While MONSEIUR Lemeiuuxiueeixixeuux may endeavor to hide the truth from you–obfuscate, prevaricate, confibulate, and other words I may or may not have made up–there is one thing that even he and the shadowy figures behind Big Dead cannot cover up:
Montana is not actually known as “Big Sky Country” because of the grandeur of its scenery, no: the name stems from a 19th-century prospector and salloon owner named Kermit “Big Sky” Chesterville. Myths abound about the man: he was to the West what Mose the Bowery B’hoy was to New York. Seven feet tall and eight feet across, they say he was.
Montana legend says that Big Sky Chesterville carved the Platte River out of the ground with one swipe of his pick. People who aren’t from Montana will often reply politely, “Isn’t the Platte in Missouri?” Montana folks never been much for cartography: don’t hold with it.
When Big Sky would smile at the streams, the gold would glint and shimmer in the light. It would call to him and he could scoop it up in his mighty paws, dislodging boulders and fallen trees with his knuckles, each the size of a wagon wheel. His breath would rush from him in excited torrents; WHOOOOOSH and rise, rise into the huge blue empty, and swirl around, faster faster faster as the pressure drops; invisible tornadoes that eagles would come for miles to ride and they would call him by name in the fresculating light of the late afternoon: SKY! SKY!
He once got busy in a Burger King bathroom.
One April morning in 1883, Big Sky was whitewashing the prostitutes at the Gem Saloon when a bear walked in and that creature was just as big as Big Sky himself. It was a mama and she was ornery, one swipe of her paw sent the piano player’s head flying across the bar; the music stopped. Big Sky walked with purpose towards the grizzly and roughly took her by the scruff, loosening his belt with the other hand.
Big Sky made love to that mama grizzly that day, and he did it masterfully. He was gentle, he was forceful: most of all, he was present. The bear cooed at him and tried to cuddle, but Bug Sky sneered at her, threw a handful of salmon on the dresser, and told her to beat it. She tried to contact him, but Big Sky would never respond, and the bear ended up drinking herself to death.
And that’s the story of Idaho.