“Eat Our Words - Leaving Home”
This episode of the podcast was recorded in front of a live audience on July 8, 2010 at The PEAS Farm in Missoula, MT at an event that predates Tell Us Something. Missoula residents Jeremy N. Smith and Josh Slotnick hosted the event, which they called “Eat our Words”. 5 storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme “Leaving Home”.
Jeremy Smith recently reached out to me because one of those storytellers recently passed away.
John Engen has graced the Tell Us Something stage twice, and Jeremy suggested that it would be a nice way to honor him to share this story too. John recounts all of the addresses he called home during his time in Missoula and what he learned at each place.
John Engen was born October 27, 1964 in Missoula, MT. During his 57 years on this planet, John touched the lives of many people as a journalist, friend, businessman, Mayor, and all-around great human. He died August 15, 2022 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Thank you to Jeremy N. Smith and Josh Slotnick for providing the audio for this episode of the Tell Us Something podcast. Thanks too, John, wherever you are now.
I remember this “Eat our Words” event as the first time that I experienced true personal storytelling live in-person as a performance. The evening was special, held outdoors at Missoula’s beautiful PEAS Farm on a warm July evening among an intimate crowd sitting on haybales and engaging with each other as community. I am grateful to Jeremy and Josh for the opportunity to share this story from Eat Our Words.
Transcript : Eat Our Words - Leaving Home
Marc Moss: Welcome to the Tell Something podcast. I’m Mark Moss. This episode of the podcast was recorded in front of a live audience on July 8th, 2010 at the Peace Farm in Missoula, Montana, at an event that predates Tell something. Missoula residents, Jeremy N. Smith and Josh Slotnik hosted the event, which they called Eat Our Words.
Five Storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme. Leaving home Jeremy Smith recently reached out to me because one of those storytellers recently passed away. John Ein has graced the tele something stage twice, and Jeremy suggested that it would be a nice way to honor him to share this story too.
Eat Our Words was sponsored by Garden City Harvest. Garden City. Harvest plants seeds and grows together to create a healthy Missoula. On their over 20 neighborhood farms, schools, gardens, and community gardens. Learn [email protected] Remember to get your tickets for the next Tell us something storytelling event.
The theme is it’s the little things tickets and more information are [email protected]
John Engen: Thank you very much Jeremy. So. Caroline pretty much took my story,
So now I have to come up with something else. And then I didn’t really understand the directions. My thing, it was an email thing. It said 30 seconds Haiku for
So I feel kind of stupid right now. , I am 45 years. And if I understand the currents in the gene pool correctly, that puts me at middle age . My dad is 88, my mom is younger than that. And if I say that in a microphone where it can be recorded, I will be in trouble.
I’ve lived. At 7 34 South Second West, 7 75 Monroe Street, the Alpha East
nine 10 Stevens Avenue, seven 13 Kern 40 50 Field Zone cross. And tonight for the first time, I’m going to sleep at 40 18 Lincoln Road. That’s 45 years. I’ve learned something at each one of those places. 7 34 South. Second, I grew up with a brother who’s eight years older than I am, Norwegian parents and a Norwegian grand.
And I learned there that if you have a problem with somebody, make sure you never tell them about it.
you tell someone who has absolutely no ability to fix that problem for you, , and you tell ’em until they won’t listen anymore.
And eventually the problem goes away,
I also learned that you take care of each other, and so when your mother is in a nursing home in North Dakota and none of the other brothers and sisters have it in them to do anything about it, you go. You bring her home, you put her in the spare bedroom and you make it work somehow. You make it work.
7 75 Monroe. I lived with Eddie Burn, ed and I were in high school together. Hellgate High School Best eight years of my life.
Many of you have heard that line before, but I use it again and I will again and again.
Ed had just returned from serving in the United States Army. The army was not at war at that time, so Ed learned a lot of things about jumping out of airplanes. He had a shocking number. Really dirty rhymes,
and apparently his extensive training in the United States Army did not train him for the circumstance in which after a party wherein you serve something he called sangria, which is a product of a lot of wine, a cooler, and oranges . That the proper way of disposing of said oranges is not to flush them down the toilet in the downstairs bathroom at 7 75 Monroe because it does not help your deposit
I learned a lesson there as well. . I then lived at nine 10 Stevens where I learned. The smell of cat urine is very difficult to remove from carpets and basements.
I had never had a cat before. This was not my cat causing this problem at nine 10. It was the person who lived there before and his or her cat
It made it difficult to have people over, especially for dinner,
so I fell in love and started spending a lot of time at seven 13 Kern, and it wasn’t all about the cat odor in my house. Lovely woman. Next week we’ll have been married 21. Well, the applause for her. Believe me.
At seven 13 Kern, I learned what it’s like to live with a woman who is not your mother or your grandmother. It is much different, . The expectations are much different, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to. And somewhere along the line we made it work. Then we went to 40 50 Fieldstone Crossing, which for us was a brand new home and felt very grown up when I was 28 years old and it was there.
I learned how to fix stuff cuz I had to ignore other stuff cuz I. Fix it later because I got caught ignoring it.
and learned how to take time to look at some mountains, read a book, watch a dog,
listen to our own cat, make really odd cat noises,
and it was there. I learned to settle in a. Now we’re moving into a house that happens on one floor, and some of that could be about my knees, but I prefer to think that it’s about those parents. I learned from back at 7 34 and the fact that every once in a while I’d like to be able to have my old man up for dinner.
And have him be able to go to the bathroom. It starts to be simple stuff at some point in your world. So I’ve lived all those places. Last month I moved my parents out of 7 34, saw Second West where they’d been for nearly 45 years. They left home, they moved into a place called the Clark Fork Riverside.
They have a million dollar. Of our city from the ninth floor on the south side, and I think they’re settling in. But the other day my old man said to me, when are we going home?
I said, mom’s here, pop. You’re home.
And tonight I’m gonna lay my head on a king size. Okay. At 40 18 Lincoln Road and see what that’s about. See what I learned there. And that’s sort of the, the micro version of leaving home. But the fact of the matter is, there’s another macro version of all this, and it’s a really short story. I’m 45 years old.
I was born in Misso. And I have never left home, and I’m pretty happy about it. Thanks.
Marc Moss: John Ingen was born October 27th, 1964 in Missoula, Montana. During his 57 years on this planet, John touched the lives of many people as a journalist. Friend, businessman, mayor, and all around great human. He died August 15th, 2022, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
To hear more stories from John, visit tell us something. Dot org. Thank you to Jeremy N. Smith and Josh Slotnik for providing the audio for this episode of the Tele Something podcast. I remember this, our words event as the first time that I experienced true personal storytelling live in person as a performance.
The evening was special held outdoors at Missoula’s beautiful peace farm on a warm July evening among an intimate crowd sitting on hay bas and engaging with each other as community. I am grateful to Jeremy and Josh for the opportunity to share this story from Eat Our. Next week on the podcast, I sit down with Rick White author and tell us something storyteller to catch up about what he’s been up to since sharing his story.
And tell us something
Rick White: just way back there in the heart of the subway Bitter National Forest. So yeah, we were at the end of the road and. Um, off grid for, for three weeks, and it looked like me scribbling furiously in a, on a yellow legal pad and then transcribing onto a, uh, a hundred dollars typewriter that I sent at the anti Kamal beforehand.
So that I could translate it into print.
Marc Moss: Tune in for that wherever you get your podcasts or stream at. Tell us something. Dot org podcast production by me, Mark Moss. Remember to get your tickets for the next Tell us Something storytelling event. The theme is, It’s the little things tickets and more information are [email protected] to learn more about, tell us something.
Please visit, tell us something.org.