Sunday, July 22, 2007






Neither man nor beast should be out in heat like today. Interestingly the cows and horses didn’t seem to mind, but the people I spoke with were of one mind. It is HOT. I never once turned the truck off while making images. Just let it run and keep things somewhat cool – like all my exposed and unexposed film. While they are stored in coolers, I still worry about the heat having bad effects on my film. I would hate to loose all the images I have taken since June 12. The temp read 98F at about 9 p.m.

To further my impression of how much of a dive Glendive is, and to remind me that I shouldn’t talk with people who hang around outside convenience stores/gas stations, I offer this story. While gasing-up, I was cleaning my windshield and remarked to a guy standing just outside the door to the store: “I’m doing my part to help with Montana’s Insect Eradication program.” He looked at me kinda’ funny and said: “What does that e rad I cation mean?” I told him it meant to eliminate them, to which he replied: “Eliminate what?” The bugs. “Oh, how you doin’ that?” Killing them with my windshield says I. “Oh, how does that work?” Thankfully my tank was full at that point in the conversation.

First call was the Been Cemetery just north of Glendive, MT, by about 45 miles. When I told Libbie by phone what I had just photographed, she said those people buried there must be “has beens.” Then off to North Dakota in search of the Silent City Cemetery. Obviously there were once communities which these cemeteries were part of, but no one I spoke with knew anything about the naming of the towns/cemeteries. But I must admit that these people didn’t live anywhere within 20 miles of these places so it wouldn’t be unusual for them to not be familiar with town origins they don’t live close to. My sources indicated there was a Zap Cemetery in the community of Zap, ND. The town seems to be hanging on, but now the different denomination churches have divided up the rather large cemetery, and each section has it own gate emblazoned with the name of the church. I’m pretty sure there use to be a gate that proclaimed it to be the Zap Cemetery because that’s how the USGS GNIS has it listed.

For the past several hundred miles, the major crop has been hay. It is hard for me to believe that these farmers/ranchers need all the hay they bale. I would guess that 75% of the farming is hay. Far as the eye can see at times, there is nothing but those giant roll bales of hay scattered across the fields. It’s not like I don’t see cows and horses, but the ratio seems to be about 1 cow to about 100 bales of hay.

As I was departing the Been Cemetery area, I noted a herd of white cows with one bull. As you can see in the image, the sky was very strange. I called to them in cowese trying my best “bull call.” I wasn’t meaning to call him out, but that’s what happened. He came within 20 yards of me (the WA lens makes it a greater distance) bellered, and pawed the ground. Interesting display. He quit pawing when I started talking to him and telling him to calm down. I think if I had crossed the fence, he would have protected his group of girls.

Tomorrow I’m off to seek the Cannon Ball Cemetery in Canon Ball, ND. A friend of mine called me mid-morning hoping it was on my list. He knew I was in ND from reading yesterday’s entry. I’ll check out Cannon Ball tomorrow, Jim.

Supper was at El Paradiso in Bismark. Again food was OK, but after sending it back to be remade, the margarita was pretty good. The best restaurant margaritas are at Maria’s in Sante Fe. End of argument.

2 comments:

Billie said...

Frank, If you ever come to Mexico I think you will be surprised. What they cook up for Mexican food in the USA isn't like what we have here in the middle of Mexico.

Ross Randles said...

I like the 3rd and 4th photo from the top. They're really beautiful photos. I like the way the sky turned out.

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