Charles Kuralt's America for September in Twin Falls, Montana:
This is the last romantic figure of American history talking, the cowboy, the real thing. . . .
"Well," Delmar said, "with any ranch job, you don't know from one morning to the next whether you'll be working, so we feel real lucky to have been here twenty-five years. I don't know where the next generation of ranch workers is going to come from, though. Our kids, Delmar and Phyllis, tried working at the ranch, but they saw it was nine o'clock at night and they were still working, so they found something else to do. Young people are not interested in this kind of work."
What I thought was that young people don't know how to do it, and haven't the patience to learn. . . .
"We haven't been to a movie in twenty years," Delmar said. "We fish a little. We love to fish. And I usually get one deer in the fall, but I haven't even done that for a couple of years now. And Beverly raisers her flowers. . . ."
Delmar stopped right there and got up. He said, "Thanks for the coffee, Charles. Got a few things to do before dark." And the two of them were gone.
If you are looking for the true Montanans, you don't have to look any farther than Beverly and Delmar Rowe. They aren't rich, and don't expect to be. They have not lived their lives with an eye toward comfort and a pension at the end. What they have, I would guess, is worth more to them than money in the bank -- the beauty of the land and the continuity of the seasons and the satisfaction that comes from doing a job that fewer and fewer human beings know how to do, and doing it as well as it can be done. Delmar found out when he was young that Dillon, Montana, population four thousand, was too big a city for him, and that a cow camp on Thayer Creek was just fine. He had the good sense to act on this discovery. Millions of people in this country doing work they hate can envy him.
Tags: Charles Kuralt, America