David Letterman Has a Big Heart (…but don’t tell anyone)

Thank you, David Letterman! 

I don’t know why he doesn’t want us all to know how generous he is, but if you haven’t heard, David Letterman is the secret benefactor who is sponsoring the free Willie Nelson concert in Choteau, Montana on July 3, 2007.  This is not the first time he has done something for Choteau, Montana. — last year Letterman, who owns a ranch near Choteau, brought Tom Russell for a free concert to benefit the town.

When David Letterman went back on the air after the tragedy of 911, he said this about Choteau:

I’ll tell you about a thing that happened last night. There’s a town in Montana by the name of Choteau. It’s about a hundred miles south of the Canadian border. And I know a little something about this town. It’s 1,600 people. 1,600 people. And it’s an ag-business community, which means farming and ranching. And Montana’s been in the middle of a drought for… I don’t know… three years? And if you’ve got no rain, you can’t grow anything. And if you can’t grow anything, you can’t farm, and if you can’t grow anything, you can’t ranch, because the cattle don’t have anything to eat, and that’s the way life is in a small town. 1,600 people.

Last night at the high school auditorium in Choteau, Montana, they had a rally, home of the Bulldogs, by the way… they had a rally for New York City. And not just a rally for New York City, but a rally to raise money… to raise money for New York City. And if that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the… the spirit of the United States, then I can’t help you. I’m sorry.

Here’s information about the concert:

With 3,200 seats in the rodeo arena, a packed house could more than double the size of the town. That brings its own mix of excitement and stressThe biggest challenge? Finding a way to distribute the highly sought-after free tickets to give Teton County residents first shot at seeing the show.

Any adult with identification as a Teton County resident can claim four tickets on one of two distribution dates.

One batch of 1,500 tickets will be available on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — or as long as they last — at the Choteau High School front lobby. The second batch of 1,500 tickets will be available from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, at the school.

Identification can be a current driver’s license, voter registration card or even a utility bill. People who get their four tickets aren’t eligible to get more, except through a lottery.

Fans outside of Teton County will get their chance at any unclaimed tickets from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 19, at the school. The Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.choteaumontana.com will post how many tickets remain after May 16.

The final 200 tickets will be distributed through a lottery. Anyone can write their name, address and phone number on a postcard marked “Willie Nelson Ticket Lottery” and mail it to Choteau Jaycees, P.O. Box 274, Choteau, 59422.

Drawings will be held on June 1, 8, 15 and 22, with 25 people winning two tickets each time.

The population of Teton County is nearly 6,500.

Choteau has been buzzing with the Nelson rumor for weeks while concert organizers hammered out the final details to bring him to town.

Mayor Jay Dunckel said it didn’t take long for people to Google Nelson’s concert schedule, which placed him in Calgary on June 22 and the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington on July 4. Tickets for those concerts range from $35 to $79.

“Everybody is excited about it,” he said. “It puts us back on the map. We’re going to triple the size of our town — that’s a good thing.”

Leave a Reply