nature, nurture, landscape 8.4.2012

Jim Moore is not idle. At 85, he has become an author, currently working on his 3rd, 4th, and 5th novels. He was an attorney from a ranching family here in Two Dot and he writes of both. I’ve read the first, Ride the Jawbone, and it is a page turning murder mystery. Not my usual genre, but I was drawn in by the details and historical references to my Montana home. I was even more interested in the author. Jim Moore took a group to the site of the imagined murder. It was probably 90 degrees and we were in the middle of Montana nowhere and yet he stood in cap and sweater vest, impossibly thin, using his well developed attorney’s skills: captivating his audience, occasionally asking for questions, usually answering more than asked, always gracious and entertaining. Was Jim Moore shaped by his years in the courtroom, or did he lean toward it with a orators passion?
Another older gentleman was present adding facts from his deep knowledge of the area. Norman Voldseth has a mesmerizing voice and easy manner of speech. The day was not about him, but I could have listened to him forever. What makes a person age as he does? Was Norman’s voice always so smooth with just enough melody and baritone to keep your attention? Did he always speak with the cadence of an afternoon stroll… the roll of a Montana prairie? Or have 95 years in this environment modulated it? It is enticing to think that your environment, the actual land you walk on, might find it’s way into your voice. I think it would come from an observers awareness of where you stood.