Day 182: Beaver Cleaver

On the way to Big Timber, Montana, where Laetitia and her group were planning to spend the evening, the group stopped at Bozeman, Montana, where they visited the Museum of the Rockies. Later they stopped at Natural Bridge State Park, and then moved on through Big Timber to stop at Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park before returning to Big Timber in the evening.

Big Timber is a town of about 1,700 inhabitants near the Absaroka Mountain Range, which runs south into Yellowstone National Park. On their walkabout, Laetitia met a local woman named Clarissa, who talked about the masquerade party she had gone to, dressed in a beaver costume that she made herself. She had also made a costume for her boyfriend, but his was more challenging. He was a butcher, and she had made him a meat cleaver costume. According to Clarissa, they were the hit of the party.

Her story reminded Laetitia of the 1950s television show Leave It to Beaver, in which the main character was a boy named Beaver Cleaver. It was a rather lame show, as most were in those days, but it was a time when television was new to most middle-class families. Having scraped together enough money to buy a TV set, people would watch just about anything. It was also a time of rampant censorship and great naiveté. Her grandmother’s mother had an acquaintance that faithfully watched Liberace and wondered why he never got married. Laetitia wondered whether the screenwriter who named Beaver Cleaver had a bawdy sense of humor.

Laetitia thanked Clarissa for her story, and it became the source of the limerick of the day.

Clarissa will always remember
That masquerade bash in September
When she dressed as a beaver
With her beau as a cleaver
They were the talk of all of Big Timber.