Tag Friends

Andy Lunday

This is from my old classmate Andy Lunday’s new blog and tumblr account. He and I were in art classes together all through high school. By coincidence we reconnected at a highway bagel/coffee shop in the middle of Oregon.

Were you on a bike Andy? I can’t remember.

Senders receive?

Anyway, maybe you recognize Andy’s work already, that’s because he sent me a hand inked card a hundred years ago that’s been in my unanswered mail pile that whole time.

Jeff the Chef’s Day Off

Jeff is one of the founding members of the Montana Embassy here in Chicago. For the past few weeks he’s been working in the busy kitchen at the new GT Fish and Oyster, which opens it’s doors tonight.

After a week or more of previews they gave Jeff a day off. Being the swell guy that he is he took me on a little tour of Vietnam Town. There were some truly excellent, and familiar feeling grocery stores and a few great looking restaurants offering wide, sloshing bowls of Phở. (We ate our massive lunch/dinner meal at Tank Noodle, a popular corner restaurant just off the Argyle Metro line.)

Getting a little more familiar with the extended neighborhood feels great, for one, I know where I’ll be buying my sriracha hot sauce from now on. But I think the best discovery of the night came after dinner. Jeff lives just east of me, but  we got off on the same stop and looked for a place to get a drop to drink. As it turns out I live right next door to a humble little bar, The Village Tap.

After a few hoppy beers and a game of Yatzee! with a nurse we met it was time to go. Poor Jeff had to leg it back over to his place while I got to exploit  the privilege of proximity. A terrific afternoon Uptown.

Ye Olde Allegra Party Teame

Marcy, Carey and I all have new jobs now, but at Allegra we were the FUN Committee. Party planning came easily to us then, but getting together for a drink seemed a near impossibility until last night.

Marcy’s father hosted us in his impressive, hand-built bar—complete with leaded glass, a corner booth and a mechanical slot machine! A true mixologist, he made the best Manhattans and Old Fashions I’ve ever tasted. Fortunately, Marcy offered to drive me there and back, so I was able to confirm my positive impression with a second round of each.

Thanks Carey and Marcy for doing all the planning and set up. It was just like when we were the FUN Committee!

My Friend Christian


A friend of mine, Christian Cowie, passed away after succumbing to complications of his muscular dystrophy in the early morning of July 5th, 2010. He was a few weeks shy of his 27th birthday.

We spent our school days together, starting in the same second grade class at Bryant here in Helena and I had the good fortune to have my path cross with his a few times over the following years.

From those earliest days I can remember splashing around in the municipal pool together and dancing like crazy people on the low-pile carpet during classroom pizza parties. He seemed proud and annoyed in equal measure when his loving and proudly eccentric dad would come into class every year to give water color painting demonstrations. I remember him coming to a birthday party of mine with his brother Johnathan, they brought me a Ninja Turtle action figure that would sometimes do back flip. I can remember some lazy, summertime, pre-teen afternoons he would call and invite me to play at his house. He had a truly massive toy collection and always kicked my ass at any video game we played together. Once we were sufficiently bored of being inside we would go down to the corner store and buy ridiculous, gross out candy invented for boys just our age.

I remember how in middle school he hated the people he was forced to be with every day to the point of once getting into an unfair fist fight (he was palming a combination lock!) with another kid in the elevator between classes. He would lust openly after the most beautiful girls in class, writing them daring love letters and asking “to go out” point blank.

One noon hour we were eating lunch together and out of the blue he told me something about friendship that at the time made me wince with embarrassment. Between bites of French fries and chicken strips, he told me, “friendship is really a kind of love. And because we’re friends that means that we love each other. So really it’s not too weird so say I love you to each other.” Even though I didn’t say anything then, I knew he was right just as much as I know it now.

He was a good friend to me and even though it’s too late to tell him as much I’m glad to be able to acknowledge the impact he has had on my life.

I love you too Christian, and I will miss you very, very much.

Vaudeville Bannack


More here.