Tell Us Something Board member Jason Sloat recalls his impactful experience of visiting Missoula with a buddy and calling an old professor from a payphone - a phone call that changed his life trajectory.

Transcript : Meet the Board - Jason Sloat

Marc Moss: [00:00:00] Welcome to the tele hunting podcast. I’m Marc Moss. The next, tell us something live storytelling event is September 27th. At the Dennison theater. The theme is letting go eight storytellers. Take the stage to share their two personal stories from memory. Tickets are now on sale. For tell us something live at the Dennison theater, September 27th.

Marc Moss: Get your [email protected]. We again, welcome our friends from the deaf C. By providing American sign language interpretation. See you September 27th for letting go stories at the Dennis and theater, more information and tickets are [email protected]. The next, tell us something podcast episodes are a little different than what you are used to.

Marc Moss: You will meet each member of the, tell something board, former board member Sierra, Ty Brownley interviewed the tell something board for her podcast. Impactful experiences. Sierra believes that listening to meaningful stories, changes your ideas and makes you think and feel beyond what you [00:01:00] may already accept.

Marc Moss: This week. Sierra sits down with tele something board member, Jason slope. Let’s listen.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Welcome back to impactful experiences with Sierra Ty Brownley, where I chat with a new guest each episode and ask them to share one of their impactful experiences. This is your host Sierra, and I want to thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy today. I’m joined by Jason slope, current risk manager at the university of Montana in Missoula, Montana.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: And tell us something board member Jason, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. Oh, it’s

Jason Sloat: my pleasure, Sierra. Thanks for having me

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: anytime. So let’s just hop right in and I’d love to hear about your impactful experience.

Jason Sloat: Yeah. So, you know, when, [00:02:00] when I was thinking about what impactful experience I wanted to share, I was thinking about my, my current life, um, here in Western Montana.

Jason Sloat: And I started to think about there, there was one very impactful experience that led me. To this point that I’m at now. Um, I just turned 48 years old and, um, it kind of feels like I had this experience. Um, when I was 23 years old, I was fresh out of college. The year was 1997. And I had an experience in Missoula that all these years later has kind of everything.

Jason Sloat: Everything in a sense has, has, has really come full circle for me. Mm-hmm um, and the reason I’m here today is because of this impactful experience that I had in the late nineties, um, arriving in Missoula as a kid who was kind of fresh outta [00:03:00] college. And that’s the experience that I’d like to share today.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Okay, that sounds great. Well, I’d love to hear about it. And if you could tell us what brought you to Montana.

Jason Sloat: Sure. So I graduated from a small liberal arts college in central Indiana in okay. In, uh, 1997. And. My my best friend. And I set out when, when we graduated from college, we didn’t really have any career plans.

Jason Sloat: Mm-hmm um, we were, we were trying to figure out what we were doing with our lives. Um, it was a moment for, I think, both of us, of, of kind of great uncertainty. Neither of us had a distinct. Path that we could see kind of out of college, into real adulthood. Mm-hmm . And so we set out on a road trip in kind of the classic American road trip.

Jason Sloat: Yeah. And we [00:04:00] didn’t really have much of a plan. Um, other than we were going to, we, we decided to challenge ourselves by seeing how long we could go without paying for lo. Okay. Just as a challenge. Um, so, uh, at the time I had my high school vehicle, which was a very old 1980 Jeep, CJ seven, like an old school kind of version of a Jeep Wrangler.

Jason Sloat: Okay. And we loaded, we loaded this Jeep up with all of our earthly possessions, um, in the early summer of 1997. And we set out, um, To just see kind of where the road would take us. Mm-hmm and we ended up traveling for almost four months, um, and we spent most of those four months camping. And once we got out of the Midwest, we stuck to national forests, um, so that we could camp for free.

Jason Sloat: That was [00:05:00] part of our, part of our challenge end. Four months later we had been, we, we left Indiana. We went north through Michigan, uh, into Canada, around the north side of lake superior. Came down, spent some time in the boundary waters in Minnesota. Came across the Dakotas traveled down the Rocky mountain front almost all the way to Mexico turned around and went up.

Jason Sloat: The west side of the Rocky mountains eventually ended up landing in Missoula. And by the time we ended up in Missoula, Montana, we pulled into town, uh, on a September afternoon mm-hmm and. We were running very low on cash. Mm. And, um, we had to kind of figure out what we were gonna do about that. And the first place that we ended up going in town, we actually, we actually drove, we figured out where downtown was.

Jason Sloat: And we parked on Higgins avenue and we [00:06:00] got out of our Jeep and we asked the first person we met, where’s a place. We could get a beer where the locals hang out. We went like a, a locals kind of place. Right. And they said, well, there’s a bar across the street, like a half a block up. It’s called Charlie bees.

Jason Sloat: And there’s no sign, but you’ll know it when you get there. Okay. And so we walked up Higgins avenue and we found this door that had a little sign connected to it, that set on the corner of space and time. And we thought, well, this looks the right place, check this out. And so we walked into Charlie bees and we ordered some beers and we started playing pool mm-hmm and, uh, We were just kind of passing the time at this point.

Jason Sloat: And as we were playing pool, my friend, John, who I was traveling with, um, said, Hey, I think this is the town. Where that there [00:07:00] was that professor, that art history professor at Wabash college, that’s where we had just graduated from okay. Several months before. And he said, I think that professor, we knew at Wabash named Rafael didn’t Rafael, move here and get a job at the university of Montana.

Jason Sloat: And I said, man, I think you’re right. Um, And so the story behind that is that there, when John and I were freshmen, our freshman and sophomore year at our college in Indiana, there had been a young professor fresh out of grad school, fresh off of his PhD. Mm-hmm who had come back, come back to his Alma. He was a graduate of Wabash college to teach his first two years out of grad school.

Jason Sloat: And then he got a tenure track job at the university of Montana mm-hmm . And so he left and he moved off to this exotic place called Missoula Montana. And we hadn’t really kept in touch since then. Yeah. But we knew, [00:08:00] we knew at the time we called him professor shaone and we knew professor shaone very well when we were at Wabash college.

Jason Sloat: So we found ourselves in Charlie bees, drinking beer, playing pool, saying, Hey professor, shaone I think moved here and lives here. Now we should get ahold of him. And so we finished our beers. We walked down the street. This was before the age of cell phones and the internet. And all of that mm-hmm so we found a payphone, um, and it used to be that in payphone, uh, there would be a phone book mm-hmm hanging from a cable.

Jason Sloat: And so we took the phone book and we looked up Rafael shaone and sure enough, he was listed in the phone book. And from this payphone, we dropped a quarter and we called Rafa. This was completely out of the blue out of voicemail. Voicemail said, you know, Hey, this is Rafael. Leave a message. And so I left a message.

Jason Sloat: I said, Rafael, it’s Jason and John from [00:09:00] Wabash college. We just landed in Missoula, Montana. We’d love to stop and say hi, it’s been a few years. Like, let’s catch up. Um, we’re gonna hang out at this phone booth for a few minutes. If you get this message, we didn’t have any other way for him to call us. Yeah.

Jason Sloat: So we were like, and they used to print the phone number of the phone in the phone booth on the, on the phone panel. Mm-hmm so I read him the number of the phone in the phone. And I said, call this number. If you get this message, like in the next five to 10 minutes, and then we hung out and waited sure enough, five minutes later, the phone and the phone booth rings and I pick it up and it’s Raphael and he says, yeah, like, of course I remember you guys.

Jason Sloat: Uh, I I’m here. I live outside of Missoula in this little town called Lolo with my, with my partner, Andy, we were like, oh, Andy. Right. We, we knew Andy from when they were in Crawfordsville, we were like, fantastic. Um, [00:10:00] and he was like, you know, I’m sure if you guys have been on the road for a few months, sleeping in the woods, camping the whole time, you’d love a hot meal and a shower.

Jason Sloat: He’s like, you’ve gotta come out and hang out with us tonight. So we did mm-hmm um, And it was this act of extraordinary generosity on Rafael’s part. I mean, we would’ve been okay if he was just like, let’s meet for a beer mm-hmm but instead he was like, come to my house. I’m gonna fix you a hot meal. I’m gonna, I’m gonna let you take a hot shower and you can stay here with us for a couple nights.

Jason Sloat: If you want to, if you wanna sleep in a real bed, get off the road, get out, get out of the woods. Like not, yeah. You know, you’re tired of camping. Come stay with us for a while. Um, and it was really amazing. He really didn’t have to do that. It was, it was just extraordinarily generous of him. So we went out and, and, and we met up with Andy and [00:11:00] Rafael, um, in their house in Lolo, we had a great meal, we got cleaned up.

Jason Sloat: It was amazing. Um, and basically we ended up staying with them for three nights. Um, mm-hmm and. we told them after three nights, we were very concerned about overstay. Our welcome mm-hmm , even though we were having a blast and it was really comfortable, um, we told them, uh, the third night that the next morning we were gonna leave.

Jason Sloat: Um, and so. They were gonna get up early and go to work. Um, and so we set our goodbyes that night, the next morning they got up and left for work. And my buddy, John and I were packing up getting ready to leave. We had no idea what we were gonna do. Next things were very uncertain. And then the phone in their house started to ring.

Jason Sloat: And I wasn’t gonna answer their phone. So I let it go to voicemail. He had one of those like old school answering machines where you could li you could hear the person leaving the message. Okay. So [00:12:00] when the answering machine picked up, it was Rafael and he was saying, Hey guys, it’s Rafael. If you’re still in the house, pick up the phone, I’ve got some news.

Jason Sloat: And I ran over and picked up the phone. I was like, Hey Rafael, you know, what’s going on? We’re just getting ready to walk out the door, like what’s happening? And he said, well, I’ve been making some calls this morning. I know you guys are a little short on cash and you’re not sure what you’re doing next.

Jason Sloat: Yeah. He’s, he’s like, I found a job opportunity for you guys. And he basically said, there’s this woman who we’re acquainted with, who owns a bunch of land out in Theo valley. it’s about 60 miles Northeast of Missoula. He said, and I talked to her this morning and she would like help getting her ranch land ready for winter.

Jason Sloat: Um, she’s got some fences to fix some basic labor stuff she needs help with. If you guys are willing to drive out there this morning, she’s home and she will interview you. And if the interview [00:13:00] goes well, she’ll hire you and you can help her get ready for get her ranch ready for winter and maybe work for for a week or two, uh, put some cash in your pocket.

Jason Sloat: and that way you’ve got some funds to go on to your next adventure. Mm-hmm so, yeah, so anyway, it was just incredibly nice of him to do this for us. And we, we drove out to van, we had this interview, it went well, we got this job. And after a few weeks, we ended up getting hired on to this. project as co-ran managers.

Jason Sloat: Um, okay. And that was our, that, that ended up being my very first official job out of college. Mm-hmm who was working on this ranch in Theo valley, I say ranch. It wasn’t really a working ranch. This woman who had bought this property, it was several thousand acres and she had taken the cattle off of it.

Jason Sloat: And she was her goal was to reestablish wildlife. Just just viable, healthy wildlife [00:14:00] habitat. It was a habitat restoration project. Okay. Um, and so anyway, that ended up being my first job out of college due to this kind of chance encounter Rafael’s generosity. Hooking us up with, with, with a place to stay for a few nights and then, and then finding a job for us, none of which he had to do.

Jason Sloat: Um, and it ended up being an absolutely incredible experience. And we worked on this land for about a year. Um, mm-hmm and that was my introduction to Western Montana. Okay. Here we are. All these years later, it’s 2022 and I’m back in Western Montana. Mm-hmm um, after a number of years away and, um, my wife and I are building a house that is on land that is next door to Andy and Rafael.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Wow. And they’re still there

Jason Sloat: and they’re still here. They’ve been here this whole time. Um, they moved from [00:15:00] Lolo out to the Moise valley, which is out by the national bison range. Okay. Um, and they owned some acreage out here. Um, and when we moved out here several years ago, uh, after 15 years in Chicago, Um, I, I got a job offer at the university of Montana mm-hmm and one of the first people I called was Rafael.

Jason Sloat: Cuz I wanted to talk about the university and what he thought about the job opportunity, cuz he’d been there for a long time at this point. Yeah. And in one of our first conversations, he said, Hey, I don’t know what you guys have are planning to do when you get out here in terms of where you’re gonna live.

Jason Sloat: what you’re gonna do in terms of housing, but he said, if you have any desire to own land in a rural area, he said, I think our neighbors are getting ready to sell their land. And, uh, if you jump on it now, I think you can get in. And, uh, that, that, there’s just a great opportunity out here. So we came and looked at this piece of property.

Jason Sloat: Next door to where Andy and Rafael live. And, [00:16:00] uh, lo and behold, it’s a beautiful piece of property. I’m actually sitting on it right now. Um, and, and we ended up buying the land and we’re now in the process of building a house. So this is a great, like, you know, for me, this is a very like story. That’s come full


Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Definitely. Yeah. Wow. What a journey. And I, I understand what you. As you, when you said this is really kind of a full circle moment. Um, I think that’s kind of crazy and that Rafael is still still here and that you’ll. Living right next to him.

Jason Sloat: we’re we’re neighbors. Yeah. We’re gonna be neighbors.


Sierra Tai-Brownlee: is crazy.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Okay. Um, so you did mention that you did leave Montana, um, for a little bit. And did you know you wanted to come back or did you kind of, yes. Oh, okay.

Jason Sloat: So, you know, part of the rest of that story [00:17:00] is I worked on ranches out here for a couple years, and then I decided to go back to school and I, I went to the university of Montana cause I was, I, I loved it here.

Jason Sloat: I didn’t wanna leave Montana. Mm-hmm so I, so I applied for, and was accepted to a graduate program at, um, and I ended up getting my master’s degree at, um, in English literature. While I was getting that degree in literature at, um, mm-hmm I met the person who is, who I’m now married to, um, Addie, who was getting her MFA and poetry.

Jason Sloat: And so we were in the English program together mm-hmm and when we both got done with graduate school in 2004, um, that was a time in Missoula where it was very difficult to. A good job. Mm-hmm um, it was just that the job market was really tough in this part of the world, um, at that point in time. And so.

Jason Sloat: We didn’t really feel that we had much of an option, but to leave, um, [00:18:00] basically to seek careers. And at that point that, that we ended up moving to Chicago. Um, and so we moved to Chicago from Missoula in 2004, we moved there together. Um, and then we got married and then we ended up spending the next 15 years in Chicago.

Jason Sloat: Mm-hmm . And toward the end of that time in Chicago, we had never really stopped talking about our love for Western MUN. Um, yeah. And so the last couple years we were in Chicago, I, we both started looking very diligently for any way that we could get back out here and, and, and any way that we could get back out here and have kind of create like a viable living situation for ourselves in terms of jobs.

Jason Sloat: Right. Because that’s always the, that’s the always the trick bag, right? How, what are you gonna do for work? How are you gonna make a living? And. I happened to be looking at the university of Montana’s job page one day. And I saw a job [00:19:00] advertised as, uh, the job was a, a for a risk management position at the university of Montana.

Jason Sloat: And it just so happened that in this intervening 15 years that I spent in Chicago, mm-hmm . what I had done with my English lit degree was I had gotten into business and kind of by chance, and one thing led to another and I got into risk management. Okay. And I looked at this job opportunity at the university of Montana.

Jason Sloat: And I was like, man, I, I think I’m qualified for that job. Mm-hmm . And so I applied and it went very quickly. I went from applying to the. to having an acceptance letter in a matter of a couple of weeks. Um, and that was it. As soon as I had that acceptance letter in hand, we were like, we’re, it’s been a good ride, Chicago , but, but we are out.

Jason Sloat: And, uh, we were, that was one of the, it was one of the most exciting moments of our, of our [00:20:00] lives. Actually, we were so thrilled to move back.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Wow. That’s really exciting. And I’m glad things worked out. So at this point, how long have you been back in Montana?

Jason Sloat: Uh, we came back in the fall of 2018, so it’s been about three and a half years.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Okay. And what motivated you to build this house? Like, was this also something you had in your mind for a while as well?

Jason Sloat: Yeah. I mean, that’s a great question. So it had been a, well, it had been a dream of mine since I was pretty young since I was in my early twenties. Mm-hmm to someday design and build my own house.

Jason Sloat: Yeah. Um, and then when Addie and I got married, that turned out fortunately to be a dream that she shared with me. Um, we spent a lot of time. I mean, [00:21:00] I didn’t get real serious about a career until I was in my early thirties. Mm-hmm . And so this story that I’ve just told you kind of there’s big chunks that I’ve by necessity of time here that I’ve left out.

Jason Sloat: Yeah. The bottom line is, you know, by the time we were living in Chicago in the mid two thousands, we were both in our thirties and we had. 15 years renting, living in places that, you know, um, I think a lot of people can relate to this. You know, you, you get what you can afford. and every place comes with its own set of challenges and problems and irritations, right?

Jason Sloat: Mm-hmm in terms of the spaces you’re forced to live in when you’re young and you don’t have any money, you’re just forced to live, where you can afford to live mm-hmm . And I think that created in us a desire to someday design a space [00:22:00] that worked with it was designed specifically for us mm-hmm um, where we weren’t essentially living in a.

Jason Sloat: that was full of other people’s problems, like other people’s poor decisions. yeah. Right. Um, and so, so this has been a very long term. Dream of ours was to find a place in a, in a rural environment we wanted, we knew we wanted to be in the country. Um, I’m a person who, if I’m gonna be in like in a city or in a town, I want to be in the city.

Jason Sloat: If I’m not, if I’m not going to be, I really don’t want to be, I want to be out. Um, okay. I, I wanna be one, I guess what I’m saying is I’m not a suburban person. I, I, I, I don’t like the in between lands. I either I either wanna be in the thick of the action. I want to be five, a five minute walk away from a great coffee shop, or I don’t want to have, like, I don’t wanna [00:23:00] be around people.

Jason Sloat: I want to be in the middle of a beautiful area. That’s very quiet. Right? Mm-hmm. So we spent 15 years, like in the city kind of dealing with a lot of noise and a lot of chaos. Um, it was, it was a great experience and I’m glad I had that experience, but I was at a point in my life where I was really ready for something quiet.

Jason Sloat: Um, and so when we found this piece of property that is very rural, um, we don’t have many neighbors out here. Um, it’s, it’s a quiet place and, um, it’s peaceful and, and that felt like home to me. Mm-hmm so we wanted to make a place here that was designed for us. Um, and that for us meant we wanted this very small footprint, um, Uh, we don’t have kids, um, by choice mm-hmm and, uh, so it’s just the two of us.

Jason Sloat: And, uh, that means that we don’t need a lot of space. We don’t need a [00:24:00] complicated space. We wanted something very simple, uh, very easy to live in. Um, we kind of knew from years of talking about it, exactly what we wanted, but it’s hard. It’s, it’s hard to find that thing. That as it exists on the market. Yeah.

Jason Sloat: Because a lot of places right. Are designed for families. Right. and a lot of places are designed for this kind of American sensibility of having the maximum amount of square footage. That kind of maximum number of rooms you can afford. Like is a, a lot of people, I feel like come to the house buying process, wanting to buy.

Jason Sloat: Now, this has changed a little bit with. Tiny house movement, things that have happened in, you know, the last decade mm-hmm , but generally speaking, a lot of people, I think still when they go to buy a house, they want the maximum amount of space that they can afford. And that’s distinctly not something we wanted.

Jason Sloat: We wanted something that was, we, [00:25:00] we didn’t really want to like to go completely the tiny house route. Yeah. But we wanted something that was very compact. Um, that just felt like just enough. And so that’s why it was so exciting for us to find land where we could design our own space.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Definitely. I think this is really exciting.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Wow. That’s very cool that it’s happening right now.

Jason Sloat: You’re right. And it’s happening right now?

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Yes. Okay. So basically this story that you’ve shared, um, this in a way, like you said, kind of shaped what you did with the rest of your life, because if you hadn’t stopped in Missoula, you think everything would be completely different.

Jason Sloat: Everything would be completely D. Absolutely. I don’t know that I would’ve known about this area. I mean, another, another crazy aspect of this story. That’s just this kind of chance thing is that after I, I [00:26:00] spent a year working for on this habitat restoration project in the van valley, and then the friend that I traveled out here.

Jason Sloat: Went back to Indiana to go to grad school at that point in time. And I stayed in Montana and at that point I moved up to the, uh, I moved up to a place outside of AR mm-hmm , uh, on, on the reservation. And, um, I got a job for a rancher. Who was a tribal member and he hired me, uh, that would’ve been the summer of the summer of 98.

Jason Sloat: He hired me to, um, Make hay for his ranching operation. I’m a farm kid. I grew up on a farm in Indiana, so I knew how to make hay. It was one of the skills I brought to Montana now how to make hay, right. He hired me to make hay for him that summer. And at the time he was [00:27:00] leasing a piece of tribal ground where he made hay.

Jason Sloat: That was in the Mo east valley, which was a few miles from where his actual ranch was located. So I traveled to this valley. To make hay to, to cut hay and RA hay and bale hay for this rancher. Okay. And I got out here and I thought, my God, this is one of the most beautiful places. I have ever seen in my life, if I could ever find a way to live here, um, I would love to live in this spot.

Jason Sloat: And at the time I didn’t see how that would ever be possible. I just, it seemed like a pipe dream. I mean, it seemed like something that it was just at the time for me. I, I was just scraping together life. Like I, I was living paycheck to paycheck. I was essentially a ranch hand. I, I didn’t have any, I didn’t have any money.

Jason Sloat: I didn’t see how I, I would ever be able to afford [00:28:00] anything, but I thought, you know, someday, if I could live here, I would really love to, well, it turns out that from this piece of property that we now own where we’re building our house. I can actually see that hayfield that I was in when I had that moment.

Jason Sloat: Wow. It’s right down the road. Wow. I don’t know. It it’s a, it’s a crazy thing. I, I, I don’t claim to understand it, but. Something about, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t really totally believe in that thing about, you know, you put it out into the universe and then it comes back to you. Like, I, I don’t really necessarily believe in all that, but boy, it’s been, it’s been quite a, quite a, again, a full circle thing.

Jason Sloat: Um, definitely, you know, it’s been, it’s been a thing that’s like 25 years in the making.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Yeah, I think that is really crazy that you are like coming back and completing, I guess, those dreams that you had so long ago, and [00:29:00] it’s really tangible. Like you do see that where you were those years ago. I think this is crazy, but also very exciting.

Jason Sloat: Yeah. Yeah. I, I hear, you know, Sierra, I hear a lot of, I hear a lot of despair these days. in, you know, like, uh, you know, gen Z, people who are getting out of college right now, and the world looks very bleak. Mm-hmm job opportunities. Don’t look great. I think there are a lot of people who kind of a lot of young people who are in this kind of state of despair, and I can actually.

Jason Sloat: I can, as a gen Xer, believe it or not, I can relate to that. I don’t think a lot of people, I don’t think, I don’t think most people, my age necessarily went through that, but I think there were some of us back in the, back in the late nineties and early two thousands who went through that feeling. Mm-hmm and I just always want to tell people, like, I don’t know, it sounds super cheesy, but like, hang in there, [00:30:00] like, you know, It’s it’s okay to want what you want.

Jason Sloat: And, uh, just, just, just keep going. Uh, cause you never know, you never know. As, as, as desperate and bleak, as things may look now, it can also turn around. Um, and you can end up in a place that’s kind of like in a situation that. Is beyond your wildest dreams. If you just keep putting one foot in front of the other

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: mm-hmm definitely.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: Okay. Well, Jason, I think we will start wrapping things up, but I always ask at the end of each episode, what is the best piece of life advice that you’ve been given?

Jason Sloat: On the best piece of life advice? Um, I mean, I think, I think I just, I think I just kind of touched on that. Yeah. Which is, um, there’s a lot to be said for perseverance and, you know, despite the fact that things may look.

Jason Sloat: Things may look somewhat hopeless at [00:31:00] certain points in your life. Keep getting out of bed, keep doing, keep pursuing that thing. Put one foot in front of the other. It’s a little bit like when you’re facing down a long hike, right. Um, when you’re in that first mile of a 10, 12, 15 mile hike, um, it, it, it, it seems like you’re never going to arrive at the destination, but the thing is you just keep putting one foot in front of the.

Jason Sloat: and eventually you do arrive. Mm-hmm you, you arrive at some point. It may not be exactly what you had in mind. Uh, but you’re, you’re, you’re going to keep making progress and that’s what I would, that’s probably the best advice I’ve gotten is keep, keep moving. Yeah. Okay.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: No, I like it. I think it’s certainly a good piece of advice.

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: All right. Well, I really appreciate you coming on today, Jason and I enjoyed hearing your story.

Jason Sloat: Yeah. Well, thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Of

Sierra Tai-Brownlee: course, of course. Yeah. Thank you once again, Jason, and thank [00:32:00] you guys for listening and take

Jason Sloat: care.

Marc Moss: Thanks Sierra and Jason, Jason slope grew up on a farm in Indiana. After graduating from college, he spent a couple of years working on ranches in Western Montana. During that time he fell in love with the beauty of Montana’s wild spaces. He eventually completed graduate school at the university of Montana, and now works for, um, as the director of risk management.

Marc Moss: Sierra Ty Brownley is a curious individual with a never ending interest in people and their stories from asking 50 strangers for their best piece of life advice to sitting down, to hear about pivotal stories on her podcast, impactful experiences with Sierra Ty Brownley, Sierra is always excited to meet new people and hear what they would like to share.

Marc Moss: You can find the impactful experiences podcast. Wherever you

Jason Sloat: get your podcasts.

Marc Moss: Thanks to our inkind sponsors. Joyce of tile, gecko designs, float Missoula and [00:33:00] Missoula broadcasting company. Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast. Remember to get your ticket to the next event. September 27th, 2022.

Marc Moss: Live at the Dennison theater. The theme is letting go more information and tickets are [email protected].

This week on the podcast, Jim Beyer and Tell Us Something Executive Director Marc Moss chat about his story “Mission from God”, which he told live onstage at The Top Hat Lounge in Missoula, MT in March 2012. The theme that night was “Rites of Passage”. We also talk about motorcycles, wrecks and helping others out during the moving process.

Transcript : "Mission From God" - Jim Beyer Story and Interview


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

Jim Beyer: Oh, it was the Sturgis adventure. Yes. “Mission From God”. “Mission From from God”. Yeah. Yeah, because I practiced that for a week. while driving around Montana, I just tell it to myself over and over and over again so that it, , would be, um, shortened and, um, , yeah, near Newark.

The perfect. So.

Marc Moss: This week on the podcast, Jim Beyer and I chat about his story “Mission from God”, which he told live onstage at The Top Hat Lounge in Missoula, MT in March 2012.

Jim Beyer: And we reached to the top of this, uh, this old abandoned farmhouse. Well, the windows are all busted out and there’s birds or bats or something flying in and out of it. And it’s getting dark. I mean, it was flat dark, there were stars and there was the full. He says, oh, it’s in the barn. Okay, cool. Well, the barn is kind of leaning over at about 33 angle.

Like this. It looks like it’s going to fall down anytime

Marc Moss: The theme that night was “Rites of Passage”.

We also talk about motorcycles, wrecks and helping others out during the moving process.

Thank you for joining me as I take you behind the scenes at Tell Us Something — to meet the storytellers behind the stories. In each episode, I sit down with a Tell Us Something storyteller alumni. We chat about what they’ve been up to lately and about their experience sharing their story live on stage. Sometimes we get extra details about their story, and we always get to know them a little better.

On a mission to buy an Indian sidecar during the Sturgis bike rally. Jim Beyer borrows Greg’s truck to go pick up the sidecar. He is followed several times along the way by police officers. Jim’s story is called “A Mission from God”. Thanks for listening.

A quick warning for sensitive listeners, Jim’s story contains depictions of drug use.

Jim Beyer: I wrote into camp. Um, uh, we were staying in, in Sturgis, um, and my friends were all standing around thinking about what to have for dinner. It was a Greg and star and, uh, Harlem Harlan and, um, picker. And I came roaring into camp, jumped off my bike and told him. I just found an Indian motorcycle inside car to buy.

Um, Indian side cars are incredibly beautiful and rare items. And I was so lucky to have found this one because the other 74,999 bikers and Sturgis had not gotten it before me. So they’re all congratulating me on this. I say, but I’m kind of bummed cause I have no way to get it back to Montana. Well, Greg says, oh no problem, man.

I’m just throw it in the back of my pickup truck and you can pick it up in Virginia city when we get back in a week. That’s a cool, that’s great. But I still have another problem. And that is I have to go pick this thing up and I don’t have any way except for my motorcycle and the PR and a cert Greg says, oh no problem, man.

Here’s the keys to my pickup truck. Throws them to him. Well, I immediately grabbed them cause I’m excited. And I go running back to the, uh, go running back to his pickup truck. It’s an old beater, shitty Chevy pickup, but 20 years old from Virginia city. And, uh, so I jumped in, I drive away. Well, unfortunately I’m driving through Sturgis traffic during bike week, which is 75,000 people trying to get downtown all at the same time.

So I’m really frustrated. And I don’t notice the fact that Sturgis or Sturgis city policemen has just pulled in behind me. So I’m driving along very carefully and thinking, well, I wonder if this truck has got taillights. So anyway, the problem was solved when the cop flips his lights on, oh God damn it.

So I’m pulling over for the curb. Well, anyway, the cop pulls to the left and goes racing right past me and pulls over some poor guy in a jail. Yeah. I drive through Sturgis traffic, again, 30 minutes to get from one side of town, this as big as Hamilton to the other and get on the freeway, driving down the freeway, man, I got my foot to the floor and I’m just driving as fast as I can go, which is about 50 miles an hour.

And then I realized, you know, bikes are going by any Brum, Brum, Brum, Brum, but twice as fast as I am. Well, I’m looking in the rear view mirror and, uh, state patrol pulls it up right behind me and he didn’t realize I was going so slow till he almost hit my bumper. It was kind of pissed him off. So I’m looking back there trying to drive carefully and, uh, looking at the rear view mirror.

And there he is, got his hand on the radio talking into it. You know, it’s like running my plates and stuff and I’m going, what is with this truck? Jesus, you know, don’t they have farm trucks in South Dakota. Well, I didn’t really find the answer to that when he flips his lights on, I’m gone. Jesus. And I start to turn.

Under the barrel on the barrel pit. Well, just as I’m doing that, some guy on a chopper racist bite, about 90 miles, an hour, blue lights and everything. He didn’t care. Well, the cop realizes he’s got a live one, so he turns left, goes chases him. It’s run runs down the road. So I come up a few minutes later and there’s the cop right in the ticket and the guy biker holding his license out and I wave.

So anyway, I pull off in Spearfish, drive up main street, pull into this little motorcycle shop where they have the Indian side. The, uh, go in and talk to the lady behind the counter. She says, well, my husband is like, it has to work until it gets the customer’s bike done. It’ll be a couple minutes. And I said, that’s cool.

Um, So I started talking to her, she’s saying how, um, it was their dream to have this motorcycle shop in the black Hills, but it just wasn’t working out for them. They weren’t making any money. So they were going to close the shop and move back to Phoenix. So they could be closer to her, her family and, you know, and.

Yeah. Cool. So a couple of minutes later, this clean cut looking guy, younger than me comes walking out, wiping his hands and says, hi, my name is Bob. That’s it on paper. And it was nice to meet you. And he says, well, the side cars, uh, you know, a little ways out of town. Could we take your truck? Sure. Hop in.

It’s all warmed up. So we’re. It gives me directions says go north on highway 85. So we find the way to highway 85. And then all of a sudden he looks over at me and says, have you been saved? What says is Jesus your personal savior? Uh, well, uh, no. So for the next 15 minutes, he’s given me this big, long lecture about, you know, how Jesus has saved him from the road to sin and perdition and how it’s turned his life around and all that stuff.

So I’m going. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t want to tell him I wasn’t unreconstructed pagan because I didn’t want that much inter you know, a conversation going on. I was happy to hear the lecture, so, so he says, oh, I rode up ahead. Just turn right up there. So I’m driving up this gravel road, heading up towards the mountains, and then he says, oh, that gate over there, just, uh, just turn right into that gate.

Okay, stop. He jumps out, opens the gate. We drive through. He says, um, it’s up the hill. So I look way up the hill and way on the upper tree line. Is this old battered, uh, homeless. I’ll go. Okay. So I put the truck into low and we grind up this two lane or two track road that hadn’t been traveled on for a decade or two.

And we reached to the top of this, uh, this old abandoned farmhouse. Well, the windows are all busted out and there’s birds or bats or something flying in and out of it. And it’s getting dark. I mean, it was flat dark, there were stars and there was the full. He says, oh, it’s in the barn. Okay, cool. Well, the barn is kind of leaning over at about 33 angle.

Like this. It looks like it’s going to fall down anytime. Um, this is going to go over by the way. So I’m only halfway done. Um, I’ll just try to talk faster now. So, so we go in into the barn, he pulls the door open. Sounds like the first 15 seconds of tales of the crypt. Right? We go inside this plum dark. I mean, it is flat dark.

Can’t see anything. He pulls a little pen, light. Turns it on and there’s this little light about this long and he starts looking around and all I can see is the, uh, the moon beams coming through the broken boards on this barn. And I’m walking around on this dry desiccated, husks, dead things that I don’t know what are, and it’s really kind of creepy in here.

So he says it’s over here and he points the penlight to the ground. And I look. Wow treasure. It’s an Indian 1940 Indian sidecar body. And if you ever seen an Indian sidecar, it looks like a boat and an amusement ride. I mean, it’s about this long as just beautifully shaped well boat. And along with this is a frame was around tubular frame.

So I’m leaning down at grab the pen light and I’m down on my knees, looking at this thing. And I look and I looked, and then I realized that there’s a nice frame, but somebody has taken the sidecar six foot long thing and cut it in half, right behind the kaolin and sort of crushed the front of it. And I’m going, God damn what maniac would butcher in Indian sidecar.

And then all of a sudden felt this shiver shoot up my back. I’m 15 miles from civilization up a dirt road in an abandoned barn with a Jesus freak. And as is this one of those happy, uh, Godspell Jesus freaks, or one of those Jim Jones, Jesus freaks. So I’m starting to really shake. And then I hear behind me, well, what do you think?

And I jump up, I just scared to death. And he says, well, what do you. You won’t buy it. So all of a sudden, and he thought of mutilations turned to negotiation. I go, whoa, you’re not, it’s kind of cool, but, um, you know, they really screwed up that body of the frame’s good. Um, uh, yeah, it kinda interested, well, he wanted 400 bucks for this, which was a fair amount of money back in 1986.

So. Being an old Arab rug, rug, merchant. I started to negotiate. I said, well, I thought, you know, a low ball it, and then he’ll come down and I’ll go up and he’ll come down. I’ll go up. And eventually we’ll meet in the middle someplace. So I said, you know, I’ll give you 150 bucks for it. Okay. Yes. And I have just scored big.

I’m just so elated. You know, I don’t give a shit about dead things on the ground or cobwebs or any of, to that. So he says, I’ll help you load it. Cool. So we carried all outside, which start driving back to Spearfish and I’m just talking a mile a minute and how wonderful this is and what a great deal and how happy I am.

And I love motorcycles and I’m going to risk. The sidecar and I’m going to have to buy an Indian to put on the side carb that’s. Okay. So he’s happy to just get the money and get out because he realized that he had just cut his own throat, which is probably why he wasn’t very good in the motorcycle business.

So now I am really happy. I mean, driving back to Sturgis, driving down the freeway at 55 miles an hour, black smoke billowing out of the back of the pickup. I’m thinking I’m on a mission from God and nothing can stop me here. I get off the, uh, the freeway ramp. That’s east end, the Sturgis. I’m only half a mile from the campground.

And I’m thinking this is great, man. Then a, uh, meet county Sheriff’s car comes racing down the ramp and slams on his brakes right behind me and I’m oh shit. So I looked both ways. Twice. And I turned on my blinker. I start to turn left and all of a sudden lights go on, you know, it might just ruin my high.

I was like, I mean, after being diagnosed bipolar, I mean, it’s like up and down, up and down, up and down. I’m, I’m not even home yet. So I’m just slumped in the seat and he races by me falls over some other poor SAP, you know?

I am just, you know, I mean, I make the big score here, so I raced back into camp. I want to show all my friends, this fabulous piece of antique motorcycle history that I’ve purchased. So I roll into camp right up to the fire. There’s about 50 people standing around drinking beer and talking and yelling and screaming and loud music and all this stuff parked the truck.

And I’m just getting out when this. Bleach blonde silicone tittle bimbo comes running up, grabs me and throws me out of the, out of the way of the door and reaches in to the truck cab takes her fist and pops the jockey box, lid it flopped, open it up for. Ziploc bag with four fingers of cocaine in it.

Oh shit. And then she grabs it and runs back to the camp, you know? And like all of her friends go with her. I’m starting to hell like a whip puppy, you know? Well, anyway, pigger comes walking over God. Star comes walking over, says, oh, cool paper, nice score here, have a beer. I said, thanks.

I needed that. Well Piger comes walking over. He’s a pretty laid back guy kind of reaches into the cab into the jockey box, pulls out the nickel plated, Colt 45 automatic. Big right. And the numbers have been ground off and he just puts it in his back pocket, kind of walks away going

well. And then Harlan comes over and he goes, I wondered where I left that and he reaches under the seat of the truck, pulls out a grocery sack of marijuana. I’m sitting on the edge of the truck going, oh crap. When Greg comes over, he says, you know, um, you, you tore out a capsule fast that we couldn’t get a hole.

You know, couldn’t. Clean up. Did everything work out? Okay, I’m going. Yeah, I think, I think God’s on my side tonight. So he looked sidecar cool score. And so he says here have another beer. Okay. So after drinking many beers that night, I told the story. And my last words about that story were honest, your honor, I just stole the truck.

I didn’t know what was in it. Well, I figured that my fun ticket had been punched, so I packed all my shit and got out of there that very, very morning that very next morning. And, uh, it was a 16 hour ride back to Montana. Very carefully. Looking in the rear view mirror a lot. And I had time to think, and I realized that I was no longer young.

That was the first day that I had matured. Thank you much. .

Marc Moss: Jim Beyer has been a life-long motorcycle enthusiast since buying his first Harley-Davidson in 1972–which he still has and rides occasionally. Jim attended his first Sturgis Bike Rally in 1977 and rode his bike to Sturgis, South Dakota about a dozen times in the following quarter century. He has not been back since 2003.

I caught up with Jim in August of 2020.


Jim Beyer: [00:00:00] Hey Jim, how’s it going? How are you doing well? How are you? All right.

Marc Moss: Sorry, Ms. Joe, when you call back, I was getting a quick break.

Jim Beyer: Yes, well, it’s possible at this time in the morning. So. Yeah, I’m sorry. I wasn’t here when you called at nine 30. So it’s all good.

Marc Moss: Yep. Maybe you’re on your way to Sturgis.

Jim Beyer: Uh, oh, uh, no, no. I’m going to let the stupid people, um, catch, catch diseases and die, but I hope not to be one of them. Of course.

Marc Moss: I can’t

Jim Beyer: believe it’s happening. Yeah. Well,

Jim Beyer: I’ve known a lot of my, yeah, go ahead. Well, I’ve, I’ve had a lot of my biker friends die from their lifestyle. So, um, [00:01:00] this is not surprising.

Jim Beyer: Yeah. So

Marc Moss: you are one of the most prolific tell us something storytellers we have. Did you know that?

Jim Beyer: I did not. I thought maybe, uh, our Congressman was, but uh, yeah, pat.

Marc Moss: Yeah, I think he’s up there and same with Gonzalez. Yep. But, uh, anyway, I’m honored. Yeah. You told 1, 2, 3 stories, uh, on official. Tell us somethings, and then one story story jam, which I had forgotten about.

Marc Moss: Was there a story that stuck out for you of those?

Jim Beyer: Um, probably the first one. They practice it to the. The hell was it? Oh, it was the spurge adventure.

Marc Moss: Yes. You mentioned from God

Jim Beyer: missing from God. Yeah. [00:02:00] Yeah, because I practiced that for a week. while driving around Montana, I just tell it to myself over and over and over again so that it, , would be, um, shortened and, um, , yeah, near Newark.

Jim Beyer: The perfect. So.

Marc Moss: Um, and that was back in 2012. Rites of passage was the theme. Um, w did any of the players in that story, have they heard it since you told it? You know,

Jim Beyer: the, no, I don’t believe anyone has just, most of them are dead,

Jim Beyer: but anyway, at

Marc Moss: one point, at one point you said, uh, I used to be cool. Now I’m cliche and I guess. The comeback is at least you’re not dead.

Jim Beyer: Yeah. Thank you for that. Yep. So

Marc Moss: here quite the storyteller, how did you come to fall in love with this [00:03:00] art?

Jim Beyer: Uh, well, I come from my story telling family. My father was quite the rock on tour as well.

Jim Beyer: Um, and, uh, he of course had, uh, plenty of adventures in his life to talk about. So, um, So, I guess that’s just sitting around the family table or the, the, um, you know, um, at parties or something. Sure. We would do that. Is there, um,

Marc Moss: before tell us something, had you ever told a story on a stage like that before?

Marc Moss: No.

Jim Beyer: No. Around the campfire? Yeah. But tell us something, tell us something. People were listening more attentively. Probably

Marc Moss: a lot

Jim Beyer: less drunk too. Yeah. Yeah. Less ramblings. Yeah.

Marc Moss: [00:04:00] Have you gone back and listened to it? Uh, since he told it

Jim Beyer: the, the, uh, from God I have not, no, I have not.

Marc Moss: My intention was to go back and listen to all of them before I talked to you.

Marc Moss: But

Jim Beyer: yeah, that’s a big job. Yeah. It’s been

Marc Moss: fun. Is there anything about that story? You said you had a short knit. Um, what are some of the things that you had to cut? Do you

Jim Beyer: remember? Well, I’m a bit of description, I suppose. Um, the preamble to it. Happened to find the guy who had the sidecar. Um, that was a story unto itself.

Jim Beyer: This, I ended up partying with a hell’s angel in a, in a motel room, in a bell foods. And he had a six foot tall bottle of laughing gas that he, uh, liberally, uh, dosed me with. [00:05:00] So, um, so anyway, I managed to escape that, uh, That little event, uh, with my skin. So it was, uh, yeah, it was a full day of, uh, um, adventures, I suppose, not the mention being high on laughing gas and then riding up the, uh, highway 14 to Deadwood in heavy traffic, you know, things like that.

Jim Beyer: So what’d you do when you’re saying. I was going to say that day in the life. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. There’s some Sturgis that I don’t do anymore. So

Marc Moss: yeah. What was the last time you said you were there? It was 2003, I think. Right.

Jim Beyer: Well, no, actually I went back from the 75th, uh, five years ago, but, uh, it was much less advanced or something because we went a week early to avoid the crowds.

Jim Beyer: Um, then we stayed in a [00:06:00] motel room, my friend, Dan and Iceland. Yeah. With the surgeons for an afternoon.

Marc Moss: I was going to say it’s like, sort of going to burning man, uh, two weeks early and avoiding the crowds.

Jim Beyer: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But all the vendors was still there and I could still buy a t-shirt so yeah. To prove to prove that I’ve done it.

Marc Moss: Couldn’t you buy one of those on.

Jim Beyer: Uh, yes, but, uh, you understand, I, I know what you mean. That’s,

Marc Moss: what’s funny. See these people

Jim Beyer: go ahead. If you didn’t go, why buy the shirt? Just say that you went,

Marc Moss: I see these people with their bikes on flatbed trucks, or, you know, in, in you haul trailers and they’re. Never been dropped, not a scratch on them, brand new looking bikes.[00:07:00]

Marc Moss: I know where I know where they’re going. And it’s like, that’s not the point, right? Isn’t the point to go for a ride?

Jim Beyer: Uh, I think so, but some people go just to arrive, not the ride they want to be seen in Sturgis. They, they don’t care how they get. And they want to bring all the comforts. It’s like burning, man.

Jim Beyer: They want to bring all the comforts of home with them. Did not suffer any discomforts.

Marc Moss: How many bikes do you

Jim Beyer: have right now? Well, I think 10, how many of them are on

Jim Beyer: three? Yeah. Uh, three, three of the lights I can get on a ride right now. So have you been riding a lot? Uh, not enough. Um, with my bum leg, I wrote a new, the, uh, [00:08:00] gentleman’s ride build school ride on Sunday that, um, raised money for the, um, murdered and missing indigenous women, uh, because, um, that was promoted by Montgomery distillery.

Jim Beyer: We had about 50 guys or 50 riders, so it’s quite nice.

Marc Moss: How many, how much did you raise? Do you know?

Jim Beyer: I don’t, uh, people were throwing tens and twenties into the hat, so it was pretty good. Yeah.

Marc Moss: I learned to ride just to be able to go for rides with Joyce. And she, you know, that was what her goal was. And she was like, you know, I liked boating. Uh, I’m getting better at it. If you don’t like motorcycle riding, like then don’t do it. You know? And so we decided if she ever wants to go for some long ride and she can’t find [00:09:00] somebody to go with, I’ll just follow her in the car with the big cooler full of food and a tent.

Marc Moss: And she’s yeah, she said that that would work. I mean, I guess part of the fun of riding is talking about the ride after you get to where you’re going.

Jim Beyer: Yeah. There’s a difference between being thrilled and being scared. Um, Terrified. So yeah, if you’re thrilled, that’s great. If you’re terrified, that’s just horrible.

Marc Moss: Yeah. It seems like if you’re with that level of here, you could make more mistakes.

Jim Beyer: Yes.

Jim Beyer: Yeah. It seems the best time to learn to ride a motorcycle was when you’re 20. Yeah, exactly. How many

Marc Moss: times would you say you’ve wrecked your bike?

Jim Beyer: Uh, three, [00:10:00] all of them at less than five miles an hour.

Jim Beyer: Uh, I, uh, let’s see the first time I was on my auntie Carly, um, and this was 40 years ago when the Harley was much less antique and it’s. I had met a woman in the bar. 10 was following her home on a cold November night and went around the corner at the near the library and hit some ice. And the bike slid out from under me and, uh, the crashed and she stopped and says, are you all right?

Jim Beyer: And I looked up at her and say he got some fun. Unfortunately I threw my knee between the gas tank in the ground. And she looks at me like I’m crazy. And then got her got back in her car and drove away. But I had managed to put, yeah, I had managed to protect [00:11:00] my, um, invaluable, uh, gas tank from damage by wrecking my knee.

Jim Beyer: Um, the next time I, my bike quit, this was again some 40 years ago. And so I had, uh, Tom Carney tow it back to my place. Um, And this with his car, unfortunately, I’ve gotten into a wobble. And so I let go of the tow rope and it had wound itself around it. It was wound around my handlebars. So the rope went whipping around once and then whipping around twice and then it caught the front brake cable.

Jim Beyer: And so the front end stopped abruptly and, , I fell over and wrecked my other. And, uh, let’s see. Yeah. The other time was a nother, slow tip over like that.

Jim Beyer: I’ve been [00:12:00] fortunate not to.

Marc Moss: Yeah. Well, tip over. It’s less likely that you’re going to damage yourself badly, unless you tip off her slow and the oncoming traffic doesn’t notice and they run you over.

Jim Beyer: Right. Well, fortunately, um, that has not happened yet, so Nope. And it shan’t, I hope,

Marc Moss: I hope not. Is there anything I’m going to play the same story that you liked, uh, emission from God, for folks? Is there anything about that story that, that we haven’t talked about that you want people to hear?

Jim Beyer: Uh, Hm. Well, it story was obviously not perfect, but. No, I think I got the point across. Um, yeah. And, uh, you seems like a, you get a lot of, um, I [00:13:00] got drunk and did stupid things stories on the stage, but, uh, that’s, that’s, that’s the nature of, uh, of adventures, I suppose. You’re stepped outside of your normal, um,

Jim Beyer: Oh, whatever your, your normal mental or physical condition, then stuff happens and you deal with it. So, yeah,

Marc Moss: we’re at less of those stories. I’m trying to filter those out because they’re really, really good. Um, we’ve all heard them and,

Jim Beyer: you know, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh no. The point, um, that, that. Mission from God’s story.

Jim Beyer: It was a, it was a turning point in my life. You know, one of those boy, I sure could have gotten this kind of gone really south. [00:14:00] It could’ve been really bad, so I better change my behavior. So I think you’d get a lot of those stories.

Marc Moss: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s a good story. Always has some sort of transformation of their character knowing it.

Jim Beyer: Yep.

Marc Moss: And so did you actually make that transformation right away or did it take some time?

Jim Beyer: So, well, it was fairly, fairly immediate, but, um, of course, uh, a life, half a lifetime of behavior is hard. It doesn’t happen overnight unless, you know, unless you hear from God tells you something, definitely. . So

Marc Moss: what’s your day look like?

Jim Beyer: Uh, I am helping a friend move. This is the third woman friend I’ve helped move in the last two weeks.

Jim Beyer: I think it’s becoming that. I want [00:15:00] a break.

Marc Moss: I was going to say, you need to get, get your LLC or

Jim Beyer: something, huh? Yeah. Well, no, I just carry boxes and put them in my pickup. It’s a carrying parts quite, uh, quite so comfortable as it used to be. Yeah, well, anyway,

Marc Moss: let not your truck and let them do the caring.

Jim Beyer: Yeah. Yeah. I just need to find two or three able-bodied young men. What seemed to be hard to find these days? Yeah,

Jim Beyer: alright, well you have a wonderful day of useful work. Social. I hope.

Marc Moss: Yeah. I hope so. Be safe. What’s is your legs. Yep. Yep. Yep. Appreciate you spending the time with me this morning.

Jim Beyer: You bet. I was happy to do so. All right, I’ll talk to you later. Bye.

Marc Moss: Thanks, Jim. And thank *you* for listening today.

Remember to get your tickets for the March 30 live in-person Tell Us Something storytelling event. The theme is “Stone Soup”. Seven storytellers share their true personal story live on stage without notes. Get your tickets at the Top Hat box office or online at

Thanks to Cash for Junkers, who provided the music for the podcast. Find them at

Brian Upton: one thing I’m appreciating about this conversation is that I can also set the record straight because that was, that was definitely kind of traumatic for me. , but really the defining, , Aspect of that trip was getting to meet my wife’s family and the relatives.

On the next Tell Us Something podcast, tune in to listen to Brian Upton’s story “Parting Ways with Henry Miller in Egypt,” he shared his story at a Tell Us Something event in 2015. Stick around after his story to hear his thoughts on it, about separating the art from the artist and about his experience with Tell Us Something.

Thanks to our in-kind sponsors:


Joyce Gibbs: Hi, it’s Joyce from Joyce of tile. If you need tile work done. Give me a shout. I specialize in custom tile installations. Learn more and see some examples of my [email protected].

Gabriel Silverman: Hey, this is Gabe from gecko designs. We’re proud to sponsor. Tell us something. Learn more at gecko design socks. Oh, it

Marc Moss: was a little broadcasting company. Learn [email protected]. Float Missoula. Learn [email protected] podcast production by me, Mark Moss. Remember to get your tickets for the next in-person tell us something storytelling.

I live at the Wilma on March 30th, tickets and more information at log jam, To learn more about tell us something, please visit tell us

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.
In this episode you’ll hear stories about a young man and his nefarious band of misfits smuggling weed across the Canadian border, then, join a young queer couple on a road trip in the south, rent a car in Ireland without the proper insurance and finally, fall in love with a dubious ranch hand in Dillon, Montana.
Stories about a young woman who drops acid with her boyfriend before embarking on a hitchhiking trip to San Francisco, we accompany a mailman on his daily route in Helena, Montana, go for a ride in a new Jeep that has some curious vanity plates and avoid getting paint on our Sunday clothes as we complete a chore before church.
In this week’s podcast a young woman joins a boxing club in Kalispell, MT, tragedy strikes the Lolo Hotshot crew, a man in desperate need of a kidney receives that gift and a young deaf woman navigates the dating scene in her 20s. Tell Us Something is a podcast celebrating the stories of our community. Our podcast today was recorded in front of a live audience on December 11, 2018 at The Wilma in Missoula, MT. 8 storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme “Did That Really Happen?”. Today we hear from four of those storytellers.