About Me

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Born in Santa Monica, California, I was raised in the small bedroom community of Sunkist Park that borders Culver City, Playa del Rey, Mar Vista and Venice. I attended Venice High School, West LA Community College and California Institute of the Arts. My studies included English, English Literature, Poetry, Creative Writing, Choir, Classical Voice, Shakespeare, Musical Theater, Television and Film Acting and Art History. In 1980, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest and in 1982 I married Kurt Wolf in Corvallis, Oregon. During the course of our long journey together, I have remained devoted to not only my husband, but to my friends and family, and the arts. What defines me most is my passion for expression through art. I’m an avid reader, writer and poet.I also enjoy painting and photography. Additionally, some folks consider me a pretty good cook.

Email Susie Rosso Wolf

If you have any questions about "New Prairie Woman", "Saving Susie", my "Phoetry", Montana, or writing in general, please email me directly at: GrumpySusie@msn.com — Looking forward to hearing from you. I hope you enjoy "New Prairie Woman". ~ Susie

Monday, August 29, 2011

06.S09 Chapter Six, Snippet Nine

New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf
Chapter Six, con't



Conifer Grove on Conifer Trail, Three Forks, MT





 As weeks passed, I learned the news of my oldest brother’s illness and asked Kurt if it were possible to schedule a trip to Oregon to visit him after he was released from hospital in Newport. Kurt agreed that it was important to pay a visit to Big Mike so he made arrangements with his employers (Kurt worked as an independent contractor in the music business as a sound engineer in live music productions) to not book him for work during the week of the tenth of June, 2006. In late May my nephew, Little Mike, called to say that Big Mike was not up to company and asked if we could postpone our visit until Big Mike became more stable. This news obviously left the week of the tenth of June wide open now, as we had prearranged for Kurt to be free of any work related obligation.

Late one night in early June, Kurt returned home from the Santa Monica Airport where he had been working since eight o’ clock that morning on rehearsals for a benefit show taking place in one of the airport hangers. He was exhausted and fit to be tied after a long and grueling day. Angry at the level of disrespect from the “new breed of talent with no talent at all” that he was forced to work with these days, he was disgusted by how much the music industry had changed over the course of his twenty-five year career. Tired and frustrated by hours of gridlock on the 405 freeway, he popped the top off of a Budweiser as he plopped himself down onto the concrete and red-brick deck of the Jacuzzi. He soaked his feet, took a long pull off the beer, and then announced that we were going to drive up to Montana.

Blackie carried us across California into Nevada then on to Arizona for what seemed all of a blink of an eye. We crossed into Utah and drove through the great expanse of the entire state before heading over to Idaho. After what felt like a lifetime I-15 merged into the majestic state of Montana that I had dreamed of seeing since I was a young girl in Catholic School all those years ago. Miles of childhood dreams and fond memories of my friend Eva Yamamoto passed by as eagles perched upon fence posts that were a blur and yet all so clear and thrilling. The further into Montana we drove the more white crosses bolted to metal stakes appeared dotting the landscape as a loud and glaring warning to watch your speed while driving on ice. Towns with names like Dillon, Twin Bridges and Whitehall appeared and then quickly disappeared due to their itsy-bitsy size. Highways named MT-41, MT-287, MT-55, MT-69, I-90, MT-2 all led us to a road called Frontage that passed by the tiny historic passage named Old Town Road. As we looked over to see where we would turn, there was a silver colored GMC pick-up truck parked over to one side with Robert sitting in the driver’s seat and a Blue Heeler pup hanging out the window. Kurt pulled in behind Robert’s rig and he got out of his truck. Robert walked up to Kurt’s window with a wad of chew under his bottom lip.

“What the hell took so long?” He said in his big booming voice as he laughed and proceeded to call us a couple of old people. His face was lit up with happiness, it was more than apparent that he was pleased that we had come to see him.

“I thought we made pretty good time,” Kurt debated. “the map said seventeen and a half hours and we’re here in fewer than twenty. Considering how many times we stopped for your Aunt to use the restroom I think we did pretty well!”

“Come on ya’ll, follow me home, it’s sure good to see you here! Thanks for coming! Oh, and don’t follow too closely so the gravel doesn’t shoot up from my tires and break ya’lls windshield.” Kurt kept his distance and as we crossed a rickety old bridge over the Jefferson River I began to come to life after the long and exhausting drive with the striking view coming up into my tired eyes. The scene of gentle river rapids surrounded by lush green foliage under an enormous blue sky with the biggest puffy white clouds I have ever seen was all too amazing to ever imagine and I knew as we came around a bend in the old gravel road and could look out to the right of my window to see thick woods of forest lined by green pastures that were dotted with black and brown grazing cattle painting a picture that was so inviting and peaceful, that we had just arrived in a very special place. Then we crossed over a second bridge just as rickety as the first with the same river curving and bending then straightening out of its swamp waters and becoming the long expanse of waterway that led to the historic Headwaters State Park. As far as I could see there was glorious sky with rural splendor beneath it.

Two miles later, Robert made a left turn onto an unmarked narrow country trail. Each side of the road was lined with thick groves of towering Colorado Blue Spruce Conifers and Russian Olive trees. His home was just up a ways on the left hand side. He pulled onto a gravel driveway and parked beside his beautiful new triple-wide log cabin style mobile home. We parked behind his truck and I sat quietly for a moment, in disbelief that I was actually there. I turned my eyes up to God with deepest gratitude and meditated for one split second until Kurt came round to my door and opened it. He helped me out of Blackie and handed me my Canada crutch. I slipped my right arm into the brace and set my feet on the ground in Montana. Montana. I was standing on Montana ground, Montana soil, Montana rock and gravel. This was where Indians fought to preserve their very lives; their history, their land and where Lewis and Clark were led by Sacajawea to eventually discover the Oregon Trail. Montana! I took in a giant gulp of the clean crisp air and began to weep. Tears fell onto my face and arms while Kurt coaxed me to walk around to stretch out and get moving again after sitting so long on our last long leg of the drive. Robert helped me up his steps and into his home. The moment I crossed the threshold he came to me and held me for a very long time. I looked up at him and mouthed the words “thank you” and his eyes too, filled with tears as he nodded his head then closed his eyes as his own tears fell onto my hair.

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