Ozzie Ausband

Missoula, Montana

Society, you’re a crazy breed Hope you’re not lonely without me…

When you want more than you have You think you need… And when you think more than you want Your thoughts begin to bleed I think I need to find a bigger place Because when you have more than you think You need more space- Eddie Vedder

Morning was cold. It should be. I’m in Missoula and there is snow all around on the hillsides. I gave my nephew a new skateboard and he was amped to go ride the park with Uncle Ozzie. We drove up into the bleak mountain pass that leads into Idaho. It snowed. There was a snow marker at Lolo Summit that read seven feet deep. Lolo Summit is where the Lewis & Clark expedition almost met its fate. The local Indians fed them & helped them get through the winter. I’ve heard that white folks re-payed the Indians for their kindness by giving them smallpox blankets and ultimately killing them and taking their lands. Ahhh, mankind’s kindness toward its fellow humankind, never ceases to amaze me.

It is wide open up here. You see very few people and when you do they are nice and friendly. People drive old cars and trucks. They are salt of the earth. The folks around here don’t seem stuck in the race of acquisition like they are in Los Angeles. It is glaringly obvious. There is a marked difference in the population. Life is slower. Rhythm of the earth prevails. The slow sleepy season. Earth. Mountains. Gurgling rivers. We drove past Elk and mule deer. They grazed on weeds by swollen riverbanks. Snow drifted across the granite hills. The sky flew by on a timeline all its own.

We drove to the skate park. Kids crowded around. They were happy and friendly. No vibes. Sam rode his board with his father and his uncle. It was a good day. Tomorrow we are going to go on a massive hike into the wilderness and Wednesday we leave for Yellowstone Park where winter’s hungry engine still prevails. Wolves. Grizzly bears. Dark forest feasts. I can’t wait. I spend a great deal of time away from the scattered members of my family. Today reminded me of many things in my life that I have missed. Skate- Ozzie