Usually it’s around mid-October when we turn the heat back on in our house, but not this year. Today is the 27th of September and the heat is back on – feels good too. The main thing is to drive the dampness away, but it’s a bit chilly in the mornings too. When you’re three quarters of a century old, you feel those things you ignored when you were a mere 60 or 70 years old.

Don’t know if it’s unfortunate or fortunate, but Sandi’s and my antelope season is over for this year. I didn’t notice before, but apparently our doe pronghorns have added considerable body mass over the last few years. Used to be I could easily backpack a dressed buck for several miles or, if necessary, drag a field-dressed pronghorn for several hundred yards, sometimes even a mile or so, and toss it in the truck bed by myself.

That was then, this is now. Now it takes both me and Sandi together to hump a doe to the truck and load it. If the dressed carcass is more than a couple of hundred yards from where we can park the truck, we use a game cart. They must be getting better feed or something.

Since this column is usually due by Tuesday, in order to be included in the Thursday edition of the Enterprise, occasionally an opinion, pithy observation or rant is outdated by the time the column sees print. In my last two columns, I mentioned the condition of Monte Vista Ave up here in Valley View. Not only has the city repaired our street the correct way since then, the head of the public works department reached out to contact me and discuss the matter. Kudos to him for responding in a prompt and civilized manner. Did I mention that I hate talking to computers?

Switching trains now, thus far, I’ve encountered several different versions of those bear attacks in the news stories from the Montana press and TV reporters I told you readers about. All of which is relevant because it teaches us to explore any news story, especially controversial and high interest stories – particularly political or firearm related ones – from every angle possible and also to not believe everything you read. Just because it’s in print doesn’t make it the truth.

Granted, our local news media does a lot better job of fact checking than either the internet or national news media, but they’re human too and can make mistakes. As far as assumptions in print, that’s my department since this type of column isn’t really journalism or actual standard news reporting. Columnists like me are proof that you don’t have to have all of the facts to form an opinion.

Since this is turning out to be another one of those “Tidbits” columns, how about that Kanye West dude? He certainly knows how to introduce himself. I have to admit I knew a bit about his lady, the lovely Kim, but relatively nothing about Kanye himself. After his spectacular, open to the public, Christian service at the powwow grounds, and the coverage, both pro and con, following it, I now know a bit more about our new neighbor.

I’ve never much cared for rap music or hip-hop or whatever it’s called. Then again, I don’t care for opera, the classics of Mozart and Mr. B or all those old time big band sound dudes. Let’s just say my tastes are more Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Hoyt Axton. Although country, western and certain types of “pop” music like “Soft Rock” circa mid-50s has been a cornerstone of musical enjoyment in my life, I’m also not a fan of hard rock or KISS and their clones and spin-offs.

I especially hate that Jamaican, cowboy rap you get on 103.3, a supposedly traditional country and western station. And yes, Elvis is still king.

That said, I understand there’s been a bit of kick and growl about Kanye and Kim, but I haven’t heard anything derogatory personally. And really, as compared to some of the high rollers that have moved into Cody Country over the past years trying to shake things up and impress we “Rubes,” they probably won’t have an ultra-significant effect on our little town. If they do, hopefully it’s in a positive manner for our little hidebound community.

I think the real question is, are the people who are talking down Mr. Kanye just anti-rap or are they ticked off because a modern rap-music celebrity can celebrate our lord Jesus Christ in an nontraditional art form and with passion and style? Albeit a style that makes them uncomfortable if they’re severely wedded to traditional forms of musical worship. It’s reminiscent of biblical passages describing King David’s wife’s reaction to his singing in sheer joy after being overpowered by his love for Jehovah God.

So, while I’m not sure how it will play out in the future, welcome to Cody Country Kanye, Kim, and company. When all is said and done, I think the big question on many minds is, will the new owners continue to operate Monster Lake as an exclusive, commercialized fishing hole for the elite, complete with the restaurant and other amenities or shut if off and just enjoy it themselves?

Stay tuned.

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