Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Eleven Rules of Fashion

  • Blue jeans go with any color.
  • Fur went out after the ice age. Why would you even WANT to wear fur when you could buy a machine washable, water resistant, warm ski jacket at a fraction of the cost? 
  • Ski jackets go with any outfit from the formal to the casual. 
  • If it’s uncomfortable, it is not fashionable.
  • High heels have never been and will never be in style. Ever.
  • If the primary focus of skin tight apparel is jiggling fat, the wearer is not fashionable.  The wearer may be disgusting and comical, but not fashionable. Trust me on this.
  • If I like the color, fit, and print, it is in fashion.
  • Keen sandals and lace ups, and Vasque boots are the most  trendy footwear on earth.
  • Anyone paying thousands, or even hundreds of dollars for clothes, is out of her/his cotton-picking mind.  Donate to a good cause or put the money into retirement instead. Anyone worth knowing does not care about the brand name of someone’s clothes and accessories.
  • The latest fashion among the teenage set is FUNNY when the over thirty set wears
  • I don’t care what anyone else is wearing this year, but I encourage everyone, as a public duty, to wear something.

What the Truly Fashionable are Wearing This Year

Friday, April 17, 2015

Study Your Back Trail

My grandfather had words of advice to avoid getting lost:  Study your back trail.  As a Montana cowboy in the 1880’s and 1890’s, maybe Grandpa knew a thing or two about what it was to be lost. 

Grandpa maintained that often people became lost because they failed to turn around occasionally and see what the landscape would look like on the return journey.  When the travelers headed back, nothing would look familiar because they had never stopped to see how things looked traveling the opposite direction. Even though I stick closely to trails, I stop now and then to study my back trail when I hike.  You never know when you might be forced off a trail by someone’s bull, a bear, or other circumstances.  Off trail, you really need to know what the country looks like facing the other direction.

Studying your back trail is a good idea in life too.  Every now and then it makes sense to look back and evaluate what you have come through, how you handled it, and what you would do differently.  The 10th step of Alcoholics Anonymous provides for studying your back trail every day by taking a daily personal inventory and owning mistakes.

While studying your back trail is important, I have come to realize that this, like anything else, can be overdone.  If you spend all your time facing backwards and memorizing the most minute details of the country you have already passed through, you are bound to trip over the rocks and roots ahead of you.  When hiking, you stop only once in a while to study your back trail.  It’s not efficient, and can be dangerous, to focus most of your attention backwards, giving minimal heed to your forward progression.

I have spent too much time studying my back trail.  I plan to change that.  I still want to evaluate  my actions daily and correct behaviors I need to correct. Still, no matter how much I measure my conduct and hope to improve, I am human.  I make mistakes.  No amount of bemoaning the past can change my mistakes or the mistakes others made that affect me. My only hope is to rely on the saving merits of my Savior. If I want His help and forgiveness, I have to let go of both my mistakes and others’ mistakes and move on. This is the healthiest and best way to live a life.

I will continue to study my back trail, but I plan to spend most of my efforts in charting my movement forward. I don’t like to mess up, and I am going to try to avoid this. But part of my development includes dealing with my mistakes.  Beating myself up when I make errors doesn’t stop me from making more errors, it only makes me depressed, anxious, and afraid.  Stop now and then to study your back trail. Concentrate mostly on your front trail.  Both statements are good advice.

Monday, April 06, 2015

The Years at Pompey's Pillar

As any of my family knows, Pompey's Pillar is a large rock close to the Yellowstone River that was large enough in the landscape for travelers to use it as a marker.  Many early explorers and travelers carved their names in the rock.  It was named for Pompey, a black man who made up part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  William Clark is the most famous grafitti artist on the monument.

My Dad was born at Pompey's Pillar, Montana, the town.  This town  now consists of a few trailers, a couple of houses, a few old buildings and a Post Office.  But when Dad's parents, O.D. Robertson and Maude Brodock Robertson  moved there in the early 1900's, it was an up and coming place. A riverboat made runs from Billings to Pompey's Pillar and back. There were businesses and a bank.

John, Les and Winifred Robertson in front of the Pompey's Pillar homestead

Huntley Irrigation Project, completed in 1907, encouraged settlers to homestead this area.  The Crow Indians ceded reservation lands for settlement.  O.D. owed Indians fees on his homestead, which was close to the Pompey's Pillar Monument.  His dairy and stock farm was traversed by fly creek and the railroad.  Every morning a train bound for Billings would stop and O.D. would load milk onto it.  

I don't know if O.D. and Maude set their sights on a homstead in Pompey's Pillar when they were married January 20, 1904.  But by 1906 they were making plans to homestead there. When they arrived, they had two children, John and Leslie.  Robert Theodore (Teddy), Winifred and Sidney were all born at the Pompey's Pillar Homestead.  

1906 Certificate showing O.D. Robertson  was eligible to file for a homestead.

When Maude and Dunc lived in the area, Pompey's Pillar had a Community Club - the card makes me think it was like a Chamber of Commerce
Uncle John's Report Card
Mr and Mrs Davis.  Mrs. Davis taught school in Pompey's Pillar