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Weather in Doig Country is a collaborative project between the Montana History Foundation and the MSU Library's Acoustic Atlas, a growing collection of sounds of Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  This project aims to present weather-related interviews from residents of geographic locations that are relevant to Ivan Doig, including Dupuyer and White Sulphur Springs, rural Montana towns where Doig spent his childhood.  Read more about this project here.

The interviews are paired with passages from Doig's works and matched with images from the Ivan Doig Archive to create an interactive exhibition of sounds, images, and words that will greatly enrich the digital presentation of this archive.  Listen to all sound files for this project, including interviews, at the Acoustic Atlas.

Interviews

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Image of Janie Zieg standing on the front porch of her house

Recording: Interview with Janie Zieg on the subject of Ivan Doig

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "Then when the snowfall and wind at last stopped, the world's one noise would be the scrushing sound of boots on silk-dry snow. In the fresh calm, wood smoke climbed straight up from chimneys, until it appeared as if the fat gray ribbons were dangling all the town's houses down into a bowl of snow. The comfortable cushioned silence would last until the first pickup truck began the fast ratatatat of it's chained tires."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of Mary Tonkavich standing next to Chadwick House.

Recording: Interview with Mary Tonkavich on the subject of Ivan Doig and the Chadwick House

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "Of the number of matters about the Two country that I never have nor will be able to savvy, one life is not nearly enough to do so, a main one is why in a landscape with hills and buttes and benchlands everywhere a person is so seldom sheltered from the everlasting damn wind. I mean, having the wind forever trying to blow harmonica tunes through your rib cage just naturally wears on the nerves."

Book: English Creek

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of Julia Short sitting in her home with accordion.

Recording: Interview with Julia Short on the subject of the importance of rain to ranchers

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "That month of June swam into the Two Medicine country. In my life until then I had never seen the sidehills come so green, the coulees stay so spongy with run-off. A right amount of wet evidently could sweeten the universe. . . As is always said, spring rain in range country is as if halves of $10 bills are being handed around, with the other halves promised at shipping time."

Book: English Creek

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of the Chin Fire burning by the roadway.

Recording: Interview with helicopter pilot Keith Banning on the subject of the Chinn Fire and changing weather patterns

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "Take those fires-- December of my first year in Kalispell. They burned along the whole damn mountains from Big Fork to Bad Rock Canyon and even further north than that. Everybody went out on the hills east of town at night to see the fire. Running wild on the mountains, that way."

Book: English Creek

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of William Wyckoff.

Recording: Interview with William Wyckoff on the subject of the importance of the weather cycle to the writings of Ivan Doig

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "And finally summer. Well, we were embarking on summer now, and how it would turn out I truly could not imagine. Nor did it come any clearer to me in that span of time from supper until my father said, see you in sunshine, and we both turned in."

Book: English Creek

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of hand written letter to Ivan Doig from William Wyckoff.

Recording: Interview with William Wyckoff on the subject of the cultural significance of seasonal change in the writings of Ivan Doig

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "Near Battle Creek, with our headlights fingering past the dark into the white blankness, Dad swerved off the road entirely and sent the pickup butting through the smaller drifts in a hayfield. It had started to snow heavily, the wind out of the Basin snaking the flurries down to sift into the ruts. I watched the last miles rollup on the tiny numbers under the speedometer as Dad wrestled the wheel and began his soft Scots cussing: Snow on a man, will ye? Damn-it-all-to-hell-anyway, git back in those ruts. Damn-such-weather. Hold on, son, there's a ditch here somewhere..."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of horses with corral and barn in winter.

Recording: Interview with William Wyckoff on the subject of the influence of weather on Ivan Doig

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "That weather's comin' in sure as hell. We're gonna have to hightail it for the brush on Two Medicine with these sheep. Lady, you'll have to work the dogs; dog the bejesus out of 'em. Ivan can run, he can get on the head end of the band and try push 'em toward that big coulee. I'll take the Jeep to round in the breakaways. The first blast of wind swayed the trailer. We piled out the doorway into the longest hours of our lives."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of thunderstorm with fields and mountains.

Recording: Interview with Gordon Doig on the subject of the influence of harsh weather on Ivan Doig

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "He lurched from under the mound of bedding toward the stove and could tell at once this was not merely the feel of a fireless house, this was deep cold. He rattled open the firebox of the stove and swore at the dead ash of the coal he had banked the fire with at bedtime. Crumpling yesterday's entire Glasgow Courier, he stuffed it in the stove, grabbed up a double handful of kindling and chucked that on top of the paper, and, shivering hard now, made himself position dry sticks of wood atop it all so the name would draw. He struck a match and lit the paper and hovered miserably until the kindling at last caught fire, too. Then he lunged back to bed. Meg rewarded him with a clasp of warm arms. At that moment, the thermometer outside the Fort Peck Administration Building read 61 degrees below zero. "

Book: Bucking The Sun

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of horse drawn sleigh in the snow.

Recording: Interview with Norman David Zentner on the subject of winters in White Sulphur Springs

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "To my surprise, Battle creek was not living up to its name, and Dad and Ruth were getting along less edgily there than they ever had. It may have been that there simply was so much cold-weather work to be done, feeding the sheep, carrying in firewood, melting snow for water because the pump had frozen, that they had little stamina left over for argument. Or perhaps they had decided that the winter had to be gotten through, there simply was no route away from one another until spring."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of William Glasser and Larry Johnston outside a drinking establishment.

Recording: Interview with William Glasser on the subject of being stranded during the winter

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "In my Montana upbringing, I had worked in a lambing shed, picked rocks from grainfields, driven a power buckrake in haying time and a D-8 Cat pulling a harrow during summer fallowing and a grain truck at harvest, herded sheep, trailed sheep, cussed sheep- even dug a well by hand and whitewashed a barn"

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of William Glasser and Larry Johnston outside a drinking establishment.

Recording: Interview with Larry Johnston on the subject of being snowed in for the winter

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "Not far from the lambing shed stood the barn, dark and bunched into itself, prowing out of the stillness higher than anything else in sight. A few small sheds lay with their roofs disappearing in drifts, swamped by this cold ocean of a winter."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of horse in corral with snow falling.

Recording: Interview with Gordon Doig on the subject of horses in blizzards

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "Dad headed the team by the tops of the fenceposts, and where the snow had buried even them, by trying to pick out the thin besieged hedge of willows along the creek. I peeked out beside Ruth, the two fogs of our breath blowing back between us as the horses found footing to trot."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of two draft horses with harnesses in winter.

Recording: Interview with John McGuire on the subject of a journey by horseback in winter

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "In this snow world, Dad and his hired man skimmed back and forth on the hay sled, a low wide hayrack on a set of runners pulled by a team of plunging workhorses. I rode with the men, hanging tight to the frame of the hayrack prowing above where the horses' hooves chuffed into the snow. When the men talked, their puffs of breath clouded fatly out in front of their faces. Our noses trickled steadily. Dad put a mitten against my face often to see that my cheeks weren't being frostbitten."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Image of Many Glacier Hotel with storm clouds and mountains.

Recording: Interview with David Wilson on the subject of the sound of wind at the Many Glacier Hotel

Recorded by: Rice, Jeff

Inspiration from Ivan Doig: "The winter fought us again and again. Our dog crashed through the ice of Battle Creek, and the wind carried the sound of his barking away from the house. We found the shatter where he had tried to claw himself out before the creek froze him and then drowned him. A blizzard yammered against the back wall of the house for two days without stop. Outside the snow flew so thick it seemed there was no space left between the flakes in the air, just an endless crisscross of flecks the whiteness of goose down. When Dad and the hired man went to feed the sheep, they would disappear into the storm, swallowed, thirty feet from the window where Ruth and I watched."

Book: This House of Sky

Audio Rights: Audio file copyright Jeff Rice and Montana State University. Use of this audio file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License