Author. Painter. Historian. Critic. Grocer. Movie fan. Theater attendant. Friend. Traveler.
The history of Tony Shea’s life can be found in every corner, nook and cranny of his Oak Street apartment in Anaconda, Mont., on the fifth floor of a sturdy brick building,
Shea has three comfortable rooms jammed, crammed and stuffed with ceramic collections, photographs of family members and mementos from trips across the country and to Ireland.But the most striking thing about Shea’s apartment is the movies. There are thousands of them, stacked in piles and sorted on shelves.
“I don’t even know how many I have,” Shea said. “There’s too many to count.”
Shea is well known in his home town, and not just because he’s the town’s most famous movie buff. Shea is an Iris man recognizable to almost everyone in this largely Irish town.
If you’ve lived here, you’ve probably met Tony — either at a show at the Washoe Theatre or from his days working at local markets. Or maybe you checked out one of the books he wrote from the library.
So begins the story Apostrophe published about Tony Shea in 2009.
Tony is still writing today from his home in Butte. This is the eighth installment of Tony’s Corner, a regular Apostrophe web feature.
How glad I am that my sister, Francie, was here. We did fun things like watch one or two of my movies. Francie always loves what I did with my room. The big thing that she did was bring mom twice to see me. She also likes my room. I showed them a lot of my pictures.
Sometimes of course, mother is hard of hearing she didn’t know what I said. It’s hard to believe mom is going through her 99th year of life and in August she will be turning 100 years young.
You know I have always said that maybe it is because when my brother was in Seattle and Francie and Suzanne were off at school, mom and I would be alone and have a lot of good times together. When I got sick, who was there to help me and keep me going. Then there were times she would come to Hearthstone to borrow some milk and at the time I was either on the fifth or fourth floor.
Again, I did have good times there. Then I had got sick and twice I went in the ambulance but the second time I landed in the hospital for six months. Most of the time it was down. Three times a priest came and gave me communion which gave me hope that I would get out. Boy there was hope because they said I would have a chance to go over to Butte and then I would start my new adventure.
I will fill you in on the rest of the story but I really would like to meet the new writer for the magazine. Please come and meet me. Until next time when you will get the rest of my true story. I hope to see you all at Tony’s Corner.