26
courtney is talking about
14:28
in the alley next to radius gallery
14:30
called allez
14:31
gallery for a video teaser of the mural
14:33
and a link to the allez gallery website
14:36
visit tellusomething.org
14:40
well i mean it took you a long time to
14:42
do that
14:43
piece at the zack which is beautiful
14:46
and it has like that all of that yeah
14:52
that was about that was about 300 plus
14:55
hours and it was just a lot of work and
14:59
i was i was at the time in a studio that
15:02
was
15:04
that was a lot of work and i was working
15:06
in a really really
15:08
really small space
15:11
so i could only work on four of those
15:12
panels at a time
15:14
[Music]
15:15
this is a little different just because
15:18
in the piece
15:18
for the zax i could kind of just draw
15:22
whatever i wanted
15:23
i didn’t have to try to be true to
15:26
history at all
15:28
so this one will be a little bit more i
15:30
want to honor
15:31
sort of real historical things while
15:34
still keeping my sort of
15:36
surrealistic point of view and
15:40
stuff like that but i love that i love
15:42
that i have pieces that are just like
15:44
sort of
15:46
stream of consciousness and then pieces
15:47
that are more researched and
15:50
right now my my sort of workload and my
15:52
life my work life feels really balanced
15:56
between work that yeah
15:59
like because some of my work i mean it’s
16:01
work right like doing a family portrait
16:03
is work
16:04
because you don’t want to get anything
16:06
wrong and it’s going to be something
16:08
that will be in their home
16:10
and hopefully be passed on to their
16:13
children or
16:14
so those that i take really seriously
16:16
and they feel more like work
16:18
but that mural felt like a lot of work
16:21
but also like really playful
16:23
yeah it seemed like you were having fun
16:25
with it yeah absolutely
16:27
and i just i didn’t really have to
16:31
as long as it wasn’t inappropriate for
16:33
children i really had
16:34
so much freedom i think
16:38
i’ve been really fortunate during this
16:40
period of time to
16:43
have a number of things that have kept
16:46
me afloat
16:48
i don’t suffer from lack of
16:52
creativity i think i just like
16:56
can kind of force myself to do things
16:59
even if i’m not
17:01
feeling it just because it’s like a
17:02
muscle and i’ve already well developed
17:05
go to work yeah it’s a job
17:09
it’s a job like i i don’t feel like i
17:12
have the
17:13
the freedom to not do it just do it
17:16
and that extends to my even my personal
17:20
work even when i don’t want to show up
17:21
and do something for myself like i still
17:23
just
17:24
go just do it you’ll feel better
17:27
so that’s kind of that discipline i’ve
17:30
built over the years has really
17:32
served me and the other side of it is
17:35
like
17:35
my life changed like zero percent in
17:38
terms of
17:38
how i conducted my daily life when we
17:41
were in quarantine my life remained
17:43
exactly the same because i’ve already
17:45
been working from home for a decade
17:47
so nothing changed i was still home
17:50
alone
17:52
right you know like it’s more like just
17:54
a half an hour that you’re actually on
17:56
the zoom and then the rest
17:57
that by seeing friends and stuff like
18:00
that was really
18:01
and i did some virtual you know drink
18:04
dates with friends
18:05
and that was really nice and even like
18:08
how the zac
18:08
did their mini auction online and like
18:11
it was all on
18:12
zoom and it was just you could see
18:14
everybody
18:15
in it that was so cool
18:18
yeah that was a good example of how an
18:21
online event can
18:22
have success but it fell at the right
18:25
time because people were
18:26
so like people were just like what is
18:28
going to happen
18:29
and it felt like so it was so new
18:32
the experience of being like oh we can’t
18:36
we have to stay home and so seeing all
18:38
the faces of the people
18:40
you love in the community online and
18:43
like then seeing people bidding on
18:45
things
18:46
because i think they almost made as much
18:48
as they would of
18:49
having the event which was like what a
18:53
what a great
18:56
it just makes you feel like mozilla is a
18:59
great place
18:59
in that way it is but it definitely is
19:03
yeah it
19:03
it definitely is i just also think that
19:06
experience
19:07
has kind of it it couldn’t be recreated
19:10
again because i think now we’re so used
19:12
to this
19:13
i don’t know i maybe i’m wrong but it
19:15
just seems like
19:16
we’ve kind of gotten used to what it
19:18
means to be staying within our circle
19:20
and we’re all kind of changed because
19:24
of it and both negatively and positively
19:28
yeah you’re talking about zoom meetings
19:32
and you’re only on the call for the time
19:34
that you’re on the call and that’s it
19:35
and you can go back to work
19:37
yeah that’s been my experience too and
19:39
it’s like i kind of don’t
19:40
want to have coffee meetings again
19:44
i know i’d like to just go like let’s
19:46
just do zoom
19:47
like this is great i don’t need to go
19:50
out and spend that extra time
19:55
you know like i it doesn’t it feel like
19:57
this is gonna kind of change how people
19:59
operate
20:00
i think so i mean certainly certainly
20:03
for me you know i had somebody say hey
20:05
do you want to go have a socially
20:06
distant coffee and i was like no i don’t
20:08
actually
20:09
yeah because because i’m working and
20:12
if i leave the house that means that’s
20:15
you know half an hour to get to wherever
20:17
we’re going to meet
20:18
the time that we’re meeting and then
20:20
another half an hour to 45 minutes to
20:22
get home oh wait i
20:24
i actually i can go yeah i do need to
20:27
get
20:28
a loaf of bread or you know like no
20:30
exactly
20:33
yeah let’s have a half hour meeting and
20:35
like that’s the end of it and now i’ll
20:36
go back to work
20:38
yeah i love that too it’s actually
20:40
that’s become something that
20:42
i feel like is going to be really
20:44
beneficial
20:45
for me just be like let’s just do this
20:48
online
20:49
and that’s going to be so much easier
20:51
for everybody
20:52
i think if you’re somebody who needs
20:54
people you’re going to want to do that
20:56
anyway but
20:57
i kind of like being just in my zone
20:59
when i’m in the middle of work i just
21:01
want to stay there and that
21:03
needing stuff just breaks it up too much
21:06
yeah for sure you kind of come back
21:08
feeling unfocused or you’re like
21:10
you end up running a bunch of errands
21:12
just because you’re already out
21:14
yep so yeah going back to
21:17
work and art yeah i bet you if i had
21:20
asked you you know this year to do
21:22
something you might say no because
21:23
you’re
21:24
paring that down so thank you so much
21:27
for
21:28
making no not in that way actually i was
21:32
more just talking about like
21:34
vending oh yeah it was more just like
21:37
vending and then yeah but stuff like
21:39
that i still love doing any opportunity
21:41
i
21:41
have where i’m actually just drawing i
21:44
can’t say no to that
21:46
it’s like more just like i like to draw
21:48
and any excuse to draw
21:49
it was just like the things in which i
21:51
wasn’t actually just doing the thing i
21:53
want to do
21:54
i don’t want to do the peripheral stuff
21:56
i just want to do the art
21:58
i know what i’m doing but if somebody
22:01
wanted to know
22:02
how do you become an artist i’d be like
22:03
you just work hard
22:05
there’s no secret you’re just
22:08
you work hard you’re tenacious you
22:12
you want it more than the other person
22:14
who would want it i don’t know
22:17
um you’d be nice be nice to people but
22:20
also
22:20
be honest or not that honesty and nice
22:24
mister
22:25
but i mean be transparent if you want
22:28
comp
22:28
amount of money for your work say it
22:31
make a contract i mean there’s just so
22:32
many things that like and maybe those
22:34
are
22:34
valuable things to tell people now that
22:37
i’m thinking about
22:37
like these aren’t obvious for me i
22:40
always think
22:41
be an easy person to work with but don’t
22:43
be a pushover
22:44
and that feels like the best advice that
22:47
i was given was
22:48
be tough but always be fair and
22:52
keep record keep track of every
22:54
interaction you have
22:55
just in case somebody says you didn’t
22:58
tell me that right
23:00
or whatever right maybe it’s not obvious
23:03
it feels obvious to me
23:05
but because you’ve been doing it for 10
23:07
years
23:08
right right and isn’t it funny it’s like
23:11
you can do it as many years as you want
23:13
it still feels new like oh what if i
23:16
what if i can’t do it anymore
23:19
yeah for me it was important for my life
23:22
and especially important for my work
23:24
that i had a studio at home
23:26
where i could shut the door where like
23:29
at a certain time
23:30
at the end of the day i just said i’m
23:32
not looking at that piece of work
23:33
anymore
23:34
in my little place in the basement it
23:36
was there all the time
23:38
and it was making me crazy
23:42
the mental things just be like i’m
23:44
shutting the door on that
23:46
and i’m moving on to another part of my
23:48
day
23:49
and i yeah i mean i work more than
23:52
i should but i’ve been working really
23:55
hard also just on like
23:56
i gotta sleep more i need to find
23:59
some other hobbies not really but i mean
24:03
you know yeah i also need a little
24:06
balance in my life
24:08
it’s been nice also i’ve been finding a
24:10
lot of solace and
24:12
hiking this period
24:16
of times it’s been like yeah it’s just
24:20
remembering that that’s one of the great
24:22
reasons to live
24:23
in missoula is that you could every day
24:26
of the week you could go to a different
24:28
hiking spot
24:30
has been very very very beneficial for
24:34
my brain
24:35
yep after the unexpected and refreshing
24:38
business advice workshop
24:40
we started talking about the poster that
24:42
courtney produced
24:43
for tell something so i wanted to ask
24:45
you about
24:46
the poster that you made for us yeah
24:50
did you immediately know what you were
24:53
going to draw when i asked you to do it
24:55
and you knew what the theme was or
24:58
um i actually did some research
25:02
about like where’s my i thought i would
25:05
grab
25:05
my fingers i gotta grab it to look at it
25:09
because
25:10
so it was um because i think i like
25:13
i kind of knew pretty quickly what i was
25:15
gonna do for it
25:17
and i usually settle on an idea pretty
25:21
quickly
25:23
and i don’t know if that’s just because
25:24
i’m generally like
25:26
this is the time i have allotted for
25:28
this you better snap to it
25:31
how many events have you had in posters
25:35
at the beginning i was having
25:39
an artist design like a 24 by 36
25:42
screen print and we would just use that
25:45
same just
25:47
yeah and like with the idea being we
25:49
would sell some and nobody actually
25:51
wanted to buy anything that big
25:53
so i have you know lots of those if you
25:56
want one
25:58
um but we would just like
26:02
change the color scheme each for each
26:05
event to
26:06
differentiate it from each other
26:09
right and then
26:12
i decided you know that’s not okay
26:15
uh let’s make it really special and
26:17
let’s highlight different artists in
26:19
missoula
26:20
so then i don’t know when i made that
26:22
choice but
26:23
it was like maybe the fourth year that
26:26
we were going
26:28
right and four different artists every
26:30
year and that was
26:31
pretty awesome and and so before covet
26:34
hit
26:35
i got marlowe to frame i
26:39
had him printed on nice paper
26:42
and she framed every single poster that
26:45
we’ve ever had and we were going to have
26:46
an art show the art of tell us something
26:48
[Music]
26:50
because of our 10-year anniversary right
26:53
and so
26:54
i’m counting them now one two three four
26:58
five six i don’t know there’s like
27:02
50 something like that that’s amazing
27:06
yeah and so i paid her to frame the
27:09
posters and then coveted came and i was
27:11
like well we can’t have an art show now
27:13
and so i’ve got all these
27:15
sitting in my living room oh my gosh
27:19
yeah but she did it
27:24
uh it was going to be a quiet coffee
27:27
it’ll happen at some point i hope so you
27:30
know when we’re allowed to get back
27:32
together again
27:33
yeah so i i
27:37
i kind of like because i like i have a
27:39
hard time
27:40
hooking into being excited about a
27:43
project until i can
27:44
find some intellectual
27:48
excitement in it so i tend to just look
27:51
like if the word was
27:52
chance so i just started to look up like
27:55
chance
27:56
and then like what it was historically
28:00
and then like like the roman gods of
28:03
trance
28:03
and i think like i was kind of just
28:06
that’s the way i can get kind of excited
28:08
about it if i feel like it has a back
28:10
story
28:11
i always think it’s like an actor who
28:14
who needs a backstory for their
28:15
character even if
28:18
even if nobody knows it but it gives
28:19
them uh
28:21
a way to be really excited and invested
28:24
in what they’re doing
28:26
so i kind of knew as soon as i picked
28:29
that one and i think it was because the
28:31
word
28:31
because you gave me options i think of
28:34
two or three
28:36
yeah ones yeah and i think i picked
28:39
chance
28:39
right away because i knew it would have
28:41
like i could come up with something that
28:45
had a narrative behind it yeah
28:48
and that because because until or you
28:51
know mentally that’s just what i need to
28:53
like
28:54
get myself invested so i think like
28:58
the chance like i looked up like chance
29:01
meaning and then like kind of what it
29:04
would have meant in like
29:05
the roman period or the greek period and
29:09
then like luck of the draw and
29:12
and the dice are kind of obvious but i
29:14
use little sort of ancient
29:16
looking dice and
29:20
yeah okay so for tuna is that your name
29:25
yes for tuna yeah so i kind of knew
29:28
right away
29:29
what like that it would go that route
29:32
and then i would kind of try to figure
29:34
it out in that
29:37
but i didn’t want her to be like
29:39
blindfolded or anything
29:41
because she’s both greek it was like
29:43
yeah
29:44
i had an artist i was working with for a
29:47
show
29:48
in helena the theme was didn’t see that
29:51
coming
29:52
uh-huh and she and she without me asking
29:55
her to
29:56
she provided me three proof of concept
29:59
drawings and said you know which one do
30:01
you like yeah and one of them
30:03
featured a girl in a blindfold and i was
30:05
like
30:07
you know i get it i get it and also
30:10
like think about how people will feel
30:14
when they see that and she was like oh i
30:15
never even considered
30:17
yeah right
30:20
yeah yeah thanks for not putting a
30:22
blindfold on her
30:24
yeah so the thing on her head is
30:26
supposed to be her blindfolded
30:28
blindfold pulled up as if she’s seeing
30:32
yeah i mean and that’s just something
30:33
that i did like that you know because
30:35
then i was including what would have
30:36
been in the original representation but
30:39
it was in a different format because
30:41
like i don’t think it’s a good idea to
30:42
have
30:43
a blindfolded person because you don’t
30:45
no
30:46
yeah it just doesn’t make you’re right
30:49
it doesn’t make people
30:50
feel comfortable and if that’s your aim
30:53
but for a poster it’s not
30:55
did she have other concepts though that
30:57
made
30:58
oh yeah yeah she did a great she did an
31:00
awesome job and it was fun you know it
31:02
was fun to have somebody
31:05
ask me right right i know like
31:08
that’s not always the case right some of
31:11
us don’t
31:11
necessarily sketch out concepts and then
31:14
you just go for it
31:16
yeah and i do like it because when i do
31:20
um
31:21
like for the beer labels i have to have
31:23
concept drawings
31:25
yeah and when i’m doing something like
31:28
that i guess
31:29
yes you did give me the choice and i was
31:31
like oh well i’ll just i’ll just dive in
31:33
which is cool yeah yeah it’s
31:36
but it is it’s also nice to have that
31:38
option
31:40
i think sometimes and also like what if
31:41
she had chosen the blindfolded one you
31:43
would have been like
31:44
oh yeah i would have paid her and then
31:47
like
31:47
done something else you know like right
31:50
i would have been like well here’s your
31:52
money i can’t use this
31:54
but we had an agreement and you and you
31:56
and you met your side of the agreement
31:57
and i didn’t give you clear enough
31:59
instructions
32:00
my fault you know has it been
32:02
interesting working with artists
32:04
do you find that they’re all kind of
32:06
similar
32:07
in a way and how they approach work
32:10
or they taught me a lot about about
32:13
communicating right
32:14
right the the guidelines that i gave you
32:18
once you said you wanted to do it exist
32:20
because
32:22
some artists didn’t hit any of those
32:24
points and that was like
32:26
well they didn’t because i told them to
32:28
do whatever they wanted and they did
32:31
and then they gave me a piece of work
32:33
that i couldn’t use
32:34
and it’s because right so that’s why i’m
32:37
like okay it has to have
32:39
some sort of living thing in it you know
32:42
and it has to be
32:43
easy to read and you know all that stuff
32:45
yeah
32:46
and some you know some artists gave me
32:48
like a really beautiful piece of art but
32:49
it doesn’t have
32:51
the information that is necessary to
32:53
promote an event on it you know yeah
32:56
yeah and i think so like really good
32:58
that you provide
33:00
provide those now because i think
33:02
artists even if they think they don’t
33:04
want them they for this case they need
33:07
to have
33:08
some guidelines for sure
33:12
yeah and i i mean yeah i made
33:15
assumptions right
33:16
oh i’m hiring courtney blaizon she knows
33:19
how to do this stuff
33:21
and then courtney blazon gives me a
33:22
piece of work that it’s like beautiful
33:24
but the lettering is such that i can’t
33:27
read it you know like i’m
33:29
using you just so that i’m not pointing
33:31
out you know anybody else but
33:33
and i’m not saying that you did that you
33:35
definitely didn’t you gave me
33:38
a beautiful poster that it was easy to
33:40
read and we sold out the wilma
33:42
you know oh good i thought it looked so
33:45
good when i saw it like around the
33:48
around the town you know when it’s
33:50
because you just suck some up
33:52
right oh yeah they were everywhere yeah
33:55
yeah it was just exciting to see it i
33:57
was like that was
33:58
good yeah it does it looks great
34:02
and it was fun too like even from the
34:04
street you could tell what it was
34:06
if you were just riding your bike down
34:08
the road you might not be able to read
34:10
it because you were going fast but
34:13
yeah it was it was a great position yeah
34:16
it’s funny i i’m always telling stories
34:19
to people and they’re always like
34:20
particularly i have like a pretty
34:22
interesting life with my dad
34:24
and people are always saying you should
34:26
try to do something for tell us
34:28
something
34:29
and i feel like that would make me want
34:30
to vomit just the thought of
34:32
standing up in front of a crowd i mean i
34:36
know i could do it probably and
34:39
because i’m kind of also a cam
34:43
you know like i i like to chat
34:46
but i’m sure i could but do people want
34:49
to vomit
34:50
it’s kind of scary so
34:54
telling a story is scary and
34:58
also really fun and if you can take that
35:01
nervous
35:02
energy and turn it into you know it’s
35:03
energy so you can manipulate it to your
35:05
will
35:06
yeah and so take that nervous energy and
35:09
turn it into an
35:10
enthusiasm or excitement or whatever
35:13
you need to get through the story but by
35:16
the time you hit that stage
35:18
you’ve practiced your story enough and
35:19
you’ve gotten enough feedback from
35:22
not just other storytellers but me you
35:24
know i’m like that’s part of my job is
35:26
to
35:27
help you crash because you don’t go up
35:28
there and tell a story you like practice
35:31
and you
35:31
you people tell you what is working and
35:34
what isn’t working
35:35
and stuff like that yeah i mean in the
35:38
early days
35:39
it was just get up there and do it and
35:42
thankfully
35:43
people did great at that but as things
35:46
started progressing
35:47
i realized that i need to also step up
35:50
my game and
35:51
help them craft their story somebody
35:54
might tell me a story and it’s like
35:55
three minutes long and it’s like that’s
35:57
not your full story let’s think about
35:59
this and
36:00
and then by the time they get on the
36:02
stage it’s a beautiful piece of art you
36:03
know
36:04
wow yeah that’s amazing yeah that’s a
36:08
gift that you’re giving the community
36:10
to and hopefully like you feel
36:13
appreciated by
36:15
the you know the community i
36:18
feel really lucky really like that like
36:21
i i’m always cutting a deadline right to
36:23
the end
36:24
myself it gives you a
36:28
fire under your butt but it’s like it’s
36:31
just like a mental exercise of
36:33
i don’t care if anybody listens this is
36:36
what i do yeah yeah
36:39
i mean because i’m the same way like
36:41
i’ll force myself to finish a piece of
36:43
work that’s for me but i’m like
36:45
literally nobody but me cares
36:48
but it’s important for my mental
36:51
well-being to just stay
36:53
somewhere in that realm of
36:56
holding myself accountable i’m sure for
36:58
some people it’s other things like
37:01
exercise and sleep and what you’re
37:03
eating
37:04
for some of it’s related to like i just
37:06
need to do this to stay
37:09
accountable to myself and
37:12
like i like to dress up every day
37:13
whether i’m leaving home or not
37:15
and it’s just my way of saying like okay
37:17
you’re working now
37:19
and yeah yeah stuff like that
37:23
i don’t know i like i like the act of
37:25
changing out
37:26
of my sleeping clothes into something
37:28
that is
37:29
about being present and
37:33
focused and yeah
37:36
yeah well courtney thank you for talking
37:39
with me today i’m speaking of work
37:41
i like i do have to go to work okay well
37:44
have a good day mark and thanks for
37:47
chatting with me
37:48
thank you courtney you have an awesome
37:50
day as well and uh maybe i’ll see you
37:52
around in the neighborhood
37:53
sounds good bye all right bye

I worked with the team at Gecko Designs to rethink the Tell Us Something website back in 2017 and they have been providing hosting and routine maintenance for the website ever since. Join head honcha Melissa Kaplan and me for an in-depth vist about Gecko Designs, the Tell Us Something experience, and telling a story on the Tell Us Something stage. After our conversation, you can hear the story as she shared it with her husband and head honcho of Gecko Designs, Gabriel Silverman.
This week on the podcast, Dagny Deutchman and I revisit the story that she shared about guiding a river trip on the Salmon River. In the story, she shared how she dealt with a client who inappropriately expressed his displeasure at having to use a groover. We talk about how she might handle that differently. Dagney shares how Tell Us Something changed her life and we talk about some of the sleep research she’s been doing as she pursues her PhD.
Visiting her brother-in-law in Hong Kong, Jennie had an adverse reaction to all of the walking she’s enduring. In an effort to help her heal, she undergoes a regimen of acupuncture, smudging and drinking a mysterious concoction whipped up by a Chinese Medicine Man.
This week on the podcast, Molly Bradford and I revisit her story of harvesting a doe. I figured that, it being hunting season and all, now is a good time to share our conversation.Join us as we talk about hunting, motherhood and storytelling, then listen to the story as she shared it on stage.
In this podcast episode, you’ll hear stories about a rule-following good girl making a stand against injustice, a woman who uses kindness to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation in Brooklyn, New York, successful communication during a near-death experience on a mountain road and a neighborhood coming together to protect songbirds in a time of crisis.
In this podcast episode, you’ll hear stories about a man overcoming his obesity and depression through the magic of MMA fighting, a model who escapes the insidious modeling industry, a volunteer who helps restore an historic C-47 aircraft for the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and a mother making a difficult decision on the day of an important hunt.

Transcript : "Tipping Point" Part 2

00:00
welcome to tell us something
00:02
[Applause]
00:11
dave bolter is a new england boy who
00:14
moved to montana
00:15
early in the spring of 1993.
00:22
he graduated from the university of
00:24
montana with a degree in forestry
00:26
specializing in recreation management
00:29
he has been making his living as a stone
00:31
mason for approximately 20 years
00:34
and is a veteran athlete and coach in
00:37
mixed martial arts
00:39
please welcome dave boulter
00:48
good evening
00:49
[Applause]
00:52
so my story begins back in new england
00:55
i was a young boy about two years old
00:58
one of my first memories of life
01:01
up to that point was going down the
01:04
mountain in between my dad’s legs skiing
01:06
and he remember him asking me dave are
01:10
you having fun
01:10
would you like to go faster and i
01:12
remember looking up yeah
01:14
you know and that that was it skiing was
01:16
my life
01:18
sports so i kept on doing all that
01:21
experimented with a variety of other
01:23
sports soccer
01:24
lacrosse cycling all that
01:29
tried every one of them out for
01:30
approximately six months before
01:32
i either loved them or i hated them
01:35
that’s when i first found out that
01:37
gnomes can’t play basketball so
01:41
i carried my little book of sports
01:43
soccer lacrosse ski racing into high
01:46
school
01:47
the ice of the east coast left me with
01:51
two knee surgeries before i graduated
01:53
high school
01:54
came out west colorado did a couple of
01:57
years there
01:58
before i moved up to montana um
02:01
uh yeah that’s what i said too i was
02:03
like what am i doing in colorado get me
02:05
to montana
02:06
so i transferred up here
02:09
was a geology major switch to wreck
02:11
management
02:13
where i started working with the
02:15
adaptive ski program at
02:18
the long lost marshall mountain
02:21
bums me out but i also that gave me a
02:24
great opportunity i was like wow this is
02:26
some really cool people to work with
02:27
adaptive skiing helping people out i get
02:30
to ski
02:32
win so i started getting close to
02:35
graduation time
02:36
east coast was calling again i found out
02:38
there’s a really good
02:40
internship program back there and a
02:42
mountain
02:43
at a tashberg peak it was right down the
02:45
road from where my grandparents live
02:47
my parents are there all my friends i
02:49
was like okay so
02:51
drove back there three weeks into that
02:53
internship i was free skiing
02:56
with a paraplegic and an amputee
03:00
when i had a freak accident destroyed my
03:02
knee
03:04
had five hours of emergency
03:06
reconstructive surgery two days later
03:09
two weeks after that those same two guys
03:12
that i was skiing with
03:14
had me skiing in a mono ski as if i was
03:16
a paraplegic my
03:18
my boss at the time was like i’m not
03:20
paying attention to this and she
03:23
avoided eye contact with me while i was
03:25
had my knee in the brace and
03:27
icing it in between runs you know with
03:29
my little cryo pack and
03:32
but i learned how to ski in a monastery
03:35
whole new experience it’s
03:36
fantastic so but i was
03:40
really missing montana that injury
03:44
caused a lot of setbacks with me i
03:46
started getting depressed i wanted to
03:48
move back to montana i couldn’t play
03:49
sports
03:50
you know skiing i could sort of do but i
03:52
was very limited no
03:53
sock or none of that so i don’t know i
03:56
was
03:56
missing montana started eating too much
04:00
and drinking beers and soda and
04:03
i don’t know i found out that i really
04:05
like to eat crappy food
04:08
but i started packing it on and i was
04:11
bummed out but i made up my mind i have
04:14
to get back to montana so i hustled back
04:16
to montana
04:17
2001 um like right after the world trade
04:22
went down i said i really need to get
04:24
out of the east coast and screw this
04:26
place so
04:27
i came back to montana um and
04:30
right i was here for about a year and
04:33
one of my good friends i was struggling
04:34
looking for a sport and soccer
04:36
nah but my buddy
04:40
suggested that i get into brazilian jiu
04:42
jitsu and i said what is that you know
04:44
and we
04:45
the ultimate fighting and ufc
04:48
and pride fighting championships out of
04:50
japan started coming in to
04:53
i don’t know popularity at that time the
04:55
early 2000s and
04:57
we would all get together and watch you
04:59
know these athletes wail on each other
05:01
and that’s kind of how i looked at it i
05:03
didn’t really see the
05:04
art of it but i agreed i was like all
05:08
right
05:08
i’ll try it you know so i got my ghee
05:11
and i went to
05:12
sakura down the road here on higgins and
05:15
i
05:15
uh yeah i found out quickly how
05:18
amazing that sport is you can really
05:21
cause a huge amount of damage to
05:23
somebody but
05:24
as soon as they tap you’re not injured
05:27
anymore
05:28
like you you can keep going you know so
05:30
i found that out but
05:31
you know through rolling i injured
05:33
myself whatever
05:36
kept training uh a little bit
05:39
off and on um still looking for a new
05:41
sport
05:42
i wasn’t really thinking that that was
05:44
my path so other friends suggested
05:47
kayaking i’m like all right i’ll try
05:48
kayaking yeah bro you’re built for it
05:50
dude and i’m like okay
05:52
so i did the frenchtown pond got my roll
05:56
did my roll in the blackfoot everything
05:58
was great
05:59
okay dave you’re totally ready for the
06:01
gorge and i’m like
06:02
uh okay and i jumped in the gorge with
06:06
my friends and
06:08
i forget which wave it was it blew me
06:10
over but
06:11
i remembered how to roll i got down
06:15
i wanted to snap my hips i got my
06:18
head up right at the last second and i
06:20
got blown over by another wave i did it
06:22
again and my shoulder popped out
06:24
i was back underwater battling couldn’t
06:27
roll anymore wet exit with a blown
06:30
shoulder
06:31
boat filled with water kicked ashore
06:34
paddle everything
06:35
all my friends were like oh you made it
06:37
good you know i was like man
06:39
kayaking you guys are crazy
06:42
i don’t know how the hell all the
06:44
respect kayakers
06:46
that’s real i was like this i’m not
06:49
getting back in that water so i threw
06:51
that kayak over my shoulder and
06:54
battled up the scree pile to the road
06:56
and i started walking back to
06:58
missoula so on the highway
07:01
truck driver thankfully stopped and
07:03
picked me up i was very thankful and
07:06
made it home returned all that gear and
07:09
sold everything else that i had bought
07:11
thinking that i would love that sport
07:12
and
07:14
anyway the struggle for new sports
07:17
continued and we kept watching all these
07:20
ufc
07:20
fights and everything and i’m like damn
07:22
what am i going to do what am i going to
07:24
do
07:24
i started getting fat again addicted to
07:27
soda i’m like oh
07:28
christ this cannot keep going on
07:31
so one day i said that’s it
07:36
quit drinking soda i’m gonna pick up
07:38
fighting
07:39
and uh and i once i quit drinking soda i
07:42
lost 15 pounds the first week
07:45
started training started training
07:48
feeling great
07:49
i told my coach i’m like dude get me a
07:52
fight
07:53
he looked at me like i was crazy but he
07:55
said all right let’s do it
07:56
so six months later i stepped in
08:00
to the ring out at rock creek lodge
08:03
july 7 2007 it was about 103 degrees
08:08
that was the second fight of the night
08:10
nerves galore i had no idea
08:13
what the hell to expect i’d never really
08:15
been in a fight before in my life i was
08:17
like
08:18
training’s one thing but an actual fight
08:21
holy you know there’s a thousand
08:23
people screaming wanting to see blood
08:24
and i’m like wow
08:27
all right let’s do this you know and my
08:30
first fight ends my buddy comes out he’s
08:32
all busted up but he won he was like oh
08:34
dude that was awesome you know and i’m
08:36
like
08:37
holy all right let’s go walking out
08:40
to the ring
08:41
it’s so hot 103 degrees i’m like what
08:44
the hell
08:45
christ scared climb into the ring
08:48
walking around the mat is black 130
08:52
degrees i’m like
08:53
wow i nervous but burn my feet if i sit
08:56
still you know so i
08:59
fight finally the bell rings boom we
09:01
start to touch gloves
09:02
and this kid from butte lit me up he
09:05
basically
09:07
he basically gassed out beating me up
09:11
i’m not gonna lie but none of the
09:14
injuries none of his hits really
09:16
got me worse than my knee explosions or
09:19
all the other things that have
09:20
happened in my life and i’m like well
09:22
hell the refs there to stop it if it
09:23
gets too crazy so let’s keep going
09:26
and uh you know the the made it through
09:29
the first round
09:30
second round i’m sitting there i don’t
09:32
even hear a word my coach is saying to
09:35
me in between rounds i’m just like holy
09:36
when is this over you know and
09:40
about he’s still giving me a beating i’m
09:43
starting to throw a beating back to him
09:45
you know i’m
09:45
feeling pretty good and then finally i
09:48
just i’m like i can’t take this anymore
09:49
this kid he’s not going to
09:51
get me down and i can’t knock him down i
09:53
finally lost it
09:55
grabbed him threw him down on the ground
09:57
and i finished him off just like ralphie
09:59
and
10:00
the christmas story beating up that
10:03
beating up that bully felt
10:05
great you know ref stops the fight
10:08
peels me off i get my hand raised i
10:11
still don’t know what the hell happened
10:12
adrenaline and everything
10:14
overheated i get craw i get brought into
10:17
the ambulance
10:18
i’m sitting there with ice packed under
10:19
my armpits my groin
10:22
throwing up in the bar pale there and
10:24
the
10:25
emts are looking at me and blood leaking
10:28
out everywhere
10:28
my buddy comes in with a couple of beers
10:31
and
10:32
i drink one down and i’m like man i can
10:34
do better than that
10:36
and uh that was the start of my 13 year
10:41
long
10:41
mixed martial arts career
11:14
thanks dave
11:15
[Music]
11:20
i feel like this is like a recurring
11:22
thing that happens with me
11:23
i keep losing my note card
11:26
every event it happens so i’m going to
11:29
use my phone
11:33
ainsley mcguire is a writer and essiest
11:36
essayist whose work appears in the
11:38
current issue
11:40
of barrel house journal and has
11:42
previously been
11:43
published in grist to houma literary
11:46
review
11:47
salon and the washington post among
11:50
others
11:52
she was recently appointed as the chair
11:54
of the parks and rec committee in the
11:56
town where she lives
11:57
she has never seen the sitcom please
11:59
welcome ainsley mcguire
12:12
when i was 16 years old i lived in the
12:15
sleepy suburbs of ottawa
12:17
canada’s capital
12:20
i was a straight a student i benchwarmed
12:23
for the basketball team
12:25
i’d never been on a date i happily wore
12:28
the same baggy jeans and gray zip up
12:30
hoodie to school
12:31
every day and the only fashion magazines
12:34
i ever flipped through
12:36
were the 17s that came to my house every
12:38
month addressed my older sister
12:41
so it came as a huge surprise to
12:42
everyone but mostly me
12:45
that after a series of events i won’t go
12:47
into now
12:48
i was scouted discovered by one of
12:51
manhattan’s top
12:52
modeling agencies the weekend before my
12:56
17th birthday i was flown to paris to
12:58
walk in my first fashion show
13:01
backstage before the show christian dior
13:04
spring summer 95 that was held in the
13:07
carousel de louvre
13:08
i sat next to models that even i had
13:10
heard of linda evangelista helena
13:12
christensen
13:13
tyra banks the champagne flowed
13:17
the camera flashes popped the show
13:19
itself was a blur
13:21
but paris was so beautiful
13:25
that’s what i told my friends and family
13:27
when i got home
13:28
and this is what i didn’t tell them that
13:31
at the fitting
13:32
the day before the show when it was my
13:34
turn to get my outfit approved
13:37
the designer an older italian man
13:39
stepped towards me
13:41
and without saying a word he ripped off
13:43
my shirt
13:45
next with his bare hands he tried to
13:48
readjust my breasts
13:50
into something that would better fit his
13:51
creation as if i were merely a block of
13:54
clay
13:55
and when it was clear this wasn’t going
13:56
to happen he just turned and walked away
13:58
from me
13:59
leaving me standing there half naked in
14:01
a room full of strangers
14:05
i rushed to find my own clothes that i
14:07
had left folded in a neat pile in the
14:08
corner somewhere
14:09
and i was stopped multiple times by
14:11
other models who said things like oh my
14:13
god the designer noticed you and
14:14
oh my god you are so lucky and as i
14:17
fought to hold back the tears welling in
14:19
my eyes
14:20
i was confused because not only was the
14:23
designer’s behavior
14:24
acceptable it was enviable
14:28
and i don’t know how i knew it but i did
14:31
know
14:32
in that moment that if i wanted to
14:34
succeed in this business
14:35
i’d need to learn how to keep my mouth
14:37
shut and of course i wanted to succeed i
14:40
was 16 years old
14:42
and i just been invited into this elite
14:43
industry i was wooed by its promise of
14:46
travel and money and fame
14:48
of escape one month after i graduated
14:52
high school when i was 17 years old
14:54
i moved to new york city unknowingly
14:57
about to embark on a career
14:58
that sells sex before i’d even had sex
15:03
for the next three years i jumped from
15:05
market to market milan paris london
15:08
hamburg new york
15:09
and at first i loved it i shot for
15:11
countless magazines i wore high-fashion
15:13
clothes on the runway
15:15
there were vip parties complete with
15:17
celebrity interactions there were free
15:19
dinners free drinks
15:20
and yet when i was 20 i couldn’t keep up
15:22
with the pressures inherent in the
15:24
industry anymore like
15:26
the imposed thinness and the constant
15:28
relocation
15:30
before the internet living abroad was an
15:32
extremely isolating experience
15:35
which only compounded my feelings of
15:37
depression
15:38
and again i was confused because here i
15:40
was surrounded by all these things
15:42
you’re supposed to want
15:43
to have here i was surrounded by people
15:45
constantly telling me how
15:47
lucky i was and yet i didn’t feel that
15:50
way
15:51
fortunately my parents insisted i go
15:53
back to school which i did and i got a
15:55
degree in psychology
15:56
but the spring before i graduated i was
15:58
scouted to model again
16:00
and i figured that modeling could be a
16:01
great way to make some money in the
16:02
short term
16:04
i mean i possessed the skill set and i
16:07
figured that i was strong enough to
16:08
handle anything
16:09
the industry threw out me this time
16:11
around i was sucked back in
16:15
in the fall of 2012 i was 35 years old
16:18
living in new york and my job still was
16:21
model
16:22
and though the nature of the bookings
16:24
had changed over the course of my career
16:26
from magazine covers and campaigns to
16:29
what
16:29
those in the industry referred to as the
16:32
closet
16:33
i spent days sitting in a windowless
16:36
room sometimes as small as four by ten
16:38
feet
16:38
sometimes bigger sometimes alone and
16:41
sometimes with other models
16:42
and i’d wait until somebody brought me
16:45
an outfit or
16:46
100 to try on and model for the buyers
16:49
from upscale department stores
16:51
and boutiques in the adjacent showroom
16:55
now there are many times over the course
16:56
of my career when i probably should have
16:58
considered quitting
17:00
like that first fashion show for example
17:03
or when i was 19
17:04
and an agent invited me into his office
17:06
and told me to not eat anything for the
17:08
next two days
17:09
and over the next two weeks to really
17:11
watch what i ate but
17:12
drink a lot of water or when i was 25
17:15
and my agent suggested that i never tell
17:17
anyone i had a university degree
17:20
because it might make people feel bad
17:21
about themselves
17:23
or when i was 31 or when i was 31
17:28
and a designer spit in my face on set at
17:30
a photo shoot because
17:32
he decided he didn’t like me
17:35
and while all of those instances and
17:37
others made me
17:38
feel less than worthless more than
17:41
worthless
17:43
i never said anything because i had
17:44
learned from the start that to speak up
17:46
meant to be difficult
17:47
and to be difficult meant to be
17:48
overlooked for jobs jobs that sometimes
17:50
came
17:51
with a huge paycheck
17:54
and that’s the thing about modeling the
17:57
money isn’t always there
17:58
but the promise of money is
18:01
which is how i lasted in the business as
18:04
long as i did
18:05
that and as time passed i came to
18:06
believe i wasn’t capable of doing
18:08
anything else
18:10
on a monday afternoon in november 2012
18:13
as i stood out in the showroom
18:14
modeling my next outfit one of the
18:17
buyers looked me in the eye
18:18
an older man and he said that shirt
18:21
makes your belly look
18:22
big that wasn’t a big deal i was
18:26
so used to comments like that comments
18:27
dissecting my appearance and telling me
18:29
what was wrong with me to my face
18:32
i was numb to comments like that what
18:34
made this time so
18:36
special was that he said it to me as i
18:38
stood next to a model who had just
18:40
announced in the closet that she was
18:41
pregnant
18:42
five months along she hadn’t told the
18:46
client
18:46
yet and i got this because she like the
18:48
rest of us was hired for her exact
18:50
measurements
18:51
and to deviate even a centimeter meant
18:53
to possibly lose her job
18:56
so in cahoots with the dresser the woman
18:58
whose job it was to
19:00
help us get dressed uh the pregnant
19:02
model ensured that all
19:04
of the baggier clothes went to her
19:06
leaving me with all the form-fitting
19:08
ones
19:10
when i got home at the end of the day my
19:12
booker called ainsley
19:14
are you on your period yes i said
19:18
i lied oh good i assured the client that
19:20
must be the case but they still ask that
19:22
you don’t come back to work this week
19:26
now it’s important to note here that at
19:27
this time i was in my second year of
19:29
grad school getting an mfa in creative
19:31
writing
19:32
but i’m ashamed to say that up until
19:34
three years earlier i hadn’t even known
19:36
that an mfa in creative writing was a
19:37
thing
19:38
i had been so sheltered by this industry
19:41
i had remained so amenable to it
19:44
but i had gravitated towards writing
19:46
because i had amassed so many stories
19:48
and i wanted to learn the best way to
19:50
tell them but i still didn’t know what i
19:52
was going to do once my career ended i
19:54
mean it’s not like anyone in the
19:55
industry cares to help you figure out
19:57
what’s next you’re valuable to them
19:59
until you just aren’t
20:00
so it was as if i existed every day
20:02
living on a conveyor belt
20:03
a lineup of hungry women behind me
20:06
thinner younger
20:07
prettier versions of myself ready to
20:09
knock me off
20:10
at any moment and into the oblivion of
20:12
old age
20:15
when i hung up the phone with my booker
20:16
i started to cry
20:18
and i knew in that moment something
20:20
needed to change
20:23
a year and a half later my then
20:24
boyfriend and i left new york city and
20:26
moved to southeast idaho
20:28
of all places and into the house
20:33
and into the house that his
20:34
great-great-grandparents built in 1914
20:37
i’d never lived i’d never been to idaho
20:40
before but i’ve lived in many places and
20:42
i reasoned you can build a life anywhere
20:44
which is exactly what we’ve done over
20:45
the past five and a half years
20:47
and it hasn’t always been easy i’ve
20:49
worked so many odd jobs i was a
20:51
community counselor for a while
20:53
i was a substitute high school teacher
20:55
for three days
20:57
i did it wasn’t for me i
21:00
i do copy editing for a home healthcare
21:03
company i even worked in a retail
21:04
clothing store for a while
21:07
and with each of those jobs i was lucky
21:09
to get paid in two weeks what i used to
21:11
earn
21:11
in a day sometimes even an hour as a
21:13
model
21:15
and yeah that was tough to take at first
21:18
but now i can honestly say that even
21:21
though i have far
21:22
less i have never felt luckier
21:31
[Applause]
21:32
[Music]
21:36
that boyfriend became my husband we look
21:38
after each other our home and a dozen
21:40
animals
21:43
i have a garden i finally understand the
21:46
value of a hard-earned dollar
21:48
and i finally understand that my worth
21:50
as a human comes from more than being a
21:51
desirable object
21:58
and it wasn’t until i left the industry
22:02
that i understood the extent of the
22:05
psychological damage that had been
22:06
inflicted
22:08
this industry that had socialized me
22:11
this industry that had treated me the
22:12
same at 36 as it had at 16
22:15
and i was the ideal candidate i’m
22:17
ashamed to say i was an eager
22:19
malleable teenager willing to do
22:21
whatever it took in order to succeed
22:23
which is exactly what the industry is
22:25
counting on
22:26
but i’m more ashamed that i didn’t speak
22:28
up when i saw these things
22:30
that made me feel uncomfortable
22:34
and the things that i knew were wrong
22:37
in january i’m about to start a new job
22:39
i was recently hired by the college of
22:41
eastern idaho to create and teach
22:43
their first creative writing class for
22:45
credit taught on campus
22:48
and i can’t wait
22:50
[Applause]
22:53
i can’t wait to help my students
22:55
discover and develop their voices
22:58
but more than that i can’t wait to watch
23:00
as they discover
23:01
the transformative power that can come
23:03
from finally using them
23:05
thank you
23:08
[Applause]
23:14
[Music]
23:36
thank you ainsley
23:47
and thank you to everyone who is
23:48
actively listening
23:59
people who interrupt that’s not okay
24:07
[Applause]
24:09
think of it like this if you’re
24:10
conflicted it’s not consensual
24:21
john haynes was born and raised in
24:23
plains montana
24:24
[Music]
24:27
he lived in kumato japan for 10 years
24:31
john
24:32
currently works at ace hardware so he
24:34
can volunteer
24:35
at the museum of mountain flying
24:39
please note for the sake of clarity
24:42
the miss montana in the following story
24:44
is stunningly beautiful
24:47
she’s a 75 year old airplane please
24:50
welcome
24:51
john haynes
25:04
i am the volunteer coordinator out at
25:06
the museum of mountain flying
25:10
[Applause]
25:11
but it hasn’t always been that way on
25:14
january 3rd
25:15
of this year was my first day
25:17
volunteering at the museum
25:20
i opened up the door and i saw a 75 year
25:23
old dc3
25:25
well a nearly 75 year old dc3
25:28
it first came off the assembly line with
25:30
the purpose of hauling people on cargo
25:33
during world war ii it didn’t see
25:35
service beyond the american borders
25:37
but it would have a great life ahead of
25:40
it
25:48
johnson flying service bought it as a
25:50
surf surplus plane
25:52
in 1946 and used it for smoke jumping
25:55
and and hauling cargo all over the
25:57
region in
25:58
uh very rural areas
26:02
what i saw on that night was that we had
26:04
a goal of getting it
26:06
to fly by march which was interesting
26:09
because
26:10
it had no engines on it
26:13
the the interior was taken apart
26:16
and waiting for modern amenities like
26:20
good insulation and avionics to be
26:22
installed
26:23
there is no operational avion
26:26
or controls for the the flight it was
26:29
basically a shell of the plane that it
26:31
was about to become
26:33
with that in mind my first job there was
26:36
to build
26:37
shelves for the red shed in the museum
26:40
and i thought well
26:41
that’s not too sexy
26:43
[Laughter]
26:46
but when i came back later a lot of the
26:48
tools and paperwork that were screwing
26:50
across the floor when i got there were
26:52
in the shed and organized and you soon
26:54
realized
26:55
that it doesn’t matter what job you are
26:57
doing
26:58
it is all important for the big picture
27:01
my second job that i can remember doing
27:03
was getting onto one of those scissor
27:05
lifts and going up
27:06
into the nose of the plane with it in
27:09
mind
27:10
to take some of the hoses out that were
27:12
connected to the
27:13
the back of the dashboard that measured
27:15
things like fuel and oil
27:17
and i was supposed to put the labels
27:19
that were written on the hoses
27:21
onto the ports that they’re connected to
27:24
which became
27:25
interesting fast because i saw two or
27:28
three labels that said the exact same
27:30
thing
27:31
left engine fuel possibly oil
27:39
well february and march came
27:43
and went and we had a lot of progress
27:45
but
27:47
the plane hadn’t flown in about
27:51
sometime in april our lead mechanics
27:53
parents showed up from arizona and they
27:55
drove up in their rv
27:56
and were they intended on staying for
27:58
about two weeks
28:01
bill is one of those people that’s a
28:02
good example of the type of volunteers
28:04
we had out there he’s 70
28:06
plus years old and a dynamo he could be
28:09
everywhere at once
28:10
and working on just about anything on
28:12
the plane and feel very comfortable with
28:14
it
28:15
and he would tell you a good story the
28:17
whole time
28:19
his wife age and some health issues had
28:23
caught up with her
28:24
so what would happen in the afternoon is
28:27
she would need a break
28:28
and go back to their rv and stay there a
28:32
while
28:32
and when she wanted to come back she’d
28:35
honk the horn
28:36
and and bill would scurry off and wash
28:39
all the oil products off his hands
28:41
and bring her back out to to help us out
28:45
after a few rounds of the honk honk one
28:48
of our volunteers said
28:49
that’s love a few days
28:52
after that it happened we’d hear hong
28:55
kong and a chorus of
28:56
that’s love
29:01
april again a lot of progress
29:04
but it was not or miss montana was not
29:07
airborne yet
29:09
but we’re getting more and more
29:10
confident as time went on
29:12
in the first week of may now keep in
29:15
mind we’re having our send-off gala for
29:17
a plane that hadn’t flown on the weekend
29:19
of mother’s day
29:21
on the saturday before mother’s day in
29:23
the first week of may
29:25
we realized if we’re going to practice
29:28
our jump for the normandy
29:30
ceremony we needed a drop zone
29:34
in and i saw that as an opportunity
29:37
to pitch plains montana my hometown
29:42
it’s about an hour and a half drive but
29:44
a 20-minute flight so it was perfect
29:46
um now al charters who was our jump
29:50
master and i
29:50
drove up to planes and al got about a 10
29:53
minutes
29:54
noticed for this plan so he showed up to
29:56
the hangar and he said
29:57
al we’re going up to planes to find a
29:59
drop zone
30:01
mind you al isn’t very tall in stature
30:05
but he can fill up a room with his
30:08
self-confidence
30:09
and sense of purpose and i was a little
30:12
intimidated by it
30:13
um but i i was willing to take the risk
30:17
i’m back so
30:21
we drove up to planes and we talked to
30:23
the person who manages
30:24
the airport up there and we went out to
30:27
visit the airport
30:29
and and al looks around
30:32
and he says
30:36
it would work on a perfect day
30:40
and i think we both knew that a perfect
30:43
day is tough to plan
30:44
for so we drove back and talked to the
30:47
manager at the airport who is in
30:49
in high gear for lobbying for this
30:51
because he he wanted
30:52
an event like this to happen in little
30:54
old plains montana
30:56
and we said well maybe and i had the
31:00
idea of calling the people who owned the
31:01
holland ranch
31:02
just west of town the
31:06
so i called up daisy holland and i said
31:09
daisy
31:10
have you heard about the miss montana
31:12
project
31:13
and she said well yes i have i said
31:17
you know we need a drop zone for our
31:20
practice jump and we’d like to use your
31:22
field just west of town
31:23
i said well sure so basically
31:27
we had two 30-second conversations to
31:29
get yes so the support was there
31:31
and it was it was a really neat thing we
31:34
ended up meeting with daisy
31:36
and the manager of the airport and we
31:39
we got everything confirmed but we did
31:42
not know
31:43
what day this would end up happening so
31:45
we said we have to keep this a secret
31:48
for any of you who have ever been to a
31:50
small town the best way to promote
31:52
something
31:53
is to tell people to keep it a secret
32:00
so that was the first week in may we had
32:03
our send off gala
32:04
without the plane flying on a saturday
32:06
night and we
32:07
partied like it was gonna happen let me
32:09
tell you it was it was a really fun
32:11
event
32:12
that next sunday was mother’s day and
32:15
my mom is in the audience i’d like to
32:17
say thank you for allowing me to skip
32:19
mother’s day this year
32:21
because miss montana flew and i
32:25
got the techs at work and i took off
32:27
from work and i showed up to the airport
32:29
and for once i was happy that miss
32:31
montana hadn’t flown yet
32:33
we there was about 60 of us out there
32:36
and a lot of us were the long-term
32:39
volunteers there that that had put
32:43
some of us were working 40 hours a day
32:45
and volunteering 30 or 40 hours on top
32:47
of that and it was absolutely fun i
32:48
wouldn’t trade it for
32:50
anything and that evening
32:53
the plane took off and took its first
32:55
flight
32:56
in over 18 years and made it around the
32:59
valley of missoula
33:01
we were so excited it landed and for a
33:03
lot of us
33:04
there may not have been a dry eye and
33:07
you could blame it on the on the
33:09
springtime allergies
33:10
or maybe the cool breeze that was
33:13
blowing but i’d like to think
33:15
it was all that perseverance and
33:17
patience
33:18
and hard work and hong kong that’s love
33:28
that next day was a monday and they
33:31
still needed to get some flight time so
33:33
they took a practice flight up to
33:35
through my hometown the valley of plains
33:38
up to kalispell and back to missoula
33:39
without too much incident at least that
33:41
they’ll talk about
33:43
and that night i had driven up to planes
33:47
and we made it official we were going to
33:49
do our practice jump in planes and
33:52
i it was like christmas eve i was so
33:54
excited i could barely
33:56
sleep so i had contacted
33:59
a friend at the plain school system and
34:02
they had let the entire school
34:04
out to watch this happen and they got
34:07
onto the football field
34:08
at 8 30 and guess what we weren’t going
34:12
to show up on time
34:18
the plane had was going to fly
34:21
east to west so it flew over the entire
34:23
town
34:25
right over the school and it was also
34:27
conveniently located the flight path
34:29
right between the hospital and the
34:32
cemetery
34:33
thankfully we didn’t need to use either
34:35
one of those
34:39
the the plane was coming and and we were
34:43
able to track it on flight tracker but
34:44
the folks at the school didn’t know and
34:46
some of the kids and teachers were
34:47
getting a little impatient so they
34:48
started to walk back into the school
34:50
especially the younger ones and a friend
34:52
of mine texted me well where’s the plane
34:55
and i said i gave it a few seconds
34:56
because i knew it was probably
34:58
between quinn’s hot springs and paradise
35:00
and i said
35:01
listen and as that plane
35:05
came into the valley you can hear those
35:07
two 1200 horsepower pratt and whitney’s
35:10
and it’s a two-for-one deal
35:12
you feel it in both your heart and your
35:14
soul
35:16
and it came over town and did a loop and
35:19
came back out
35:20
and the first for the jump and the first
35:23
people
35:24
to come out of the plane were kim
35:25
maynard and amanda
35:27
holt kim happens to be one of the first
35:30
female smoke jumpers
35:31
ever and it was
35:36
damn straight
35:40
so she came out and landed and
35:43
everything went off beautifully and we
35:44
made a few more passes because
35:46
there was several jumpers involved and
35:50
by the end of it we all gathered
35:53
together and that people were actually
35:55
spread out and it took a while to get us
35:57
together
35:57
and a recently retired smoke jumper who
36:00
lived in plains
36:01
had brought vintage 1990 smoke jumper
36:04
beer for this special occasion
36:08
they say beer goes bad but boy it tasted
36:10
good at 11 o’clock in the morning
36:14
we’re the beer bottles were clanking and
36:16
we were
36:17
absolutely ecstatic that all systems
36:19
were a go for mechanically and with the
36:21
jumpers
36:22
and we came to realize right there
36:25
that we went from knowing that we could
36:28
do this
36:29
to actually proving it and miss montana
36:35
flew about 10 days later and left for
36:39
normandy
36:40
and believe it or not it left missoula
36:43
with
36:44
less than six or seven flight hours
36:47
and it made it to the east coast without
36:49
an incident and it took
36:50
the blue spruce route back to europe so
36:53
it went
36:54
connecticut maine up into canada and
36:57
newfoundland
36:58
and a few places in greenland that i
37:00
cannot pronounce
37:01
reykjavik iceland scotland and down to
37:04
england where they were staging for the
37:05
ceremonies for normandy
37:09
when it was all said and done and they
37:11
made it back to montana there was only
37:12
one minor mechanical issue that was
37:14
easily taken care of
37:16
if you ask me i didn’t do the work
37:21
um and it was absolutely amazing it was
37:23
only the start
37:24
throughout the summer we were involved
37:26
with quite a few events
37:28
and one of them was to help commemorate
37:31
the man gold’s tragedy that 12 smoke
37:33
jumpers and a firefighter passed away in
37:35
near helena
37:36
and it was very moving it happened to be
37:38
the 70th anniversary of that
37:40
and another one was toward the end
37:44
in september we were able to go to
37:46
florida and the bahamas
37:48
to do what the plane was built for and
37:49
help out the folks the folks that were
37:51
very
37:52
in had a tough time due to hurricane
37:55
dorian we were flying 20
37:57
000 meals a day and it was hot barbecue
37:59
stuff i’ve never been in a plane that
38:01
smelled so good
38:05
thank you so much and honestly the miss
38:07
montana project could not have happened
38:09
without the support of so many people it
38:11
was absolutely incredible
38:12
thank you
38:28
microphone must have fell down i don’t
38:30
know
38:34
thank you john
38:42
we have one more storyteller before i
38:45
introduce her
38:47
let me remind you about the next tell us
38:49
something event on march 25th
38:51
the theme is lost and found we are
38:54
taking story pitches for that right now
38:56
go to telesumming.org and click
38:58
tell a story to learn how to pitch your
39:00
story
39:01
all right let’s bring this home are you
39:02
ready
39:05
[Music]
39:05
[Applause]
39:08
molly bradford is the ceo and co-founder
39:11
at
39:11
gather board the makers of missoula
39:14
events.net
39:18
molly takes community connection
39:20
seriously as an active member of the
39:22
missoula startup ecosystem
39:24
in addition to her children’s scholastic
39:27
and community
39:28
endeavors molly is an avid
39:31
yet amateur gardener cook skier
39:34
and hunter who likes to put up mass
39:37
quantities of food for the winter
39:40
she’s a good friend to have
39:43
she likes to race her husband and kids
39:45
down the slopes
39:47
and makes telecommuting from mexico a
39:49
priority
39:50
please welcome molly bradford
40:03
six years ago i shot a doe on opening
40:06
day
40:07
just a moment before that i was leaning
40:09
into the wet sandy bank
40:11
with detailed certainty that a large
40:14
herd was going to
40:15
exit the forest and come into the field
40:18
at about sunset
40:19
i knew that there were at least three or
40:21
four monster bucks
40:23
in the herd i looked up and the sun
40:27
was about 15 minutes from setting over
40:29
the bitterroot mountains
40:30
which meant there were only 45 minutes
40:33
of hunting hours left
40:35
and my pocket vibrated
40:38
it was a text from my husband spencer
40:41
william
40:41
has been crying off and on for a couple
40:44
hours and he won’t take a bottle
40:46
how’s the hunt going
40:51
the hunt was going great until then
41:02
although my breast pump lay a couple
41:04
hundred yards away in the truck and i
41:06
was engorged under my camo
41:09
i thought to myself am i gonna call off
41:12
this hunt for the second
41:13
time today you see much earlier that
41:16
morning i had woken up before my
41:18
alarm in a state of shock wondering why
41:21
there was an
41:21
amplified baby seal barking in the next
41:24
room
41:25
but it was not a seal it was my baby my
41:28
son
41:29
he was actually struggling to breathe
41:32
and coughing with what would be his
41:34
first of nearly 20
41:36
bouts of croup i rushed to william’s
41:39
crib
41:39
and picked him up and luckily i was able
41:41
to pretty quickly stabilize his
41:43
breathing
41:44
and then the dread set in today was my
41:47
day to go
41:48
hunting it’s opening day i needed a day
41:52
off
41:52
and this hunt was a gift a friend of
41:55
mine with a farm south of hamilton had
41:57
offered me
41:58
an opening day mother’s hunt it was like
42:01
a sure thing
42:02
going to the going to go hunting for for
42:05
venison at the grocery store almost
42:08
and i thought to myself do i go on the
42:11
hunt do i cancel
42:13
is it fair to deprive myself of a day
42:16
off is it fair to leave my sick child
42:18
with my husband and daughter
42:19
do i cancel on taylor taylor and
42:22
meredith had taught me to hunt
42:24
a few years before that i primarily
42:27
hunted with other women and mothers
42:29
we had a long-standing relationship with
42:31
our produce
42:33
growing fruits and vegetables trading
42:35
them putting them up for the winter
42:36
it was a large group of women who wanted
42:39
a similar relationship with their meat
42:41
that they had with their produce so
42:44
spencer and i decided if william was
42:46
doing better
42:47
during the day and the hunt could be
42:49
postponed until the afternoon
42:51
that was a good alternative and so
42:54
here i was leaned in on the sandy bank
42:57
and i knew that the hunt was on
43:00
just a little while before i’d found my
43:02
position i had walked over
43:04
a well-trodden game trail with fresh
43:07
hoof prints in the sand
43:08
and droppings and tons of sign
43:12
of deer the hair was standing up on the
43:15
back of my neck
43:17
i was paying attention to the forest and
43:19
i knew i was in the right place
43:22
you see i take the decision to bring
43:25
life into the world
43:27
and the decision to take life from the
43:29
world pretty seriously
43:31
i had done a lot to prepare for this
43:33
hunt
43:34
sighted in my gun nearly perfectly at
43:36
100 yards
43:37
sourced local non-lead ammo i had on
43:41
camo
43:41
hunter orange a backpack a finely
43:44
sharpened
43:46
field dressing kit proper nutrition
43:49
and as i sat there thinking about all
43:52
this i realized that the forest was
43:54
quiet
43:55
the squirrels were no longer chattering
43:57
in the background giving up my position
43:59
in the forest
44:00
i could hear the wings of the raven
44:05
overhead before i even saw it reminding
44:08
me of the sound of breath
44:10
while giving birth
44:15
and then the deer appeared like they
44:18
sometimes do
44:19
a young spike buck ran out into the
44:22
field a scout
44:24
a couple fawns and does after that
44:28
a larger buck and larger does i knew
44:31
that this was not one of the trophies
44:33
but this hunt was not about antlers it
44:36
was about meat
44:37
so i sight i leaned into my gun and put
44:40
the scope
44:41
on one of the does just behind her front
44:44
leg where i knew the heart would be
44:47
and i calmed myself down so that it
44:49
wasn’t shaking before i took my shot
44:55
those deep breaths before the final push
44:58
that brings life into the world and the
45:01
pull
45:02
that takes it i shot that doe
45:05
on opening day and it was a great shot
45:08
on all accounts
45:09
i would find out later that i had shot
45:11
it through the heart
45:13
it jumped back a few yards and fell down
45:15
at the edge of the forest
45:16
the rest of the herd scattered i took my
45:19
time
45:20
calming down for a moment in that sandy
45:21
bank then i texted spencer and taylor
45:24
and the landowner to let them know what
45:25
was going on
45:27
and i approached the animal she had died
45:29
almost immediately
45:31
i slipped some grass into her mouth and
45:33
put my hand on her neck to thank her
45:34
for her sacrifice for my family and got
45:37
to work
45:38
laying out my plastic bag for the heart
45:40
to take home to eb
45:42
my field dressing kit no headlamp
45:46
it was supposed to be a morning hunt and
45:48
i’d forgotten my headlamp
45:50
and in my sleep deprived state no gloves
45:54
i had tons of baby wipes but no gloves
45:58
so i grabbed my knife with my bare hands
46:01
and started the incision down the
46:03
breastbone and through
46:04
the abdomen of the deer when i came to a
46:06
swollen
46:08
set of teats and i had to keep going
46:12
i sliced through and the milk spilled
46:14
into the incision
46:15
on my hands and my own milk spilled out
46:18
of my breasts and into my camo
46:21
taylor came up and she quickly talked me
46:24
down
46:25
off of what was about to be a bad
46:27
adrenaline trip
46:28
she starts she steadied the dough
46:32
and she studied me she told me i had to
46:35
get to work
46:35
it was getting dark quickly we had no
46:38
light and we were getting cold
46:40
i hastily and sloppily finished field
46:42
dressing the dough
46:44
i put the heart in a bag to bring home
46:48
while taylor found a stick to spread the
46:50
ribs apart
46:51
to help it cool off more quickly i
46:53
cleaned up my hands and packed my bag
46:56
we drugged the animal tired in the dark
46:59
with no light
46:59
stumbling around in the field back to
47:01
the truck convincing ourselves that
47:03
another doe would nurse that fawn
47:05
tonight
47:06
and threw it in the back of the truck
47:08
saying goodbye and thanks
47:10
to the farmer on our way out i dropped
47:13
taylor at her mom’s about halfway home
47:15
where we ran into some other friends
47:16
who’d been fishing that day
47:18
we swapped stories of success there were
47:20
high fives and cheers but i was pretty
47:22
sad they all tried to convince me again
47:25
that the fawn would be okay i got home
47:28
to a relatively quiet house
47:31
william was eager to nurse and we
47:34
drifted off into fit full sleep
47:36
the next morning eb bounded outside in
47:39
her pajamas and jumped right up into the
47:41
back of the truck with the dough
47:43
she was so excited to check it out did
47:45
you bring me the heart mama
47:47
i did we cut the back strap out of the
47:50
back of the dough to have later for
47:51
dinner and went inside
47:53
where she played with it in the sink
47:54
squeezing water in and out of the
47:56
different valves and putting her finger
47:58
through the bullet hole
47:59
that afternoon i took the dough and
48:02
william to the butcher
48:03
some years i have the bandwidth to do my
48:06
own butchering but this was not one of
48:07
those years
48:09
the butcher was so excited to see me in
48:12
fact he was about to do an interview
48:13
with the local news station about the
48:15
success of his female hunters on opening
48:17
day
48:18
as he told me his words not mine they
48:21
hunt with more finesse
48:22
and less ego he asked how my hunt had
48:26
gone
48:27
i told as i started to tell him his lead
48:30
processor came out from the back
48:32
hunched over with gnarled hands and
48:34
blood on his apron and a hollow wrinkled
48:37
face
48:38
and i told them about the fawn and the
48:40
dough and william and the milk and
48:42
i started to tear up and the hunchback
48:45
leaned over and he put his
48:47
hand on my shoulder and he said it’s
48:50
okay mama
48:51
you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve
48:53
harvested a fine
48:55
animal for your family
48:58
that fawn needed to wean so it could
49:00
survive the winter
49:02
and with that my suffering lifted
49:06
i loaded the baby into the truck and
49:08
headed home
49:10
that evening as i sat in our
49:12
hundred-year-old kitchen
49:13
nursing william watching my husband cook
49:16
fresh backstrap for dinner
49:18
and my daughter eager to help prepare
49:20
the heart for fritters
49:22
i was soothed by the rhythm
49:26
of the push and the pull thank you
49:29
[Applause]
49:36
[Music]
49:44
[Applause]
49:44
[Music]
50:06
[Music]
50:10
so
50:15
[Music]
50:23
you
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