Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

A Montana Sleazy Saloon? Standards Must Be High!

©Bert Gildart: In 1970 beat poet Jack Kerouac visited the M&M Bar in Butte, Montana, and was so inspired by the assortment of characters that he included impressions in his book, On The Road:

“…What characters in there: old prospectors, gamblers, whores, miners, Indians, cowboys, tobacco-chewing businessmen! Groups of sullen Indians drank rotgut in the john. Hundreds of men played cards in an atmosphere of smoke and spittoons. It was the end of my quest for an ideal bar…”

For over a century the M&M was Montana’s longest operating bar.  Sadly, that run ended several years ago — but don’t despair.  Currently, Janie and I are working hard, trying to find a replacement for Kerouac’s icon. It’s a tough job,  because high standards must prevail. Nevertheless, we claim some expertise, and have visited many (Tombstone, Arizona, Sloppy Joe’s, The Palace, Virginia City) bars nationwide.


The Dirty Shame


This will be a summer-long project, but we are proud to report that we have already found several candidates.  They include the Dirty Shame located in the state’s most isolated country, the Yaak, and the Home Bar in Troy.


The Dirty Shame ranks as a contender because owner Gloria said that back in 1970, a group almost hanged a man outside the saloon. The man’s name was Tom Dooley. Honest!

We’re concerned, however,  because some of Gloria’s more recent clients have included movie actors and actresses as well as some well established writers, such as Rick Bass. Does the Dirty Shame, then, have too much class?

GloriaBelcher-2 DirtyShame-3

Gloria and her Wall of Shame, which includes movie stars and well known writers; sign on door that greets all patrons.

Troy, Montana’s Home Bar ranks high simply because I remember the bar from my two years teaching in this small logging town back in the early ‘70s.  “Bikes, Babes, Beer,” reads the sign in bold red letters above the door.  Peeking into the bar at the enthusiastic clientele already assembled there several days ago, and I had to conclude that this might be the type of place my mother once warned me about.  For that reason, it could qualify. But the jury is still out, essentially because we need input from sophisticates.


Because we  can no longer rely on Jack Kerouac for guidance (He died October 21, 1969), we must rely on others to help define what qualifies for a Montana Sleazy Saloon. We hope readers may have suggestions, but we ask that they set standards high.


Troy, Montana's Home Bar welcoming "Bikers, Babes, and Beer."

In the meantime, we will continue researching the subject and report on our findings and on their potential.




*Best Photos From World Eskimo Indian Olympics





One Response to “A Montana Sleazy Saloon? Standards Must Be High!”

  1. Tom & Sandi Palesch Says:

    Bert & Janie:

    Check out the ROAD KILL CAFE & SALOON south of Big Timber at McLeod on rte 298. It should be suitably sleazy for your purposes. Great Tee shirts too!

    You can’t miss it. Their sign says “from your grill to ours”