Generally speaking, lawyers like to write and are pretty
good at it — even when the subject doesn’t directly relate to
law. Occasionally we publish a WSBA member’s creative
writing on a subject other than law. “The Crows of Mont-lake” by Steven Reisler in the January 2013 issue is an example. Below is a non-fiction piece by WSBA member Jim
Murray, an evocative reminiscence from his childhood on
a Montana ranch and farm. — M. H., Ed.
by James R. Murray
Sundays on the Montana Highline were unevent- ful. We would drive 13 miles back to the farm after morning mass in Froid. I
would worry the rest of the day about
not doing my homework and Dad would
worry about hail destroying our crops.
On rare occasions, there was action. A
late Sunday afternoon in 1966 was one
of those memorable exceptions.
I was walking over to Aunt Ethel’s
house to use her outdoor toilet. Of
course, we had an indoor toilet. By
the time I was 12, so did Ethel. But she
still preferred the outdoor version, at
least when it was not in the dead of
minus-40-degree winter. I wasn’t even
supposed to use Ethel’s outhouse, but
I did whenever I could get away with
it. I loved to watch the pee fly all the
way down into the pit — four or five
feet. With the right velocity and vol-
ume, one could generate an impressive
amount of foam at the bottom.