Bill Croke

Bill Croke, formerly of Cody, Wyoming, is a writer in Salmon, Idaho.

Mud Fight at the Montana Corral

 

Montana is one of those Western states with quirky electoral preferences and a history of splitting tickets. Small but divided Congressional delegations, governors in the opposing party at odds with state legislature majorities, deep red rural counties and bright blue urban ones, especially if those little cities are college towns (in Montana, Bozeman and Missoula). […]

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Too Blue for Red

 

In May’s Idaho Democratic gubernatorial primary, 38-year-old Paulette Jordan prevailed over A.J. Balukoff, a perennial Democratic candidate and two-time loser. Jordan is a Native American and member of Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene tribe, who served as a two-term state legislator and supported Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential bid. Balukoff, 72, a businessman who formerly served […]

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Hollywood Devolution

 

“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. Nothing new there. The film industry long ago tossed out artistic excellence for PC politics. […]

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The Firesign Theater Media

 

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 LP albums (remember those?), the most prominent with titles such as “We’re All Bozos on […]

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The Catskills Revisited

 

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.

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The American Museum of Quaint

 

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 what they eat and drink, the clothes they wear, and the homes that they live […]

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For Our Benefit and Enjoyment

 

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” (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Great Smokies, et al.) have for some years seen record annual […]

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Chinook Winter

 

From our December 1997 issue. Cody, Wyoming To write about the weather, you have to be where the weather’s interesting, or preferably lethal. Here winter has been punctuated in a cadence of blizzard, dead cold, wild chinook — at twenty below, thin ribbons of smoke from chimneys and exhaust pipes rise upward for what seems […]

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The Cowboy Artist

 

Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926) celebrates his sesquicentenary on March 19, and this fact will be largely ignored by America’s decadent cultural establishment. A creative workhorse, the artist produced over 4,000 pieces in a run of forty years: paintings, drawings, sculpture, and commissioned illustrations for books and magazines. He even amused correspondents with whimsically illustrated letters […]

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Ray’s Busy

 

I took a trip back to New York this past fall to visit family and friends as I do every couple of years. Relatives and friends are getting on, and I also enjoy spending time with my many nieces and nephews, and their own progeny. It’s hectic and involves much local travel, but has its […]

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