the alberton papers

Location: alberton, mt., United States

I am a retired steamfitter and vocational instructor, Current member, alberton town council, having served two terms previously, several years ago. Resident of alberton almost 28 years. I am fiscally conservative and socially progressive, a free thinker and an advocate of good, responsive, honest government.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The Alberton Papers, Vol. VII, #XX
By Dick Darne 1-14-09
"I dreamed I was there, in Hillbilly Heaven
Oh, what a wonderful sight."
From an old song I used to hear on the radio, many years ago.
If there is such a place, then it must be full of Albertonians, surely enough to form a band. To anyone who knew, heard her play or had played with her, she would be the lead fiddler. Lillian Young was one of the best musicians I have ever met. She was one of the rarest, she had the gift of perfect pitch. She would tune by ear with no reference, to exact pitch. She could fiddle fast tunes and slow tunes. Any style of music and she could sing like a meadowlark. Sad songs, happy songs, blusey songs and hit songs. I moved to Alberton thirty years ago and for many years after that, the best entertainment was at Chet’s bar when she was coaxed into getting the old fiddle out. As the years went on it may have taken a wee bit more coaxing, but oblige she would, to everyone’s delight. I am sure many of us can close our eyes and reminisce; Brownie and Lillian and Hank as the mainstays, helped by Rudy, George and others. My favorite was "Little Coquette", which in another time and place would win an award, it could very well be number one somewhere right now.
Lillian, you sang the most and best songs and once again, Alberton becomes a bit less without you. Miss you we do, reminisce we must.
"Old times there are not forgotten" from another old song. dd

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ruminations for mastication

The Alberton Papers Vol. VII, #IX
By Dick Darne 11-25-08
The tank was packed this frosty morning. Old timers, young folks, critics and just interested people. The Good Professor was beaming at the sight of so much think power assembling under one roof, which was rapidly becoming too small. Beside him stood another old timer who had been absent for awhile, beaming with pride. Looks like Elder was back.
"Looks like you have given them some rumination for mastication, Sven, it does my heart good..I have a few observations I’d like to share with all, if I may?" said Elder.
"Go right ahead, Old Timer, I always learn from your sharing of what you have observed over many, many years." replied Sven.
"Thanks. I am heartened by the resurgence in thinking, even though there’s still a long ways to go. Thinking is not the bailywick of the formally educated or self proclaimed elite, but should be the duty of all citizens to think about things that affect them, their families and their future. If left to others, then one has no complaint. There are a few genuine thinkers of the highest intellect who have some important things to say, I am going to share a few with you now. My old buddy, Noam Chomsky said the other day; ‘Change and progress are rarely gifts from above, they come out of struggles from below.’ As always, don’t blindly believe it, study your history, not necessarily the school textbooks, it’s not only informative, but quite entertaining." said Elder.
"Good point, Elder, apply critical thinking, maybe we’ll hash this over later." replied Sven. "Back to you Elder."
"Another is the observations of Walter Lippman. While you may conclude that he certainly seemed ‘elitist’, he was reporting what he saw at the time. He saw democracy consisting of spectators and participants. The spectators as mostly meddlesome outsiders. Their job is mainly to show up at intervals, yank a lever or mark a box, choose between Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum, go home and shut up. The real ‘thinkers’ will decide what’s best for all. They are also absolutely terrified of the ‘unwashed masses’. Said Elder.
"Which brings us to the ‘Fabulous Five. Said Sven. "Any words of wisdom on that, Elder?"
"Yes, first, the fab five are symbolic of countless ‘really smart guys’, who worship at the free market altar and in spite of all their education, shouldn’t be giving advice on economics but rather should be given supoenas. You know, all their theories assume there informed consumers making rational choices but after brainwashing by advertising, we actually have uninformed consumers making irrational choices. Works the same for a ‘dumbed down citizenry.’ These guys honestly believe they are acting rationally and I guess they are if you consider they have been operating in a framework of lunacy." Elder said as he picked up his coat. "Got to go now. Take back the thinking from these Idiots. Keep them stirred up, Sven. I think Viggie & Co. Are on the way. Don’t forget, ‘spectators’ and ‘unwashed masses’ is you. Shouldn’t you be insulted?