By MICK HOLIEN
I didn’t pick a great time to challenge 93 North to Missoula but having no choice I ventured down the road twice in the days of advance of Independence Day.
Now don’t ask me why I would do such a thing but the Vox vessel wa not yet wet and with one trip to say good bye and the other to say a long-delayed hello.
The first trip to Zoo town was to join other former Missoulian employees to honor former editor Jeff Herman while the second was to catch up with music pal Jan Dell – hey do you remember – for a little music from some members of the old Ranch Band.
In my short days of spinning vinyl, cuing reels and playing country carts up on the second floor looking into the Tidyman parking lot on Brooks Street I sat less than a block away from I think it was My Place where when after my 6 to Mid weekend shift expired I’d wander in and catch a tune or so because let’s see there were two or three other country spots within a mile.
Of course I was familiar with the group from their long-playin’ Cabin Days before the East Missoula watering hole burned in ‘85.
The sunroof on my Dodge truck was open requiring the air conditioning to be on as I approached Highway 35 to turn left off Haack Road.
But chagrined I was to say the least when vehicles approaching from both directions left me sitting there for what seemed like five minutes and at that I had to jump that Hemi to get in line.
Heading up Polson hill a solid stream of traffic faced me coming into town quickly meeting me realize my usual 75-minute trip from my driveway was facing extension and I probably was going to be late.
The usual impediments awaited me and even though I thought about getting a quick licorice fix at Hummingbird in Arlee and pondered which I-90 exit would be the quickest to get me to Garden City Funeral Home I finally arrived as the last person but snuck to the back row hardly noticed.
But while a bit late the stories – that’s what we do you know – and memories were great, catching up with Missoulian cohorts great and home by eight only to head for the Saturday keyboard knowing that at Sunday’s trip probably also will bring to light familiar names who have passed.
Guess the old sayin’ applies – none of us get out of here alive.