Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ed Kemmick captures Montana characters (in print)

Shortly after Ed Kemmick moved from Minneapolis to Missoula to attend The University of Montana, he and a friend from New York fell under the spell of A.B. Gutherie's novel, The Big Sky.

"We wanted to be Boone Caudill and his friends Jim Deakins and Dick Summers," Kemmick writes. "In the afternoon, after our classes were over, we'd leave our dorm rooms in Duniway Hall and tramp up Hellgate Canyon. We'd build a fire in a swale not far from the river and sit there drinking quart bottles of Lucky Lager, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and palavering in our best imitation of our new heroes, larding our speech with 'I reckon,' 'this child' and 'I'm thinkin.'" They decided to live outside like their heroes, to camp out under the stars, to live on their own, "answerable to no one ... "

Fortunately for us (readers), that plan did not work out. Instead, Kemmick became a journalist and began to write about real, living Montana characters, folks like Dobro Dick, the cowboy and wandering musician who nudged Kemmick into putting together a collection of his stories -- which he did. That collection is titled, The Big Sky, By and By: True Tales, Real People and Strange Times in the Heart of Montana.

About the book, Russell Rowland (author of In Open Spaces and The Watershed Years) writes: "Ed Kemmick has an uncanny knack for finding interesting people and bringing them to life with words."

Hear Ed Kemmick talk about and read from The Big Sky, By and By Thursday evening at 6:30 ( or 7:30 (

Click here to find out more about Kemmick, access links to his Web site and a review of the book, and listen to the program online.

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