Browning, MT Day Four

This is not a new post.  I am cleaning up the site and it bothered me to leave the summer hanging.  So I am adding three posts from the end of June which I posted on the Hands across the Border Website


Browning, MT Montana
Day Four

We are surrounded by children almost constantly during the days. It takes me awhile to wonder why so many of them are on skateboards.

The Stick Game Arbor where we have set up — camp, workshops, forums, show —- calls for something like skateboards. It is a large, arched space with a polished cement floor and invites movement, noise, people. It sits at the end of the main street a few yards behind the hotel and casino and a privately run mus We have a perfect view of the mountains, immense and gray still carrying snow rising straight out of the plain. P6181226The Dance Arbor, a brown wooden circle lies across a field dotted with ground squirrel tunnels. I am told by someone the Stick Game Arbor is frequently used by the community for funerals. At one point during our stay a woman pulls up to ask me if “the wake is inside.”

Browning skateboarders, at least the older ones, have a better place to skate than through Chautauqua’s maze of tables, chairs and conversing adults. A world class — as it is usually labeled — skateboard park given to them largely by Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament.Our day’s community project is to clean the park. They say that the rubbish is mostly soft drink containers and the graffiti, in Bill’s words “is kind of cute.”

In an interview with the Flathead Beacon paper, Ament said the gift came out of admiration for a couple of Browning skateboarders he saw skating — they’d learned on a couple of ramps on some jerry-built ramps in an old bingo hall. I like the idea of it because so much of what happens to this community seems to be seen as soul-destroying hand out. They’ve earned this — a reversal of the daily trope, especially for skateboarders.


in real time we’re heading across the boarder today –Father’s Day. We still could use support via