Freddy E. was a brash, outspoken Seattle artist who reveled in his rising stardom on social media. So his 150,000 Twitter followers were stunned when the young man tweeted out a suicide note and took his own life. Through interviews with his family and friends, it emerged that Fredrick Buhl was a tireless creator who struggled to make sense of a world in which two of his best friends were shot and killed in front of him and fame carried a double edge. Read the full story here.
When climbers in the North Cascades complete what they believe to be a new route, they write to Fred Beckey. They write because they think they’ve done something that Beckey did over and over and over in his legendary life of climbing. They think they did it first, and they want recognition from the man with perhaps more first ascents to his name than any other in history; they want to be known by the man who is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the sport. Early in his climbing career—in the 1940s, a 20-something-year-old barely out of Boy Scouts—Fred Beckey began to search out peaks that the Mountaineers Club in his hometown of Seattle had marked unclimbable: spikes and blades of rock that members of the organization determined were unassailable by man. Then he'd climb them. He made almost a cruel sport out of it, taking the sober prescriptions of experts and whipping them with climbing rope. Initially, many members of the Mountaineers resented Beckey. But such was his ability that, soon enough, the rift was gone for the simple reason that he had redefined what a mountaineer was. Read the full story here.
For years Mass has used his position as possibly Seattle’s best-known scientist to bat down what he sees as irresponsible claims by the media, politicians, and even other scientists when it comes to the current effects of climate change. He can seem fixated on the topic—“driven to distraction,” by his own telling. Blogging about a recent windstorm that ripped through Seattle, he scorned those who would tie the storm to climate change, though no one seemed to be doing anything of the sort. The impetus behind this crusade, Mass says, is moral. He is convinced that the media, and the scientists who enable them, are purposely exaggerating the current effects of climate change as part of a well-intentioned but ill-conceived effort to scare people into taking action to address climate change. Read the full story here.
Jim Messina started his political career running mayoral campaigns in Missoula, Montana. By 2009, he was one of President Barack Obama's closest advisors. How did he do it? As it turns out, lots of hard-nosed politics that didn't shy away from gay-bating and getting people fired. Read a pdf of the profile here.
Jonas Rides at the Door
Jonas Rides at the Door is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet tribe of Montana who served three tours in Iraq. Along the way, he lost friends in the battlefield and buried himself in countless bottles of booze to try and forget the pain. But he was spared the fate of so many emotionally wounded veterans when he returned to the Blackfeet reservation and participated in ancient tribal rituals that have been used there for centuries to help warriors process their time at war. The full story can be found in the Fall 2014 issue of Montana Quarterly, or read here.
U.S. Federal Judge Donald Molloy
U.S. Federal Judge Donald Molloy has been a pivotal force in some of the biggest issues in the west, from wolves, to the Libby asbestos saga, to how we use our public lands. But who is he? In this profile, I get behind the stand to tell readers about the Butte-born fighter who hates to miss a UM Grizzly football game and holds grave reservations about the future of American democracy. Read the full story here.