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“Hollowtop Smoke Signals”

by Art Kehler

This book of humorous essays takes you down home to the ‘tri-cities’ of Harrison, Pony and Norris, Montana, (combined populations of 382), and the charms, challenges, and various misadventures of living in such a rustic but beautiful place, nestled on the northeastern fringe of the Tobacco Root Mountains. In an age of political controversy, chaos, and negative news, author Art Kehler gives us a refreshing look at small town antics and a chance to laugh at ourselves as we relate to our shared human condition. This compilation of more than 80 humorous anecdotes from real life, poke fun at the wildlife, the residents, the tourists, the weather, and most of all, the author himself. Many of the essays have appeared in various periodicals, and have drawn much praise from readers. Art’s essays include a harrowing tale of a climb to the top of Hollowtop Mountain, for which the book is named. From rattlesnake hunting to elk bugling, to bench sitting, to helpful suggestions for coping with a one-sided town and its frequent four-legged visitors, there is much to a reader can either relate to, laugh at, or both. Readers have called it hilarious, and compared it to that of James Thurber, Mark Twain, Garrison Keilor, and other humorists as he writes about his experiences in the tri-cities of Pony, Harrison, and Norris, Montana, whose combined population is fewer than 500 people. Are his true stories slightly embellished? You be the judge as you treat yourself to some health-producing belly laughs by reading his book and hearing him speak. Stop worrying and relax with the best medicine you can find: laughter.

Art Kehler, author of more than two hundred essays, writes from his home in the small, rural town of Harrison, Montana. His essays, both humorous and poignant, have been published in regional newspapers and journals, online magazines, and nationally recognized literary magazines.