MissoulaStories

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
In this podcast episode, you’ll hear stories about an unpleasant ear discovery in the middle of the night, an unlikely savior as our storyteller falls out of a tree, and the very first open adoption in the state of Montana.

Transcript : "Tipping Point" Part 1

00:00
welcome to tell us something
00:11
annabelle winnie who moved to montana
00:14
nine years ago
00:15
in part because allegedly she only lives
00:18
in states
00:19
that start with the letter m
00:22
previously she lived in maine
00:24
massachusetts
00:26
and new mexico she currently works as a
00:30
clinical social worker in private
00:32
practice
00:33
past jobs have included research
00:34
biologist
00:36
waitress and burrito roller please
00:39
welcome
00:39
annabel winnie
00:49
thank you okay
00:55
last august i was blissfully asleep
00:59
when i became aware of something
01:01
happening in my left
01:03
ear i rolled over
01:06
put my left ear down on the pillow and
01:09
waited for the water to drain out of my
01:11
ear
01:13
when i was growing up i spent a lot of
01:15
time in pools and the ocean and lakes
01:17
and i was always getting water in my ear
01:20
i sat up in bed when i realized that i
01:23
didn’t go to the river that day
01:25
and i don’t even think i took a shower
01:26
before i went to bed
01:28
and the sensation in my ear was
01:30
increasingly becoming
01:32
more agitating it was like i was a deep
01:36
sea
01:36
diver coming up from the bottom of the
01:39
ocean
01:40
as i became more and more awake and
01:42
realized that something really weird was
01:44
happening in my left ear
01:46
i sat up and tried to shake it out
01:51
i’m a very logical person and when the
01:54
sensations in my ear
01:56
didn’t match what i expected to happen
02:00
i got really agitated i shook again
02:03
i expected there to be water in my ear
02:05
and i thought it should
02:07
slosh up on the left side
02:11
but that didn’t happen it was
02:13
unpredictable and chaotic
02:14
and it burned a little bit and it was
02:16
really starting to freak me out
02:18
i wondered if maybe climate chaos was
02:20
affecting my left ear what if my brain
02:22
was melting and i might actually be
02:24
dying
02:26
and then it occurred to me i was alone
02:29
my family was away even the dog was gone
02:34
for the first time in almost 20 years i
02:36
was having a crisis in the middle of the
02:38
night and i was by myself
02:41
it flashed in my mind in my pajamas with
02:44
this insane chaos in my ear
02:46
i could get in my car and drive to the
02:47
emergency room no
02:49
i’m not gonna do that i got up walked
02:52
out of the bedroom to figure it out
02:55
but before i can tell you that story
02:58
i need to tell you this story
03:02
why did i do that i could have called an
03:05
ambulance i could have called 9-1-1
03:08
in moments like this when our field of
03:10
depth is so
03:11
thin we have our animal instincts
03:15
and we have those paths already laid
03:17
down in our brain
03:20
really i think i did what i did because
03:22
i’m from boston
03:23
yeah i’m from new england i’m a mass
03:25
hole oh yeah
03:27
oh yeah and you know we’re tough
03:30
you know
03:31
oh yeah that’s what i’m talking about
03:33
right we take care of
03:35
right because when i learned how to
03:38
drive
03:38
i learned how to drive in a city where
03:40
the pedestrians not only thought
03:42
they owned the sidewalk but also the
03:43
street
03:44
so i’m driving a stick shift the road’s
03:47
probably icy and somebody’s going to
03:49
step out in front of my car in any
03:50
moment
03:51
i am tough man you know the few times i
03:55
skied really i could have just brought
03:57
my ice skates
03:59
i could have gone to the top of the ski
04:01
hill laced them up and just skated down
04:03
the hill
04:04
because that was so icy you know
04:08
what you call snow out here
04:12
that’s styrofoam oh yeah
04:15
this at home right that’s like
04:18
cheesecake
04:19
because the ocean’s right there it’s
04:21
really dense right so when i was a kid
04:23
we get a big dump of snow
04:25
it’s like your car ensconced in two feet
04:28
of cheesecake
04:29
right by the time you shovel that
04:32
off your car
04:33
and you clear out the spot that is
04:35
yours
04:36
you own it for the whole winter
04:39
oh yeah god forbid you actually have to
04:42
get in your car and drive somewhere
04:44
it’s the land of the law you can put a
04:46
trash can
04:48
or a lawn chair in your spot it’s yours
04:54
i mean why else does anybody own a lawn
04:57
chair
05:00
right hey jimmy
05:03
you better go down to the hardware store
05:04
and get me a lawn chair winner’s coming
05:06
they’re going to sell out right
05:11
yeah my neighbor man when i grew up
05:15
one day i saw her somebody took a spot
05:19
she left the can there they moved it
05:21
they took her spot
05:22
oh she was so pissed when she got back i
05:25
watched her
05:26
she when that guy came to move his car
05:28
she stood out on the porch
05:30
she gave him the evil eye and then she
05:32
told him exactly what she
05:34
thought of him right to his face
05:35
right because that’s what happens in
05:37
boston people will tell you to your
05:39
face that they don’t like you
05:43
i’m not going to get in my car and drive
05:45
myself to the emergency room
05:47
no way the thing is though
05:50
we’re really more like m ms you know we
05:53
got this hard exterior
05:55
but inside it’s all soft chocolate
05:58
right so i’m gonna take care of this
06:01
on my own
06:02
but inside i am a mess i am so
06:05
panicked
06:08
i leave my room and i need my phone
06:11
right because it’s got my flashlight so
06:13
i get my phone go in the bathroom turn
06:15
on the light
06:16
flashlight nothing it’s just an ear i’m
06:19
freaking out
06:20
i’m really freaking out and it’s kind of
06:22
starting to hurt i take a picture
06:24
i expect to see blood or maybe like an
06:27
alien tentacle it’s nothing it’s just my
06:30
ear
06:31
oddly i get this strange picture like
06:35
it’s like the scream what am i going to
06:37
do jesus christ what’s going on
06:38
i got a little basket i got earplug i
06:41
don’t have earplugs i have nail clippers
06:43
and i have
06:44
tweezers and i start to go from my ear
06:46
thank god
06:48
for sanity no tweezers in eardrums not a
06:50
good idea what am i going to do what am
06:51
i going to do
06:52
and then i see the bottle thank god my
06:55
kids
06:56
had lice
06:59
thank god it was august because every
07:03
august
07:04
my kids get lice right
07:08
so there’s this bottle of rubbing
07:10
alcohol on the counter because my kids
07:11
have lice
07:13
why because it makes me feel better
07:16
rubbing alcohol does nothing for lice
07:19
nothing
07:20
it doesn’t stop them for a
07:22
second
07:25
so i got my paper towel but it makes me
07:27
feel better i got my paper towel i put
07:28
the rubbing alcohol and i
07:30
comb my kid’s hair for over and
07:33
then i clean it off
07:34
on the rubbing alcohol makes me feel
07:36
better and in my head i’m still like
07:37
water pool
07:38
water pool because i’m very logical
07:41
so when i was a child i always had my
07:43
little bottle half rubbing alcohol
07:46
half vinegar i put it in my ear and the
07:48
pool water would come out
07:49
right so i like get a cotton ball and
07:52
i’m squeezing then i just got the whole
07:54
goddamn bottle like
07:55
what the and i’m show i’m
07:58
shaking my head
08:01
oh my god it stops this insanity
08:05
in my ear it
08:06
stops i’m not gonna die
08:10
my children won’t be motherless
08:15
oh jesus christ i look in the sink and
08:18
it’s like crawling around it’s got like
08:20
a little
08:21
segmented body parts and it’s like
08:24
brown and reddish and it’s got these
08:26
08:27
pinchers on its head
08:49
it’s an
08:56
for christ’s sake so what do i do
09:01
booyah i kill it with my thumb
09:04
i smush it it’s dead
09:08
oh my god i do find some earplugs i’m
09:12
not playing
09:14
i get some cheap dime store earplugs and
09:16
you know like three hours later i fall
09:19
back asleep
09:24
it took that long
09:29
a couple weeks later early september i
09:30
go to two back-to-back shows
09:33
right here at the wilma so fun but you
09:36
know
09:37
i’m middle aged so i have my expensive
09:40
earplugs in my expensive rock concert
09:44
ear plugs in
09:45
so i go i have fun the day after the
09:47
second show
09:48
i take my earplugs out and i got a
09:50
little buzz in my ear you know that
09:51
happens whatever
09:54
a couple weeks later it’s still there
09:55
that’s kind of weird a month later
09:57
it’s still there and i’m like what is
10:00
going on and then it occurs to me
10:02
it’s that earwig
10:06
he up my ear damn
10:09
what am i gonna do i could go to a
10:10
specialist i could pay a lot of money
10:12
he’d look in my ear and say
10:13
yeah you had an earwig in your ear
10:18
your hearing’s damaged you know what let
10:21
that go
10:24
so i do i keep going it’s only recently
10:27
that i even
10:28
thought to stop and listen
10:31
it’s still there i have a little funk in
10:33
my left ear
10:35
because i had an earwig in it but i got
10:38
it out
10:40
and now if you ever wake up in the
10:43
middle of the night
10:48
and you think you’re going crazy
10:52
you will know just what to do
10:57
thank you
11:12
thank you annabelle susan you’ll
11:16
appreciate this
11:17
um susan told me stop reading so much
11:21
so i tried not to and i forgot to say
11:23
something that would have made
11:24
annabelle’s story
11:26
better for you tell us something has
11:28
adult themes in adult language
11:36
forgot to say that earlier
11:40
sorry
11:45
feather sherman took art classes since
11:47
she was six years old
11:48
at maryland institute of art then
11:52
eventually for two years at schuler
11:54
school of fine art
11:56
she earned her bachelor’s of science in
11:58
art education from towson university in
12:00
maryland
12:01
and a masters of arts in fine arts from
12:03
the university of montana
12:05
she is passionate about peace art
12:09
music rainbow gatherings her five
12:12
awesome kids and her grandbaby ryden
12:15
blue
12:16
please welcome feather sherman
12:36
yes
12:44
from my vantage point just below the
12:48
crown of a good-sized ponderosa
12:51
on the wild side of the clearwater river
12:55
i looked out as beautiful dawn
12:59
amber dawn gradually lit the sky
13:04
and the landscape below it was
13:07
so beautiful
13:10
i thank great spirit
13:14
the life-giving force of the universe
13:17
for the miracle
13:18
of this new day i took a deep breath
13:23
butterscotch
13:26
and then my son was had gotten up and he
13:31
was starting to fix breakfast
13:33
so i started climbing down the tree to
13:35
help him
13:36
and when i got about 20 feet above the
13:38
ground
13:40
i paused ah
13:43
that first cup of coffee is going to
13:45
taste so good
13:48
just then an unknown force
13:52
kicked my left foot off the branch it
13:55
was on as hard as you kick a football
13:58
and it kicked my right it jerked my
14:01
right foot off and suddenly
14:02
i was hanging by my hands
14:06
20 feet above the ground in midair
14:10
i was wearing my work gloves that had no
14:13
buttons on them
14:15
and they were beginning to slip
14:18
well i knew i’d have to think of
14:20
something pretty quick so
14:22
i decided uh i’m strongest on my right
14:25
side so i’m gonna
14:26
hang on with my right hand and then i’ll
14:29
let go with my
14:30
left and i’ll wrap my arm around the
14:31
tree and then my other arm
14:33
and then i’ll shimmy down till i get on
14:35
some good limbs down below
14:37
i thought yeah that’s the best that’s
14:39
the best plan
14:40
so i said okay here it goes and
14:44
i let go with my left hand and as i went
14:47
to wrap
14:48
my arm around the tree my body swung out
14:51
just far enough i could just graze the
14:54
side of the tree
14:55
i could not grab the trunk
14:59
and i realized that i was going down
15:04
in a matter of seconds
15:08
my right arm my right hand slipped
15:12
and i began to fall i thought
15:16
wow 110 pounds falling 20 feet
15:20
i’m going to be going really fast when i
15:22
hit the ground
15:23
but i’m not going to know how i can lan
15:26
how how to land
15:27
until uh i discover if i’m going to get
15:29
knocked around by the limbs so
15:32
uh i’ll just count 1 1 000
15:35
to 1 000. okay i’m
15:38
almost to the ground now how am i going
15:41
to land
15:41
let’s see um i don’t want to land on my
15:44
left side because i might burst my heart
15:46
so i’m going to roll to my right a
15:47
little bit and
15:48
i’m going to want something to get
15:49
around on so i’m going to put my foot up
15:52
and uh something’s gonna have to hit
15:53
first i guess it’ll be the other one
15:56
and i’m gonna tuck up a little bit i’m
15:57
like okay
15:59
this is the best position and then a
16:02
millisecond above the ground i went oh
16:05
in this position i’m gonna break my
16:09
neck
16:11
but there’s nothing i can do
16:14
i’ll just have to do my best because
16:16
here’s the ground
16:18
and i hit my body landed on the top of
16:22
the ground
16:23
i felt absolutely no pain but all the
16:26
rest of me kept going in the same
16:28
trajectory
16:29
down down down i flew
16:32
into the earth and eventually it was
16:36
like being on a trampoline and my speed
16:38
slowed
16:39
and then i hit bottom and then boom
16:42
i was back up in my body and
16:46
then i felt the pain i’d broken my foot
16:50
and my back and actually several other
16:52
parts but those were the main injuries
16:55
and i was laying there and i thought
16:59
this is a miracle i didn’t break my neck
17:04
this is the absolute miracle and then
17:07
i saw sparkles of silver and gold in the
17:10
air
17:11
and i felt this spiritual being behind
17:14
me
17:15
supporting my head neck and shoulders
17:18
i felt like a baby eagle tucked in the
17:21
breast of my mother eagle
17:22
so safe and warm and then
17:26
the spiritual being very gently laid my
17:28
head on the ground
17:30
and i’d landed on dirt and bunch grass
17:33
no rocks
17:35
just then my son came running over the
17:37
tree and he says mom
17:38
are you okay and i said yes i’m alive
17:42
and i didn’t break my neck i’m great
17:44
look i can wield all this and he’s like
17:46
wow i said well we’re gonna have to call
17:49
the helicopter
17:50
and uh i did break my back i know that
17:54
for sure
17:55
so pretty soon they made it pretty quick
17:58
in about half an hour
18:00
and as the emts came running over the
18:02
tree
18:03
one of them looks over and he goes hey
18:05
we thought we’d find a 10 year old kid
18:07
under this tree not a 50 year old woman
18:12
i said thanks a lot you guys i’m 64.
18:21
and i’m i’m not in shock and my vitals
18:24
are normal
18:25
and they said wow that’s great how is
18:28
your head and neck
18:29
and i said they’re fine look and i
18:31
wiggled all over again to show them
18:34
and they said well we’re going to bundle
18:35
you up and take you into the hospital
18:38
so then we got to st pat’s hospital and
18:41
they
18:42
did a beautiful job stabilizing my leg
18:44
and
18:45
getting me ready to have a clamshell
18:46
brace and
18:48
about three days later the doctor came
18:50
into the
18:51
to my room and he says where are you
18:53
living right now
18:55
and i said well uh temporarily i’m in a
18:58
friend’s basement
18:59
17 steps down and
19:03
in actuality i was going through a very
19:05
difficult time in my life
19:08
and going through a very hard breakup
19:11
with my husband of 16 years
19:14
so that’s why i was down in the basement
19:16
and
19:18
and he says well you know you have a
19:21
broken back
19:22
you can’t use crutches you can’t you
19:24
can’t go there
19:25
and i said oh my friends will carry me
19:27
up and down and he’s like
19:29
no uh you’re gonna have to find another
19:32
place to stay
19:33
or we’re gonna put you in a nursing home
19:36
and i’m like oh please not that
19:38
so i called everybody i could think of
19:42
and
19:43
no one had room for me anywhere and
19:47
i fell asleep and when i woke up i felt
19:50
like i was in the bottom of this
19:52
deep dry well and i was all alone and
19:56
there was no light and no
19:57
sound and i had never felt so alone
20:01
and so helpless before in my whole life
20:07
but then i cheered up a little bit and i
20:09
said okay feather what do you need now
20:12
and i said i gotta talk to somebody who
20:14
understands what i’m going through
20:16
so i thought oh i’ll call david milgram
20:19
up in flagstaff
20:21
he’s a wonderful healer and we worked
20:23
together with grandfather david menonge
20:25
of the hopies for 10 years during the
20:27
80s
20:28
so i called up david and let him know
20:30
what had happened and he goes
20:32
oh feather you really did it this time
20:36
but here’s the good news you’re going to
20:38
recover completely
20:39
and i’ll help you i’m going to help you
20:41
with vitamins and minerals
20:43
and when we get off the phone i want you
20:46
to call this number it belongs
20:48
to a very powerful lakota medicine woman
20:51
named susan and she works behind the
20:54
scenes
20:55
she lives in colorado so give her a call
20:58
and so i did i thanked david very much
21:01
and i called susan up on the phone
21:04
and i explained to her that i was a
21:05
friend of davids and what had happened
21:07
and she goes oh wonderful
21:10
wonderful she goes i see you
21:13
you’re way up in the air and surrounded
21:16
by fire
21:18
well i was on the fourth floor st pat’s
21:20
hospital looking down at the helicopter
21:23
pad
21:23
and seven and a half years ago we were
21:26
having a really bad fire season with
21:28
idaho on fire in southern montana
21:30
and the valley was full of smoke so
21:33
i knew she saw me and then she said
21:37
i’m doing a ceremony for you right now
21:39
and you’re in the center
21:41
i’m calling in the four thunder beings
21:43
of the west because they’re the most
21:45
powerful protectorate spirits
21:47
and then seven male warrior spirits and
21:50
seven
21:51
female warrior spirits are around you
21:53
right now
21:54
and they’re going to protect you and
21:56
help you to heal
21:59
and i want you to give a spirit offering
22:01
for them before you have your food and i
22:03
said yes i’ll be happy to do that i’ve
22:05
been taught that
22:07
by black elk’s great-grandson
22:10
and then she says feel free to call me
22:12
anytime
22:14
and just before she hung out the phone
22:16
she goes oh by the way
22:18
do you know who saved your life and i
22:21
said
22:21
i have a hunch and she goes you’re right
22:24
it was your father and he’s here with me
22:26
right now
22:27
and he’s laughing and he is so
22:31
happy that he was able to help and he’s
22:34
calling you gidget gidget
22:38
i completely forgot that when i was a
22:41
little girl
22:42
my dad called me gidget because i loved
22:44
the gidget goes hawaiian
22:46
and kitchen goes to summer camp movies
22:49
and i thanked her so much and hung up
22:51
the phone and then
22:53
my dad’s spirit came right into the
22:55
hospital room
22:57
and i raised up and we hugged each other
22:59
in a beautiful golden ball
23:01
of light and love and i was able to
23:04
thank him with
23:05
all my heart
23:28
thanks feather
23:34
how we all doing yeah
23:41
greg monroe of missoula is the father of
23:44
two adopted daughters who are now adults
23:47
with children of their own
23:50
in a long career as a trial lawyer
23:52
lawyer
23:53
including 30 years as a law professor at
23:55
the university of montana
23:57
he has made storytelling the core of his
23:59
advocacy
24:00
and is awed by this ancient and
24:02
beautiful communication
24:03
please welcome greg monroe
24:18
1983 was a time of great anxiety for
24:22
me and my wife we couldn’t get pregnant
24:26
we had tried everything she had told me
24:28
a couple years earlier that her clock
24:30
was running and
24:31
if we wanted to have children we had to
24:32
get at it
24:35
and the months were tough
24:38
we were making love according to formula
24:40
it was governed by
24:41
temperatures and the time of the month
24:45
each month was started with hope and
24:48
ended in despair
24:49
ultimately our doctors said why don’t
24:52
you consider adopting
24:54
so we went to the oldest adoption agency
24:56
of the oldest of the five institutional
24:58
adoption agencies in montana
25:00
in helena chodera that was part of
25:03
chodera children’s hospital
25:05
and started with them we met a wonderful
25:08
social worker there named becky jones
25:11
and we knew what to expect we’d seen the
25:14
movies and heard the stories and we knew
25:16
that
25:16
in infant adoptions through uh
25:20
institutional adoption agencies were
25:22
totally secret
25:23
the mother gave up her child to the
25:25
agency the agency picked the parents
25:28
place the baby and she would never know
25:30
what happened to the child
25:31
and the child as the child grew up would
25:33
never know what happened or who
25:35
where she came from or who her natural
25:38
parents were
25:39
some of the agencies at that time were
25:41
helping adult children
25:43
find their birth parents if the birth
25:45
parents consented
25:48
so becky took us through a
25:51
course in adoption and to prepare us and
25:54
then
25:55
and confirmed that this was all to be
25:57
completely secret
25:59
and then told us that okay you’re
26:01
expecting
26:03
i got the call in the middle of the
26:05
afternoon in january
26:08
from becky she said your baby’s here
26:11
i was ecstatic and then she said
26:14
something ominous she said
26:16
but there’s problems i thought oh my god
26:20
is the baby blind does she have a cleft
26:22
palate
26:24
uh are there legal problems
26:28
and becky went on and told me what had
26:29
occurred
26:31
they had gone to she and the doctor i
26:33
think went to
26:35
corey’s room cory was the birth mother
26:38
she was 15 years old
26:41
and becky said to this 15 year old
26:45
you were released you’re discharged you
26:47
can go back to the florence crittenden
26:49
home
26:50
now the florence crittenden home was a
26:52
home for unwed mothers
26:54
in helena and that’s a place where
26:57
when a young woman or a girl
27:01
was starting to show that she was
27:02
pregnant could go there
27:04
and stay for months and then have her
27:06
baby and then go back to school
27:08
and make up a story about where she’d
27:10
been
27:11
so becky said you can go back to the
27:14
florence kitten home then back to your
27:15
hometown
27:16
and corey said and you’re going to place
27:20
the baby today right
27:21
and she said no we’re not going to do
27:23
that and she said well when will you
27:25
place her and she said well two or three
27:26
weeks from now
27:28
and corey said what and she said with
27:30
two or three weeks from now
27:32
and corey said no no you gotta place her
27:34
today and she said no we don’t do that
27:36
the agencies keep the baby for two or
27:38
three weeks
27:39
where will you keep the baby well in a
27:41
crib here or
27:42
we’ll put her in foster care for two or
27:43
three weeks why would you do that
27:46
well it’s a cooling off period in case
27:48
you change your mind
27:49
i’m not going to change my mind look
27:52
you’ve got to place this baby with a
27:53
mother today
27:55
and if you don’t i’m going to take her
27:56
out here and parent her myself and i
27:58
don’t want to do that
28:01
becky said corey there’s something i
28:03
haven’t told you my mother died in north
28:05
dakota today
28:07
and my father is elderly and needs me
28:10
how about if i go to north dakota and i
28:12
take care of things with the family
28:14
and take care of him and i’ll come back
28:15
next week and we’ll place the baby
28:18
no you have to place the baby right now
28:21
it’s got to be placed today
28:25
and she was in a jam becky was
28:29
she said listen i’m going to have to go
28:31
talk to others in the adoption agency
28:33
here we’ll decide what to do we’ve never
28:35
been faced with this before
28:37
and corey said yes do that and while
28:41
you’re at it
28:42
i want to meet the parents i want to see
28:44
this baby
28:45
into the parent’s arms and
28:48
and i want it today and she said becky
28:52
said
28:52
we don’t do that no adoption agency does
28:54
that
28:55
you can’t meet the parents and she said
28:57
listen i’m going to take the baby out of
28:59
here.
29:00
so the agency had no choice she met with
29:03
them and they decided
29:04
they’d never been faced with this before
29:07
and
29:08
they decided that the only thing to do
29:10
was call us
29:11
so on the phone becky had two questions
29:13
of me one
29:15
can you come to helena right now and get
29:17
your baby
29:18
and two will you meet the birth mother
29:23
instantly i said you bet we’ll do both
29:24
and you to talk to my wife
29:26
and i hung the phone up called frontier
29:30
airlines
29:31
and as luck would have it they had a
29:32
flight leaving immediately
29:34
i picked the phone up to call my wife
29:36
and all the power and central billings
29:38
went out
29:39
and i couldn’t call her on our set so i
29:42
jumped in the car raced to her office
29:43
she was a cpa clear across town
29:46
ran in and said our baby’s here
29:50
and we we hugged we tried and uh
29:54
they were raised up to the hospital and
29:58
saint vincent hospital gave or
30:01
lent babies infant seats to
30:04
parents who were taking children out of
30:05
the hospital because that was back in
30:07
the days when people still drove around
30:09
in cars
30:10
carrying babies in their arms
30:13
so we flew to helena and we met uh
30:16
we went to the restaurant we’d agreed to
30:17
meet up near the airport
30:19
and becky was there and the
30:22
little girl corey was there cory was
30:25
carrying a
30:27
stuffed panda bear and in his arms
30:30
with a with a baby stuffed panda bear
30:35
and she and she handed it to us
30:38
and said this is for your baby
30:41
and we had a wonderful dinner i don’t
30:44
know how i got to dinner as you might
30:46
yes i’m very emotional
30:50
but corey was very engaging
30:53
self-confident we loved her it was
30:54
really great
30:55
and we had a very good time with her and
30:58
we uh
30:59
and the funny thing we asked her about
31:00
her interest and she said
31:02
i love riding horses and we said
31:05
well do you have a horse of your own she
31:06
said no i go to fairmont all the time so
31:08
we knew she was from anaconda
31:10
and so we agreed
31:14
to go where the baby was and take
31:16
pictures all together
31:17
and then we take her back to the
31:18
florence crittenden home which we did it
31:20
was really fun taking pictures
31:22
we went back to the floor and
31:23
straightened them home had left
31:26
corey went into the home and you can
31:28
imagine what you had to say
31:30
and the word spread like wildfire what
31:33
this 15 year old had done
31:37
skipping ahead we there were there were
31:39
legal problems as a matter of fact
31:41
corey had exercised her right of privacy
31:44
and refused to identify the father
31:46
frankly she told a story that was pretty
31:48
bogus
31:50
and so
31:54
about a year less than a year
31:58
after these events
32:01
corey wrote a letter to the agency to
32:03
becky
32:04
and penciled out this letter saying i
32:07
was just wondering
32:10
i need to see the baby and the parents
32:12
one more time to make sure
32:16
that she’s safe and secure so
32:20
and she said i know this might not be
32:22
possible and it’s okay if it isn’t
32:25
but if we can i’d really like to do it
32:27
around her first birthday
32:29
and she signed it and then across the
32:30
bottom of the letter she wrote
32:32
big letters please
32:37
and i said to the agency how would we
32:40
ever say no to that
32:42
so we drove to helena on a saturday
32:45
and we had all agreed to meet at show
32:47
there and we drove up to the curb and
32:49
there was only one car parked there
32:51
and that was from anaconda of course and
32:53
we went in and we met corey she looked
32:55
wonderful
32:56
and she was just great and she had
33:00
a boyfriend with her and he was blonde
33:04
he had a broad nose just like the
33:06
adorable nose my daughter had
33:09
and frankly i took one look at him and
33:11
thought this is the father of this baby
33:14
we had a wonderful meeting with him and
33:17
i suspected that we might hear more from
33:19
corey and by the way
33:21
we were advised before dinner and before
33:24
this meeting
33:26
that we wouldn’t identify use no last
33:28
names and would not talk about where we
33:30
were from
33:31
and because we had to maintain the
33:33
secrecy
33:36
so on that saturday
33:39
we met took pictures and all that and
33:42
then we did something
33:43
that was not scripted and i don’t know
33:47
to this day how
33:48
the agency felt about it but we agreed
33:51
with corey that we wouldn’t get together
33:54
again
33:55
and have no contact until andrea was old
33:58
enough
33:59
to ask questions and that the day that
34:01
she asked to meet her birth mother we’d
34:03
get back in touch with the agency we get
34:05
together
34:06
and that’s exactly what happened and i
34:07
think it was when andrew was about five
34:09
and a half years old
34:10
and we got together with her and both of
34:13
our daughters
34:14
had grown up knowing their birth mothers
34:17
and having
34:18
whatever contact they wanted to have
34:19
with them and
34:21
uh the word spread so fast
34:25
that all of the agencies were forced to
34:28
change
34:30
and today in montana adoption within
34:33
just a couple of years
34:34
it became policy that if you wouldn’t
34:36
meet the birth parents you went to the
34:38
bottom of the priority pile
34:39
or you didn’t get a baby at all and i
34:42
think that we’ve all learned
34:44
in the meantime that it is so much more
34:47
human
34:48
to have open adoptions and for all the
34:50
ups and downs it’s better to see the
34:52
road map
34:53
and better for children’s identity thank
35:00
you
35:17
thank you john
35:21
thank you to all of our storytellers so
35:22
far tonight
35:24
uh thank you to our american sign
35:26
language interpreters as well bonnie
35:27
curian and denise may
35:35
thank you to our title sponsor the good
35:37
food store and thank you to
35:38
all of our sponsors logjam presents the
35:41
wilma
35:42
cabinetparts.com missoula broadcasting
35:45
company
35:46
axis physical therapy clearwater credit
35:49
union
35:50
gecko designs enlightened labs
35:54
filthy design and missoula bone and
35:56
joint when you frequent these businesses
35:58
please thank them for their support of
36:00
tell us something and of live
36:02
storytelling in missoula and thank you
36:04
for being here tonight without you
36:07
tell us something can’t happen without
36:09
your loves
36:10
your open hearts and your open ears if
36:13
you are interested in potentially
36:14
joining tell us something
36:16
as a board member be in touch you can
36:18
contact us
36:19
via the website at telesumming.org
36:22
finally
36:25
the next tell us something event is
36:26
march 25th
36:28
the theme is lost and found we are to
36:32
yeah
36:34
we are taking story pitches for that
36:35
right now to pick your story go to tell
36:38
us something.org and click tell a story
36:40
you’ll get all the information you need
36:42
right now right there
36:44
we’re going to take a 10-minute
36:45
intermission grab a drink stretch your
36:46
legs
36:47
come back in 10 minutes for audience
36:49
participation thank you so much
36:58
welcome back
37:04
i would like to introduce you to my two
37:06
friends
37:08
lauren and ryder who are going to walk
37:09
us through the audience participation
37:11
portion of the evening
37:13
does one of you want to step over here
37:14
so i can get the mic
37:17
down right
37:20
got it angle you
37:24
all right so this is the first audience
37:26
participation story
37:29
tipping point or tipping over i woke up
37:31
in shivers after a night of drinking
37:33
tequila and eating masculine
37:36
i shook off a layer of frost and found
37:38
that i was chained to my motorcycle
37:40
what the i walked to the bar and
37:43
grill in
37:43
alberton and ordered breakfast the guy
37:46
behind the bar slid
37:47
slid my coffee down the bar soon
37:49
followed by eggs and bacon
37:53
how rude i thought i tossed in my money
37:56
and walked out
37:57
the ride home was freezing so when i got
37:59
home i curled up in bed until late
38:00
afternoon
38:02
upon rising i went to the bathroom after
38:04
peeing
38:05
i looked in the mirror it was shocked to
38:06
see that i had burrito puke in my bushy
38:08
beard
38:10
i no longer drink tequila
38:18
one day my husband said to me if you
38:20
can’t be passionate about me
38:22
and this life then you should leave
38:25
today
38:26
that was 20 years ago and i’ve never
38:28
seen him since
38:38
all right it was mid-august i was in a
38:40
large faded orange
38:42
orange colored raft from the 1970s named
38:44
marge
38:45
about to voyage down tumbleweed a rapid
38:48
in the alberton gorge
38:49
i forgot to mention it was my first time
38:51
rowing ever
38:53
i will let the pictures say the rest
38:59
i spent three years living in
39:00
minneapolis where it’s so cold in the
39:02
winter it hurts your face
39:04
my commute to work was about 45 minutes
39:07
in start and stop traffic
39:09
it was my third winter there and i was
39:11
driving home in the freezing snow
39:13
i called my boyfriend and told him i had
39:15
to make a change
39:16
i couldn’t do another winter there he
39:18
was on board we made a list of cities we
39:20
would want to move to
39:22
and started applying for jobs we both
39:24
got jobs in missoula within a week of
39:26
each other
39:27
having have lived here together for the
39:29
past two years and we’re getting married
39:31
here this summer
39:39
well i’m not comfortable sharing this
39:41
story on social media i do think it’s a
39:43
story that needs to be told
39:48
as a wayward but well-intentioned 17
39:50
year old i brought my girlfriend
39:52
now wife of 41 years home a half hour
39:55
later than
39:56
her curfew her father put her luggage on
39:58
the front porch
40:00
even i an obtuse rider of the
40:02
testosterone tsunami
40:04
figured out the message instead of
40:06
slinking however my wife and i went
40:08
in woke up my new in-laws and had it out
40:11
with
40:12
uh headed out with them regarding my
40:13
intentions
40:16
this month our nine and five-year-old
40:18
granddaughters will
40:20
join us at my father-in-law’s house for
40:22
christmas and i am attending tonight’s
40:24
tell us something with my daughter who
40:25
remains a golden light of my life
40:28
thanks
40:35
it was the eve of my birthday as i
40:38
tipped into my 30s i found myself
40:40
14 000 feet in the air strapped to a
40:43
heavily tattooed stranger
40:46
it was then that i realized that i had
40:48
passed the point of no return
40:50
this was my tipping point
41:01
seems more like a tip than a story but
41:04
moving the decimal one place to the left
41:06
that’s ten percent
41:08
double it for nice gratuity that’s my
41:10
tipping point
41:27
november 8 2016.
41:43
in high school my daughter used to put
41:44
her clothes in the dryer to warm her
41:46
clothes up
41:47
every morning i finally snapped and
41:49
started turning off the dryer breaker
41:57
i had forty dollars in my pocket and i
41:59
had not yet made my destination
42:01
having traveled from missoula to zurich
42:04
switzerland
42:05
it was 10 pm i was 19 and still had
42:08
miles to go
42:10
would i make it where would i sleep
42:20
when i had nothing more i could give you
42:22
and you couldn’t even give me the time
42:24
that was my tipping point
42:28
thanks guys
42:56
do
43:15
you

In the summer of 2019, Tell Us Something hosted a storytelling summer camp for youth at Zootown Arts Community Center. Seven young women worked together with Tell Us Something director Marc Moss for a week during the summer of 2019 to learn about how to decide what story to share, stage presence, story structure, elements of a story, keeping ourselves, our audience, and the characters in a story safe as well as making an emotional connection with the audience.
Listen to stories about surviving a grizzly bear attack, a mother’s vigil over her sick children in the hospital, a scientist who discovers a connection between lead ammunition and lead in the bloodstreams of large birds like eagles, and a man who snorts his crown into his sinus cavity during what was supposed to be a routine visit to the dentist.
In this week’s podcast you’ll hear stories about a traffic stop that goes sideways on a road trip in Mississippi, the unexpected healing grace of a destructive hailstorm, a quadrepalegic who does the work required, to make a full recovery, and a bear tramping through a campground at night making things scary for our storyteller.
Stories of an American tourist’s encounter with the secret police in 1970s Iran, overcoming hate in the grocery store, An Eastern African girl’s first experience in America and an American tourist in Paris just trying to find some relief.
Stories of moving to Missoula, Montana from Illinois for a job, an African American attending the Trump rally in Missoula, a young white woman in the rural town of Kholesimal trying to find her place and a field trip leader responsible for high school students from Montana as they hike through the jungle in Cambodia.