After an exhausting seven years traveling throughout Montana, and experiencing many small towns, cultures and people, while viewing beautiful mountain tops, and fishing the scenic rivers of this great state, “I was led” to Libby, one last time in hopes of finding a home and the good people I’ve believed were here.
As I left the Yaak, I was told of a good man in Libby I should speak to that might be able to help me stop chasing my tail. I suddenly turned around before crossing their bridge, and thought I’d go through Troy, where perhaps I could find a home to winter and plan next year’s adventure in Montana.
While in Troy, a gal told me of this same man in Libby that “might be able to help me.” As I arrived in Libby to get gas I forgot, a man complimented me on my truck’s new paint job, I asked him if he knew of anything I could rent, saying I was really at the tired end of chasing my tail, living from place to place in just a camper. He said, “Sure do, go see this same man.”
I thought, wow, that’s the third person directing me to this fellow. So I went to his real estate office and was greeted with such a hometown feel; I thought I was back home where I’m from, a small friendly place. I’ll hold off telling you who he is, but he’s also a father and a guide, and he shoots from the hip like me. He said, “well, this one place the people just left, and it’s for rent or sale.” We visited about the rent vs. the purchase and left it open and I left.
I went to the grocery store, and all I kept hearing was “go back and shake his hand and seal a deal to buy it on Friday, two days later.” I went back, sat down and waited. Another gentleman came in, and also waited. When this man came down he said, “Well I guess you two can arm wrestle over this home.”
I stood up and said, “I’ll be back Friday morning with the cash to buy it.” We shook hands, and I left. I drove all day, finally arriving back Friday to seal the deal on this great home I’ve been searching for. When I arrived at the office he said there had been numerous people offering more, and other options, but “we shook hands” and “it’s now your home.”
In Libby, Montana, I met a “man of his word,” I felt that a great relief of seven years had been lifted, and I found a “home,” a real live home, with good neighbors, and his agents who treat me like a good family member.
Recently an article in Reader’s Digest voted Libby the “best small town in Montana.” I agree! The people are its greatest asset — they’re approachable and dedicated — and its helpful agencies, cleanliness, positivity, casualness, quiet atmosphere and new businesses indicate to me that “it’s coming back,” and is something to be very, very proud of.
All it took for me was listening to that “special little voice,” and trusting “in a man’s handshake and word of honor,” that truly gave me back the years of drifting, wishing, chasing my tail, being homeless and frustrated in this new world.
Thank you Libby. I’m proud to be here with all of you. I pray we remember our “words we use, and the actions we do, can change a life, save a life, and make this town a healthy, happy and prosperous place for decades to come.”
Your graceful friend,
—Jeffrey R. Anderson