Archive for September 17th, 2007

GoodTourists

by Rebecca Schmitz

I get to travel around the state as part of my job, and because of that I’m in Bozeman tonight. Earlier this evening, I had dinner at a wonderful restaurant, Ferraro’s Fine Italian on North 7th.* Right next to me sat a table of tourists, two elderly couples well into their 70s. The women wore matching sweater sets and pearls, the men dress slacks and patterned button-down shirts: fly rods, trout, reels. The shirts must have been purchased specifically for roughing it in Montana. Why else would you wear a cliché? My eavesdropping met the volume of their voices halfway, because even though they talked about their homes in Florida, their accents and noisy enthusiasm betrayed an origin farther north. Conversation moved easily from mutual friends back in the Sunshine State to favorite cruise lines, the best selections on the wine list, Connie Francis and Frankie Avalon. I was distracted by my luscious penne ai quattro formaggi, so I missed how and when the topic of conversation turned, but shortly I overheard the men discussing a certain ice cream parlor on 61st that used to be a “front”, time spent in Sicily, and their close friend Lucky Luciano. Whoa. Suddenly, I was sitting next to a whole other type of cliché. The wives moved the discussion away from Mr. Luciano’s legal troubles with the U.S. Government to a movie the couples had recently seen, 3:10 to Yuma. Both men agreed the original, with Glenn Ford, was much better. Why? Because, as the older and louder of the two angrily proclaimed, “They shoot the guns, and you don’t just see the gun fire. No, you see the damage caused by the bullets. You see the blood. The movies these days, they’re so gory!”

*I’m not sure why anyone would bother with Johnny Crapino’s when this restaurant is in their town. Missoula should be so lucky.

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