The Old Man And Pete Dexter


Early morning, Seeley Lake, Montana. The sun has touched the lake, but the air is dead still and cooler than the water, and the fog comes off the surface in curtains, hiding some of the Swan Range three miles to the east. And in doing that, it frames the rest. It is the design here, I think, that nothing is taken without compensation, except by men and fires. They leave all the holes.

Originally published in Esquire in 1981, just one year before Dexter and his pal Randall “Tex” Cobb got into that infamous bar fight in Philly, Pete Dexter’s interview with Norman Maclean The Old Man And The River.    It’s a sort of nature piece wherein Maclean is observed in his own habitat and is revealed to be a cranky old SOB, insightful and cynical, like everyones grandpa used to be.  Good stuff.