The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Whitehall Ledger 

Column: 6 things...


October 31, 2018

There are days when I can produce up to 10 stories without a care in the world, and other days where I struggle to write even the lead to one. Whenever I'm struggling with a block, I will usually start with my weekly column and go from there.

Sometimes I will easily come up with an idea based on something that happened in my day-to-day life or at the newspaper, while other times I will spend a few minutes on the Internet reading about a variety of topics, often probably wasting way too much time surfing the web. A few hours ago, I came across an article where a new employee shared 5 interesting things about themselves, and I thought this was a splendid idea. I decided to make it 6, but it just sounds a little more fun than 5.

1. My Dad was a lawyer and once tried a case against high profile defense attorney Gerry Spence. He lost the case but was featured in Spence's Book "Gunning for Justice", where he was described as a "city slicking dude". It was pretty funny seeing him called that since he was from a town of 20,000. When I read that quote in the book at 2 a.m. I thought it would be a great idea to call my Dad to give him grief. He didn't find it quite as amusing as I did. I thought "city slicking dudes" kept later hours.

2. My hometown of Rock Springs, Wyoming was once featured on 60 Minutes and for all the wrong reasons. It was a brutal expose on the town and focused on corruption, prostitution, drugs and naughty cops. A few months later, an undercover police officer from Harlem was hired to investigate. Turns out he would later be shot by the leading law enforcement official who hired a guy by the name of Gerry Spence to defend him.

3. I once traveled to Russia in the middle of one of the most brutal winters on record. The most interesting thing about the country is that everyone smokes and drinks at the airport and it is a normal thing and beer is served with breakfast. They don't really consider beer alcohol. It is a fascinating place.

4. I once met NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young and he was really fascinated by my hat. I was wearing a University of Wyoming hat and the BYU graduate told me he never thought he'd see the day someone with a Pokes hat would ask him for an autograph. I told him it was only because my mom was a huge 49ers fan. It was an awkward exchange.

Jack H. Smith

5. I once hopped on the top of a bar with a United States Senator and led a frenzied singalong of the University of Wyoming fight song "Ragtime Cowboy Joe". The crowded establishment went nuts and for some reason we both had our ties tied around our heads. I was at a press convention at the Little America Hotel in Cheyenne and when my boss happened to walk during the middle of the song, she quickly turned around and left. She was a die-hard Democrat and this longtime Senator was a high-ranking Republican.

6. I had never as much as tried to touch a cat the first three decades of my life. For a reason I'm unsure of, I was kind of freaked out by them. I did not know what to think of purring. It was just weird to me. One day in Washington I would find a kitten in need and it changed my life. I am now 100 percent a cat person. They are weird just like I am, and I wouldn't have it any other way. My favorite part about being done with work is going home to see Jerusha and Peaches.


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