Mining City Messages

The Pit R Us

Dick Gibson , Butte geologist and bon vivant, shared a story about the pit on Slate where this 'watery wonder' as it is tagged, is featured in the online magazine's Atlas Obscura, a travel log. The other tags are Martian landscapes and disaster areas. 



The pit is mentioned early on in Deadly Reckoning and quite on purpose. It's partly the East/West thing again. For many who visit our fair city, including a lot of in-staters, the Pit is something to be ignored or if noticed, then denigrated. People in Butte on the other hand have embraced the pit for what it stands for, a part of history, a living example of 'paying the band, if you want to dance.'


 One often feels that our willingness to live with the transgression of corporate exploiters, even as we force them to clean up whatever of the mess they can, makes us the source of pity, if not ridicule.  Au contraire, part of what makes Butte 'the most unplastic place in America' is that we acknowledge and don't look away from, or pretend that life is different than it is. That's why the Chamber of Commerce built a viewing stand for the Pit instead of a wall around it...

5 seasons?

  Probably nothing typifies the gap between the eastern and western states more than wildfire season. Along with summer, fall and spring (both admittedly short), and a very long winter, Montanans deal with fire season. Sometimes starting as early in June, but more likely in hot, dry August, the season can also seep into September.Like today, our beautiful blue Big Sky is nowhere to be seen. Rather a grey brown pall of smoke has descended upon us as fires have been burning in three different directions for a number of weeks.


Firefighters preparing to go into the Pintler range.  

Some of these fires have been burning for weeks and have spread as far as 17 square miles.

Read more: 5 seasons?

The Inspiration for Deadly Reckoning

  The character and exploits of Lloyd Austin were based on real events. A story about the release of Claude Dallas in February, 2005 inspired Deadly Reckoning. See this link for the storyClaude Dallas.


This is Dallas' photo shortly before his release.

A fugitive captures the Imagination

Canadian folk singer, Ian Tyson, (of Ian and Sylvia fame - anybody remember them?) wrote the song called Claude Dallas in 1987. You can listen to the song that draws upon the natural conflict between the lawman and the Renegade

Rodeo - East vs.West

When I lived back east, I attended a number of rodeos over the years in places like Dayton, Ohio and Louisville, Ky. Held in giant indoor arenas, the basketball court flooring was pulled up to reveal a not so soft dirt bottom for the prerequisite bucking broncos, ferocious bulls, handsome cowboys and gals, and rodeo clowns to perform. Of course, I didn't realize what was missing until I came to Montana.


Bronc rider - Labor Day Rodeo - Dillon, MT

Read more: Rodeo - East vs.West

Marian at the Butte Archives



made in montana

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