Harold

Trotting down Montana 200 this morning I am dying for a coffee. Up ahead I see a sign for the Perma Store. At one time Perma, MT was a bustling rail/timber town. It has long since become nothing but a random turn of the century house by the railroad tracks and the Perma Store. I wheel in and walk though the door of a tiny log cabin. It is dusty and it is a collection of random items for sale. Indian jewelry, camaflouge ball caps, old fishing reels, crystal stones and a dancing bass on a pedestal that does actually dance when the button is pushed. “Wow, this should be interesting” and I cannot forget to list the Flathead Nation Flag for sale for $30. Lost in a daze and to avoid being sucked down the curiosity hole I step outside and smack  dab into “Harold”. He is the proprietor and between his 85 years and the two teeth he has left, he proceeds to give me his opinions on everything from his time serving in Korea, his Pearl Harbor Conspiracy Theory, the government and his disdain for the Governor of Montana who for no apparent reason jacked his store license fee up another $25, or so he says. He is interesting, he is opinionated and a bit out of date but never the less I listen closely. He checks out the stroller to see what turns the wheels and when I smack my two legs he replies “Boy you are crazy” “Hell, I’ll probably be dead by the time you reach Maine” He offers me a Snickers (expires Jan. 07 it says..” and I thankfully accept. Really, chocolate isn’t bad even if its old. His goats peek around from behind the cabin and in the grass I spy the skull of a steer drying in the sun….now this is the real Montana I have been wanting to see. Knowing I have to make time and leave, I interrupt his Franklin Roosevelt dissertation and take his picture. Saying a goodbye, the gravel crunches under my feet, or was it bones? I walk away thanking the Harold for a great 20 minutes and realize once again there is a story just around the corner……

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5 Responses to “Harold”

  1. Melisa Streubel Says:

    Enjoy reading about your adventure. Sounds like people are touching your life along the way but remember what you are doing is touching many! I sure admire what you are doing. Sending you good health and safe travel wishes. Can’t wait to run with you when you come through Idaho.

    Melisa Streubel

  2. Lori Says:

    Oh to be young enough to make the trip you are, and to meet
    so many different people, you should be able to write a book
    when you are finished with your Run.

    But anyway, stay safe, my Vets and Soldiers send you greetings and thanks, along with my Family we want you to know you are in our thoughts this Memorial Week end

    God Bless and Thank You For Your Service

  3. Gail Maehl Says:

    Mike~

    You are an amazing man with so much heart! I saw you on the KPAX news and listening to you brought tears to my eyes, as my brother is one veteran you will be honoring on your cross county trek. His name is Capt. Michael J. MacKinnon from Helena, MT. He was killed in Iraq on Oct. 27, 2005. We miss him greatly… However we find so much comfort in the support offered to honor these brave men & women who made the ultimate sacrifice!
    God bless you and your journey! Thank you so much for your selflessness and patriotism! I know I am speaking for many, that your efforts will be noticed and remembered! I will be thinking of you on Memorial Day!

    Gail Maehl (Missoula, MT)

  4. kath Says:

    The determination and the will power you have is phenomenal at any age. Your journey has been an inspiring awe.

  5. Abichal Says:

    Thanks for the stories. Sounds like you are enjoying yourself and your life on the road. Peace and best wishes.

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