Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling “yoo hoo”

by Pete Talbot

I’m not sure why folks band together in moments of crisis, an example being the response of everyone: neighbors, strangers, passers-by; coming together to search for avalanche victims in the lower Rattlesnake.

These same folks might call the cops on you if you’re playing your music too loud or parked in the wrong spot, but during times of crisis …

To a lesser extent, watching folks pitch in to dig out stuck cars, and the sidewalks and driveways of elderly friends and neighbors, well, it gives this old cynic a warm feeling (despite the -20 windchill).

It’s one of those times when right-wing tea baggers, left-wing pinkos, rednecks and hippies come together for the common good.

So I won’t evoke class warfare during this blizzard, lizard.  I’ll just say that this weekend Montanans, particularly Missoulians, have made me proud.


  1. I’ve got a cousin in Helena that loves days like these.

    “See,” he’ll say, pointing out the window, “there ain’t no global warming!”

    On another note, I almost froze off my fingers last night helping my neighbor push his car out of his parking spot. Lot of that going on, I’m sure.

  2. lizard19

    I’ll pass along word to Bob Brigham, who is somehow making the response to the skiers a political thing:

    Looks like 2 needlessly died @MontanaSnowbowl after FUBAR S&R deployment by Missoula Co.

    #MTnews #SkiMT #MTpol

    • JC

      Brigham — what an idiot. No one died at Snowbowl. The skiers have been rescued. Why would anybody want to dump on S&R in the middle of crises?

      And for the avalanche, a good buddy of mine lives right there a few houses away and was one of the first people on the scene, and he dug the 8 year-old boy out an hour later. I have to say that 5 years ago he was homeless, then in jail for meth, did treatment and has been clean and running his own business since. Who says people can’t redeem themselves? He’s one of my heroes.

      And another buddy from up here on the rez is a WFR (woofer, wilderness first responder), and a radical enviro, and he made the long trek to Missoula and helped to pull out Fred Allendorf.

      Me? I’ve still got a half mile of 3-5 foot drifts across the lane, waiting for county plows to work their way here to open up the roads (ain’t govt. wunnerful?). The neighbor’s one ton 4×4 with chains and a blade couldn’t get through it. Heavy slabs. A buddy up 9 Mile busted his Kubota tractor trying to plow out 4 miles of road. And more on the way…

  3. online website set up to help one of the avalanche families…. Missoula is rising to the occasion admirably…. https://www.fundraise.com/phoenix-avalanche-fund/phoenix-avalanche-fund

  4. d.g.

    B.S.! Bucolic B.S.! Ward 1 is represented (ostensibly) by the erstwhile Jason Wiener (Chairman of the Committee to End Homelessness in Ten Years.) Have you followed Jason’s advocacy re: out-lesbian Caitlyn Copple’s anti-homeless ordinance? Jason took an ersatz stand NOT FOR THE HOMELESS, but on behalf of the ACLU. Classic Jason: He gets all of the credit for none of the humanitarian advocacy. So yea, Peter, neighbors grabbed shovels. Now grab the microphone for 3 measly minutes at the next Missoula City Council Meeting and let the ragged-Miss-Haversham cape of your New Party legacy finally be replaced by something contemporary and compelling. (We can all read “Our Town” in our quiet moments. Barring that, we’ve got the wealthy and wooly Garrison Keillor to bore us to progressive tears.

    • petetalbot

      Brain worms kicking in again, d.g.?

      By the way, J.C., nice story about your buddy digging the kid out of the snow.

      And the S&R/Brigham comment: I’m thinking the blame falls on the boneheads (from Maine, no less) who chose to ski out of bounds in one of the biggest blizzards of the decade.

      Finally, no offense meant, liz, in the “class war” comment I made at the end of my post but as a poet, you must appreciate my poor attempt at alliteration in lizard/blizzard.

      • lizard19

        the only offense is that it takes things like a blizzard to get people to work better together.




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