By Mary Clearman Blew
In language similar to the wild fantastic thing about huge Sky state, Mary Clearman Blew offers us a glimpse into the lives of her family members as she strains their connection to Montana’s normal and human panorama. starting together with her great-grandparents’ arrival in 1882 in Montana--still a territory then--Blew relates the tales that make up her life.
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Extra info for All but the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family
46 Mary Clearman Blew My father was born in 1913 in central Montana, near the mouth of Spring Creek where it flows into the Judith River, in his grandfather's two-story log house on the family homestead. His mother, my grandmother, had come out from Pennsylvania a few years earlier to teach at the Deerfield school and marry her cousin Albert. Albert had become a legend by the time I could remember stories. He had been a cowboy, a top hand, had ridden rep for the old Huffine cattle outfit, under the old Open A L brand.
Abraham controlled the space that stretched beyond his imagination by measuring and mapping it for settlement. As he wrote about that external world he was pinning down and 34 Mary Clearman Blew mapping and limiting, he seems not to have been aware how much he was concealing in the telling, or how much, in the process of his mapping, he was erasing of a landscape and a way of living. A much creased and water-stained fragment from the bottom of the bundle of papers tells what A. Hogeland of Bucks County saw (and failed to see) through the telescope on his surveyor's transit: That was "a great josh" of Nortons on that bunch of Jockos the other day said Ha1 .
For a number of years he had been the Fergus County surveyor. My high school geometry teacher had known him. He described for me how, in the early days, the plats were measured by the revolutions of a buggy wheel. Abraham's buggy had covered every mile of central Montana. As a teenager my father had driven with him to carry 22 Mary Clearman Blew his chains and had picked up the rudiments of surveying from him. Surveying is the application of geometry and trigonometry to achieve a representation of the land on a reduced scale.
All but the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family by Mary Clearman Blew