Sunday, August 23, 2020

Meet Me in Montana

Two days after I graduated high school in Worland I moved to Helena MT to work for my uncle. That entailed driving tow truck and putting flat beds on pickups. After 7 years with him I moved to Great Falls MT and ranched for a family. Between those years and my time in seminary I have many friends that I need to check up on every now and again.

 

The first stop was to my good friends Tony and Karen Rausch. They invited some of the old crew for a backyard Mass and picnic. Keep living the faith kids.

I stayed with my ole buddy Fr. Doug Krings and then met up with this early church father Joe Paddock. We studied philosophy together. Guess all that thinking went to his beard.

Then down to Helena to hang with my Uncle John. This dude is handy. Nice garden partner, I dig it.

I had to have a little intervention with him about not being online. So we gave him an iPad. He took to it like a kid on a new bike.


My cousin Sam, who used to pal around with me in the tow truck, now has a successful ship container business.


Well done ol' son. Keep trucking


I then started running down some of the boys. Fr. Christopher Lebsock and I go way back. Good to see you partner. Always wear your hat.


Shawn Moore was the first friend I made in Helena and he's remained one ever since. Thanks for the beef bro.


Roxie and Joe Nistler were the first family in the Church to take me under their wing. We celebrated Mass at their house and then had a good breakfast and conversation. 


In gratitude for their encouragement to me over the years I took it upon myself to teach their grandkids how to work a bull whip. Every boy should know how to crack a whip. Thanks guys.



The last stop was Townsend MT where I spent a summer as a deacon. Larry Woodring and I spent many hours in his shop solving the world's problems. I now know where to go when Y2K hits.


I stayed with my ole buddy Fr. Cody Williams and had a great time driving over Duck Creek pass and chewing the fat. Before I blew out of town on Saturday morning we celebrated a 4:30 am Mass in honor of the Queenship of Mary. By the looks of it, Cody handles the early mornings better than I do. Sit tall in the saddle partner, you got your hands full.


The only casualty of the trip was the transmission in my pickup as I raced home to do the opening prayer at the Ride a Horse Feed a Cowboy rodeo in Hulett. I didn't make it in time for the prayer, so my Wyoming Catholic Cowboy buddy Ryan Huxtable stepped up to the plate. But I did make it in time to see my buddy Ben Miller break this bronc. If you want to become a successful bronc rider you should start riding at 14 and not 40. Getter done ol' son!

What a good trip. I feel rejuvenated and ready to rock whatever the fall brings. It was fun to travel through a land that I owe so much to. I will forever be indebted to Montana for helping me become who I am today. I grew as a man and as a son. But it is in Wyoming that I am a priest. 














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Kingdom of God

Blessed are the poor in spirit... the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.            https://youtu.be/24TMoeX17Bc