Bodies of Water

Stream Trout general fishing season opens in Minnesota 18 April 2009. Until then, we have time to study the maps, tie our flies and dream our boyhood dreams of bodies of moving water….

Bozeman Explosion

At about 8:12 AM MST yesterday, a large natural-gas explosion rocked historic downtown Bozeman, Montana.  Several buildings in the 200 Block of Main Street, across from First Security Bank, were destroyed and one woman is missing.  There were no other casualties.  From what I’ve gathered from Twitter (#bozexplod) and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, it’s taken 24 hours to isolate the gas leak and subdue the fires.

 I lived in Bozeman almost 5 years.  It’s an amazing, creative new west meets old west, Yellowstone Park and working cattle ranches and mountains and blue ribbon trout jumping into your creel should you be a sufficiently virtuous fly fisherman.

Couple points we can take away from this disaster:

  1. Do you have a personal and professional disaster recovery plan?  Where would your family meet if your home was destroyed?  What would your business or organization do if your office exploded, was hit by a flood, or a pipe froze and burst?  Visit for tips.
  2. Social media like Facebook and Twitter increasingly fills the real-time information gap in this sort of situation.  However, smart organizations can integrate these tools to reinforce their value.  The key, as always, is building your network because you never know who is going to know what you need to know when you need to know it.  You know?
  3. On a similar note, a really smart guy I once worked for used to say that Scope is as important as Scale.  A larger city might have more firefighters, more specialized equipment and nifty high-tech recovery tools.  In a smaller citylike Bozeman, though, everybody knows everybody else and they know who can help get the job done—there are numerous examples coming out of city workers sticking to the job into the night despite the cold and snow, along with construction workers, lumber yards, ordinary citizens and more.  No matter if you’re big or small, make Scale work when it can and Scope when Scale can’t.

It’s a good reminder to Prepare, Plan, and Stay Informed.

Be Prepared.

A River Runs… Through a Book

Gapers Block Book Club blog out of Chicago highlights Norman Maclean today—specifically his book, A River Runs Through It.  You might remember a little Robert Redford film was based on it. 

If I didn’t dislike Redford’s politics so much, this would be my favorite movie of all time.  I have tried to disassociate the movie from the men, and the screeplay from the story. 

When I lived in Bozeman, Montana, I met some of the folks who worked behind the scenes and visited shooting locations.  I tried to imagine the Rev. Maclean preaching behind the same pulpit at First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman many years ago.

Never took.

We only have one chance to make a first impression.  My first impression of A River Runs Through It originated in the movie, not the story.  I visualize an actor, not a writer and professor.  I see the Gallatin River, not the Big Blackfoot.  I see Hollywood under the Big Sky.

I have the opposite experience with Maclean’s also excellent book Young Men and Fire.  A friend who had visited Seeley Lake told me about the event and recommended the read.  I have yet to visit Mann Gulch myself. Yet I can visualize the location in my mind like I lived there.

Someday somebody will put this story on film.  There’s a script in circulation.  They will probably shoot in Canada or Southern California because they have no respect for the role of Place in our lives. The images will blur, but not for me. And not for you if you go read the book now.

Friends don’t let friends see movies before they’ve read the book.

In My Goggle Library:
A River Runs Through It 
Young Men and Fire