Bill Croke
Bill Croke
Bill Croke, formerly of Cody, Wyoming, is a writer in Salmon, Idaho.
by | Jun 4, 2018

“In our time the destiny of man presents its meaning in political terms.” — Thomas Mann I haven’t been to the movies in months. I passed on Dunkirk after reading a few reviews that told me that it lacked historical context….

by | May 21, 2018

If you are a graying Baby Boomer like me, you might remember a comedy troupe from the 1970s called “Firesign Theater.” They had their origin in FM “progressive” radio (KPFK-Los Angeles, 1966). The ensemble put out some two dozen comedy…

by | Jan 3, 2018

When most people hear the word “Catskills,” they think of Borscht Belt comedians and Woodstock (both the town and 1969 music festival). Others think about fly fishing and the Catskill Park, maybe the wildest piece of public real estate located near a major American city. That’s because there are two Catskills: the popular culture one, and the other, the big woods just two hours northwest of New York City.

by | Dec 11, 2017

I’m intrigued by the notion that despite their futuristic ideals, liberals are obsessed with the past in nostalgic ways. On the one hand they reject days-gone-by as politically and culturally retrograde, on the other they seek the past’s simplicity in…

by | Dec 1, 2017

Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon By John Clayton (Pegasus Books, 285 pages, $27.95) A common cliché used to describe the national parks is that they are being “loved to death.” The “crown jewels”…

by | Sep 24, 2013

Songwriting is the backstage, disreputable cousin of poetry. Audio poetry for the masses, if you will. Its highbrow priesthood (Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, the Gershwins) touched the transcendent. The popular guys (Lennon-McCartney, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell,…

by | Aug 22, 2013

A Sportsman’s Library: 100 Essential, Engaging, Offbeat, and Occasionally Odd Fishing and Hunting Books for the Adventurous Reader By Stephen J. Bodio Foreword by Jameson Parker (Lyons Press, 256 pages, $18.95 paper) Stephen Bodio is Edmund Wilson with a shotgun….

by | Jun 18, 2013

My friend Happy Jack Feder lived in Missoula, Montana, in the early 1980s in the same neighborhood as the writer Dorothy Johnson, who lived in a small house on Dearborn Avenue. Johnson was retired from teaching by then, but had…

by | Jun 10, 2013

On an anonymous day in June I will celebrate 25 years of sobriety. On that night in 1988 I came careening down a hill in Vermont and slammed my Honda Accord into an empty parked Subaru. Dazed, but unhurt, I…

by | May 17, 2013

Stories from Montana’s Enduring Frontier: Exploring an Untamed LegacyBy John Clayton (The History Press, 175 Pages, $19.99 paper) Montana’s history really began when it ran out of “frontier.” That is, when growing towns and economic development began to give it a…

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