August 2015

Page 1



2013 / 2014 / 2015









Making dreams come true with the help of science!

2014 IVF Birthday party at ZooMontana

Reproductive Specialists Billings Clinic offers the only program for reproductive medicine and fertility care with in-vitro fertilization in Montana and Wyoming. To make an appointment with an infertility specialist in Billings, call (406) 238-2904 or 1-800-332-7156, ext. 2904; in Bozeman, call (406) 994-9823 or 1-866-587-9202. Regional outreach clinics are also available at Community Medical Center in Missoula. 2 I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE

We’re excited to announce‌ Dr. Colleen Milroy will be joining our Reproductive Specialists in July 2015. Dr. Milroy is coming to us from the University of Kansas Medical Center where she has been an Assistant Professor-Clinical Track for the past three years. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2004 with her degree in medicine. She completed her OB/GYN residency and her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship at the University of Utah Health Sciences, 2007-2010.



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Harnish Blvd., SuiteCITY 1 MAGAZINE I Billings, MT 59101 I (406) 545-9556 I 4 I2110 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I MAGIC


aug / sep 2015


Little People of the Pryors By Rob Rogers



Where to Eat Now

This Land is Your Land

By Allyn Hulteng

John H. Dover Memorial Park


By Jim Gransbery

Shop Like a Chef


By Brenda Maas

Preschool: Your child is ready, but are you?

78 Eateries to Drive For

By Kathleen Harris

By Rob Rogers



The High Price of H2O By Shelley Van Atta

Le Nouvelle Cuisine: Hospital Food


By Dr. Alan Muskett

Is Anyone There? Yellowstone Ham Radio Operators By Anna Paige



2013 / 2014 / 2015



88 Hooked


Evolution of Modern Dentistry By Michelle Williams

By Brett French








MC_63 JULY COV.indd 1

7/9/2015 5:09:22 PM

on the cover Asian sea grill sushi photo by hannah potes



aug / sep 2015




Editor’s Letter b y ALLY n H u lt e n g




Seen at the Scene





The List

F u n, Fa s c i n at i ng F i nd s

Person of InteresT 12 A l e x T ys o n

Giving Back 14

C l i m b T o C o nq u e r C a n c e r

16 Artist Loft Ro b A k e y

18 Elements

K i nd e r C o u t u re

20 Media Room

B o o k s, M o v i e s, M u s i c , W e b - E d

Last Word



22 Great Estates 31 Epicure 37 Libations

Why Magic City?


38 Legends Photo Journal 42

S p l a s h!

S he r i ff He nry P l u m m e r

S av or i ng S u s h i

Full Throt tle Northern Pl ains Vintage Foreign Car Club

Sw e e t S a ngr i a

47 I’m Just Sayin’

W he re t he B u ffa l o ( a nd t he T o u r i s t s ) Roa m



H i s t or i c V i rg i n i a C i t y


In the early 1880s, immigrants and adventurers came in droves to seek their livelihood on the verdant land along the Yellowstone River. The hastily constructed tents and log cabins made it appear as if Billings materialized overnight – thus earning the name “The Magic City.” Today, as the largest city in Montana, Billings proudly retains its ‘Magic City’ moniker. As for Magic City magazine, we promise to continue our mission to uncover all that is unique and wonderful and changing in this great community ... and we guarantee a few surprises along the way.


Michael GulledgE Publisher 657-1225 editorial

Allyn Hulteng Editor-in-chief 657-1434 Bob Tamb0 Creative Director 657-1474 Brittany Cremer Senior Editor 657-1390 Brenda Maas Assistant Editor 657-1490 Evelyn Noennig community liason / assistant Editor 657-1226 photography/videography

Larry Mayer, James Woodcock, Casey Page, Bob Zellar, hannah potes Advertising

Dave Worstell corporate director of retail sales / General manager 657-1352 Ryan Brosseau Classified & Online Manager 657-1340 Shelli Rae Scott SALES MANAGER 657-1202 LINSAY DUTY ADVERTISING COORDINATOR 657-1254 MO LUCAS Production/Traffic Artist 657-1204 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD


Find us at various rack locations throughout Billings: Billings area Albertsons I Billings Airport I Billings Clinic Billings Gazette Communications I Billings Hardware I Curves for Women Evergreen IGA I Gainan’s I Good Earth Market I Granite Fitness I Kmart McDonald’s (select locations) I neecee’s I Paxson's Flooring (Miles City) Pita Pit I Reese and Ray’s IGA (Laurel) I Stella’s I St. Vincent Healthcare The Y I Valley Federal Credit Union (Downtown location) Western Security Banks (Downtown location) I Yellowstone County Museum Plus many other locations Subscriptions are available at the annual subscription rate of $29 (5 Issues). Single copy rate $4.95. Mail subscription requests and changes to address above, ATTN: Circulation Magic City Magazine is published five times a year by Billings Gazette Communications Copyright© 2015 Magic City Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written consent is prohibited.


Brittany Cremer

Adventures in Eating Epi-curious

Having ordered, our conversation turned once again to the events of the day. We talked about how during the Civil War, soldiers were given rations of hardtack – brick-hard biscuits made of flour, water and salt. They were so tough, soldiers nicknamed them teethdullers, sheet-iron crackers, and flour tile. The thought made us feel quite spoiled. Just then, the first plate of sushi arrived. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful creation of food I had ever seen. Like art, colorful bobbles of fish, greens and roe layered elegantly together, swirling across the serving platter in fan-shaped flair. “Wow,” I said. It was pathetically weak praise, but it was all that came out. The visual splendor in the center of the table took me completely by surprise. “Want to try one?” Eric prompted. Before I could answer, several more platters of exquisitely-crafted art were handsomely presented, followed by a bowl of unremarkable brown noodles. That night I discovered sushi. Not California rolls or pretend-crab and rice rounds, but the real deal. Despite my earlier reservations, it remains one of the most sensual and sensory culinary experiences I have ever had. JAMES WOODCOCK

It was the Fourth of July, and my husband Eric and I, along with his brother, Lee, and sister-in-law, Mary Pat, had spent the entire day exploring the Gettysburg National Military Park near Gettysburg, PA. When I say entire day, I’m not exaggerating. The park covers more than 6,000 acres and features 1,300-plus monuments – not including the immense Visitor’s Center. For four history buffs, it was an incredible way to celebrate the nation’s birthday – which also happens to be Lee’s birthday. As we headed back the 85 miles to Lee and Mary Pat’s house near Washington, D.C., the topic turned to dinner. We were ravenous, and D.C. is chockfull of culinary delights. East Indian? Armenian? Slovakian? “Actually, I made reservations at Lee’s favorite sushi restaurant for his birthday,” Mary Pat said. “It’s amazing, you’ll love it.” Sushi… raw fish and seaweed, I silently contemplated. All these great restaurants and we’re eating that?! To make matters worse, the restaurant was tucked in a strip mall, squeezed in between a yogurt shop and used clothing store. Inside, the atmosphere did little to dispel my reluctance. Chinese lanterns, a fish tank and Asian statuary made up the bulk of the décor. As we sat down, the owners came out of the kitchen to gush over Lee and Mary Pat, who were obviously loyal and frequent customers. “Everything will be extra special for your birthday,” the gentleman promised, before bowing and returning to his station. Lee, Eric and Mary Pat examined the menu extensively, selecting a multitude of items with names I did not understand. Unagi, tekkamaki, hamachi and some kind of dragon were ordered. “Excuse me?” I said to the server as he was about to leave. At the last minute, I spotted a short list of items under a column titled ‘Other.’ “Could we also have the drunken noodles?” Four pairs of eyes turned and stared. “Don’t you like sushi?” Lee asked. “I’ve never actually tried it,” I responded, feeling guilty and not sure why. “It’s the whole raw fish thing, and the smell of seaweed. It’s cold, and raw, and, well, fishy.”

Food glorious food

Inside this issue, we celebrate food. If you haven’t been out exploring the many diverse restaurants that dot this fine city, you’re missing out. Starting on page 60, we have a sampling of standouts. Take a read, and then do your own taste testing. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Prefer to cook at home? We also have the lowdown on where chefs shop for the freshest, most savory ingredients. For those wanting a bit more adventure, we scoured the countryside looking for out-of-the-way eateries that offer something … unusual. Grab your mate and make it a date. Last but not least, feast your eyes on some of the most beautiful sushi made by skilled artisans right here in Billings. Like the look? You’ll love the experience. And trust me – you’ll be back for more. Kampai!

Allyn Hulteng Editor-in-chief


developed her communication skills early, once racking up a $174 phone bill calling 1-900-SANTA in an effort to unsuccessfully acquire Moonshoes™ and a pink corvette. Before becoming Senior Editor of Magic Magazine and Editor of Big Sky Bride, she channeled her creativity and drive into a BA in print journalism from the University of Montana (Go Griz!) and a MS in Public Relations from MSUB— melding her two loves, writing and people.

Brenda Maas Whether she’s chasing down resources or one of her three sons, Brenda Maas sees each day as yet another story to tell. She has been writing and reporting since cut-and-paste was en vogue. Recently, she and husband, Brett, opened a local custom garment store as yet another new adventure. She now has a new venue for recording other people’s quotes.

Evelyn Noennig has spent most of her life in the Magic City. She's passionate about the community and the people who make Billings a great place to live, work and play. As Community Liaison for Magic, Evelyn will be engaged in discovering the individuals and their stories that make Magic distinctly local. You just never know where you may find her, volunteering, attending or coordinating an event for the library…she’s everywhere.

Bob tambo

It's been 15 years since he left the bustle he once called home in southern California. A 30-year veteran of commercial art, Bob left the advertising industry and returned to his first passion, magazine design. When not working, Bob spends his time with his wife Kit drawing, strumming guitar and cooking. Although he believes he missed his calling as a rock musician/traveling chef, he still enjoys playing air guitar to Tom Petty and plating gourmet dishes.

c ontri b u tor s

Greg Strandberg

is the author of several historical fiction and epic fantasy books. Born in Helena, he worked in China for five years as a teacher. He now lives in Missoula.


Karen Kinser

While loving the wizardry of words, Karen also loves travel because of that present-moment sense, which travel conveys so well, that each day is a gift to unwrap. Other passions include hiking, gardening taking photos and entering recipe contests. Both she and her husband are fascinated with factory tours, literary landmarks and seeking restaurants mentioned in novels—just to see if they exist.

Outdoor furniture made from recycled milk jugs

Rob Rogers’

spirit animal is Val Kilmer. He’s been writing news and features since he won a spot on his elementary school’s biweekly newspaper with an opinion piece on why “Magnum P.I.” needs to exist in the real world. He probably still believes everything he wrote in that piece. He lives in Billings with his wife and three daughters. Before staking his future on freelance writing and at-home parenting, he was the education reporter for The Billings Gazette.

Michelle Williams is a seasoned content creator across digital, print and social channels in such diverse areas as travel, healthcare, technology and business. In her current role as strategy and business development director at A.D. Creative Group, Michelle is directly involved in client projects specific to strategic planning, research, content development, consumer trending and brand management.

Brett French is the Outdoors editor for The Billings Gazette, where he has worked for the past 16 years. A native Montanan, he grew up in Bozeman, graduated from the University of Montana with a journalism degree and has worked across the Northwest for a variety of publications during his 30-year career. He has hunted and fished for 41 years.

Enduring. Environmentally Friendly.

Jim Gransbery

is a retired agricultural and political reporter of The Billings Gazette. Since 2008, he has spent his time teaching, writing magazine articles for Montana and regional publications and working on short fiction. He also looks after the well-being of his wife, Karen, who has made the whole trip possible.

Anna Paige is a freelance journalist specializing in lifestyle, music and pop culture features. As an avid supporter of music and culture in the West, Anna pens music features for a variety of publications and maintains “Magic City Kitsch,” a weblog on the Billings music scene. She also operates Pen and Paige, a freelance writing company. Contact her at

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Roll ‘em! This set is the perfect reason to create your own sushi at home. Complete with plates, sauce containers and chop sticks, it will look so good that guests will think you “re-plated” your take out. Kampai! Available at Gainan’s $61/4 plates $3 each/dipping plate

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Welcome to Montana’s Trailhead Alex Tyson, Executive Director of Visit Billings

Every morning, Alex Tyson takes the long way to work, turning north on Zimmerman Trail, winding slowly up the ancient sandstone cliffs to the top of the Rimrocks before heading east on Hwy 3. There are faster routes, she knows, but the scant minutes saved are no substitute for the stunning views that resonate with her soul. “There is something magical here in Billings,” she says. Tyson is no stranger to experiencing the power of place. Her father had a career with the National Park Service, which allowed the family to live in some of the most wonder-filled locales on earth – including Yosemite, Crater Lake and Yellowstone. “In Yellowstone, my dad was the Chief Ranger, which meant we were also the host family for visiting VIPs,” Tyson says. One of those dignitaries was President Carter. “I remember sitting at a table with my dad, my brother and the President – it was truly incredible,” she recalls. Growing up in the midst of one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the world left an indelible impression on Tyson. She developed an immense love for the wild landscape, and for Montana. One of her earliest jobs was working for a park concessionaire. Later, she interned for the Yellowstone National Park Public Affairs Office. Tourism became ingrained in her experience. “I grew up thinking I would have a career with the National Park Service,” she said. But fate nudged her in an unexpected direction.

Homeward found After high school, Tyson moved to Bozeman and then Billings to attend college. A course in broadcasting led to an internship with a local TV station, and ultimately to a full-time job as news anchor for 13 years. During that time, she also married her high school sweetheart, Calvin, and the couple had two sons, Cade and Cooper. “We love everything that Billings offers, and are deeply rooted here,” she said. When a community relations position opened up at the Billings Chamber, Tyson jumped at the opportunity. Several years later, she was named Executive Director of Visit Billings – the tourism arm of the

Alex Tyson overlooking Montana's Trailhead.


Chamber. For Tyson, it was a golden opportunity to marry passion for the community with her tourist industry acumen.

Visitors welcome Tyson will tell you that tourism is big business in Billings. And she can back that claim by citing some impressive numbers. In 2013, she notes, non-resident visitors to Yellowstone County spent $374 million, supporting more than 3,400 local jobs. But, she adds, tourists don’t have to come to Billings to experience Montana. That’s where Tyson and her team step in. “Our mission is to inspire people to put Billings on their itinerary,” Tyson explained. Visit Billings targets three types of travelers – leisure, convention/meeting and sports. To reach each group, Tyson uses a broad spectrum of marketing channels. Ads in the USA Today travel section, interactive billboards in the Minneapolis Airport, wrapped buses in Chicago and hosted visits for convention planners are examples of such efforts. “It’s a highly-coordinated effort to create brand lift for Billings,” Tyson said. While the marketing is effective, it also has a price tag. To help support those efforts, in 2007 a new city-wide Tourist Business Improvement District (TBID) was created. Hoteliers collect $2 for every occupied night which goes into the TBID. Those dollars significantly increased the money available to promote Billings – and the investment is garnering results.

Stay and play As a destination, Billings offers something for everyone. Shopping, dining, live entertainment, hiking the Rims, running along trails, ex-

“As a community, we need to have a conversation about where we’re going next, Decisions today will directly impact tourism tomorrow – and that affects us all.”

ploring ZooMontana, strolling through museums and walking the Brewery District is just the tip of the tourist iceberg. “Plus we have a killer downtown that visitors rave about,” Tyson said. “Once people get here, Billings doesn’t fail anybody.” But getting people here is only part of the Tyson’s job. Friendly interactions with locals and great customer service at every turn are needed to ensure visitors leave with a positive impression – and hopefully share that experience with others. While the tourist industry has grown over the past several years, change is afoot. Billings is growing, and with growth come challenges. Moreover, competition with other cities in the state is heating up. “As a community, we need to have a conversation about where we’re going next, Decisions today will directly impact tourism tomorrow – and that affects us all.” Still, Tyson is proud of what Billings has to offer and enthusiastic about the work Visit Billings is doing to promote tourism. “This is very fulfilling for me.”




Climb to Conquer Cancer: Summer hike takes aim at cancer Morgan McQuillan’s battle with cancer started when she was just 5. Now 21, she has persevered through four more rounds of the deadly disease and wears prostheses after losing her right leg and half of her upper jaw to bone cancer. She and her siblings have also lost their father to cancer. But that hasn’t stopped Morgan from an active life that includes finishing coursework in human services at Montana State University Billings this summer. She’s a tireless spokeswoman for the fight against the disease and in support of those suffering from it. This summer, she is working with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Billings and will take part in the August 1 Climb to Conquer Cancer on Red Lodge Mountain. Morgan, of Joliet, notes that “sometimes people forget it is not just a physical battle but an extreme emotional battle.” Events such as “The Climb” can remind patients that, even on bad days, there’s support to keep fighting. Morgan plans to be part of a team for this year’s climb, which goes from the base of Red Lodge Mountain to Midway – about three miles round-trip. She has a fractured pelvis, but is determined to make the hike, even if on crutches. Leita and Lyle Zimmerman, of Red Lodge, act as co-chair and chair of this year’s climb. Both lost family members to cancer. “We wanted to raise awareness and provide funds to help the cancer society,” Leita says. The climb is along an old logging road that’s now a ski trail. “It’s a beautiful walk up there,” Lyle adds. The day starts with a breakfast with cancer survivors, and participants are encouraged to join the breakfast to celebrate and support survivors. Flags with survivor names or remembrances will line the hiking trail. Water stops will be provided, along with lunch after-


Climb to Conquer Cancer Saturday, Aug. 1 at Red Lodge Mountain Resort 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and sign-ups 9:30 a.m. Climb begins to Midway 11 a.m. Lunch, awards and prizes at main lodge

ward. Last year’s Climb raised more than $39,000, Lyle says, and “we hope to exceed $40,000” this year. Sponsors and “a wonderful group of volunteers” contribute to the event’s success, Leita notes. A longtime volunteer, Lola Ashby, 60, plans to make The Climb this year. A breast-cancer survivor, she is now clear of cancer but lost her sister to the same disease. Lola, who lives near Red Lodge, served as a team captain and also in various board positions for many years. She appreciates The Climb for “bringing awareness to cancer survivors that it’s not necessarily a death sentence, that you can still strive for things.” She says cancer changed her belief that she didn’t need others and taught her that “I wasn’t the Wonder Woman I thought I was.” She learned faith, compassion and sharing in reaching for the future. The beginning of the Climb to Conquer Cancer “is very, very moving,” she says.“There’s just something about being with a group of people who’ve been through what you have, a bond.” Climb to Conquer Cancer is truly an opportunity for help and hope.

Flags honoring loved ones cost $20 and will line the trail. $10 - kids $35 – adults $350 – teams $45 – day of event Registration includes the non-competitive walk of about three miles, a T-shirt (while they last). Sign up online at To volunteer or for more information call 406-5705009 or the American Cancer Society at 800227-2345.

Above: Morgan McQuillan has battled cancer since age 5. She plans to participate in the 2015 Climb to Conquer Cancer at Red Lodge Mountain Resort.




Rob Akey A "sense of a space"

“There is a rich history in Montana,” whether it’s 200 years ago or last week, there’s always a story to tell.”

Top right: Rob in front of his studio. Above: The artist on location.

Rob Akey knows a painting is finished when he’s taken everything out. A representational oil painter, Akey paints down to the essential—a detail, a feeling, a smell—to consider his work complete. “You go to a painting for the feel of a place,” Akey said. “That is the whole purpose in painting—to portray the essential. It’s poetry. It’s the sense of a place, not the place.”

For Akey, there’s no greater compliment than when someone can smell a sagebrush he’s painted warming in the summer sun, or can feel the cool air coming off a river in one of his evening landscapes. “Then, I know I’ve touched on something completely different. It’s gone beyond that visual I’ve labored on and hung on a wall. That, to me, is a home run.” Akey grew up in Montana and paints full-time from his studio in Whitefish. As a youth, Akey hiked in Glacier, worked on trail crews, harvested wheat fields and took inspiration from Montana’s vast landscapes to tell his stories in paint. “To begin with, I painted everything I saw,” Akey said. His philosophy: “I think a guy should be ready to paint just about anything.” And Akey has never lacked for subject matter. “As a guy who has left Montana a couple times and returned, I don’t take any of it for granted.” A painter of iconic scenes, Akey’s work varies from rusted tractors that speak of perseverance and hard work to wild animals that symbolize strength in Montana’s rugged backwoods to winding rivers at sundown, a fly fisher silhouetted against shimmering golden waters. “There is a rich history in Montana,” Akey said. “Whether it’s 200 years ago or last week, there’s always a story to tell.” Akey’s Montana scenes harken back to renaissance landscapes, where oil was the principal medium. Strong in color and rich in texture, oil paints are an impressive way to impart a feeling of the earth texturally and chromatically—ideal for the region’s rugged beauty. Even the smell of oil paints—there’s something old and


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rich about them. “I’ve experimented with other mediums, but nothing compares to the immediacy and pliability of oils,” Akey said. “It’s a very tactful, forgiving medium. I don’t know what else you can use while painting in the middle of a field and experience a sudden downpour and not have a disaster on your hands. I love it; I really do.” Working as an artist in Montana hasn’t always been easy, and Akey said the Whitefish art scene continues to expand. “We have half a dozen or more galleries, and most of them didn’t exist 10 years ago. They are sticking, but that is largely due to the fact that we have patrons here. Anyone can open a gallery, but you have to have collectors to survive.” Akey considers himself fortunate to work full time as an artist. “Montana is becoming a place for the arts, and we are finally establishing commerce in the arts. You don’t have to box it up and ship it somewhere else. I am able to make a living right here in the borders of our state.”

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Kindergarten Couture Give your little person a spectacular send-off with these back-to-school essentials.

No excuses

When your kids have this responsibility chart, they cannot say, “I didn’t know I was supposed to do THAT?!” For the parents who strive to work themselves out of a job.

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Back in plaid It’s all the rage, and now your little man can stand tall in this soft button-down from Cinch. Wear sleeves long, or roll ‘em up, Roger!

Available at Western Ranch Supply $32

Ol’ standby

All dudes and dude-ettes need denim. You can’t go wrong with broad-stitched cowboy jeans from Rock & Roll.

Available at Shipton’s Big R Prices vary


Style & comfort

You will want these duds for your mini dude-ette…just because. The bling-y T-shirt from Miss Me is the perfect topper for the rhinestoneembossed jeams by Cowgirl Tuff Company. Yee-haw!

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No brain-er

It is akin to a kindergarten-aged digital tablet wearing a Kevlar jacket. Your kiddo can surf the web, play educational games (right?) and check off items from the ever-popular chore list. A parent’s best friend.

Available at Toys ‘R Us $129 and up

State your state

It goes without saying that Montanan’s wear their pride… your kids can, too. With a variety of sayings to choose from, you are sure to find your match.

Available at Joy of Kids $24/T-shirt $34/hoodie

Throw backs

Help your child learn the old-fashioned way, with SmartyPants flashcard-style questions, puzzles and games from Melissa & Doug. They query, “Can your brain come out and play?”

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Big drink of water

Help your little squirt stay hydrated with his or her own water bottle. Choose from a variety of motifs; Plus, they are spill-proof with CamelBak’s lifetime guarantee. Bottoms up!

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John Roberts y Pan Blanco


Backroads of Montana Montana PBS Rediscover the magic behind our great state in this award-winning documentary-style series, uncovering unique people, places and fun under the Big Sky since 1991. The series airs regularly on Montana PBS or view online at


Cooking Class By Deanna F. Cook

Feet—listen up. John Roberts and his band of virtuoso musicians have been heating up the dance floor in Billings with their signature Cuban-salsa/African-funk music. What does that mixture sound like exactly? Your feet will know. “It’s high-energy dance music,” Roberts said, who is the founding member of the group. “The comment we hear most frequently from fans is that we look like we’re having so much fun on stage—smiles and all.” Roberts is originally from Montana, but left to perform in LA during his early 20s. Soul, Cuban, African and salsa music all spoke to him. The band’s name, “Pan Blanco,” is actually a playful nickname Roberts picked up Walkers Grille: 7/26 while it LA, loosely translating to “white bread.” Music on Main in Bozeman: 7/30 “Traveling and performing with a wide array of talent Nowoodstock Music Festival in Ten Sleep, WY: 8/8-8/9 has taught me that good music will affect you wherever Cody Summer Concert Series you’re from,” Roberts said. in Cody, WY: 8/13 Billings Depot The group is in the process of pressing a record—and Head Start Fundraiser: 8/21 has some singles available on iTunes—but the real magic of Alive After 5: 8/27 Pan Blanco happens at their live performances. For more information, visit “Live shows allow us to improvise, showcasing our musicality,” Roberts said. “We have an incredibly talented ensemble of local musicians, many of whom you’ll recognize.” Trevor Krieger plays violin, Sam White is on sax, Bill Honaker plays drums, Matt Devitt plays the timbales, Brad Edwards is on congas, Parker Brown plays bass, Alex Nauman plays guitar and Roberts sings and plays trombone. Pan Blanco hopes to increase interest and awareness in Latin-fusion music by performing at various live venues this summer. Catch them at the St. John’s Summer Concert Series, Yellowstone Valley Brewery or at one of the Above locales. Ole!


Move over, Betty Crocker, junior has a spatula, and isn’t afraid to use it. This fresh, fun cookbook for kids ages 6 to 12 explains basic cooking techniques in kid-friendly language, offering recipes for making dozens of favorite foods from scratch, including French toast, fruit leather, goldfish crackers, Buffalo chicken fingers, California rolls and more. The recipes use fresh, healthy ingredients and feature imaginative presentations that kids will love to prepare (and devour).

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Montana Travel Guide App Lewis and Clark had Sacajawea; you have the Montana Travel Guide App. Explore the best of Montana, from Glacier to Yellowstone, with this in-depth travel guide offering navigation information, sight-seeing details, entertainment, shopping, culinary options, hotels and more. Available on iTunes.

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Ah, summer!

It’s finally here. And for one mid-town couple,

summer and celebration are synonymous. Imagine, if you will, the heady aroma of steaks sizzling on a grill, scintillating conversations punctuated by the trill of laughter, sunlight – or moonlight – sparkling off ripples of a pool, the gurgle of a hot tub and the clink of cocktails. All of it complemented by a boulder-scaped hillside brimming with the joyful bounty of perennials and annuals. Welcome to Bruce and Lynette Jensen’s summertime sanctuary – their own backyard.

Above: Built by Thompson Pools, this lovely pool gets plenty of use in the hot summer months. Outdoor lounge furniture near the pool is an ideal place to sit and relax, read a book or sip an umbrella drink. From this angle, guests also have a great view of the graceful outdoor tiers and blooming perennials.




Built for entertaining

Top: The pool house (behind the pool) is equipped with a halfbath and changing area. Inset: This outdoor kitchen, complete with a gas range and small fridge, is enhanced by Eldorado Stone. The chef also has an advantageous view of the pool and gardens. Next page top: Comfy furniture beckons family and guests into the outdoors on this first patio level. The seethrough fireplace extends from the great room to the patio, and the television is a welcome addition when a special event or big game is on. Next page center: This second tier of the backyard patio is a comfortable place to sit and watch the pool action below, see what’s happening above on the first tier, or even watch television from this angle. The Jensens also have outdoor heaters for cool evenings, as summer moves into autumn. Next page bottom: This lowest level of the back yard is even with the pool. The large landscape boulders and blooming perennials enhance the summer-time feel that all’s right with the world.


The Jensens built this ranch-style home in 2009 and moved in a month after it was crowned the People’s Choice Winner in that year’s Fall Parade of Homes. But their focus hadn’t been to win awards; rather, it was all about the space – particularly the space for parties. “We built this house for entertaining,” says Lynette, a realtor with Metro Realtors, LLP, “and have a big party at least every three months.” Naturally, that outdoor oasis holds gatherings aplenty, but it’s also a favorite spot for Lynette and Bruce, a sales manager at Intermountain Distributing, to enjoy together. “For four or five months of the year, the backyard is our favorite place,” says Lynette. Constructed by Sam Nelson of Cougar Construction, this 4,300-square-foot home sports four bedrooms, 3-1/2 baths and an airy open floor plan. Because the couple has always loved to entertain, they knew from the start that the kitchen was the focal – and vocal – point of most parties, so there’s no wall between the kitchen, dining area and great room. This way guests can gather near the kitchen, but have plenty of overflow space. The couple’s parties run the gamut from simple get-togethers to themed events, such as a recent Bobby Flay-style throw down, where several couples brought their best lasagna, and guests determined the winner. They’ve also had guest chefs and love their “Misfits” Thanksgiving dinners, where they invite others – single people, single dads with kids or anyone without a place to go – to enjoy the day with them. And don’t forget 4th of July, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and birthday parties, either.




Well lived-in The home is decorated in a contemporary rustic style, with soft browns, tans, muted grays and green accenting walls, surfaces and fabrics. Beautiful hand-scraped wood floors lend an inviting warmth to the kitchen, great room and dining room with exquisite paintings by Kevin Red Star and Russell Chatham adorning the walls. Tall ceilings and nine-foot door frames add to the expansive feel. “It’s just well lived-in,” says Lynette, and all guests feels that welcoming vibe. That warm, enveloping feel also flows into the lower level, where you’ll find a bar, cork-floored wine cellar, a cozy seating area with a fireplace, and an old-timey feeling pool hall and theater room. Dimmable Art Deco-ish theater lights

Top: Guests seem to enjoy congregating in the kitchen, and this great room gives them plenty of spill-over space. They still feel close to the action, but can converse here and also enjoy the see-through fireplace that extends out onto the first patio level. Center: “We are not formal people,” says Lynette. The informal dining area has an open-flow feel and connects to the outdoor kitchen with a wall of large sliding doors. The enchanting lights above the table and the beautiful hand-scraped floors add to the home’s inviting feel. Right: What’s a party without some good wine? This handsome, cork-floored wine cellar goes over-the-top with custom iron racks and doors by crafted by Travis Nelson of Ringing Anvil Forge.


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enhance the pool hall atmosphere and sound-proof sheet rock ensures that the noise remains contained. While the interior of the home reflects, mostly, Lynette’s vision, the exterior is Bruce’s. He envisioned a half-acre outdoor sanctuary, complete with three tiers of recreational deliciousness. On the first tier, there’s a comfy seating area, TV, hot tub and outdoor kitchen. The second tier holds another seating area around a propane fireplace, and the ground space holds the pool and pool house, complete with a half bath and changing area. “Fun,” says Lynette. “It’s what we wanted when we built this,” and it’s clear that they’ve accomplished this goal.


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Top: While the backyard is Lynette’s favorite place during summer, she loves this intimate room, adjacent to the theater area, in the winter months. She grabs a book and a glass of wine to cozy-up to the fireplace. Above: The 30s-style wall lights and wainscoting give this combination pool hall and home theater an alluring Art Deco feel. The tray ceiling with rope lighting above the pool table adds muted warmth, and the sound-proof sheet rock makes sure any party noise stays in this room.

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SA V O R I N G CU L I N A R Y W O R K S O F A R T Timeless and unique, these colorful combos surprise and delight the palate. Originally a method used to preserve raw fish, sushi has matured into mainstream with an almost cult-like following. Today, sushi is all about the pleasure of food. Employing only the freshest ingredients, the sushi chef is part artisan, part food scientist. He crafts each arrangement with nimble fingers that intimately meld flavors, tastes and spices into a culmination that almost looks too good to eat. Almost‌.but not quite.

by brenda ma as

Asian Sea Grill & Sushi Bar Specialty: The roll on the left of this combo platter includes spicy salmon, avocado and nori (seaweed) wrapped with fresh salmon, then topped with black and orange caviar and wasabi. The roll on the right contains spicy salmon with white tuna and cucumber wrapped with white tuna and salmon roe.



Sweetheart Sushi is as distinctive as its name, with spicy tuna, avocado, white tuna and a special mango sauce.



s the name implies, the food at this establishment fuses flavor with flair. Coowners Jimmy Li and Jack Wan opened the doors in 2011. The sushi bar seats are often filled with those who seek inspiration and entertainment with their meal. When fabulous food is paired with personalized service, it’s the perfect recipe.

Top: The Sashimi Deluxe includes 18 slices of fresh, sliced raw fish including tuna, salmon, white tuna, red snapper, mackerel and yellowtail. Center: Head chef, Jack Wan prepares sushi after many years of training. Bottom: The Fancy Roll at Fancy Sushi features an incredible mix of shrimp tempura, eel, cucumber and asparagus topped with spicy kani (crab) and shrimp topped with fruit, eel sauce and wasabi cream.


A customer favorite, this dish starts with Chen’s homemade sweet chili sauce and lightly-steamed broccoli. Then grilled sea bass is topped with a crunchy combo of bean sprouts, broccoli and purple cabbage for a mouthful of delight.


or an edgy dining experience, Tao New Asian fills the bill. Owners John and Christine Chen, who hail from China and Indonesia, meld their experiences into Tao. Thai, Korean, Szechuan, Mongolian and more reside and mix under one roof. Unlikely combinations pepper the expansive menu between classic dishes, all within a chic, urban atmosphere.

Even with the same ingredients, each sushi chef adds his or her own personal flair to their creations. Co-owner John Chen crafted these rolls (center) from spicy tuna, cucumber and avocado, then added a soy-dressed spring green salad to the center. Spicy sauce and his own miso sauce of cilantro and mayo accent it all.


This dish starts with grilled sea scallops atop a bed of Thai spicy coconut sauce, which is then encircled with ribbons of julienned cucumbers. It’s almost too pretty to eat.



ina Wu and Howard Shen, owners of Asian Sea Grill & Sushi Bar, have been on the scene since 2010. During that time they have developed a loyal following, drawn by their presentations and tri-attractions of sushi bar, lounge and hibachi grill. Look for their new downtown location, Wild Ginger Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, opening soon.

Top: The ambience of Asian Sea Grill provides the perfect setting for fine sushi dining. Center: Sushi chefs Kevin Chen (left) and Chao Chen work front-and-center. Above: Owner Howard Shen created the unlikely paring of lightly-breaded jumbo shrimp and watermelon covered with a sweet mayo sauce and topped with candied walnuts. The original dish, which uses cantaloupe, is incredibly popular in the Pacific Northwest. Owner Tina Wu serves a platter of freshly prepared sushi (see page 31 for description).

tHE nom e n c l a t u rE O F SUSH I If you're new to sushi, here's a quick lesson on the different types.

Maki – type of sushi most easily identified by its coin shape

Nigiri – type of sushi in which a perfectly-shaped block of rice is topped with a slice of fish

Pickled Ginger -

A little sweet, a little tangy, the perfect condiment

Poki –

Makimono –

seafood and vegetable wrapped with sushi rice in seaweed

raw fish that has been marinated

Sashimi –

dish of assorted types of raw fish; varies from sushi because does not include rice

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With Spanish roots, this fruitinfused wine punch is perfect for summer sipping on the patio or served up—pitcher sweating with condensation—at your next BBQ. And the best part—it can be customized to your fruit and carbonation preferences. ¡Salud!

Sweet Sangria By Brittany Cremer Ingredients 2 bottles chilled red wine 1 cup brandy (optional) 1 cup orange juice 1/4 cup super-fine granulated sugar 2 oranges, cut into thin rounds 2 lemons, cut into thin rounds 3 limes, cut into thin rounds 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks 2 cups cold club soda (Sprite or 7-up works, too)

Directions In a large pot or bowl, combine the wine, brandy, orange juice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange, lemon and lime slices, the apples and refrigerate until well-chilled (at least 1 hour). Remove from the refrigerator and add the soda. Serve in glasses over ice. *Can also add pineapple, kiwi, strawberries or grapefruit for added fruity flavor.


Henry Plummer AND THE

VIGILANTES By Greg Strandberg


In 1863, Montana was a wild, often lawless place. Still part of Idaho Territory, gold discoveries near Bannack and Virginia City attracted all kinds of fortune hunters – many with checkered pasts. One such character was William Henry Plummer. A miner, a murderer, sheriff and scoundrel, Plummer met his demise at the hands of Montana vigilantes – but was he truly guilty? Born in 1832 in Addison, Maine, Plummer was the last of six children. By 1852, the 19-year-old Plummer decided to head out to California to try his hand at gold mining. His luck proved strong, and within just two years he had managed to buy his own mine, ranch and bakery in Nevada City, CA. Plummer was quite handsome and also very articulate. Friend Ed Purple traveled the gold camps and described Plummer as being 6 feet tall with brown hair and light eyes, which, when he grew angry, became “black and glistened like a rattlesnake’s.” Purple goes on to describe him as speaking in a “low, quiet tone of voice, a habit which never deserted him, even when laboring under such intense excitement as the Murdering of a human being must produce.” He was also said to be quite the neat person, often being the “best dressed man in town.” But when he got drunk people knew to keep their distance, especially when he began grinding his teeth, a habit which told those who knew him that he wasn’t in a happy mood. Plummer quickly became popular with the people of Nevada City despite his drunken behavior, and by 1856 they elected him sheriff. So popular was he, in fact, that there was quite the talk of him running for the state assembly as a Democrat, but a divided party ended his chance to win.

citizen’s arrest on Riley after he escaped from San Quentin. The killing was ruled justified by the police, but with his earlier prison record, they advised him to leave California.

Gold fever

Gold had recently been discovered in Washington Territory, so Plummer headed there, and soon found himself in another gunfight that resulted in a killing. It seemed that nothing was going right for him, and he decided to head back to Maine. He and a horse-dealer friend from California, Jack Cleveland, made it to Fort Benton, which at the time was still part of Idaho Territory. While waiting for a steamboat to take him down the Missouri, the pair was approached by James Vail. Vail explained that he was trying to start a mission in Sun Valley and wanted some protection from local Indians. Seeing no ships coming upriver, both men accepted the offer. It didn’t take long for both Plummer and Cleveland to fall in love with Vail’s sister-in-law, Electra Bryan, Plummer eventually asked for her hand in marriage. On the wrong side of the law She agreed, whereupon they, together with Henry Plummer, Circa 1860. Courtesy of MT Plummer was popular with the Cleveland, decided to move to Bannack, Historical Society citizenry of Nevada City, and also its MT. Gold had been discovered the previwomen. This caught up to him when he’d been trying to resolve differ- ous summer, and the threesome meant to strike it rich. ences between a couple, John and Lucy Vedder. John Vedder accused Plummer in Bannack Plummer of adultery, and their relationship soon soured to the point that The trio arrived in Bannack in 1863, but things quickly went sour. in September 1857, Plummer shot and killed Vedder. Plummer was put on trial, found guilty, and sentenced to 10 years in San Quentin. He served In January, Cleveland got into an argument with some men in a saloon nearly two years before the governor pardoned him, both because of the about a supposed debt. Plummer assured him it had been paid and told amount of letters he’d received from Plummer’s supporters and the fact him to cut it out. One of the men went to his horse and Cleveland boasted of how he’d draw his guns when he came back. Plummer had enough. that Plummer was suffering from tuberculosis. Free from prison, Plummer did well for himself until 1861 when he He fired on Cleveland, hitting him below the belt. When Cleveland fell shot and killed William Riley. Plummer had attempted to carry out a to his knees and begged Plummer not to shoot, his friend told him to get


passed, many came to believe that Plummer coordinated that element.” That “element” was the Innocents Gang, a group that preyed on gold shipments around the territory and was responsible for more than 100 deaths.

The Innocents Gang

A scene in Virginia City, Mont., Circa 1866. Courtesy of MT Historical Society

up. When he did, Plummer shot him in the heart, the eye, and even grazed another man watching. Nothing was ever done about the shooting, probably because scenes like that were a near-daily occurrence in and around Bannack, and most thought that Cleveland was to blame. The citizens of Bannack didn’t seem concerned with it, and even elected Plummer sheriff a few months later by a 50-vote margin. When Plummer first arrived in Montana, staying in Gold Creek, he had made a good impression on Granville Stuart – a notable Montana frontiersman and land baron. By the time Plummer was elected sheriff, however, Stuart noted that everyone in Bannack was “afraid of him” since Plummer could “get about half amuck and go and scare it straight out of them,” in reference to Plummer’s ability to collect debts. As historian Clyde A. Milner puts it, the townspeople of Bannack knew exactly what they were doing electing Plummer sheriff, as it was those qualities that scared them that they also hoped would protect them. “They wanted someone whose experience and demeanor would enable him to control the criminal element,” Milner writes. “As the months


Henry Plummer wasn’t doing the best job as sheriff. Throughout 1863, robberies along the gold camp roads increased substantially. As time went on, many began to believe this was a coordinated effort, led by a very smart man. The gang of robbers, numbering more than 100, headquartered 12 miles outside of Virginia City, MT at the Rattlesnake Ranch. The group, which preyed on miners, earned the name the Innocents Gang because they would answer to a secret password, “I am innocent.” Most knew one another by the special knot they wore in their tie and the special cut of their beards. Plummer was known to frequent the ranch, and everyone knew him to be a good shot with his pistol. The group would split themselves up into smaller units of men so they could hit different mining camps simultaneously, with men on the look-out at mining offices so they knew exactly when gold was to be shipped out. Most of their plunder was taken in the 70-mile stretch between Virginia City and Bannack. Plummer became implicated with the gang when two residents claimed he’d been present during their robbery. Another claimed to have been offered some of his money, returned when he complained to Plummer about how dangerous the roads were. Those cases may or may not have been true, but what was glaringly obvious was how frequent the attacks were becoming and how little was being done to stop it.

Citizens strike back Fed up with the road agents stealing from them, the citizens formed a vigilante committee to hunt down the men. The people of Bannack began to share those feelings, but one episode in particular caused the feeling to become more widespread.

In December, 1863, a young immigrant named Nicholas Tiebolt dis- pers. Twenty-four men joined immediately, and the vigilantes quickly chose appeared. He’d had a bag of gold on him, and many suspected that he’d their next targets. When Ives had been given a chance to speak before being simply taken off with it. However, his employer suspected Tiebolt had hanged, he’d said that the true killer of Tiebolt had been a man named Alex been killed. Two weeks later those suspicions proved true when Tiebolt’s Carter. A group of vigilantes rode out looking for Carter, and when they body was discovered. It was revealed that he had been shot in the tem- were given wrong information from a man named Erastus Yeagher, they ple, but hadn’t died. Tiebolt then had his hands and neck tied with rope arrested Yeagher and his friend G.W. Brown and hanged them both. Emboldened by their before being dragged killings, and not really through the frozen grass concerned with justice so to die of exposure. much anymore, the vigilanTiebolt’s body was tes set their sites on Sheriff discovered on December Plummer. A group of four 17, just four days later. delegates from the main The Vigilance CommitVigilance Committee were tee took revenge, roundsent to Bannack to discuss ing up George Ives. The matters with 24 of the town Vigilance Committee elders. The delegates arsuspected Ives for the sole rived and talked late into reason that he’d acted the evening. By dusk, they’d suspiciously at the ranch reached a decision and he’d been working at. rounded up Plummer and A quick trial was held his two deputies. outside on Main Street in The men were hanged Nevada City, MT, near the next day, Jan. 10, 1864. one of the mining camps Henry Plummer, the of Alder Gulch. Lawyers Road Agents cemetery in Virginia City. Photo by Casey Page man that had come west were there to present a defense, and Wilbur Fiske Sanders was chosen as the prosecuting attorney from Maine with high hopes of striking it rich, was swinging dead from a by the vigilantes. A jury of 24 was chosen to decide Ives’ fate. Twenty- makeshift gallow in what would soon be the Territory of Montana. He was three of them delivered guilty verdicts, but the last felt not enough evi- 31 years old. Reports conflict as to whether Plummer admitted his crimes or maindence had been presented. A hung-jury looked inevitable. The crowd of nearly 1,500 would have none of it, however. Ives was strung up from an tained his innocence. Regardless, the vigilantes deemed Plummer guilty. He’d been their sheriff, a position which carries a great deal of trust. If he unfinished dry good store and hanged. Two other men that’d been arwas guilty, then he betrayed that trust to its fullest. If he was innocent, then rested with him were released. Following the incident, the Vigilance Committee drew up formal pa- the people betrayed his.

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Full Throttle Vintage Foreign Cars Cruise the Magic City I by brenda maas I photos by bob zellar


It’s not something you see every day. They carry a certain mystiqué, a hint of the exotic. Vintage foreign cars are rare enough to seem out-of-place on Montana roads, yet trigger nostalgia that makes the observer yearn for a simpler time. The members of the Northern Plains Vintage Foreign Car Club (NPVFCC) drive their own brand of

camaraderie. Founded in 2012, These aficionados bring Saabs and Sunbeams, Hondas and MGs, Jaguars and Lamborghinis—all manufactured before 1982. For a stroll down memory lane, or a quirky global education, visit or stop at a local “meet up.” Caution: You may become hooked on time travel across The Big Pond. Cheerio!

Far left: Reflection of foreign car enthusiasts on a 19XX MG. Top: Standard Motor Company of England manufactured this 1959 Triumph TR3—a true sports roadster. Center: Few cars are more compact than this 1962 MINI, manufactured by BMC (British Motor Corporation) and the first models to use front-wheel drive. Left: Vintage foreign car owners often show their humor with personalized plates.


Clockwise from top: A Swedish 1959 Volvo with a very American 8-track tape player installed. Wood steering wheel and stick shift add even more class to this 1964 Front end of a 1966 Sunbeam Alpine 1725



Get to know the 2015 NAVIGATOR at

Top: Everyone recognizes this classic Jaguar hood ornament –a symbol of sports-luxury. Center: Triumph roadster with hood up. Left: This 1979 MGB is in mint condition.

Club Meet-ups

When: First Saturdays of the month, 9 a.m. Where: City Brew, 2425 King Ave. W., corner of South 24th St. W. and King Ave.

When: Third Saturdays of the month, 9 a.m. Where: City Brew, Main St, Billings Heights, next to Albertsons. Locations subject to change. Visit for addtional information.

Bob Smith Lincoln, Inc. 2244 CENTRAL AVE BILLINGS, MT 59102-4645 406-656-0000



Where the Buffalo (and the Tourists) Roam By Gene Colling i ILLUSTRATION BY LEE HULTENG

I was 20 years old and at a crossroads. My dad had just died, summer was approaching and I needed to find a job. It was my junior year in college, and up to that point I had always returned to work on the farm to help my dad who was paying my tuition. My roommate had a job lined up in Glacier National Park and encouraged me to apply there. I did, but all the openings were filled. On a whim, I also applied to Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. After weeks of no reply, I got up the gumption and called. A park ranger answered, listened to my story then told me that it was my lucky day. “I just got a call from a state senator’s kid who was hired and now doesn’t want the job. I’m going to give it to you because you took the initiative to call.” It was a lesson I have taken with me through life—be persistent. This would be my first job away from the farm, and it was daunting. I would be working for someone other than my dad and trying to learn to fit in. As if that wasn’t enough, I was shy by nature and now would be dealing with strangers of all stripes. Coming from a flat, crop-covered landscape to forest-covered hills, craggy, granite peaks, buffalo herds, rushing streams and azure-colored lakes, Custer State Park seemed like paradise. When I reported to the park headquarters, I met the superintendent and the rangers, including my boss, Ron – a crewcut veteran ranger with boyish energy. My job was to be the caretaker for two campgrounds. I would be responsible for collecting the $1/day fee, cleaning the showers and bathrooms, stocking the firewood and answering questions from the visitors. Ron handed me the keys to an ancient, rusted, red Ford pickup truck and told me to get settled into the small rustic cabin along Grace Coolidge Creek, which I would be sharing with another campground worker. His name was Mike, and this was his second year. Mike had the kind of outgoing personality that was required in this job, and I knew I could learn from him. The first thing he taught me was how to fry Spam on the hot plate—our only appliance other than a refrigerator. The pickup and I got off to a bad start on my first day of work. A driving rain storm quickly made me realize that the wiper blades ran on vac-

uum power and got stuck in mid-wipe. To make them work, I had to gun the motor then let off the gas. As I entered the winding main road, a semi-trailer truck hauling wood chips appeared on my rear bumper. When the wipers stuck the first time, visibility went to zero and I panicked, giving the windshield a shot with the palm of my hand to get them going. The second time they stuck, adrenaline was pumping through my body and when I hit the windshield, it popped out of its frame and shattered. Certain I would be fired on my first day, I drove to the park office to confess. Ron looked like he was expecting me. “Yeah, that truck is a lemon and I forgot to tell you about the wipers. Take it to the maintenance shop, and they’ll fix you up.” There I met Kenny and his crew who also looked like they were expecting me. We became good friends over the summer as the pickup and I would make regular visits. Compared to farm work, the campground was like a paid vacation. I would walk through the grounds in the mornings and evenings to greet the campers and collect the fee. During the day I would clean the bathrooms and restock the wood supply. There were a couple hours occasionally available to explore the park, fish or hike. The campgrounds offered a quick education in human nature. While the vast majority of campers were congenial, a few were toxic. I ran into my first bad case a couple days into the job when some sour fellow went off like a rocket and berated me for all his problems, the greatest of which seemed to be the $1 fee. I listened stoically and after he reluctantly thrust


the dollar bill at me, he stalked off toward the showers. My boss Ron had cabins with a resident house mother. But that didn’t prevent socializing, driven up and caught the tail end of the diatribe. which mostly occurred in the nearby town of Custer and the Ore Car “Come with me,” he instructed, and we went into the boiler room Saloon. The bar was owned by a formidable woman named Kate. She was for the shower house. Ron listened for the shower to start, then took large, brassy and was rumored to have a checkered past. Kate did not sufout a wrench and proceeded to turn the temperature valve between hot fer fools, but she had a soft spot for the “park kids.” She also provided the and cold. We could hear the guy yelping, “Wooooo! Woooo!” as Ron only healthy food I ate all summer. played him like an instrument. We rolled My mornings usually started with with laughter, and I knew that Ron and I fried Spam and eggs—if we had them. On Ron listened for the shower to the way to work, Mike and I would stop at would get along just fine. I would play the Wooooo, Wooooo concerto a couple more one of the lodge stores and buy a bottle of start, then took out a wrench times over the summer. pop and a package of Hostess Cupcakes and proceeded to turn the The days quickly fell into a routine, for lunch. Dinner was usually at the Ore but now and again random events would temperature valve between hot Car and consisted of pickled eggs and polshake things up. ish sausage washed down with a beer. I One day I drove into the campground and cold. We could hear the guy don’t remember eating much of anything and into a scene of total mayhem. green. Kate would cluck about our poor yelping, “Wooooo!, Wooooo!" “Someone just fell off the cliff!” a diseating habits, and every couple weeks traught woman screamed. I looked over would cook several chickens and serve us to see a body crumbled at the base. A man who had scrambled down to an actual meal. the body stood up and announced, “It’s just a mannequin. Some kids are The Ore Car juke box provided a sound track for the summer. Kenny playing a joke.” It was quickly sorted out whose kids had done the deed, Roger’s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” Zager and Evans', “The and their parents sat with arms folded waiting for them to come and face Year 2525,’’ Merrilee Rush’s “Angel in the Morning,” and the Temptations', their medicine. “My Girl,” still take me back to that time and place when I hear them. Almost all the summer help for the park and the lodges were colThe pay wasn’t great, but if you were prudent you could save some lege kids. Just like college in those days, the girls stayed in dorm-like money, plus there were some free perks. One of the best was getting to be


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the dress rehearsal audience for the Black Hills Playhouse productions. It gave us a chance to dress up and act like adults. The plays were always good and drew packed houses throughout the summer. We also received passes to all the tourist attractions that surrounded the park. After visiting most of them, I could understand why some tourists felt that a multitude of hands were reaching out for their money as they traveled through the Black Hills. As scenic and interesting as Custer State Park was, we were still second fiddle to Mount Rushmore. People came from far-flung places to see it. I met many campers who had been on 600-mile-a-day regimens to see Mount Rushmore and found their way to my campground. One sultry July day, a station wagon with Pennsylvania license plates drove up to me, and the window rolled down. A disheveled, frazzled-looking man asked if a camp spot was available. I noticed that he was covered in white hair. I bent down to talk to him and saw that his wife and three kids were also covered. From the back of the wagon I heard panting. I looked closer and saw an enormous, drooling, St. Bernard—a cloud of hair rising from it and dispersing through the car. The smell was as bad as you would imagine after a trip across the blistering Midwest with no air conditioning, five people and a pony-sized dog. No doubt, these people suffered but there were a couple of far worse cases. The first RVs were showing up in the park, and while they were a vast improvement over the family wagon, they did have a fatal flaw. The first ones that drove up Iron Mountain Road with its tunnels framing Mount Rushmore and unique wooden brides, failed to closely read the height

clearance signs. They didn’t account for the cooling system mounted on the roof. When they entered the first tunnel, the cooling unit peeled like a sardine can wedging the RV inside. Since traffic immediately backed up, the tow drivers had no choice but to extract them with force. I can still see the shell-shocked looks as owners rode past in the tow truck, their crumpled RV wobbling and flapping behind. There was something about people on vacation that made them loose common sense and rational thinking. Some of their questions left me shaking my head. “Will buffalo eat my kids?” “How did that guy know where to dig to find Mount Rushmore?” “Do buffalo live in burrows?” And my favorite—“Are the ‘an-tee-low-pees’ dangerous?” “No,” I would reply, “the antelope are not dangerous.” All in all, I don’t know if I could have had a better job my first summer away from the farm. I stepped out of my shell, met an incredible variety of people and saw a good slice of human nature. The one down side was that I got home with only $10 in my pocket and four bald tires. But when I think about it, that was the best $10 I have ever earned.

Gene Colling claims dual residency in both Billings and Missoula. He retired after a career with the U.S. Forest Service. For 25 of those years, he produced video programs including ones on such Billings area topics as the Beartooth Highway, Pryor Mountain wild horses, Lewis and Clark expedition, Hebgen Lake earthquake and Nez Perce Trail.

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50 27th Street West, Suite D Billings, MT • 406-655-7970

Step back in time in

historic Virginia City By Karen Kinser Looking for a little time travel this summer? Then you’re in luck, because even without the assistance of Marty McFly’s flux capacitor, you can experience all the Old West has to offer in Virginia City, Mont.



Now owned by the State of Montana, Virginia City hosts about 70,000 visitors annually. Step back into this town frozen in time to enjoy, explore and learn all about our state’s colorful past. 2.

This National Historic Landmark city (65 miles southwest of Bozeman) was founded in 1863 after a gold strike. The ensuing gold rush led to a boom, with 10,000 residents by 1864, requiring homes, schools, dance halls, saloons and, yes, brothels. Of course, this many people converging in such a short time attracted the attention of robbers and thieves and resulted in the formation of citizen vigilante groups – and lynchings. Virginia City’s heyday didn’t last long. When gold was found near Helena, miners headed there, and by 1875, only a few hundred residents remained in Virginia City (“VC” to locals). Since then, the town has experienced boom and bust cycles, but never regained its former glory. Now owned by the State of Montana, VC hosts about 70,000 visitors annually. Step back into this town frozen in time to enjoy, explore and learn all about our state’s colorful past.


Abundant activities Pick up a walking tour map, stroll the boardwalks, and visit shops with authentic historical items. You’ll love the penny arcade, candy store, antique autos and the surprise of a two-story courthouse. Enjoy the museums and living history portrayals, tour on an historic fire truck, savor a scenic trip on the Alder Gulch


railroad to nearby Nevada City or get down and dirty panning for gold. You can even trek through town at night via guided lantern tours. For other evening entertainment, set the stage for fun with the naughty adult cabaret show at the Brewery Follies, or enjoy a tamer taste of melodrama and vaudeville with the Virginia City Players.

Assorted accommodations


Immerse yourself in the era with a stay in historic accommodations, including the Fairweather Inn and Bennett House Country Inn. Enjoy the parlor and period rooms at the nearby Nevada City Hotel or the Victorian charm at The Gingerbread House B&B in VC. For a more modern indulgence (hot tubs, anyone?), stay at Just An Experience B&B in Nevada City.

Diverse dining For a great breakfast, don’t miss the ham and cheese croissant at Star Bakery. For a taste of the West, stop at the Bale of Hay Saloon and enjoy microbrews, pizza or sandwiches in an old-timey saloon with an antique piano and Victorian-era vibe. You’ll find history and upscale dining beneath the tin ceilings of the Wells Fargo steakhouse. Or grab a stool and belly up to the carved bar for beer and bison burgers at the Pioneer Bar. 6.


Awesome apparitions? Murders, hangings and suicides are, sadly, a part of VC’s history. Could the city’s sordid past contribute to its apparitional episodes – ghost sightings, intense chilly areas, perfume or cigar scents, glowing orbs or the classic blood-curdling scream? One local business professional experienced a dose of the paranormal while working at Cousin’s Candy Shop during the summers of 9899, when she heard – and then saw – a ghostly glimpse of a little kid on a tricycle. When she recovered enough to relate the story to co-workers, their response was, “well, that’s not uncommon.” The Bonanza and Fairweather Inns are allegedly home to a sortie of spirits. If curiosity has sent a chill up your spine, then sign up for the nightly ghost tour at Bale of Hay Saloon and see what spooky spirits you’ll uncover. Opening page photo: A scene from today, or 100 years ago—costumed residents role-play on the streets of Virginia City. Photo by Donnie Sexton. 1. Once the booming capital of Montana, Virginia City is now a small hamlet frozen in time. Photo by Casey Page. 2. The Wells Fargo & Co. building in Virginia City now serves as an elegant restaurant. Photo by Donnie Sexton. 3. Daily stagecoach tours offer a unique viewing perspective. Photo by Casey Page. 4. The Virginia City Players offer unique melodrama performances during the summer months. Photo by Casey Page. 5. Several of the original main street facades still exist today. Photo by Donnie Sexton. 6. Novelty shops offering old time photos, garnet jewelry, and unique candy line the streets of Virginia City. Photo by Donnie Sexton. 8. Daily firetruck tours take visitors throughout the streets of Viginia City and include historical commentary. Photos by Donnie Sexton.


Ghost Town Intrigue

Strictly defined, a ghost town is a once-thriving city abandoned by its residents. And while being hosts to ghosts isn’t a requirement, it nevertheless seems that these towns attract the paranormal. So, conjure up a date and transport yourself into some time-travel adventures. We’ve chosen two great ghost towns to get you in the mood. Bannack State Park The town of Bannack (about 25 miles west of Dillon) shares a similar gold-rush history with Virginia City, with a gold discovery in 1862. Within a year, the population had swelled to 3,000. It was also the Territorial Capital for a short time, before Virginia City took over that honor. Here are some interesting tidbits for exploring Bannack: • The town was named for the Bannock Indians (the "o" was misread as an "a" when the Post Office was established) and the area is also a National Historic Landmark. • Owned by the State, the goal of Bannack is preservation rather than restoration. And they’ve done an outstanding job, as Bannack is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the country. • More than 50 buildings remain intact – including the schoolhouse, assay office, hotels, Methodist Church and homes – for you to explore. Pick up a self-guided tour map. • Join a town tour or a mill tour for more detailed history. Mill tours take you to the Hendricks Mill – via a 1931 Model AA Ford Truck – to learn about mining. • Visit the old cemetery and gallows, where Sheriff Henry Plummer, captured by vigilantes, was hung for his alleged

role as a leader of one of the road gangs. • Pan for gold (weekends only), using the dirt from Grasshopper Creek. •

Ghostly spirits are also said to reside in Bannack (the Travel Channel filmed an episode of “Ghost Adventures” here), particularly at the Hotel Meade. Ghost tours are offered the weekend before Halloween.

• Lodging options consist of motels, hotels, cabins and B&B’s in nearby Dillon. Or, rent the tipi at the Bannack campground. • Other activities in the general area include golfing, hiking in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, fly fishing and rock hounding. Take a drive on the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway, and stop at Crystal Park, where you can find quartz crystals.

Once the territorial capital of Montana, Bannack offers various town tours and historic points of interest.


Garnet 406.652.5337

Named for the reddish-brown garnet stones found in the area, this town (about 30 miles east of Missoula) was founded in 1895. It’s currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management with help from the Garnet Preservation Association. Gold from placer mines was discovered in 1865, but it wasn’t until 1898 when the boom took off and the population swelled to 1,000. Like Virginia City and Bannack, Garnet had boom and bust cycles, but it was deserted by 1950. In Garnet, you’ll discover: • At its height, the town had hotels, a school, mercantiles, barbershops, a Chinese laundry, weekly newspaper and famous (or infamous?) saloons – 13 of them in the 1890s.

Other activities nearby include the abundance of arts and cultural opportunities in Missoula, as well as hiking, shopping, kayaking, fishing, rafting, golfing, wine tasting, brewery tours and hot springs.

• About 30 well-preserved buildings remain for you to explore, including miners’ cabins. Wander on your own or schedule a guided tour with the BLM (406-329-3914).

Take a detour on your way home and drive the 64 miles of historic towns and sublime scenery of Pintler Veterans’ Memorial Scenic Highway. Stop in Phillipsburg (named one of the country’s Prettiest Painted Places) for some shopping and a treat at the Sweet Palace.

• A large fire in 1912 sent quite a few miners packing, but the Depression revived the town for a short while. • Are there ghosts in Garnet? Allegedly so – particularly in the hotels (what is it about ghosts in hotels?) and saloon. Check out Ellen Baumler’s book, Montana Chillers, for more haunting information on the ghosts here, as well as at Bannack and Virginia CIty.


For a full listing of Montana’s 100+ ghost towns, go to www.visitmt and search “ghost towns.”

Missoula is your best bet for lodging, with a multitude of choices that include guest ranches, hotels, cabins and unique B&B’s (such as the historical and Victorian elegance of the Gibson Mansion B&B).

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About 30 miles from Missoula, Garnet is another historic mining town with approximately 30 well-preserved buildings available for exploration.





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OFFER GOOD THROUGH 8/31/15. May not be combined with any other offers or discounts Coupon must be presented at time of purchase One coupon per table • 406.245.6888 Downtown • 248-1722 2821 2nd Ave. North


Shiloh Crossing • 294-2014 1027 Shiloh Crossing Blvd.

1313 Grand Avenue, Suite 3 Billings, MT 59102 Sunday-Thursday 11:00am-10:00pm • Friday & Saturday 11:00 am-10:30pm

little people

pryors of the

by rob rogers illustration by bob tambo


the late 1960s when Elias Goes Ahead was 10 or 11, his father took him into the Pryor Mountains to camp. These campouts were a family affair. Aunts and uncles joined in, along with dozens of cousins. They’d stay for a week or so, hiking and exploring during the day and gathering around the campfire at night to tell stories. Elias’ aunt loved to tell stories about the Little People of the Pryors. And Elias loved to listen. She told how the Little People, typically only knee-high, existed long before the Crow tribes ever arrived to the lands around the Pryor Mountains and how they were imbued with special powers to be used either for good or for evil. Elias soaked it up. His cousins weren’t nearly so interested. They laughed off the stories, hearing them only as tales told by the old members of the tribe. “There were only three of us who always listened,” Goes Ahead said. Which is why, early one morning toward the end of the week, Elias’ aunt awakened him and his two cousins to go on a secret expedition. She took them deep into the hills until they reached a small clump of wildflowers growing amid the trees. Quietly and cautiously they approached, and the aunt parted the flowers with her hands. Hidden among them was a tiny, miniature pair of moccasins. “They were right there,” Goes Ahead said. “We didn’t touch them. We looked, and then we left it alone.” They returned to their campsite, and Elias has studied the Little People ever since.


Origins Aaron Kind, a ranger at Plenty Coups State Park, nestled at the foot of the Pryor Mountains, said park visitors ask about the Little People all the time. “People want to know,” he said. Legends of the Little People of the Pryors stretch back hundreds of years and aren’t unique to the Crow Tribe. Most American Indian tribes carry tales of generous or mischievous miniature beings who dwell in the wild places of the earth. Specific to the Crow Tribe, the Little People were first discovered by a Crow boy who got split up from his parents when he chased after a deer in the Pryor Gap. The parents searched and searched for their son. “They never found him,” Goes Ahead said. Alone in the woods, “he cried for his mother and the Little People found him and raised him.” They taught him to hunt and how to use a bow and arrow. They gave him magic and taught him about the land in which he lived. As the boy grew, it became clear he was different from the family that had raised him. His friend the Meadow Lark told him the truth of his upbringing. At that point, the Little People decided the boy, now a young man, needed to be returned to his tribe. They gave him four arrows and a bow in preparation for his return journey and told him to share with his tribe the things he had been taught by the Little People. In return, the boy’s tribe was to shoot arrows at the rocks and leave tokens and gifts for the Little People when they traveled through Pryor Gap. “Even today, people who go through there leave gifts,” Goes Ahead said.

The storyteller

Top: The Pedro Mountain mummy was discovered in the early 1930s by Cecil Main and Frank Carr, two prospectors looking for gold in the Pedro Mountains south of Casper. Now known to be an infant born with the birth defect anencephaly, Pedro was touted as a pygmy and displayed around the state as a curiosity. The mummy vanished in 1950. Photo credit: University of Wyoming | Contributed Next page top: Crow historian Elias Goes Ahead overlooks the Pryor Mountains. Goes Ahead volunteers at Plenty Coups State Park and has researched the Little People of the Pryors for years. Photo by James Woodcock Next page bottom: Purportedly, Chief Plenty Coups once had a vision of the Little People—appear to him as a heard of buffalo that turned into cattle. Photo courtesy of MT Historical Society

When visitors to Plenty Coups State Park ask about the legends, Ranger Kind offers up the basics. But more often than not, he directs them to Elias Goes Ahead. “He volunteers here,” Kind said. Goes Ahead is a Crow historian and just completed a research paper on the Little People, where he explores their history and lore, and their relation to the Crow people. “Are they real, or are they a myth? That’s one of the main questions,” he said. The stories he’s found and his experience with his aunt and the miniature moccasins they found when he was boy make him a believer. He points to two of his favorite stories. More than a century ago, when the old CB&Q Railroad was being built through the Pryor Mountains, many of the workers were members of the Crow Tribe. They warned work camp leaders about angering the Little People, telling them they needed to be respectful. Leaders scoffed at the Crow workers. Until one morning, the camp woke up and found the long metal rails set up for that day’s work were all twisted. It happened several times, and each morning the crew bosses accused the Crow workers of wrecking the rails. The Crow workers told the CB&Q bosses they didn’t have tools to bend metal. They told them again that the Little People lived there, that this was their doing and that they needed to be respectful.

Shaping a leader The most famous story of the Little People deals with Chief Plenty Coups himself, his discovery of his destiny and how that changed the fate of his people. He had many interactions with the Little People. When he was 11, Chief Plenty Coups and his family lived with a band of Crow in the Beartooth Moun-


tains. In the summer, he and the other young men in his tribe left the Beartooths to seek visions. Plenty Coups walked for two days eventually arriving in the Crazy Mountains, where he spent time seeking knowledge. It wasn’t until he returned to his family, that his vision came. The Little People appeared to him and showed him a herd of buffalo, which Plenty Coups followed down into a cave, chasing the herd for days. “He was shown the Castle Rocks,” Goes Ahead said. “He saw all that was to become.” The buffalo he had followed turned into cattle, signifying the destruction of the American bison and the arrival of the white settlers in the area, who would stay permanently. He saw himself as an old man, leading his people. The vision helped Plenty Coups prepare not only to become chief someday, but to lead his tribe through the massive cultural upheavals that would permanently change the West. The story illustrates the important role the Little People play in the culture and history of the Crow people, Goes Ahead said. It’s also a good illustration of the virtues of the Little People. They can be benevolent or malevolent depending on the respect they’re given and the people with whom they’re dealing. Most of the stories traded among the tribe fall into these two categories, Goes Ahead said. For him, it’s important that the stories are remembered and shared. He enjoys the time he spends at Plenty Coups State Park telling of the Little People and teaching visitors about their importance. “They’re rich in our history,” Goes Ahead said.

2950 King Avenue West, Billings



Commons 1882 404 N 30 St.



by allyn hulteng I photos by gazette staff

For the foodies among us, there are no limits. We sample. We savor. We comment. And, we share. Developing a palate means more than eating scrumptious meals. It demands that we press pause, live in the moment and employ all senses. With an emphasis on food as more than sustenance and immersing ourselves in the distinctive experience, we do more than taste. We whole-heartedly derive pleasure during the entire process. Enjoy!

Bernie’s Diner 19 N. Broadway Named after the owners’ mother, this fun-spirited eatery in the Northern Hotel offers hearty breakfast and lunch options galore. One of our favorites is the Monte Cristo sandwich, made with ham, turkey and Gruyere cheese, deep fried and then topped with powdered sugar and raspberry jam. It’s a nouveau take on a sandwich made popular during the 1960s.


There is nothing common about Commons 1882. Chefs Jason Corbridge and Henry Kennah deliver an out-of-the-ordinary experience on classic American fare. Not to be missed – the mocha Swiss Ruben or any of their signature burgers for a savory, satisfying lunch. The dinner menu offers steak, chops, seafood and poultry, each perfectly curated and served with unexpected sides. For a snappy take on fresh fish, try the sriracha-glazed salmon – it doesn’t disappoint. Pair your plate with a custom cocktail, such as the smoked old fashioned, for an upscale downtown delight.

RESTAUR2 6 x 11.13


Jake’s Bar & Grill 2425 Gabel Rd. Known for their steaks, Jake’s also offers a dazzling array of fine fare, including fresh catch, chops and poultry. For those who want something lighter, the appetizer menu spans the gamut from steamed mussels in a white wine and butter sauce to sirloin tips. Not to miss – the sesame crusted ahi. Pair it with a glass of prosecco for a delectable summer treat.

Big Dipper 100 N. Broadway

The Rex 2401 Montana Ave. An iconic Billings restaurant, The Rex is known for having some of the best steaks anywhere, serving only certified Angus beef. Fresh fish, chicken, ribs and specialty dishes round out the restaurant’s list of mouth-watering offerings. Take advantage of eating al fresco on the patio, where the summer sun lets you linger long into the evening.


With flavors that include cardamom, green tea and Mexican chocolate, Big Dipper is to ice cream what City Brew is to coffee. Started in Missoula and recently opened in Billings, the sprightly store and animated servers are delightful. But it’s the rich, creamy goodness of this hand-crafted confection that will make you melt.

Lilac 2515 Montana Ave. Proprietor and Chef Jeremy Engebretson crafts modern American food that quite simply stirs the soul. Locallysourced and made-fromscratch, the ever-changing menu takes full advantage of farm-raised bounty. Equally indulgent is the uber-chic, intimate ambiance. Lilac defines class.

Siam Thai 3210 Henesta Dr. The smell of jasmine mixed with bold chilies, garlic and fish sauce fills the dining room at Siam Thai, hinting at the delectable combinations listed on the extensive menu. Some spicy, some subtle, all are made using traditional Thai recipes that are fragrant, flavorful and beautifully presented. Our recommendation – the fresh spring roll appetizer and garlic shrimp.


Athenian 18 N 29th St. Authentic Greek cuisine can be difficult to replicate, fortunately, you don’t have to. Located in the heart of the city, the Athenian restaurant serves savory Greek classics, including gyros with spiced beef and creamy tzatziki sauce, stuffed grape leaves and honeydripping baklava. It’s food worthy of the gods.

Montana Brewing Company 113 N. Broadway A longtime downtown favorite, this pub-style brewery serves sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizza – and beer. Dine inside or relax on the sidewalk patio. The friendly staff is attentive, and the food scrumptious. Our fav – the Alibi stacked with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing.

The Fieldhouse Café 2601 Minnesota Ave.


The city’s first and only Certified Green Restaurant, owners Ben and Krystal Harman remain true to serving locally sourced, sustainable food. Everything is made from scratch – down to the condiments. Lunch options range from blonde ale-orange pork belly to BanhMi – a zesty blend of house chorizo, kimchi and cucumbers with Vietnamese mayonnaise. Dinner and Sunday brunch feature equally enticing entrees. Almost as fabulous as the fare is the ambiance in this artfully renovated historic building.

Juliano’s 2912 7th Ave. No. Nestled inside a handsomely renovated 1902 stable, this quaint eatery has earned national recognition for its Euro and Asianinfused American cuisine. Fresh catch, flown in daily, hallmarks the restaurant’s tempting offerings, with every dish skillfully melded by chef Carl Kurokawa. Other delectable offerings may include locally raised lamb, beef or Rocky Mountain elk depending on the menu, which changes monthly. One staple – the crispy chicken and grapefruit salad – is a must-try. Enjoy dining inside, which feels like stepping back in time, or under shade trees on the intimate patio.

Bistecca 1500 Poly Dr. Casual and fresh Italian and American fare come to life in this newly-renovated historic building. Owners Jim and Kevin Bos share a passion for serving delicious food in an inviting and relaxed setting. If you haven’t explored this newcomer, now is the time.


Harper & Madison 3115 10th Ave. N. Joanie Swords is synonymous with pastry perfection. As the proprietor of Harper & Madison, Swords sources the freshest ingredients to concoct taste-tempting, Eurostyle croissants, Danishes, scones and quiche. Having breakfast at this quaint neighborhood café is like spending the morning in Paris – bon appetit!

Ciao Mambo 2301 Montana Ave. One step inside this lively, oldworld café and you know this is no cookie-cutter franchise. Serving hearty, immigrant-style Italian cuisine, everything from the pasta to sauces is made fresh daily. The ambiance is warm and inviting, perfect for a romantic dinner for two or for a family of 12. Sip a glass of Chianti while watching the chef’s chop, cook and plate in the open kitchen – it’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the belly.


Bistro Enzo 1502 Rehberg Ln. With a decidedly European ambiance, it should be no surprise that the menu features temptations inspired by the continent. Well-known chef James Honaker meticulously infuses bright and ambitious flavors into his savory creations. The wait staff is impeccable, and the bar offers an extensive list of fine wine and beer to complement every palate. Yet, the vibe is relaxed, refined – truly one of the city’s epicurean gems.

Überbrew 2305 Montana Ave. Is it the award-winning beer or the over-thetop burgers, schnitzel and sandwiches that make Überbrew a standout? Regulars say both. Located on Historic Montana Avenue, this uber-cool pub put a new twist on renovated spaces, melding reclaimed brick with sleek skylights and oodles of Bavarian charm. But there’s no need to gussy up. It’s all about great food, friendly service and some CITY MAGAZINE I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I 67 ofMAGIC the world’s best microbrews.

The Burger Dive 114 N 27th St. Burgers. Fries. Shakes. Sure, you’ve eaten that combination before. But if you’ve never eaten them at The Burger Dive, you’ve missed out. Owner and chef Brad Halsten puts a dynamo spin on the classic American burger – and he’s got the cred to prove it. Halsten’s “Blackened Sabbath” burger won first place in a national competition, beating out even celebrity chefs. Go ahead – indulge. It’s worth working off.

Pug Mahon’s 3011 1st Ave N It may be 4,000 miles southwest of Dublin, as the sign behind the bar proclaims, but this authentic Irish pub will transport your spirit to the Emerald Isle. Owner Bill MacIntyre proudly offers Guinness and Harp on draught, as well as a full bar. Corned beef and cabbage and his “sainted mom’s” pork chop sandwich (a bruiser of a meal) are menu cornerstones, but everything they serve is delicious.

Crazy Mary’s Fish & Chips 1404 6th Ave. N. Janis Joplin has a soul sister—and she cooks and sings at Crazy Mary’s Fish & Chips. Owner and chef Mary Jackson prides herself on serving fresh fish menu items (quite possibly the best fish tacos in town) with a flair. The eatery’s whimsical tone and Mary’s spot-on singing voice will leave you smiling— completely satisfied.


shop like a chef by brenda maas I photos by gazette staff

Gourmet meals aren’t just for those who dine out. Every chef knows that a supreme repast starts will premium, fresh ingredients. We scouted about and compiled this list of “go to” locations so that you, too, can get the glorious goods.


Get the Greens From local produce, to cooperatives, to only organic, the area offers a plethora of options for fruits and veggies. Try: Good Earth Market 3024 2nd Ave. N. Lucky's Market 1603 Grand Ave. Natural Grocer 304 S. 24th St. W. Mary’s Health Foods 2564 King Ave. W. Ste. J Yellowstone Valley Farmers’ Market Downtown Billings Saturday mornings until October 3 Healthy by Design Gardeners’ Market South Park at S. 28th St. & 6th Ave. S. Thursdays, 4:30- 6:30 p.m., until October 1 Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op weekly; various pick-up locations



Where’s the Beef? Most meals center around a protein—beef, poultry, pork or fish. In a state where the livestock outnumbers the humans, there are plenty of options. Try: Meat & Poultry Palace 821 16th St. W. Emmett’s Meats 632 N. 9th St. #110, Columbus 4th Ave. Meat Market 117 N. 25th St. Ranch House Meat Co. 1313 Grand Ave. Lucky's Market 1603 Grand Ave.

Fresh catch Seafoods of the World 5800 Interstate Ave.


Join Today




• Mon/Wed/Fri 8:45am-11:30am & 12:00pm-2:45pm • Tuesday/Thursday 8:45am-11:30am

• Ages 3-5 years • Field Trips • Bible Story Based Curriculum • Annual Art Show & Concert

Kindergarten - 8th Grade • Monday-Friday 8:30am - 3:30pm • Full Day Kindergarten • Small Student/Teacher Ratio



• Accredited by the CCLE, Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education and National Lutheran School Accreditation • Offering a classical education with an emphasis on the centrality of Jesus Christ in every subject



2336 St. Johns Ave. Billings, Montana MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I 73

Sweet Dreams

The final course is the topper, the climax, the final hurrah. As such, it needs to be the crème d’ le crème! If you have little faith in your own culinary skills, be sure to try: Harper & Madison 3115 10th Ave. N. Velvet Cravings 225 N. Broadway Ave. Caramel Cookie Waffles 1707 17th St. W.

Community Education Programs Course AreAs:

• Business CertifiCAte PreP for: • Technology • Medical • Legal • Vocational • Hobby • Foundational

• Business • Technology • Medical • Legal • And More!

Billings Adult Education

ProgrAms offered: • Academic Assessment • Basic Skills Review • HiSET (GED) • Computer Literacy

• College Prep of English, Math & Science • Employment Preparation

Lincoln Center 415 North 30th Billings MT 59101 406-281-5010 • Visit 74 I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE

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Big Dipper 100 N. Broadway Ave. Heiko’s Bakery 3429 Central Ave. Ste. C Brockel's Chocolates 117 n. 29th St.

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406.254.1550 | 1550 Poly Drive, Billings, MT 59102 MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I 77


Montana’s backroads are dappled with innumerable hole-in-the-wall restaurants—eateries so quirky and so strange, they’ve developed a loyal following of out-of-town and out-of-state fans. During your next jaunt across the state, be sure to pencil in a pit-stop to one of these deliciously unique eateries—just tell ‘em Magic sent ya.


The Jersey Lilly Photography by Casey Page

Can’t miss dish: Steak and bean soup. The bean soup, which has been served since the Lilly first opened, is simple, savory and satisfying. The steak (as well as the burgers on the menu) comes from local beef, served straight-ahead and unadorned.

Granddaddy of them all, the Jersey Lilly has been in business in some form since 1933, when it anchored the small rail town of Ingomar on Highway 12 as the Oasis Bar. Before that, it was the town’s bank. When Bob Seward bought the Oasis in 1948, he renamed it the Jersey Lilly and started offering meals along with the drinks. These days, Ingomar, population 14, is little more than the Jersey Lilly, a few homes and a handful of rundown and abandoned buildings. It feels like the quintessential eastern Montana ghost town that it is. So much so that running water is a relatively new development for the town. That arrived in 1989. The Jersey Lilly has indoor plumbing now, but the owners never got around to installing bathrooms. It still uses the same outhouses built for the bank a century ago. The warm, genial atmosphere of the eatery and its frontier vibe make the Jersey Lilly one of the best daytrips in eastern Montana. “The atmosphere of the place changes people,” said June Nygren, who owns the restaurant with her partner Boots Kope.

Wait, what?: Bud Light Float made with your choice of ice cream.

Other notable fare: As famous as the bean soup is, it’s imperative you try the Jersey Lilly’s sheepherder’s hors d’oeuvres: a stack of sharp cheddar, orange wedge and onion slice on a saltine cracker. Improbably, it works.

Information: 1 Main St., Ingomar. Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mon.-Sat. and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. 406358-2278.

Clockwise: Sheepherders' hors d'oeuvres, made of onion, an orange slice and a slice of mild cheddar on a saltine cracker. Owner Boots Kope. The back bar was brought to Ingomar in the 1930s. Previous page inset of Jersey Lily exterior courtesy of


Melinda’s Photography by Casey Page

This little café located a block off Highway 212 in the center of Roberts is wonderfully improbable, emuserved-by-a-British-expat-type-of improbable. Melinda’s opened last summer in an old antiques store and auto shop that was refurbished and converted into the restaurant by owners Melinda and Richard Gullen. Melinda grew up in Cody; Richard is from England. They lived in Columbus where they raised their kids. Once the last one graduated from high school, Melinda and Richard hit the road, eventually settling down in Eastport, Maine, where they opened a coffee shop and small café. It was a wonderful period in their lives. “We were successful, but we missed our kids,” Melinda said. So they looked at returning to Montana and found the antiques building for sale in Roberts. It was perfect. They bought the building and spent a year getting it ready for the restaurant to open. Bright, earthy tones create a warm and inviting atmosphere inside. Word of mouth has drawn much of their business, and they have a loyal following in Roberts. “One guy came in and remembered having his car worked on here,” Richard said with a chuckle.

Can’t miss dish: The emu filet served on herb and lemon goat cheese with house-made ciabatta bread and a balsamic syrup. Emu is considered a red meat, and its ruddy, rich flavor is reminiscent of veal.

Wait, what?: Beef and Guinness stew. It’s hardy and cooked up with beer; the perfect dish to eat in the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains.

Other notable fare: Almost everything on Melinda’s menu is made in-house, including the desserts. The café’s homemade macaroon ice cream sandwich is as good as it gets. Rich and creamy with the delicate sweetness and texture of the macaroon, it’s the perfect summer treat.

Information: 101 N. 1st St., Roberts. Open 4 to 9 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday. 406-445-9822. Clockwise: Emu fillet on homemade ciabatta with herb goat cheese and a balsamic reduction, served with sweet potato and parsnip mash. Melinda’s menu. Owners Richard and Mindy Gullen.


Más Taco Photography by Larry Mayer

Can’t miss dish: Tacos al pastor. The sweet, smoky pork dish is an authentic Mexican specialty and it’s done right by Mike and his crew.

Wait, what?: Drinks. The restaurant serves Mexican Coke in glass bottles. And proudly proclaimed on a sign just inside the entrance, “We have horchata!”

How did Montana’s tastiest, most authentic tacos end up in a small mountain town at the base of the Beartooths? Owner and chef Mike Muirhead married a girl from Red Lodge. Más Tacos has been open for three years and in that time has built a remarkably devoted fan base among the locals in town and the tourists alike. Mike, who grew up in Southern California and ran his own restaurant outside L.A., has been cooking professionally for 30 years. When he and his wife became parents a few years ago, they decided they needed a change of pace. They sold the restaurant in California and relocated to Red Lodge. It was the dearth of authentic Mexican food in town that inspired Mike to open Más Taco. Given its success in the last three years, it appears Mike wasn’t the only one who felt that way. “We have a great local following,” he said. “Weather’s bad? They don’t care. They gotta have their tacos,” said the restaurant’s general manager Jake Barton.

Other Notable Fare: Everything is made from scratch, from the tortillas to the salsas and everything in between, so you really can’t go wrong. But their wet burrito smothered in a guajillo chile sauce is certainly worth the drive.

Information: 304 N. Broadway Ave., Red Lodge. Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. 406-446-3636.

Clockwise: Chile relleno served with a chopped cabbage and baby greens salad with chili lime vinagrette. Mas Taco sign. Owner Mike Muirhead.


The Grizzly Bar and Grill Photography by Casey Page

An absolute institution, the Grizzly, which makes up most of Roscoe, is about as Montana as a bar and grill gets. It’s got everything you’d expect from a place named the Grizzly: a stuffed and mounted bear in the entrance, log and stone architecture and lots of real cowboys bellied up at the bar. Plus it’s almost in the middle of nowhere, which gave rise to the restaurant’s slogan: “Where the hell is Roscoe?” So let’s answer. Roscoe is just off State Road 78 between Luther and Absarokee, population 15. Just across the street from the Grizzly you hear East Rosebud Creek as it trickles out of the Beartooths. It’s as picturesque a spot as you’ll find anywhere. “Location is key,” said Mari Hagen, who was eating lunch at the Grizzly and visiting from Oregon. She traveled to Montana to visit family in Billings. The trek to Roscoe for lunch at the Grizzly was a must. “It’s just a gorgeous drive,” said Mari’s sister, Patty Muir. The Grizzly is surrounded on all sides by cattle ranches and it proudly displays photos and brands from the ranches in the region. Famous for its steaks, all the beef served at the Grizzly is local. Red Lodge Ale reigns at the taps. “The key is local everything,” Mari said.

Can’t miss dish: : For lunch, the Grizzly’s amazing burger, plain or loaded to order. You’ll never want any other hamburger. For dinner, the grill’s famous 16-ounce New York strip steak, so good it should be named after a different state, or their famous ribeye, grilled to juicy perfection.

Wait, what?: There’s also a giant bear on the roof.

Other notable fare: The steaks served here are legendary. You really can’t go wrong. Information: 1 Main St., 16 East Rosebud Rd., Roscoe. Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, 406-328-6789.

Clockwise: A bone-in rib steak with baked potato and sautéed zucchini. Iconic Grizzly Bar sign. Chef Jennifer O'Shea.


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Le Nouvelle Cuisine:

Hospital Food

By Dr. Alan Muskett I Illustration by lee hulteng


ince I was about 16, I would guess I have eaten 25 percent of my meals in

a health care facility. Beginning as an orderly at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula, and over the years in Bozeman, Seattle, Salt Lake, St. Louis, Jackson, Miss. and various parts of Central America, I’ve eaten in hospital cafeterias, snack bars and call rooms. If an expert food critic were needed to evaluate hospital cuisine, it would be me. MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I 85

“Let’s be honest, a cheeseburger on a beach in Hawaii is going to taste better than a cheeseburger after your prostatectomy.” Criticizing hospital food is an easy, clichéd exercise. But here’s my confession: I like hospital food. The two critical elements of fine dining are: 1) I don’t have to make it, and 2) I don’t have to do the dishes. Everything beyond that is ill-defined brown-gray gravy. The fact that the chicken breast is a little desiccated from a long stretch on the steam table just makes you chew more thoroughly. I had lunch recently with a young surgeon, newly out of training, and he devoured two entrees, a salad and two sides in 90 seconds while carrying on a conversation. Oh, and texting the whole time as well. You have to learn to “work” the cafeteria. When I was an orderly long ago, the server lady would give me this withering, baleful, condescending stare when I came down the line, never asking what I wanted, just staring, and I would croak out my request. The size of a small house with a naval tattoo on her forearm, she would then contemptuously splat down a tablespoon of mushroom soup tuna noodle casserole on my plate, and dare me to say something. Too timid, I never did. My younger brother, on the other hand, would say “Margaret, could I have you for lunch?” and give her the most lascivious, frankly suggestive, look a high school boy could deliver, and she would just shovel it on. In residency, my friend Jake would always order two chicken breasts with lots of gravy, and then use the gravy to obscure the second breast so he would only get charged for one. Remember, they often weigh things on those food bars. Chicken wings, the non-gooey ones, don’t weigh much. Salads can kill your wallet. If you wonder why hospitals crank out the burgers and curly fries and deep-fried cheese nuggets, it isn’t because they haven’t tried more nutritional offerings. They have made great efforts to prepare healthy foods, but virtually no one buys it. I am amused when patients complain about food. As an orderly, I used to carry trays of the tuna noodle casserole off a big cart. Now they have

“room service,” and you order off a menu. My feeling is that your job as a patient is to get out of the hospital as quickly as possible, and then you can resume the gourmet meals you are presumably cooking for yourself at home. Let’s be honest, a cheeseburger on a beach in Hawaii is going to taste better than a cheeseburger after your prostatectomy. To me, there is no bad food, short of salmonella poisoning. There are probably at least a billion people on this planet whose lives are dominated by chronic hunger. I am so grateful I am not hungry, nor are my children. On the cleft lip missions I’ve been on in Central America, the families of the patients are provided a very basic meal during their stay, and watching them tear into the beans and rice is very sobering. In my cardiac residency, we had a group function at a very fancy St. Louis restaurant where they served “squab.” Squab is this tiny little bird, like a baby pigeon, which apparently is a super cool dish. Artfully arranged were two miniscule bits of some exotic potato, and then a vegetable, equally scarce, I had never heard of. The price tag for the private dining, room and meal was $100 per plate. We had to stop at White Castle on the way home. Now compare this with the hospital chili cheese dog bar. They have these one-pound franks, all the chili and cheese you can pile on, and best of all, they don’t weigh it. If they only served Miller Lite on draft, why, you’d be there. Our area is blessed with many great restaurants run by talented professionals, and I enjoy them. But I would have to say, my heart is still on the steam table, and probably always will be. Dr. Alan Muskett is a Montana native, born in Missoula with an English degree from Montana State. From 1991-2003 he practiced cardiac surgery in Billings, then retrained in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Since 2005 he has been with Billings Plastic Surgery. A contributor to The Billings Gazette, and author, he has written and lectured on health, healing and chain saws. His wife Pam, and three children are frequent targets of his irreverent view of medicine and life.

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Hooked Discover yourself during the primal rhythm of a fly-fishing cast By BRETT FRENCH



lifetime of bait fishing and dragging a lure behind a boat couldn’t prepare me for the sheer beauty, thrill and anticipation I felt after catching my first trout using a fly rod and dry fly. It was along the pine-clad banks of the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. The air was heavy with the moist scent of a fertile fishery and the steady hiss of mountain water slipping over smooth rocks. The summer sun angled through the tree boughs in bright shafts. But across the river, a deep pool of emerald green water was shaded by a cliff. That, I decided, was where the trout were hiding – or maybe a mermaid since the setting was so idyllic. I had been a hesitant convert to fly fishing when I took up the sport in my 20s, even though a few of my friends were doggedly flailing away. I was still burdened with memories of my uncle cursing after getting his fly hooked in the trees along the Gallatin River and spending more time fussing with his line and snagging brush than wetting his fly. We bait anglers always caught more fish than him and were much less frustrated.

After the release of the film “A River Runs Through It” in 1992, with its romantic scenes of actor Brad Pitt casting and catching big trout, fly fishing’s popularity soared and the sport seemed to transform. Suddenly rivers were crowded with snobby people wearing odd and expensive gear made of

unnatural fabrics, but fly fishing doesn’t have to be that way. And the sport has such great range that it can be as easy or as intricate as an angler wants to make it. Those wanting to stick to the basics can get by with minimal gear: a rod, reel, line, leader and a handful of flies. Others who dive into the sport whole hog can learn to tie their own flies and even build their own rods or boats. But the sport doesn’t have to be gear intensive, or difficult if anglers prefer to keep it simple.

Getting started

Montana's rivers and streams offer some of the best fly fishing in the world.


If you’ve been intrigued by the beauty, intricacy or novelty of fly fishing there are some simple steps you can take to begin. I’m a handson learner, so my introduction came at a fly-fishing class. They are often offered by fly shops, sometimes for free, as well as by the city of Billings Parks and Recreation department. For me, handling a fly rod for the first time was easier with directions from an expert who had a system for breaking down everything

After the release of the film “A River Runs Through It” in 1992, fly fishing’s popularity soared and the sport seemed to transform. from how to properly hold the rod, to the basic arm motions for casting. More in-depth classes offer instruction on how to tie knots, a necessity for fly fishing, as well as the fundamentals of bugs that fish feed on and which flies best represent those bugs. On-stream classes provide the hands-on skill of learning to read the water to understand where fish may live and how to present the fly to them. With the basics stirring in your mind, I’d also suggest watching one of the many fly-fishing videos for beginners, reading some of the online stories that proliferate on the Internet or picking up a reference book like “The Curtis Creek Manifesto,” a comically illustrated guide covering the essentials in a humorous fashion. These can help reinforce what you learn in class. By tying a piece of bright yarn to the end of your fly line, you can practice casting in your backyard or at a nearby park. It’s good to have a Hula Hoop, bucket or some other target on the grass to aim for, but start out at a fairly close distance – about 10 yards – and slowly move back as you become more proficient. Also, check your cast to make sure the line is making a nice candy cane or lazy J-looking loop, a wide-arcing loop means you are dropping the tip of your rod too far forward or backward. Try to keep the rod tip on the same plane as you move your casting arm back and forth—similar to a piston. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend who already fly fishes.

Assembling your fly rod and line isn't complicated as it may appear. Most fly fishing shop owners are happy to teach the basics.


Although not everyone is a born teacher, they can be a resource for information on where to go, what flies to use and what gear you may need to add, or may not need. Just don’t forget that before you make your first fishing trip, you need to buy a license.

and sloppily presented. I moved up the side of the cliff slightly to get a better angle for my cast. Hurling the caddis upstream, I anxiously watched it float down, my mouth open in anticipation, until the tan fly slipped around a large black boulder that broke the water’s surface in a gentle riffle. Defining trophy Then, from the dark depths of My early experiences with fly fishing were the pool I could see a flash of much like bait fishing – minimalist endeavsilver streaking upward like a ors that included wet wading while wearing a missile and – BAM! – a wild Then, from the dark depths used fly-fishing vest that my friend had given trout had taken the fly, bowing of the pool I could see a me. My rod, reel and line came in an inexmy rod and pulsing its tip with pensive package deal. I began fishing on small mad, head-shaking dashes. flash of silver streaking streams and creeks where the water’s not too The 10-inch trout was a deep, the fish are easier to fool and casts don’t trophy to me, and the fish had upward like a missile and have to be too long. Ponds or small mountain completely and irretrievably – BAM! – a wild trout had lakes are good places, too, and less intimidating hooked me on fly fishing. No than big rivers. other fishing has been quite taken the fly, bowing my rod The West Fork of the Bitterroot River was as visual: watching a fly bob running at low summer flows when I stepped downstream and then, hopeand pulsing its tip with mad, into the water tentatively, fly rod in hand, 30fully, watching a trout burst to head-shaking dashes. some years ago. Wading across the river I the surface to swallow the offergrabbed a willow branch and pulled myself up ing, sometimes by shooting out onto the bank to sneak up to the bottom of the of the water and arcing down in deep pool. a gulping dive, other times with an almost dainty sip. I was hoping to lure a rainbow trout to the surface by casting a But even when the catching is slow, the sport takes me to some large Elk Hair Caddis fly upstream to float delicately through the beautiful lakes, rivers and creeks. That alone is reason enough to pick hole. The first cast was off the mark, too close to my side of the stream up a fly rod.


Fly Fishing gear made simple Fly reels Beginning anglers don’t need to spend a lot on a reel, but make sure to match the reel to the rod.

Fly line Fly lines are weighted to make it easier to cast. In the old days, the first fly fishermen used silk lines. Today’s lines come in a variety of colors as well as different styles. A weight-forward line, which is weighted to the front, is easier for a beginner to cast. The fly line’s weight must match the rod’s weight.

Fly rod The fishing rod used for fly fishing. Fly rods come in different lengths and weights depending on what type of fish the angler is targeting – such as trout vs. tarpon. An 8.5-foot, 5 weight fly rod is versatile enough for beginning anglers to toss dry flies and wet flies.

Leader A leader is the much thinner line that is attached to the end of the fly line. It comes in different lengths. The leader is tapered from the back forward, so the heavier portion of the line is tied to the fly line. Leaders taper down to different sizes. A 9-foot 7x line is thin at the tip and good for fussy fish you are targeting with a dry fly. A 7.5-foot 3x line, in comparison, is thicker at the tip and better for fishing wet flies or nymphs where delicate presentations are less necessary. Beginners may find shorter leaders easier to cast.

Tippet Tippet is line that comes in small spools with its size designated in the same manner as the leader – 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, etc. The smaller the number, the heavier the line. As the leader gets shorter, from breaking the line whether on a snag or a fish, tippet can be added to the end of the leader to avoid tying on a whole new leader and also making it easy to switch back and forth from dry flies to wet flies and vice versa.

Dry flies Dry flies imitate bugs that float atop the water. Common choices for Montana are ones that resemble caddisflies, grasshoppers and mayflies. Some of the tied flies resembling these are the Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator and Adams. Flies vary in size, the bigger the number the smaller the fly. Start with flies that are around a size 12 so they are easy to see.

Snippers or clippers To cut the tippet or leader it’s handy to have a pair of fingernail-type clippers handy. They can also be used to trim off excess line after tying a knot.

Fly floatant The first fly floatants were made out of lanolin. The idea is to coat dry flies with a lubricant to keep them floating longer. Anglers also dry their flies by false casting, which they simply cast above the water.

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Wet flies Wet flies imitate aquatic bugs or flies in their nymph state. Caddis and mayflies come from nymphs that live in the water and swim to the surface to hatch into flies. Two standard tied flies imitating these nymphs are the Prince Nymph and Hare’s Ear.

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I know this place of pr airie gr ass of weathered sandstones tall or squat all ringed about by ceaseless winds, pocked with nests of hawks and bleached bones of their prey. I know this place. My dreamer’s inscape my contemplative labyrinth my lenten solitude. To these pr ayer shrines of my youth. I walk where once I rode, slowly now and often only in my mind before the cancer takes me down. I can feel spring growing in the earth a spongy loamy feel through my hiking boots. I lean into the rocks, put my cheek against the warming sandstones my arms around them. They soften to my touch, but not that much. I know this place. My ashes will play around the corners, swirl in tiny whirlwinds and be caught by a thatch of pr airie gr ass. My pain will cease and I will become this place I know.

----- Lois I. Sindelar Sept. 17, 1930 - May 6, 1994

Opening page: Sunrise over the Yellowstone River and John H. Dover Memorial Park. Insets from left: Prickly pear bloom. Honey bee collecting pollen. Dandelion seed head. Tiny purple wildflowers.


On a bluff east of Billings, 91 feet above the Yellowstone River’s north shore, this death poem – that any Zen master might claim – is cast in bronze and affixed to a large sandstone boulder. The Jim Sindelar family dedicated this spot, Lois’s Point, in

name of his maternal grandfather, the homesteader who staked out the land and a future for his family in 1882. The natural landscape is intended for people to appreciate and recreate, an island of escape or “inscape” from the tempo of modern life. “It is a place of serenity, peace and reflection,” says Lisa Sindelar, the youngest of three daughters of Jim and Virginia. “For dad, the poem was the inspiration for the park.” Lois was Jim’s only sister. Lisa, who lives in Los Angeles, comes to Billings periodically to visit her mom and dad and check on the park plans. “I like to see how things are progressing,” she says. The goal is preserving the natural landscape. The portion of the land being developed now is 172 acres in the southeastern corner of the property, threaded together by the winding of Five Mile Creek. (See illustration). The park is bounded on the north by Dover Road, Mary Street-Five Mile Road on the west and the Yellowstone River. “It’s her dad’s dream,” says Darryl Wilson, a local businessman and president of the YRPA. “To honor his grandfather, the homesteader.” In 1882, John Dover laid claim to a parcel of 125 acres on an island in the river. In 1889, the year of Montana’s statehood, he bought land on the north shore and began developing the ranch the Sindelars own. Top: Yellowstone River Parks Association board member Bruce Larsen volunteers building trails and constructing “There is a lot pending on the pedestrian bridges through Dover Memorial Park. Above left: Recycled concrete was used to construct this walking future,”said Lisa. Her mother is leasing a bridge. Photo by Bob Zellar. Above right: A poem written by Lois I. Sindelar is cast in bronze and affixed to a large sandstone boulder. The boulder is known as Lois’s Point. majority of the property for income. Jim, in a nursing home, and Virginia are both her memory. A Catholic nun, she expressed her contemplative in their early 80s, she said. The income covers their health care love for this gift of nature, of its solitude, of its transience in an- now and beyond. ticipation of her passing. She died of cancer in 1994. Framework development She is living here in the now. Since the early 1990s, YRPA has developed a number of Her poem, standing sentinel, is the focal point of her family’s extraordinary generosity to the people of Billings, Yellowstone parks and natural sites along the river including, Riverfront County, Montana, the world. The John H. Dover Memorial Park Park, Norm’s Island, the Audubon Center and Two Moon Park. will eventually encompass more than 720 acres that fronts the Philanthropic gifts have covered the cost. These are multimillion dollar investments, said Wilson, in money and volunteer time. river for 2.5 miles. To date, the development of Dover Park has cost about The land is being deeded in parcels to the Yellowstone River Parks Association, an all-volunteer group of men and women, $250,000 plus 2,000 to 3,000 hours of volunteer labor, Wilson which plans to open a portion of Dover Park to the public some- said. To open the area, YRPA plans a parking lot, vaulted toilets, and some picnic shelters, which might cost another $100,000, he time late in 2015 or early 2016. It is a heritage gift from Jim Sindelar and his family in the said. As for future funding of the long-range plan, the associa-


Top: Five Mile Creek flows through a portion of the park land. Above: Sunrise at Dover Memorial Park.

tion is creating a foundation in collaboration with the Billings Community Foundation. “There is an urgency to get this initial phase going and open,” Wilson said. “We need to develop the park to protect it.” The group is considering a caretaker to watch over the area. He added that Harvest Church has promised a thousand volunteers a day for two days in the effort to get the park open as soon as possible. One volunteer, Bruce W. Larsen, practically lives on the site. “I am here almost every day,” he said during a walkabout on the site. He spends his time clearing paths and marking possible trails. He has constructed by hand a stone bridge reminiscent of a

Roman aqueduct. This one has mortar. With YRPA for almost a decade, Larsen has been “real active” for the past three. As to what the cost might be for the initial phase, he has “no idea.” But he has given the association a list of needs – $800,000 approximately. “I am a vision guy,” he noted as he scanned the horizons on all sides of the park.

Master Plan The long-range master plan developed by Land Design, Inc. (LDI), includes a large lake where a gravel mine, operated by Knife River Corporation, a construction materials subsidiary of Montana-Dakota Utilities, now exists. LDI is a team of five people who have projected the future of the park to have the lake, which might be tied to the Billings water system, a beach, wetlands boardwalk, skating pond, dog park and sledding hill. Overburden from the mine is being deposited where the sledding hill is projected. LDI has produced a video that shows what the park would look like during each season. Kurtis Grow, LDI project manager, said Dover Park would be analogous to Griffith Park, a 4,310-acre, rugged island of nature surrounded by the metropolis of Los Angeles. While the area between Billings and Huntley is growing, it will be a very long time before Dover Park is surrounded by such dense development. Nevertheless, the importance of the park to future generations cannot be overemphasized. “Dover Park is the greatest opportunity for another recreation park the community has seen in decades,” said Mike Penfold, who served as Bureau of Land Management state director in Montana and Alaska and assistant national director in Washington, D.C. Currently, he is conservation program director for Our Montana, a volunteer-based organization that focuses on stewardship and enjoyment of Montana natural, historic and recreational resources.

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Above: When all phases are completed, the John H. Dover Memorial Park will encompass 720 acres and front the Yellowstone River for 2.5 miles. In addition to miles of trails, the master plan includes a large lake, skating pond, dog park and sledding hill. Master Plan Image courtesy Land Design, Inc. Inset: The development plan includes boardwalks constructed through the park’s wetlands. Image courtesy Land Design, Inc.

Penfold said he informed the MDT of the need to “keep the public with you. There must be safe pedestrian access to Dover Park.” And, he was emphatic about the importance of the river in its entire length. While Dover Park will provide significant access to the river for recreationists, Penfold sees it in a much broader context. “The Yellowstone River is the economic driver of this area of the state,” he said, “for cities, agriculture and a hub of tourism. This resource is under-appreciated. It is the backbone of who we are: it encompasses the interests of 11 counties, two states and three tribes. There are 18 federal and state agencies with responsibilities for the river, and 84 percent of the shore is owned by private interests.” For the long-term management of the river, Penfold said “We need to measure the water rights that are claimed from the river. We are taking it for granted.” Montana’s attempt to quantify its water rights began in the late 1970s. It has cost millions of dollars with final basin decrees still pending. A true appreciation of the river for the communities along it lies in


the value of the amenities it provides them, Penfold said. Therein lies Dover Park’s true heritage legacy: its contribution to water conservation and use. The lake envisioned by the master plan of LDI is prospective. “It will be 10 years for the lake to materialize,” Lisa Sindelar said. Development of the lake, an estimated 85 acres, depends on how long the gravel mine continues, which could extend into the early 2020s. That fits a time frame for the man in charge of Billings’ water system. Dave Mumford, public works director, said, “Looking long term, how are we going to deal with the water?” “One-third of the population of Billings is in the Heights,” he said. A giant wetland and lake with fishing and boating could delay the need to expand the current wastewater plant. “Costs now are not horrendous, but what would they be 20-30 years from now?” “There is a single point of water here, the river,” said Mumford. The city uses 18-19 million gallons a day in the winter; 50-60 million in the summer. The city’s water rights, if used totally, could serve a population

of 250,000, he added. “The park is a different way of using water,” he said. The use of natural filtration and wetlands would allow the city to return wastewater to the river that is clean. Mumford’s main concern is the long-term cost of maintenance. “Money up front is the easy part, but the obligation for maintenance is a primary concern.” He noted that Billings has a young population that likes to bike, would use the park and is committed to the outdoors “Water quality and water use to enhance the quality of life. A joint venture with the Sindelars and YRPA is a really good option,” Mumford said. John Henry Dover created his landscape by building canals and ditches that channeled water from the Yellowstone to the land. They are still fit for purpose. Now, more than 125 years later, his grandson’s family is creating the framework to return the favor.


Bridging the Distance



This image depicts a four-lane bridge across the Yellowstone River. The bridge would be part of the 5.15 mile Billings Bypass Highway Project connecting Interstate 90 at Johnson Lane with old Highway 312 in Billings Heights. Image courtesy Land Design, Inc.

While the City of Billings stands to benefit greatly from the Sindelar family’s legacy gift of more than 720 acres of parkland, another long-envisioned project wrinkles the Dover Park layout. The Billings Bypass Highway Project, on the local wish list for decades, would go through a portion of Dover Park. The bypass is an estimated $120 million plan to build a four-lane, 5.15 mile route across the Yellowstone River. It would connect Interstate 90 at Johnson Lane in Lockwood with Old Highway 312 in Billings Heights and include a 2,200-ft bridge. The first phase would be two lanes with two more sometime in the future. Several area groups objected to the bridge because it did not provide for safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists. The Bypass would also bisect a proposed industrial park on the south side of the river. At the April 21, 2015 meeting of the Yellowstone County Commission, commissioners approved, 2-1, the process to create the Trailhead Commerce Park. At the same meeting, it was revealed that a number of consultations between the concerned groups and the Montana Department of Transportation resulted in the concept of a separate trail that would connect Johnson Lane interchange with the Bypass bridge. In designing the bridge, which will take 12 to 18 months, MDT officials committed to looking at trail options for the bridge. The bridge would enter Dover Park approximately 500 yards to the east of Lois’s Point, said Bruce W. Larsen, a long-time Yellowstone River Parks Association volunteer “The bypass will have a most profound effect as it bisects the park,” said Stacey Robinson, the principal partner at Land Design, Inc. “But it is also an opportunity to present Billings in a most positive way. There will be this greenspace on both sides.”






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Many parents secretly dread the first day of preschool. Their

child is ready, potty trained and becoming a little bored at home – primed for the new adventure that awaits behind the big glass doors. The school is ready too, with cubbies sterilized, blocks gleaming and nametags individualized with 16 friendly zoo animals ready for distribution by a kind and smiling teacher.

The time has come.


Some children step forth boldly, with nary a glance behind at their parents, who stand waiting awkwardly by the door for that coveted goodbye kiss. Some children move into the room more tentatively, one arm firmly around a parent’s leg, little fingers needing to be peeled away slowly, one at a time. Either way, those tiny 3- and 4-year-old adventurers leave mom and dad to start school—one of the most important steps on their journey to adulthood. Parents shuffle back to their cars, blinking back tears, off to work or back home, where their lives will never be quite the same.

Optimum timing Experts agree that preschool is crucial to a child’s development. Three-to-6-year-old children are in the most absorbent period of learning,” explains Mary Beth Gregory, Head of School at Grace Montessori Academy. “The more a parent can do to provide an enriching environment, the better off a child will be.” Gregory explains that preschool means more than academics. Preschool teaches practical life skills and fine motor skills while developing a love of active learning. Michelle Trafton, a preschool teacher for more than 17 years at Billings Catholic Schools, agrees. “The transition into kindergarten for a child who has not attended preschool can be challenging,” she noted. “Academics are important, but other aspects of school are learned in preschool, such as socialization with peers, understanding the teacher/student relationship, learning to execute two- or three-step instructions, following routines and building the stamina to get through a typical school day.”

More than A-B-Cs

Clockwise from top: Infant toddler educators Cathy Fiene, left, and Pat Anderson console kids at Young Families. Monica Ayers, right, and Janet Albertson walk to a classroom at Young Families. Kids spend time playing in the playground at Young Families. Art projects hang at Young Families. Students begin an art class at Young Families. Infant toddler educator Bailey Shafer works with students during an art class at Young Families. A selection of ageappropriate children's books. Photos by James Woodcock.

Janet Alberson serves as the Executive Director of Young Families, a federally-funded program that serves pre-preschool children from ages 0-3, and one of only three facilities in the state to earn a five-star rating. She has been involved in early childhood education and emergent literacy for more than 35 years, most recently as a professor in early childhood education at Montana State University Billings “One of the major changes I have seen in preschool over the past years is a change in curriculum – educators now have a better understanding of how young children develop. As providers we strive for ‘curriculum with intention.’” In her work at MSU Billings, Alberson assisted in writing certification requirements for preschool teachers, which already included literacy, and now also includes math and science as well as health, safety, nutrition and practical experience. A PK-3 endorsement option from MSU Billings is currently in the works for future early childhood educators. Monica Ayers, education team leader at young families, also sees curriculum as a crucial component of preschool.


“It’s so important in the preschool classroom that there be age appropriate curriculum, not just watered down kindergarten,” she said. “Pushing too early, for instance in trying to teach a child to read, can actually cause damage. Learning through play, in a highly-sensory environment, prepares preschool students for kindergarten.” Experts also agree that a partnership with parents is essential in education at any age. In Trafton’s view, as a preschool teacher and also the mother of four boys, parents can’t underestimate their own role in their child’s education. “Parents are their child’s first and best educators, and finding every day life events to help their child learn, coupled with reading wonderful books to their children every day, will guide them to future success.” At Young Families, Ayers and Alberson both agree that parents themselves sometimes have to learn about their child’s development. “Age 0-3 is considered the golden time, the most important time as far as development goes. This time period is so important for a child’s development, and sometimes parents themselves need to be made aware of it,” Ayers said.

Play = learning Gregory notes that today, parents are far more educated about preschool programs and options than past generations. “Parents are looking for a quality program, a beautifully-structured program for their children. They are starting the search sooner, putting even infants on waiting lists for a program they feel is a quality program,” she said. Technology has and will continue to have a profound effect on education, even preschool age children. However, there is a negative side. “We are observing a decline in social and interpersonal communication skills among young people because of technology,” said Jody Sulser, associate principal at Lewis and Clark Middle School. With all of the changes in early childhood education, one thing remains the same: children still need to have a wholesome childhood experience. “Play is still a very important part of a child’s life,” Tafton says. “There is a lot of value in it. It can be a balancing act preparing a child for success at school and at the same time nurturing his or her need for play, socialization and character development. Play equals learning at this age.”

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Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child Janet Alberton Executive Director of Young Families Early Head Start

Top: Preschool students work at Grace Montessori Academy. Above left: Montessori Academy preschool teacher Brittney Neubauer helps students work on lessons. Above right: Montessori preschool teacher Linda Hart helps a student with a project. Photos by James Woodcock. Below: Jody Sulser, associate principal at Lewis and Clark Middle School. Photo by Larry Mayer.

Ready or not Holding students back from kindergarten until they are 6 or older, a practice recently dubbed as ‘academic red-shirting,’ has become increasingly common, not just in Montana but across the United States. Many parents believe that waiting to send their child to kindergarten will be a positive move in the long run, hoping the extra time to mature will benefit the child academically, socially and athletically throughout their years in school. However, Jody Sulser, associate principal at Lewis and Clark Middle School with more than 25 years experience in education – and almost as many years experience as a parent – says that age alone does not dictate a child’s success in school. “There are so many factors that contribute to a student’s success and achievement in school,” explained Sulser. “It has been my experience that it never comes down to just age. Home environment, student personality and attendance in school are just as, if not more, important than a student’s age.” Sulser points out that there are ‘young’ students in every grade that are subject or grade accelerated, as well as ‘older’ students who have the same experiences. She believes the same is true socially. Students with outgoing personalities and home environments that include intellectual discussion and socialization opportunities will tend to appear more advanced in their socialization skills. “It makes sense that a student who is a year or more older than his grade-level peers, who has had more of these experiences and more practice, could appear further along than the others," she said. At the end of the day, it's important to remember that all children are different and learn at their own pace. Your youngster will let you know what inspires him or her. A parent's job is to nurture and support those curiosities. 104 I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE

Learn the same way the children do—by using your five senses. Walk in and listen - what does the facility sound like? Do you hear the sounds of children playing happily, or do you hear angry voice or yelling? What does it smell like? Parents should see that the materials used for instruction are clean and well-organized, and the director of the facility should be able to explain the curriculum and demonstrate how it is developmentally appropriate for preschool-age children. Look at safety measures. There should only be one access point to the school, which is visible to an employee at all times. Additionally, the school should have a record of who comes and goes, and who is allowed to pick up the child; background checks should be done on all care providers.

Mary Beth Gregory Head of School at Grace Montessori Academy Visit a variety of programs and environments before choosing a school. Children learn through their hands. Any preschool should have a well-prepared program utilizing handson materials with a developmental purpose. Also, teachers should be certified to ensure that they understand the developmental growth of preschool children.

Michelle Trafton Veteran preschool teacher at Billings Catholic Schools A preschool has to be a good fit for both the child and the family, and it needs to be a place that children and parents look forward to going each day. Parents also need to feel secure about sending their child to the program. It should be a stimulating, developmentally appropriate environment where the child feels cared for and valued, and can play and explore and spend time with other children, working with hands-on materials using their imaginations.

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Water Conservation Tips Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons. Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket.

Every time you flush small bits of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

Check your toilets for leaks.

Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately.

Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators.

Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy to install. Also, limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. «Low-flow» means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute.

Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush.

There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

Rinse your razor in the sink.


Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water.

Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.

Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.

Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle.

Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants.

he grass is greener on the other side of the fence. And it has been, since June. Your neighbor, it seems, is hooked up to an unending supply of ditch water—a fortuitous amenity that costs him only $40 per year. Your first summer water bill was five times that much—hence, the crispy, brown shards of lawn that used to be a lush, verdant carpet of grass. In your neighborhood, it seems that having a lawn is now a luxury, one made less affordable by the seasonal hike in water rates. Feeling the financial pinch, you’ve trimmed back on your watering schedule, but the lush richness of your lawn has gone by the wayside. Is there any relief? Are higher prices just the new normal? Or, is the green in your lawn fixed proportionally to the green in your pocketbook?

If you are planting a new lawn, or over-seeding an existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses. Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species.

Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants.

Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 - 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture.

Don’t water the gutter.

Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also, avoid watering on windy days.

Water your lawn only when it needs it.

A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. Letting the grass grow taller (to 3”) will also promote water retention in the soil.

Deep-soak your lawn.

When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.

Water during the early parts of the day.

Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering, and late watering, also reduce water loss to evaporation


Sprinkler sticker shock Water usage is typically measured in CCF (centum cubic feet), representing 100 cubic feet of water. One CCF equals 748 gallons of water. Six years ago, the city of Billings organized water rates into a tiered system, charging based on total usage. (See related chart). Several homeowners might not be aware of the drastic increase in the volume of water used during summer months. One Billings homeowner, Stacey Suydam, said her November-May water bills averaged 3 CCF at $40 per month, while she and her family used between 30-60 CCF from JuneOctober, averaging $130 per month. Suydam and her family have lived in Billings for 23 years, 13 of those in her current home in Briarwood. They have two 1/2 –acre lots, but have incorporated various xeriscaping techniques to tame their water bill and add a natural aesthetic to their landscaping. Suydam said she doesn’t currently find the watering costs to be prohibitive, but likely would if the couple had more grass and less xeriscaped area to water.

Water Rate Tiers in Billings Tier 1: 0-14 CCF

@ rate of $2.21/CCF

Tier 2: 15-43 CCF

@ rate of $2.65/CCF

Tier 3: 44-100 CCF

@ rate of $3.45/CCF

Tier 4: greater than 100 CCF @ rate of $5.18/CCF Source: (Resolution No. 14-10361)

Dollars and cents Like Suydam, several area homeowners have questioned the logistics and water rate structure in Billings. However, when the city council held a hearing on May 26 regarding city water rate increases, only one citizen— Kevin Nelson—questioned the rates publically. In many U.S. cities, large and small, water scarcity has ballooned residents’ payments by more than 50 percent; but, before questioning the seventh water increase in the past 10 years, David Mumford, longtime director of Billings’ Public Works department, asks residents to keep the annual increases of 2 ½ - 3% in perspective. Even with the price increases, Mumford stressed, “its five gallons per penny to have water delivered to your house; it’s still a very economical product, which is used more than most anything else you buy.” It is not often you find businesses encouraging customers to buy less of their product, but that is exactly what the City of Billings is doing. “We want people to look at where they use their water and how they can minimize their water usage,” Mumford said, who cited the average domestic water use in our city during winter months at about 18 million


gallons a day. “We get into the end of July and into August, we start using 55 to 60 million gallons a day.” Those extra 30-40 million gallons are “just being poured onto the ground,” he noted, lamenting that the waste is not so much in water loss, but in the fact that we are using purified water to keep our lawns looking nice. “There are a lot of costs to purifying water and getting it into homes, and then we’re just pouring it on the ground to keep our yards nice and green. I do it too, but there has to be more efficient ways.” No doubt. And, as Billings’ temperatures rise with the prospect of increased water usage escalating, we, as a city, know: it’s scorcher of a problem. So, what do we do about it?

Conservation conversation

“Billings has been very fortunate. We have great intakes in a good section of the river, and we have a water treatment plant that can accommodate more than the needs of the community.”

Despite the fact that we’re bordered by the Yellowstone River, nestled in a verdant river valley, the topography of Billings—and much of Montana—is that of a high plains desert. “It’s kind of an odd thing that we live in basically a desert, and the only place we can get water here is from the Yellowstone River; yet, we act like it’s a never-ending abundance of water. It’s not,” Mumford said. ­— David Mumford, This is why, Mumford insists, Drector Billings Public Works “The emphasis for our city has to be department, on efficiency.” Mumford and his department have been looking at efficiency incentives such as possibly giving rebates for buying low-water washing machines; however, he said, “When I research those types of things, I see that they happen in communities with water-shortage issues, and Billings doesn’t have a water-shortage issue.” Not yet—anyway. “Billings has been very fortunate,” Mumford said. “We have great intakes in a good section of the river, and we have a water treatment plant that can accommodate more than the needs of the community.” In order to have a more equitable distribution of the costs of water use, the city of Billings implemented the tiered payment system, allotting higher costs to those who use more water. “We got some reaction to that, especially from people with large lawns; but, people started watering differently, which was good,” Mumford said. “We wanted folks to realize how much water they were using,

and to change how they were using it in order to keep rates down.�

Well Worth It

Usage and expansion There has been talk for a number of years about building a second water treatment plant on the West End. “At this point, we haven’t decided if that’s the best option because we only would need the plant in the summertime,� Mumford said. “We’re trying to see if there’s a more cost-effective way of dealing with that issue than building a $35-40 million plant that operates just in the summer just so people can water their lawns.� Mumford’s department is currently conducting an analysis of how water is used so they can come up with specific recommendations that will “start moving us towards a solution for the long-term water needs of Billings.� To do this, he maintains, “We just need to make a decision about which way we’re going to go,� and that decision, he acknowledges, needs to be made “in the next couple of years.� In the meantime, he said the increases in cost we all pay for water will continue to cover the increased cost of energy, which is the biggest drain on his department’s financial resources. Chemicals and labor, he inserted, are a small portion of the budget compared with the cost of power. The water-cost increases also cover “capital improvements to keep up the piping system, maintain the pumps, plus implement plant improvements to meet standards in growth.� As the flooding demand for water rises, so do the escalating costs to pay for it; however, Mumford asserts the city remains good stewards of those dollars. “All the money paid for water bills goes back to public works to be used strictly for the operations and capital needs of the water system,� he said. “There’s a 4 percent franchise fee paid to the general fund, but all the rest of the revenues are strictly to operate. We don’t have any profit margin. We do a rate study every two years. A consultant comes in to look at our operating costs, our capital, and our overhead; then, we establish the rates based on how we just maintain the system and make only the improvements we need.�

€ Â?€ ­ ­  Â?Â?

One way to help lower your water bill is

to draw directly from your private well.

Residents don’t need to register the

well with the City of Billings; they only need to register their well with the Department of Natural Resources, according to Dave Mumford, director of Billings Public Works.

Mumford encourages homeowners

to contact a drilling company to do the construction and cautions the eager do-ityourselfer.

“If you are going to drill, you should go

through a licensed well-driller because there are things that could go bad.�

Really bad.

Think: Old Faithful sprouting in your back yard. Think: charged utility lines that could make you light up brighter than last year’s Christmas tree.

Think of everything bad that could

Â? Â? Â?Â

go wrong, then call a licensed driller or consultant.




THERE? Imagine that a catastrophic event happens, completely knocking out every form of communication – cell phones, landlines, TV, radio – all gone.

byphotography annaby bobpaizellarge MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I 111

Ron Glass Photo

Clockwise from top left: A restored Heathkit ham radio in Robert Port's "ham shack" in Billings. The name plate of a Henry Radio that Robert Port is restoring. A closer look at the Henry Radio Robert Port is restoring at his "ham shack.” Ron Glass installs an antenna during the amateur radio field day. Ham radio transmitter tubes. Robert Port talks to a caller from New Brunswick, Canada on a restored radio. Photos by Bob Zellar and Casey Page.

onn Glass remembers vividly Colorado’s deadliest flash flood in recorded history. In the summer of 1976 near Estes Park, a torrential downpour propelled the Big Thompson River into a 20-foot wall of water that rapidly crashed through the length of Big Thompson Canyon, killing 143 people and injuring 150 more. All methods of communication in the valley had been washed away. Radio waves were the only way to relay information, transmitting up and down the canyon. Glass watched as his father—a licensed amateur radio operator—ran emergency communications from the family home in Colorado. For 48 hours straight, Glass’s father relayed messages to and from lifesaving crews on the ground. Glass, who now lives in Billings, was raised in a radio family. His father, mother, uncle, brother-in-law and son are all licensed amateur radio operators—“hams” for short. As a kid, Glass recalls his father talking nightly on the radio waves to other hams across the country, both for camaraderie and to keep his skills sharp. “Ham radio is a broad hobby,” Glass said. “It’s fun to build things and talk around the world, but inside that hobby is the serious aspect of emergency communication.”

No cell towers required Ham radio operators don’t depend on any infrastructure and can—in a state of disaster or simply in an area without cellular reception—provide communication to fill the gaps. They can communicate block to block,


hospital to hospital, state to state, country to country and can even bounce radio waves off ionized trails of meteors or the moon. When a recent earthquake wiped out Nepal’s infrastructure, amateur radio operators were relaying information from the center of the disaster. During the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, when land and cellular lines were jammed, hams were at Ground Zero establishing communication, maintaining emergency networks, connecting assisting agencies and otherwise aiding in rescue efforts. Amateur radio also aided rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina when all other communications failed. Glass is a member of the Yellowstone Radio Club, a group of more than 60 volunteer ham radio operators who maintain equipment for amateur radio operations while providing volunteer communication services to 25plus area events each year, including the Peaks to Prairie Adventure Race, Montana Marathon, Beartooth Run and Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Runs. The group also hosts large annual events where the public is invited to get on the air and experience amateur radio. Yellowstone County alone has 450 licensed ham radio operators. Tom Richmond, president of Yellowstone Radio Club, said there are many reasons why people obtain their amateur radio license. “Many like the emergency communications aspect,” he said. “It’s a way to provide a public service and volunteer while doing something you enjoy.” Each night, members of Yellowstone Radio Club flex their radio communications’ muscles and keep their skills sharp in case of an emergency. Part of a local and national relay, they send messages through their net-

work. Most days, it’s pretty routine, but in the case of an emergency, these skills are valuable in relaying information, especially where other modes of communication fail. Ham radio operators were some of the first spotters and reporters of the Father’s Day tornado that struck Billings’ MetraPark on June 20, 2010. “There is a saying in ham radio,” said Yellowstone Radio Club member Robert Port. “When everything else fails, ham radio will still work.” The equipment requires power, but can run off generators, batteries, even solar power, and operators contain the knowledge and capability to run their equipment. “I can throw a wire in a tree and transmit,” Port added. Former club president Tim Osman has a cabin near Roundup that is “off the grid.” “I can talk statewide, nationwide or worldwide from my place,” — Robert Port, said Osman. A resourceful ham, Yellowstone Radio Club Member Osman has taped recycled wire to his ceiling, connected it to a transmitter and chatted with a fellow ham in northern California. “He came in clear as day,” Osman said. “Most hams are very friendly and very talkative. We’re a ham family. You can go to any town in the U.S. and put out your call sign, ask ‘where’s the best restaurant,’ or for directions if you’re just coming through town, and hams will respond.” Richmond likens ham radio to fly-fishing. “You never know what you are going to catch. It’s the same way with radio—when you call ‘CQ’ (an invitation for operators listening on that frequency to respond), you never know who is going to come back to you. It could be a guy two blocks away or someone in Germany,” he said.

“When everything else fails, ham radio will still work.”

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Hamming it up There’s a bit of magic in picking up a radio and talking to someone in Japan on 100 watts and a wire antenna in the backyard. Though a lot depends on technology and the signal being transmitted, there are plenty of exterior factors that affect how radio waves in a particular band behave around the earth. Hams rely on favorable atmospheric conditions to bounce radio waves around the world. Visualize a globe. To speak with someone in Japan, the signal goes up into the ionosphere and then bounces from Billings to Alaska to Kamchatka, a chain of islands near Russia, and then on to Japan. This is how it’s possible to carry on a conversation with a stranger across the globe on radio waves, which hop across split ions as they are refracting. It’s also how you may lose a conversation, reaching someone momentarily as the clouds of ionized gas drift and bands of radio waves open and close. Chances are you’ll never hear from them again. There are a variety of vehicles for transmitting signals, from hand-held walkie-talkies to elaborate setups that fill entire rooms with transmitting and receiving gear. Robert Port falls in the latter group. In his backyard, Port has a studio filled with vintage broadcasting equipment (“sideband” gear, mainly from the 1970s, used to broadcast on shortwave radio bands) that he has restored to working condition. “Maybe I’m a fool, but I like working with these,” Robert said as he shakes his hands. Looking across his workshop, there’s vintage Yaesu, Johnson Viking, Heathkit and Swan Cygnet broadcasting equipment, all restored to working condition. To demonstrate, Port starts by flipping on the antenna, turning dials and powering up the

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receivers and transmitters. “Running vintage equipment is not like running the new stuff,” Portsaid. “There is a lot of knob twisting.” Using a phonics code, he sends out his call sign. “Kilo Echo Seven Kilo Papa Bravo. Calling CQ 20.” Robert’s voice, spoken into a mic, amplifies out an antenna he’s erected in his backyard, hits a radio band that he’s tuned to and heads across the wavelengths at the speed of light. “Calling CQ” means you are available to talk to anyone anywhere that may be listening. The term “20” refers to the 20-meter band, a portion of the shortwave radio spectrum Robert’s broadcasting on, reserved for use by amateur radio operators. The airwaves are quiet. Port continues to turn the dial, repeating his call and searching frequencies to see who’s out there. Static fuzzes in the background, squeaking as he dials through the band. And suddenly: “K3 Jack Daniels. My name is Rick, and I’m located in southern Delaware.” “Kilo Echo Seven Kilo Papa Bravo. Bob here, located in Billings, Montana." Port touches the dial, turns it as the broadcaster’s voice on the other end slightly warps. He turns it back, fine-tuning to the frequency. The two chat briefly about weather, Rick joking that his area has so much rain, he’s building an ark in his yard. “If you have an endangered species you’d like me to take along, let me know. OVER,” Rick signs off. Radio operator Shane Child watches runners from his post at Port laughs heartedly. There’s a genuthe Heart & Sole Run. Photo by Casey Page ine joy to the interaction, a brief but robust conversation ensues—passing information across invisible channels, what hams often refer to as “ratchet jawing.” “To me, this is what it’s about—exchanging information and having a good time,” says Port, who has spoken with people from Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Holland, Russia, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Brazil, France, Barbados and Honduras, to name a few. “It’s the ability to communicate with people from all over the world, from all walks of life.”

Radio’s roots Radio—simply put as the wireless transmission of energy—was the first form of remote communication. It became a staple of household entertainment in the early 1900s, dominating the entertainment scene till the advent of television in the 1950s. Hobbyists and the military alike first used radio to relay information. The advent of radio harkens back to the battle of inventors. In the late 1800s, Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was working on one-upping Edison’s incandescent lamp. Tesla was working with electromagnetic waves (informed by the work of German physicist Heinrich Hertz, who proved such waves travelled at the speed of light). He invented the “Tesla coil,” which utilized high frequencies to generate high voltage and a brighter light. This led to Tesla’s discovery that he could wirelessly transmit energy through the air. Radio waves, when tuned to resonate at the same frequency, could therefore be transmitted and received wirelessly. Simultaneously, Italian inventor and engineer Guglielmo Marconi was working in England on an early system of wireless telegraphy. The device, with the help of an oscillator, was able to transmit signals across the English Channel. Marconi traveled to America to demonstrate his wireless technology in 1899. During America’s Cup yacht race, held off the coast of New York, Marconi wirelessly transmitted real-time reports of the race to an operator at the New York Herald.

This was the first time an event had been tracked live, and the headlines read: “Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Triumphs,” kicking off America’s fascination with radio. In 1901, Marconi transmitted radio signals across the Atlantic, developing short wave theory that is the foundation of modern long-distance radio communication. The patent for inventing the radio went back and forth between Tesla and Marconi until after Tesla’s death when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his radio patent, perhaps more politically motivated than anything, as radio presented huge commercial implications. An industry sprang up around wireless radio broadcasts, from commercial to military to amateur operators, all using wireless technology to send messages across radio waves. Its popularity soon demanded regulation, as amateur radio operators with home-made, low-power equipment began to interfere with commercial and military broadcasts. The nickname hams evolved from the practice of “hamming” across (or jamming) channels. The disaster of the Titanic sharply illustrated the importance of wireless communication and brought about the Wireless Act of 1912, followed by the Radio Act of 1927 that Incorporated in 1956, and in continuous transferred jurisdiction to what is now the operation ever since, Yellowstone Radio Club Federal Communications Commission (the is a nonprofit organization that provides public service, works closely with the weather service FCC). and government agencies on emergency comAll these regulations were enacted to enmunication drills, and holds classes to assist people interested in becoming licensed. The sure private or commercial broadcasters operclub also hosts amateur radio events, including the annual Field Day, held each June. The largated on specified wavelengths, while upholdest organized ham radio event of the year, more ing First Amendment rights and throwing a than 35,000 ham operators across the country all head to the “field” to setup portable radio bone to ham operators, giving them bands of stations to contact as many other stations in radio wavelengths deemed unreliable for use the world as possible over a 24-hour period. by commercial or governmental use. ConsidInterested in helping out? ered “amateur,” ham operators are prohibited The group is trying to replace equipment, some of which is more than 40 years old, pieced by law from financially profiting for any actogether across the years from hand-me-downs tivities they perform as radio operators. and donated gear. All donations are tax deductible, as the group received its 501(C)(3) status To broadcast on a designated amateur rain 2014. dio band, one must hold a license, issued by Interested in learning more? the FCC. It is illegal to operate outside the The group holds free amateur radio license classes at the Billings Public Library to help designated bands, and the FCC makes it ininterested folks earn their license. Visit www. cumbent upon the individual to follow the for dates and more information, or contact Ron Glass at 406-690-9441 or by email rules and know where they can communicate. at Three levels of licenses are offered to hams: Interested in getting licensed? Technician, General and Extra. The next free amateur radio license class will License holders are allowed to talk about be held Sept. 19 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Billings Public Library. Everyone is welcome anything and everything—politics, religion, to attend. weather…you name it. But anyone can listen; Want to listen? these broadcasts are not private. It is illegal to Visit to tune into the broadcast bands and listen in on the goings on encrypt or encode any broadcasts, and they in amateur radio world. have to be easily understood and received by anyone. Though amateur radio was created for a multitude of reasons, being able to provide communication in times of disaster is imperative to survival and the success of first responders. Hams serve as a pool of trained experts who can provide communication when other infrastructure is destroyed or rendered useless.

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the evolution of

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Sliding into the dentist’s chair, John* was nervous. A few days earlier, he was eating dinner when a chunk of material broke off in his mouth. The dentist confirmed it was part of a 30-year-old crown that now needed to be replaced. John remembered getting that crown. It had been an unpleasant experience. Back then, the dentist inserted a mold filled with a cold, gooey substance to take an impression of the *not his actual name


lower teeth. Afterward, he drilled the decayed tooth to a nub and then attached a “temporary.” Several weeks later, John had to return for a second appointment. This time, the dentist exchanged the temporary crown for a permanent one, which had been fabricated in an off-site lab. Once cemented in place, the dentist meticulously filed the crown until he was satisfied with the bite. John was not eager to undergo the procedure a second time.


replacements,” Dr. Erickson said. After taking a digital image of John’s existing crown and bite surface, Dr. Erickson removed the old crown, cleaned the space underneath and checked to be sure the base tooth material was still viable. He then uploaded the image into a computer, using it to design a replacement. Once designed, a second machine milled the new ceramic crown, which was bonded in place during the same appointment. “There’s no temporary crown, no waiting – and the fit is highly precise,” said Dr. Erickson.

Dialing in on disease

o much has changed in modern dentistry,” said Dr. Steve Erickson, DDS. Technology, Dr. Erickson noted, has crept into almost every corner of dentistry, from toothbrushes that signal when to replace them to three-dimensional X-rays that show bone as well as vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels. While brushing, flossing and regular checkups are still the gold standard for maintaining oral health, many advanced treatment options are now available when intervention is necessary. As a patient, John expected another protracted procedure. He was pleasantly surprised to find the entire experience was less invasive – and less stressful. “Today, dentists have access to computer assisted design (CAD) and computer assisted milling (CAM), processes that can streamline crown


Regular trips to the dentist are about more than oral health. New research links bacterial and inflammation in the mouth to other health problems. Periodontist Sally Cram, DDS and a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, was quoted on WEB MD saying “there are a lot of studies that suggest that oral health, and gum disease in particular, are related to serious conditions like heart disease.” While research into the connection between oral health and systemic health continues, dental practitioners agree that early intervention is critical. “Diagnosing decay in its early stage is important,” said Dr. Kyle Wassmer, DDS, with Bridge Creek Dental in Billings. According to Dr. Wassmer, early decay can appear as a stain or a spot on the tooth surface, and may not show up on a routine X-ray. To aid in detection, Dr. Wassmer uses a small, handheld devise with a laser tip that helps determine if a suspicious area needs immediate attention. People with periodontal or gum disease can also benefit from lasers. Dr. Scott Manhart of Periodontal Specialists of Montana noted that new, low-power lasers are able to target diseased areas while leaving healthy tissues intact. “The laser helps clean places where bacteria are hiding, which we simply couldn’t get to before,” Dr. Manhart said. Many dentists also now use digital X-ray scanners. Lightweight and

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Previous page top: Dr. Steve Erickson, DDS, uses a computer to design a replacement crown. Right: Once the crown is designed, a milling machine mills the crown to exact specifications. Bottom: Dr. Kyle Wassmer, DDS, with Bridge Creek Dental, is shown with a cone beam scanner which can provide three-dimensional X-rays of the bone and vital structures, such as nerves and blood vessels. This page top: Periodontist Dr. Scott Manhart of Periodontal Specialists of Montana uses a sophisticated, low-power laser to target disease while leaving healthy tissue intact. Bottom: Using a portable, light weight X-ray, Dr. Spencer Zaugg, DDS, with Advanced Dental Professionals, captures crisp, clear digital images that can be electronically shared with a lab.

portable, these handheld systems produce crisp, clear digital images that can be electronically shared with a lab. Dr. Spencer Zaugg, with Advanced Dental Professionals, noted the digital X-ray systems are phenomenal improvement. “I don’t know if I could go back to using regular X-rays that don’t allow for color contrasts, enlargements or electronic sharing,” he said. Sometimes dentists need more detailed images, such as for implant dentistry. In those cases, a cone beam scanner can provide three-dimensional X-rays of the bone and vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels.

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As with all dental procedures, patient comfort is a top priority. “Anesthetics have improved tremendously,” noted Dr. Zaugg. “Not only can an area be numbed more quickly, but the effects of the anesthetic can be reversed before the patient leaves.”

Impacting lives Dr. Russell Homer, DDS, of Brewer Dental Center, noted that quality dental care covers a broad spectrum of needs – from those who have a low risk of decay to patients who may need full dental restoration. And making comprehensive dental care convenient for the patient is also key. “Emergencies can happen anytime, and patients need to be able to see a dentist right away,” Dr. Homer said. Yet the role of a dentist can go well beyond cleanings, fillings and crowns. “A person’s quality of life is often tied to how they perceive their smile,” Dr. Homer said, adding that dental problems not only cause physical pain, but they can also cause emotional and social discomfort.

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He remembers one particular patient who lost several front teeth due to an accident. The patient wanted permanent implants to replace the missing teeth, however a 3-D scan of his jaw indicated there was not enough bone tissue to support implants. Needing a bone graft, Dr. Homer drew blood from the patient, then used a blood centrifuge to separate the fibrin layer of blood, which he mixed with grafting material. The new biologically compatible material was added to the existing jaw. After a short healing time, Dr. Homer was able to implant four titanium-threaded teeth into the patient’s mouth. “It changed his life,” said Dr. Homer. Before, the patient hid his smile. Afterward, the patient’s self-confidence soared. “There was literally a bounce in his step,” he said. “Restoring someone’s confidence is the most satisfying thing I do.”

Look Ma – No Cavities! Many adults recall childhood visits to the dentist with equal parts fear and dread. For some, the negative experience resulted in a pattern of procrastination sometimes resulting in serious dental problems. Today, youngsters have the dual benefit of advanced technology, plus dentists skilled in the art of alleviating the fear factor. Dr. Cal Bullock, DDS, a pediatric dentist with Brewer Dental Center, understands the importance of putting children at ease. “There’s a reason the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that children see a dentist within six months of teeth erupting or no later than one year of age,” Dr. Bullock said. According to Dr. Bullock, early visits ensure teeth are in the right spaces and that no oral disease is present. “Also, we can talk to parents about how to properly clean baby teeth,” Dr. Bullock said. These early visits are generally easy visits – meaning kids are often cavity free, Dr. Bullock noted. And if there is a problem, the dentist can catch it early. “We can do quite a lot when a cavity is small. Sometimes we can even fix it without anesthetic if it’s early enough,” said Dr. Bullock. Easy introduction to the dentist helps diffuse angst as the youngster grows into adulthood. “Our role is to help kids have good early experiences, so they continue to have a ‘dental home’ for life,” said Dr. Bullock.

Dr. Cal Bullock, DDS, a pediatric dentist with Brewer Dental Center, says that children should see a dentist within six months of teeth erupting or no later than one year of age.

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Unusual Dental Instruments from the Past Today, resources and technological sophistication make comfort and safety a reality we often take for granted. But that wasn’t always the case. Looking back, dental tools and treatments were downright frightening.

< Dental Mouth Gag (1500s)- Dental mouth gags are used to keep patients’ mouths open during procedures. This 16th century gag uses wing nuts to open and close the handles and lock them in place. It could have also been used to pry open the mouths of patients suffering from lockjaw. (source: Physick) Dental Pelican (1600s)- Dental pelicans, named because of their resemblance to a pelican’s beak, were tooth extraction tools used from the 14th century through the late 18th century, when dental keys became more popular (see below). Examples like this French or Italian pelican consisted of a rotating claw mounted on a shaft in an adjustable slot. The tooth would be pinched between the claw and the head of the shaft and then pulled out. Dental Forceps (1600s)- Dental forceps are used in grasping and extracting teeth — this 17th century Italian pair being more rudimentary than modern examples.

< Oral Speculum (1600s)- A speculum is used to open a body cavity for investigation or medical procedures. This model of oral speculum worked like a reverse vise, with the screw prying open the patient’s mouth for easy access. Goat’s Foot Elevator (1700s)- Another extraction tool, the goat’s foot elevator — whose double-pointed tip resemble a goat’s cleft hoof — was used in conjunction with other devices. Its major purpose was to aid in the clean-up of remnants of dental root and tooth fragments, since tools like pelicans frequently failed to remove the entire tooth and root. Its pointed design allowed it to be inserted into sockets to “elevate” dental tissue and other material. Sometimes it was even used to loosen a tooth before extraction by other means. Dental Key (1810s)- Dental keys, named because they were modeled after door keys, were used to extract teeth. The claw at the end of the shaft was designed to grasp the diseased tooth as the instrument was rotated to loosen the tooth — a crude method that often resulted in broken teeth, tissue damage and jaw fractures. By the turn of the 20th century, forceps had rendered dental keys obsolete. Secateurs (1810s)- This French orthodontic device (“secateurs” being French for “cutters” or “scissors”) treated an uneven or diseased tooth by locking on and wrenching out the entire tooth from just above the gum line.

< Tongue Ecraseur (1850s)- A tongue écraseur was used to remove a diseased portion of the tongue in order to prevent the infection from spreading. The chain was looped over the infected portion and tightened using the ratchet, stopping the circulation of blood to the area. Finger-Rotated Dental Drill (1870s)- This unusual six-inch-long drill was attached to a thimble that held it in place while the spindle was rotated by the dentist’s finger at a rate much slower than other dental drills of the era, which used bow action, hand cranks, foot pedals and ultimately, electricity. Wilcox-Jewett Obtunder (1905)- The Wilcox-Jewett Obtunder was a futuristic-looking device that used a periodontal syringe for the oral injection of anesthetic substances (typically cocaine). Source:


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Salute to Women 1] 2] 3] 4] 5]

Wanda and Jerry Anderson, Siriana & Kristin Lundgren Margaret Ping Katy Warner, Al & Terri  French Jeremy Vannatta & Merry Lee Olson Barbara Skelton, Julie Wickhorst, MarCee Farrar-Neary & Wanda Anderson






Recycled Percussion

6] VeeEtta, Orrin & Dick Cameron 7] Kaleb Hammler, Justin Spencer & Daylon Rhinebarger 8] Linda Ewert, Dawson & Dayne Toney


Opening Reception for Summer Exhibits 9] Alex Tyler, Emily Halverson & Tyler Mortenson 10] Bev Kudrna & Barb Ramlow 11] Carolyn Holmlun, Mona Harris & Roz Dina 12] Diane, Jon & Forrest Yelvington 13] Steve Corning, Dr. Sue Balter-Reitz, Paul Reitz & Dr. Joe Dillard

5 7



10 12







I Love Lucy Live On Stage

14] Becky Meisenheimer & Maureen Maloughney 15] Randi Pugh & Diana Holland

Wendy’s Free Family Fun Day 18



16] Bryce, Krista, Laila & Keely Bakkedahl 17] Dick & Orrin Cameron 18] Eliana Coffey 19] Lochlan Bakkedahl 20] Mia, Ireland & Lorelai Snyder 21] Saleah Toney 22] Grant, Sharisse and Lauren Williams

Sing-a-Long Grease







23] Babette Ponder, Mike & Carol Burton 24] Jason & Seja Foster 25] Kimberly & Marlene Arne

Photo credit: Marcy Baumgartner/ Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company; Dixie Yelvington/Yellowstone Art Museum; Jodi Grant/ Alberta Bair Theater; Michelle Dawson/Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale; Kevin Kooistra/ Western Heritage Center; Camilla McCullough/ YWCA

CORRECTION: The Seen at the Scene section of the May/June 2015 issue did not include a photo credit for Christopher Casey, who took photos at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company’s PintAid event. We apologize for the error.



Art Walk at Yellowstone Art Museum’s Visible Vault




26] Jen & Jordan Webber & Louis Habbeck 27] Pat McInerney, Nathan & Jessie Perius, Sara Ridgeway

Paint ‘n’ Sip with Jon Lodge

28] Derek Swenson, Mariah Carpenter & Kat Gar 29] Phillip & Carol Cowan 30] Stella Fong, Val Jeffries, Kim Olson & Suzanne Belser

30 29

Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale’s Maetra’s Reception

31] Rich Gonzales, Taylor Shea, Anne Harringan, Rebeca Strong & Rosie Weiss 32] Dr. Allan Muskett, Greg Piper & Matt Redinger 33] Jim Gutenkauf, Lynn Marquardt, Bill Mercer, Candy Holzer, Donna Sharp Geurin & Dr. Mike Geurin




“Speaking of Immigration” Exhibit


34] Sydney Bergthold, Meglena Wahrlich, Monica Moss & Erika Wegner 35] Ryan Waples, Kasey Grisanti, Guy Liautaud, Trayson Marker & Jake Bradford 36] Amaya Garcia Costas & Wojtek Krakowiak with his two daughters

35 34


YVAS PintAid

37] Allison Martin, Kati Grove, Kelsey Dwyer & Jessica Engle 38] Cain, Aaron & Stefan Flores, David Banuelos & Brian Bondietti Oscar 39] Emily Vasta & Blaze Johnson




Magic City Blues I

July 30 – August 2

For 14 years, Billings has been host to the Magic City Blues— Montana’s urban music festival. While it started on Montana Avenue, the venue has expanded to include the campus of St. John’s Lutheran Ministries and South Park. For three days and four nights, festival-goers are entrenched in blues, including 2015 headliners Buddy Guy, John Fogerty, Lucinda Williams and Los Lobos. Attend one—or all.


Thru September 6 The Weft of Time: Border to Border Yellowstone Art Museum Thru September 27 Art in Action & The Other Side of Midnight: Paintings and Prints by Adolf Dehn Yellowstone Art Museum

Thru October 18 The Botanical Series: Photographs by Gerald Lang and Jennifer Anne Tucker Yellowstone Art Museum July 17—19 Big Sky State Games July 18 Montana Brews & BBQs Chiesa Plaza at MetraPark

Thru October 1 Thursdays Healthy By Design Farmers’ Market South Park Thru October 3 Saturdays Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market Under Skypoint yellowstonevalleyfarmersmarket Thru October 3 Chief and Warriors: Photogravures by Edward S. Curtis Bair Family Museum

July 18 Brickhouse Yellowstone Valley Brewing July 17-19 & 24-26 The Wizard of Oz NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

July 19 Family Fun Day ZooMontana July 20 Jim Adkins, The Velvet Teen Pub Station

Walk and Talk with Botanist Megan Poulette Audubon Conservation Education Center Alive After 5: Repeat Offenders Montana Brewing Company

July 20-26 Crazy Days Downtown Billings

My Body Sings, Lotus Crush Pub Station

July 21 John Butler Trio Babcock Theatre 1111

July 23-24 Shakespeare in the Parks Pioneer Park

Lucero Pub Station

July 23-25 BMW Motorcycle Rally MetraPark

PintAid Billings Art Space Project Yellowstone Valley Brewing

July 23-25 Red Ants Pants Music Festival

July 23 Midlife Chryslers St. John’s Summer Concert Series Open Studio: In the Garden Yellowstone Art Museum Open Late Night ZooMontana

July 25 62nd Annual Mexican Fiesta & 19th Annual Fiesta Car Show South Park & Guadalupe Church Hall 406-259-7611 Walk and Talk at ZooMontana’s Sensory Garden ZooMontana Broken Arrow Pub Station

Pop Evil, Red Sun Rising Pub Station July 26 Ryan Bingham, Turnpike Troubadours Babcock Theatre Mötley Crüe with Alice Cooper Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark July 27 Downtown Night with the Mustangs Dehler Park July 28 PintAid Tumbleweed Program Yellowstone Valley Brewing July 29 Casey Donahew Band Pub Station Kyle Gass Band Carlin Events Center July 30 Alive After 5: Brickhouse Band Don Luis


Dirty Dash I

August 29 - MetraPark

Revert to your childhood in this military-style-obstaclecourse-turns-swine-fest. Run, climb, slip and slide, laughing all the way, to the finish, with a complete lack of shame— and cleanliness. We double-dog dare you! Photo by Bob Zellar

Open Studio: Build-a-Vault Yellowstone Art Museum Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience Pub Station Guthrie Brown & The Family Tree St. John’s Summer Concert Series July 30 – August 2 Magic City Blues Various locations July 31 Paint ‘n’ Sip with Louis Habeck Yellowstone Art Museum


August 1 2015 Climb to Conquer Cancer Red Lodge Dollar Day Yellowstone Art Museum Hinder Pub Station

August 2 Pedal Past Stigma ZooMontana International Friendship Day Yellowstone Art Museum August 5 American Aquarium Pub Station August 6 Moonshine Bandits Pub Station Rasputina Yellowstone Valley Brewing Alive After 5: HubbaHubba Northern Hotel August 7 ArtWalk Downtown Billings JAM at the YAM Yellowstone Art Museum AWOLNATION with New Politics Rimrock Auto Park at MetraPark


August 7-8 Billings YMCA 3x3 Summer Classic Billings YMCA August 7-15 MontanaFair MetraPark

August 13 Alive After 5: Lil’ Smokies The Fieldhouse The Music of Patsy Cline St. John’s Summer Concert Series at St. John's Campus

August 8 LemonZooade Day ZooMontana

August 13-15 Yellowstone River Roundup PRCA Rodeo Grandstands at MetraPark

Lynryd Skynyrd with Blue Oyster Cult Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark

August 14 Rodney Carrington Alberta Bair Theater

August 9 6th Annual Downtown Crit Skypoint Martina McBride with Brett Eldredge Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark August 11 Supercross Grandstands at MetraPark PintAid Billings Tennis Assn. Yellowstone Valley Brewing

Sir Mix-A-Lot Pub Station Zoo Open Late Night ZooMontana August 15 Quality of Life Run Downtown Billings Scott Pemberton Band Yellowstone Valley Brewing August 18 PintAid Montana Wildlfie Federation

Yellowstone Valley Brewing August 20 Alive After 5: Midlife Chryslers South Park August 21 Billings Clinic Classic’s Women’s Golf Tournament Laurel Golf Club August 25 PintAid Alternative Energy Resourses Org Yellowstone Valley Brewing August 26 Dead Winter Carpenters Pub Station August 27 2015 YoungLife Clay Shoot Billings Rod & Gun Club Billings Clinic Classic’s Open Golf Tournament Powder Horn Country Club Alive After 5: John Roberts Y Pan Blanco Pub Mahon’s August 28 Billings Clinic Classic’s Open Golf Tournament

MARKETPLACE Briarwood Country Club August 29 Billings Clinic Classic’s Street Party & Concert Downtown Billings/ Alberta Bair Theater Dirty Dash MetraPark Magic City Rollers Montana Pavilion at MetraPark


September 1 PintAid Montana Wildlfie Federation Yellowstone Valley Brewing September 3 Josh Turner Alberta Bair Theater Burn the Point Downtown Billings & MetraPark September 5 Dollar Day Yellowstone Art Museum September 11 All Hands on Deck! Alberta Bair Theater September 11-13; 18-20 & 25-26 It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues NOVA Center for the Performing Arts September 11-26 Don’t Dress for Dinner Billings Studio Theatre

September 13 Bridal Fair Yellowstone Art Museum September 16 John Hiatt Alberta Bair Theater September 17-20 All Nations Indian Relay Championship Grandstands at MetraPark

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September 18 Montana Audubon Center’s Evening Under the Big Sky Yellowstone Country Club September 19-20 & 27-28 Parade of Homes September 25 Miranda Lambert Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark Magic City Rollers Montana Pavilion at MetraPark September 26 Wine Stomp Yellowstone Cellars


October 2 ArtWalk Downtown Billings The Beach Boys Alberta Bair Theater October 6 Marilyn: Forever Blonde Alberta Bair Theater October 7 Elton John Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark

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including prep and college sports extras. MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE I AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 I 129

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