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Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:29 AM

state by state speak your mind about...montana

montana is a place i have never been to
my wifes sister has a cabin there for trout fishing and hunting but i have not gone yet
when i think of montana i see a cowboy on his horse moving across a wide open plain under a huge open sky
i have learned the state has great outdoors action from the fishing mentioned to hiking birding and wildflower watching
there are fabulous parks there yellowstone and glacier national parks are both there
the little big horn happened here (i admit as a native this one makes me smile)
only 2 states have more microbreweries
montana is on my list of places to visit and hopefully soon



as a side note if you are following these and wondered about the days i miss recently i have my late brothers daughter and her new husband visiting florida
my fine state
for the first time and i apologize for the delays as i show them why florida in fact does NOT suck
i am continuing through to the territories but i sometimes may be a bit late as life intrudes

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Reply state by state speak your mind about...montana (Original post)
SwampG8r Mar 2012 OP
sinkingfeeling Mar 2012 #1
raccoon Mar 2012 #2
Luminous Animal Mar 2012 #3
LiberalLoner Mar 2012 #4
ljm2002 Mar 2012 #5
LiberalLoner Mar 2012 #9
mrs_p Mar 2012 #6
MrScorpio Mar 2012 #7
lumberjack_jeff Mar 2012 #8

Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 10:26 AM

1. Montana is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Way back in the late

'60s, I wanted to buy a small patch of land and become self-sufficient in Montana. However, I ended up working for the establishment to support myself and son. Been to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks several times. Camped out in a Chevy Nova at age 27 with just my 6 year old son in a state park called Lost Box Canyon or something. As I look back on it now, I think, boy were you ever gusty. We could have gone missing on that trip and nobody would have ever found us!

As the years have passe, still think Montana is beautiful, but the politics there is a tad to the right!

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Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 10:36 AM

2. Went on a nature tour several years ago. Lovely state. nt

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Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 10:41 AM

3. Movin' to Montana soon

Gonna be a Dental Floss tycoon

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Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:19 AM

4. Montana is my home.

On my mother's side, we go back six generations. Some of the first settlers in NW Montana. My grandfather helped build the Hungry Horse dam and once won the title of best lumberjack in the state. He was also a wheat farmer and kept a milk cow to help feed his kids. Grandma had a big vegetable garden, probably half an acre, and when we went to the farm for a visit, we were treated to things like new peas and spring onions in a cream sauce made from cream from the cow. Nothing better in the world. And homemade bread made from the wheat from the farm.

Two wood burning stoves were used for heating the farmhouse and also worked for cooking when big meals were being prepared. Grandma grew up cooking and baking in a wood stove so she knew just how much wood to put in to bake bread in that oven.

When my cousins and I got too loud in the farmhouse, we'd be sent out to play. In the winter, we played with sleds, ice-skated on the frozen ponds on the farm, built snow forts and threw snowballs. When we'd decide to come back in and warm up, we'd have to bang on the door to be let back in because our hands were numb from the cold and we couldn't work the doorknob.

In the summer, we'd help weed the garden, pick the vegetables for dinner, shell the peas. We'd walk through the fields to the old farmer's dump about a mile or so away, and look through a big pile of rusted barbed wire and broken glass for treasures like an old bottle with the cork still in it, turning colors from age. We were just six years old and now it would be unthinkable to let kids go to a place like that alone unsupervised, or to get anywhere near broken glass and barbed wire, but that's how things were in Montana at that time, we were given a whole lot of freedom and somehow we managed to live and thrive anyway.

Sometimes we'd go to a friends cabin on Flathead lake. It's a glacier-fed lake and only children and drunken fools swim in it. We'd wade in, shocked from the cold, and just when we'd get numb enough to be comfortable in the water, one of our parents would look out from the deck where they'd be talking and drinking beer, to say, "you kids have to come in now, your lips are blue." "Awww, Mom....we just got comfortable!"

Near sunset, the adults would stop talking and everyone would look at the beauty of the sunset against the snow-capped mountains. We kids stopped playing and looked too, learning to love the beauty of the land like our parents did. At night we'd snuggle in our sleeping bags on the deck and look up at the millions of stars and listen to the coyotes howl in the distance. If there was a breeze, we might smell the wild honeysuckle.

It was only as a grownup that I came to appreciate that the experiences I had, the memories I still have, are more precious than gold. That not everyone grew up the way my cousins and I did. I didn't always live in Montana, as we were military, but I spent enough time there to be able to call it home. I no longer live there, and shake my head at the politics there sometimes, but no other place will ever be home for me.

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Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:42 AM

5. Ah, Montana...

...my home state. My family still has a house in Western Montana and it is beeayutiful there!

The politics in the state has always been a bit schizoid. Montana has a long history in the labor movement -- especially Butte:

===

http://www.butteamerica.com/labor.htm

In 1878, underground miners at the Alice and Lexington silver mines declined to accept a pay cut from $3.50 to $3 a day for risking their lives underground. They gathered 400 strong behind a brass band and paraded through the silver camp in a show of solidarity.

That evening, they gathered at the Orphean Hall to hash out the principles for the new union. They took their constitution nearly word for word from the preamble and bylaws of the unions on the Comstock Lode in Nevada that many had belonged to before arriving in Butte. The Butte Workingmen's Union formed at that 1878 meeting launched an era of union organizing that earned Butte the reputation as the "Gibraltar of Unionism."

===

But Montana is full of ignorant conservative thinking. I use the word "ignorant" advisedly: so many people parrot the conservative talking points, and take the social values talk to heart, putting themselves among the "salt of the earth" and putting urbanites among the damned (metaphorically anyway) -- but they have little information and have no intention of finding out the facts. You talk to people there about politics and you find an appalling lack of factual information but a lot of firm conviction that they know what's what.

At the same time, Montana has its share of liberals. Missoula, the home of the University of Montana, is a very liberal town. Mike Mansfield, the longest-serving Senate Majority Leader, hailed from Montana and got his degree in Missoula. For more about him:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Mansfield

He was the longest-serving Senate Majority Leader, serving from 1961 to 1977. During his tenure, he shepherded Great Society programs through the Senate, but strongly opposed the Vietnam War.

After retiring from the Senate, Mansfield served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1977 to 1988, and upon retiring as ambassador, was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1989), in part for his role in the impeachment of Republican President Richard Nixon[1]

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The first woman to serve in Congress was from Montana: Jeannette Rankin. An ardent pacifist, she was the only member of Congress to oppose our entry into both World War I and World War II.

In the present day, Governor Schweitzer is a Democrat and is somewhat liberal (quite liberal when compared to the state's Republicans). He was in the news recently for his antics when vetoing conservative-sponsored bills: he would publicly put a hot branding iron on the bill:

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http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/04/montana-governor-strikes-down-tea-party-bills-with-veto-branding-iron/

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) Wednesday used a red-hot branding iron to burn the word “VETO” into tea party bills designed to weaken clean energy standards, to repeal medical marijuana laws and allow abortion-related materials to be taught in sex ed classes.

===

All in all, an interesting and beautiful state that has fluctuated politically between very right and very left over the years.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:05 PM

9. Thanks for this post! :) For anyone visiting Missoula, be sure to catch the dancing man...



Missoula is weird and wonderful and I love my hometown!

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Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:46 AM

6. Heading there Thursday

For my daughter's first birthday. It is one of our favorite places in the world (at least everything from the Rockies westward). The hiking and backpacking in Glacier are incomparable. The fishing like no other. The just plain sitting in the sun soaking up life is simply the best.

You must go!!

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Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 12:02 PM

7. Great place to raise dental floss

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Response to SwampG8r (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 12:05 PM

8. Beautiful place. Been there several times.

 

If I had to leave Washington, and I couldn't afford New Mexico, I'd probably move to Montana.

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