« The MeatEater Podcast

Ep. 185: Tom McGuane On The Beauty of Not Knowing

2019-09-09 | 🔗

Steven Rinella talks with the author Tom McGuane, Corinne Schneider, and Janis Putelis.

Subjects discussed: What to write on your gravestone; Tom's lifelong bond with Jimmy Buffett and Jim Harrison; is Jack Nicholson kind of a prick?; living with Marlon Brando; The Missouri Breaks; shooting into coveys; the profile of a "Fudd"; the relationship between biodiversity and active ranch land; before Key West became Key West; America as a people; becoming nobody on a windy porch; and more.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Let me guess you surely severely bout. My case underwear can predict anything presented by an ax hunt. Creators of the most comprehensive digital mapping system per hunters download the hunt out from the itunes or google play store, nor you stand with annex thomas moore going. Are you talking about really old work of yours. Oh sure, I care what we talk about, because, when you, when you Look at all the things? down and written where it is georgia? Where does the movie rancho de luxe? ready, stag dead,
if you are going to live if you're going to had a tombstone and they were going to list your accomplishments on your tombstone right? Would I put rancho de la rancho de luxe make the tombstone I've already written the text for the tombstone says it's been a great life. I wish. I understood it well read through the likes was a happy accident than away. It's never stop as I am sure you are aware, but basically what happened is a producer bought ninety two in the shade and they couldn't get them. They couldn't get the financing together in the short term and this Do you have exerted, never script? I said this: do you have anything ready to go, and I said Yes, I do. I have a screenplay ready to go that wasn't true. I hadn't written thing is it will be better
two weeks and let's see what you got so I went to my son bedroom. He was about ten years old the time in two weeks I had written, it's a dog that he flew in from l a, and I said here it is. He went back to my son's bedroom when he came back out. He said this is great. We are going to make it. So it was a luck. Sing from that. You know, and then there were people just for abused by the idea of Jeff bridges was early in his career. Sam waterston was early in his career. My brother in law did the music. Their people came up to hang out, word owed sincerity in stanton and other people. We just had a lot of one may. That movie so glad founded audience. I recommended people all the time. But I find that when I show it to people Neither have they need to have a little bit of pre awareness of the west.
In some of the conflicts indifferent personnel. right archetypes from the west ass, though they were not being a little baffled by it. The litmus test theirs because that was actually that was actually the impulse to write it right. It because I mean we're. I was under. I got here sixty was aware were those kind of official version of montana life, which was the same as the chamber of commerce version was all big sky Cowboys, indians, definite and everybody I knew was you know, poaching, sellen selling, the ill gotten gains to buy dope and motor Michael parts, you, though I thought all this is what I know to be going, and why is that When we talk about this or less what our kind wanted and what'd you haven't quite get over, that actually is still very conscious of the tension which
What I know is is a day to day person in montana for fifty two years with the official version of life in london, and I ve always felt that tension that I would like to use that too. Get things I want to write about you measure that your brother law does the music, in your broilers, Jimmy buffet right, and he has a cameo by the way. Surely wilhelm cartridges way in Michigan forty two thousand people came while. By the way I ever interjected, I just came back room where you put festival in france Can army readers came sixty one thousand. while they were running trains from paris. The same alone. Brittany just carry readers. Could that happened here now. That's it. That's really amazing in france, like, I know that
you're, late friend, Jim Harrison would talk about how well his books would do and free, You have a lot of reader. Do you get a lot of years? We and I both at more fresh readers and american riggers, really Fact, one of the publishers over there said you literary people would be did out of business if it weren't for france, semi true harrison was there like ten times that you are here, he's ionian honoured over their reality and a huge following there. He was really kind of a rockstar over there. It's todd who they settle out or not Jim's case billy. Paul Auster loses her, but not easily. Absorb writer he's another rockstar in france. This is to come back to my question. I it get my thing yet. Gradually locks, but what it does I guess I talk about. Often I grew up in Michigan and we would. The issue for us
Kids that, like that, like to read, write. And like the fish in hot but we all idolized, you guys you, would think of you as like knots on a dog, you and Jim Harrison right repeal we like who'd, you liked to read, and people will say I'm goin in harrison. Has that did do you? but that's the thing that comes from like a michigan perspective. Where are you guys are so lumped in because you both at the same school there, Rudy urban or your whole life. Have you found that people will roll you guys together, even though your writing is so different yeah, It's true. I mean it's confusing thank you I mean german. I were pals from the time we were just out of our teens. Really me, we just gotta grew up, In some ways together, you know and cooperate closely linked we wrote letters each at least
every week to each other for almost half century. Only stop writing letters Died- and we did so- we were mentally, really invite in each other's consciousness, either too to the degree the sensitive died. I get this kind of like a blank channel on my phone or some blank thing and what to do with it. You know, because I feel it up for two thirds of my life with these dialogue we had good. Jim was Jim. We're very soon. The same things other little literature. We both hundred fish constantly or d, found some reason to be outdoors door to use a bird. What What we want, we didn't wanna, be allows the bottom line and em. He was a terrible terrible hundred fish from messy. Do here really
remember what time were. Couldn't it? Couldn't it up the barn with bull fiddle? Will you know a menu, if you were shot something he'd run out and grab, says mine, but would point I said Jim, I said shut that grouse. You know it's not your. You said, I know it is mine and I said well, ok but How could we have approved this? I said you did let off your god, but I know you can't it anything. He said what Get a cheese greater ever going to read this. It pellets, Here's. What are you shooting? I said I don't know, I'm shouldn't it, seven have. Is it well? shooting aids and will be able to tell after we shred this the Javert find out. Isn't there We either you as usual, is aided the bird over it, but he this tremendous responsiveness, danny,
The natural world I mean he just ignited did on the presence of any little thing. It was going on you felt an he didn't a genuine way, not just in a literary way, no very genuine like if he wasn't a rider, he would still be doing that same thing. Yeah right, I think that's right. That's where it hard. hard to understand him. As I get older, an older is its harder. He cannot in some ways, except to stage a little bit further called the literary mad man. You know, like you, gotta created in some ways you gotta created what we expected to see there and it was eyes hard to tell it as they get older is hard to tell too to what degree that's that you did it cause he got away with it.
Like you did, it goes as became expected of him. You know yeah a lot of wine in the food and the women. That's right. I mean there's a lot of that. Going on that error, you know under thompson, was very much like my son workers hundred tons of bodyguard brief. and I was around hunter a lot to do. You know you to spend a day with honey, Go and stuff beat around me very normal, but they meant there was an audience around everything changed. You know for the worse there. Jim was very audience aware too, I think they're yeah, but He was also use. He was a very genuine in other ways: Anything about harrison he's is not often recognizes as unbelievably intelligent. You could give him
tough european five page novelty, read it overnight and remember everything in it, so that was that was probably the first thing I would think about with him. When he's also pretty curiously self propelled, I mean you mode to Montana. For long long stretches, nobody ever knew he had a wife and children in the media, did what he felt like doing with room. Remarkably, it either dependent or unilateral everyone Lydia Back to my question, actually locks. I was does the arbalist right for several years, western montana, and I met a guy bless them would glinda and he had been upon a ranch in the bridge, arrange.
And he one day was telling me he said. He was reminiscing about being a kid. You talk how they were film in a movie once in his dad sold, someone I can. Those aboard steer, oh yeah. I know that. I know that all and family right, levick cheryl. I was good great. I was always a great accurately. We would a rope motel room, I don't we did that. Oh no, that works at the water. He was talking about yet the ether about the one we shot It was the one I just can't out, but he had no idea about the movie no, a story about some people making a movie, maybe was the one that went into the hotel room
then you know without well we'd get him in the hotel room. What are we gonna do with him? Then? He, then he charged you ve said: explode tv exploded, perfect for the film bolivia, bland yeah, the one, the one to get shot with this or the one? she's. So obviously, have you seen animals, it. You know when you see something real like apocalypse now I made a mistake recently of showing my nine year old, the end, sequence of apocalypse now right. Were they kill a water buffalo right, remember the way that it looked in at traumatized them a little bit about, but why urging in ranch. What looks like there was a time like this of doesn't what really happened anymore? No, It would take a sharps buffalo rifle and shoot shoot something for the camera yeah. Well, we had stuff like that happen, I'm glad that doesn't happen anymore. I mean we had some catastrophes,
we're making Missouri breaks with the horses we weren't horses. They wanted horses and the big order they get tangled up with old barbed wire on the bottom. Randal stuff here, that was your film with model. Brand right. Did you work on that? One, lived with brando for a world, that's a huge hit and in europe, The Missouri breaks is widely considered the best modern western. just mad about it, I, so off the wall. You domino's, whose varied thing I mean bread, jack, nicholls, it's kind of a prick, but brando was really a fabulous human being. I just joined all the time I had with them procedures, hair almost harrison kind of big.
or are you know, ya, naturallyspeaking in a very unusual personally when I was staying within these kids that come over to the house to get him to prepare their bicycles to get a little workshop and he could do some electronics evicted fix their their block mandan very ordinary guy never saw the godfather ever saw the movie ruled out details. He was from the industry. What did you not like about jack Nicholson? Oh you. It's just a prick great actor. There he was very much overshadowed by brando. Brander did an interview in which you said it was he loved watch jack act, you sick is like watching a guy with one finger play a piano one key. That they didn't bode well, and then we Asked the girl was queer
girl, you know, for the the love. Idris thing in end chooses the scores girl, but to get to know just try to be sort of interested in or you do certain food to get into the sort of mood for the movie when they arrive. In montana, she announced that she was a lesbian and moved into a tent with their girlfriend, Do it adapt as such. It is here that such unusual tie, there to be involved in. the culture around here, because I feel like this area, really been discovered by broader america, through you know? I feel somewhat. That's my fault but you know I was I mean I was broke. You know I have trouble you're on how to survive here. You can't I couldn't really survive adding literary fiction, I did it. Teaching gay get berkeley were.
one season and I thought no. I do this because I loved teaching Brain were right at the end of a teaching day, and so I had to make some choices I moved over got a place for twenty eight dollars a month. South aid street livingston and scrambling enough room for sports, illustrated. I wrote babbles road short stories and then I broke movies. You know our data be with you not long ago, where. You were talking about the you like the quail they like to any kind of birds, and you had observation about quail hunting where and I won't I might get this wrong, but I think this is basically what you said is that. One is a covey of quail and you kill one of them, you dont have the gill.
that you might not otherwise have because you think of the of the being as being the covey yeah. The kaweah lives on was true, for it was true for yet, but you the same thing could be true of any population. If you look at a metal level, Well, that's a gorilla human ability or by humanity lives on well, that's great. quite actually and I'm dear jump ahead of me, I think, you're right, you know If I should arm once said, is that people are really in the animal world it when they talk about hundreds of very worried about the individual animal and not particularly worried about the species and that's key to what you You got guys doing right. Agree with that. However, every now and then I'll be out grouse hunting and to grow so get up like it's late november. a kill one of em, the one goes off for a long winter in I sort of feel
shity know I can imagine, but for some reason I mean I I have. I have a covey of huns that I've been shooting in two thousand four hundred and thirty There are always the same size here, it's always too. The sixteen birds are killed three or four berger rear cover is always in the same place. Always is size if their grasshoppers for the baby. That you did you use became a little baby. I did not It is not your interest in that faded. I don't know- I mean I was getting to be a little bit of a trophy hunter, which was serve against my principles but we ate lot of game I remember. When my son- and I was For a while with a single parent- and we were eating a lot of game and em. Don't have any money and eyes. We certainly want to remove you say something happened. I had a bunch of money suddenly and I still do
the town to get some stakes- we're gonna eat this dear meet for a while, and so I went and I get this beauty, ribeyes, you know, and he was out playing in the yard and I cooked up these ribeyes. He came walk in the house. She said. Oh, my god, what was stinking up the house? I said it's, these steaks. Oh god, throw away. The whole house sticks around opening the widows to get this beef steak, the house, so that guy was a watershed moment for me I mean it's just that in the fact, the over noticed fact that people don't seem to know where meat comes from the allocated. That's over noticed at one time. A word out of florida, my wife alike, to smoke. Wish my wife loved each nook. You know she said
she's going to the movies little community center she's a catch us not today, will have slept for there. So I went out were the way- and I hope this big smoke and down on the dark- and I get ready to give him the woods shampoos and my wife car lights come into the driveway and I she could gets out of the car, and I said I got what I was going to bring up the house now. She said, don't hurt him. rabbinical beautiful but happy when you say you became a trophy hunting for well. What do you mean Well, I gotta get arrested, tried to find a big like you re a meal dear, want to find a big building, and did you find one yeah, what, if those five of Kill the big one. I look like an outlying out among the five pointers added orange cradles it, and I knew I never kill a bigger wood and also
question, how good he was gonna be to eat and why? I've been. I look back on it. I mean I really miss. Those days are really being obsessed. You know up in the morning and thinking which way the wind is how much snow there is and where I think they'll that day or where I could stake out, where the command of the trees and eminently where that whole sooner running in your heads fund to be obsessed. You know I'm not like being observed, and I did and I kind of miss that and on the strictly the meat level he probably last year's van would be the one to shoot. If you wanted to wants me, there's not much of a quest involve their. This note is the sort of predatory, adrenaline doesn't silly
it and gave over that that sort of thing, but probably one of the reasons I have drifted toward bird hunting. So much as I really get obsessed with that boy. I've had bird dogs, my entire life and just watching each one mine develop and how they get, how they figure the game out and how we do this together. that that's a similar obsession and you track. You travel little bit the hot right. The memory and in an email you mentioned you down in texas, hunting quail I've got friend, who lives over by mcallister, who had a little quail camp down their couplet trailers and on a lot was texas, and then we find leases replaces go here. I have a year, I have a friend, bert jones, remember bert jones, quarterback, ferrara, indianapolis, now great player. You know him Jani. I know really get
He wondered wonderful guy anyway, he's gotta, coil least other west texas, less taxes a great place to burn out because totally for it was not a habitat left unless taxes for these birds and is completely dependent on whether I may go almost zero worry, you couldn't find him quail with a helicopter, and a year later, there pinioned ahead denotes twinning of rain in their particular disturbing the way you do things like that. So anyway, I'm going to help with him this year and then broke off, and I went to a couple places in georgia and north fact my closest role here. We have a big coil dinner night before last about love back, but I let her quest thing, but that shared things like that for forty years, a computer
cutting horses and there's a little similar thing where you're trying to understand what that divorce is figuring out and you're trying to cooperate in that quest, you don't have the same with bird dogs. You know You see, though, that moment where their wondering wondering, if fear, cut off track and they look up sure there are one hundred euro that you go. You go like you know the the that communication thing and then, when boom, when it works, you know and they ve got him, and you know they're out front and it's your job now and they go back a little bit like this, and I mean this very. The heat rises. Consider your hair! Is it real, quick, whereas to compete on a cutting horse. it's a long story by me. If you don't have seen a cunning or something I mean the rule book as eighty pages law so but
Basically, you know sorting cattle and competitive situation, you with very athletic speedy, tough thing to figure out. You never get bottom, others very tough and soaring dislike they three arena with a hundred and yeah cut out the two. Now, right, you'd have to see it. We have to have a video to show you what was going on. You know what correctness somewhat horses doing with the writers are doing, but the analogy to bird hunting is that it doesn't work unless you have a pretty profound and sort of emotional relationship with that horse or that dog I mean I've. Seen really the dog handlers would, if that dog out three hundred yards, knew what to stop and turn a go. Someplace else, I know a candle to tap on the whistle and that dog a freeze on just chill and go someplace else.
Where is, if you can blow the whistle all day, long that won't dog won't even hear you and all it is a tap, but there's the communication is so intricate. If that level that and you have to work at it all the time for it to happen. So that's kind of supplanted my Big game hunting thing, but I very you know I really value the impulse to hunt big game. We will talk about this all the time, but they need stakeholders new agenda. I had I was fishing in the bahamas with them johnny morris review girdle. Found her best proto yeah, two hundred billion loyal customer she's, just one the autobahn award very much more about environmentally alert person than the Kabila's group.
but what is one and the same now were garages and em, but. Their data, tells them that the gun and hunting community is declining- and I was talking to my friend and Barbara big timber and his son manages Kabila's mozilla their frustrated because you're not getting them the volume of weaponry that they used to get before this changeover of because Johnny Morris knows the future
its fishing, not honey there, and you know we have a wonderful, sharp here towns wording that story called the sport of yellow ribbon and sport. Now I have always read brill depot from gun sales stuff like that, and until very recently it was just in all sporting thing. The alarm rifles became rifles and shot goes Ellis of who is the great presence of high conceivable weapons? Now, in a cave, forty seventh completely supplanted deserve not completely they still carolus by this, huge presence. This store big timber, so you know I know, there's a lot of work zealotry around the second amendment, no controversy about that, but always people who for a gun, nuts and forgotten, but only for the gunners who are fanatical about where rights to him
every kind of gun and have it in every place. Churches school are replaced by the wakes up. The legislature and the banks can't take guns there and taken to kindergarten you can't take him to a bank. The obscene warning signs in entering sporting goods doors here about he can't take him to hear her. Take him to the energy convention, their laws bags so but but but but my point is not What's, that is that they are more interested in what often flies under the aegis of hunting weapons, more interested in protecting the rights to him. many, those they want, they're, not very interested in protecting the quarry or the wildlife that these are supposedly being sold to exploit. So they're, not they're, not they're, not They're, not battler, for public land access there, not babblers for well being wildlife from any that they just want the guns, and I don't get it we will become pretty segmented when it comes to think
that they're giving advocacy for yet you know I want some ones are crusader for something there. They tend to fix a well at that. possible notices referred boundaries with their me, like the smart play. Their part play is to understand right, placing either way. There's understand. I think that people there were playing the real long game that do you stand, that public participation in certain activities depends on viable resources depends on access, and then they understand that some people, you know, there's people like there's our elements of of the gun community, that they have a derogatory term for people that focused too much on hunting. Where you become a fight you that afoot, would be someone who views firearm ownership through the of hunting would be a fud if you do I guess the gathering elmer foot, oh papa,
do you have you far lagging well, you can't fix stupid. Have you found your career this? There's probably a double edged sword to your involvement, through our life with hunting. Implicit and explicit involved. firearm ownership and fishing, where it's made up much of what you write about yet and so much of your understanding of the world right. But then you now out of necessity and perhaps personal preference. You worked with many people would be regarded like people in los angeles or hollywood people, new york who would have an innate suspicion of those things some one hand. You're, probably penalized in some way because of the things I ve been involved in, but on the other hand, you wouldn't be here if it weren't for those things, because those are the things that make up your work
When I hear that, like in my line of work personally, when I hear that some media- Enterprise or whatever, doesn't want to work with us, because the hunting or because of the gun thing Like our water bomber, but on my behalf, If it wasn't for those things I wouldn't talk, I wouldn't have any reason to be in the conversation anyway. This is all I've ever talked about right right right. How have you ever felt that have you that, in a way that was painful to you, well, you know it over the american academy and I go back there for those meetings in one of my good friends of joy williams, enjoy waves, wrote the most eloquent anti hunting book ever she's. The best answer, hunting writer out there now she's fantastically good, and she just feels very strongly united. I don't I don't we will at all with the genuineness of her rage against the idea of killing animals.
And the old, the old head of humane society, what said, why would you want to kill something that wish to live. You know big question there. Are you get around it? I mean you can't skip it. You know, and I'm not sure you get by saying an incremental portion the meat I eat. I kill myself. You know I mean I mean I'm a big. What was that, yeah. I like junk food a good food relic, jug full, but so But when I back in the bubble, you know I know there are things that are just going to be warfare. If we want to have to talk about I'm under contract to the new yorker, I wouldn't send them a hunting story. I don't I barely would send them She store you still love story, lotta cattle, ranchers, yeah.
it was no were the of the year the contradictory nature of there's no doubt about you feel that they wouldn't do feel they would not publish a story that had a protagonist. Her antagonist too was a hunter. there I don't know, but probably but I mean one thing that drives me in that one. One reason I am fairly camp comfortable with the ranch in culture is it's a pretty profound studies indicated that when a ranch goes out of business, for any reason, without a business for any reason, no matter what other trajectory goes to biodiversity drops sharply guy so even though you know most of my friends have at this point, my for a right wing ranchers. You know four reasons like I can never quarters them, but that my colleague
Why can't you? What ninety three percent for drop their due, want to go out of business. You know, and also also. I know that there are reasons for voting in things, the way they do a lot more subtle them there are ascribed to them, a lot of them, I know had problems with obama, not because he was black, but because he is in the latest and talk like a harbor guy. They had a real issues with his his way of expressing himself. He reminded them of the kind of people that are trying to run. They monitor very carefully black mean anything to the other. There is a simplified way. I found that I again where there's a very but people here, adult people both sides do it. When you try to boil p
motivations down, something that you know is unfair yeah, but it's really helps with the rhetoric yeah. I just got a friend of mine just for the forward or dough a really brilliant peace, actually was the worst reposed rama manual, wrote rum fishes here, and it was. the idea that the only way to beat tromp was the best way be trumpets, do not try to outrun him. And that the idea that the squad is going to somehow or other distort the election is just crazy. This because moderates have always dominated presidential elections, and but it is tempting to fight fire with fire. You know I mean I find this age culturally and politically to be unbelievably,
anxious. You know I was just came back from this to look towards Europe and I'm anyone know why we machine gun our kids and work. We too are these awful thing and used to be eager francis a little bit of hostility between americans and french people, even among intellectuals and cultural elites, not true anymore. They just feel sorry for us. They think that we are taking what was the greatest experiment: democracy in the history of the world and ruining it. They can't figure out why we're doing that they mean because they re they mean that just because of the estate looks like the name calling in the divisiveness right, like that aspect of america bell that level of discourse of the kind of a wall building in the in the country to build on the idea of free trade wanting to launch all these tariffs on me. This does make sense to them with like with flat.
Doubt and knowing that that approaches his tremendous support here, ray its roots, its kind of alarming. But if you, if you live in a very conservative com, Do you know that that's just part of what people are you know this is part of what people are not. It is not a sweeping an indictment, as it looks like it is Do you feel it you feel politically? I mean, I know political. You probably feel out of place, but do you feel out of place being in a I mean being you've been evolved and ranching yeah, but you said outside of ranchers in general bigger writers, bad enough. I mean No, I was, I I feel pretty comfortable unites, bet, tenured groping sphere, the northern rodeo association yet on us and they think I'm They just view my prayers.
Civism is just another corky, also guys drinking problem. I've gotta progressed. that problem because there's a boat theirs. you said, I know you're in the fly, pissing all vain right. The academy of arts and letters and then there's a desert schizophrenia get the others, but that was the whole year some horse hall of fame, the category of it. Yeah, I don't know I mean I just saw this thing. I read this quota was so great so I ask you visited charles dickens and trials it can set, will at the I'm really to people. He said he said, I'm the person and creates a you know alleys these positive characters. I am also the kind that creates school scrooge and am isn't this a little too to me That does is to do things in those he said. Only too, though
I read an interview. you're you're talking to a a of gold. He, like a literary viewer cameras, name like a literary figure. And you were talking about a thing that you like the you're, explaining that thing you liked about horses and you think liked about fishing is, ritualistic qualities to death row. He explained that love. It. I think it's, but partly that in some I mean my my problem, my fathers to accuse me. This is unjust interests. It so many things you know, there's a problem. I can see that an end, but those are things that really concentrate me. You know I mean in pretty quick
here too. I mean safe to do rather a string up a fly ride in the minutes. For the war river, all kind of conflict and for the multiplicity of my brain life gonna go way. I'm just gonna miss scott. I gotta get focused and I part of things that enables you to folks. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Every time you go hunting or you go fishing there there is there is there is ritual eyes behaviour. That has a quayside demand religious dimension to it, and. You know, since I don't have any other kind of religion. I like it. I like to access that thing that pattern of doing things in the right way to do things and m huntings, fuller,
and so with fishing. Give an example of a of of activity that you'd find I'm an activity within the activity and activity within fishing or an activity within haunting there would be. The type of ritual is to behave you're talking about boil a mistake for global. Well, I'm not sure I can I'd have to brood outlet. For what are you saying, I think so that ireland incredibly is not so much the rituals that man humans have come up for these. If these were more so the rituals that has come about of doing the actively well, I think, problem that I mean some of it is habit forming there's some of the things. You know that my father, my grandfather with hunters are right instead of ways to do things, the right way, the right ways and wrong guns, dogs and things it's supposed to do how you supposed to take care of things
And you really feel it when you're around people who haven't had that kind of approach to it, you they don't. They don't have to inherited genetically, but they have to honor these kinds of practices about the way that the way you do things and that's a ritual eyes. No, that's it! That's a phoney observation, not funny, but You notice that I hadn't thought to put it in those words, but when you're with someone what's our own people who began hunting later life began fishing later in life, and it does that they have in their behaviour in the way they do things you realize nothing really wrote, yeah there's nothing that they do it, because that's how they, Were shown to do it and always did it to now them apparent. I four times a counter other parents with young kids who
For whatever reason our pay, dealing with all new strategies. That they learned read about or heard about, rather than sort of the activities that you would have seen. The way your grandparents behaved and there was a way your parents behaved and the expectations of children and these things sort of march on. You know, and you know me: people who parent told outside of whatever inertia has gathered up right screw. It think like. Oh no we're trying we're we're trying a new type of parenting makes me in the same way there with you see the same thing in certain like just tying a fishing hook on like this, the person that does it all the time the presidency is to be dabbling yeah, like the dabbled in loud yourself,
Thought of russia that I have a good friend. I will name Could he so well known, but go ahead never been, but I've fish for steel head for a long time and there's a lot of stuff about fishing through a run If you catch fish, you know you need to go back to the top of the run letter where rules of the run fish on by laughing yeah and I was I was in no tierra del Fuego. This further minded we hit this really great run on of sea run river as declared fish through it and efficient behind you and catfish bubble. so fished always get to the bottom of the run. Catches a nice fish like a sixteen pansy run brown drop. He circled lower back and he gets in front of me to do it again in ireland fishing that what I was living in going to school steal it fishing in northern california. We then have these lines You know that those really strict!
body in the lineup was a phenomenal castor. There are great fishermen, fewer dunk, artificial, circled, up good got in front of him. It be time for bitch, you're, just looking that rude early stupid or I could, or greedy good figure just does, as other citizens have at the moment to be sorted out. A body experience and my with a lunatic. I like reading your short stories alot. If I had to pick one thing. Of the other all kinds work you do from novels right, sure stories, nonfiction, I say? As you know, I, like your short, Where is the most ok? Personally I do too. Why are the characters why your characters in your fiction so different. in its wits end in Canada
dishevelled and there Personal lives When you read you about you and your foot, as in your life, it's it's like a completely different world view, live suppressing the truth. Well, I don't know, but I mean I think, that special short fisher depends on the server crisis. Atmosphere me, it has in fact refer to relax would be at stake. No, it should not be the criterion day to day lives of people either unless, unless it's a re, carvers so eyes
mean narrative, fictional narratives, gonna, driven by conflict in a way, and Henry James said only has one responsibility. That is to be interesting. You know this is not the same level of interest that you have in nonfiction in a word fact driven or information driven. So it s a very different kind of atmosphere. So all the different things. I think, then, that sort of stuff you would describe in your life is utter of fishermen and other things, although those should be part of it. I I'm reading the sum to skirt this book called them fishing in paris
I support a title. Something like that, but it's about a guy who lived in sweden during the period to fish is a fishing fanatic and during the period when the swedish dream of a serve utopians, this title fishing in utopia when the utopian dream in Scandinavia still intact before the big waves of immigration. All things that of change that happened and he's gone back is a fisherman, but he's really observer of what is here into this utopian fantasy of the swedish people and how its changing everything so the idea. I find this very appealing idea, the idea of
finding a way these things that we do impinge on other things that are less recreational, for example, than what we're talking about or less focused a solemn systematically focused on the things we want to provide for ourselves as individual S, individualised characters known as the great hunter or the great fisherman or something like that, there was a little bit broader view of how these activities illuminate other things, and certainly I just got this book and I've just started reading it very interesting kind of way to do it. Your characters also have an increase. The dim view of marriage. you have a dim view of marriage is forty, because the thing that makes it ok, I guess, is you. The man is typically at the at fault,
Well, that's interesting. I mean I like the idea of faulty men We know why anybody gets married anymore, I mean it seems likely slightly defunct institution I mean what what what is it, I mean asserted documentation for something you do anyway. and I have a check buried history. I made my ears histories. It's been married. Three times, but I've now been married forty, two years to the same person, so it's kind of a little bit of an odd thing and in one of the marriage is refer like eight months. What what goes on eight month. Marriage- didn't, I guess I dunno acts accident or rebounding or billing? All those guns thing background
growing up in an irish catholic household. What you're supposed to do. You know I mean I would never getting married a second time under the current sort of cultural, convictions, but on the other hand, I in this really happy marriage for more than half my labor and forty two, here that's a long time, and so I am not. I just don't see why it needs kind of imprimatur. You know of official news, not bad move makes people feel more committed, you know, and then they should do it, and I did it. You know but I don't think it has learned, meaning anymore, more european, statistically almost most marriages ended divorce. So what does that say about it that in it So what does it say about is a non enduring institution, not think it was. I feel that its helpful its
well, because it makes you take yourself seriously. Oh, I see that's what I felt yeah. I feel like also that makes you take some part of yourself more seriously than he might otherwise a good reason to do it and I feel like it also is like you put in certain things to rest. Yeah I am not chasing girls right, yeah. The time span, a member body, my was somebody got married in the next day. He felt he needed one, those old top hat from the nineteen, so he could lay head out to work he felt he he should be grabbing his briefcase and putting his hat on right in getting on the business of life now that he's married- and he said that was the first time I ever felt that way? Oh well, there was some other reason cause like there was. He had this other reason to go. Work at ea fall out of his eye. Chair yeah. How could wear your review of unmarried?
thirty five and your book Careful what's going wrong here, because you don't believe in the institution right here. Will you can apply all these criteria? You have to shoot for lip great. If you continue to put your heads alone, I give you one. I think there are a couple of situations or I could have almost been at that place and then you know things, Apart from that? I would ask you to get married. You said no, no now that hasn't happened yeah. I don't. You know. I don't. I don't think that wherever at and arrived at place, your real
You know, if I looked back at my life past couple of years. The decade before there's always a core of myself that kind of nose, but a lot of other things. You do you wish you would ever get married. You read it you look forward to. I want Molly I do I do I would like a family, but I think that before that bins. I I I do want to feel that the person I'm with is committed to teaming up with me right in in doing that. Have you ever considered a starter, hubby we now know, I'm not sure. If I have, I think I think I have maybe some feelings. Similarly to what you have
I have around marriage as an institution, and I think that or I've come to a place now with the experiences that I've had, that I think to be in partnership with someone is a choice that you make every day and and that you it is you renew that every day for as long as the both of you do now very that? No, then you wasted all kinds of time. Why could you It does feel like you. Do you feel, like you stay in something like yourself to that part of the beauty of it? Is this part of the of it is another The alarm about trying to trivialize marriage like a nice thing about marriage, is that you make a set of decision. You have a lot of time to think about those decisions, right, there's a hunt ways to get out of it and you and all of your head- and you say This is what I'll do it at that moment, you stop pretending that you didn't make their decision
sounds like the thing that you didn't the thing that you now do, then you turn yourself to the other shit in life and you d. wake up everyday, be like a really committed to this person. You decide. That's that where you're at and then that part of that Action is gone all the energy reply to that question. You plied other stuff, I think the most people go through that the precursor that you describe do they say yeah? I agree. I got to tell you my approach to my very successful forty one or forty two year. Marriage, you can all learn from this. Please fall completely silent. I want a reverent silence. Already: I was lying on the floor of a bar and key west. The cocktail in my hand, and my will soon to be wife, walked by ass. She had this heavy alabama accident and I heard
I said raise my glass and I said: will you marry me and take me to your southern mansion? she said. Well, I don't have a mirror mansion sure I'll marry you and we ve been together for forty two years. Really that's so much those eggs that that's about forth. When it does so like I say I've. I've thought them through before they failed I never met moved about everything that ever have to be. It was an accident. So this rationale, selective approach. Right, it's not gonna. Work is gonna blow like unexploded cigar. It's like you, intellectually make a decision, a certain way into the future, then what if a disconnect arise.
Is between what you decide, intellectual you're, going to be with who you or ghana, glee feel you become based on your experiences day by day you. What I like to think or gallery pulled this work. If I got out of it, I like to think that I would do it as carefully and with as much thought is. I got into that's cool sure the create the key to the whole thing is a comedy. I mean if you, if you like to laugh, I do it. My wife likes to laugh. We laugh all day long, one thing or another. More. If it could go into cuttings, we had people say it was good we're living quarters trailer. They said we don't go to the rodeos. Any work as we grow is here the laughter out of your trailer at the first of daylight, and so that's
You don't get you have inevitably meaning. I know how early on you are in your marriage, but their full of conflict on where another, oh hell, yeah man, all don t, like kids, were where a burden or a stress on like we able to keep that. I love laughter or is it a little bit of a low spot, was as you sort of had to do deal with, it adds to the potential it adds to the potential for conflict, so it tests your other resources. You know it'll, be because you see you feel differently about what they should do. Know that it's a you know it's an unusual because my I had children and my wife had
we got married and they became a sort of amalgamated family that worked out great, but Lori's daughter was like five years old she's fifty now, but she was five years old when we first got together. Actually my stepdaughter is the one of the closest to do so. It's all so unpredictable. I mean if I've learned anything in life is that is that is so unpredictable and it's a great mistake to imagine that it is predictable, because then you started posing this kind of template of what you imagined to be your control over future events, which is nonexistent. It's not the same as analyzing the stock market. I mean it's a it's much much
Myriad, but you just have to do, you have to have to be good on your feet and I have to have a sense of humor and be really good on your feet and you have to have a highly qualified ego. Remember that, well you you, don't you have to lose that part of yourself that operates out of the world where you really need to win a lot o and you have to for it to work over a long term. You have to have a really highly developed. You have to train yourself. This, you have to have a highly developed sense of fairness is have to think about fair it s all a time in those good thing have you given up on or did you ever tally, wins and losses in marriage. and I do that. Do you are trying to quit, but I do it
Don't let me like other people's bear down on me, I'll, be like well gave in something, or that was important to me, okay, nevermind. and I remember that. I am very aware of it. The next time oh, your old one bank account of like Y yeah, but I look very professional. Help does not go to work for you. I think I gave up the one thing I feel obliged to get this thing. You won. The item. Do do that actually, a little bit make our society will make formal deals to be like a star, talking about this year. If I get this win Let us not forget that negotiating review, the one I hate it when you say when you finally make a point you're right about something and the other person is fine,
you oughta really like you know what you're right? It's like. I was told this woman some kind of super relationship. I said you know when I tell you that euro It gets over yeah. So are you are you familiar with. Jerry mills. He he keep popularized idea about how to describe, saw their literature that is a daily life, is dead mule therein dead, meals area, as I hardly tell like those like his defiantly wrote, this very spirited essay out the task, It must test of salt. Literature has a dead meal in here in in reading your work, I fight this? Quite often there is our activities around irrigation, always
oh, there was a lot of that because I ear like someone's irrigating carrying irrigating cause. I I was the irrigator and I hated it. Boys, it's really something the degree to which, when you're describing like dr and not a highway. I think that there are likely to notice Some aspect of hearing of some because everybody likes that nailed. It is just the worst job. is the worst job, in fact, about five years ago I managed to lease the hayfields to somebody Like the irrigate em, if you have a you, have you ever have the rev? Everybody wants the grass and noble as the irrigation and so soul of europe. phase. If you're phasing out as I've been for probably ten years, you're always trying to find somebody want some component of what you've been doing. Oh I'll, take the grass or you and
it was to fix the fence, I may have all these little rules get cowboys. I fix fence, but I don't build fence and you know I you know I like working cattle, but I don't want to irrigate. and we we did lot of that ourselves for so long. But the part that I really resented was the irrigation we handle what point flood irrigation flooding one year ago, We have. We had gated pipe eventually would fill up a little bit but But we re logical at one time. I had a lot of land least north around and we ran The stairs out there or you're their heavy in the room. cattle that releasing your landing. At thirty thousand acres least. we writing them to their numbers. Was kind of. I mean, there's a very tense for a period of time and then you ship, but then you get a lot of free time and oh so you like
are you really really threw down became that the euro rancher. Oh god I feel I you know I mean. I remember a first made some money. I bought a place in the paris valet wasn't very big, but we had we go is Blood groping, stirs rugged world always doing, and then we then we would leave some ground. and I don't really know what to do with a ranch. I mean I was in my twenty that never had that background and add a hired man, and I knew this guy nevada rancheiras timed about errantry, since the main thing is to go to bed at eight o clock get up at four, then whoever worked for you'll feel we all day long. Do anything he s going to do. Deliver. This fragile, get up at four go in the kitchen, turned light out so the neighbours and think that he was at work and go back to bed applause. Does enjoy do in serbia in the cattle business. Then I what
enjoy yeah. I guess I was infatuated with all think of Diana girlfriend and high school who rules of wood from richly from wyoming in her dad gave me some job, so I started going to wyoming when I was like sixteen years old. I try to be a cowboy, so I wanted to you know from that point. On any time I was not actually at school. I was out here. I am well over that you know, but it was really enjoyed really loved? You know I was really caught up in that kept a lotta horses with ropes between here in california in really loved the culture.
I still of like it. Where I really like it. As word really is intact. You know dollar in west texas, where it is, I mean those are the real fulltime cowboys down. There they'll die poor and they have, but they have incredible skills, inherited skills and great reverence for their heritage. You know, and it makes them indifferent to the fact that they'll never own anything. Just what they've got they're going to try. Stock trailer couple orson couple saddles for ropes in their great and they have a kind of a new era in the ranch Adele there really can't keep full time help is not economical to do that. So, once a year, though, are these guys come up come out with a horse, trailers or model or horses gather, all the ranch boot doctor, all the cattle brand everybody and they're going to get a bill, so this kept them going for another burst.
I think one of the things that makes it the. Other writers who write about the way asked in who write about people who work the land. These and they care the elder, rebuild a catch. You is because Erin you have to read your work and read it, read it and read it to find an unbelievable moment, I'm sensitive the stuff Where, if I'm reading about someone, when I find they do something or some part of their life or something they're doing at work feels phony. It it just put me off as watches showed my wife. She do choose, watch and show a nurse guy, who is supposedly a carpenter working, In this drama and added arbiter in the home. Do some carpentry work and as the cameras on them.
clear that, Not only is he not a carpenter but no one involved on the set of great the writer like no one had any idea what this individual would be doing. In a moment of him, pretending to be a carpenter right and if that's those glimpses, are painful but in reading your stuff, there's one exception. I'll tell you about later in reading. stuff. No one ever does anything, that's not just totally believable Another person is really good, I feel, is corporate mccarthy, but its softened, fantastical in its and it becomes show off he wore a core mccarthy likes to Show you things he learned about an exhaustive research and integrate a man, and it show off he yeah, but you're. Stop about what people are working or what they're out doing or what?
businesses are involved in or how they made money? How they live. Money. What they did. Yesterday, everytime, I Rita, unlike like yes, oh will it's great. That is gaba, but I hope it stays true. Oh, it is like how I always wonder is like part of the interest in wanting to meet you too, as always wanna be like Does he know all that stuff it's not made up, there's like the stories made up but nope the part the story are all so perfect. Well you know. I've always wanted one of the things I feel maybe separates what What I want to do where the people- and I admire want to do in writing- is that I always felt that you're writing come from the Zeit guys. You know the life you ve made me think of shareholder fall.
having way they can writing our lives, will fiery. I read lit up all the time you know in the morning and those people say: well, I'm research, something about. You know life in an acre isis concentration camp, I've never been there or em over this book, I get kind of trouble over this book on the national book award was called a letter from nick, let letter ecuador, it's gonna, modernist workers totally boring, and it was I get into trouble. could I didn't interview and there were five finalist for the national? word there all five avant garde, women living in new york, city and exit, and I said to somebody in an interview with the new yorker. I said it's a big country. Didn't you find somebody who editing had any any ability there. The fifty states Just these five women and anyway everybody blew up. It was at night that sort of a bad treaty. Anyway, it was horrible. It lasted for a long time as a scandal.
there was a gender component too. There was a gender component to it and the The woman who wrote the. what the award winning book, which nobody wants to read it's unreadable. Her name is think of it now, but the name of the book is letter from ecuador and she she said that she wrote this book and a lot of it takes place in ecuador, very proud of the fact that she'd never been Yeah, and so we get kind of right now yeah cause. I keep track of a lot of new writers. You know I like reading upcoming writers. It can persuade me that this game will last you know, because there are so many good writers coming along Ninety percent of the really good right young writers, are women and, like protest most gregor work, one of my favorites religious, wonderful,
what women raised? The reason is there not is oppressed by political correctness is the manner And their very, were the very I mean they're, just they just lay about themselves with a broad sword. I mean they do any safety. he was say. Always. Credit is invasive kind of it is really tense and full of interesting stuff. Where's. The men are so afraid of, saying something wrong about people who are overweight or you know active peoples within that this kind of timidity about literary fiction. Young man that the women don't have to deal with and as a result, the men are not very interesting at this point in time, Here you see a comedy yeah sure their female comics cut loose absolutely, You mentioned earlier key worst. You met your wife and key west yup. You were.
One of them is like this kind of fixation we had when I say we that my brother's nine guys we hung out with when we're in art. Our twenties we like to fish a lot. and we became really aware of that. We missed the boat on key west like something had happened in the culture of fishing. sure. Why not so they have been in key worse than it had died. You can you talk. A little about your experience is a key worse than what brought down there in the fishing and what you feel, what you feel died, Well, yeah, I can a little bit I mean I went down there. It was really it was a really virginal situation and I I went down there for for two
It's three reasons. One was, I was sort of a bookish boy and I was aware of it's a literary history. Secondly, it was rundown cheap place to live. I mean bought deval street, which is one shop after another, and it was boarded up when I moved other. You know if your parents came for visit, there was really no place to take them to dinner. Is one place the a and b lobster house was terrible and I had the only skiff their yeah. I read that once the gills, your essays, You mentioned the yet the time he had the only flat, skiff and key. What right now a year was that sixty eight think fifty nine, some like that and. so it was kind of a it was partly a sort of hippie brigadoon. You know what I mean cause. It was a cheap place to live. It felt
it wasn't in the united states and it was you know: half the people there were spoke spanish or they were cocks and spoke spoke. This kind of creole cant talk and it was very interesting place. I mean I was just love, it's so much? It was such a great place to be, and then addition to that I had a friend who was an outstanding traditional guide. Who would who would give me a couple of his clients that he didn't, the fish, usually because they didn't know how to fish for any anyway, that was guiding. Those people gave me a minimum, living, and then I had a little contract with the sports illustrated. I think I do six pieces a year for them between them. Two days a week deal like. I had a bare bones living and I could run up rent a place cheaply and just live my life. It was just a great place to be.
in the end. I know a lot of people who were there then still know them We all agree that it was like the. It was like the thing that the the best part of our lives could never be replicated anywhere. It was just nothing like it ever anywhere, never will be again. And that's the feeling that I don't have exclusively. I mean everybody. I know who's there. I just heard from I had a I had a friend to it's kind of an odd
Christ and he was smuggling dope. Everybody is smuggling dope, it was. It was smuggling. Sailboats and acoustic. Guitars was sort of the basic equipment for life at key west and there were some very courageous guys that were going to south america in one bringing bring back loads of pot and it was considered you know it wasn't considered a grave thing. If you, if you get caught yeah, then I had two good friends that were bringing back a load of dope from carter, yeah, the one hundred and ten foot coast guard cutter pollock, said something, and so they took a chainsaw and they put a hole in the bottom of the boat and sank it and the coastguard,
boarded and put a pump on it pumped back hard and they can they and they were two great guys, they're a wonderful carpenter, so they went up to eglin air force base which was sort of a minimum security prison. They had to make rolltop desks for the warden and fill the politicians up. There said you go back to witcher, doing or one of those guys now he just you know because now he's a felon, so he had to do other things. So I moved to the bahamas. He's got this fantastic fishing lodge in the bahamas. He's got that he's got two great restaurants in a bookstore in tackles. The us that he runs from afar. You know so well, if I'm a felon, I gotta do the best. I can- and there are a couple of guys like that remain the named over the missouri. You know they couldn't guiding work as they were fell, so they just opened a big business. They have arms and belize and they were forced by this limitation and other options
even more creative. But your main draw to key west was the fishing ryan. Unbelievable fishery of the gulf is the head of the gulf stream until you have this phenomenal depth of species there in the area of the gulf of mexico, which is a whole different kind of fishery of the gulf stream, and you have the atlantic fishery and with very intricate fascinating to try to figure out. We didn't have gps, we didn't have cell phones, we didn't have online tied information and you had to convert everything like you get a you you get. government tied book. The miami would be your look, close information to convert everything and limit the delays are yet the and the delays were different from the gulf side of the atlantic cited. The only might be a mile or two apart completely different types The difference of ours hours, ok I'll, do throw it through your life
because you ve been around youth explored somewhat Jia. This do add this ongoing feeling that they are cases are ending all the time well Would you like the american west is like has ended it? Well, it's very vague It! No, not really. I mean I, I probably that what I struggle with understanding in my fiction is to try to figure out how it's moving on, because when I get to key west in the sixties, there are people moving out because they thought it was ruined when I left left their seventy eight step or quit going there at seventy it. I thought I was sure it was done, and I know all these people that have moved there since then. I just think it's been the greatest day of their lives and that's going to happen here too. Where is this is not going to be the imagery or the vision we have montana is not the same as it once was made. It was what I
in the sixties. That not much had changed. I mean my neighbors were old family ranchers, you know they were. They were not polarized. You know I was a hippie. sure long area airlock while girls like it. Oh a good idea. The some of them my ranch or neighbours were born in the eighteen hundred. You know, guy. jordan, one thousand eight hundred and ninety five and one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight still ranching. Then it got kind of polarize us against them. Insiders, ouster native non native, that get that not for a while and we're kind of evolving out of that now, because there's somebody that the what are they called the attrition rate in montana, the turnover rate is very, has been very high. I'm not sure it's as high as it used to be, but it was always very high. People are always arriving and departing
Part of it. Do you feel, as a writer that you're more interested in tracking the change Then you are in lamenting or routing your yup, like you feel like you're going to stick. You could almost stand back and have like passively observe as long you hit. It hit the nail on the head I mean I know want it is a great book by Louis hi. This is being reviewed right now about the art of forgetting you know, you can't be. You can't be chained by Europe. Past or your own past. In many ways you really do have much to say about. What's going on, I mean one of the magic things about literature.
Is that it. It really is the only thing that can kind of capture the atmosphere of a given moment, and you can look at the movies of the twenties. You can read the top newspapers of the nineteen twenties you're, never going to get the feeling for the twenties that you're going to get from reading the great gatsby I mean those that's. The only thing that can really literature still is the only thing that can really capture what it was like to be there at that time. It is no good to be there at that time, lamenting some other era when that's hard I mean it's going by you like clay pigeons. Let try to catch up with it. Just wear whatever it is not easy. You don't write from the past too much, not much know. Maybe I've got him in a fella benefited
from the ability to kind of start over. You know I mean I wasn't very interested in the living the life I kind of grew up with I mean I had a great life as a kid you know, but I didn't want to stay in the midwest you know or stay in the southern midwest seem to be much going on there. and also I had a kind of a divided childhood, because all my family lived in massachusetts. Peter and I loved it out there? My mother never wanted to leave their. So in the spring of this year, she just lotus kids up and we moved up in the car drivers back to my grandmother's, falling down triple decker irish ghetto house in fall river massachusetts, and I thought that was the greatest. You know: go fish for striped bass with my cousins who just left. I've been fly fishing with my cousin fred for sixty five years. We just left we're still doing
The guy's a sufficient priority disabled eyes lit, would go anywhere. We can go. Did you fish I heard mention that you're gonna fish with rachel mad at you deficient tell like I was gonna Rachel's of bad fishermen. yeah and I met her was so surprised. I went to an event was her and tucker karlsson on stage they. Magellan, work together and we friends their friends. and they were bound by an interested fishing they got up their own staves together? Talkin about that, I was very surprised. This user angler- that's it fascinating, we'll cut, tucker, curls and comes to the same place would be politically way? Last year we we're gonna, go straight: fishing stray basque, virtually together big admirer of hers and
And then NBC groundwater to sir, do you know you can't go off for a few days is? Does she said unless we act? If she wrote back, she said unless we get, with diamonds I can't go in what's the story you have where, I favour the neighbour right now give us where were you guys go on birds right? and in the end one of them goes off over the hill and kills himself yeah. I heard that story. I hear so much about that story. That thing has really hit a lot of ongoing life. Was that story call? It's called two to those hunting story. It was called sportsman. This one's called a flight there I had read the end, a handful ties that make sure that in fact he had gone off with sharp site because he, his hunting partner He kind of
very on ceremonial way explains a little bit about his dogs, secure the dog here, the care schedule. Yeah, when she goes into he what she eats. And then he wanders off over a hill, which is a leading as they had seen a colleague birds go of it at all but it goes over the hill and there's a gunshot. Yep well, are you gonna? Do they horror? What am I don't know he absolutely killed himself out the deck for me as that only thing in your personal life, not really a couple things kind of you know, I don't back to head out of in the rapture. You know that I was thought the closest thing to rapture that I know is to step into a cubic covey rise. There is really nothing like this, so much like somebody beating hearts so many eyes, so much expectation argos up like a big
Celestial corsage yeah, and I thought, if I was going to if I was going to sort of more doubt by my own hand, that would be kind of a nice way to go, and I heard one my cousin just told me he had an old friend It was terminally ill and was got a girl that day either knew that was his last day or or they were going to pull the the pain, med plugs or something, but he knew was over now and is an old friend of his lives in rhode island. So it's very cheerful about it. He had a great life, he had a good run said yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine with this lisa would he want. He said well, this was actually it's still in the winter or is it just build a big fire? So there were well brought my lab rob robe, my bird dog. I want my cat at it. He went
and were you friends with richard broad, a very, very good friends tell them. Whether we re involved. I mean we're you there's this guy famous story about bunch guys that were hunting and useful to show up, didn't show up The thing that I remember the most was, I thought he was doing great. I talk amending, giving up drinking for a period and transformative or be physically, changed. He had this big sort of projected belay. You know when he's drinking all the time, it's starting at daybreak perfectly, and then he fit this whole summer. Being this happy, in guy to give readings around the neighborhood or, but he was determined to resume drinking as soon as possible, especially he liked to go to japan and stayed drunk the whole time. It was Japan that was a big deal huh and I'm not sure. Maybe it's poor part of bonding culture or something in Japan
And so it came to my house when he brought this black japanese funerary funerary urn. Are you japanese or chinese? Half chinese? Have you at half chinese half. so you don't. You know what a funeral is: earnest, japanese or chinese I believe that it's japanese, that's where. fearfully beautiful black ceramic thing went over to my house, and he said I want you to hang onto this city said you'll, look, someone will call you for it. Fine richard I put it there. I had to fly rods, one of which I gave to rip torn oh yeah, and not too long after that? I get a call. You know from his door was from his daughter, saying richard committed suicide. We ve seen the earth now, He even told her where to find it yeah.
yo. I asked you about that. We're dry, one up here. look for your house. Yeah in her yawning. I were taught about our friend dog who's out here. Couple bodies that his from wisconsin right now. They're here in Montana and they're just driving our vision, yeah does mention me that part of their plan while the driving around fishing is to read trout, fishing in america earlier- and I said, the honest work you know it does we haven't. You do shellfish and he said they know. I've got a great rambler, hey. I brought richard daughter directive new edition of it like I might be able to see it. That's not the other day of trout, fishing in america with billy collins introduction, oh okay, cool Well, it was a basketball come in and whatever was was ready.
two or three times yeah. It's just a great book they're, one of the most requested books in the entire american library system, right up there with huckleberry finn or something you're a couple more questions for you there's a thing that read. Were you ve written it a couple times interviews that fishing. is the second most published his object aftermath man. Yeah. What does that mean, though? I have no idea, is way too much of a fifth of aid through throw another little water thought about that. When I came in and looked at your bookshelves night, I remembered that I can't remember if you voted or said in an interview but you'd written that it was the second most publish subject next to mathematics. I don't know why it's just because for the sorta
outdoor activities, especially the ones with any kind of predatory or component, it's the most contemplative, so it may. That may be what what leads to it. I have a book that I tried to get. It was called blood, dots and unbelievable book by an english writer. It's a good name for efficient, but yeah. He was the. He was the dance critic of the observer really and he wrote this stunning book about fishing and and I mean it's just a great book and I got all sorts of people to help promote it. I always always renowned people write blurbs stuff, for it really did, was published very poorly and didn't really go anywhere, but it was one of these books like the book about the sweetest utopia, visa v, angled yeah, and this guy grew up. He comes from he.
It starts out his dad was teaching them to fish, and he he never could understand why his mother would get up in the morning and reply. Sam two is far too father's body and then they get dressed and go fishing and he couldn't understand what what that was about and then, as he learned to fish, he started quizzing. His dad about these things turned out. His dad was in a tank battle in his tail in the nazi tank, hit it with an anti tank weapon of some kind of thing burst into flame, and he was one of the first guys to get a total plastic surgery treatment. Second world war, well that kind of folds in as he's learning to fish that he has a. He has a hero at schools like one of those super male figures that young guys kind of identify with with their kids in school has a falconry as a great fisherman, and he followed him through life. They offer fish to go the the hero. Guy joins the royal irish constabulary and
Northern ireland, during the troubles these guys all went to this ancient catholic college and in england, like six hundred year old college, they grow up with this kind of intense catholic atmosphere. He joined the the r you are what it was called and he's captured by the ira, and they tortured him for two weeks. They brought fake priests in to do the last rites and they killed him. And then leered afterwards. This guy fishing runs into some of those IRA guys, and they said well tell you this about your friend. He was a real soldier. He never broke but the all interwoven with with hard core serious fishing. And- and I began to think you know this is pretty seamless. You know that others would have happened if he hadn't been a fisherman. You know so
What's the name harry, oh anyway, there's a wonderful writer. He died long ago wrote about fishing. A starlight angling club was what it was, what it was books that are so intermixed with life. You know that so maybe that's why there's so much fishing stuff out there I dunno do you feel that If you ended the world now and let us start back over again in the world, gets going again would come Would so many writers that fish be fly fishermen Where do you think you could let it start over again, and it would wind up that so many writers that fish were spin fisherman yeah? What a question I do No, I don't know.
That'd be the mentality of trying to catch a fish with a fly is so very different. I mean with spin fisherman basically attacking fish yeah, and I like that, and you have to fly fishing- is you kind of, have make a deal. You know a wondering who fly fishing radius of. What would you do what's this all about? He said: well, you make a cask and their new await results and they had their heads. That's a dollar thing that europe is united, saying like a but I like all like I like any kind of fishing, I read a lion in one. Your fish stories, where you're talking about a fly presenting a I do a fish so like a highway exit, this labeled free beer. right and most motorists they're just blow pass right. Some motorists are going to think. Like all that's a ruse.
And they're going ambush me kill me remember, but some guys are just going to get up for the freebies That's a good day in those of the very good job, I had a magic moment. I was last year old fishing on the new fork of the green and wyoming fishing with dry flies. The big big dry flies are a lot of grey drakes on the water fired out there floating along the arctic log were all filled with hope. This big brown trout comes up stalls. He says this is bullshit and he swims away as he swims away to all going downstream is develop I doubt magazine business leaders. I'll. It, though, so I really had been. We're at my mother's home and
those in the house. I was brought up in my kid, whose nine he, looks under the pontoon boat, a party both moored after dark. They learned part two boys of big large mouth I feel it is hovering in hungary in the shadows, you know, and he excess beach sane and eventually gets a big a whore knows, job was picture, those children, how to get the mail, get a Nabi nose item and. I free hook it on their farms. There's no way just this job. I tell them. Look it up under there. You know and the way that fish just the total conviction with which that fish took that job like no. As it takes in doubt, like so
I like that, though, is a little bit magical to watch. That fish is like I'll. Take it yeah, I buy it yeah and it's interesting because you know it's startling: the that live around docks and stuff florida. You know they ve had so many people try to catch him. I mean you can slide alive shrimp down their face like this. If they're not going to let it for a while or, for you a note on the way in theirs is hanging around her re living here, you're our they migrate up and down the other blood lot of around here and they get. They get very tame. It's amazing they hold, and I imagine that the only make in their living because they can the winner up rum animals livestock are, I think, as part of a will one living a rusty officially living, Portugal. Where alone they went off with his pack used to be we would be grain. Our horses out of a trough annoyed, take a bucket of grain put into this long wooden trough.
we'd guy go out there. The horse would be lined up in there be turkey's lined up between the second do. How to turkey's doyle turkey's We very sporting here I have gone turkey hunting that I haven't been successful at it, but I've gone turkey hunting when I've been visiting my in laws in alabama and that's brick. That seems very interesting to me, but I mean this would be a case of going out and plugging one up. Then these are miriam turkey's they were established. There are new mexico, turkey. Originally they there like hans. I just found a biota. The thicket move right into Remember earlier, as praising you, for just how believable everything in your in your work. if we're going to move on to something unbelievable yeah, just want to ask you about the one thing that I was like: that's not correct, it was u story, canyon, ferry, there's a guy Taken, like is he's taken right, our eyes vision very lake, but it's the
time and he has if he can follow crawlers. Oh I really like that phrase. May I just say they wouldn't have that guy. Wouldn't that guy wouldn't have that he couldn't buy em like that. You might be true you You ever do a revised version of the chain. He needs to have a styrofoam container that he bought above all sorts styrofoam container to isolate them from the cold. That was the only thing I've ever read, and this is this is this sounds like an insult, but it's a good compliment. How many books have you written, I dunno fifteen or something I guess and how is always short stories? No lot. Collected in excess of kiddo dozens and dozens and he read an entire book of essays about horses.
well she's getting old. I just want to point out that all that is there I'll take it. If there's the worse one time when I was like no, oh, it was painful I just as they did. It reveals how just the how well versed you become in your life just everything having to do with america. You know I'm. You know it's funny. I I have a friend who's, a who just married. He just married a girl from prague, the guy that I fish for sale with luck. And she has some kind of a problem coming and going out of the country. I meet her. If you know you can't just get married now and automatically salt resolve this problem, so they're out of
country. Now, they're wandering around a bit on the croatian coasts are doing stuff, but I can tell her homes he has for america and he's a real except you don't you it's not nostalgic about america, but I lived over. lived in ireland. What time eluded spain lived in italy, brows always trying to find one. In america, you and it also. I got sort located in the early idea that there is such a thing as american literature. That was the same as english literature. That was what I was going to college. That was a relatively new idea. You put this,
it's always in the air and programs, like american studies, all those good things. The whole idea that there is such a thing were not just a desperate email. We are a kind of a people and that's not been for sure or forever, and so I, I kind of now that I see it kind of imperiled. I'm just really interested in what it is. What this country is what it is to be an american and what I've was overseas. I really know ourselves. What's going on, I gotta get the billings gazette I'm down in brittany. You know pawing my cellphone. What's going to happen to the billings gazette today, yeah, it's kind of a it's kind of ignorant. No way to look at that, but I don't long to be an expatriate. Some people did at one time never did one
They and whenever whatever I'm not here, I want to know what's going on and when I would like to quote a claw my way to a sort of template or an overview of what an egg with this country actually is changing. So, quickly, my wife had a job for awhile where It would have been possible to go and take a position overseas and when she brought this up to me. Told allows this to american to live somewhere else here, which I felt was not half of it. pull it off, but I wouldn't be a port of either. You know you notice it. If you, you know if you get translated, alot They really have a lot to learn. A lot of problems with our language should obey.
for example, they couldn't translate the title cloudburst, which is by collected stories. Yeah french, couldn't translate that there isn't a club that isn't a term for that where they go with. I can't remember, What's what whatever they went with, what the train layers weak french, no, they went with galicia will set a clear now, France is that a nice tail? Oh, yes, very nice. Thank you sir, Is there anything you wish you'd gotten about leading it asked about here today, do you want a wedge now I buy died. The spent really thought I could do this for a long time, because this year kind of intuitive you know I'm in I'm enjoying this. I guess I I was concerned that there would be more of a template for what we were going to go towards that hasn't.
Maybe I missed out or that event I think you fucked up. But that's what I like that approach to anything in this way. I I right, you know something arrest my attention. I have no idea what I had an image. What time we read it, a house down the gulf coast one year, done ahead of time. I didn't know anybody at this town. It would seem very strange to me that people seem fairly strange. I had the rental house, you know the rent or the realtor gave me the keys and went out to look at the gulf of mexico and the the wind blew the door shut Now, I'm on the porch, I can't get back into the house. I don't know anybody somebody, me there not me. I felt this curve de resonated panic.
You know I suddenly became nobody, others windy poor. So that's all I had to go and I had this heather image as a one where this goes and that life's kind like that, I think it s where most fiction writers we'd mid some pointer time, most not alone, that writing is really improve as a tory s, chief or pseudo overall, get in fact by my experiences. If you really know where it's going probably it'll, be any good. You don't write the end, verse! No, no hell! No, but I revise a lot, I'm a I'm a rewriter. You know I do a lot of drafts, but I dunno where it's going. Maybe I want to be a reader. When I'm writing I wanna be a reader with a little bit of an advantage, wishes What I should do magazine stories, which is totally different the reporting or ever I would start.
place? I wanted to get like a really cool thing. Something that was a packed full and then picture writing the rest, the article in a way that would warrant such an impact will ending deject follow through with that and that's just how I would start yeah I'd be like, if only I could write something so good that it could end with this and have it make sense, yeah There are no doubt I wrote this known of dialogue that I'm going to try to do. Something will eventually in just just in quotes, is. Is it you asshole? Did you dictate this? Where this but it has energy is the perfect way to get the interview stay tuned as you the life, work of atomic weight and watch for that line and you'll have a feeling of coming full circle bag. But seriously beg you for coming,
created appreciated and I m kind of a fan of what you do, keep it as loses it, as it has been be any other way. Be sure that, Is when you realize how many enemies he requires yeah, there's a couple out there, I'm sure will. Thank you again appreciate it. Okay, my pleasure. The.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-02.