A Morning Beer And An Extra Story About Yellowstone

by Travis Mateer

I could tell after a few minutes of conversation with one of my street contacts that his ability to track what I was saying was being impacted by symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It wasn’t yet 9am, so I asked him if he’d had a drink yet. No, he told me. What would you prefer, I asked. Colt 45 or Hurricane, he replied. I skated off and selected the latter at Wordens for his morning fix.

After returning with a cold can of slow death, and opening it for him, we chatted for a few minutes. I told him about my most recent article tracking the community impacts of helping Costner produce Yellowstone, and he told me about a scruffy looking homeless dude being approached to be an extra in the show, though he couldn’t remember the dude’s name.

Another piece of speculation I received concerns the nice-looking copper now adorning the doors of the County Courthouse. Was this a result of the filming? Did the Missoula County Courthouse get a door upgrade for providing a space to allow valuable FICTIONS to be created?

I called the Montana Film Office (1-800-553-4563) to follow up on this lead, and to ALSO inform them that Mark Weatherford’s phone number is NOT functional, resulting in the film office acting as a defacto messaging service for this “Key Assistant Location Manager”. As an aside, I later learned this is not unusual, thanks to a LONG time contributor to the Montana blogosphere I can totally vouch for, who said this:

Thank you JC for the excellent insight!

Back to The Doors; the woman I spoke with was very helpful, and seemed to actively listen as I explained my motivations in confirming whether or not the doors to our Courthouse are copper coated due to the transactional access peddled by our public officials. At least I HOPE she was listening as I explained that the experiences of survivors and family members dealing with atrocious injustices are NOT made any better with prettier looking doors to a building where such deplorable leadership resides.

With a little time to kill before an important Lego-related meeting, I decided to see if the Phoenix security guys at the front desk in the Courthouse could be helpful on this matter, and they were by putting down the rumor I had heard, saying those doors are beautiful originals.

The REAL magic of this whole inquiry actually came as I approached the Courthouse and saw Congressional candidate, Monica Tranel, speaking to a small group of supporters. Instead of any direct engagement, I decided to place a copy of my newsletter (which she snubbed earlier this week) under the windshield wiper of her notorious minivan, and I even had the pleasure of watching her sidekick grab it after they wrapped up their little event.

So, in summary, wrong numbers can be strategic, copper doors at the Courthouse are original, and Monica Tranel has a copy of the Zoom Chron Bulletin ready to go from minivan to trashcan.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to A Morning Beer And An Extra Story About Yellowstone

  1. TC says:

    Hey Travis. Not throwing stones but wondering why you enable. I worked with the same population as you – for many years. I tried giving alms but it didnt affect change. I tried tough love – it did not affect change. I left with no answers.
    Part of me thinks you are very Christ like – no judgements, help people right where they are, and help. But often I remember the words “and sin no more”. The abuse our transients are putting upon themselves is sinful – they are abusing their God’s creation.
    So…. When you contribute – are you being Christ like or agent of Satan? I have no idea! Just wondering how you view this.
    Bottom line – I believe you do what your heart dictates. And that is awesome (full of awe)!!!

    • There are only a few I’m willing to enable like this, but it is a type of enabling, and I’m aware of that. It’s also kind of transactional. I see value in the perspective I gain from my conversations, so compensating in some way seems appropriate.

    • JC says:

      When people begin to show symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and given the nature of serial inebriates living on the street, a person basically has two moral choices. Offer medical assistance so a medically necessary detox can happen, or offer symptomatic relief — alcohol. We are not medical professional able to gauge the level of tolerance and alcohol poisoning that has occurred, or what will happen to this particular person if they were to cold turkey it.

      It is far nobler to offer a street drunk a drink to stave off potentially life threatening withdrawal seizures than it is just to offer condescending/consoling words or just avert your glance and walk away. And if you happen to give the street drunk some company and assistance for a while, and some conversation along with a drink, well, what can be evil about that?

      I work with this same population on a daily basis too. But with those who’ve managed to quit drinking and using, or are ready to quit. And more than a few times they’ve told me that they keep drinking or using until they are are ready to accept help, and real help is ready for them — none of this spin dry crap. Sometimes it is that one drink or use that keeps a person alive long enough to find the path to recovery. Who are we to say that Travis’ beer wasn’t that moment?

  2. TC says:

    Travis/JC – thank you so much for your responses. They widen my perspective! I was truly searching for understanding about this issue. Im not there but, perhaps, closer thanks to your input.
    Probably was looking for something Black or White but with all of life we exist in the Gray.
    Im thankful for you guys passing on perspective.
    Be well

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