Wednesday, July 29, 2009

LBOH 20, lazy Saturday

There are no pictures from Friday. I misplaced my camera on Thursday night and didn't find it til Saturday so there are no action photos for Friday.

Saturday morning post breakfast. The game of 31 is already going.

A lone Corona warms in the sun. Its contents eagerly awaiting consumption. Did I mention that I had another flat tire? Friday morning my right front was down about halfway. Had a screw in it. What a great weekend.

The great debate. Should you knock, draw a discard, switch suits or draw the top card? Decisions, decisions.

I haven't quite perfected my bottom deal yet but when I do, this game will be as easy as debating a liberal.

Skeets patiently waits for his next turn. Its not a hard game. Pick a card, throw a card. Let's keep it moving.

John takes some quite time to catch up on his reading. I was very impressed. He didn't ask for anyone's help in defining any words and his lips are barely moving. Keep up the good work Ringo!

The south fork of the Judith River. Ankle deep in most places. That's knee deep to Ralph. We really missed him and his water wings. Hey, you don't want to get made fun of, get your ass here next year.

The cliff wall across from camp.

The road to Utica.

Most of the vehicles and campers.

I find that if I have a couple of beers, that sudoku becomes much easier. My math skills improve immensely. Its a little known fact that Enrico Fermi used to drink a six pack of Schlitz while working on the Manhattan Project. You can look it up.

Its the easiest way really.

Relaxing by the afternoon campfire. Dan is getting ready to cut the tenderloin.

Mark, Jim and Dave listen intently so someone. Its was probably me. I never shut up

Men with their legs crossed.

Well we are getting closer. Just dinner and a some good-byes. I hate thinking that it will be another year before we do this again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

LBOH 20, Thursday

Well, lets get this party started. After playing 18 holes in White Sulphur Springs, John (L) and I headed to camp leaving Brian (C) and Mark (R) in the dust as they were pulling Brian's camper. John and I were on the gravel when we heard kind of a whoosh sound followed by a fluhfluhfluhfluh. John "What's that?" Me "I don't know. Maybe it's a flat. Doesn't feel flat though." So I kept driving. About a half mile down the road we decided to check and indeed I had the first flat tire of the LBOH. What a pain in the ass. My spare tire carrier ended up being bent and we could barely get the spare tire off. Fortunately we were able to change it and carry on. Brian and Mark showed up just as we were finished. Brian then showed John that the proper way to load a flat tire is to "cup the balls". Hmmmm. Never knew that.

What the? A card game? In the middle of the Little Belt Mountains? Looks suspicious. I'd better play a hand or two and find out what is going on here.

Smiley with a can. Dan brought his lab and she had a great time.

The shirts, and the spelling on said shirts, provided by Uncle Scott.

Uncle Scott relaxes a moment from the strain and worry of the LBOH. Its such a stressful weekend with all the visiting, golfing, card playing and eating. How about a Jack and diet there Scotty?

Oh yeah!! I'm knocking on 28 baby! Someone get ready to lose a dollar.

Smiley relaxes by the fire. Mark brought ribs from Minnesota. Good, good eating. Smiley didn't get any bones though. They're a little too small puppy.

Dan and Jim. Had kindergarten with Dan and prayer class with Jim. Class of 1981.

Leonard digs through the LBOH Box. It is the container of all drygoods LBOH. It has been to every LBOH and the keeper of the box is in charge.

Len, those ribs any good?

Scott and John waiting for shitty cards. John came all the way from Dallas. That's in Texas I think. Or as my fellow bloggers in OKC say "Southern Oklahoma".

Good ribs and a winning hand. Its a nice combination.

I believe this is the largest game of Knock Poker ever played at any LBOH.

Jim, Tim and Uncle Scott trying to cypher their cards. Scott is obviously showing his cards to someone else. That is usually a sign that you have jackshit for cards.

Look at those coals glowing. It's going to be a nice night to sit by the fire. Most nights are nice nights to sit by the fire.

That's Delmer. He used to live down in the Benson houses with me. They were kind of the projects of Malta. He's yelling at me about something. Probably telling me to put the camera down, blah blah blah. I wasn't really listening.

Jim Beam. When John comes up from Texas we drink Jim Beam.

Dan reaching for some twizzlers. Another of the food groups is covered.

Delmer going to bed. It's ten o'clock already? Night, night Delmyspuds.

L to R, 1/2 Uncle Scott (Bozeman), Mark (Minnesota) his brother Dave (Colorado) Scott's brother Brian (Bozeman). Like the Malta boys, these guys all went to high school together. Unlike the Malta boys, they had to do it in Minnesota. You know Minnesota, the state that just elected Al Franken to the US Senate. Yeah, that Minnesota.

Leonard (MHS 1980) with Mark. It appears that Mark is checking his eyelids for cracks. Will the prime directive be violated? Sadly, it wasn't.

A couple of fresh logs and the fire should burn for a while longer.

That's kind of it for day one. It's a sad day when the most exciting thing to talk about is the flat tire I had coming into camp. Worse yet, I forgot my camera when we went into Lewistown on Friday to play golf so there aren't a lot of pictures from Friday night. No action photos of dinner at the Ox and Yoke. No pictures of the serving wench on the fourth hole at Pine Meadows. But there are many more photos of men sitting by the campfire with their legs crossed. So if you liked these, stay tuned for Friday's action. Hey, these pictures have more action and a better plot then Star Wars Episode I.

Friday, July 24, 2009

LBOH, the big 2-0.

For those of you who may not know the history. The LBOH was established in 1990. All of us lifelong friends were trying to figure out how to get together and hang out and not lose touch with each other.

We have been classmates since kindergarten and prayer class. We went to St. Mary's and Malta Elementary. We graduated together. We traded places in each other's weddings and unfortunately helped some bury a parent by then. We needed an excuse to get together that wasn't a wedding or a funeral.

We discussed it again in 1989 at Delmer's wedding. Heading back to the camper, we lamented at the fact that we didn't know when we would get together again. It was Adrian who said he had a plan and if it worked, we wouldn't have to worry anymore about seeing each other at least once a year.

The following March, Adrian was in Bozeman and gave me the idea. I thought it was better than good. It was past brilliant. Words can't describe it.

There was no name for it at its inception. "The Big Schmear" was one that was thrown around but it wasn't gaining traction. At camp the first night, it was Leonard who called it the LBOH.

"Why?" someone asked.

"It was on the invitaion. Lonely bachelors and oppressed husbands, unite for a weekend of solidarity. L-B-O-H"

With that, the term LBOH was born. It has grown from its original eight charter members. It is an event that can be described in words but you really have to be there in order to feel its full weight. No girls aloud. No wives. No daughters. We eat good. We drink better and we forget about life for four days.

People say its "a drunken party". While there is significant drinking its not about that at all. Its about one thing and one thing only and that is a commitment to our friendship. These are friendships forged out of 40 years of joy and pain. Where stories almost always have the same players. "This one time Delmer, Ralph and I......" "Hey Adrian, who as with you when Ralph hit Mr. Maynard in the nuts with the eraser?" "Chip, remember when Adrian pushed you into Sister Helen and you gave her that flat tire on her heel?" Things like that. I don't know how else to describe how good of men these guys are other than to say that when my father passed away almost 15 years ago, every one of them came to Malta so support me and my family.
What we have actually transcends friendship and the guys who have been invited to camp since LBOH 1 have done nothing except make the experience better. Guys from Minnesota, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, and Wisconsin travel to Montana every year just to sit at the fire, drink beer, eat steak and laugh their asses off. But they really come to share their friendship. And that is what the LBOH is really all about.
This year was the 20th LBOH. Twenty years in a row. Absolutely no signs of stopping. Not while I'm drawing a breath. Like Mark said "I'm coming to this every year til I'm dead and then a couple more after that."

I'll be posting photos in the next few days for the boys who were there and whoever else wants to read about it.
There is only one rule. Do not violate the prime directive. And that is.........

DONT FALL ASLEEP AT THE FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wouldn't you agree Mark?

And you to Ralph?

Thanks to Uncle Scott for the pics.

Random thoughts #9

Things that crossed my mind while wondering how much fun I'll have watching another Malta alum win the Montana State Amateur Golf Tournament this weekend. Honestly, is there anything we don't dominate?

It worries me that young people, and some older ones, are more concerned with the death of Michael Jackson than the state of the country in which they live. At the rate President Obamaclaus is spending and borrowing, they won't be able to buy one of Michael's albums. Pay attention you dumbasses.

Speaking of, I mean Obama. Is there anyone who reads this that actually thought for one minute the "stimulus" was going to work? Obama's mentality reminds me of the people who borrowed money to pay off their credit card, paid it off, then maxxed it out again. Its the same principle exactly.

Health care continues to be a big issue. I would rather dedicate an entire post to the matter than debate it here but the big question is this: how do we pay for it? I'm all for helping out but if changing things means bankrupting our future and making us a second rate nation, then we are better off where we currently are.

It always amazes me how big of wussies actually live in Bozeman. If it gets 90 degrees they think its hot and if it gets below zero they think its cold. Bozeman has the best weather in all of Montana precisely because it doesn't get very hot or very cold and the wind doesn't blow very much, but nut up people! The rest of the state knows exactly that zero is far from cold.

I don't talk to my mom as much as I should. She hates talking on the phone so I don't call much. BG says that shouldn't matter. She told me "Its your mother! Call her!" She's probably right. I need to get her potato salad recipe anyway. I hope she has her hearing aid in.

I like the flower box I built. I water them everyday. They look great. Whoda thunk?

I really hope that Montana State beats the University of Eastern Idaho (better known as the university of Montana or um, ) in football this year and makes a long playoff run. Remember, you can't spell "scum" without the "um".

When 33 wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park 14 years ago many in the agricultural community were very worried. "Relax" said the environmentalists "there is plenty for them to eat in the park." Now there are over 300 wolves in the Yellowstone Ecosystem and beyond. They really like eating cows too. I guess someone forgot to tell the wolves where there boundaries are.

I had laser surgery on my eyes 7 years ago. They are getting a little blurry when I read. It was bound to happen and I will probably have to wear glasses full time again but I wouldn't trade the last 7 years without them for anything. The best money I've ever spent.

Electing Barry Obama to the presidency is like finding a student pilot and giving him the keys to the space shuttle.

GMC will no longer buy its platinum or palladium from the only US mine that produces it. The mine is the Stillwater Mine and its located about 150 miles from me. The rest of the platinum and palladium is mined in Russia and South Africa. GMC says it can buy cheaper from foreign companies and cancelled its contracts with Stillwater Mine. Yesterday, a federal judge (in New York, what were the odds?) agreed and said GMC did not have to honor the contracts. If you don't think that this exact same scenario will play out countless times under "cap and trade" then you are too fucking stupid to live or vote. Do us all a favor and go play in the freeway are suck on a .357. Just sayin.

President Obama said that police acted "stupidly" when they arrested some race baiting Harvard professor. See, this is what happens when he doesn't have his teleprompter in front of him. He then said that he "calibrated his words poorly". Are you shitting me? Calibrated his words poorly? I remember having an argument with my mother when I was 12 and telling her to shut up. My dad put his paper down, grabbed me by the arm, took me to my room and gave me about 5 licks with the belt that my uncle Bob (an Oklahoman BTW) had made him. I guess I "calibrated my words poorly" that day. I still have the belt.

I need to pay attention more to what is going on locally. The daily rag Bozeman Chronicle is looking at the possibility at adding another local opinion writer. What the hell. I'll submit a column or two and see what happens.

I have a great job, a nice little house, the unconditional love of my dog, a wonderful family and the best group of friends on the planet. Life is good.

Safe journeys,


PS Called Alvina (mom) and have her recipe. I'll see if I can make it as good as she does.

Mighty Malta Mustangs

OK, I might be full of just a little bit more crapola than the average person. Maybe. Malta doesn't have the record for most consecutive wins in Montana history (56) but did win 50 in a row.

Here is a an article from the Billings Gazette talking about the incredible run the Mustangs made in the early 70's. If you like sports, you will really appreciate how good these guys were.

It was a Sunday afternoon in March, 1971, and the caravan stretched for miles. Six or seven miles long, according to some accounts.

They were there to welcome the basketball team of Malta High School. The team was known as the 3M Co., which stood for the Mighty Malta Mustangs.

And mighty they were.

On that afternoon, the Mustangs arrived home as State Class B champions for the first time in school history. Not only that, but they'd just finished with a perfect 29-0 record, a season that was a remarkable display of excellence and domination.

The '71 Mustangs were the centerpiece of a fantastic three-year run. From the 1969-70 season through the 1971-72 campaign, Malta won 50 straight games, claimed two state championships and a third-place finish, and fashioned an 87-3 record.

Read the entire article here.

Thanks to James the Third for sending me this.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Less than 30 days until fall drills

Which one of the following was NOT a quarterback for the University of Notre Dame?



If you guessed "C" then you are a huge ND fan. I watch a lot of college football and honestly didn't know which one it was. Congratulations.

The All-Class Reunion - Saturday and beyond

Here we are again in Malta for the rest of our pictorial tour from the All-Class reunion. Here is the "Old Gym". This is all that remains from the fire of 1996 that destroyed the original hallowed halls of Malta High School. It was the best gym on the Hi-line. You walked in, then up stairs and looked down on the floor. Although it wasn't dug out, it was nicknamed the pit because of the way the stands were situated. I may be wrong (which is extremely seldom) but I believe that Malta still has the all-state record for most consecutive wins in boys basketball at something like 53. Someone check on that for me.

The new high school. It doesn't have the charm of the old one but it is a nice facility. I'm against the amount of taxes this cost and the dumb asses who voted for this option but the kids like it.

Those are STATE CHAMPIONSHIP banners baby! Twenty-two of them. Some have multiple championships on them so I think the amount of titles was 31. We didn't begin our dominance until the mid 60's so that means a championship in something 3 out of every 4 years. This from a town of 2500 people. I think it's safe to say that we tend to be competitive athletically. Competitive? We kick ass! I don't think Chinook has beat us in anything since the class of 1982 lost in football for the first time in like 800 years. Losers.

No comment is necessary.

Len, Jim and I decided to stop in the Stockman for a quiet beer before going to Delmer's to have more beer and visit. I was honestly shocked that no one else was in there. I mean, it was 8 in the morning and everything. What do people do in this town anymore? Actually it was 1:30 which is even more pathetic.

This is the first house I ever owned. The handicapped ramp was added by the new owners and the siding is new. There is more than one Saturday night where that ramp would have come in real handy, what with that massive staircase to climb and everything. The current owners have really dressed up the old place.

The house I grew up in. My brother Bill and I would sit in the screen porch and drink Kool-Aid and read comic books. We'd play kick-the-can and football in the front yard. What a great house. I threw a snowball at my sister Scooch. It broke a storm window in the dining room. That's because she was standing in the dining room and I was outside. Anyway, we had like another six storm windows in the garage but none would fit. This house was built in like 1920 and each window was different. So I took a wrench and knocked all the glass out so it wouldn't look like it was broken, just nice and clean. No one noticed for three weeks Mom (to my dad) "Walt, there's no glass in this storm window." Dad " There was when I put it up." My mom actually thought it was funny and never grounded me. Dad didn't think it was funny and didn't give me an allowance for three weeks. Hat tip to Scooch for not ratting me out.

Now, if you weren't a tight ass, like my brother Bill, and if you paid to register for the reunion you had dinner Saturday night. Pitchfork fondue and fried walleye, all you could eat. If you come home more than once a year, like I do, and stay in touch with folks, you can sneak around to the back where the cooking is, shake some hands, say some "how ya doins?" and you don't have to stand in line for 30 damn minutes.
Add Image

Lining up to go to the Villa Theatre. The movie was free to PAID reunion goers. "Up" was playing for the curious minded who might want to know.

A town of 2500 people fed 1000 on Saturday night. Very impressive.

That's MRM with Nancy and Laura. They are obviously near sighted or I have a serious case of the kervorka.

Doyle (L) and yours truly . Doyle and I went to St. Mary's though he was in brother Bill's class. Doyle made a claim that it was he who shot Scoutmaster Brumley in the face with a bb gun and then swam the Milk to get away. He said it was Jimmy who stayed behind and got caught. Jimmy says that he, not Doyle, was the trigger man and that Doyle couldn't swim and stunk out Jimmy. Suffice it to say that neither of them made Eagle Scout.

The Stockman 11 hours later. I couldn't get everyone to stop moving but my best guess is (from left to right)........................................

Bill and I share many things in common and our love of bacon certainly is one of them.

Me, niece Sammie and nephew Spencer. Hmmmmm. I wonder where they could have found all the Bobcat gear? Spencer "Uncle Chip, uh, what are you wearing to Grandma's?" Me "I'm wearing what I have on." Spence "MOM! I need my new shorts and some Bobcat stuff!" Sammi "Me too!" Niece Sydnie (Sammie's twin) wasn't feeling well and stayed home with brother Pat. I should have just photoshopped her in but don't have the skills.

Just having some breakfast with family and friends. That is what life is all about. The mound of bacon has been reduced to just a few strips, none of which would remain behind.

"Sammie, what are you going to eat at Grandma's?" "Waffles and PIG!"

Well, that about wraps it up. Just typing captions has given me some ideas for stories that need to be told. Its been a long time since we've had any "Tales from the Hi-Line". I also have about 145 pictures from LBOH 20 to sort through and get posted. I'll have to get after that.
The all-class was a great time and the people in charge did a great job scheduling and executing. The weather was perfect and I got to see my old wrestling coach. I walked the streets home each night with a smile on my face. I just love this town!