love

Marc Moss hosts Tell Us Something Radio, in which you'll hear four stories recorded during live Tell Us Something events held in Missoula. The stories in this program include a young Jewish boy struggling to please his father, a second-generation immigrant who takes his family to a lake in Michigan as a result of a family story, an important discovery in the basement of the New York City Public Library and a theatre director whose car breaks down on a mountain pass during a time of great chaos. This special Father’s Day edition of Tell Us Something Radio features stories about fathers and sons shared by your community -- regular everyday Montanans with a story to share. Stories were recorded in front of a live audience. Steven Begleiter “My Father and Football” (June 2015) Alex Alviar - "Invisible Scripts (June 2015) Ed Stalling “A Gift For Dad” (February 2015) David Mills-Lowe “Fixing Windmills” (or) “Saying Goodbye to Dad” (May 2012)
Our podcast today was recorded in front of a live audience on June 13, 2018 at The Wilma in Missoula, MT. 8 storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme “Risk”. Audience members were invited to anonymously submit their stories on the night’s theme of “Risk”. Selected stories were chosen from a hat and read live on stage by Lauren Ciampa and her sister Johanna Ciampa.
In this week’s podcast you’ll learn about the world of polyamory and how difficult it can be to live in that world, you’ll help a man on a motorcycle with a broken ankle, back to safety, and you’ll re-evaluate your relationship with risk, after a direct protest action goes terribly wrong. Finally, you’ll learn how to become a horse farrier. Our podcast today was recorded in front of a live audience on June 13, 2018 at The Wilma in Missoula, MT. 8 storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme “Risk”.
In this week’s podcast you’ll go base jumping with a young girl on the brink of womanhood, you'll barely survive a canoe trip on the Lochsa River, you’ll hear about a grandmother becoming a single mom, and, because of the kindness of a stranger, find your way in an unfamiliar city.
In this week’s podcast, you’ll hear the brief history of a time our storyteller lunched with a famous physicist, a young girl’s history of being lucky in love and the story of an adventurous young woman who crosses the Atlantic on a freighter ship.

Transcript : Didn't See That Coming - Part 2

00:08
welcome to tell us something
00:10
jerry spencer first came to montana in
00:13
1979
00:14
when he got a summer job as a desk clerk
00:17
at a lodge in glacier park
00:20
that is where he met the love of his
00:22
life and partner janet
00:24
who is also with us tonight jerry is a
00:27
serial
00:28
entrepreneur he helped found kiss
00:32
which plays a role in this story and
00:34
janet helped found
00:36
tidbits for paper which is currently
00:38
published in over 180 locations
00:42
jerry is managing a project to
00:43
revitalize an old iron foundry in
00:45
indiana and splitting his time between
00:48
indiana and montana
00:49
please welcome jerry spencer so i didn’t
00:52
see that coming
00:53
a little bit of background uh before
00:56
this story occurred
00:57
a friend of mine rick uh used to work at
01:00
uh spring metal resources and and farm
01:02
in the dell
01:03
worked with the residents there and and
01:05
he enjoyed that he
01:06
he got to help them out and and uh one
01:09
of the the residents was was ricky
01:12
and ricky had some kind of an endowment
01:14
or some extra money that allowed him to
01:16
do
01:17
to take events and to to go to different
01:19
places and do things so rick and ricky
01:21
went out
01:22
quite often and i i saw them
01:23
occasionally i went went with him a
01:25
couple of times and i
01:26
got to know ricky a little bit he was
01:28
really sharp and
01:29
and very witty yeah you know just
01:31
physically handicapped was in a
01:32
wheelchair
01:33
and and pretty bad off that way but real
01:35
sharp and and uh
01:37
was good with his computers and sure
01:40
enjoyed his gadgets ricky had a lot of
01:42
gadgets
01:43
um so back in the 90s uh my partner bill
01:46
crane and i started the company uh keep
01:48
it simple systems that he mentioned and
01:49
we made solar power for portable
01:51
computers
01:52
a whole lot of fun we uh we took the
01:54
ride
01:55
yeah i would say in late early silicon
01:58
valley
01:58
uh we we went around and just had a heck
02:02
of time with
02:02
solar power for portable computers but a
02:04
small company
02:06
just bill and myself and we hired two
02:07
other people that did the computer
02:09
consulting
02:10
so in 1994 uh august 1994
02:14
we scraped together our nickels and and
02:16
barely made enough money to
02:18
and put it all into uh getting a booth
02:21
at the mac
02:21
world expo at that time was a real big
02:23
deal we’d never been one of these and we
02:25
couldn’t afford to take a lot of people
02:26
so it was just bill and i
02:28
and we showed up the day of the expo and
02:31
we went there
02:32
and our booth was in the back you know
02:34
and we didn’t know what to expect but
02:36
boy that thing started going and the
02:38
crowd was just crazy
02:39
it was just amazing we just couldn’t
02:41
take a break it was just
02:42
non-stop people coming up and it was
02:44
very exciting and and
02:46
it was just bill and i you know so we’re
02:47
not going to see the show we’re not
02:49
going to go to the to the workshops or
02:50
any of that kind of stuff
02:52
we’re just working our asses off and uh
02:55
went along for quite a while and then i
02:56
finally said bill i
02:57
i got to take a break so i went went
02:59
down and i left him in the booth and i
03:01
went to the little commissary and got
03:03
you know the chicken salad chicken
03:05
caesar salad in in the in the
03:07
plastic device and so forth and what sat
03:10
down at this table with a couple other
03:11
fellas we didn’t say anything or
03:12
anything they got up and walked away
03:13
after a little while so i’m sitting
03:15
there at the table by myself
03:17
and then come came along a fellow
03:20
pushing another guy in the wheelchair
03:21
reminded me of rick and ricky it was a
03:24
very disabled fellow in a wheelchair
03:26
with lots of neat gadgets hanging off
03:27
the wheelchair and
03:28
his assistant excuse me is this table
03:30
taken no no go ahead and sit down
03:34
and now i gotta admit that
03:38
later after thinking about this i should
03:41
have been in montana mode
03:42
you know in montana somebody sits down
03:44
at your table you’re going to talk to
03:46
him
03:46
you have a little bit of conversation
03:47
and just you know say hi how you doing
03:49
what do you think of the show or
03:50
anything like that
03:52
but no no i i was in big city mode
03:55
in big city you can sit at the table
03:57
people come up you don’t even have to
03:58
talk you just
03:59
you respect their space so maybe that’s
04:01
what i was doing i was giving them a
04:02
chance to just
04:03
eat their lunch in peace and i ate my my
04:06
lunch and piece and i
04:07
shoveling stuff in my face food in my
04:09
face and one point i did look around the
04:11
room and i
04:13
kind of weird just seemed like everybody
04:15
was looking at our table
04:17
okay that’s fine so i finished up my
04:20
lunch
04:22
i mean just you know kind of packed up
04:24
and
04:25
said pleasantries to the guys and walked
04:27
away
04:28
taking my my thing over to the trash and
04:30
somebody comes up to me man
04:32
well how was that what’d you guys talk
04:34
about
04:35
what what what’d you do man and i said
04:38
what
04:39
what are you doing do you know who
04:40
you’re just having lunch with
04:42
that’s stephen hawking he’s given the
04:44
keynote speech today
04:47
i didn’t see that susie holt
04:51
melta met the love of her life in new
04:54
york city
04:55
but wasn’t positive she was ready to
04:58
spend her life with him when he returned
05:00
from a trip around the world
05:02
he was emergency man and he wanted her
05:04
to move to montana
05:06
she also loved to travel and ran away
05:09
from him to have her own adventure
05:12
while she figured it out after four
05:15
months of hitchhiking across europe in
05:17
1964
05:19
she got a little more of both than she
05:21
bargained for
05:22
when she headed home please welcome
05:25
susie holt
05:27
well i’m 22
05:30
i’m in athens greece and i’m ready to go
05:33
home so i bought a trader
05:37
one of those that takes 12 passengers
05:39
and first five
05:41
cabins it takes 10 to 12 days to cross
05:44
the atlantic
05:46
only problem is not coming smooth
05:49
for another month and i’m really ready
05:52
to go home
05:54
so i kept bugging the shipping agent
05:57
can’t you find something that’s coming
05:59
through sooner please
06:01
and one day he said yes
06:05
is um one briefly stopping briefly and
06:08
tweet
06:09
and it’s leaving after tomorrow but
06:12
that’s okay we’ll fly you there
06:14
and you can catch it so then here i am
06:18
on the dock next to this big black ugly
06:21
framer but is that how like star
06:23
um painted on the bow it’s the right
06:26
ship
06:27
it’s the right day it’s the right time
06:28
where is everybody
06:31
where are the other passengers who’s
06:34
going to take my ticket and show me
06:35
where to go
06:36
but then a young seaman came by headed
06:38
for the ship and he saw me
06:41
and he didn’t speak english but he came
06:43
over and
06:44
kind of like can i help you and so i
06:48
handed him my ticket
06:50
and he kind of puzzled over it and just
06:53
you know indicated i should wait and he
06:56
disappeared onto the ship
06:58
i’m leaving he came back gave me
07:01
a smile picked up my little red
07:04
plastic suitcase and led me up the
07:09
wobbly gangplank into the ship down a
07:12
dark narrow passage to a door
07:15
that said when you operated
07:20
[Music]
07:22
so i go inside and it’s definitely not
07:24
first class but it’s
07:26
you know it’s compact it has everything
07:28
i need okay this is fine
07:30
so i started putting my things away and
07:34
then i could feel that we were moving oh
07:37
man i’m so excited i’m going to
07:39
stay across the atlantic on a ship and
07:42
um so i poked my head out
07:45
you know thinking i’d catch up with some
07:47
other
07:48
passengers
07:51
come on you’re seeing this coming right
07:55
so uh dark nothing
07:59
no signs to show me where to go so now
08:02
i’m really confused and i go back into
08:04
the cabin and sit on the bunk
08:06
and uh wonder what’s next
08:09
and then uh taso that’s the name of that
08:12
first young seaman he came
08:13
knocked on the door took me to the
08:15
captain’s office
08:17
the captain’s office is nice and
08:18
spacious it has a big old desk
08:21
and a short boyish looking
08:26
man behind it and he explains
08:30
how surprised he is that i have a ticket
08:33
on his freedom
08:35
he said this freighter doesn’t carry
08:38
passengers
08:45
[Music]
08:49
liberty ship its top speed is 10
08:52
knots will be a month
08:56
going across and we have one stop in
09:00
naples
09:02
a month only passenger
09:06
and we’re already outside of land
09:10
so that night i have dinner with the
09:13
captain in his private dining room
09:17
and we shared some things about
09:20
ourselves he said
09:22
this was his first trip across the
09:24
atlantic
09:30
he’s 35 and
09:34
not married and he’s been thinking about
09:38
it
09:39
and he knew that it was destiny
09:42
that put me on his ship now there’s
09:45
nowhere
09:46
to be his wife
09:50
i don’t love you
09:53
marriage comes first thankfulness love
09:56
but it was a good thing he felt that way
09:59
because the tall
10:00
dark and very handsome first mate
10:03
started putting moves on me right away i
10:06
said
10:07
oh no i’m gonna wait until i’m married
10:11
he said leaned over me and said i can’t
10:14
wait five minutes
10:21
i think the captain must have called him
10:24
off because he didn’t bother me like
10:26
that
10:27
again so we pull into naples
10:30
uh very crowded port ships from all over
10:33
the world
10:35
and it’s dirtier and it’s noisy
10:39
and the cruise starts loading six
10:41
thousand tons
10:42
of canned tomatoes
10:46
the captain takes me out into the city
10:48
though
10:49
and he takes me to a very elegant
10:52
private dining hall
10:55
i’m feeling a little awkward the best i
10:58
have
10:58
left is a very worn
11:02
faded red sleeveless
11:05
shift and yellow rubber
11:12
flip-flops
11:16
hiking around um
11:19
but he wasn’t faced he said really
11:22
it’s so good to not have to pay
11:26
for my companion
11:28
[Music]
11:35
i knew i wanted to learn how to play the
11:37
guitar so he ordered to buy one for me
11:39
i said no that’s too much i also knew i
11:42
was an artist
11:43
he said well what if i set up a room for
11:45
you to paint
11:46
you know we’ll fix everything you need
11:48
to do a painting and we can tell you
11:50
okay that’s good so we sail out of
11:53
naples
11:54
through this strait of gibraltar out to
11:56
the open ocean
11:58
we’re going to be there three weeks
12:01
but i didn’t have worried because i was
12:04
such a novelty
12:06
such a break in the monotony
12:09
they treated me like a pampered princess
12:13
i had the run of the ship
12:16
i explored every inch of it from
12:20
from bottom to top and from stem to
12:23
stern
12:24
my favorite was up in the crow’s nest
12:27
you may
12:28
know that that’s the very top of the
12:30
ship and
12:31
from there you have a 360 degree
12:34
view of the ocean out to the horizon
12:38
and it was just magic being up there
12:40
watching for ships or watching the
12:42
luminescence in the water or um
12:45
it was especially magical at night in
12:47
the moonlight
12:48
i spent a lot of time up there
12:52
then then those magical waves
12:56
started messing with us started tossing
12:59
us around
13:01
and i thought it was very exciting i ran
13:04
down to the bow of the ship and going up
13:07
and down with it you know
13:09
and it just exhilarated by the
13:12
the spray of the waves that were
13:15
crashing over the bow
13:17
captain came down pretty quick i said
13:19
that wasn’t such a good idea
13:23
that evening at dinner the storm was
13:26
building up
13:28
[Music]
13:30
and the plates on our
13:34
dining table just flew off the table and
13:38
smashed against
13:39
the wall um
13:44
that night the storm really got going
13:46
and i
13:47
the creeks and grunts of the ship were
13:49
really freaking me out
13:51
so i went to find some and i found them
13:53
the officers all huddled
13:55
together in the wheelhouse at the helm
13:59
singing boisterous and it made me think
14:02
of cub scouts out in the
14:04
out in their first camping trip you know
14:07
in the wild so i
14:11
knew this was bad and i went back to my
14:14
cabin and strap my
14:18
life preserver all over my clothes and
14:21
lay down in my bunk and just held on to
14:24
the hell by preserver
14:26
hoping the ship wouldn’t break up well
14:28
it didn’t
14:29
um
14:32
that bugs me
14:36
how am i gonna finish it didn’t break up
14:38
i went down to the
14:40
to this my studio and the paints had
14:43
come unsealed
14:45
and splashed over the walls
14:48
it was absolutely clean the next day
14:50
though
14:51
[Music]
14:53
so then oh i wanted to build a kite i
14:56
have to tell you about the kite
14:58
the captain and i built one and it
15:01
didn’t fly
15:02
but the next day there was one flying
15:04
and the crew had made it
15:05
and it was octagonal and it had two
15:10
black circles with glasses and little
15:12
nose and
15:13
two little ponytails
15:14
[Music]
15:16
the crew kept that flying for two weeks
15:20
so so okay we’re coming up to the
15:23
atlantic coast
15:24
and we have to find our way up to new
15:26
york and in a fog with broken radar
15:30
but we make it and the last night
15:34
the crew the captain unlocks
15:37
the beer sets it down to the deck for
15:40
the crew
15:41
the guitars come out the the zuki come
15:45
out
15:45
the singing and dancing starts and i i
15:48
can’t resist i head down to the deck
15:50
and i dance greek style you know
15:53
into the wee hours with the kite still
15:56
falling
15:57
so who could have expected any of that
16:01
and i but i still wonder if that
16:04
shipping agent
16:05
knew what he was setting me up for
16:09
so our next storyteller
16:12
is me uh we had a dropout so i’m gonna
16:14
tell you mine
16:16
didn’t see that coming story my name is
16:19
mark moss yeah he didn’t see that coming
16:22
my name is mark moss i’m from cuyahoga
16:24
falls ohio a little town right outside
16:26
of akron
16:27
i moved to montana in 1997 ended up in
16:31
gardner in 1999 which is where this
16:33
story
16:34
starts how many people have ever seen
16:37
bruce springsteen an e street bank yeah
16:40
so it is like it is like a gospel
16:42
revival isn’t it
16:44
you know he opens with a strong song and
16:46
it’s a lot of celebration and it’s a
16:48
party and then
16:49
and then he plays some of these songs
16:51
that are a little more heartbreaking and
16:53
a little more sort of working class and
16:57
maybe i’m not getting my dreams coming
16:58
true anymore
17:00
and then he celebrates again
17:03
and it’s a big party and he’s just
17:05
celebrating the
17:06
the joy of rock and roll and and of love
17:10
and of
17:10
snags and it is
17:13
incredible well in 1984
17:17
uh born in the usa came out and i bought
17:20
the tape
17:21
and i was 13 and
17:24
we were in i think atlantic city or uh
17:27
ocean city maryland when he came through
17:29
cleveland so we didn’t get to see him
17:31
and then when i got back to cleveland
17:33
the closest that he was coming was
17:35
pittsburgh which wasn’t that far away
17:36
but i’m 13.
17:38
so so i didn’t get to go see him there
17:40
but in 1988 i saw him for the first time
17:42
and it was awesome and i decided i was
17:44
never gonna not see a bruce springsteen
17:47
e street band show again
17:48
and so i saw every single tour up until
17:52
maybe a couple years ago i’ve seen every
17:54
single tour but in 1999
17:56
i was living in gardner montana and i
17:59
didn’t have a car
17:59
[Music]
18:01
and bruce springsteen announced uh the
18:03
reunion of the e street band
18:05
and they were gonna do a world tour and
18:08
the closest they were coming to gardner
18:10
was fargo north dakota
18:14
but i bought tickets i bought four
18:16
tickets and i had no one to go with
18:18
and i had no car and no way to get there
18:20
and so i go down to recipe booster and i
18:22
sit there and jay todd pours me a beer
18:25
and i said hey jay todd
18:27
do you want to come with me to seafood
18:28
spring city street band in
18:30
fargo north dakota and he said yes how
18:33
are we going to get there and i said we
18:34
could take your card he says have you
18:35
seen my car
18:37
he drove like a 1986 beat up subaru with
18:40
three flat tires and maybe one turn
18:42
cycle that worked
18:43
and i said okay we can’t take your car
18:46
and he said i’m not going you should
18:47
talk to john
18:49
john dundee’s sitting next to me and i
18:51
said john you want to go to the see
18:53
bruce springsteen and
18:55
he’s like who are you do you play bass
19:00
no so john wasn’t coming with me
19:03
so i have to go up the hill to
19:04
yellowstone national park where i worked
19:06
and i’m asking everybody i know and i
19:07
finally find
19:09
a guy with a truck who’s willing to
19:11
drive to fargo north dakota
19:13
if i give him the tickets
19:16
so i have to give him the tickets and i
19:18
do
19:19
and it’s mark beale and carrick gunther
19:22
and carrie’s girlfriend at the time
19:24
christy and so it’s mark’s truck
19:27
gary and christy sit in the front
19:28
there’s only two seats
19:31
and so mark and i have to ride in the
19:32
back in the bed of the pickup truck
19:34
there’s a topper that doesn’t have
19:38
really good seals on the windows it’s
19:39
also november
19:44
so we pile all these blankets into the
19:46
back of the truck and
19:47
and mark and i get in the bed kerry’s
19:49
driving i can’t remember how
19:50
many hours it is to fargo it’s like nine
19:52
or ten hours it’s crazy
19:54
and but it’s cold and it’s you know
19:56
tangling around you can’t hear each
19:58
other
19:58
really well and we don’t have cell
20:00
phones in 1999
20:01
and so there’s nothing to do we didn’t
20:03
bring any books so we do as best we can
20:05
trying to sleep
20:07
and we fail a lot of that but finally we
20:10
get
20:11
to fargo and we get something to eat i
20:14
can’t remember what we had some
20:16
diner greasy spoon food and then we get
20:18
into the venue and we have the nosebleed
20:20
seats way up at the top
20:21
and the nosebleeds for those who don’t
20:23
know are those cheap seats and they’re
20:25
so high up in the
20:26
arena that you might get a nosebleed
20:27
from the altitude
20:29
and so we’re way up there but i don’t go
20:31
to the seats right away
20:33
they go up to the seats i get sucked
20:34
into the merch table
20:36
and i’m looking and i’m thinking about
20:39
the cold ride back to
20:41
montana and so i’m looking at the
20:43
hoodies but they’re 90 dollars
20:46
and i’m looking in my wallet i don’t
20:47
have any credit cards and i’m looking
20:48
through my wallet
20:49
how much money i have to get home but
20:51
also how much money do i have to spend
20:53
here at the merch table i’m not gonna
20:54
get a poster
20:55
because that’s gonna bend i’m not gonna
20:58
get it so anyway i get a key chain
21:03
and i’m trucking back up to the seats
21:05
and i get to the seats
21:07
and nobody is looking at me mark and
21:09
christy and carrie are all just looking
21:11
straight ahead
21:12
and i sit down and i say hey yo
21:15
what’s what’s going on and they don’t
21:18
look at me
21:19
there’s a guy sitting behind us he’s
21:20
like nine feet tall
21:22
he’s got like a black suit with a black
21:24
shirt that’s buttoned to the top
21:26
and creases that you can cut diamonds
21:28
with i mean the creases in his pants
21:30
were just
21:32
and and so i turned around and i said
21:33
what’s going on he says don’t look at me
21:35
i spoke
21:35
[Music]
21:40
and he says do you want to move to the
21:42
front and i said yeah what’s that gonna
21:44
cost he said please
21:45
don’t look at me i said okay so
21:49
what’s that gonna cost and there are
21:52
these people walking
21:53
up the steps off to the left
21:57
and and he shouts at them stop following
22:00
me and they
22:01
sit in their seats they don’t even look
22:02
at their tickets and see if they’re the
22:04
right seats and stick in their seats and
22:05
they say we’re not following you
22:08
well they knew something that we didn’t
22:09
know and that is this guy behind us
22:12
works for bruce springsteen but we
22:14
didn’t know that he’s a stranger to us
22:16
and he says do you want to move to the
22:17
front yes we do
22:19
he says give me your tickets so we give
22:20
him our tickets this is a stranger
22:23
and he gives us new tickets that haven’t
22:26
been torn
22:27
which i’m like are these fraudulent what
22:29
is this and then he says here’s a
22:31
wristband
22:33
don’t lose it don’t sell it you need it
22:36
to get to your seats and he puts it on
22:39
our wrists
22:40
and i turn around to look at him and
22:41
he’s like disappeared into the ether
22:44
he said okay
22:47
so we go down to the usher and i’m going
22:49
oh
22:51
and so get to the usher and she’s she
22:53
tears our tickets and she says
22:55
these are good seats and so it’s like
22:58
great
22:59
and so she sends us down to the next
23:01
usher
23:02
and and the next session looks at our
23:04
tickets and says these are great
23:06
seats and
23:20
and we’re looking at each other and
23:21
there’s by the way so so mark and uh
23:24
mark and i are sitting over here there’s
23:25
two other dudes in the middle
23:27
that we’ve never seen before also all in
23:29
black and very serious looking
23:31
and then carrie and christy are sitting
23:33
over here for whatever reason these guys
23:35
had
23:35
those seats and we come to find out that
23:37
they paid 800
23:39
for their seats at a charity auction
23:41
because when bruce goes to a town he
23:43
tries to
23:44
give to some charity in some way
23:47
apparently he had donated a bunch of
23:48
tickets
23:49
and they bought them and they were eight
23:50
hundred dollars a piece and they were
23:51
just pissed off
23:52
that all these poor rednecks were coming
23:55
down from the upper
23:57
chief seats and they didn’t have to pay
23:59
any more than you know face value and so
24:01
they’re all just
24:03
yelling at each other and not paying
24:04
attention but what’s happening
24:06
is we’re watching everybody’s like
24:10
walking
24:11
down from the cheap seats because we’re
24:13
not the only ones
24:15
and they’re like confused and as they
24:18
realize what’s happening
24:20
there’s this moment of joy
24:23
that just washes over their whole body
24:26
and
24:27
and then then we start talking about
24:28
what’s your favorite record
24:30
did you see
24:31
[Music]
24:34
you know whatever and we just formed
24:37
this community and it was incredible and
24:38
then
24:38
bruce comes on the stage and he opens
24:41
with the ties that dine you know right
24:42
off the river
24:43
and it’s a party right from the
24:44
beginning and
24:46
have you ever been to one of these it’s
24:48
three hours long it’s a
24:50
it’s a ordeal and it’s a party
24:53
and we’re dancing and we’re just
24:54
soaked in sweat and he leaves the
24:57
station and comes back for the encore
24:58
you know thunder
25:00
and then he plays hungry hard and then
25:02
he plays like one of my favorite songs
25:04
open dreams this train carries saints
25:06
and sinners
25:07
this train carries losers and owners
25:09
this train carries horses and gamblers
25:11
everybody get on board and
25:14
so we are on board and they’ve finished
25:17
the show
25:18
and they come and they’re slapping high
25:19
fives and i got high fives with bruce
25:21
springsteen
25:22
and clarence clements and his hands are
25:24
so big
25:31
so the story really is about the
25:34
experience of getting there not about
25:35
the show
25:36
i didn’t see it coming i couldn’t have
25:38
imagined i don’t remember getting home
25:40
it wasn’t because of his journey thank
25:43
you so much
25:57
[Music]
26:09
you
26:15
[Music]
In this week's podcast, you'll hear a forgiveness story about a young student’s misbehavior, a young woman’s survival story, the kindness of strangers on a train and a lifetime of love stories.

Transcript : Didn't See That Coming (part 1)

00:08
welcome to tell us something
00:10
every tell us something event is focused
00:12
on a theme
00:15
tonight’s theme is didn’t see that
00:17
coming
00:20
aaron parrott is a professor of english
00:23
at the university of providence
00:25
he and his most recent book he he
00:29
has his
00:32
he’s an author and his most recent book
00:36
is maple and lead it’s a collection of
00:39
short stories with woodcuts by seth
00:41
robey
00:42
he also runs the territorial press in
00:44
helena montana
00:45
devoted to fine letter press editions of
00:48
handcrafted montana literature
00:50
please welcome aaron parrott i used to
00:53
be a really bad kid
00:56
uh and worse than that i hung out with a
00:59
lot of other really bad
01:00
kids and in eighth grade
01:04
it was sort of this perfect storm of
01:06
badness
01:07
and that we all ended up in the same
01:09
eighth grade homeroom and worse than
01:12
that the regular teacher
01:14
about a third of the way through the
01:15
year
01:17
i think she got sick or there was a
01:19
death in the family or something and she
01:20
left and so we got a substitute teacher
01:22
for the rest of the year
01:26
you can already see where this is going
01:30
um and we just treated this
01:33
poor teacher horribly miss
01:36
porzig was her name uh
01:40
and two things i remember really vividly
01:42
my friend rod storley
01:45
i think we all got into chewing
01:46
copenhagen around this time
01:48
and her strategy was the the worst kid
01:50
in the class she would put behind her
01:52
at her desk facing the rest of the class
01:56
but then she couldn’t see what that
01:57
person was doing
01:59
and so he’s sitting at her desk chewing
02:01
copenhagen and opening the drawers and
02:03
spitting into the drawers told you we
02:06
were bad
02:08
um and i ended up in the principal’s
02:11
office
02:12
because i think i discovered william
02:14
burroughs around this time also
02:17
and i would sit in my in my desk and
02:20
just
02:20
shake like this and say i need a fix i
02:22
need a fix
02:24
and so i ended up in the principal’s
02:26
office
02:28
but the thing was we go to the
02:29
principal’s office and the principal
02:30
says so what’s he doing
02:32
and then my teacher says i need
02:36
and it was so goddamn funny seeing my
02:38
teacher do this
02:39
but of course i laughed but the
02:42
principal didn’t think that was very
02:43
funny
02:45
and the really ironic thing is i don’t
02:47
remember what punishment i got
02:49
i do remember he called my parents and
02:50
that was probably
02:52
punishment enough but i don’t recall
02:56
what the punishment was relative to the
02:58
class
02:59
and that was really the last i
03:03
remembered of the class
03:04
those two highlights and then i went on
03:07
to high school
03:08
and became an even worse person
03:13
but then my biggest crime there was i
03:15
just skipped school a lot
03:17
and finally i got expelled or i was
03:20
about to be expelled
03:21
and instead of kicking me out i tried
03:23
the project for alternative learning
03:26
which changed my life it really
03:29
turned me around in the following way
03:32
the first day i went into this
03:33
project for alternative learning it was
03:35
on the may at the may butler
03:36
center on rodney street i sit in the
03:40
principal’s office there
03:41
and he says well what do you want to
03:43
what do you want to learn
03:45
and because i was kind of a smart ass i
03:48
said philosophy
03:50
and he said well we we don’t teach that
03:52
here but let me enroll you down at
03:54
carroll college
03:56
and he got on the phone and literally 10
03:58
minutes later i was signed up for
04:00
classes at carroll college
04:03
the the most important one and the one i
04:06
really remember was
04:09
i think it was an ethics class or survey
04:11
of philosophy with dr barry first
04:14
and i loved it he he was a great teacher
04:17
and apparently i was a great student you
04:20
know 16 years old in a juvenile
04:22
delinquent at helen high but
04:24
put me in the right atmosphere and
04:26
suddenly i turned around and
04:28
i remember he invited me to his house
04:31
for dinner
04:33
you know i’m 16 or 17 years old and just
04:36
was amazed that you know somebody was
04:39
taking me this seriously
04:41
so my girlfriend and i go to
04:44
to his house and knock on the door
04:49
and the woman that answers the door is
04:51
my eighth grade teacher
04:58
but she was very gracious and invited us
05:00
in and we had a great dinner
05:02
great conversation and at the end of the
05:05
night i think i fumbled some
05:08
some muttered apology for what i’ve done
05:10
in eighth grade
05:12
and to her credit she just said oh
05:15
i don’t think it’s as bad as you
05:17
remember and you seem pretty bored back
05:20
then i’m glad to see that you’ve
05:21
turned it around and found something
05:24
that interests you
05:26
and i guess this story is really about
05:29
forgiveness but also the power of a good
05:31
teacher
05:34
elizabeth rivard grew up in a very large
05:37
family in buffalo new york
05:40
she fell in love with stories at the
05:42
family dining room table
05:44
where they were a regular occurrence
05:48
being one of the youngest siblings she
05:50
was mostly a listener
05:52
her family still shares stories when
05:54
they get together
05:56
it’s one of their favorite things to do
05:58
they’ve got some doozies
06:02
elizabeth has changed the names of some
06:04
of the characters in her story
06:06
a quick warning for some of our
06:08
sensitive listeners
06:10
victoria’s story addresses sexual abuse
06:13
with frank language please welcome
06:16
elizabeth rivard
06:17
oh sorry welcome elizabeth
06:22
as mark told you i’m from a large family
06:25
it’s a large catholic family you know
06:28
usually it’s catholic or mormon
06:30
so um
06:34
i was born in 1962 and i have
06:38
three older brothers six older sisters
06:42
and a little brother who’s five years
06:44
younger than me
06:46
so when i was growing up it was the 60s
06:50
early 70s for this
06:53
story and um
06:56
my older siblings were teenagers
07:00
and my brothers were eligible for the
07:03
draft
07:04
but luckily they had high draft numbers
07:08
um and they were all good liberals
07:12
and out protesting the vietnam war
07:16
occasionally getting arrested and
07:19
on friday nights my parents like to go
07:22
out they played bridge and belonged to a
07:24
bridge club so they would go out on
07:26
friday nights
07:28
and my siblings would put the colored
07:30
light bulbs in
07:32
and have parties at our house
07:35
with music and dancing and drinking and
07:38
getting stoned and
07:39
occasionally tripping and while they
07:42
were babysitting
07:43
me and my little brother and a few of
07:45
the other siblings and whatnot
07:47
so this is this is the environment that
07:49
i grew up in
07:52
it was a great family loving family but
07:55
there was a lot
07:56
going on and not only that but my
08:01
grandmother lived with us so that
08:02
at for a period of years there there
08:05
were 14 people living in our house with
08:07
one and a half bathrooms
08:10
and i was the lucky one that got to
08:12
share a bedroom
08:13
with my grandmother and she was
08:17
going blind from glaucoma and
08:21
senile and not only that
08:25
she suffered from depression um
08:29
after her husband had died a number of
08:31
years before
08:34
and twice she had attempted suicide
08:37
while we
08:37
shared a room together one time
08:41
she slit her wrist and another time she
08:43
overdosed on sleeping pills
08:46
and i do have some vague memories of
08:49
that
08:52
so it was frightening for me
08:56
um so
08:59
fast forward to when i’m about 11 years
09:01
old
09:03
and there was a neighbor an older
09:06
gentleman
09:06
who was a gentleman i used that word
09:08
loosely but
09:10
he was a world war ii veteran and
09:13
he used to sit out on his porch and
09:16
sometimes myself or two of my
09:18
girlfriends
09:20
sharon and julie for this story uh
09:25
we would go on the porch and talk to him
09:27
and
09:28
he would ask us to go and get the
09:30
newspaper for him or a
09:32
quart of milk or something we would go
09:34
to the store for him and he’d give us a
09:37
a quarter or whatever and we would buy
09:39
candy and in those days you could
09:41
get a decent amount of candy for a
09:43
quarter
09:45
and then we started going in his house
09:49
and cleaning for him sometimes
09:52
the house was
09:56
pretty dank the shades were always drawn
09:59
so it was kind of dark in there
10:02
and i remember the furniture being kind
10:04
of sparse
10:05
and there were no pictures i can
10:08
remember
10:09
on the walls but he was kind of fun
10:13
because he would let us smoke his
10:16
cigarettes
10:18
um he had penthouse forum
10:22
magazines there which i don’t know if
10:24
it’s even still made but
10:26
it’s about the size of a reader’s digest
10:30
and i don’t recall there being pictures
10:33
in it but
10:34
um there were dirty stories
10:37
and so we would read the dirty stories
10:40
and some of them were just ridiculous i
10:42
i do remember one specifically i think
10:45
it was one a reader submitted
10:49
and the reader had an ant farm and
10:52
he was sleeping and he woke up and
10:54
having the wet dream of his life and the
10:56
ants had all gotten out and were
10:58
crawling
11:03
so i think even at the time i thought
11:07
that was ridiculous
11:10
but anyway you know things kind of
11:14
progressed
11:15
and um
11:18
at some point he started touching us
11:22
and exposing himself to us
11:25
and we were not always all there at the
11:27
same time you know there could be
11:29
different configurations of the three of
11:31
us there
11:34
um and this went on for about a year or
11:37
a year and a half
11:38
and um you know got a little more
11:43
intense as things progressed and
11:47
um i was going to catholic school at the
11:49
time like i said i was about 11 and so i
11:52
was in about sixth grade
11:54
um so
11:57
[Music]
11:58
i knew that this was wrong and i
12:01
shouldn’t be doing it
12:02
but you know i was a kid and i think i
12:05
had curiosity
12:07
i um maybe some of it felt good
12:10
i was getting some attention which i
12:12
wasn’t really getting at home
12:14
so much because there was so much going
12:16
on with the older kids
12:20
but at a point i just i couldn’t do it
12:22
anymore because i was just
12:24
so anxious and i ended up
12:28
growing up to be an anxious young adult
12:31
i had some anxiety and depression i
12:33
think i you know i functioned quite
12:36
normally i went to school i had friends
12:38
i went out but on the
12:39
inside i i really struggled
12:42
a lot i had a lot of shame and guilt
12:47
and i felt like i had a big secret
12:50
that i just could never tell anyone i
12:53
didn’t tell anyone in my family i was so
12:56
ashamed and i just thought god nobody’s
12:59
nobody would understand nobody’s been
13:01
through this this is just really bad
13:03
what you know and he was eating me up
13:07
inside
13:09
to be quite honest and um
13:14
i even thought about suicide a couple
13:17
you know when i was really feeling down
13:20
that
13:20
i mean luckily i never attempted it or
13:23
anything but that’s
13:24
just the angst that it caused me it was
13:27
like all my emotions were
13:29
tied up in a big ball and i couldn’t
13:33
understand
13:35
them it was only until many years later
13:39
that i
13:39
started to work out the knots of that
13:43
ball
13:43
and and you know
13:47
separate out my emotions and and learn
13:50
to deal with them
13:51
but um
13:54
i was about 21 when i
13:57
one morning i i had an apartment with
14:00
some other friends
14:01
and i woke up one morning
14:05
and while i was in that in between state
14:08
of sleep and wakefulness
14:10
i had this like a voice
14:13
and it was like in my right ear
14:17
and it said all the beauty of the world
14:19
can be found in the human heart
14:23
and it was absolutely a profound
14:26
experience for me i mean it
14:30
came with a flood of feeling and it
14:33
at the time it felt like jesus was
14:35
whispering that in my ear
14:39
and it just totally warmed me and
14:43
because i was i was able to see beauty
14:45
around me in the world you know i would
14:48
ride my bike over the peace bridge to
14:51
canada to the beaches up there by myself
14:53
or
14:54
ride down to the waterfront downtown or
14:58
appreciate the flowers and people’s
15:01
yards and
15:02
whatever but i couldn’t see any beauty
15:04
in myself
15:05
i was just so knotted up with shame and
15:10
guilt
15:12
so it was a bomb for my soul
15:16
you know all the beauty of the world can
15:18
be found in the human heart it was just
15:20
profound like wow
15:21
that’s that’s in me and that’s in
15:24
in everyone and that was the beginning
15:29
of my healing journey
15:32
so thank you for listening
15:35
chelsea rice moved to montana in 2011 to
15:39
join her partner
15:40
and within a year was diagnosed with a
15:42
rare and aggressive bladder cancer
15:45
it was then that she this is
15:48
not what i’m supposed to be reading i’m
15:51
giving away the story
15:53
oh no that’s not true this is what she
15:54
gave me
15:59
she’s an advocate for cancer patients
16:01
teens and misfits is a lover of arts and
16:03
literature
16:04
and writes nonfiction she believes in
16:06
resilience is a survivor and is also a
16:09
crazy bird lady
16:10
please welcome chelsea rice in 2012
16:16
as mark said i was diagnosed with a rare
16:19
and aggressive bladder cancer
16:22
it was october and in the weeks before
16:26
my partner and i had been sitting in the
16:28
capital rotunda
16:30
watching a buddhist monk tap out
16:33
a mandala made of sand and we were there
16:37
for
16:37
multiple days in a row watching this
16:39
beautiful process
16:40
unfold and i’m sure that i don’t
16:45
i’m sure that there was a intention that
16:48
was set for that particular mandala
16:50
perhaps it was compassion but for me i
16:53
just kept thinking
16:55
about impermanence over and over and
16:58
over again
17:01
one of those days we were up there was
17:02
october 5th
17:05
and we were just about a 15th
17:09
dates are really hard to remember when
17:10
you’re about to learn you have cancer
17:14
and we went to go see a urologist over
17:18
at st
17:19
peter’s um
17:23
that day it was a friday at about 4 30
17:27
p.m right before my 35th birthday
17:31
about two weeks before and when a doctor
17:34
tells you to come in on a friday at 4 30
17:36
p.m
17:38
beware
17:42
so from what i remember there was
17:46
my partner and i sitting and waiting and
17:48
i already knew that this was going to be
17:49
a cancer diagnosis but
17:51
when she pulled up the pilogram which is
17:54
basically a
17:54
black and white x-ray that just pulls
17:57
out
17:58
one system of the body and this was my
18:01
kidneys
18:02
my ureters and my bladder and she pulls
18:05
it up on her computer
18:07
and my partner charlie who i’ve been
18:10
with at that time for about
18:12
a decade is sitting next to me
18:16
and before she can even start talking
18:18
about the system as a whole
18:20
i already can see the lump
18:23
the tumor on the side of my bladder and
18:25
everything just
18:26
goes dead silent kind of like charlie
18:29
brown’s teacher
18:29
just but i can
18:33
feel the only thing i can feel is my
18:35
partner’s hand holding my thigh
18:37
just kind of lightly tapping keeping me
18:39
present for
18:41
at least a little bit
18:44
i remember sitting in the parking lot
18:47
after that diagnosis
18:49
thinking how do i go home
18:52
and call my parents how do i
18:55
how do we and i think i even said to my
18:57
partner charlie how does somebody get
18:59
this
19:00
diagnosis and then get in a car and
19:02
drive home
19:04
like how do you do that so i did
19:07
sit on the back porch that day and i
19:09
called my parents and told them
19:10
and delivered this terrible news i think
19:13
what was even more terrible is that the
19:15
bladder cancer
19:16
was a rare cancer that only two percent
19:20
of the diagnoses
19:21
in the united states are the other
19:24
98 are commonly related to
19:29
lifestyle drinking smoking
19:33
working in chemical factories mine was
19:35
due to environmental toxins
19:38
arsenic in groundwater
19:41
that’s a different story though so in
19:44
order to determine a treatment
19:46
for my bladder cancer nobody here has
19:49
the skill really and there are no
19:52
studies to determine how you would treat
19:55
squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder
20:00
so we had to go to a tertiary
20:02
institution
20:04
and what we decided that fall was
20:07
to go over to the mayo clinic what eva
20:10
enzler calls
20:11
cancer town it’s okay you can laugh
20:15
cancer is kind of funny
20:21
we at the time i was teaching part-time
20:23
as an adjunct professor between helena
20:25
college and carroll college
20:26
my partner is a high school teacher so
20:29
we were
20:30
totally making lots of money
20:36
and i was fresh out of graduate school
20:38
so i did not have insurance
20:40
and this is 2012. so
20:44
we didn’t have a whole lot of money so
20:46
we drove on a month after the diagnosis
20:49
we drove up to haver on a frosty
20:52
november day
20:53
to catch the train to rochester
20:57
however have you all been to the haver
21:00
train station it’s
21:03
one room i don’t think this really
21:06
exists but i think that there’s like a
21:08
dilapidated um phone booth on the
21:11
outside maybe by the turning tracks
21:13
yeah and it’s like a clapboard
21:16
exciting that’s all weathered there’s
21:19
like one person who shows up for 30
21:20
minutes and then leaves
21:22
when the train comes in when you depart
21:25
so my partner and i get on the train
21:27
and um you know it boards about midday
21:31
so you drive through
21:32
you go through the night on the train
21:33
and i don’t know if any of you have
21:35
ridden a train lately
21:37
it’s just barely a step above riding a
21:39
greyhound
21:41
just barely it’s cold
21:44
it’s really cold when you if you have a
21:47
seat near the window and you lean up
21:48
against it you can feel the winter
21:50
coming through the vents and against
21:52
your face and
21:54
lots of families in bulk ride with lots
21:56
of kids
21:57
and so it often looks like there’s the
21:59
kids have been like
22:00
licking the glass and then like rubbing
22:04
their snot on it
22:06
it’s pretty spectacular for a sick
22:09
person
22:10
so when we got on i um happened to see
22:13
where the conductors would sit we were
22:14
in the very back train car
22:16
and i noticed that they had lysol wipes
22:18
so i kind of stole a couple
22:20
and like took them to my chair and wiped
22:22
things down i was terrified when your
22:24
immune system is compromised everything
22:26
is scary
22:27
um you know we drove through the night
22:30
and
22:32
it was a solemn ride
22:35
those seats are really uncomfortable
22:37
they don’t go back all the way
22:38
you kind of sit you know scrunched up
22:42
there’s people like yelling there’s
22:44
people getting drunk it’s very noisy
22:46
lots of clamor
22:47
and all i can remember passing through
22:49
the night was going through williston
22:51
and north dakota and seeing the oil
22:54
fields on the horizon
22:56
and they’re really beautiful
22:59
it’s hard to say that but they’re like
23:02
little
23:02
candle wicks like staggered at different
23:05
levels along the horizon they’re
23:06
beautiful
23:08
and the workers from williston were on
23:10
the train with us and i mean
23:11
i’m a liberal i’m crazy liberal of
23:14
course i have a
23:15
same-sex partner um
23:18
and you know i’m pretty just i’m pretty
23:20
concerned about uh
23:22
fracking and oil fields and the workers
23:25
were so pleasant and they were so kind
23:28
and they had these
23:28
really even-keeled conversations with us
23:31
and
23:31
they were just riding the train back to
23:33
their cities
23:35
just trying to feed their families and
23:36
it was really a profound moment talking
23:39
to them
23:40
that night my partner and i had to
23:44
wanted to eat dinner in the dining car
23:45
and if you’ve ever ridden an amtrak
23:47
train
23:48
you don’t get to just sit with you and
23:50
your person they fill the seats up
23:53
and so we sat on one side in the dining
23:56
car
23:57
and amtrak food is very cliche it was
23:59
like pieces
24:01
farmed salmon with like a stick of
24:03
poorly steamed broccoli over it
24:05
you know it was very bland food it
24:08
looked good but it was pretty bland
24:10
but before we started to eat these two
24:12
people they were bringing these two
24:14
people to us
24:15
and i’m not gonna lie again with a
24:18
little bit of judginess
24:19
um there was a tall disheveled looking
24:22
man wearing like
24:24
outdoor gear and a smaller
24:27
woman of some asian
24:30
descent with a gold cross around her
24:34
neck
24:35
and i was like oh man i might have even
24:38
leaned into my partner and said boy
24:40
this is going to be an interesting
24:42
dinner
24:44
and they came and they sat down and
24:46
quite honestly again i don’t
24:48
remember what we talked about it was all
24:49
very superficial
24:51
um but i do remember that
24:54
she had on this really bright floral
24:57
print with like a cardigan and he had on
24:59
a blue columbia coat
25:02
and um it was pleasant we had a great
25:05
meal
25:06
and right at the end he said
25:09
you know what what are you guys doing
25:11
why are you going to minnesota
25:14
i said oh you know i have cancer we’re
25:17
going over there to get another opinion
25:18
and find out what the treatment is
25:20
and she was just immediately like
25:22
empathetic
25:23
and softened oh my god we went
25:26
we went through something similar he you
25:28
know he had prostate cancer
25:30
and you know it was so hard and we just
25:33
will be praying about you we’ll be
25:34
thinking about you and
25:36
you know we’ll our hearts are with you
25:39
and we kind of just tided up dinner and
25:42
said thank you
25:43
and went our separate ways and charlie
25:46
and i we went to the back of the train
25:48
and
25:49
sat down and kind of tried to cozy up
25:51
with those flimsy little amtrak blankets
25:53
and
25:53
get cozy and about an hour passed and
25:57
then we see the two of these people
26:00
walking towards us
26:02
they’re like oh my god we’ve been all
26:04
over this train looking for you
26:06
and trains you know amtrak trains are
26:08
too level
26:09
right you have like upstairs and
26:10
downstairs so these people
26:13
they’re you know they’re up and down
26:15
they’re looking all over for us they
26:16
have their own room
26:18
lucky them you can get a room on an
26:21
amtrak train get one
26:23
but they walk up and say
26:26
you know we just wanted to come see you
26:28
and give you a hug and wish you well
26:29
again and
26:30
we’re like oh thank you you know we got
26:32
up and we gave him big hugs
26:34
and while we were in full embrace both
26:36
of us
26:38
one of the the man shoved something into
26:41
my partner’s
26:42
pocket and the woman shoved something
26:44
into my hand
26:45
and we both pulled back from the hug and
26:48
we knew they had given us money
26:50
i mean it was very clear that they had
26:52
shoved money into our hands
26:54
and we were like oh gosh no no we don’t
26:57
need this we don’t need this at all
26:58
thank you very much
26:59
you know we tried to turn it down once
27:01
right
27:04
generously just once because we really
27:06
we were in a bad spot
27:08
um but no no no
27:11
please take it they said and so we
27:13
thanked them and said we really
27:14
appreciate it you know this is going to
27:16
be a hard time
27:17
off they went and we sat down and
27:20
looked in our pockets and i had two
27:22
hundred dollars in cash and my partner
27:24
had
27:25
a three hundred dollar check in her
27:26
pocket
27:29
um that was one of my first experiences
27:33
during my cancer journey with strangers
27:35
reaching out to us and giving us way
27:36
more than we even thought
27:38
was possible i later because the address
27:42
was on her
27:43
check wrote her thank you card and sent
27:46
it off to seattle where they lived
27:48
and i don’t remember her name and it
27:50
doesn’t matter
27:52
she sent a note back that basically said
27:55
we are so happy to have been able to
27:57
provide for you and you do not have to
27:59
keep up this relationship because of it
28:02
and we wish you well
28:05
[Applause]
28:07
bob yost’s regular daytime career has
28:10
been working with taxes in indiana
28:13
oregon and montana nighttime gib
28:16
gay gigs were spent playing the drums in
28:20
in bands brand x
28:23
jack daniels sodbusters and the last
28:26
resort
28:27
his greatest joys come from his family
28:29
and raising three kids
28:31
please welcome bob yost
28:37
god i love that woman rebecca
28:41
we have great sex
28:45
we do have bizarre arguments
28:48
but really do have great kids i would
28:51
say they are
28:53
they’re very beautifully unique
28:58
as is their mother rebecca she couldn’t
29:00
be here tonight
29:01
she’s an oregon i’ve been married
29:05
38 years
29:10
pretty amazing um i first met rebecca
29:13
and i didn’t actually meet her
29:15
we were both state employees
29:18
and i was sitting just on the other side
29:20
of the cubicle from her
29:22
she was on the other side of the wall i
29:24
could hear her talking
29:27
and she was talking about the new guy
29:30
who had just started work me
29:34
and and it was not very flattering
29:37
whatsoever um
29:41
but just hearing that voice i was so
29:43
intrigued
29:45
she had no i mean there was no filter
29:48
whatsoever
29:49
in whatever she said i learned more
29:52
about my co-workers and my boss
29:55
than i ever would of meeting them
30:01
that was a monday
30:05
the saturday before
30:08
susan who worked downstairs in the same
30:11
department
30:13
she had lived with her parents all her
30:16
life
30:17
that saturday morning she moved into my
30:19
tiny
30:20
little duplex apartment
30:24
that saturday afternoon we were married
30:29
by a pentecostal preacher
30:33
and it was also her
30:36
dad um it was surprising her mom dad got
30:40
that wedding together pretty fast
30:41
we were in a big uh big ceremony
30:44
a lot like this beautiful building and
30:47
just to give you an idea about it
30:49
the four groomsmen and myself
30:53
we are dressed and i’m not exaggerating
30:57
shoe to this
31:00
head to toe in matching rittle
31:04
outfits
31:08
and i was drunker than a skunk
31:12
i mean to the wall because i did not
31:15
love her
31:18
that next saturday in my tiny little
31:21
duplex apartment the phone rings
31:24
now this is way back before any kind of
31:27
cell phone
31:28
you know facts all that stuff right i
31:31
didn’t even
31:32
have an answering machine so my one and
31:35
only
31:36
landline which is attached to the
31:38
kitchen wall
31:40
rings i still love it so funny when you
31:44
think of those old phones right
31:46
rotary it had two
31:49
real metal bells in it with a ringer in
31:51
between
31:54
so i pick it up hello is susan there
31:57
it’s a female voice i say no i’m sorry
32:00
she’s not
32:02
oh is this her husband why yes it is
32:06
oh i hear congratulations are in order
32:10
you’re a newlywed i say thank you very
32:14
much
32:15
she says well this is the nurse from dr
32:19
middleton’s office the tests
32:22
are still all negative
32:26
susan is not pregnant
32:30
yeah i’m an idiot i didn’t see that
32:31
coming i married her because she told me
32:33
she was pregnant
32:35
that evening i was to meet her of course
32:37
her parents
32:39
at her house i show up now this is all
32:42
kind of foggy now
32:45
but i do remember going in the kitchen
32:47
and they’re there with susan i take the
32:48
ring off i set it on the kitchen table
32:50
some things were said
32:52
because it’s come to known i guess they
32:54
knew
32:56
but i didn’t as i am leaving
33:01
susan chases me down
33:04
she goes i can’t believe you did that
33:07
you ruined my mom’s dinner
33:15
needless to say that marriage lasted a
33:17
legal
33:18
90 days
33:21
i’m going back to that little duplex
33:23
apartment to pick up my stuff
33:24
and my brother and my dad come with me
33:26
and my brother he pulls it up and he
33:28
goes
33:29
he’s packing a nine millimeter he goes
33:32
you know just in case we have some
33:34
trouble
33:37
okay george we’re not gonna have any
33:39
trouble
33:40
get inside lo behold there are a few
33:42
things missing
33:43
but thank goodness my pride and joys are
33:46
there i had a
33:48
a big old magnavox tv and it was in a
33:51
wood cabinet man
33:53
and my stereo component system oh god i
33:56
love that thing
33:57
and my brother had made a whole wood
33:59
cabinet you know whole
34:01
records components my turntable you know
34:05
big speakers susan
34:08
had taken a can of spray paint and it
34:10
was
34:13
over everything classic i can laugh
34:16
about it now
34:17
um so we got our stuff loaded up
34:20
and my dad turns to me and god bless you
34:23
dad i love you
34:24
you know that um he turns to me now my
34:28
dad
34:29
loves a a good phrase like you know god
34:32
damn it yeah god damn it
34:34
and he’d use the hell word you know but
34:36
he turns to me and he goes
34:39
that’s the most expensive you’ll
34:41
ever have
34:47
now i will tell you
34:51
that is the only time never again ever
34:54
in my 90-year life with my dad that i
34:56
ever heard him use the f
34:57
word no i didn’t see that coming i’ll
35:00
tell you that um
35:03
fast forward susan out of my life
35:06
luckily rebecca we got married outdoors
35:10
underneath the woods it was glorious
35:12
just perfect wonderful
35:16
day and as i tell this story
35:20
i’m very lucky i’ve had the love of some
35:22
really
35:23
great women in my life for sure
35:28
we got to i got in the car one day
35:32
drove 1750 miles
35:35
from east to west right you know where i
35:36
ended up the mitchell building down next
35:39
to the capitol
35:40
because i had a job interview
35:44
took the interview took the written test
35:46
i did not get the job
35:48
okay two weeks later though another job
35:51
opens up in the same area with the same
35:53
supervisor
35:55
so i got to do it by phone and fax got
35:57
the job
35:58
we’re moving to hell in the montana
36:02
it was glorious pack up the uhaul
36:05
get here and we ran it for a while ended
36:08
up buying five acres out on bird’s eye
36:10
right
36:11
loved it little old trailer that first
36:14
winter
36:14
it hit a 40 below i mean it was 40 below
36:17
and i came into town tonight and i saw
36:20
the ak cafe whatever it’s alaskan cafe
36:22
used to be the red roof cafe remember
36:24
that and they used to have fresh eggs i
36:26
know why because when i used to go to
36:27
breakfast there
36:28
they would serve up a platter of the
36:29
biggest greasy fresh eggs because the
36:31
chickens were right outside the window
36:33
in a pen
36:34
and you know if my wife said hey i’m
36:36
going shopping
36:37
back then it was great oh honey were you
36:39
going
36:41
where was it if you’d been around here a
36:42
while it was the mall or kmart that was
36:45
it
36:45
there was nothing else here loved it
36:48
experience in helena
36:49
was actually a joy i’ll have to say are
36:52
there state employees here tonight
36:55
retired cool yeah i mean because i i’m
36:59
actually one of those
37:01
look at that yeah i so both of those
37:03
women
37:04
i met as state employees so i always
37:07
think that’s
37:08
kind of an interesting you know sidebar
37:10
to it
37:11
and i have to admit that first winter we
37:13
were in a little trailer and i was
37:14
feeding that red stove like crazy
37:16
you know keeping the pipes from freezing
37:18
i think that was my first inclination
37:20
that rebecca probably was not going to
37:22
like montana winners
37:25
at that point so anyway i’m going to
37:27
fast forward to like about chapter 99
37:29
out of all this stuff
37:32
great thing is wonderful kids
37:36
raising them all see them go off
37:40
they’ve done really well for themselves
37:43
and it’s been really nice
37:47
my wife goes you know what we love that
37:49
oregon coast don’t we and i go yeah it’s
37:51
really nice because we go out there to
37:52
visit
37:52
i want to retire there i go that’s cool
37:54
you know i do you know i got
37:56
i gotta wait till retirement health
37:58
insurance oh my god i gotta keep working
38:00
she goes i don’t care i go okay it’s one
38:03
of those yes dear
38:04
um so i go yep we find a little place
38:07
over there she loves it
38:09
and i mean blood sweat and tears we’re
38:10
tearing up stuff out the thing tore off
38:12
walls took out cabinets
38:15
remodeled a bunch of it i mean
38:18
oh gosh all new windows all new
38:20
appliances
38:22
got back had taken the lap what i hope
38:24
was the last 20-foot u-haul
38:27
back from there right because now i live
38:29
in missoula checking the u-haul in
38:32
sunday evening i get a text from her
38:36
i figures for sure it’s going to say oh
38:39
are you out shoveling snow
38:41
because i’m walking on the beach
38:44
she said i’ve been thinking about this a
38:46
while
38:48
okay she’d been to a lawyer’s office
38:52
she told me what the major settlements
38:55
would be
38:56
that i’d be served divorce papers i was
38:59
served divorce papers
39:00
that week at work up front
39:04
but don’t feel sorry for me i’ve been
39:06
very blessed
39:08
you know i didn’t see that coming but
39:10
there’s always two sides to every story
39:12
too
39:14
but thank you
39:30
[Music]
39:40
do
39:42
[Music]
39:53
you
In this week’s podcast, you’ll hear a love story from Paraguay to NYC, a mysterious voice that manifests into reality on a forest service road late one night, a party in the front row at a Bruce Springsteen concert and a German immigrant’s introduction to ‘Merica.