As you cross over the Kootenai River bridge at Libby, northbound to Eureka or Canada, you should remember a young man named Tom Murphy and “The Kootenai Prayer: “How Long, O, Lord! How Long?” The prayer was a banner headline in the Libby Herald newspaper on May 30, 1912 – an editorial fusillade at those who had been trying to delay construction of the bridge at Libby. Tom Murphy, a 34-year-old man, had just become the latest to drown in the Kootenai.
It’s gardening time, at least hopefully, now that we’re past our last gasp of wintry weather! This time of year also brings back memories of the war gardens and victory gardens of the past. During World War I, with commercial farm produce needed for the military, American households were urged to create their own backyard gardens.
Even before the official pronouncement by the nation’s surgeon general in the early 1960s, most all of us knew smoking and other forms of tobacco use were a poor choice. Despite that, many of us (including myself) continued the bad habit for decades. I quit in the 1990s. My confession and modern-day facts aside, I do have to marvel at the creative advertising for tobacco (particularly plug tobacco) in the 19th century.
In recent years, “gobsmacked” has become one of my very favorite words. Unfortunately, I have used it in excess this past week concerning Missoula Mayor John Engen’s announcement that he has pancreatic cancer.
On the Montana State Prison intake form, the Warden described Inmate No. 6667 as a male, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, shoe size 10, with blue eyes and a few missing front teeth. On a separate line was a curious note: “hole on top of right forehead.”