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DR. RONALD LOSEE...OCT. 29, 1919-MAY 14, 2017

by Randy
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This obituary appeared in The Montana Standard and The Bozeman Chronicle. Doc Losee was a legend in our valley. He will be sorely missed and always remembered with a smile. The writer is anonymous.doc_losee




It is difficult to write about Doc Losee. There is so much to say it would take pages. We were thinking that if he would be able to put this in his words it might go something like this….



I walked off the face of the Earth today.



I closed my eyes… then, darkness – nothing… the big void. Like before you were born.

   I was prepared for this; to let nature take its course, and now this big wonderful life is over.


   I was born October 29, 1919 and grew up in a small village along the Hudson River in New York State called Upper Red Hook, on my Grandad Teator’s Apple Farm. Grandad Teator was an enthusiastic amateur naturalist and thru his tutoring I learned the complex laws of nature, and cultivated a deep reverence for all living things. Dominie French, the local Dutch Reform minister taught me that it is a privilege to live, and for that privilege, you should live your life in service of others. So when I was 12 years old, I decided that I wanted to be a Doctor like my Grandad Edwin K. Losee, and Great-Grandad John A. Losee. I attended College at Dartmouth N.H., the worst 4 years of my life, where I majored in Chemistry and had to memorize thousands of chemical formulas and can’t remember a damn one of them, oh yeah H2SO4 is Sulphuric Acid. I graduated from Dartmouth Cum Laude, and got accepted to Yale Medical School. I spent the rest of my life un-learning everything they taught me. The last year at Yale, I was conscripted into the Army and graduated with my MD and as a Captain at the tail end of WWII. Those were troubling times but I came out with a wife, Olive, and a surplus Jeep that I had to paint blue. Becky was born in Kentucky and with her in the back of the jeep, Olive and I headed out west. We discovered Ennis and the Madison Valley in 1949. Son Jonathan was born in 1950. The rest is history.




I sure loved living! And I sure will miss it. You come and go and do not know.




I’ll miss the folks in Montana. My patients… I’ll miss the long intense times I spent with each and every one of them watching, listening, examining, touching, thinking so hard about their medical problems. I’ll miss the closeness I felt to a patient and the mutual respect we had for each other. I’ll miss love.




I’ll miss the Valley, the river, the Madison range in alpenglow late in the evening, the nighttime howl of the coyotes, wildflowers on the Gravelly Range, the black and white contrast of a herd of angus against a wind-blown snow-packed benchland, the rising of a full moon, the sound of my plaster-covered wing-tips in the dark hallways as I made my late-night patient rounds.




I’ll miss my stuff; my wool shirts and hats, I’ll miss my toys, my trains, my dear friends and professional colleagues, my kids Becky and Jonathan, their spouses Kit and Cathy and grandkids Joshua, Amber and Deirdre and great-grandkids Evelyn, Sylvie, Rowan and Grayson.

   I miss Olive. She was my soul mate. It has been a lonely 9 years since she passed away.




I have no regrets.




I was impeccably honest and lived by the Golden Rule. I did unto others what I would have had them do to me. And it served me well.




I’m so damn glad I chose to live the way I did, I am so glad I doctored, with intense devotion to my profession, I am so glad I loved strongly and passionately and with humor. I am so damn happy, you’ll have to bring me down with a string.




Doc Losee passed away at the Madison Valley Manor May 14, 2017. He worked for and was a devoted supporter of the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Bozeman, Butte and Montreal and would appreciate that any donations in his name be sent to that organization: www.donate2sch.org, and an RE Losee MD Memorial account has been set up at the First Madison Valley Bank.

A memorial service will be held in Ennis at the Pole Barn Rodeo Grounds June 17, 2017 11:00 AM. He worked for and was a devoted supporter of the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children and would appreciate that any donations in his name be sent to that organization: www.donate2sch.org.

























































































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by Randy
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on Wednesday, 17 May 2017
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   I would call the decade of the 1980s the salad days on the Bighorn River.  Previously a warm water fishery until the completion of the Yellowtail Dam in 1967, it quickly developed into one of the most fertile tailwater trout breeding grounds anywhere in the world. But few knew because it was closed to the public...only the Crow were allowed to fish and other than a few bait slingers and lure chuckers, nobody much bothered with it. I used to guide a gentleman on the Madison and Beaverhead by the name of Jack Love who had a ranch in Sheridan, Wy. He would tell me tales of the Bighorn where he had finagled his way on to fish.jack_love

                Jack Love, Sheridan, Wy. on the Beaverhead R.

                                           (Randy Brown photo)


"You know I only have had two trout mounted for my wall," he told me, "a ten pound rainbow and a twelve pound rainbow. I caught 'em both on the Bighorn using a Bitch Creek."

    Mr. Love would special order his Bitch Creek nymphs unweighted from Dan Bailey's, size four and size two, with the rubber legs head and tail untrimmed, dangling four inches each end. He would rod-tip twitch 'em like a streamer.


    His claims of big fish captured my thoughts.


    How can I get on the Bighorn?


    The answer came in 1981 when legislation was passed to allow public access to the Bighorn River up to the high water mark. After a brief kerfuffle at The Two Leggings Bridge near Hardin and some negative national press, the coast was clear and a bunch of us planned our maiden voyage to the Bighorn, fully armed with a fleet of drift boats, one canoe and boxes and boxes of secret flies.


   It was September, 1981.


   We were not disappointed.bighorn_group_9-81

 Richard Rosolek, Bob Walker, Tom DiMeola, Nancy DiMeola, John Seaman..Afterbay boat ramp, Bighorn R., Sept. 1981

                            (Randy Brown photo)


   Floating down a new river for the very first time is Forrest Gump’s chocolate box…you’re not sure what you’re going to get but you know it’s going to be good. We drifted down below the dam and under the power lines. Around the first bend to the left was a smooth pocket of water that was boiling with rising fish. We had on Girdle Bugs and Bitch Creek Nymphs. It didn’t really matter.bighorn_bow_2_9-81

                                       A fine Bighorn rainbow


   First cast, WHAM!...twenty inch rainbow and so on and so forth. The fish weren’t picky (stupid is a better word), and we caught them most of the way down. Then late in the day and into the evening out came the black caddis...hordes of them. Angry trout smacking on the surface, ripping line, burning drags, eating up backing.bighorn_2_9-81

 Bob Walker, Randy Brown, Richard Rosolek at Bighorn Access (13 mile), Bighorn R. Sept. 1981


   One afternoon, late in the day, we hung around the boat ramp at the Bighorn Access (13 Mile). A group of spin and bait guys in john boats from Billings were rolling in. They beached the boats, pulled out Coleman coolers and popped them open along the shore. Out rolled slabs of crimson red and golden brown…large trout, many well over twenty inches flopped out, slithering through grass and gravel. Filet knives flashed, bright orange shrimp-fed fish flesh was laid open, gills and guts were flung out into the river amid much shucking and jiving and loud boasting…”Son,  thatsa hog!”


               Bob Walker with Bighorn bow...Sept. 1981. Dave Shuler's canoe in background. (Randy Brown photo)


   On that first trip, we saw firsthand what The Bighorn was…an incredible fish factory.


   I guided anglers quite a bit on the Bighorn through the 1980s, making the 300 mile run from Ennis to Ft. Smith, Mt. for a week at a time in Aug. Sept. and Oct.


   Some of my notes from those days:


Oct. 22, 1987…AB to 3 (Afterbay to 3 Mile)… 5-8pm…hundreds of risers on #18 BWO…caught several nice fish


Aug. 10, 1988…caught 10 fish over 18” on shrimp and PMD emerger…22” bow went 4 lbs…Schneider’s to BA (Bighorn Access)


Aug. 17, 1988…30 fish day on shrimp nymph and comparadun dry…13 fish in side channel 2-4pm sipping small dries…6 bows, 7 browns, black caddis & midges late pm…4 over 18”


Aug. 18, 1988…Big fish at Soap Ck. channel…20" bow on shrimp…bigger fish working late pm in Rainbow Hole on #16 cream comparadun…5 trout over 18” on dries.


Aug. 17, 1989…Overcast, rain on and off…big fish bit all day…50 fish hooked, 34 landed all on shrimp…all nice fish…nothing under 15”…Schneider’s to BA…pd. $250 check.


Aug. 18, 1989…31 trout hooked, 21 landed on shrimp, PMD emerger, pheas. tail…20 ½” bow…Schneider’s-BA.


Aug. 20, 1989…25 trout below Schneider’s by noon…all over 15”…31 for 51 for the day…all on #14, #16 shrimp patterns.bighorn_shrimp

                                Bighorn shrimp pattern      


   Sept. 6, 1989…super good today 9am-2pm on caddis & PMD emergers size #16…30 trout, 20” brown, two 19 inchers.


Sept. 7, 1989…fished Big Riffle across from Schneider’s…big fish busting dry caddis…#14 elk hair…20” brown, 19” bow before noon.


Sept. 8, 1989…AB to Schneider’s…clouds, drizzle, rain…13 fish before lunch…major baetis hatch 2-5pm…thousands of flies…#16 flashback, #18 BYO…20” bow on dry.


Sept. 9, 1989…Schneider’s-BA…13 trout 11am-2:30pm on #16 elk hair caddis and caddis emerg…4 big fish at Soap Ck 4pm…3 fish at Cliff Hole on caddis emerg…25 trout total, 20” bow, 20” brown.


Sept. 11, 1989…Schneider’s-BA…13 fish at Big Riffle…19/31 for the day, most on caddis emerg.


Sept. 12, 1989…Big Riffle…PMD emerg…14 trout largest 19”, 20”…Soap Ck, two big browns on shrimp in upper stretch…Jerry lost huge brown.


Oct. 5, 1989…Schneider’s am, big trico spinner fall …20 trout on dries.


Oct. 6, 1989…Great BWO hatch in Schneider’s channel am…many risers…caught 10 on dries & hare’s ear.bighorn_map_1


     Map of first 6 1/2 mi. of Bighorn R. from Afterbay boat ramp

                                         (click to enlarge)




  Map of second 6 1/2 mi. of Bighorn R. to Bighorn Access (13 mi) 

                                                     (click to enlarge)


   1989 was my final year guiding on the Bighorn. The fishing was and is still great but just too crowded for my liking. It remains a world class fishery. I was so lucky to experience it at it's peak and the memories are priceless!







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by Randy
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on Saturday, 29 April 2017
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"Elvis is king, but Bo Diddley is his daddy"..Tom Petty



    Early in his evocative, essential memoir
"Just Dead I'm Not Gone," an eighteen year-old Jim Dickinson , on the cusp of a unique and varied
career in music, already mature in band experience (The Regents, others),
recreational drug use (beer to grain alcohol to speed to acid), and getting there
with girls, gets the chance to open for Bo Diddley at a fraternity-sponsored fall
dance at the National Guard Armory in Memphis, in 1959. The night was charged, for
rumor had it that Diddley had "caused" a riot the night before in Nashville, when a
white girl jumped onstage to dance. Adding to the tension—to the thrills—was
Diddley's and his band's very late arrival at the Armory. Dickinson's band is
vamping and elongating their thin stage set to compensate. "It got later and later,"
Dickinson writes. "We stretched out. The audience was getting crazy. Finally, we got
word Bo had arrived." We stopped playing and went out back door. Two Chrysler stations wagons had pulled up and parked on the sidewalk. They were covered with randomly placed pinstriped hot
rod decals and a hand-lettered sign that read BO DIDDLEY BAND.


   Two giant black men
in thick fur coats were driving. The three-piece band unloaded their drum kit. Bo
argued with the frat-boy promoter. Ricky, Stanley, and I walked up. The frat boy,
irate and overly agitated, shook a performance contract and screamed, “It says right
here you are playing two hour sets and taking one break.” Bo Diddley slowly reached
in his pants pocket and pulled out a wadded up greasy piece of paper and unfolded
it. Sure enough, it is the contract. “Yeah,” he says. “It say that in my contract, too.” He wads it up and puts it back in his pants. He points at me. “He could have been Bo Diddley.” He points at
Stanley, who is in true racist near frenzy. “Or he could have been Bo Diddley,” he
continued. "But I is Bo Diddley and Bo Diddley is taking three breaks."That was it. I agreed to play the breaks for an extra $150; the proceedings commenced.



   The hour struck and the witch man, great raiser of the dead, had arrived
with an amplifier that looked like an icebox lying down and an orange guitar shaped
like a Ford Fairlane. The trio wore knee-length red coats. Bo turned on the amp and
tuned his guitar at full volume. The crowd screamed. Bo laughed and laughed, and
kept tuning. Then he started, drums laying a repeated pounding rhythm, maracas
filling up the holes. Jungle sound filled the armory. The world stood on its head and
screamed. No one was dancing exactly; the crowd moved like one great sheet. On a
pedestal ten feet over the crowd's heads, mad men were rain dancing. The night
stopped being pink and became flaming green. Everything was orange, like methylate
spilled in a bathtub. Football disciples down front had six-pack beer cartons on
their heads and whooped the Indian dance, hearing the organ grinder, hearing the
mating call.

                HEY, Bo Diddley

                                  Bo Diddely 1965

                Bo Diddely Mona

                HEY Bo Diddely 1968





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by administrator
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on Monday, 24 April 2017
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   Back up at The Outlet the next day the Montana sun shone wide and bright. The sheriff, game warden and a handful of local folks stood along the creek bed. A couple of Jenny Bishop’s high school kids were there along with the Town newspaper reporter. The Bozeman TV station sent a small news crew.

   The original tributary to the Madison had been restored and the water was flowing deep and clear. The main pool filled back up and once again took on its old shape with thin seams of current wandering through the dark center, easing over to caress the overhanging bear grass along the undercut bank, finally converging into a gravely riffle as it made its way downstream to the main river. The glassy surface revealed tiny midges fluttering on top, dancing, skittering, doing a delicate balancing act in the air, finally landing and floating tenuously with the S curves of the meandering current.

   At the very end of the pool, in the tail-out, the faintest dimple broke the surface of the water, a nose poked up and disappeared leaving a ring of the rise that slowly expanded into a concentric circle and vanished.

   A couple of school kids noticed and pointed.

A meadowlark balanced on an old fence post and sang, melodic notes drifting through the creek meadow, floating through the air, riding with the summer breeze on the way down to the Madison River.

   I stood in the back of the crowd and smiled.






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by administrator
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on Wednesday, 19 April 2017
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   If Corky Furillo knew anything, he knew about blowing up shit. Two tours in Iraq will do that for a guy… IEDs, RPGs, land mines, booby traps, suicide vests strapped on teen-aged girls…explosions were a way of life over there. So when it came to the task of blowing up a couple of dams made of dirt, gravel and rocks…no problem.

    It would be a night job. We met up at the old abandoned Gypsum Mine

 …me, Corky, Skeeter, Lonnie, One Fly and Huey.

 We would move around 11pm. Canoes would be used – quiet, fast, set up and get out. Doc would drop us off at the old boat launch above the cattails and pick us up two miles downstream at the cottonwood patch. Zero hour would be 2AM.

   Corky had rigged two packages: each held two full sticks of dynamite rigged with wires. He used a countdown timer in a black box with a digital face.        We loaded up the canoes with the packs of explosives and slid silently into the Madison River. With no moon and tough viz, we zigged and zagged, bobbed and weaved around rocks and arrived at The Outlet right at midnight. Canoes were beached. Me and Corky snuck up the dry channel to the main dam… Skeeter and Lonnie proceeded down to the second dam, while Huey and Lonnie stayed with the canoes.

   Using a trowel, me and Corky quietly dug two holes about four feet apart and sunk in the dynamite. We checked the detonator switch which was taken from a remote control model airplane and set the dial on the digital timer at 2 AM.

    Down at the second dam, Skeeter and Lonnie did the same. We all met back at the canoes, double checked that everything was in sync, and set off down the river.

    Doc was waiting for us at the cottonwoods. We loaded the canoes in the long box of the pick-up, strapped them in, and headed back home.

    We were pretty sure nobody saw us.

   At two AM on the button…KABOOM, BOOM! Even though the blasts were miles upstream, everybody in town including the passed out drunks heard it. The bars had just emptied out and the late night partiers froze in their tracks. WTF was that? A few thought: meteorite, terrorist attack, the end of the world.

    They would have to wait until morning.




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