Anyone that has ever been into Cle Elum’s own, Pioneer Coffee shop has probably had the pleasure of meeting Orville Montgomery and his early morning cowboy coffee crew. Well, one chilly morning back in the February of 2021, I had the distinct pleasure of a happen chance meeting with him and it left a lasting impression that, ‘I was really going to like it here.’ Our meeting went a little like this...
I walk into Pioneer with my husband, we order our drinks and are waiting at the end for them. We see a friendly cowboy figure looking over at us; we smile and see that he makes his way over.
“Well you two are new here I haven’t seen you in here before, what brings you into town?” Orville says with a smile.
“Good eye! Yes we are new! We moved here recently as my husband’s parents live here, and we just got married! What’s your name? I’m Stephanie and this is my husband Justin.
We all shake hands.
“Nice to meet you both. Hey you wanna know the secret to a long marriage?”
“Definitely.” We both say in unison and give each other a grin.
“Well, you treat her right and you treat her kind, and on your tenth wedding anniversary young man... (Orville looks my husband right in the eye with a little finger-wag) you take this pretty lady anywhere she wants to go. Now I mean, a n y w h e r e. Spare no expense! Ok?
“O hell yes.” I say.
“And on your 50th wedding anniversary...” He pauses for dramatic effect... “You go back and pick her up!”
Needless to say we all have a good laugh, the barista timed the execution of our drinks perfectly with the joke and we bid Orville a cherry, “See you again soon!”
Well now that you’ve seen a small glimpse of the charisma and charm that is Orville Montgomery, you can see why I thought of him as a wonderful edition to the, ‘iLoveCleElum Blog’ series, as we are all about it’s people. Orville came here in 1955, he is one of 8 siblings, 7 boys and 1 sister and his family have been happy for four generations here in beautiful Cle Elum. So without further ado, please enjoy and dive into 2 truths and a lie! Comment below your guesses for which story doesn’t add up!
Now for any local or for someone that’s been blessed with kind local friends, you’ll be told that you don’t plant your garden until spring. Well how do you know if springs arrived in Cle Elum when we seem to have 11 seasons in the PNW?
The locals will tell you, “When the last bit of snow has left Peoh Point, then you can plant your garden.”
That knowledge has been true for over one hundred years. Let’s go back to May of 1968. Picture a younger Orville and a close friend of his, Dick Ross. Now the two boys made a bet on when the last bit of snow would leave Peoh Point. Orville bet sometime in May and Dick bet June 5th. Well spring rolled around and come middle of June there was still just the tiniest bit of snow left on Peoh Point, so Dick won the bet.
What Orville didn’t know at the time was Dick had come to the conclusion that he was going to loose the bet. Dick didn’t feel like loosing to Orville, so he went up to Peoh Point, tied a refrigerator door to some rope, secured it to a tree and threw it down below to hang as a forever white Christmas ornament.
"Ah sorry Orville, I think I still see a bit of snow up there. Looks like I won!"
We hired a kid that needed a summer job for logging. Thing is he’d never been in the woods a day in his life. At the end of the kid’s first day, the boss wanted to fire him.
“No come on, give’em a chance to find his feet.” I said.
The boss was reluctant but he agreed to have the kid back for another day.
End of the second day rolls around and the boss wanted to fire him again, much more adamantly so too.
I pleaded with him, "Give him one more chance".
Seventeen years later, the kid was still working with us and he turned out to be the best landing man there was.
One day when I was much younger, I was hiking up one of the Teanaway trails with a good buddy of mine. It was summertime and one of those really hot days, the type that’ll catch up on you if you’re not careful. Well, we finish hiking and fishing and messing around for the day and we set up camp. We get a fire going and we play cards and eat and tell jokes and whatnot. We head to our own tents and go to sleep.
Well after a while I drift off to sleep and at some point I hear something. I don’t think too much of it, probably my friend messing around or making sounds in his sleep. Then WHACK! I sit bolt upright and turn around to face behind me before my head can be whacked again. It was a huge paw that smacked my head from outside the tent. I grab my hunting knife and scramble for my torch. I turn it on. I almost cursed because the light showed the shadow of a massive cougar pacing to the north of my tent. My heart is pounding. All I can think is I don’t want it to pounce on me in the tent, but I also don’t want it to go over to my buddy, what if he doesn’t have a knife? What if he’s dead asleep? What if he's already dead?
I grab my knife tighter, and thank God I brought the big one. I aim at the cougar’s neck. I focused myself to slice fast and through the tent and whip my hand back incase it strikes back. I’m counting to three bracing myself... 1, 2 and BANG!-BANG!-BANG!-BANG!
“ORVILLE ARE YOU OK?! YOU STILL THERE?”
The light of my torch shows a slump of cougar now outside my tent.
“Yeah I’m ok. Wowweeee.”
I get out the tent and my buddy and I are standing over and looking at it. It must have been 200Ibs. We start laughing and screaming in victory and clapping each other on the back.
“Thanks Buddy, I owe you one.”