In Memory of Terry Riley

Terry Riley passed away on Jan. 23, 2017. He wrote the Red Lodge Community Center News for the Carbon County News for several years. In honor of him, the News is printing a number of his self-penned observations on his life over the next two issues.

 

 

November 25, 2016

“Memories of Growing Up in Red Lodge”

“LEARNING TO READ”

The war had caused my Nonny. Jocko and me to live in several places from Utah, Nevada and Montana. My first major trip when an infant was driving to Nevada with Nonny and Aunt Gert to where my Jocko was stationed. Aunt Gert took one look around Eeley, decided she hated it, got on a bus and returned to Red Lodge. But later we returned to RL after the war. Nonny and Jocko finally moved into my Aunt Marg's stucco tiny house up near the Lincoln School. Initially it had one room, a kitchen, bathroom and unfinished garage. By then Jackie was with us; she was born when we lived in the Regis house on the hill. My Jocko transformed the garage into a bedroom which made life much nicer, and the house still remains one of the cutest tiny houses in RL. It has a huge front yard. Every Tuesday night Jocko, Nonny, my Little Darlin' and I would take an evening drive, stop at Jeffer's and Jocko would buy strawberry ice cream and his beloved Denver Post and Seattle PI papers. We would go back home, spread the papers out on the front room floor bowl up the ice cream, and proceed to read Blondie and Jiggs, Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, the Phantom, Prince Valiant, Tarzan, Lil' Abner and Daisy and get lost in the world of comics. Some how, Jocko not known for his patience, was able to transfer his love of reading on to me. I was well set as a reader long before I went to school. My first day at school was somewhat terrifying. I was sent to the Field School. When we lived at Aunt Marg's I use to watch all the kids walk by with the Jarussi Sisters and disappear into that old red brick building across the street to reappear hours later. The first day Mabel Churchill set us into round robin reading groups and gave us our first “Dick, Jane and Spot” texts to read. Reading with Jocko was far more entertaining and exciting.

 

 

 

November 28, 2016

Memories of Growing

Up in Red Lodge

Castro

 

Castro died. It seems like he's been in my life forever. During the Ike and Mamie years Castro was always in the news. First there was the fighting in the Cuban mountains against the terrible dictator Batista. Supposedly Batista had ties to the Mafia so he had to be bad guy. Castro at first was the good guy fighting against this terrible Mafia dictator. Finally Castro wins, and all of a sudden he's not a good guy because he had the nerve to take away some of the Mafia properties. Next thing you know he is a bad guy and has become a commie and he's allowing the USSR to establish missile sites on the island of Cuba.

In Red Lodge Geri and Charlie Stevens owned the Red Lodge Cafe from the forties onward. It was quite a new cafe with an incredible menu which included a variety of wild meat dinners. The cafe had an excellent reputation. Charlie was the cook, and he was quite a colorful man. Geri was the hostess, and she was sophisticated and polished but down to earth, and she was Cuban, a sister to Batista, or so the rumor went. She drove an early 2 seater corvette, and they lived in a nice cabin down by 2 mile.

When Castro became the new dictator, rumors swirled that he would be after Geri. Castro planned to eradicate all of Batista's family. All through the missile crisis and Bay of Pigs Geri and Charlie just continued their hard working lives as they always had. I once made a carrot delivery to the cafe; to this day I am embarrassed by the message Charlie told me to tell Ed about the quality of Ed's carrots.

Sadly Geri was killed in a car accident in Wyoming within a few short years of Castro taking power. Did Castro do it? I really never heard one way or the other. Once can only wonder. Castro has been around a good long time.