Par Hopie

Peter Fromm has been a writer ever since he stopped being a ranger in Montana.

Only one of his books has been translated into French, thanks to young publisher Oliver Gallmeister.

You may not believe me, though it’s entirely true: both came to my high school to meet with the students. And to talk about Pete’s book, Indian Creek.

It’s a wonderful book. In it, Pete tells about his solitary experience in the Rocky Mountains where he spent seven months overseeing a salmon farm for the University of Montana.

And the virtues of the book are easy to spot: you are completely taken up in the story, you feel cold with him, embarrassed with him, scared with him, you chuckle softly, you have a spell of the blues, you get everything, absolutely everything, to the extent that upon closing the book one doesn’t think how nice it would be to go to Montana, but how nice it would be to go back.

You should have seen Pete Fromm with our students. Gesticulating, miming, drawing his own experience as much as telling it, he completely conquered his audience. And not an easy audience both because they don’t yet speak English very well, and also because they are at the age where they’d rather be staring at their own belly-buttons than learning about the experiences of others.

This young man, 50 years old, slender and sturdy, Swiss army knife attached to his belt, is, on top of all that, as nice as his book would have you believe. We talked about politics (I can assure you he’s fiercely democratic!), literature, and, I couldn’t help myself, football (not that dumb game we call football with it’s cry-baby penalty fakers, the REAL, American football).

Unfortunately, I had to get back to class after lunch. We will probably not meet again. But I hope that thanks to the translation of this post by my dear Hopie, he will be able to read this from his home in Great Falls, this modest tribute to his talent and kindness.

PS : Je ne saurais trop remercier encore ma fidèle et magnifique amie américaine Hope, dont la gentillesse et l’efficacité sont si précieuses !

RV