Wednesday, April 15, 2009

McGuane on Hunting

Wall Street Journal Sports

An excellent essay as only Tom McGuane could live and write. I know how honored I was when he invited me to the ranch in McLeod, Montana. I pulled in one Sunday afternoon in the fall on my way to fish the West Boulder River, upstream of Michael Keaton, Tom M., Tom Brokaw and Walter Kirn. I drove through his open gate down into the ranch. His pack of dogs greeted me en masse. I parked and went up to the old log ranch house escorted by the dogs and knocked on the door.

The window to my right framed the bald head of a familiar music figure, and quite a good novelist in his own right. Tom came to the door and we exchanged pleasantries. His brother in law blew in from Alabama, he said. I glanced at the SUV with Bama plates in the driveway. We talked about our visit in Missoula two weeks prior at the book festival where he spoke and we met formally after I interviewed him for a story in the local paper where I worked.

What are you up to today?" he said.

Oh, fishing the river."

He looked wistful. "Bad timing today for that."

"It's okay," I said. "We'll get to it anytime."

I handed him 50 pages of my novel he'd asked about and let him get back to lunch and visiting with family. Jimmy Buffett.

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