Monday, May 11, 2009

Addison Bragg

Just got word of the death of longtime newsman and Gazette columnist Addison Bragg. His health had been declining for a while, enough that his family recently gave the Outpost a skillfully drawn caricature depicting him after using a bow to shoot a fountain pen into the chest of a sword-wielding thug, with the caption, "The pen IS mightier than the sword."

I didn't know Addison well; he was still writing a column but was a fairly rare sight in the newsroom by the time I arrived at the Gazette. But he was one of the fraternity, an amiable and inexhaustible story teller, and I am sorry to hear that he is gone.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful man ... he leaves many memories, but I will never forget two things about him - one, when asked what his natural heritage was, he gave an answer, but them reminded me, "I have a little Scotch in me too."

Second is Stan Lynde's Rick O'Shay, a nationally syndicated Sunday cartoon by a man who lived in Red Lodge - a character appeared who looked like Addison, whose name was "Allison Dragg".

I believe that he was in intelligence in WWII - perhaps OSS.

Anonymous said...

I was a wrangler in the Beartooths 30 years ago and I had the fortunate experience to have Addison on several trips. He was a man of character and wisdom. Glad to have had several picture taken with him. He will be missed by many.

jcurmudge said...

I don't suppose that I will ever forget being on the Billings Studio Stage with Addison in Dracula. He insisted on wearing his boots and not regular shoes as a part of is costume. Westerner to the core.

Ann said...

I grew up in the neighborhood with the Braggs. Mr. B was always an amazement to us kids, mostly because he was soooo different than our working-class dads. He walked to work for a long time, and then had a big car -- maybe an old caddy -- that was light purple. Very flamboyant! But a wonderful family and good neighbors.

Kirk Dooley said...

Just over 31 years ago, I got my 15 minutes of Addisonian fame when Mr. Bragg wrote about me in his Sunday column. I was a cashier at the 13th & Grand Buttrey's and Addison had either read a story about me in a weekly ad paper or had heard about me from some of our customers (I don't recall him shopping there). The Gazoo ran out of papers that Sunday, I do believe (my mother must've bought a dozen copies, God rest her soul) and the folks at the Toy Chest craft store next to Buttrey's made a plaque with the story that I have to this day.

Addison had been with the Gazette for so long that I believe a rumor was spreading that before he went to get his final haircut at the expert hands of Lakota and Cheyenne barbers, G. Armstrong Custer (Lt. Col., USA) gave one last interview to...Addison Bragg. (This rumor, of course, is false. Addison had a cold that day, and the interview was handled by Katherine Wright, who wrote a fine article, God rest her soul).

Farewell, Mr. Bragg. You were as much a character as those many folks you wrote about. (If you weren't a subject of an Addison Bragg column back in the day, you obviously weren't trying hard enough.) It's safe to say we won't see anybody of his like again.

Anonymous said...

I know Christine Meyers well enough to know that she wrote Addison's Obit. A few things were left out. Addison never made enough money to buy a house. He lived in the same apartment for about 35 years. Addison's degree was in languages. I dont know that he ever really got over the death of his wife. Addison was the first of now only three people in Billings to ever been msde an honorary Shriner and given a green Fez. He was a member of the Petroleum Club, American Legion and Elks Lodge.

Anonymous said...

Just think what Billings was like when Addison stepped off the train for the first time in 1950...Television was still 5 years away. The Humble Oil Refinery was under construction out in Lockwood Flats, the Continental Oil Refinery was under construction on the southside. Montana avenue was the center of activity downtown. The new Dude Rancher Lodge had just been completed the year before. There were 17 bars on Minnesota Avenue. There was little past 5th Street West. Parkhill Drive was Avenue G.
Step out the back door of the Gazette and walk into Bob Porter's Turf Club-the watering hole for the newsmen. The box scores were posted in the windows of barber shops. It was against City ordinance for establishments that sold alcohol to have dancing. The Billings Bench was mostly truck gardens. If you lived in Huntley or Hesper you could take the train to town and back.