I’m back from Missoula, Montana where they’re obsessed with bears. I always wondered why honey is packaged in little plastic bears. Shouldn’t they be bees? It’s just not right, and reminds me of that scene in Best in Show where Parker Posey goes ballistic because she’s trying to find a stuffed bee toy for her dog and all she can find is a bear in a bee costume. Bears can be cute and all, but in reality, they’re dangerous wild animals. But I digress.
In Missoula they’re obsessed with grizzlies. Montana’s one of the last few places these bears live in the wild, aside from The Gauntlet in Silverlake. The U of Montana football team is the Grizzlies, featuring players like Casey, Mike, and Matt. Mmm hmm. Names of stores: Grizzly Construction, Grizzly Plumbing, Grizzly Tackle, etc.
The photo above is from the People’s Market, which happens every weekend in the center of downtown. This particular weekend just happened to be homecoming weekend for the U. of M, and I caught part of the parade. I was in Montana to visit my family, do some canoeing, see my niece and nephew, and get out of L.A. for a bit. I was a bit worried about my family earlier this summer, because there were major forest fires less than a mile from their home which caused them to evacuate. But thankfully the hunky fire crews with helicopters saved the day. Alas, no photos of men with hoses.
Missoula is an interesting town, part redneck, part liberal college town, part Norman Rockwell, and part new celebrity money like Brad Pitt and members of Pearl Jam. If you’re gay, this is your only option: AMVETS stands for American Veterans, yes, it’s in the old Veterans of wars building (in the basement). Your other, more daring option for a brew, is Stockman’s, the most heterosexual, don’t-act-like-a-queer-or-you-may-be-tied-to-a deer-fence place in town. One of my friends from NY (who grew up in Missoula) and I had a few beers here once in a blizzard in December and then walked down the street and made out in a car in the darkness and the heavy falling snow. It was one of those hot and heavy first kiss sessions that still remains a fond memory. Missoula’s a much better place for lesbians to live than gay men, even though this happened. It’s one of the most liberal towns in Montana, and it was good to see my parents, my sister, and her kids.
Life’s a bit different in Montana than in L.A. but definitely bearable.