Norman Rockwell, My Irish Lookin' Rocker, Affection for the Irish . . . Especially, Red-Heads!
I, while being a visitor to Butte, for a few weeks, have an affinity for the Irish, because my last child, Elliot, is a red-head, and as wild as any Irish miner, being the bass guitarist for (Old School) Parallax, God's Revolver--Rock Band of 2008, and Maraloka, and he has a new band in the working. Check out the wild antics of my youngest son. The whole time I was pregnant with Elliot, I had a picture of Norman Rockwell, in my mind, the one with the little red-haired boy, overalls, holding a frog in one hand and a yo yo in the next, looking as mischievous, with that little grin and freckles.
The day, he was born, I could see the little peach fuzz on the top of his head, and knew, God had granted me my wish. I read of Esau in the Bible, he was red and hairy . . . that is Elliot, and he is even forgiving of his brother, Jacob for stealing his birthright, greeting him with open arms, and refusing payment for land, giving him anything he wants. It took Elliot, 21 years to get mad enough at his big brother, who tortured him, as big brothers do, and finally at the urging of his friend, blasted big bro in the lip and gave him a fat lip. He is, however, making up, for those years of oppression under his brother's control, and when on a nationwide tour, with God's Revolver, he finally took his drummer's drums, and smashed it over his head. Big time talent, Elliot called the laziest band in America!
Elliot is also a kick ass artist, taking after his grandfather who used to design covers for the old Ma Bell, who had a monopoly on the telephone industry, until deregulation came. But in 7th grade, or there about, Elliot, drew a wicked looking Leprechaun for St. Patrick's Day, so cool, really showed, almost the faces of the paintings of the miners, around these parts. Even the guy, in the Montana Standard, reminding people to be safe, in this weather, had a bad ass look! Maybe I can get my whiskey slamming son, to come up, and I would love to have him play at the Butte Folk Fest, the bus driver, told me, he and the other buses, shuttled, 68,000 riders, over the three day festival, back and forth to the concert venues!
Ghosts of Miners Past, Present & Future . . . Entertainment is Free!
On Christmas Day, one of the staff, or kitchen help, went into the food pantry, that was next to me, making me move my chair. After the staff came out, but not locking the door, with the pad lock as usual, I moved my chair back in front of the closed, or I thought, closed door. All of the sudden the door, kind of opened, as if, someone was trying to get out, but decided, they needed something else . . . I figured that there must have been two guys go in, rather than the one that just came out. A few minutes later, the door opened, rather significantly, again, making me wonder, if I was blocking someone from coming out of the door, so, I waited, and nothing happened, the door returned to the shut position. Then I thought I heard someone in there, and finally, decided to end the mystery, and just open the door, to see who was playing games with me. I opened the door, and yelled, who is in hear, do you need to get out? Nothing . . .
I turned to my table mates, and said, you have a ghost here in the Butte Rescue Mission! Back when my little rocker was a baby in the early 80's, we had a ghost in our home, and so did several other of our friends who lived in the downtown, Ogden, Utah area. The Ogden Standard Examiner, around Halloween, I think, contacted several of us, and asked to interview us on the specters in our homes, and have us tell our stories. Now, I don't think it helped that I read the Amityville Horror, book, the night before I moved in to this house, that was about 60 years old, when we bought it. But, others in my family, without me saying much, soon had tales of their own, to substantiate the night terrors I was feeling.
That same day at the rescue mission, when I mentioned the ghost, several people, that I consider, stable, well thought and spoken individuals, who lost their homes and ranches, during the 2008, housing and mortgage crisis, where the banks got bailed out for stealing our houses, collecting mortgage insurance, fees, fines, and got the TARP money to boot, told of there experiences with the ghost. My roommate, said, she wakes up in the night, with the female ghost standing over her head . . . I am just feet away, across the room, I told her not to wake me. Another guy, Steve a vet, of standing and note, just passing through Butte, said he has seen a male ghost on several occasions. My old Marine, English Professor, Dr. Grove, when I had ghosts, and actually wrote an English research paper on the reality of spirits, with unresolved business, in this world can't pass to the other side, until this issue is resolved. His son was studying to be a parapsychologist, and work solving murders, for the cops. He told me that my 60 year old house was the perfect age, former residents, not long gone, could still be lingering in the halls of my house.
EVERYONE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO THE RESIDENTS, WAS POSSESSED WITH THE RAUCOUS, ROWDY, RIOTOUS SPIRITS OF THE OLD MINERS!
I got to the Butte Rescue Mission, December 23, 2014, after a quick trip from Kalispell to Las Vegas, gone bad, planning on at least a 6 month stay, and landed, on purpose in Butte, having wanted to check out the history, for a long time, and now seemed to be the time. Everyone was on their best behavior, trying to make things nice for the holidays, for those who were away from family, friends, and loved ones, and the Mission, did a great job, with the help of the Whitehall Church, who prepared a great dinner, brought a guitar, singers, and printed copies of Christmas Carols, for all to join in, then a great Christmas message, dinner and presents, love the new socks! But, there was one guy, in particular on Christmas Day who pitched in and really took Christmas serious, cleaned the floors, the tables, put Christmas table cloths on, changed into a red dress shirt, and a shiny green tie, and brought in a stack of Christmas videos for all of us to enjoy over the next few days.
This guys face, is rough and tough, and he looks, almost exactly like the face, on the tire store, or the one I mentioned, before you get to McDonald's, with a snowman, a bull dog, a miner, and Santa Claus. He is also the one, who, when I asked about when church was, told me about two possible churches that I could attend on Sunday, the ones he attended! Okay, so everything was all calm and cool, Christmas Day, love, peace, and all is well with the world, even the next day, was great. But that ghost of a miner passed, who most likely was a patron of the Pissers Palace, a bar up in Walkerville, or might have been one of the faces on the Covellite theater, with the happy face and the sad face, or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, possessed, not just this happy Christmas Elf, but took over the whole damn place!
TIMELINE FOR THE AFTER CHRISTMAS MELT-DOWN
Butte, has a history, like none other, when it comes to explosive growth, boom towns, and crash . . . we kind of experienced that in a three day period at the Mission, that was not, necessarily bad to me, but really the best reality TV you can get! LOL! I want to understand the mentality, the direct DNA, that created the Gilded Age in, not only Butte, but in America. Like I said, I love colorful people, the men, especially, are a phenomena to me, having come from, vanilla, Mormon, Utah, where the men are domesticated, most of them, tame, docile, and just plain sneaky, back stabbers . . . I am a straight shooter, and I dig men that are too, not to mention, old fashioned men, who will stand up for a woman's honor! So, there was nothing offensive, in what I am about to point out; it may have been different had there been violence, but there were checks and balances going on all over the room, in the dining hall. And by the way, I feel, staying at the BRU, that I am coming about as close as I can get to actually, experiencing, the old boarding houses, that had to keep the reins, in on a testosterone, teeming town of rough riders! LOL!
I don't know, if you have read, Mark Twain's, Rough Riders, stories of his own travels, out west, with one of the funniest pictures I have ever seen, with Mormon Prophet, Brigham Young, in a cartoon, in the middle of a big ass bed, with all 27 of his wives! LOL! I think that may be the only picture in the book, but worth checking out! I do believe that I read, in the book, Lost Butte, by Richard Gibons, that Mark Twain, actually stopped in Butte, or maybe, that was earlier, Brigham Young and the alleged, saints, landed in the Sal Lake Valley, July 24, 1847, and I don't think the Copper Kings, got the ball rolling in Butte, until around 1860, but maybe, time frame is not that far off? Anyway, rough riders, would be a very accurate description for some of the boys and girls, who are frequenting the rescue mission, in fact, the other night, when it was -28 below, three, crazy youngsters, a little too hopped up on alcohol, a big no, no, were sent away, and slept out in their friend's backyard! I am talking tough! The same frozen who scoffed at the minimum wage in Montana being raised to $8.05, with an increase of $6, or what they called a hamburger with cheese on it, that is the difference!
EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD FIGHT . . . PLAY BY PLAY!
So, our good Christmas Elf, from two days before, is just bitching and moaning about everything. Someone, an older female in the room, tries to quiet him down a bit, so the rest of us, can enjoy the general peace of the night. He doesn't stop, and just continues to grade on people's nerves, who are a bit fried, from the joy and the stress of the season anyway. He is grumbling under his breath. So finally, an very respected, and leader in the mission, older Indian chick, has had enough, and gets up and slams her hands down on the table near, the grumpy elf of Snow White's seven dwarfs, and said, that is enough! Mr. Tough guy, sleep out in the cold, stood up and very calmly told the CE, he should not talk to women that way . . . several people who know him, told him, it is okay, just back off. CE, continues, and under his breath, I think, called the woman, or another one who also, stepped in to cool the tempers that were just brewing under the surface, and referred to one of them, as a bitch, I think. Another guy from across the room, who I thought was a bit of a wimp, due to seeing him show up in pajama bottoms, and kissing his wife's ass, while she was chasing him away, got, slowly into the mix, and said, I have heard enough . . . that didn't seem to dissuade CE.
Faster than you could say, Jack Flash, his guy was up on the tables, across two of them, and had CE, down on the floor, on his knees, with his fist cocked, ready to blast him in the face. And, the guy's wife, thankfully, to the rest of us, who were still in shock and couldn't move, rushed over and grabbed her husband's arm and begged him to stop. And, luckily, he did! There was no blood shed, but all of us, were a bit taken back by the speed, the agility, the defense of a woman's honor, and setting this guy straight that there are men in this room, who are just not going to tolerate his belligerent bull shit! The rest of the night was quit calm.
SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S GOT! WINK, SMILE
The next day, I was sitting by my Irish, roommate, who is introducing me to Butte, the Irish temperament, history of the town, and other insights, for this new comer, and she turns to me, and smiled a sly smile, and said, when we were discussing the incident from the night before, I thought it was sexy . . . so did I, I confessed. I told her I was shocked, that this was the guy who light footed across two tables, so fast, because I saw him with his wife the day before, and he didn't strike me as strong at all. She said, oh, that is the way the Irish men are, they are putty with their wives! I told her I was glad that his wife came and stopped him, because, I think she was the only one he would have listened to. Again, she smile and said, She knows what she's got . . . and my friend's husband is just the same, several days later, and four foot, Irishman, an old vet, dropped into the mission, and drove everyone crazy for a few days, until we could ship him off to Billings . . . good luck! But, my friend, used to working around miners, and the Irish, at the M & M bar, had to break up fights, about four a night, she used to carry a baseball bat, with razors cut in it, and she would tell the boys to take the fight outside, or she was going to us her bat with razors on them . . . they all took it outside! LOL!
But, my friend, decided, that she could handle mini-mouse, with about 10 guys in the mission, ready to kill him the first they laid eyes on him, obnoxious as he was, but as time wore on, and her nerves, plus her husband's nerves, started to get fried, she made some remark, I called them the M & J, comedy team, because all I could do was laugh at everything the two said to each other . . . but he finally crossed the line, and called her a whore, and hubby jumped up so fast, right next to me, and his nostrils flaring like a bull, until, I grabbed his arm, and he thought for a second, that jail was not where he wanted to be, but, mini-mouse apologized, and all was pretty calm, at least for awhile, but we all knew he was a short timer! Hubby, used to be a semi-famous jokey, was just one race short of going to the Kentucky Derby! He is a bad ass also, but he is 65, and it is nice to know, that even the fighting Irish grow older and mature! LOL!
Oh, yeah, this is about as close as I am going to get, to a re-enactment of the old mining camps, the mess halls, the tempers, the valor, the honor . . . and glad to get this experience; I could not get it in any other way! This is up close and personal! A whole different world than this little pencil pusher, back generations, is used to. Thanks, I couldn't be having more fun! And things are looking up, around the mission, a very handsome, rough and rowdy, dropped in the other night, fun, fun, fun . . . LOL! Brains against brawl, we will see who wins! Both of us, I hope! If you know what I mean . . .
Spending the Super Fund . . . How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite or One Bottle at a Time!
I had this great idea, since the town fathers and mothers are asking for people in the Butte and Anaconda area to help spend the EPA super fund, clean up money, so it makes the most difference, and just thought, I might, if I can, as an outsider, and new to the area, but not new to the issues, of what the Anaconda Mining Company did to Butte, and surrounding areas, when the company just up and closed a company town. So, you remember, back in the Reagan era, when it was another recession, only I think worse than the last one, we just were not as connected, with other countries, back in the day, when me and my husband were trying to purchase our first home in Ogden, Utah, the haunted one, and we had to buy it on contract, because to finance the purchase through the bank, would have been a 22 percent interest rate, back in the late 70's, early 80's. But, I remember someone, selling Pet Rocks, and becoming an overnight millionaire, on such a stupid idea. This is kind of along those lines, but not that stupid, I don't do stupid well.
Okay, so you have this big ass toxic pit full of contaminated water. You can't drain it, ship it, or dispose of it, without fucking up, the other water supplies in the area; therefore, why not, just bottle it, and sell the water, one bottle at a time. Now, being a lawyer, I know, you are screaming, LIABILITY, for selling toxic waste water. But, everyone of us, have toxic materials, under our kitchen sinks, right now. You come up with a clever, label, maybe, capitalize on the Canadian Snow Geese, that landed in the fog, on the Berkeley Pit, and merge that with the ever popular, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who were created and morphed, due to being spawned, if I remember from when my boys, loved the Turtles, thirty years ago, and have a local artist draw a amped up muscular, toxic born snow goose! As your attorney, put a huge label on the back, with the sign of poison, the old skull and cross bones, indicating warning and danger, so parents, store the novelty item high, in a prominent place, as a gag gift, from the largest super fund clean up in the history of America . . . somewhere around, $400 million, nobody said, you can't make money while you are cleaning up the environment, and you can market Butte, what a better reminder of the safety measures all companies need to take, before polluting the environment, and it would make a great conversation piece!
A MOVIE OF CLARK & DALY, COPPER KING CORRUPTION . . . LESSONS FOR MODERN DAY, KOCH AND DARK MONEY!
Everyone, at least in Montana, hates the United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, what happened back in the day, is just as relevant now, as dark money campaign contributions and campaign money laundering schemes, of the modern day Copper Kings, or the Koch brothers, who have at least 40 plus, organizations, who they are laundering money through, to vetted and selected elections, and too many times, they don't know that these groups stand for, nor do they take responsibility for what legislation they are proposing, and what other wing nut and asinine shit, they are trying to either promote, or what rights they are trying to take away!
MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, as bad as smart chick, was called under fire by the Koch brother attorneys, and the station was threatened with a lawsuit, the station, just scoffed at, you want corporate, free speech, that cuts both ways, boys, with the money. But, Rachel's researchers, got an overview, or big picture of the complicated mess, of organizations, that were really not considering themselves, PACs or Political Action Committees, but squirrelled their way, as something different, when in reality, that is exactly what they were, but they were under cover, or doing covert stuff, pushing dumb ass candidates, and bull shit issues. When called on the carpet for it, the poor Koch brother, billionaires, wanted to distance themselves from the organizations they were funding, saying they were unaware of their acts, of treason and sedition, to use the terms the striking miners in Butte were charged and prosecuted with!
Congress and other state legislatures, are trying desperately to clean up and minimize the damage of the Citizens United ruling, making corporations people, entitled to free speech, doing away with the idea of "one person, one vote" of earlier rulings! We may not be able to entirely stop dark money from coming into the state campaigns, but we can expose them! A simpler time, back in the day, may make the point, and help other states, elected officials, legislatures, stop the flow of dark money, into campaigns. Just the other day, there was an article, that came in defense of the Koch brothers, and said, that in the groups that have to reports . . . . distinguish that from those organizations who don't have to report, the devil's is in the details, and you will see that more money through PACs came from Democrats, or better said, the Democrats played by the rules, reported, were called what they were, and reported, not so for those the Koch brothers are funding and harboring, if you will!
Sons of Liberty, Wasteland, Braggin-on-Butte, New HGTV Mini-Series
Last year, about 10,000 new residents moved to Montana! I was there the summer, they got their millionth person . . . this place is wide open, and all it is cracked up to be, in the new mini-series, about buying and selling high end homes in Montana, I think airing the first of the series on New Years Day, the last statement made by a couple from Utah, transplanting to Montana, is this place is different. I would say, that the locals, love it so much, that they really don't want other people here . . . go home, Montana is closed, are the types of bumper stickers, you will see around these parts, but along with new comers, comes growth, prosperity, diversity, new opportunities, and hopefully, change in a good way, and homogenization, if you will. As a Constitutional Law Attorney, I am so grateful, that Montana stayed off the map or radar screen, so to say, because, they are so much more pure, and closer to the basics, of rights, liberty, freedom, and they value it very much, and it needs to stay that way, and be a shining beacon on the light of America, and the world!
I hope I don't get run out of the state for that last statement, but, this place is different, untainted, by the fucking Patriot Act, and maybe that is because of so many military and veterans, either first or second in the country for per capita per population . . . not a bad statistic to have. Just this morning, I was talking to an old Vet, and he said, we have guns, and we have a higher percentage of patriotic people here, the Patriot Act can't survive. He also said he was not afraid to use his name, Guy, don't know the last, but he is associated with the Butte Rescue Mission, and a smart guy, fun to talk to! And that leads me to my next thought, and I hope this announcement is not to late, but there is a new TV series, called Sons of Liberty, about Paul Revere and other revolutionaries, who were a group of rag-tag patriots, who were brave enough to take on the British Empire, with all its power, resources, and world properties . . . and to rub it in, this band of rough riders, might be considered, SONS OF ANARCHY! Nothing short of a miracle, and something that every American school child, parent, and citizen should know, the history of this great country!
Back to the Pit, Wasteland, is I believe, that last issue, December of 2014, in the National Geographic, and it is covering the super funds, some of the EPA hot spots, and Butte is one of them, and actually has a positive slant, as the article in the Montana Standard, in their new bi-monthly series, BRAGGIN-ON-BUTTE, with a professor at the Montana School of Mining and Minerals, I think it is called, stated. So for all you guys and gals, who are fascinated with old school Butte, and want to come find your pot of gold at the end of an Irish rainbow, O ye, Lads and Lassies, stay tuned to a guy who really knows what he is talking about! You could pull the newspaper online, and check in the last week, or just watch for the title to appear, flag is as a site to watch. I think that about covers it.
Movie Stars of Note, Who Have Literally Left Their Seed, Floating Around Butte!
Before I forget, I just wanted to mention, that Charlie Chaplin, loved Butte, and loved the Butte women, and allegedly, left many of his children, or pregnant women, after each visit. My friend saw this in a documentary on Charlie. But he came here often, and I believe was run out on a rail, by the dads of the guys, who hang at the rescue mission! LOL! Defending the honor, or the ladies around these parts. Like I said in an earlier blog post, Butte was the cultural center, and just as important, back in the day, as New York and San Francisco to the rising stars of Hollywood, comics, and other entertainment in the times. Clark Gable, said that Butte was his favorite town to visit, and he visited it often. Lucile Ball was a comic who performed in the Greater Silver-Bow Area, among others. Also of note, Thomas Edison, father of electricity, or the electric lights, introduced lighted street lamps to Butte, second in the nation, to New York! Also, Iron Mountain Post Company, may not be the right name, but some company, filled the bill, when, streets, from Front Street, down, I think, had to have horse hitching posts outside all the businesses, and some of those hitching posts were cooler than hell, with horse's heads, and other designs, to decorate this town, that sustained, up to 39 Chinese launderies, and one American! Not bad Butte!