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I saw Jim Harrison on the Montana episode of Parts Unknown years ago but I neglected to search out any of his books. Been fixing that the last few weeks.

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Matt, we have talked about Jim previously. I sure miss his writing. To think we will never hear another word about Brown Dog makes me sad. One of the truly original characters in American fiction. The greatest lovable nitwit ever put on the page. And, we'll never again see another perfect bottom in blue panties. He was such a wonderful old lech.

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Thus does poesy proceed to fact by implication;

Says I,

Whistling unevenly.

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founding

Thnx, Matt. That would be a wonderful day for a lot of us. Tight lines to you.

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Feb 26, 2023Liked by Matt Labash

Thanks for the introduction to Jim Harrison. My ignorance is my fault for not knowing of works! Getting on it!

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Feb 25, 2023Liked by Matt Labash

Thank you Matt. You gave me a thoughtful and thought-filled morning.

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Wonderful essay. Happily I stumbled upon Harrison when LOTF was still a book only, so I'm on your wavelength, Matt. Recently I've been reading "The Raw and the Cooked" a little nibble at a time. Similar to your approach (He won't be writing more of these and they are such gems), but perhaps restrained nibbling is hostile to the Harrison spirit?

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I suppose I saw his name as author of Legends of the Fall but I knew nothing of him otherwise. Fascinating. Did he consider the movie a fair treatment? I enjoyed it, although the narrator was a tad annoying.

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Not sure, Brad. He did complain about Hollywood ragging him out considerably. And didn't seem to much miss it.

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"Because how to escape the bad news that besieges us, each and every day, is news in itself. News of how not to lose what we know is true in a sea of falseness, and lies, and algorithms eager to feed our cynicism and paranoia of how it’s all gone wrong, which in fairness to the algorithms, it largely has."

In this one sentence, I think you did Jim Harrison proud.

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Feb 22, 2023Liked by Matt Labash

I like the songs you make of your life, as well. Good work.

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Thanks, Sandra. And your son sent me his new fly fishing mag. Wonderful! Be proud.

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I don't know Jim Harrison works apart from their appearance in these letters. I have little to no concern for understanding the reality of anything beyond my own experiences and those are befuddling enough for a lifetime. For instance, my wife is a truly wonderful person. Beautiful, smart, caring, a lover of all living things (except snakes) and the best companion and friend I could have. Yet the dogs prefer me. All three are laying a short arms distance away as a winter storm rages around our home. Why? Male and female alike, big and small. It has always been this way with only one rare exception - Schaeffer. When I was learning to hang glide, I practiced on a small hill outside Albuquerque. Schaeffer jumped out of a moving car on the road nearby as I watched, and ran up the hill I had been flying from. He hid behind a clump of sagebrush. The car folks called for a bit then drove off and left him. I enticed him to come to me. He and I went home to Patti. She was not amused. He had a dog door and two lab friends but spent most of a cold snowy winter outdoors. This until the night Patti awakened to discover a six inch snowfall cover everything including Schaeffer. She collected that fur bearing piece of cardboard, brought him in to the place beside her bed. He never left her after that incident. He tolerated me, but he never left her. He saw her plainly as she actually really is. He understood the reality of her as the rest of us only do superficially I fear. So much of my life is like this. Unexplainable events and outcomes. The comment about most people on the subway having better stories than the writer striving to find one simply because they are engaged in reality, is crap. Mostly they are engaged in the same mundane soul crushing work, family troubles, money worries, medical issues as the vast majority of the not 1%. Reality of existence? Not even on the discussion board.

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Well with that kind of attitude, no wonder he wanted to hang out with Patti!

My wife and I argue a lot about who the dog loves more. I tend to win when she needs me to call him into the car. Because when I load him in the car, it usually means he's going some place fun - for a walk, somewhere. When she does, he's usually going to the vet or to get groomed, both of which he hates. So he hides behind a bush when she calls until I come out and he figures the coast is clear. Even odds I end up divorced if she reads this.

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God bless Schaeffer.

"He saw her plainly

as she actually really is.

He understood the reality of her

as the rest of us

only do superficially

I fear."

Ah, but YOU see

and understand

And your tribute to her here

is sublime

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Matt, I just love when you wax poetical about life, death, sorrow and the little pleasures in life., even when riffing on someone else's life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuP1kMRyKOY

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The sound of my house in the seventies, Mike. Gone too soon!

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Awesome piece Matt! Hope you all are well!

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Thanks, Bradley. And sorry about your family's loss up there.......

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Wonderful tribute to one of my favorite writers. I always remember his cure for heartbreak, which I used once (in stages and only once, thank god): “broiling a two- to three-pound porterhouse, eating it with your hands, followed by a hot bath in which you consume the best bourbon you can buy until the bottle is empty.”

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Feb 22, 2023Liked by Matt Labash

Psalms & Proverbs, Music & Wisdom, your tribute pieces and videos shine

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founding

Yes indeed. Jim Harrison’s words might not be the Inspired Word of God, but they’ll do in a pinch. A fantasy of a perfect day for some would be sharing a drift boat with Jim Harrison on a classic western trout stream and the evening hours with Bo Derek because — well, he’s Jim Harrison and Bo Derek is not a Hollywood hard lefty. Short of ever living those fantasies, there’s always “Legends of the Fall,” “Revenge,” “Dalva” and countless other entries among Harrison’s literary canon to remind us what was lost with Hemingway’s expiry. (Fortunately, we still have McGuane.) And, in a pinch, first and foremost, is Matt Labash himself.

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George, I hit like on your reply before I finished the second sentence...because I thought, that certainly would be a wonderful day.

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Mighty kind of you, George. You'll be pleased to know I once met Bo Derek. I'd had a bit to drink (shocker, I know), and I told her, "There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who understand Bolero and those who don't. Bo, I understand." She didn't seem overly charmed. But was as lovely as you'd expect. (On the outside, anyway.)

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If, “understanding Bolero” is code for understanding the art of “crescendo” — Ravel’s or any other kind I’m sure Bo had never heard a comment like that, not once in all her years. However, when I met her at a charity I could see why every man would melt in her presence. I almost did.

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I don't know if she understood my understanding of her or didn't, Karen. I was just grateful she didn't call security.

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Feb 24, 2023Liked by Matt Labash

You are genuinely one of a kind, Matt. Of course you would have met Bo Derek. (True story, I once said hello to Julie Christie at the Telluride Film Festival in the mid-70s.) Have to admit, I never would have had the stones to bring up "Bolero" had I ever enjoyed your good fortune in meeting Ms. Derek. In as much as the flick featured Bo exposing more Serengeti-like expanses of epidermis than she did in "10," what red-blooded guy wouldn't understand "Bolero?"

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Oh my friend…I miss a week at the gym and have to find out online that Bo Derek is in your top ten??? She is dreamy for sure and is coupled with my heartthrob of all time John Corbett.

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