By Mary Clearman Blew
In language similar to the wild great thing about monstrous Sky kingdom, Mary Clearman Blew offers us a glimpse into the lives of her relatives as she lines their connection to Montana’s usual and human panorama. starting along with her great-grandparents’ arrival in 1882 in Montana--still a territory then--Blew relates the tales that make up her life.
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Extra info for All but the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family
The leaders were a good lively yoke and thoroughly broke to keep the road but several times a miss step made by one of the string on the narrow grade looked as if we would have a surplus of coyote bait & kindling wood. Is this passage a kind of diary entry on scratch paper? Or does the implied reader ("You have played crack the whip") suggest that Abraham was making notes for a letter or essay? I am particularly struck by what it omits. For a man who took pains in describing moonlight and snow and running Reading Abraharn 25 water, Abraham is curiously terse here.
And where was Abraham's starting point on the envelope in front of me? Where was his ending? Sitting there in the circle of lamplight with the hum of the computer and the glow of its screen, I studied my greatgrandfather's handwriting and saw a word swim up. No, that mark is a caret. He has written between the lines. And his next few words are scribbled over the embossed reverse side of the postmark. I can't make them out. Never mind, push ahead. You can always come back to it. -through clefts in the- No, this is impossible, and the embossed spot is coming up again.
My sister Betty and I, at ages five and eight, sit astride the gray ponies. Although it is a snapshot, it has the look of a posed photograph to enclose in letters to family in the East: This is how we are. My mother has turned toward Betty, who was afraid of her pony, but my father faces the camera, self-aware. He knows he is a cowboy. Other snapshots of my father reveal his self-awareness. Dirt Roads 49 Here is one where he poses his flashy team of sorrel colts at the water tank in a chiaroscuro of heavy shadows and dazzling light, like a poster of the West in black and white.