Kesselheim and Lee worked together for more than a decade interviewing and photographing what Kesselheim describes as the “not famous but very cool people” who live here for Montana Quarterly, and have chosen the best of those stories for their book:
“Over the years they met ordinary people with extraordinary life histories. What they found—in the spacious landscape under the Big Sky—was the human embodiment of inspiration, endurance, triumph, hard work, talent, humor, great schemes and daily heroism. The stories come from unlikely spots on the Montana state map—places like Sidney and Park City, Frenchtown and Malta—places worth loving. They feature people like Elsie Fox and Jerry Cornelia and Richard Steward, whose lives brim with authenticity and fierce spirit.”
Kesselheim is well-known for his epic adventures, mainly on rivers, and has written books about them including Water and Sky: Reflections of a Northern Year, Threading the Currents: A Paddler’s Passion for Water, and his latest, Let Them Paddle: Coming of Age on the Water. In a 2008 interview, he said a sense of place—this place—is vital to his writing. “I think where you live, the landscape you are surrounded by… is key to what I do. I think having access to wild places, adventurous experiences and, on a more visceral level, the sense of this landscape around you does center you in a way as a writer that would be tough to capture in a place that didn’t have that kind of quality.”
This book epitomizes Lee’s passion for photography: “I love telling the beautiful, visual truths I find whenever I put a camera in front of my face,” he says. Lee has authored two coffee table books of photography, Yellowstone View and Historic Homes of Bozeman, and was the founding chief photographer for the Montana Quarterly.
Their reading is free, open to the public, and will be followed by a signing.