Posts Tagged ‘montana’

FAMILY FUN AND OTHER STUFF

~ CHAPTER ONE ~

FAMILY FEUDS OR HOW THE WORLD ENDS

Every family has one or two or half a dozen or more, those family feuds that can last centuries – Uncle A cannot stand Aunt B and such.

Seemingly, the holidays are the perfect time for these feuds to begin.

Take for example in my family; in 1958, or sometime in those hazy times, when the clouds form inside the brain fogging out the reason for the feud but giving it still a hint to know there is a feud, Great Aunt 1 took a piece of cake and began eating it.

“This cake is kinda dry.” she whispered to Great Aunt 2 who, unbeknownst to Great Aunt 1, had made such cake.

Great Aunt 2 huffed and puffed and  threw her hands in the air.

“How rude!!” And stormed out of the house to never speak a word to Great Aunt 1 for close to 50 years.

A feud soon started over chocolate cake.

I guess wars have started over less.

My aunt, my pop’s sister, will not speak to my uncle, her brother and hasn’t since basically time began.

I was born in 1971 and they weren’t on speaking terms since before then.

It always puzzled me and I asked both sides what was going on.

My uncle would tell me, “I have no idea! I’ve tried to mend the relationship many times! I love my sis!”

My aunt would reply, “He knows!” and then would hang up the phone angrily.

My pop would smile slyly and reply, “I think it’s over her bike that she thinks he chopped down into a chopper. I did that!”

Years have gone by, Presidencies have changed hands more than I can count, and still, my aunt will not speak to her brother, my uncle.

I got a reason this summer, as I stayed a few nights in a motel room in Butte, Montana.

I had bought a bottle of Black Velvet and was drinking it with diet coke(I have to watch my shape and yes, round is a shape) and soon found myself dialing my aunt.

“Hello?” she answered.

“Jello!”

We both laughed.

Why?

I have no idea.

After some small chit chat about cousins, friends and other stuff, I approached the topic easily, with just a touch of harshness to make it seem like a grill session at the police station.

“Why do you hate your brother?” I half yelled drunkly into the phone.

“I don’t hate him, I hate his wife!” the truth came out, though, my aunty S, had figured that out many years before.

Apparently, on a Christmas Day, back before the dinosaurs or 1958, the family had gathered at my grandparent’s place, a place that does not exist any more, even the town it was in is now gone, swallowed up by The Berkeley Pit.

After a feast, the family moved to the living room, for conversation and homemade beer.

Something happened that day, a fight of words broke down between my Aunty S and my grandfather; hiss growl, you, no you!!!

And soon the great rift between the family would begin; though no one remembers what started the fight, I believe it was over chocolate cake!

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Butte – A grand city of bars and prostitutes, according to a random tourist at the Safeway store.

Well okay she didn’t say grand.

I can’t say what she called Butte.

We were someplace around “The Pit” when the drugs began to take hold.

I kid.

There were no drugs, not even a we, except for my imaginary friends.

I was drinking whiskey and cokes in a room at the Motel 6 in Uptown Butte.

In a few days, I’ll be leaving Butte for the 2nd greatest city in my life, Louisville, Kentucky.

Butte is the city that made me who I am today.

A drunken writer.

I’ll miss this town.

She isn’t for everybody.

But maybe that’s what makes her so great.

She isn’t a typical tourist trap.

She ain’t no beauty but she has a huge heart and a brilliant beautiful soul.

She is pock marked hard with a long mining history.

But without Butte, a lot of “better” cities in Montana and even the USA wouldn’t even exist.

Many family fortunes would not have been gained off the backs of the Butte miners.

My grandfather being one of them miners.

He raised a family here.

His son, my dad, Rudy Giecek, saved part of Butte’s “wanted to forget” piece of history, The Dumas Brothel which he bought from the last madam, Ruby Garrett back in 1990.

He kept trying to save it till 2012 when his health finally wouldn’t let him.

Me?

I just write about her.

A lady, a tourist, came through another checker’s line at my store.

She was pissed.

“There’s nothing but bars and prostitutes in this town!!”

She had read on some website that Butte was a great town to bring kids.

She stormed out of the store yelling about giving Butte a negative review on Yelp.

I think Butte should market her bars and prostitutes.

And our casinos.

We have the best casinos.

No, I don’t know which bars have the best prostitutes.

I was once hit on at a bar by a mother of the bride to be.

We were both pretty drunk.

I almost went with her on a bar cruise but instead I stumbled off my bar stool and wandered off.

I fell into the Blacktail Creek instead.

My fiancee laughed at that story.

Butte should be marketed as a writer and artist colony.

Wander the streets and the alleys and discover the real Butte.

Its heart and soul.

Butte is a historic town.

And yes she is still rough from her years of mining.

But she will always be my city, my hometown.

I love her bars and prostitutes.

And okay, she has some pretty good people in general.

Remember to “Tap ‘er light” and see ya later Butte, I’ll be back!

I’ve always been horrible at goodbyes.