I'm in Bozeman; I've been here four hours. I am, at present, tucked away in a hotel business center working on a computer bearing the sign: "User is the user name no password press ok after entering user." Only, I was never asked for any sort of password, and here we are.
Leaving Chicago, I met first a cab driver who has driven for 42 years. At the airport, I met a man from Billings in a cool Harley bowling shirt who goes to China a lot on business. We talked about traveling and the current climate of the newspaper business and blogging and Montana.
On the plane from Chicago to Minneapolis-St. Paul, I sat next to a man who loves his wife and kids and grandkids to bits, and believes in miracles and hope and possibility and had a stunning night in Rome once, and a lot of guts in Nepal yet another time. I told him he should write a book; he said it's 75% completed. Good.
Then, I had to haul from gate F-something to gate D-something and arrived and took off, and sat next to a man from Virginia who climbs and fells trees and loves his job everyday and showed me a 15-second video he made for his wife from the very tip-top of a tree. I asked him a lot of questions about felling trees. He loves his job; he didn't seem to mind.
I'm glad I've never had occasion to "drop" a tree; I would have gone about it all wrong.
In Bozeman, I decided Gallatin Field looked more like a lodge than an airport and I liked that just fine. (See bear statue from said airport, above) I met a filmmaker and we talked a while and he explained a pretty good bar in downtowm Bozeman exploded a few months ago. He and the other half of his production company made this, at a bar he assured me was a good alternative. Then he left to write a draft of a screenplay. I waited for a lift to my hotel. I photographed pine branches and big rocks. I put on gloves.
My driver arrived and wore cool Buddy Holly glasses and recently finished film school. What's going on with the filmmakers around here? The mountains, that's what. The quiet, that's also what. And, pretty and charaming, and scenic, and all the things that we all want to film anyway. Plus, I can't imagine cops running too many indie filmmakers away from film sets here. Anyway, he made this during his-- if memory serves-- sophomore year of film school. He said moms liked it.
I ask strangers a lot of questions. But, I swear that's the only way to find anything out. People seem friendly here. If there is a regional accent, I haven't heard it.
The hotel restaurant and the bar are open now. I hear people. I smell vanilla candles and Buffalo wings, though I see neither.
Anyway, my brother has finished his workday, and is driving down from the mountains to meet me in said bar. The Guth kids, ladies and gents, are on the loose in Bozeman tonight. We hope to not make any bars explode, but I guarantee nothing.