Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pendroy, Montana

Doug and I found Pendroy by luck. We were at the end of our location scouting rope. We'd put a couple thousand miles on the car already on the trip and we still didn't have our little town. On our way home on the last day of the trip, we made a last ditch effort to find something. We did a big loop starting in Great Falls, heading North to Carter and Fort Benton, up to the Highline and as far East as Kremlin and as far West as Shelby. Nothing. There was plenty of cool stuff out there, but no little town with the wheat fields coming up to the edge of the road. A town with no curbs. It was harder to find than we thought.

We stopped in Dupuyer, had a beer and stared vacantly at the wall behind the bar. We were stumped with no good options. It was late in the day and time to start heading west and get to Seattle. The road took us south before we could turn right and follow the same path as the return trip of Lewis and Clark. It was only May, so we did have time to find the right town. It just felt daunting.

On that south bound leg, we passed a sign that optimistically pointed us to Pendroy. We took them up on their offer and visited the little town. A handful of buildings, no curbs, run down store fronts, two remaining businesses still open and a post office. We found it. Every where you look and you see fields. Here was our town.

I've been back to Pendroy several times since we picked it as our location for the first few scenes. We met Debbie, the post mistress first. She introduced us to Joann, the local insurance agent. Between the two of them, we had all the access we needed, except for the bar owners. We met them next.

The Rose Room stands out in the little town. It use to be the local bank when the railroad still ran all the way out to Pendroy. There's no railroad any more and the bank gave up, too. The Rose Room is really all there's left for commerce in town, except for the farmers and the mechanic. Bob is the mechanic and he's married to Dorene. She owns the Rose Room. See, it really is a small town.


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