Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Tendoy

Tendoy is a tiny little town 12 miles past the middle of nowhere on Highway 28. It is the closest collection of buildings to Lemhi Pass, which is where Lewis and Clark first crossed the Continental Divide, no doubt peering down from the Montana side and seeing only more mountains on the Idaho side.

The Tendoy Store might well be the biggest draw in Tendoy. Viola Barrett Anglin is the longtime proprietor. 63 years in fact. Discovering the podcast linked to above from Montana Public Radio proved too compelling to avoid. Viola and the Tendoy General Store are real and they also exist in the world of River and Ranch.

This is a remote part of the world and getting emptier. The US Post Office is shutting down some of the small town post offices, which are at the core, in general stores, of why these wide spots in the road exist.

To my regret, back in the day when I was living out there I never stopped in at the Tendoy General Store. I don't even remember it. I hope to fix that this summer when I am back there for the first time in 25+ years. I hope Viola is still there. I hope the store is still there. I even hope the Post Office is still there.

Good stuff. A fertile base for fiction and imminently worth paying attention to in reality.

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