Fairfield, Montana is a clean apron of a town, a six block grid that includes a swimming pool and park. It’s a cheerful, sunny place. Choteau, the town to the north, is shaded and strung along a winding street. Both have weekly newspapers.
Big story in both papers: local GOP hosts a Shrimp Peeler. It’s a dinner with 380 pounds of shrimp for 340 people. Fairfield only has 675 citizens. The party raised funds to send a conservative recruiting group to the University of Montana to seek out some youth.
They also are working to start a tea party group.
Ripley Hugo, Richard Hugo’s wife, and I are through both towns. “Shrimp peelers,” we both say and sigh. Then we drive up to her cabin on the south fork of the Teton. It’s where Richard Hugo went with her, up until he died in 1982.