Denver ramblings
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 6 years ago
I had an attack of melancholy, today. It oddly took me on a circuitous route back to Miles City.

The beginning started innocently enough. I was listening to jazz, this morning which started me thinking of Chet Baker. While reading his tragic biography, I began to miss my friend Jeff LeMay. I remember how goddamned mad I was at his passing and the path he took to his tragic end. I thought about how much I enjoyed his company, his music and how powerless I was to derail his destructive journey to the grave.

While reading Chet's bio, I was listening to Coltrane which made me remember the delightful time I spent with Eric Thomas. My melancholy turned to the gift Eric's mother, Johnnie Lockett Thomas, gave this cowtown called Miles City. Her gift of sophistication, beauty, grace and honesty. Her very presence was a trial for some of the locals but Johnnie's intelligence and tenacity would remain steadfast. I had the singular experience of meeting her family. First, when Eric arrived with a bunch of north eastern Jazz musicians. They were a breath of fresh air when they played world class jazz at Miles City Books and News and at the annual fund raiser for the Water Plant Art and Heritage Center.

Joe Whalen, the heart of Miles City, suffered arrhythmia when Miles City Books and News closed.

"Miles City Books and News" was never destined to be a fortune 500 business but I can close my eyes and remember a moment in time. A moment when a salon raised questions and discussed solutions, A moment when local musicians, writers, artists and poets had a place to express themselves. A moment when a long forgotten Independence Day parade was resurrected. A moment when a change in local politics seemed possible.

Great Grains has sold, Kafe Utza is gone. Elsie Fox, I miss you, comrade. Johnnie, I never did did get to photograph your beautiful hands. Jeff is still dead. I am still pissed and every time I play "Cakewalk into Town" with my new people it's just not the same but then again, what is? BTW, I still can't tolerate the banjo and I won't apologize for that, even if Rick Strohmeyer was still alive.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14950) 6 years ago
Does this help?

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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 6 years ago
Thanks for the pics, Dave. I painted Great Grains and designed, built and installed the overhang. When I built the overhang, it blocked the afternoon sun. I failed to take into account, the fact that the earth is not stationary. Had the earth been flat, it may have worked. Many great memories of special people and places during my fifteen year visit. It was a great stop along the road.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9919) 6 years ago
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 6 years ago
Those days when I had the Preservation Office next door to the Joe's book store were great ones. I had such high hopes and so many people to consult. I love my mew job but I miss the glory days at the old one.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17321) 6 years ago
My prescription is to listen to less jazz, and more Led Zeppelin.
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Posted by jennybarth (+14) 6 years ago
Thank you Tucker, for a wonderful dose of bittersweet this morning. It pairs perfectly with my cup of joe.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17321) 6 years ago
Broncos suck. Peyton is old.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 6 years ago
Yup!

Five Head has seen better days...

Cut that meat!
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14950) 6 years ago
Broncos need to start over. Manning needs to retire and give Oswieler a chance. Assuming that the offensive and defensive coordinators are gone to other teams, they should consider firing Fox and go get Gary Kubiak who can bring back  the mile high magic. The worst part of this loss is that I can't even be proud of the effort. 

[Edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (1/11/2015 7:42:47 PM)]
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+797) 6 years ago
Bittersweet the word I choose to describe the melancholia I feel after reading Tucker's post. The book store gave Miles City people a place to find to voice their thoughts and feelings. How Elsie loved the bookstore and Café Uza. Kara always saved a piece of Chocolate cake for Elsie.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+797) 6 years ago
I feel for Peyton Manning. Papa John will drop him from his pizza commercials like a hot potato.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 6 years ago
Broncos???? Really? You all have Attention Deficit Disorder. Take your Ritalin and search for a sports post.

Although,.....(pause).... I suppose the Orange and Blue are history, for this year. It is true for Mr Fox. Typical of Denver sports, Four years and all he did was two playoffs and one Super Bowl. Hit the road John.

EAGLES wrote the perfect song for Bronco fans.

"Get Over It"

I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"
They point their crooked little fingers ar everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
You don't want to work, you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it
Get over it
If you don't want to play, then you might as well split
Get over it, Get over it

It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak
You're makin' the most of your losin' streak
Some call it sick, but I call it weak

You drag it around like a ball and chain
You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
Complain about the present and blame it on the past
I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass

Get over it
Get over it
All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

Get over it
Get over it
It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit
Get over it, get over it
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14950) 6 years ago
I heard today they learned what web brower John Elways uses...


You guessed it... Firefox.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+797) 6 years ago
The Title of this post "Denver Ramblings" more or less invited Ramblings which may stray from the Authurs's intent. It was a good post and brought back memories of what once was. . But when you post from Denver Attention Deficit may be related to another substance that may cause distraction.
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Posted by PCertain (+27) 6 years ago
Great post, Tucker.
It amazes me how only 6 years after moving from Miles City some memories could fade so quickly and completely, while others are clear as can be. Great Grains, Cafe Utza, and Miles City Books and News will forever be remembered as bastions of free thought and honest expression. My experiences and interactions at these three spots were more formative than you know.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 6 years ago
Patrick, it is people like you that keep me young and give me hope.
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Posted by Lee Akers (+259) 6 years ago
Jim, I miss your smiling face. Sorry you had to move, but "Daisy, I'm a loner. And loners just got to be alone." I do know what you mean about Jazz, though. I can never hear Coltraine without thinking about Long Beach. But, what is........ If you ever get back this way give me a call, and we'll have a cup.
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Posted by Ken Minow (+375) 6 years ago
I played many a gig with Jeff Lemay.We had a set list that we loosely followed,depending upon the crowd and the crowd's reaction.Numerous times I remember almost in a panic when nothing we played seemed to get'um dancin'.I'd look over at 'ol Jeffer and he would pick the next song.The rest of the band might of had to learn as he went because we had never rehearsed the song he picked,but it never failed to get the people out on the dancefloor.Jeff had one original"And that's what the waltz is for" that was a beautiful song.Lead,bass,banjo,"one string johnson".....played them all.
Jeff Lemay......picker,singer,fisherman.....and a damn good friend.
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