“Basketball is a wonderful thing for a community because it is a warm place where everyone can go and it isn’t a church or a bar.” – Phil Jackson
Apathy was thick as I approached the theater for a screening of Class C. Five minutes in, I was completely converted. Class C, a documentary film produced by Bozemanite Mark Zetler, follows 5 Montana Class C girls basketball teams as they make their way to the State tournament. Instantly engaging and entertaining, it’s a beautifully crafted story about Montana and basketball; an interview with coaching legend and Montana native Phil Jackson is deftly intertwined. Go out of your way to see it!
Free screening at the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings on February 23rd at 8pm.
Airs on MontanaPBS:
Wednesday February 27th at 8pm
Monday March 3rd at 7pm More on Class C
Born in Butte, Montana; died in Clearwater, Florida. Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel, Jr., October 17 1938 – November 30 2007: Everywhere in this world I go
No matter who or what I know’
The people they look and most of them stare
And I wonder if they really care
They see this king with his golden crown
Some of them smile but most of them frown
Each time I was hurt they all said
That guy is lucky that he’s not dead
(And they were right.)
But I wanted to get up and try it again
I kept telling myself that I knew I could win
So I’d close my eyes and to the Lord I would pray
Oh help me God… let me walk someday.
And He did.
Every stitch on every scar
Just brought me closer to my dream afar
To be a man and to do my best
To stand alone is my only quest
Success is a term that has broad use
For you and I to have none in life there is no excuse
For YOU to do what I do is not right
But for ME it’s not wrong
What I’ve been trying to tell you all along
Is that it’s got to be
So, if you wonder why
The answer to that is
That just like you… I gotta be me.
–Evel Knievel, 1974
She and husband Bob were immortalized in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which Pirsig wrote after he, like the DeWeeses, taught here at Montana State U. Some excerpts from the book:
From where the deck disappears around the corner of the house, suddenly comes Gennie DeWeese with a tray of beer cans. She is a painter too and, I’m suddenly aware, a quick comprehender and already there’s a shared smile over the artistic economy of grabbing a can of beer instead of her hand, while she says, “Some neighbors just came over with a mess of trout for dinner. I’m so pleased.”
[and from a later conversation at the DeWeeses …]
“Did I ever talk about an individual named Phædrus?”
“Who was he?” Gennie asks.
“He was an ancient Greek — a rhetorician — a `composition major’ of his time. He was one of those present when reason was being invented.”
“You never talked about that, I don’t think.”
“That must have come later. The rhetoricians of ancient Greece were the first teachers in the history of the Western world. Plato vilified them in all his works to grind an axe of his own and since what we know about them is almost entirely from Plato they’re unique in that they’ve stood condemned throughout history without ever having their side of the story told. The Church of Reason that I talked about was founded on their graves. It’s supported today by their graves. And when you dig deep into its foundations you come across ghosts.”
I look at my watch. It’s after two. “It’s a long story,” I say.
“You should write all this down,” Gennie says.
I nod in agreement. “I’m thinking about a series of lecture-essays…a sort of Chautauqua. I’ve been trying to work them out in my mind as we rode out here — which is probably why I sound so primed on all this stuff. It’s all so huge and difficult. Like trying to travel through these mountains on foot.
“The trouble is that essays always have to sound like God talking for eternity, and that isn’t the way it ever is. People should see that it’s never anything other than just one person talking from one place in time and space and circumstance. It’s never been anything else, ever, but you can’t get that across in an essay.”
“You should do it anyway,” Gennie says. “Without trying to get it perfect.”
“I suppose,” I say.
“Well, it isn’t just art and technology. It’s a kind of a noncoalescence between reason and feeling. What’s wrong with technology is that it’s not connected in any real way with matters of the spirit and of the heart. And so it does blind, ugly things quite by accident and gets hated for that. People haven’t paid much attention to this before because the big concern has been with food, clothing and shelter for everyone and technology has provided these.
“But now where these are assured, the ugliness is being noticed more and more and people are asking if we must always suffer spiritually and esthetically in order to satisfy material needs. Lately it’s become almost a national crisis…antipollution drives, antitechnological communes and styles of life, and all that.”
Many of us remember the DeWeese gallery which showcased dozens of Montana’s finest artists. Best wishes to Gen & Bob’s ridiculously talented family. Boatloads of us here in Bozeman are gonna miss ya, Gen.
Casino Patrons Thwart Robbery Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Friday 02 Mar 2007, FOUR CORNERS -- A man and a woman were arrested Thursday after a botched robbery attempt at the Grand Slam Casino at Four Corners [Montana USA]. Witnesses said a man armed with a shotgun burst into the casino, located off U.S. 191, at about 6:30 p.m., but he apparently didn't get much farther than the front door before being tackled and disarmed by several casino patrons.
"I saw the gun and thought it was a toy at first," said Tim Kleppen, one of the men who tackled the alleged robber. "Then I saw he had on latex gloves."
Kleppen and Ren, who were walking around the casino drinking beer, realized, "This guy's serious. He's going down," Kleppen said, recalling what he was thinking at the time. "You don't do that in my bar," Kleppen said.
Within seconds, another man named Tyrone, whose last name no one seems to know, grabbed the shotgun, pointing it into the air, while Kleppen and others tried to pin the man to the floor, eventually tying him up with duct tape. The attempted robbery occurred during happy hour, when dozens of construction workers were gathered to drink beer and play keno after work. "Every construction worker's in that bar," Kleppen said as he held a beer and smoked a Marlboro. "This is construction folk. We'll kick your ass."
"We didn't do nothing out of the ordinary. I'd do it again," Kleppen, 45, said in an interview at his home. "This is Four Corners, USA. We take care of our own."