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A Seasonal Epicurean Experience 3 Local Chefs Share

The Definitive Montana Ski Guide 5 World-Class Resorts


The Year’s Most Inspiring People

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 1

Facial Plastics

Give the gift of beauty Non-surgical cosmetic procedures Botox Injections – relaxes fine lines around the eyes and forehead, helps prevent wrinkles from worsening and lasts 3 to 4 months. Dermal Fillers Radiesse – provides a volumizing filler, creating immediate lift to diminish signs of aging. Provides structure and stimulates growth of your own natural collagen. Immediate and long lasting. Juvederm – enhances the lips or the lines around the lips. Sculptra Aesthetic – corrects shallow to deep facial wrinkles, folds between the nose and the mouth (nasolabial folds) also called smile lines, the lines framing your mouth (marionette lines), and chin wrinkles.

Hair Reduction Treatments – permanently removes hair from the face (except around eyes), back, chest, arms, underarms, bikini lines, and legs. Comfortable, cost-effective, and fast. Skin Rejuvenation – clears unwanted pigment and blood vessels for radiant, clear skin. Transforms your looks for the better, and lets you return to your normal activities right away. Skin Resurfacing – quickly and easily improves the appearance of age spots, sun damage, skin tone and texture, wrinkles, surgical scars, acne scars, and stretch marks.

Skin care products and makeup are available with FREE consults.

For more information or to make an appointment for a consultation, call 238-2500, ext. 4653 or 1-800-332-7156 2 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC

Gift Certificates available

FREE chemical peel with a non-surgical procedure appointment. Scan code with smartphone to download coupon

Dr. Matthew Wolpoe, is double board certified in Facial Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery and in Ear, Nose, and Throat (Otolaryngology).

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 3

Happy Holidays! We Unite Buyers & Sellers

Your Home is Our Business! Jeanne Peterson 661-3941

Mimi Parkes 698-6980

Sheila Larsen 672-1130

Karen Frank 698-0152

Cal Northam 696-1606

Victoria Brauer-Konitz 855-2856

Ginger Nelson 697-4667

Maya Burton 591-0106

Linda Wedel 855-6540

Larry Larsen 672-7884

CC Egeland 690-1843

Rhonda Grimm 661-7186

Amber Uhren 670-1942

Pat Schindele 591-2551

Phil Cox 670-4782

Leann Zahn 672-5432

Lance Egan 698-0008

Ron Thom 860-1284

Haws Moore Team Barb Haws 860-8198 Gina Moore 545-9036

Dan & Stephanie Patterson 321-0759


1550 Poly Drive • Billings, MT 59102

w w w. f l o b e r g . c o m 4 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC

Gregory Propp 647-5858

Ed & Judy Workman 690-0567

Sali Armstrong 698-2520


Holiday Feast Ideas Three Local Chefs and Bartenders Share Their Favorite Specialties

33 Harper & Madison

Chai-spiced honey cake

34 Cafe DeCamp


36 Cafe Italia

Seared duck breast

48 Little Gurus: A Guide to being Happy The Definitive Montana Ski Guide 50 Casting Hope 56

Katherine Berman

Karen Kinser

How Megan Harmon found hope and healing in the waters of the Ruby River.

Allyn Hulteng

62 Whatever the Weather, Simon Knows Snow Biz: A primer on our love/hate 66 relationship with the white stuff

Allyson Gierke

Laura Tode & Katherine Berman


A Seasonal Epicurean Experience 3 Local Chefs Share

The Definitive Montana Ski Guide 5 World-Class Resorts


On the Cover

The Year’s Most Inspiring People

HOLIDAY 2011 MC_45_HOL011COV.indd 1

11/8/2011 5:03:33 PM

Dessert by Joanie Swords of Harper & Madison. Photography by James Woodcock.

73 Most Inspiring People of 2011 88 It’s My Life, Coach Allyn Hulteng & Brenda Maas

Craig Lancaster

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The List: Fun, fascinating finds..................................................................................11 Giving Back: Vintners with Heart.....................................................................16


Artist Loft: Carol Hagan.................................................................................................18 Featured Block: Downtown Billings...........................................................20 Elements: Spa-ahhhhh!....................................................................................................22 20

Media Room: Reads, tunes, DVDs and technology....................24 SIGNATURE SECTION

Fine Living Great Estates: Colonial Christmas..........................................26





Montana Perspectives Legends: Christmas on the Homestead...............................42 I’m Just Sayin’: The Long and Lumpy Road............44 Photojournal: A Time to Give Thanks..............................46 In every issue

Editor’s Letter: No Time to Lose........................................................................ 8 Contributors...................................................................................................................................... 9 Seen at the Scene................................................................................................................91 DateBook.............................................................................................................................................95 Last Word: 31 Days of Giving..............................................................................98

6 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC

Why Magic City? 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.

Holiday 2011

Michael Gulledge



Publisher 657-1225


Allyn Hulteng Editor 657-1434 Bob Tambo Creative Director 657-1474 Brittany Cremer Senior Editor 657-1390 Dina Brophy Assistant Editor 657-1490 Katherine Berman Assistant Editor 657-1367 Evelyn Noennig Assistant Editor 657-1226


Larry Mayer, David Grubbs, James Woodcock, Casey Page, Bob Zellar, Paul Ruhter Photographers

Kyle Rickhoff, Preston Stahley

Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Evaluation for Pain Management

Online Web Designers


Dave Worstell Sales & Marketing Director 657-1352 Ryan Brosseau Classified & Online Manager 657-1340 Bonnie Ramage Sales Manager 657-1202 Linsay Duty Advertising Coordinator 657-1254 Nadine Bittner Lead Graphic Artist 657-1286

Orthopedic Musculoskeletal Neurological Institute

• Re-evaluating the Problem • Offering Technically Advanced Solutions • Minimal Access, Maximal Gain

MAGIC Advisory Board

Jim Duncan, Brian M. Johnson, Denice Johnson, Nicki Larson, Susan Riplett Contact us: Mail: 401 N. Broadway, Billings, MT 59101 Find us online at our newly redesigned website Find us at various rack locations throughout Billings: including area Albertson’s, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Hastings Books, Music & Video, Holiday Stationstores and Gainan’s. 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

• Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery for Neck & Back Pain • Comprehensive Spine Care • Outpatient Spine Surgery • Artificial Cervical and Lumbar Disc

• Laser Disc Surgery • Endoscopic Disc Reconstruction • Spinal Cord Stimulation for Complete Pain Management

Magic City is published five times a year by Billings Gazette Communications Copyright© 2011 Magic City Magazine All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written consent is prohibited.

Correction In the September 2011 issue of Magic Magazine, the article titled Urban Cowboy had photos with captions that misidentified the people.We are deeply sorry for this error.

IN MONTANA 2877 Overland Avenue, Ste. C Billings, MT 59102


IN WYOMING 424 Yellowstone Avenue, Ste. 140 Cody, WY 82414

866-651-8197 MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 7


this issue

No time to lose Here’s a question for you: How much money is one hour of your life worth? I don’t mean how much is your hourly salary – we all have to work for a living. Rather, how much cash would someone have to give you in order for you to agree to shorten your life by one hour? Would you take $100,000? $1 million? By what measure do you calculate the value of your time?

Minutes count Time is a sort of currency. Each of us is allocated a certain amount of time which we get to spend as we please. But there is a catch. Unlike your bank account, none of us knows exactly how much of this currency we have in our life account. It’s a truth that often gets overlooked in the rush of daily life. Only when we have a full accounting of exactly how much time is left in our bank do we realize life’s true value.

What if... Billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens knows the value of time. Several years ago, Pickens gave the commencement address to his grandson’s graduating class during which he made a thought-provoking offer: Pickens would give his $3 billion, his Gulfstream airplane, his sixtyeight-thousand acre ranch along with all of the rest of his vast holdings to one of the young graduates. But, Pickens noted, there was a price. The person taking the trade would have to agree to be seventy-nine years old and Pickens would be eighteen again. “You have the best seat in the house. I would trade everything I have for it,” Pickens told the students. In the end, there were no takers.

Spend wisely Have you figured out how to calculate the cash value of one hour of your time? Me neither. But I’m fairly certain the value doesn’t lie in an

8 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC

arbitrary dollar amount. Nor is it reflected in our possessions or net worth. Even T. Boone Pickens – one of the wealthiest people on earth – would not hesitate to trade all his worldly goods for a chance to live his life over again. And Pickens knows a bargain when he sees it. In truth, the value of your time lies in the relationships you build, in love and laughter and secrets shared. Your life echoes in the memories you create, the gifts of generosity you choose to give, kindnesses to strangers. A life well-lived means you have forever made a difference in the lives of others, and there is no price on the feeling it will leave in your heart.

The best gift More than any other time of year, the holidays remind us of the importance of our family and friends. Yet in the quest for the perfect Hallmark moment we often squander precious hours on things that really don’t matter. This holiday season, do yourself a favor and let the little stuff go, because the most priceless gift you have to give is your time. And how you spend it really does matter.

Allyn Hulteng

From all of us at Magic City Magazine, may the season bring you good health, time with those you love and leave peace at your door.


Brenda Maas Writing a feature article is like putting together a puzzle of interesting and intricate pieces-- each a fascinating story on its own. At least that’s how Brenda Maas sees it. A relative newcomer to Billings (in Montana terms), she was raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm and moved West with her college love, Brett. Now she divides her time between various writing ventures, cycling country roads and parenting their three school-age sons. Craig Lancaster is the Gazette’s copy desk chief and the author of two novels, “600 Hours of Edward” and “The Summer Son.” His new book, a collection of short stories called “Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure,” comes out in December 2011. Please see his website, 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 Allyson Gierke returned to her native Montana in

1999, after living and working in Europe and the Middle East for 15 years. She is now embarking on travel writing, since she still wanders the globe with alarming frequency, and is on a first name basis with most of the TSA staff at Billings Logan Airport.


Laura Tode started her writing career more than a

decade ago at a small weekly newspaper. She went on to write for the Helena Independent Record and the Billings Gazette. She’s now working as a full-time freelance writer based in Red Lodge. Her stories have been featured in numerous local and regional publications. When not on deadline, she can be found fishing nearby rivers or hiking with her dogs in the Beartooth Mountains.

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, photographing, 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.



/lilsproutsbygainans Photo: Jana Graham Photography

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 9



Center for Knee and Hip Replacement

St. Vincent Healthcare has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement® by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana. What does this designation mean for you? Patients who receive specialty treatment at Blue Distinction Centers have shown better overall results, such as fewer medical complications and fewer readmissions. It’s proven and it’s clear. For more information, contact our Orthopedic Care Coordinator, 406-237-7005.

THE HEALING POWER OF EXCELLENCE. Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means this facility’s overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan.


Fun, fascinating finds, perfect for giving this season By Dina Brophy • Photography by Casey Page

Have a holiday that makes scents

These mountain crisp scents from Thymes capture the fresh, just-cut fragrance of the tree itself. Gainan’s Frasier Fir potpourri – $29 Frasier Fir candle, 6.5 oz with lid – $17 Frasier Fir candle 9oz. – $35 Pinecone Reed Diffuser Set – $37

Touchy-feely gloves for your smart devices Have it on the rocks ... literally

Teroforma Whisky Stones™ includes two Avva Tumblers and a set of six whisky stones. Just add three chilled stones to your next dram, let stand for five minutes and enjoy.

Touchscreen Compatible gloves from Manzella feature a moisture-wicking fleece inside and a water shedding outer surface. TouchTip™ allows you to use touch screen technology without removing your gloves. Base Camp, $30

Experience history­

Captured by the lenses of top photographers, these 98 Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, combined with photo-timelines, paint a dramatic and memorable montage of each year, from World War II to the last days of the 20th Century. Yellowstone Art Museum - $35

Joy of Living - $60

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 11

Fun, fascinating finds, perfect for giving this season

The day the music comes alive

Ring in the New Year at the Alberta Bair Theater with one of America’s most enduring singersongwriters, Don McLean. Since first hitting the charts in 1971, McLean has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

Quote-on-a-box from Springsteen to Dickenson

From Houston Llew, Spiritiles are molten glass on copper art collectibles that capture the spirit of the enlightened moment. Spiritiles bring luminous imagery to life with timeless ideas and quotes written on their golden sides. 6° gourmet - $98

ABT - $25-$51

Finger-pickin’ good

Give the gift of music with this acoustic electric guitar from Takamine’s G-Series. Designed and built under the supervision of Takamine’s head luthiers, G-Series guitars are treated to serve all players from the hobbyist to the professional. And don’t forget the lessons! Hansen’s Music Guitar - $510 Lessons - $20 for ½ hour

Digitize your pre-digital images

The Wolverine SNaP is a powerful yet simple-to-use device for preserving all your old photos, 35 mm slides and negatives forever. The design combines a built-in color screen, internal memory and SD memory card reader to convert 35 mm slides, negatives and photos into digital images in seconds and without a computer. - $115

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Treasure State elegance

Perfect pairings of colored stones with fine metals work together to create stunning works of art and adornment. The necklaces, designs from Steve Morse of Van Rensselaer Jewelers, are part of a collection called “Stars Over Montana,” featuring Montana yogo sapphires set in fourteen karat white gold. The bracelet is eighteen karat white gold with sapphires and diamonds. Van Rensselaer Jewelers Necklace (left) - $13,098 Necklace (right) - $6,998 Bracelet - $12,995        

Sweaters that scream style

Fashionable and fun to wear, the navy cable women’s cardigan from Maison Scotch is rich in classic detail – pin included. And for the men, a hand-crafted quality knit crew with handkerchief from Scotch & Soda. Marcasa Women’s - $169, Men’s - $93

1430 Grand Ave.


Mon-Fri 9-6 • Sat 10-5

Fun, fascinating finds, perfect for giving this season

Start your engines ... from inside your home or office

Stay toasty inside while your car gets to your ideal temperature with a 1-Way Remote Engine Start from Avital®. This convenient remote start is the smallest-size Avital® remote ever, but offers huge convenience on cold winter mornings. Good Vibrations - $90

Traction perfection

The art of cutlery and writing

Stay on your feet when you walk, work and play this winter. ICEtrekkers feature a revolutionary patented diamond bead design providing hundreds of biting edges for superior traction in all snow and ice conditions.

William Henry’s pocket knives stand as one of the finest in the world; timeless designs realized through a unique and complex production process that brings together tradition, technology and materials in perfect symmetry and balance. Not about status, William Henry is devoted to style and substance, art and utility, realized one tool at a time. Goldsmith Gallery Jewelers Ebonite Writing Pen - $600 Ironwood & Ruby Pocket Knife - $1,250 Sterling Silver and Sapphire Pocket Knife - $1,450

Base Camp, $42

Wine aerating made simple

Wine needs to breathe. As wine breathes, it opens up and releases its intended aromas and flavors. The more you appreciate wine, the more you’ll appreciate the contribution this wine aerator from Vinturi makes for enhanced flavor and a smoother finish. Simply Wine - $40

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Disposable style

MYdrap-real fabric napkins and placemats are the only brand of 100 percent cotton napkins that come on a roll. Like their paper counterparts, they tear off, but can be re-used up to six times. MYdrap napkins have countless uses: a children’s party, a formal dinner, a patio luncheon, a cocktail party, on your boat, at the cabin, or even as guest towels in your powder room. - $26 to $34

Become a kitchen Ninja

This Classic compact set from Shun provides the core knives that every home chef needs. Shun Classic’s feature beautiful Damascus-clad blades and D-shaped ebony PakkaWood® handles. Behind the knives’ beauty is function: razor-sharp blades offering the most extreme performance possible. Copper Colander - $270

“Where’s that wascally, wabbit?”

Get your Fudd on. Made of rugged Mackinaw Wool and natural sheepskin, the Double Mackinaw Cap from Filson is durable and provides superior warmth for cold Montana winters. Billings Army Navy Surplus - $60

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 15

By Stella Fong

Vintners with Heart At a time when charitable giving is harmonious with the season, investigate the growing number of vintners who are producing wines that connect with a cause. When consumers purchase one of these bottles, they not only enjoy a well-crafted beverage but they help support an important mission. One such wine is the Sangiovese Rosé, bottled by Clint Peck, founder of Yellowstone Cellars and Winery. On the label Peck tosses out a nononsense challenge: Tough enough to drink pink? For each bottle sold, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the EVA Project, which provides free digital mammograms to uninsured women over age 40. Cline Cellars, a family owned and operated winery since 1982, recently partnered with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), committing to a minimum of $25,000 to help provide educational resources and support services to women affected by the disease. A portion of sales from their signature red wine, Cline Cashmere, will go toward this effort. Trapper Peak Winery and Jarhead Wine Company salute our servicemen and women. Trapper Peak Winery, located in Darby, Mont., makes American Merlot that honors our armed forces. Ten percent of all proceeds from this wine to go to charitable organizations that aid the families of fallen heroes. Jarhead Wine Company makes Jarhead Red, a California red table wine that supports the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. David Georges with flipflop Wines boasts that his wines are “flippin’ good and don’t break the bank.” Going one step further, Georges has also partnered with Soles4Souls. For every bottle of flipflop wine sold, Soles4Souls will distribute a pair of shoes to someone in need. Soles4Souls is a charity that collects gently-used shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and personal donations to distribute to people in 127 countries around the globe. The next time you browse the shelves of your favorite wine store, consider purchasing a wine that gives back to others.

Stella Fong divides her time between Billings and Big Sky where she writes, cooks and teaches. Recently she received a Robert Parker Scholarship for continuing studies at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

These wines, available locally, give back to important causes: Cline Cellars

flipflop Wines

Cashmere Red Wine, California, 2009 This blended wine exudes notes of chocolate, red berries and plums. Benefits: Living Beyond Breast Cancer Available at City Vineyard, $14

Cabernet Sauvignon, California, 2009 Full-bodied with flavors of dark cherries and blueberries, licorice and black pepper with some tannins and a long finish. Benefits: Soles4Souls Available at Simply Wine, $7

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Jarhead Wine Company

Trapper Peak Winery

Yellowstone Cellars and Winery

Red Table Wine, California, 2008 A lovely blend that offers blackberry and cassis flavors with wood notes and a long spicy finish. Benefits: Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Available at City Vineyard, $14

American Merlot, Montana A chewy, robust wine with dark berry, plums and mocha. Benefits: Armed Forces Available at City Vineyard, $23

Sangiovese Rosé, Washington Pretty salmon pink-colored wine with citrus and raspberry aromas. Flavors of citrus peel, apples, peaches and cream soda. Benefits: EVA Project Available at Simply Wine, $26




TREE YARD OPEN November 25


3175 Grand Avenue • 652-3877

Carol Hagan Book Signing Dec. 9th 5pm—8pm Rimrock Art & Frame Get the latest news, photos and videos from the park.

text “Yellowstone” to 724-665 or visit to learn more.

1070 South 24th StreetWest Just South of Dos Machos 652-3455

R I M R O C K Art & Frame

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 17

By Anna Paige • Photography by Casey Page

Carol Hagan Colorful Intoxication

The beauty of a Carol Hagan painting cannot be quantified, rather its allure rests in the vivid color, thick texture and visual honesty her artwork offers. When Hagan paints, the eyes of her subject are the first to emerge – bright, spirited, they are the gateway to understanding Hagan’s work. Through these expressive eyes, Hagan communicates the soul of her animal subjects. Hagan begins her work by building a relationship with the animal, photographing it and working from the photographs to capture the essence of their interaction. Such a process makes Hagan’s animal subjects spring from the canvas, their personality further heightened through her use of color. “Color is intoxicating to work with,” Hagan said. “I’ve always worked with as many colors as I could get my hands on.” Hagan, a self-taught artist, describes vibrant color as the backbone of her work. She began painting in acrylics, but she switched to oils to achieve richness and viscosity only oil paint can provide. With the support of her husband Pat, Hagan moved her studio from the family kitchen to a workspace at“Color is tached to the couple’s home intoxicating to south of Billings, and she has been working in the work with, I’ve medium of oil ever since. always worked Hagan’s studio is crowded with works in with as many process. Baby barn owls peer colors as I could out from the canvas, their majesty captured in layer get my hands on.” upon layer of warmly-colored oils. Animated bears, their disheveled fur carved from palette knife strokes, gaze from the canvas. And horses, their dignified faces conveying much personality, evolve in the workspace. Hagan describes herself as fortunate to live in a pastoral setting

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where beauty and inspiration are in such abundance. “Horses are such an elegant animal; I’ve always been drawn to them. Bears too are a favorite of mine. They have such personalities, and their coats lend themselves incredibly well to experimenting with different colors.” To achieve such rich texture and color, Hagan’s paintings have upwards of 30 layers of paint, so she rotates the art around her studio, working on a handful at a time as others dry. “Painting is a slow process for me,” Hagan said, explaining that a painting will often take three weeks to complete. “The fun part is building it up and then standing back and taking my time with it.” Describe your process of painting.

I try not to box myself in by trying to duplicate someone else’s style. When you look at someone’s work and can say, “That’s a Kevin Red Star,” or “That’s Rocky Hawkins” just by a glance, it’s because that work comes out of them uninhibited, and it’s their personal style. Like them, I paint by feel; it’s more of an expression. What led you into painting?

I picked up the paintbrush purely as a form of self-expression. I did not have any intention of selling my paintings or showing them; they were just for me. Someone saw one and asked if they could buy it. It took me by surprise. I loved painting and just the fact that someone would want to have it on their wall meant a lot to me … I really didn’t think it would evolve into a full-time business.

Giving Back and The Art of Carol Hagan: Select Works in Oils 2006 - 2011





1] “Rain in the Beartooths” 2] “The Beekeeper” 3] “Zues” 4] “Moon Worshipper”

Hagan’s original works are on display in art galleries in Bozeman, Livingston, Whitefish, Red Lodge, Jackson Hole and Santa Fe, and her

Billings-based artist Carol Hagan and her husband and business partner, Pat Hagan, have made a habit of giving back. The couple estimates they work with more than 100 charitable organizations each year, giving what they can – including prints of Hagan’s vibrant oil paintings – to support fundraising efforts. “We both strongly feel that it is important to give back and pay it forward,” said Hagan. “We’ve been very blessed, and we’d like to help people in any way we can.” Three years ago when the Hagans found out Pat had Parkinson’s disease, the couple set their philanthropic minds to work. Together they began focusing their charitable efforts toward the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which seeks to raise awareness, build funding and find a cure for the debilitating disease. “There are a lot of people around us that have this disease, but people don’t like to talk about it,” Pat said. “I want people to understand, be willing to ask questions and bring a public awareness to it.” This year the Hagans set a fundraising goal of $15,000; already they have exceeded that amount by an astonishing $30,000. To cap their fundraising efforts for the year, the Hagans announced a raffle for an original painting or a one of three limited edition prints, with all proceeds going to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. After overwhelming response to the initial raffle—for which all 500 tickets sold out within a day—the Hagans announced a second raffle of seven limited edition prints. Raffle winners will be announced on Dec. 15. Additionally, Hagan is hosting a book signing to coincide with the release of her first book, The Art of Carol Hagan: Select Works in Oils 2006 – 2011. The book, released in October 2011, features more than 100 select oil paintings from private and corporate collections, as well as a handful from Hagan’s personal collection. “These paintings represent some of my favorites from that period of time,” Hagan said. “I wanted to show the evolution of my process, and how the pieces have developed in form and color. These works are a good representation of that process.” A number of limited edition books are available that include a giclée print of one of Hagan’s works on watercolor paper, as well as an original sketch to the cover page. The book signing takes place from 5 – 8 p.m. on Dec. 9 at Rimrock Art and Frame. Call Carol Hagan Studios at 800-249-5596 or email to purchase raffle tickets or a copy of the book.

prints can be viewed at Rimrock Art and Frame in Billings. For gallery listings or to contact Hagan, visit

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1. Marcasa

100 No. Broadway An inspired mix of American-made denim, casual separates, European designer labels and boutique clothing for men and women.

2. Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters

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and assessment and estimated replacement value for jewelry items.

4. Cricket Clothing Co.

2814 2nd Ave. No. Offers quality, fine women’s clothing and accessories in the heart of downtown Billings.

123 No. Broadway For more than 80 years, Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters has been providing quality boots, hats and western clothing for the entire family. With 10,000 pairs of brand name cowboy boot in stock, there’s always a fit for everyone.

5. Meridian Boutique

3. Montague’s Jewelers

2819 2nd Ave. No. Desmonds carries a full line of contemporary, name-brand men’s clothing. You’ll find sportswear, suits, sport coats and much more … everything for today’s sophisticated shopper.

2810 2nd Ave. No. Montague’s Jewelers has been a fine jewelry retailer since 1937. They provide all jewelry services including custom design, jewelry repair, watch and clock repair, watch battery replacement, jewelry cleaning

2818 2nd Ave. No. Meridian Boutique offers a terrific selection of contemporary, chic women’s clothing and designer fashions.

6. Desmonds Store for Men

Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters Montague’s Jewelers 20 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC





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Shopping, dining, culture all in one place.

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The Soup Place

5th St.

12. Billings Army Navy Surplus Store

7. Gypsy Wind

202 No. 29th St. A eclectic boutique offering women’s clothes, costume jewelry, purses and home décor – all with a Western flair.

8. Montana Vintage Clothing

110 No. 29th St. Montana Vintage Clothing carries an inventory of vintage and retro Western shirts, original Victorian clothing, an assortment of vintage materials and yard goods, swing dresses and rockabilly outfits … some of which have never been worn.

9. Barjon’s Books Music & Gifts 223 No. 29th St. Since 1977 Barjon’s Books has been Billings’ source for books, music and gifts that nurture the mind, body and spirit. Barjon’s, a place for exploration, relaxation, community and fun, celebrates diversity of spirituality and culture.

15 No. 29th St. Billings Army Navy Surplus Store is the largest Army Navy surplus store in the Northwest. They are your most complete source for work wear, camping gear, hunting equipment, name brand clothing, genuine military surplus and more.


footwear footwear

13. Alberta Bair Theater

2801 3rd Ave. No. The Alberta Bair Theater is the largest fully equipped performing arts center in the region. The 1400 seat venue showcases professional touring companies, featuring musician, dance, and theater performances, as well as local performing groups.

14. Bin 119

119 No. Broadway An American bistro and wine bar, Bin 119 offers the highest quality seasonal dishes with a first-class wine and beer selection.

15. Hooligan’s Sports Bar

10. neecees

2821 2nd Ave. No. Newly remodeled, neecee’s is an uptown boutique that carries contemporary style clothing and accessories for women.

11. The Soup Place

106 No. Broadway Famous for serving great homemade soups, sandwiches and salads, The Soup Place has been serving the downtown lunch crowd for more than five years. ‘The Soup Place After Five Menu’ includes dinner entrees made to pair beautifully with a great selection of wines and beers. 

109 No. Broadway Hooligan’s Sports Bar lays claim to being “the best damn sports bar … period!” They feature over 20 brand new LED HDTV’s and the largest big screen in the state. Enjoy some of the best wings and burgers in town and an ice cold beer while you catch the game.

16. Babcock Theater

2008-2012 2nd Ave. No. The Babcock Theater has been immersed in renovation for the past several years. With many upgrades and additions, the Babcock is once again a viable performance venue in the heart of downtown.

1730 Grand Ave • 248-4555 1730 Grand Ave • 248-4555

Barjon’s Books Music & Gifts

M - F 9:30am - 8:00pm Sat M - F9:30am 9:30am- -6:00pm 8:00pm Sun9:30am 11:00am - 5pm Sat - 6:00pm Sun 11:00am - 5pm

Billings Army Navy Surplus Store MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 21

By Dina Brophy


Relaxation ideas for your home spa Spicy Scent Box

Soothing, Soaker Bath

From Esteban Paris, the Scented Box from the Ambre collection gracefully uses oil-infused ceramic pieces, golden pearls and colored recycled glass to retain the scent of the Orient.

Kohler’s Aliento freestanding bath’s whimsical, free-flowing lines and powers to soothe make it a perfect centerpiece for your contemporary bath. The two-person design and sculpted lumbar support allow for truly immersive soaking

Joy of Living Scented Box, $39 Refresher Oil, $16

Ferguson, $6,750

Ultimate Face Cleanser Pro Sonic Skin Cleansing for Face & Body from Clarisonic® gently removes embedded dirt and oil, resulting in healthier, more beautiful skin. Sanctuary Spa, $225

Hottie Neck Wrap Relax, unwind and pamper your body with Hottie, a Natural buckwheat therapy pack from Bucky. Microwave for toasty penetrating warmth or chill in the freezer for a refreshing cold pack. Gainans, $46

Dream Weaver Kit (sold separately) Dream in the luxury of silk with this 100% silk, travel-sized pillow case from DreamSacks. Scandia Down, $18

Relax and unwind naturally with organic lavender flowers, and load the CD player with the ultimate in audio relaxation. The Stillness Inside features the meditation music of Paul Horn, or let your imagination lead the way with Meditations to Relieve Stress by psychotherapist, Belleruth Naparstek, M.A., L.I.S.W. Barjon’s Books Music & Gifts Lavendar, $2.10 for ½ oz. Horn CD, $18 - Naparstek CD, $20

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Plush Robe & Slippers (sold separately)

The ultra luxe Antalya terry robe brings the spa experience home. Created with the softest Turkish cotton, it is exceptionally lofty, plush and absorbent. Ideally paired with Sferra charcoal-colored pure cashmere slippers and eye mask. Scandia Down Robe, $160 Slippers/Mask Travel Kit, $79

“Answers for Living When Life is Limited”

Hospice Care is 100% paid by Medicare/Medicaid and most private insurance

Luxurious Towels

Indulge in softness and simplicity with this 100% combed cotton Sferra towel made in Belgium. These towels, in white and iron, are woven from the finest cotton, provide superior absorbency and luxurious softness. Scandia Down, $59 each  

Fresh Scents & Soaps

Linen Water from Le Blanc adds soft fragrance to linens and apparel giving way to a renewed and refreshed feeling for days. Lather up with lusciously-scented Pre de Provence soap, hard-milled to be longlasting with shea butter and pure vegetable oils to moisturize, or luxurious Yves Delorme milk soap by Provence. Scandia Down Linen Water, $20 Pre de Provence Soap - $9 Yves Delorme Milk Soap, $8

Why Choose Rocky Mountain Hospice? The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s recent Family Evaluation Survey scored RMH at 100% satisfaction in the following categories: SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT

Pain 100% Respiratory 100% Anxiety 100%

When asked, 100% of our patients’ families would recommend Rocky Mountain Hospice to others

Billings Bozeman Butte Helena

406-294-0785 406-556-0640 406-494-6114 406-442-2214 MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 23

By Katherine Berman


Have Yourself a Merry Rasta Christmas

Give the gift of gourmet freshness by “leasing” Mother Nature’s bounty. This unique gifting concept allows you to “rent” a cow, beehive or coffee tree from a New England Farm. Your recipient will receive updated progress reports and, upon harvest time, their due cheese, honey or coffee along with a beautifully embossed certificate commemorating their lease. Rent Mother Nature offers a wide variety of gift baskets and leases, including pier-fresh Maine Lobster. The delicious food is grown using only natural and sustainable farming methods, and your lease will support small, independent family farms. MOVIES/DVD

“White Christmas”

This heartwarming movie packs a stiff helping of holiday spirit punch. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt) and Vera Ellen sing, dance and romance each other at a Vermont inn over the holidays. It is a tale of love, loyalty and the importance of snow on Christmas. Plus it includes Bing Crosby’s mistletoe-worthy classic, “White Christmas” as well as Kaye and Crosby’s hysterical, feather-boa-wearing rendition of the song “Sisters.” BOOK

“Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris Music

“Reggae Christmas from Studio One” Christmas carols play an important role in the holiday season, but for some, hearing the same songs over and over again, year after year can get a bit tiring. Infuse your holiday mix with a little Jamaica, mon, and reindeer-prance to “Reggae Christmas from Studio One.” It is hard not to bust a move to Tennessee Brown & the Silvertones’ version of “Jingle Bells” or “Little Drummer Boy” – with an apt snare drum purr. Dobby Dobson’s “White Christmas” is both familiar and foreign, featuring funky riffs that will have your whole family grooving as you trim the tree. Other artists include The Heptones, Freddie McGregor, The Wailers featuring Bob Marley and many more. Warning: these Caribbean carols might just inspire a frozen egg nog cocktail, sunglasses as stocking stuffers or playing Santa in a Tommy Bahama jersey.

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The satirical, hilarious and consummately articulate David Sedaris has given the world a gift to be appreciated by any denomination at any time of the year. His collection of short stories, “Holidays on Ice” is a brilliant examination of the holiday season in all of its, at times extraordinarily ridiculous, splendor. His essay “SantaLand Diaries,” first broadcasted to rave reviews on NPR, chronicles his stint playing an elf at Macy’s department store during the holiday season. His self-proclaimed elf name is “Crumpet,” which he later changes to “Blisters” when he is feeling ornery. Enough said.

State-of-the Art Dream Maker Freyenhagen Construction is proud to announce the completion of their new 2000 square foot reDesign Studio. “The space was created to help our customers envision possibilities and offer a wider spectrum of services under one roof,� said owner, Jeremy Freyenhagen. The newly created space features a full working kitchen, cozy fireplace with cultured stone surround and an assortment of product displays. Walls adorned with photos of various Freyenhagen Construction remodeling projects provide inspiration to clients in the planning stage of the process. With the additional benefit of a professional interior designer and computer generated 3-D renderings, it has never been easier or more enjoyable for customers to turn their current space into the home of their dreams.



Top: Jeremy Freyenhagen in his new reDesign Center where clients can view 3-D renderings of their remodeling project . 1) The new showroom features galleries of finished remodel ideas and working kitchen. 2) Clients can relax in the newly designed lobby, complete with a cozy fireplace.

Give Freyenhagen Construction a call today at 652-6170 or visit for more information.

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 25


great estates

Thoughtful details elevate the legacy of a home Building a Colonial-style home in the mid-1980s was an unexpected choice at a time when split-levels and contemporary ranch styles were dotting the city suburbs. But it’s a decision the owners have never regretted. Stately and elegant, the home’s red brick exterior is a preview to the graceful interior. Recently renovated inside, the home now incorporates modern amenities that blend seamlessly with the original Colonial style. “This house has great bones, and we made good decisions when we built it,” said the owner. “But we did want to modernize it a bit and incorporate some of the features in homes that are being constructed now.”

By Julie Green • Photography by James Woodcock

With With aa classic classic brick brick exterior exterior and and circular circular drive, drive, this this stately stately Colonial-style Colonial-style home home exudes exudes aa sense sense of of timelessness. timelessness. The The home home has has been been featured featured in in the the Parade Parade of of Homes Homes and and the the Billings Billings Symphony Symphony Holiday Holiday Tour Tour of of Homes. Homes.

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MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 27


great estates

Working closely with local remodeling contractor Jeremy Freyenhagen, the couple created a plan that would update the home while staying true to its original design elements.

Unexpected glitz The original kitchen was completely renovated. Walls were removed to accommodate a more open floor plan, and a rarelyused powder room was replaced with a spacious walk-in pantry. Custom, furniture-style cabinetry with multifacet-

ed glass knobs add a touch of vintage and whimsy, as does the charming carved wood alcove above the stovetop. In the center, a large island was installed to provide additional prep and storage, and cherry wood flooring replaced the original tile. The gleaming solid surface countertops and tile backsplash mimic the rich, buttercream colored cabinetry. “We wanted a kitchen that was both formal and informal,� said the wife. “The knobs provide an unexpected touch of glitz,

Above: Trimmed in holiday greenery and placed above a festively set table and chairs, a modern chandelier is a charming and unexpected surprise in a home which also includes many traditional pieces. Behind it, a miniature Christmas tree sits atop the large island. Left: Deep red, vintage-inspired wallpaper adds both warmth and elegance to the foyer. The entry is the perfect backdrop for the curving staircase leading to the second level.

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but at the same time are very solid and beautiful. They recall a time of gracious living.” The inspiration for the knobs, which are found in other rooms throughout the home, came from a chandelier rescued from the turn-of-the-century home in which one of the owners grew up.

Practicalities and preservations Minor updates, including painting and replacing windows, were made in the formal living and dining rooms, as well as in the office on the main level. One thing that the homeowners were adamant about was maintaining the custom textured wall finishes created by Billings’ painter Cindy Smith in the cozy family room off of the kitchen. The Freyenhagen team took care to preserve as much of it as possible,

Davidson Home Furnishings & Design... Where every project is and once construction was complete, Smith was asked to come in and touch up the surfaces. The owners also worked with designer Pat Davidson to select distinctive floor coverings and furnishings. Upstairs, renovations were more substantial. A guest room was converted into a masculine yet comfortable

office space, while the attached bath was updated with new cabinetry and wall coverings. The master suite also underwent a transformation when the bath was completely rebuilt to include a large glassed-in shower, deep soaking tub and double sinks. As with the rest of the home, no detail has been overlooked

Top: Snow-dusted trees provide a storybook backdrop beyond the formal dining room’s glass doors. A sparkling chandelier overhead highlights the bright poinsettia, snowberry centerpiece and glistening china. Top left: Combining newer pieces collected by the owners with those handed down for generations is a signature touch seen throughout the home. Here, antique Haviland china rests on vintage placemats from China, paired with shining Waterford crystal. Right: Removing doors and replacing them with a wall of windows added light to the family room. Comfortable chairs, a brick fireplace and an exposed beam ceiling instantly inspire cozy conversation. Built-in shelves provide the perfect display area for several pieces from the owners’ collection of Western art.


Every detail is

IMPORTANT and every relationship


Thank you for the privilege of working on your beautiful home~

2228 Grand Avenue 656-9540 MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 29


great estates

in this room, which also includes plenty of drawer space, framed mirrors, ample light and a wall of cabinets which provides a unique architectural element as well as storage. Even the walk-in closet was renovated to make it even more functional.

Home for the holidays Before the turkey is served on Thanksgiving, each room in this stunning home is decorated with holiday spirit. Delightful nativity scenes, festive pillows, Christmas trees loaded with brightly colored ornaments and keepsake art transform it into the perfect holiday home. But its ageless style and the gracious warmth of the owners who built it make this a joyful place to be any time of year.

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Beautify your Floors

Hardwood Floor Installation Refinish and Restore Custom In-Lays Swedish No-Wax Finishes Quality Material from the Finest Mills

Opposite page: Each year two beautifully decorated Christmas trees become part of the home’s décor. With the addition of seasonal decorations, the living room is instantly transformed into a picture-perfect holiday scene. Top: Spacious and inviting, the master bedroom is an ideal end-ofthe-day escape. An animal-print chair brings a playful, modern touch to the room, which also houses family heirlooms such as a beautiful handpainted cedar chest and one-of-a-kind needlepoint footstool. Above: One of the home’s biggest transformations is the master bath. Double sinks and a deep soaking tub are surrounded by custom cabinetry, with all drawers and doors bearing the signature crystal knobs seen throughout much of the home. Touches of Christmas cheer are found here in the form of classic holiday pictures and a lovely wreath.

Free Estimates

10056 South Frontage Rd. Billings, MT 59101 (406) 656-3613

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 31

Wilsonart速 HD速 Countertop

visit the following retail showrooms

130 Riverside Road | Billings, MT 59101 406.245.6770 | Wholesale To Trade 32 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC


Kitchens Plus

542 Main St | Billings | 406.252.9395

1010 S 29th St W | Billings | 406.652.5772

Rimrock Cabinet Co.

Appliance & Cabinet Center

547 S 20th St W, #7 | Billings | 406.651.8109

2950 King Ave W, #2 | Billings | 406.656.9168

1837K-45 Crystalline Pearl

Built Kid Tough.



Holiday Feast Ideas


Three Local Chefs and Bartenders Share Their Favorite Specialties In the tradition of friends and family gathering around the table to reflect and replenish, epic holiday dinners are the long-standing centerpiece. Make your holiday feast memorable with these Montana-inspired dishes featuring delicious, local ingredients.

hai-spiced honeycake Harper & Madison

Joanie Swords is the owner of Harper and Madison. She loves working with food and has spent more than 20 years in the bakery and restaurant business. Harper and Madison is her third venture in Billings.

Photos by James Woodcock • Coordinated by Katherine Berman

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 33





CafÉ DeCamp

Wagyu Beef Demi-glace and Dried Flathead Cherry Gorgonzola Hollandaise,

Honey-braised Pork Belly with Montana Huckleberries, Fresh Sage and Fresh Honeycomb

Jason Corbridge is a native Montanan, born and raised in Billings. He has had his hands and heart in the restaurant industry since he was 14-yearsold. He studied literature, art and sociology at MSU-Billings which somehow translated into being essentially, a self-taught chef. He says this has allowed him to pour himself into his craft without losing his soul. He and his wife, Emily Corbridge own and operate CafĂŠ DeCamp in Billings, 1404 6th Ave. N, a local and organic gourmet foods restaurant. They are the parents of four children, Noah, Sophia, Arthur and Flyn.

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Duck breasts

CafÉ Italia

Pan-seared Duck Breasts with Mushroom Bread Pudding, Glazed Baby Carrots and a Flathead Cherry Sauce

36 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC


Travis Stimpson was born and raised in Lodge Grass, Mont. and started his culinary career at age seventeen at the Custer Battlefield Trading Post CafĂŠ. After eight years, he moved to Billings and began working at Walkers Grill where he served as Sous Chef under several executive chefs. After three years, he moved to CafĂŠ Italia to serve as Sous Chef and in June 2010 he took over that establishment as Executive Chef where he continues to happily produce some of the best Italian-influenced dishes in Montana today.

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Mulled Wine

By Keith Yeager of Walkers American Grill and Tapas Bar SERVES 6

Apple Equinox

By Aric Weber of Hooligans 1 packet of instant apple cider mix 1 oz. of Jack Daniel’s sour mash Tennessee whiskey 1/2 oz. of Grand Marnier orange liqueur Splash of sweet vermouth 2-3 cloves 1/2 a medium orange A few ice cubes 1 orange slice as garnish Place ice into a martini glass to chill. Put all but a teaspoon of the cider mix into a mixing tin along with just enough hot water to dissolve. Add the sweet vermouth and the cloves. Stir until dissolved and add the juice from the 1/2 orange along with the squeezed orange itself. Muddle in tin then add all remaining ingredients along with a few cubes. Shake. Pour out the ice from the martini glass and then rim the glass with the leftover cider mix. Strain tin into the glass and add orange slice to garnish.

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2 sticks cinnamon 5-6 whole cloves 1/2 tsp ginger root, coarsely grated 5 pods cardamom cracked (or 2 star anise pod) Zest of 1/2 orange 1 bottle inexpensive fruity red wine 1/2 cup honey (brown sugar or maple syrup can be substituted) 1/4 cup brandy

White Chocolate Alpine By Tom Paxinos of Jake’s Bar and Grill

1.25 oz. Rumplemintz .75 oz. Godiva white chocolate liqueur Coffee Before adding ingredients, warm mug with hot water and pour out. Add Rumplemintz, liqueur and coffee and stir. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a candy cane.

Put spices and zest in cheesecloth sack and place in pot. Pour wine into non-reactive pot (not aluminum) and add brandy. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once warm, stir in honey (or brown sugar or maple syrup). Do not boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes while flavors meld, stirring occasionally. When it begins to steam slightly it is ready to serve. Gently pull out the cheesecloth, pour and enjoy.

Wagyu Chateaubriand a la Café DeCamp with Wagyu Beef Demiglace and Dried Flathead Cherry Gorgonzola Hollandaise By Jason Corbridge of Café DeCamp SERVES 2-3 Chateaubriand 24 ounces of cleaned tenderloin cut from just below the largest part of the loin *Save trimmings and scrap from tenderloin to freeze and use for stock or demi-glace. Salt and pepper Olive oil 6 tablespoons butter Stainless steel, aluminum or cast iron pan Oil and season tenderloin with salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Heat pan on a medium-high setting. Sear on the outside of the meat in the heated, dry pan rolling the steak as it cooks. Bring heat to low and add a tablespoon of butter to baste the meat adding more butter as necessary. Making sure the pan has cooled down a bit before adding butter to prevent burning. Once thoroughly basted, drain the butter and place the pan in a 250 degree oven for about 15 minutes for a rare to medium-rare steak. Be sure to let the steak rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes, covered with foil, before slicing.

Wagyu Demi-glace: 5 lb. (approx.) Wagyu stock bones (shins, shanks) 4 lb. (approx.) Wagyu scrap (the stuff you would typically throw away, gristle, fat) 2 large onions, rough chop 4 large carrots, chopped 1 whole head celery, chopped 1 cup whole garlic cloves, crushed 5 shallots, chopped 5 large tomatoes, cored and chopped 18 oz. tomato paste 4 cups inexpensive ruby port wine 2 cups Flathead Cherry dry wine 4 qt. vegetable stock 4 crushed bay leaves 9 whole cloves 4 whole star anise 3 tablespoons fresh local honey Fresh ground salt and pepper This should be prepared at least a day prior to the planned meal.

Place bones and scrap in large stockpot with burner on low heat. Once browning begins, add raw vegetables and cook briefly. Stir in tomato paste. Add 2 cups port wine and bring to a simmer. Cover with vegetable stock and add dry spices. Cover and bring to a moderate boil for an hour, stirring intermittently. Bring to low simmer let sit for two to three hours. Once marrow has been released from the bones, strain the stock contents. Return the strained liquid to the burner; bring back to a gentle simmer for at least an hour. With a ladle or slotted spoon, remove all foam from surface of the stock. Turn of heat and rest 15-20 minutes. Ladle out all surface build up of fat; discard or reserve for frying. Refrigerate the stock overnight and remove congealed fat on top of the stock the next day. Pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Reduce the rest of the port and cherry wine by half. Reduce fat-skimmed stock by 1/3. Marry the two sauces. Continue to reduce until consistency is thick and smooth. Whisk in the 3 tablespoons of local honey.

Dried Flathead Cherry and Gorgonzola Hollandaise: 3/4 cup white wine vinegar 1 whole bay leaf 3 egg yolks 2 oz. crumbled gorgonzola 1 lb. whole, chilled and cubed butter 2 oz. dried Flathead Cherries 1 tablespoon cold tap water Fresh ground salt and pepper Reduce white wine vinegar with bay leaf and clove to two tablespoons of liquid. Remove spice and cool. Separate yolks from whites (reserve for another use) and let sit at room temperature. Prepare a pot of lightly simmering water and rest a stainless steel mixing bowl over pot. Add vinegar reduction and tap water and whisk in the yolks to the mixing bowl. Keep heat low and remove the mixing bowl from the heat intermittently to prevent eggs scrambling. Continue to whisk until yolks coagulate and thicken. When a warm custard begins to form, return the mixture in bowl to over the pan of boiling water and incorporate cubed, chilled butter. Once butter is melted, fold them in gorgonzola and dried cherries. Salt and pepper as desired. Hold at room temperature.

Honey-braised Pork Belly with Montana Huckleberries, Fresh Sage and Fresh Honeycomb Honey-braised pork belly: One side of pork belly, rind on 8 oz. of local honey 1/2 cup sea salt 1/4 cup ground black pepper 6 oz. orange juice 1 cup white wine 3 tablespoons olive oil This recipe should also be started at least a day before the planned meal. The curing of the pork belly takes at least 12 hours. Directions Rub pork belly with salt and pepper. Ladle 4 oz. honey over the pork, spread around, wrap and chill for at least 12 hours flipping the pork over halfway. Once complete, rinse the cure off. Lightly oil the bottom of a roasting pan with high sides. Place pork in the roasting pan without a cover rind or skin side down and roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Flip belly and repeat. Set oven to 225 degrees, remove pan and add orange juice, white wine and remaining honey. Flip belly. Cover the pan and braise for 1 hour, flip again and repeat. Make sure liquid is not evaporating; add more if needed. Remove from oven and rest in braising liquid. If possible chill overnight for easy portioning. Peel off skin and cut into inch-thick portions, allowing two portions per serving. Heat a fry or sauté pan to a medium low heat and grill the pork belly portion to serve. Sear each side to achieve proper caramelization. Serve with fresh Montana huckleberries and a chunk of local honeycomb.

Pan-seared Duck Breast with Mushroom Bread Pudding, Glazed Baby Carrots and a Flathead Cherry Sauce By Travis Stimpson of Café Italia SERVES 2 Duck Breasts 2 6-8 oz. duck breasts 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 2 sprigs fresh thyme

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 39



Finely chop thyme. Mix salt, pepper and thyme with the butter and rub down the duck breasts. Place a pan on heat high until pan is hot. Place the duck breasts fat side down and let them sizzle and pop until they come to a rest. Turn the heat to medium. If they start to smoke, turn down the heat. After 2 minutes, check to see if fat has browned. Once it has, turn the duck over and cook on the meat side for 2 minutes. Place duck in a baking dish or pie tin and place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. For rare duck, remove after ten minutes. Let the duck rest for 3 minutes. Slice duck with a sharp, serrated blade into thin elongated slices.

Mushroom Bread Pudding 1/2 lb button mushrooms 1/2 lb portabella mushrooms 1 small yellow onion 1 shallot, peeled 3 tablespoon butter 1/4 teaspoon thyme 1/4 teaspoon rosemary 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon sugar 4 eggs 1 lb bread (approximately) 1 cup cream Mince mushrooms, onion and shallot and sauté in butter until tender. Add finely chopped rosemary and thyme. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Cut bread into two-inch strips. In a mixing bowl, combine the bread with the mushroom mixture and stir. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs and cream together and pour over the bread mixture. Stir well to combine. Using 6 oz. ramekins or a muffin tin, grease with butter and fill with bread and mushroom mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. If the tops begin to get dark but the center is still wet, cover with tinfoil.

Glazed Baby Carrots 14 baby carrots, with some of the green stem still attached 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons sherry 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1 clove of garlic Fill a stock pot or sauce pan with water and salt and boil the carrots until al dente (soft with a

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little crunch). Add the sherry to a hot sauté pan on high heat. Add the carrots, honey and garlic. When the liquid bubbles, add the vinegar and stir until syrupy. Remove from the heat immediately to stop the caramelization process.

Flathead Cherry Sauce 1 lb pitted Flathead Cherries 1 oz. bittersweet or dark chocolate 1/4 cup brandy or kirsch 1 small shallot 1 tablespoon brown sugar Boil the pitted cherries in brandy or kirsch. Once liquid has reduced by 2/3, add chocolate and brown sugar. Cook until thick. If the sauce gets too thick, add hot water in tablespoons at a time.

Chai-spiced Honey Cake with Sautéed Pears and Pumpkin Crème Anglaise By Joanie Swords of Harper and Madison SERVES 8 Honey Cake 8 oz. brown sugar 3 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar 3/4 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 5 whole eggs 5 additional egg yolks 8 oz. strongly brewed chai 1 teaspoon pure vanilla 3 oz. honey 5 oz. unsalted butter 8 oz. buttermilk Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into a well-greased 9” x 13” cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Sautéed Pears 4 large Bosc pears, ripe but slightly firm 3 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 oz. dry white wine Peel and core the pears and cut them into about 16 wedges. Place the sugar in a large sauté pan. Heat without stirring until sugar melts and begins to caramelize. Add the pears and lemon juice. Add wine and simmer until pears are soft.

Pumpkin Crème Anglaise 8 oz. milk 8 oz heavy cream dash of cloves 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 9 egg yolks 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla pinch of salt 3 oz. canned pumpkin puree In a saucepan, scald the milk, cream, cloves and cinnamon. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar and temper them into the milk mixture. Cook gently, stirring, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Strain and mix in the vanilla and salt. Whisk in the pumpkin. Cool completely.

Assembly: Cut the cake into eight 3” circles. Sauce each dessert plate with the pumpkin crème anglaise. Top with pears and garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Where to go? These local purveyors have the first-rate ingredients to make your holiday dinner extraordinary. 4th Avenue Meat Market City Vineyard Copper Colander Good Earth Market Poly Food Basket (carries Montana Wagyu Cattle Co.) The Meat Palace Van’s Evergreen IGA

Just one of the reasons we were voted



very Sunday, Café Italia will offer traditional Italian family style dining.

Share a meal with your friends and family by ordering one of our family platters . . . Dining family style is dining uniquely “Italian style” with glasses raised, and dishes passing from hand to hand accompanied by warm smiles and welcoming arms. Where you share not only your meal, but a little laughter. Our regular menu is also available.

French Dip Pressata -

Seasoned Beef topped with Swiss Cheese on Log Cabin Focaccia Bread, served with simmering Au Jus

NOW SERVING LUNCH! 11am - 2pm Tuesday - Friday Serving the Best Italian Cuisine

2417 Montana Avenue • 869-9700

Dinner Served Tuesday - Sunday 4:30 - 9pm • Reservations Accepted

Voted Billings’ Best Night Club

FREE LIVE JAZZ & BLUEGRASS Every Friday from 7-9pm featured acts include:

ECQ • 4 or More • Parker Brown • Gary Behm Quartet • Spur of the Moment

LOUNGE MENU 5-10PM DAILYincluding Burgers, Pizzas, Appetizers & Specialties Large Selection of Q SPECIALTY DRINKS like our famous Apple Martini & Carlin Cosmo!

300 Martini Specials


Get on Your Cocktail Dress, Sip a Martini, and Come Join Us at The Place To Be Seen.

2501 Montana Avenue 245-2500


2419 Montana Avenue • 255-9555



Steaks, Seafood, Pasta...Wine EVERY TUESDAY &

a Littl

RRwhere estaur a Little a everythin R estaurant es

Steaks, Steaks, Seafood, Seafood, Pasta...WinePast & Spiri

where everythingwhe is

Montan 25032503 Montana Avenue MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 41



Christmas on the Homestead

By Gail Hein

a much-needed break, a time to set aside winter worries and renew the spirit. Tantalizing aromas emanate from woodburning cookstoves where pies bake and plum puddings ripen. Unaware of its fate, a chicken or goose out in the coop is gobbling up extra measures of kitchen scraps. Or perhaps a haunch of venison is hanging from the eaves, ready to be thawed for the Christmas roast.

Culture central

Long before the advent of Christmas lights, December nights on the frontier were aglitter with the sparkle and glow of the holidays.

By 1910, the first decorative outdoor electric lighting in Montana twinkles on the corner of Broadway and First Avenue North in the fledgling town of Billings. Strings of lights drape the entrance to the upscale Hart Albin department store. Passersby are dazzled by illuminated window displays laden with marvelous gifts and decorations. Outside the town there is also glitter and glow, but it’s coming from moonlight sparkling on snowbanks, stars in the brittle sky, and kerosene lanterns in homestead cabins and houses. Blue Creek, Duck Creek, Sage Creek, Crooked Creek, Pryor Creek – ranch folks carving out a life in this raw country look forward to

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In the one-room school houses that dot the far-flung ridges and hollows, anticipation is high as studies are set aside for a couple of weeks. The building fairly bursts with activity. There is popcorn to be strung on long lengths of thread, colored paper for chain garlands and stars to trim the tree. But top priority is Christmas program practice. Every child has a “piece” to speak and songs to learn by heart. There is even some acting as the Bible story of Jesus’ birth is retold, or perhaps a comedy sketch is dreamed up by a clever teacher or student. The school janitor has swept the oiled board floors, dusted the window sills and stacked the firewood before taking off her apron to call class to order, for she is also the teacher. The heavy wooden desks are pushed against the wall and one end of the room becomes the stage. “We used chicken legbands to hang our sheet curtains for the Christmas program,” wrote one rural school teacher in a memoir piece. They slid nicely along on the wire, she recalled. (Tales and Trails South of the Yellowstone, compiled by Historical Committee, 1983)

Who’s got mail? Perhaps today someone will visit the school bringing mail. Neighbors left their Post Office box keys - hopefully and trustingly - at the schoolhouse.

Anyone making the maybe 20 or 30-mile trip to town took the keys, bringing back everyone’s mail along with their own wagon or sleigh load of supplies. Some lucky folks might receive a Christmas Hart Albin store, corner of Broadway and card from loved ones First Avenue North, circa 1910. Courtesy of “back home” far from Western Heritage Center. the Rocky Mountain frontier – or perhaps even from “the Old Country.” Mail order catalog items, ordered weeks or months ago, might be on board as well. Somehow each item eventually reaches the grateful receiver, giving double delight at holiday time.

The society scene, settler style The school Christmas program was the social event of winter. “These get-togethers were greatly appreciated by people in this area because trips to town were sometimes no more frequent than every nine months. Everyone in the district showed up, whether they had a child in school or not,” wrote the daughter of a Dutch immigrant settler. (Tales and Trails) The mountain man, the lone cowpuncher, the bachelor homesteader – all are welcomed into the warmth and gaiety of the evening. The school is packed to the walls. After the program, small wax candles are carefully lit on a cedar tree for a few magical, albeit risky, moments. The popcorn strings and paper chains shine in the candlelight. Everyone sings carols together. Somehow Santa Claus finds his way to the school, showing up with treats for each child, hard candies, peppermint sticks, and even a small toy. “Santa’s got Pa’s coat on!” one child observes. But she believes anyway. (Tales and Trails)

How sweet it was After Santa’s bag is emptied, a feast is spread for all – J. K. Ralston original drawing Christmas pioneer cooks show off their cards. Courtesy of Western Heritage Center. chokecherry jelly, yeasty sourdough bread and chicken sandwiches, raisin cake, gooseberry pie. High spirits rule, weary ranchers forget their toil, and the good time rolls on into the night. At last, tired children are bundled into sleighs pulled by drowsy horses, and everyone braces for the cold ride back to the homestead. Folks with the farthest to go are invited to stay for the night with families closer in. The celebration is over for another winter, but the afterglow will last for days, the memories for a lifetime.

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New location: 2nd Ave N & 30th St Watch for our moving sale! New location will also feature Amy Dean McKittrick Watercolor Studio. (406) 245-3788 MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 43


i’m just saying

The Long and Lumpy Road By Gene Colling

My concept of comfort has evolved considerably over the years. Just how far it has evolved came into focus recently as I watched an episode of HGTV with my wife.A young couple was looking at homes that seemed perfectly good to us, but they were aghast at things like counter tops, floors and appliances. They kept saying, “That will need to be changed,” or “This is a gut job.” We started to yell at them through the TV screen. When we bought our first house on Alderson Avenue, we were giddy that it had a counter top, some type of floor covering and appliances that worked. We furnished it with stuff my wife bought at garage sales along with hand-me-downs from relatives. It was a momentous day when we bought our first new piece of furniture – a couch covered in a fake leather fabric. The fact that the cushions were so soft we sank to within inches of the floor was completely lost on us. We were young and nimble so there was no need to roll to our knees and work our way up, which would be the case now. In the summer the naugahyde vinyl would practically graft onto our skin, and in the winter it radiated cold to our bones. All of our friends had the same kind of furniture. This was helpful at social gatherings, because no one had a fit if a beverage was spilled. If fact, it was a point of pride to have furniture that could absorb spillage from a New Year’s party with no visible effects. These were also the days of the waterbed craze. Many of us now look back with shame and remorse at falling for that fad. We convinced ourselves that it was the epitome of cool sophistication. The reality was that the first design felt like a cold, clammy raft bobbing on the open ocean. When we moved into the Alderson house we had to dismantle then reassemble the waterbed. I hooked up the hose and immediately got distracted by organizing the garage. An hour later my memory synapse finally fired and remembered the bed. When I burst into the room the bladder looked like an enormous engorged tick. It had sprung the side boards and the screws were millimeters away from piercing the bloated plastic mattress. For weeks afterward I had nightmares about what would have happened had it burst, and how I could have convinced the bank to take the house back. Finally, one day my wife and I along with millions of

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others looked at each other and said, “This is stupid. Let’s get a regular bed.” The regular bed turned out to be another hand me down. Every morning for the next 15 years I woke up with a sore back. Slowly, I would roll off the mattress, dig my toes deep into the shag carpeting and walk it off. Shag rugs were a close fashion relative of waterbeds. The carpeting came in a multi-colored pattern that was the best dirt-hider ever devised; it was unfortunate that the ubiquitous green seemed to clash with every wall color. I hear a version of shag is making a comeback but it bears no comparison to the 70s vintage. Our discomfort level did not decrease when we stepped out of the house.  There, waiting in the driveway, was our orange and white 1975 Volkswagen van. The van was good for camping and hauling supplies, but it was not a great road machine. For years I had a chance to look over the car market when every vehicle on the road passed me as I crawled up the Beartooth Highway or Bozeman Pass. The van’s weakest link was exposed in winter. It had no heater, and on long trips my wife and I had to dress like Artic explorers. Some of our friends, who were not so well prepared, had a near death experience riding in the back seat on a frigid ride from Chico Hot Springs. Years later they still claim they suffer from Post Traumatic Van Disorder. I kept that van for almost 20 years; the day a tow truck finally dragged it away the neighbors came out to cheer. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, comfort began to creep into our home. I have come to appreciate it. Sitting in my easy chair in front of the fireplace, I reflect on the long and lumpy road that I traveled to get here. When I see young people starting out where I am now, I wonder what changes will be in store for them. What will future comfort look like? What if the old axiom “what goes around comes around,” actually holds true, and a future HGTV program shows a young couple gutting a house to refurnish it with a clammy couch, old style shag carpet and a waterbed. I could add trendsetter to my resume. Gene Colling claims dual residency in both Billings and Missoula. He recently 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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photo journal

A Time to Give Thanks Abe Van Wingerden, right, kisses his daughter Eva as the family sits down to dinner Nov. 10, 2008. Pictured clockwise from Abe are Luke, Tamar, Ashlyn, Cort, Rylie, Renee De Groot (nanny), Elise, Laina and Edmond.

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“... it becomes part of what you do as a family. Over time, it becomes a haven within the family. The meal itself becomes symbolic of what a family does for its members: You nourish each other.” — ­ Miriam Weinstein, MD,

Pediatrician, Psycologist, Author, The Surpsising Power of Family Meals

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In an age of economic uncertainty and a world at the edge of unrest, Billings Gazette award-winning photographer Casey Page captures the essence of peace, solitude, love and thanks in this poignant image of a family at the dinner table. MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 47

If you have a dream, follow it! And do it. P.S. Don’t follow a bad dream. ­— Maddie, age 9

Sometimes adults make life more complicated than it needs to be – particularly when it comes to happiness. So we asked some young sages what advice they would give others to be happy in the New Year. Their unassuming answers are wonderfully wise.

You should try to go to a quiet meadow. ­— Gavin, age 9

Kaylene Fouch

Abby Greenberg

Special thanks to Mindy Robbins and the staff at the Y.

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You can try riding horses! ­— Mackenzie, age 8

Zayda Kober

Mackenzie Moore

Make new friends. ­—Seth, age 10

Maddie Stubson

Kayana Conroy

Let’s say you and your family are really bored and nothing to do ... go somewhere like Yellowstone Park. ­—Kaylene, age 9

Smile — Makalya, age 8


Do your best in school always. Don’t copy others. ­—Zayda, age 9

Play and hang out with your friends and family. “I love your dresses.” ­—Kayana, age 10

I like eating ribs. ­— Wyatt, age 8

Wyatt Fink

Brayton Best

Your family makes you happy. ­—Abby, age 9

Don’t Smoke ­— Colter, age 9

Seth Postel

Gavin Oaks

Try new sports, like football! ­—Brayton, age 10

Big Money ­ DJ, age 9 —

DJ Boelter

Colter Bales

Makayla Bohnet

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 49

Here in Montana, we’re blessed with sparkling snow under cerulean skies that beg for us to grab the skis, boards, snowshoes or sleds and head off to one of the area’s world-class winter resorts. Winter is not to be endured, but embraced with ardor. Here’s our guide to exploring Montana’s magnificent mountains.

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Photo courtesy of Red Lodge Mountain Resort.

Red Lodge is a historical town with its roots in mining, where Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill Cody were visitors, and where Liver-Eatin’ Johnston once served as Constable. Today, the town’s great restaurants, unique clothing and gift stores and friendly ambience keep people coming back again and again. Of course, there’s also the world-class powder.

Skiing and outdoor recreation Red Lodge Mountain averages 70 sunny days every winter. Within an hour of Billings, the mountain offers a friendly and authentic ski experience with practically non-existent lift lines. Enjoy 65 trails, 2400 feet of vertical drop, lessons, a gift shop and three locations for meals and drinks, including the popular Bierstube, which offers 13 beers on tap and indoor outdoor seating. Full-day lift tickets range from $49 for an adult to $15 for super seniors (70 and up), and kids (six and under) always ski and board free. For boarders, there are two terrain parks to accommodate all skill levels. Plus, don’t miss the mountain’s Winter Carnival at the end of February featuring Cardboard Classic “floats” racing down the slopes, a torchlight parade and fireworks.

Accommodations Within the town of Red Lodge, there are over a dozen options for accommodations, and they include homey motels, B&Bs, a historic hotel, private homes, cabins and inns, with rates ranging from $89 for a motel room to several hundred for a condo at the Island at Rock Creek. For a uniquely elegant and historical experience, try The Pollard Hotel. Venture a few miles out of town and stay at the elegant Rock Creek Resort, or drive over the hill and make yourself at home at Beartooth River Ranch in Belfry.

Dining Broadway Avenue, Red Lodge’s historic main street, was named one of the Ten Best Streets in America by the American Planning Association. Here you’ll find outstanding restaurants such as Red Lodge Pizza Company, unique, local offerings at Bridgecreek Backcountry Wine Bar, authentic Mexican food at Bogart’s, or fine dining fare at The Pollard’s Dining Room. Take a short drive up the Canyon and have dinner or Sunday Brunch at Piney Dell Restaurant at Rock Creek Resort. For great sandwiches and awardwinning brews, be sure to stop by Red Lodge Ales at the north end of town.

and the Red Lodge Clay Center. On a sunny afternoon, pick up a map at the Visitors Center or online and take a walking tour through the Hi Bug Historical District. Visit the Carbon County Historical Society Museum for a look at the county’s rich and varied past.

Shopping Red Lodge offers a wide variety of unique gifts, clothing and home decor at The Glass Rabbit, CC Legends, Common Ground, Kibler and Kirch and Red Lodge Books and Tea Shop. The Swanky Fork and Babcock and Miles will satisfy the epicurean’s appetite. Red Lodge’s annual Christmas Stroll takes place the first Friday and Saturday nights in December. All the shops will be open, chestnuts will be roasting, and you can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage or wagon ride.

Just 18 miles from Yellowstone’s Park Boundary and located in Gallatin National Forest, Big Sky is a resort with incredible skiing, wildlife viewing opportunities and plenty of civilized amenities to complement the Matterhorn-like peaks. While the skiing and outdoor recreational opportunities are unparalleled, so are the restaurants, bars, gift shops and spa experiences for when you’re not enjoying the great outdoors.

Skiing and outdoor recreation Big Sky Resort boasts the “Biggest Skiing in America,” and it’s a claim that’s backed up with big-number statistics: more than 3,800 ski-able acres, 150 named runs covering 85 miles, a 4,350 vertical drop, a nearly six-mile long run, over 400 inches of annual snowfall and a lift capacity of 23,000 people an hour. The terrain varies with 60 percent for advanced and expert skiers, 26 percent intermediate runs and 14 percent for beginners. Big Sky has terrain parks for snowboarders and has added new gladed tree runs for diverse and breath-taking skiing. Lift tickets start at $84 for adults, $74 for seniors (70 and up) and free for kids (10 and under). Other recreational options include cross-country skiing, ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, zip-lining, snowmobiling and even bouncing on a bungee trampoline. Ride the Lone Peak Tram for a 360-degree view of three states.

Nightlife, arts & culture When the sun sets in Red Lodge, the old-time street lamps light up, and so do the bars and restaurants. Several bars feature karaoke, live bands and entertainment. The Pollard hosts a concert series throughout the winter. For a taste of Red Lodge’s arts and culture, don’t miss the Carbon County Arts Guild

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Photo by Glennis Indreland. Courtesy of Big Sky Resort.

Take advantage of seasonal events like the Sno Bar, a bar and dance floor made entirely of snow, the Dummy Jump (build a dummy and watch it crash after it soars over a ski jump) and the Bluegrass Festival.

Accommodations Lodging at Big Sky includes slope-side Ski and Stay Packages, starting at $350 per person, with three nights lodging, two days of lift tickets and breakfast. There are also condominiums, lodges, chalets, budget hotels, cabins in the woods, elegant penthouses and amazing mountain homes. These sleep from two to 14 people – so come as a couple or with a group.

Dining For Tuscan treats in an elegant atmosphere, try the Andiamo Italian Grille. Both the Carabiner Lounge and Peaks Restaurant offer Euro-Western fare. For a fun, unique experience, visit the Fondue Stube in Chet’s Bar & Grill, as well as Yeti Dogs for gourmet beef and veggie hot dogs. The Lotus Pad serves Thai and Asian specialties. Enjoy a hand-crafted beer and an entrée at Lone Peak brewery or a brick oven pizza or calzone at Trailhead Pizza. La Luna has top-shelf tequilas and world cuisine (Mexican, Thai, Japanese, Italian and vegetarian) in a casual atmosphere with everything homemade.

Nightlife, arts & culture Consider the Bambu Bar and Asian Bistro. This restaurant serves PanAsian cuisine and fresh sushi and provides live music during happy hour. Whiskey Jack’s also has live music, Moose Drool Ale and mountain-high plates of nachos. On Wednesdays, head to Lone Mountain Ranch’s Saloon to hear local bands playing bluegrass or old time folk. For pool or darts, along with vittles and music, make a trip to the Half Moon Saloon.

Shopping Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind, made-in-Montana treasure or a lovely piece of jewelry, you’ll be tempted by the numerous shopping opportunities. The Mountain Mall and Plaza has a large selection of clothing, ski and sports equipment, photography, furs, pottery, home décor and Native American art.

Sixteen miles north of Bozeman, Bridger Bowl is a non-profit community ski area, named for two large bowls which collect tremendous amounts of snow – as much as six feet during one day’s snowfall – to create a skier’s powdery paradise. Bridger Bowl has a small-town feel and affordable rates, but with big-mountain, rooster-tailin’ skiing amid incredible terrain. The mountain is also noted for its sustainable business model, which includes extensive recycling, conservation and carpooling initiatives.

Skiing and outdoor recreation Bridger Bowl covers over 2,000 acres, offers eight chair lifts, a three-mile long run and 71 different trails plus a terrain

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park for snowboarders. The area boasts a wide variety of experience levels with some of the most challenging skiing anywhere. Lift prices at Bridger Bowl range from $48 for a full-day adult ticket to free for kids (six and under) and for super-seniors (80 and up). Don’t miss the Pinhead Classic in March where zanily-costumed Telemark skiers compete on the slopes. For cross-country skiing, visit the nearby Bohart Ranch. Other outdoor winter recreation includes numerous snowmobiling trails outside Bozeman, ice skating and snowshoeing.

Accommodations Bridger Bowl offers accommodation packages (that require lift ticket purchases), which range from condos and townhomes to cabins, lodges, bed & breakfast inns, loft rooms in downtown Bozeman and private homes, with prices starting as low as $59 per person for a condo. Private homes and guest houses can range as high as $500 or more per night, but will sleep as many as ten. Several of the condos and cabins are ski in/ski out locations. Of course, downtown Bozeman and the surrounding area also offer an incredible array of accommodations. For an unusual treat, stay at the historical Lehrkind Mansion Bed & Breakfast amid enchanted 1890s Victorian surroundings that include a seven-foot tall 1897 Regina music box, victrolas and delicious, inspired breakfasts prepared by the delightful owners.

Dining The eclectic dining in Bozeman has everything from fresh sushi to Cajun, Mexican, Thai, Korean and classic American fare. Don’t miss the Lobster Soup at Café Internationale or the authentic Cajun Comfort Soup at Café Zydeco. Ted’s Montana Grill features made-from-scratch American cuisine. John Bozeman’s Bistro – voted “Best of Bozeman” year after year – has incredibly unique, fresh Superfood Platters (grilled black bean cakes, chili roasted yam disks and stuffed eggplant cannelloni) which change regularly, as well as Bison Tenderloin, an outstanding Cioppino and homemade desserts. Plonk will wow you with their seasonal entrees and exceptional wine. For breakfast, try the homemade offerings at the Cateye Café, Main Street Overeasy or Nova Café.

Nightlife, arts & culture As Bozeman is a college town, there’s no shortage of nightlife, with local bands playing just about every night at various bars and pubs. The Zebra Cocktail Lounge features a dance club feel with drinks and entertainment, and the historic Crystal Bar’s honky-tonk atmosphere is popular with the college crowd. At the Irish-themed Pub 317 you can enjoy traditional Irish music Sunday nights and local bluegrass on Tuesdays. Stop by Montana Ale Works for food, fun, brews and billiards. Pick up a local entertainment paper when in town to find poetry readings, classes and events at the Emerson Cultural Center and gallery openings. Bozeman’s museums include the Montana Museum of the Rockies, the Pioneer Museum and the Montana Computer Museum.

Shopping Bozeman is chock full of unique galleries, boutiques and gift shops. Offerings include pottery, photography, handblown glass, toys, sports stores, a culinary kitchen gallery, a fabric store, two bookstores and a woolen shop modeled after those in Scotland. There are also several fine arts galleries such as Indian Uprising, Artworks, Thomas Nygaard and Tierney Fine Art. Photo by Jennie Milton. Courtesy of Bridger Bowl.

Sublime. Amazing. Extraordinary. And, oh yeah, gnarly (ski speak for challenging conditions). These are just some of the words to describe Moonlight Basin. It’s the back-side neighbor of Big Sky and has only been a ski resort since 2003. By partnering with Big Sky, the combined skiable acreage of the two resorts is over 5,500, making the area the largest in the country,

vertical descent of 4,150 feet, 400 inches of annual snowfall for some powerful powder and 101 mapped trails, bowls, chutes and glades. But the stats can’t describe the beauty of schussing over long lovely groomed runs and through treed glades or the churning adrenaline from challenging chutes. Full-day adult lift tickets start at $59 for non-peak times and are only $64 during peak-season days. There are reduced rates for seniors, college students, juniors and active military. Children (10 and under) are free. The real bargain might be The Biggest Skiing in America ticket, which allows access to all 5,512 acres of both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin for $98. Other outdoor activities at Moonlight Basin include snowshoeing, dog sledding, sleigh-riding and sledding on the Blazing Saddles sledding hill.


Photo courtesy of Moonlight Basin.

while also touting some of the nation’s most stunning scenery. This resort takes stewardship of its surroundings and environment seriously, and its commitment has resulted in the receipt of many environmental protection awards.

Skiing and outdoor recreation The stats are impressive: 1900 skiable acres, a summit elevation of 11,166, a

Moonlight Basin offers accommodations for just about every interest and budget, ranging from chalets and townhomes to luxurious penthouses and custom homes. Cowboy Heaven cabins start at $199 per night; Saddle Ridge townhomes are $219 per night. Stay in a penthousestyle suite starting at $425 or treat yourself and a group of friends to a stay at the ski in/ski out Half Hitch Home. Nightly prices start at $1799, and the magazine-quality home, which can sleep up to 16, has five bedrooms, six baths, two kitchens, three living rooms, game and exercise rooms and even a theater.

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 53

Dining Visit the Moonlight Lodge with its magnificent four-sided, 175-ton rock fireplace while enjoying sumptuous dining and spectacular views. At one of the Lodge’s four restaurants, enjoy locally-sourced grass-fed beef from Montana’s LaCense Ranch and sample some of the 40 selections of Montana microbrews and imports. Some great dining options off the Moonlight property include the wild game and hand-cut steaks at Buck’s T4 Lodge, the more casual fare of country-fried chicken and BBQ ribs at Buck’s Pub, or creative and refined cuisine at Rainbow Ranch Lodge.

Nightlife, arts & culture Once a month during the winter season, Moonlight offers Family Nights at the Headwaters Grille – informal gatherings with homemade pizza, sledding, arts and crafts, a blazing bonfire, s’mores, games, balloon animals and face painting at $15 per person. Journey to neighboring Big Sky and enjoy their nightlife and cultural offerings.

Shopping Most shopping experiences for Moonlight are shared with their neighbor, Big Sky, although the Moonlight Lodge has a lovely gift shop. Stop at the Mountain Village at the base of Big Sky, the Mountain Mall, Big Sky Town Center or Meadow Village for a selection of everything from ski apparel to gifts and local art. (formerly known as Big Mountain) This ski resort is located at Big Mountain, near Glacier National Park, and is four miles from Whitefish – a friendly and quaint western town. The free S.N.O.W. (Shuttle Network of Whitefish) shuttles between town and the ski resort, and Whitefish’s cozy main street is perfect for swapping ski adventures over a beer at the end of the day.

Skiing and Outdoor Recreation With more than 3,000 skiable acres, Whitefish remains one of the larger ski areas in the U.S. An annual average snowfall of 300 inches, varied terrain on 98 trails, a 3.3 mile long run (Hellfire), a vertical drop of 2,300 feet, four terrain parks and almost no lift lines makes the area appealing to every level of skier. Advanced and expert skiers love the powder stashes on Hellroaring Basin and the East Rim, and beginners appreciate the easier runs. Adult lift tickets are $66, seniors (70 and up) and kids (six and under) are free. Other area outdoor adventures include dog sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, backcountry Snowcat skiing adventures, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing and ice skating. At Moonlight Dine & Ski you can ride to the 7,000 foot summit, enjoy dinner at the Summit House Restaurant and then ride back down – or ski with instructors – in the moonlight.

2814 2nd Ave N 259-3624 54 I holiday 2011 I MAGIC

Photo courtesy of Whitefish Mountain Resort.


Resources Be sure and check out these travel resources before you go to help ensure an outstanding winter extravaganza.

Nightlife, arts & culture

Nightlife in Whitefish is laid-back. The Great Northern Brewing Company is a go-to spot; check out the Red Lodge Mountain: building’s beautiful glass-encased Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce: tower and meet for a brew after a Bridger Bowl: long day outdoors. Check out the Bozeman’s Convention & Visitors Bureau: Bulldog Saloon and the Palace Bar For information on the extreme skiing on “The Ridge” at Bridger and Spirits with its beautiful carved Bowl check out the book, “Stepping Up mahogany bar. For late night casino A Guide to The Ridge at Bridger Bowl” atmosphere, visit the Remington Whitefish Mountain Resort: where you can play poker, pool, ping White Fish Chamber of Commerce: pong, foosball and sing karaoke. Big Sky: Whitefish is also home to a wide arMoonlight Basin: ray of artists, and their works can be seen in many galleries in town. Live music is often performed in the area Dining A wide array of dining is offered at Whitefish, including breakfast and coffee shops, and the Whitefish Performing Arts Center has perforlunch at the Base Lodge Bar & Café. In the Upper Village area, you’ll find mances all year long. the Bierstube for casual fare and great beer. At Ed & Mully’s, try the BaconBison-Pork meatloaf, which you can enjoy in front of the fireplace. The stu- Shopping pendous views and food at the Hellroaring Saloon and Eatery earned them The town is home to many fine art galleries and clothing boutiques. Imagithe accolade of one of the best après-ski bars by Skiing Magazine. Aunt B’s nation Station as well as Sprouts both cater to kids. For home décor and has homemade cinnamon rolls, breakfast burritos, wraps and huckleberry gift items, stop at Northwest Trading Company or Piney Creek Interiors. shakes. In Whitefish, try the Mediterranean bistro food at Latitude 48, the The Purple Pomegranate showcases unique gifts from more than 100 arteclectic and international menu at McGarry’s Roadhouse, or indulge in the ists and includes jewelry, metal and fiber arts, pottery, games and musical instruments. chef’s tasting menu at Café Kandahar. Whitefish offers several Ski & Stay Specials, with the biggest bargain being the Eat, Ski, Sleep & Repeat Special for only $79 per person at Hibernation House (Sundays through Thursdays). This price includes lodging, lift tickets, hot breakfast and hot tub access. Whitefish Resort also offers a wide array of on-mountain lodging for every budget. Some nice off-property lodging includes Grouse Mountain Lodge, the European-style elegance of Kandahar Lodge, the lovely Lodge at Whitefish Lake, or stay in a farmhouse at Bailey’s Bed ‘n Bale.

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406.860.1284 MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 55

casting By Allyn Hulteng

Standing knee-deep in

the clear mountain river, the young woman eyed a calm section of water just below

the opposite bank. With cool deliberateness, she flicked her fly rod back then whipped it forward, dropping the line slightly upstream from the sapphire pool. “Perfect,” murmured the guide. A moment later, the novice angler felt an almost imperceptible tug as the fly disappeared. “Set your hook,” urged the guide. The young woman raised the tip of her rod sharply; the line began to tighten. “Now reel it in … steady … that’s it, keep reeling.” A few feet away a large trout broke the surface, flailing furiously in a futile attempt to break away. The young woman’s concentration never wavered as she brought the fish close enough for the guide to net. “Look at that!” Removing the fish from the net, the guide skillfully placed it into the hands of the waiting angler whose lovely face radiated a mixture of wonder and delight. A quick measurement officially recorded the catch as a 22-inch brown – one of the biggest caught all season. But for the young woman, what she really caught was the dream of a lifetime. Right: Megan Harmon (with rod) and outfitter, Donna McDonald fly fish on the Ruby River.

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How Megan Harmon found strength and healing


Photography by James Woodcock

in the waters of the Ruby River.

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Beautiful and spirited, Megan Harmon is full of life. Her quick smile and easy confidence belie her 18 years. Like other girls her age, Megan speaks animatedly about the future: majoring in early childhood education, competing in beauty pageants and exploring the West. By all appearances, this belle from South Carolina has life by the tail. It’s only when she’s asked ‘how did you end up fly-fishing on the Ruby River in Montana?’ that Megan’s demeanor takes a markedly solemn turn. “Cancer,” she replies softly. Megan’s story … June 2009

“It was surreal,” says Megan. “Mom and Dad were crying. My brother was scared. I was numb. I kept thinking ‘what am I supposed to do?’ ”

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Megan had just completed her junior year of high school. Besides being an academic standout, she had participated in Future Business Leaders of America and student government. She also took the lead in organizing the Junior/Senior prom and the annual school pageant. During the summer, she planned to take advance classes for college credit in an effort to achieve her goal of becoming a first generation college graduate. But fate had other plans. “I remember the date: June 4, 2009,” she says. A lump suddenly appeared on Megan’s neck. Not particularly worried, her family physician prescribed a round of routine antibiotics, but the mass remained. A week later, the doctor ordered a biopsy. The following Monday, Megan and her mother, Valerie, were called to the doctor’s office. “We sat down, and the doctor told me I had stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma – cancer … it was a worst case scenario.” Megan recalled. The doctor made arrangements for her to start treatment immediately. “It was surreal,” says Megan. “Mom and Dad were crying. My brother was scared. I was numb. I kept thinking ‘what am I supposed to do?’ ” The doctors told Megan she would have to undergo surgery to remove the affected lymph nodes and have a port implanted, which is a medical device used for long-term intravenous medication. They would then use a powerful combination of chemotherapy and radiation to target the cancer. Megan asked if she would lose her hair. The doctor replied

that she would, usually by 10th day of radiation. “It really hit me when I went to a nearby lake to hang out with friends,” Megan said. She had piled her long hair high up with a clip to go swimming and left the clip in overnight. “By the time I brushed the knots out the next day, I was bald,” she says. “That was day 11.” By early December, Megan was in remission, but just one week later doctors found another lump. A CAT scan and MRI confirmed the cancer had returned. The doctors again used chemotherapy and radiation, but this time the protocol couldn’t stop the virulent cancer; Megan was gravely ill. The doctors gathered the family, telling them a stem-cell transplant was her last hope. Though hospitalized for weeks at a time, Megan kept up with her studies through online courses. “I probably only actually attended school a total of two months during my entire senior year,” she recalls. Determined not to miss out, Megan also took the lead in planning the annual school pageant, using email to communicate and the Internet to order many of the materials and decorations. As Megan prepared for the stem cell transplant, she told the doctors “Whatever happens, I have to go to the pageant.” Hopeful she might be able to go, she had even picked out a gown online. “But it was $400, and with all the medical bills I knew we couldn’t afford it.” Megan’s own healthy stem cells were harvested before she was bombarded with an extremely high dosage of chemo. She was still reeling from the effects of the chemo when her healthy stem cells were transplanted through a catheter directly into her heart.


High Fear

Dental Patients I cater to cowards!

“I had been so sick, and then after the transplant I came down with pneumonia. There are huge chunks of time that I don’t remember anything,” she says. By March, Megan began to recover and on March 25 she was released from the hospital – just four days before the pageant. “The doctors told me it was one of the fastest recoveries they had ever seen,” she said. Megan was able to go to the pageant. “I had to wear a wig and a mask to help ward off any germs, but I got to go.” She also had another surprise. People at the hospital had raised the money to buy the gown she wanted. “The best part was being asked to crown the winner. That really meant a lot.” Despite spending the majority of her senior year in the hospital, Megan graduated from high school with the thirdhighest GPA in her class. She went on to attend Coastal Carolina University near Myrtle Beach on scholarship and made the Dean’s List as a freshman. To an outsider, she seems to be on top of the world. But for Megan, nothing is the same. “Cancer changes everything,” she says.

• Sedation Dentistry • Advanced Dental Hygiene • KöR Whitening® • Six Month Smiles® • Cosmetics • Implants • Reconstructive Care • Oral Surgery • Stability Same Dentist, Same Team, Every Time Left: Megan shows a range of emotions as she shares the story of her battle with cancer. Top: Megan hugs her horse. Above: Donna McDonald leads Megan and her family on a trail ride. Log on to http: // to hear Megan Harmon and Donna McDonald talk about the Big Hearts under the Big Sky program.

John L. Tripp, DDS

Grand Avenue Dental Care

245-4922 2911 Grand Avenue • Billings MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 59

“It’s very emotional to see someone who has had such an uphill battle forget that they’re sick, even for a short while.” -Donna McDonald, outfitter

Save the date Big Hearts under the Big Sky will be hosting a banquet and auction as part of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association 2012 Winter Convention. Banquet & Auction Sat., Jan. 14, 2012, 5:30 p.m. Holiday Inn Grand Montana, Billings, Mont. Table for eight: $800 Individual tickets: $50 For more information or to order tickets, contact: Montana Outfitters and Guides Association 406-449-3578

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While Megan Harmon underwent cancer treatment, her family underwent enormous emotional and financial stress. “Nothing can prepare you for having a child diagnosed with cancer,” said Valerie Harmon, Megan’s mom. Although Megan is considered to be in remission, Valerie notes that she won’t be in total remission for five years. “She gets tested every two months; when the doctor calls to say he has the results, your heart just drops through the floor, waiting to hear,” Valerie said. Megan and Montana

A self-proclaimed girly-girl, Megan is quick to point out there’s another side to her. “I love the outdoors, riding horses and wearing jeans,” she says. For years, she and her dad dreamed of traveling west. “We’ve wanted to go fishing in Montana as long as I can remember,” she says. The family’s story reached Catch-A-Dream Foundation, which in turn contacted Big Hearts under the Big Sky.

Offering more than big skies

Big Hearts under the Big Sky (BHBS) is the charitable arm of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (MOGA). The mission of BHBS is to provide fully outfitted and guided fishing or hunting trips free-ofcharge to young people who face life-threatening illness, severely wounded soldiers and women with breast cancer. It is one of the few programs of this nature that pays for the entire family to come on the trip. Donna McDonald, owner of Upper Canyon Outfitters and past-president of MOGA, has been integrally involved with the Big Hearts program since its inception in 2007. “Through our association with MOGA, we knew that a number of Montana outfitters had hosted these kinds of trips, but there wasn’t an established protocol for connecting outfitters with people in need,” McDonald explained. In 2007, McDonald along with other outfitters participated in a strategic planning session. One of the action items to emerge from that session was the desire to formalize a program to offer free trips to qualified participants. Among

MOGA members, it was not a hard sell. “At the core, these are very generous and genuine people,” McDonald said. Today, Big Hearts under the Big Sky works in close association with four national groups: CatchA-Dream Foundation, Hunt of Lifetime, Wounded Warrior Project and Casting for Recovery. These national organizations help identify candidates for trips, such as Megan Harmon. A request is then sent out to MOGA members asking for a volunteer host. “As an industry, outfitters are very family based,” McDonald says. “We understand how a life-threatening illness impacts the entire family.” The goal is to get the family away from the doctors, hospitals, the smell of chemo and into a healing environment. “Montana’s blue ribbon streams and abundant wildlife offer a perfect backdrop for this kind of outdoor experience. And as outfitters, we work hard to preserve this heritage, and we know how to share it with others. It’s a perfect complement,” McDonald says. For the guest and their family, every aspect of the trip is thoughtfully planned. And everything – from airfare, to hotel expenses, ancillary travel and even special medical accommodations – is free-of-charge. While the guests enjoy the outdoor adventure of a lifetime, McDonald is quick to point out that the experience is also immensely rewarding for the outfitters. “Over and over I hear outfitters say, ‘Once you host a trip like this, you’re forever changed’,” said McDonald, who along with her husband, Jake, have hosted several, including Megan Harmon. “It’s very emotional to see someone who has had such an uphill battle forget that they’re sick, even for a short while.”

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“My job is to minimize risk by giving advance warning.”

whatever the weather,

simon knows By Allyson Gierke

Weather. It’s both a bane and a boon to farmers, ranchers and a host of companies trying to get their products to market,but its unpredictability can wreak havoc on business and make life hell.While many may curse the sky, there’s one man who wakes up and looks at the weather through a different lens. Valley photos courtesy of Simon Atkins. Lightning image by Thinkstock. Portrait of Simon Atkins by Larry Mayer.

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His name is Dr. Simon Atkins, and he’s more than a weatherman. He’s a planetary risk manager. And his feet are firmly planted in Billings. A storm of inspiration


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Tall, slender and fit, with intensely bright blue eyes and a slightly diminished British accent, Dr. Atkins sparkles with passion and intelligence. Born in 1969 in Rugby, England, Atkins and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 11 years old. “My father, who had been the European Director of the Associated Press, took an assignment in New York,” recalled Atkins. The family traveled to the U.S. on the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner. While enroute, the ship sailed directly into a massive marine storm near Newfoundland. The gale proved to be a pivotal event for the youngster. “There were enormous, 28-foot waves which caused a cabin lockdown,” Atkins said. “I saw how even a 963-foot long cruise liner could get tossed around by a tempest.” When the ship finally docked in the New York City harbor, the temperature was a searing 100 degrees. “I had never experienced a heat wave in cool, wet England,” Atkins said. Later that same day a huge thunderstorm, replete with marble-sized hail, cinched it for him. “I remember turning to my father and telling him, ‘Wow, this is amazing!’

Simon Says:

Weather events will very likely become more volatile through the current solar cycle’s peak into the winter of 2013 because of enhanced solar flares and more geomagnetic activity. Forecast: Winter 2011-2012 According to Dr. Simon Atkins, Ph.D., the northwestern U.S. will experience much colder temperatures and more snow than normal from eastern Washington and Oregon to central Montana. For eastern Montana, strong winds will be prevalent, causing blowing snow conditions with winter storms, but abnormally wide fluctuations in temperature, including some nice surprises, will help minimize the winter blues.

Atkins knew right then that weather and its impacts would be his métier, his life’s work.

Learning, watching, waiting Atkins started his career in the mid1980s broadcasting weather forecasts for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) out of the Rockefeller Office in New York. In 1991, he received his BSc in Atmospheric Sciences from Cornell University and went to work as the Chief of International Operations for Weathernews in Japan. In 1993, while studying for his MBA in Helsinki, Atkins cofounded Advanced Forecasting Corporation (AFC). Much of Atkins’ work focused on a particular aspect of forecasting, that is, tracking global weather predictions with related business “shocks,” or unexpected events that impact an economy. Of particular interest were shifting patterns of droughts and flooding worldwide. His research led him to a scientific conclusion that weather and other natural planetary shifts are correlated to cycles in solar/cosmic parameters, oceanic patterns and magnetic changes. Those cycles, Atkins asserts, can be used to predict with startling accuracy and well in advance weather and other global events which have the potential to affect commodity prices or have other significant economic consequences. Atkins’ predictive risk assessment model became the genesis of his company, AFC. Today, Atkins provides climate hazard forecasting and consulting to clients across the globe, spanning a multitude of business sectors including agriculture, commodities, construction, energy, health, real estate, transportation, telecommunications, tourism and transportation. To Atkins, weather is more than an occupation; it’s an expression of his desire to minimize legitimate risk by giving advanced warning. Humans’ relationship with weather plays a huge part in Atkins’ theories. Says Atkins, “I became very interested in natural health and the synchronicities and synergies

Simon Atkins with son, Skye, wife, Yoshi and daughter, Gaia. Photo courtesy of Simon Atkins.

of human beings with our earth.”

The Path to Billings

“There’s positive energy in these prairies. I love that I can work from my home and raise my children in this beautiful landscape.”

Atkins’ journey to Billings, Mont. from New York City followed an unusual path. In 1998, Atkins began discussing the possibility of a joint venture with Steve Goldstein, president of TradeWeather, a company that traded weather futures and other financial instruments. Goldstein’s offices were in the World Trade Center where the two would often meet. But in the summer of 2001, Atkins’ health suddenly began to change. He had inexplicable and increasing migraines, along with visionary dreams implicating that he should leave New York. For the budding

Dr. Simon Atkins, Ph.D.’s new book, Skyaia: Cosmic Change & Health Impacts, is due to be published in early 2012 on Amazon and on Kindle Fire.

entrepreneur, leaving was not part of the plan. But the premonition of danger became unshakable and Atkins’ unmitigated unease compelled him to head west, out of New York, realizing he could do his work from essentially anywhere. He got as far as South Dakota when he received the unforgettable news early the morning of 9/11. Steve Goldstein had been in the North Tower that morning and perished in the attack. “That was my awakening,” Atkins says. “From that day on I was determined to concentrate on finding positive possibilities with every life challenge – including helping businesses by providing disaster threat assessment consulting.” According to Atkins, at any given time 30 percent of the economy worldwide is at risk due to volatile weather. “My job is to minimize risk by giving advance warning,” he says.

Planting Roots

In 2002, Atkins met his wife, Yoshie Shimamura, who was in Billings visiting her mother. The fact that Yoshie was from Kumamoto, Japan, a sister-city to Billings, was prophetic for Atkins. “I felt we were meant to live here,” he said. The couple and their two children, Skye and Gaia, live in a home on top of the Rimrocks with sweeping views of the valley below. From his office inside, Atkins monitors the many forces of nature that impact weather across the globe. His reports are forwarded to many multi-national companies who incorporate the data into risk management planning, as well as numerous farmer/rancher clients for use in long range planting schedules and forensic meteorology. For Atkins, it’s the best of both worlds. “There’s positive energy in these prairies,” he notes. “I love that I can work from my home and raise my children in this beautiful landscape.”



Appointments Now2011 Available MAGIC I holiday I 65

Snow Day? We don’t need no stinking snow day!

Billings might not be the wintery-est city in Montana, but it’s seen its fair share of cold and snow. Residents here are ready for most anything, but we still have to wonder just what it would take to shut Billings down for a good, old-fashioned snow day.

Montana’s school children are a tough bunch, and school administrators don’t often close schools for winter weather, no matter how bad it can get. “In my 12 years, I can’t remember the district closing – ever,” said Scott Anderson, executive director of administration and operations at School District 2. He vaguely recalls a time decades ago when his father was a school administrator, and the

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governor declared a state of emergency because of severe, sub-zero temperatures. Students stayed home along with most everyone, since all but the most basic services were shut down across the state, Anderson said. About the only thing that could lead to a SD2 shutdown would be a transportation problem, he said. But even if the buses couldn’t run due to snow or severe cold, schools would still be open to accommodate students who were able to make it in. “If there’s even one child on their way to school, we need to be open,” Anderson said. Most schools are on priority snow routes, which are plowed first, and rural bus stops are on plowed county roads, so even with a heavy snowfall, school buses can still provide transportation. In severe cold conditions, diesel fuel in the school buses is treated with an additive to keep it flowing.

I believe I can fly When the first flakes of snow start to fall at Billings Logan International Airport, chances are crews are already out clearing more than 4 million square-feet of runway, taxiway and ramps. Their goal, said Tom Binford, the city’s director of aviation and transit, is a bare, dry runway, and most of the time, the fleet of super-wide plows, snow blowers and high speed brooms do the job. It has to be a pretty heavy snowfall for the crew to be unable to keep up. “It’s a continual process once winter hits,” Binford said. “Severe cold doesn’t usually slow operations at the airport either,” he said, “but it keeps emergency crews busy responding to an increase in aircraft emergencies, including malfunctioning landing gear and engine problems.” The most common reason to halt airport operations is visibility. That can happen in a heavy snowstorm or, more commonly, dense fog. When that happens, crews just have to wait for conditions to improve. A heavy frost, snow or sleet on an airplane will require de-icing with a propylene-glycol solution, warmed to 160 degrees, that’s sprayed on the aircraft before takeoff. “Basically we just give the plane a bath,” said Joel Simmons operations manager at Edwards Jet Center. Depending on air temperature and other conditions, the de-icer lasts between 15 minutes to an hour. The solution keeps the air traffic going, but it isn’t cheap. “One gallon costs about $14, and it takes at least a couple hundred gallons to de-ice a single plane,” Simmons said. Once the aircraft is in the air, warming equipment keeps the wings and other critical systems ice-free.

Profile of a weatherman Joe Lester, meteorologist A self-described weather junkie, Lester loves winter, and it’s no secret that he looks forward to crazy conditions and a good snowstorm. Employer: The National Weather Service, Billings office

Light my fire

Best part of the job: “It’s interesting and it’s always different every day.

For many, gathering around a crackling fire to read, study or hang out with the family is a cherished winter memory. The smell of burning cedar wafting through the house adds another dimension to the sensory effects of the season. And, building a fire is a lot easier than most people think. Here are a few simple steps to rekindling the old fireplace flame.

Prepare the fireplace Clean your chimney of any build-up of flammable creosote (the National Fire Protection Association recommends once a year), and remove all old ashes and wood. Learn how to operate your flue damper and make sure it has been opened.

Check the draft If your fireplace has glass doors, open them 30 minutes before to allow the inside of the fireplace to come to room temperature to create an upward draft. Light a match in the fireplace to make sure the draft is moving upward. If not, use a starter block to heat the inside of the chimney to reverse the draft.

Set up your kindling Make a small pile of crumpled newspaper underneath your grate and set your kindling – dried thin pieces of wood – on top. Do not use too much newspaper, as it produces a lot of smoke. Put very thin, dried logs on top of this pile and stack horizontally

and upward, like a series of flattened X’s.

It’s not just forecasting that it’s going to be sunny and 40 degrees today. Even on those days there’s a lot going on.” A perfect day on the job: “When a big snow event is coming and I

Spark it up

can dig into it and figure out what’s

Light the newspaper first and keep a close eye and the fire begins to catch. Once the branches catch fire, add larger dried logs, stacking in the flattened X formation. If the fire looks weak, add more kindling as needed.


Where there’s smoke Keep an eye on the level of smoke in the room. If the room becomes too smoky, open a window. Use your fireplace tools to carefully adjust logs as needed to created optimal burning.

Based on computer models that

analyze data from the atmosphere, Lester and his colleagues know a snowstorm is on its way about four or five days before it arrives, but the storm’s intensity and how much snow it will bring remains a mystery until the snowstorm hits. That’s where the investigation starts. Lester then looks at local observations as they develop to make more precise predictions.

In addition to general forecasts

for the public, meteorologists prepare more detailed weather summaries for aviation and

The fire is slowly dying Stir the wood down at least half an hour before you want the fire to die. Break it up with a poker and try to spread it out as much as you can. Check after the fire is out to insure that the coals and embers are all dead. If so, close the damper so that you do not lose

the home heat generated.

firefighting. They also do hydrological analysis to predict flooding. Though people tend to remember the meteorologists’ near-misses, they have incredible accuracy considering the volatility of the elements at play.

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Profile of a snow plow driver Hudson Hagstrom owner of H2 Lawn and Snow Services

Hudson Hagstrom and his partner clear snow for nine commercial properties and 25 residences in the Billings area. A good snowstorm makes for a busy night of plowing, and he enjoys the immediate satisfaction of clearing a lot or driveway. Best part of the job: “A hot mocha, the heated cab of my truck and making my customers happy.”

The Skinny on Snow Plows

A perfect day on the job: “When the snow is done falling by about 3 a.m., so we can go out and clear the snow before all the businesses are open.”

These past two winters have given

Hagstrom plenty of snow to clear, and

Memories of the wicked, icy ruts that plagued residential streets last winter are triggered

although he uses two trucks equipped

with this year’s first snowfall. The City of Billings doesn’t plow residential streets, but you

with plows and an ATV with a plow, he

wonder what it would cost to have your street plowed. “I’ll pay anything!” you scream into the

still uses a shovel to finish most jobs.

silent, snowy night.

Hagstrom taught himself how to plow

lots. The more it snows, the trickier it gets.

“You’ve got to learn where to put the

How does $8.43 sound? That’s about what city officials estimate it would cost per

household to implement a residential plowing program. If the City of Billings contracts with a private company to plow residential streets it would cost about $350,000 a year. If the city bought its own equipment and hired seasonal staff for plowing residential streets, city officials estimate it would cost about $800,000 a year.

snow so it’s not in the way and people

can still watch for parking lot traffic,”

four inches of snow on the ground. And rather than fight traffic to move a scant amount

Hagstrom said.

of snow, they’ll wait until nighttime and more snow accumulation before hitting the streets.

Plows should have all the priority #1 streets – those heavily used, arterial streets – done in

Hagstrom spends most of the rest

of the year landscaping and doing yard maintenance, so the wintertime can be a welcome break. It can be hard venturing

As the plowing program currently operates, the plows usually begin when there’s at least

about eight hours. From there, plows will move to priority #2 streets – those heavily traveled feeders that connect to the priority #1 streets. If it starts to get slippery, the plows will start spreading sand and de-icer at busy intersections.

For those who dislike getting behind the wheel in the snow, there is a solution. That is, if

out into the cold at night, Hagstrom said,

you don’t mind walking. Try hoofing it on one of Billings trails or bike paths in the Heritage

but he has two coffee kiosks on his plow

Trail System. They’re plowed all winter to accommodate recreation, and you’re pretty much

route, so a hot espresso drink is always

guaranteed not to encounter a traffic jam.

waiting at the end of every snowstorm.

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Slip slidin’ away AAA MountainWest, which covers the snowy states of Alaska, Montana and Wyoming, advises you keep the following in your vehicle in case of an emergency:

Before you go anywhere, be sure snow and ice is

cleared from your car’s windows, windshield and hood, and don’t forget to sweep off headlights and tail lights so other drivers can see you better.

When driving, allow for a greater buffer between

you and the car ahead of you to compensate for longer stopping distances in slippery conditions. When it comes time to stop, slow down early to give yourself plenty of room. If you start to slide, apply gentle, steady pressure with your heel on the floor. Avoid mashing the brake pedal to the floor. If your car has antilock brakes you’ll feel some pulsing, and that’s normal, so keep your

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foot steady on the brake pedal. AAA MountainWest doesn’t recommend “pumping” the brakes since that’s essentially what antilock brakes do automatically.

If you begin to skid out of control while accelerating,

try not to panic or slam on the brakes. If the rear wheels are skidding, take your foot off the accelerator and steer DDS • MSD • PC

in the direction the wheels are skidding to straighten out the car. For example, if the rear end of the car is fishtailing to the right, steer to the right. If the front


wheels are sliding, you likely won’t have any control over steering, but be prepared for traction to return by decelerating and continuing to steer in the direction you want to go.

Dr. Mandy Barnes

A few other winter driving ideas from AAA: for

is joining the Billings Animal Family Hospital staff in November 2011. She is a 2005 graduate of Washington State University and is a Billings native.

maximum traction, make sure your tires are properly inflated. Never use cruise control in snowy or icy conditions, and always wear a seatbelt.

Keep the right things in your vehicle: Sand, salt, cat litter or other abrasive material for traction

Gloves, hats and blankets

Snow shovel

Warning flares or triangles

Snow brush

Drinking water

Ice scraper

Non-perishable snacks

Flashlight Jumper cables

First-aid kit Basic toolkit Cell phone

Remember Senior Pet Wellness is important too.

Dr. Barnes is charismatic and energetic and will be a welcomed addition to the hospital. Call today to schedule an appointment.

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Winter Weather Lingo Ever wonder what the difference between a snow flurry and a snow shower? How about the difference between a winter storm watch and a winter storm warning? To a casual weather watcher, the differences may seem slight, but they are a few of the technical terms used by the National Weather Service in forecasting winter weather. To prepare for whatever may come, keep these terms in mind:

Success in school, and in life. Our highly personalized approach builds the skills, habits and attitudes your child needs to succeed in school and in life.

Winter Storm Warning: Hazardous winter weather – heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is on the way or already occurring. Warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the event is expected to begin. Winter Storm Watch: Alerts the public to the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet. Winter Storm Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a winter storm. Winter Storm Outlook: Issued prior to a

Develops independent work habits.

Winter Storm Watch, a Winter Storm Outlook is given when forecasters believe winter storm conditions are possible. Usually issued three to five days in advance of a winter storm.

Improves attitudes.

Blizzard Warning: Sustained or gusty winds of

Motivates learning. Provides feedback for parents and teachers.

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35 mph or more, and falling or blowing snow that limits visibility to a quarter mile or less, with those conditions expected to last at least three hours.

Wind Chill Warning:

Wind speeds and temperature combined are expected to be hazardous. Just a few minutes of exposure could lead to frostbite, and prolonged exposure can lead to hypothermia and even death.

Snow Flurries: Light snow falling for short durations. No accumulation or a light dusting is all that is expected. Snow Showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible. Blowing Snow: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility and causes significant drifting. Blowing snow may be snow that is falling or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.

Snow When the grounds and streets are covered with snow, don’t waste the day in front of the TV. Snow days are an excellent chance to indulge in some family activities – both indoor and out.

w Days Gaming without wires

In the land before hand-held devices, board games ruled, and families would have a blast navigating the sales of major blocks of real estate in Monopoly and flailing down an imaginary slide in Shoots and Ladders. Gather up the troops, bring in some snacks and indulge in an intellectual family game of LIFE, Pictionary, Risk or Checkers. Apples to Apples, Catchphrase and Cranium will have everyone on their toes and in peels of laughter. Jenga and Operation can make even the steadiest of hands squirmy.

Rearrange a room Switching around furniture is a great way to refresh a tired space – especially a bedroom. Plus, it allows you to finally conquer the real monsters under the bed: the dust bunnies. Even the most cleaningresistant kids love reorganizing their treasures to their hearts content, and a clean room is conducive to academic productivity. Try feng shui to brighten moods and revitalize your energy.

Attic fashion show Most of us have a box of clothing from the past which, though no longer fashionable, is just too weird to get rid of. Pass it down to the kids and let them decide what is costume-worthy and what is forgettable. Photograph the little ones in your old prom dress or bell-bottoms to commemorate the day.

Scrapbooking soiree Do you ever discover an old plane ticket tucked away and feel mildly insane for not being able to throw it out? Gather your movie stubs, photo booth reels, takeout menus from past vacations and slew of other little mementos and arrange them in a scrapbook. All you need is a blank book, scissors, glue stick and your fondest memories.

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Fancy dinner party Admittedly, nothing says snow day like freshly-baked cookies. But for extra-ambitious cooking enthusiasts, maybe chocolate chip morsels just won’t cut the mustard. Why not bring the whole family together and delve into an enticing cookbook to create a three course dinner? Work together, use the frozen steaks that have been taking up space in the freezer and – if you are feeling generous – invite the neighbors over to partake in the festivities.

Snow Olympics Invite the neighborhood to participate in an epic day of snow games. Create events like relay races in the snow, tug of war, igloo building or best snow creatures and divide teams up by families or age – parents vs. kids. Those who prefer steering clear of the snow can be on hot chocolate duty.

Snuggle up to old movies True, resorting to the TV as soon as you hear the announcement that school is canceled is weak sauce. But when the sun begins to go down, there is nothing wrong with putting on your favorite movie from when you were little, making a bowl of popcorn and basking in the fun of a flick that doesn’t require Blue-ray or 3D glasses.

Sledding …What else is there to say? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unless the sled is broken. You will want to fix that.

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Billings is ripe with people who make our world – both locally and globally – a better place. In the following pages, we introduce to you a few who exemplify this spirit, raising the bar and encouraging those around them to do the same. Their stories are inspiring and give us one more reason to be proud to call Billings home.

by allyn hulteng & brenda maas

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Rock Solid Foundations By Allyn Hulteng • Photo by David Grubbs

W. W. and Merilyn Ballard Wildcatter – Educator – Philanthropist

“… A man of character, and vision, experience and knowledge and leader in the industry. A cornerstone of community, philanthropy and caring, whose generous acts have touched countless lives.” ~excerpted from the Independent Petroleum Association Mountain States tribute to W. W. Ballard, Wildcatter of the Year

Tall and lean, with striking blue eyes and a soft drawl, W. W. “Bill” Ballard carries himself with the quiet confidence of a southern gentleman. Standing beside him, his gracious wife, Merilyn, radiates charm. Together, the couple has forged a remarkable partnership rooted in love for each other and a commitment to bettering Billings. As CEO and Chairman of Ballard Petroleum Holdings, LLC, Bill Ballard is a highly respected oil executive and longtime industry advocate. Originally from El Dorado, Ark., Ballard’s trek to Montana took a circuitous route. After graduating from high school, Ballard studied geology at the University of Oklahoma where he was awarded a football scholarship. In his sophomore year, an injury permanently ended his football career, but the talented athlete returned to play baseball on scholarship. During a summer internship, Ballard worked in the oil fields outside of Poplar, Mont., where he met Merilyn. One year later, the couple married. After going on to earn a master’s degree and then a Ph.D., Ballard began working in the oil and gas industry, moving first to Denver, Colo., and then to Bartlesville, Okla. But the desire to return to Montana was strong. In 1963, Ballards moved to Billings where Ballard and his then partner, William Cronoble, started Balcron Oil, an independent oil and gas company. “This was a good place to raise a family; we figured it was a good place for independents, too,” he said. By the mid-1970s, the fledgling company was finding success and growing. In 1987, Ballard and his partner sold the company to Equitable Resources Energy Company. Five years later, Ballard left to start another independent: Ballard Petroleum. Through booms and busts and the recent explosion of activity in the Williston Basin, Ballard has remained an industry leader and staunch advocate for energy independence. Beyond running a highly successful exploration company, he served as the President of the Montana Petroleum Association for three years, and then President of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association for several more. On numerous occasions, Ballard testified before the Montana legislature, educating legislators on important issues relating to energy production.

Along the way Ballard had an unexpected opportunity to pass along his passion for geology and energy exploration when he was asked to teach a geology class at Rocky Mountain College. “It was 1966. I was home one Sunday evening watching Bonanza when the phone rang,” Ballard recalls. On the phone was Dr. Lawrence Small, president of the college, asking if Ballard would take over teaching a geology class for a professor who had fallen ill. “I said ‘sure.’ I must have done a good job because they invited me back to teach for the next 16 years,” Ballard said. Don’t let his modest response fool you. Not only did Ballard teach, but by 1970 he had assembled the geology community and established a geology department and a degree-granting program at Rocky. In 1981, Ballard stepped down as chair of the geology department to join the Board of Directors, serving both as Vice Chair and Chair during his 20 year tenure. In 2001, he joined the Billings Clinic Board of Directors and served two consecutive five year terms ending in 2010. Ballard has also been a member of the Downtown Rotary since 1971 and on the Wells Fargo Community Board since 1985. Between his work and board duties, Ballard made time to coach youth sports, leading the first little league team in the history of Montana to the regional playoffs in San Bernardino where they made it to the semi-finals. Manning the helm of Ballard Petroleum while working tirelessly to forward the industry and giving generously of his time and talent to the community takes tremendous commitment – and a high level of support from his wife. “Merilyn made it all possible,” he said. “She is the backbone of our family. My partner in everything I do.” To this day, the couple continues their active support of higher education. Bill Ballard recently stepped back on the board of Rocky Mountain College, and Bill and Merilyn were recognized by the college as Philanthropists of the Year. “Billings is such a great place to live,” said Ballard. “Community engagement and philanthropy are important; even small actions can have big impacts.”

In Merilyn’s words:

I am inspired by how many people in our community volunteer their time. It’s amazing and part of what makes Billings so great.

In Bill’s words:

“Get a good education and use it.”

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Making a Splash By Brenda Maas • Photo by Casey Page

Sami Duval

Freshman at Billings Central Catholic High School Billings Y Seahawks and BCCHS Swimmer

Swimmer Sami Duval was not born into water, but almost. She had her first swim lesson when she was just a year old. By age six, she had joined the Billings Y Seahawks swim team. This past July, despite being seeded third, she placed first by a fraction of a second in the girls’ age 13 to 14 200-meter butterfly at Montana Long Course State Meet. She went on to sweep the ‘fly’ events with first place finishes in the 50 and 100-meter events. And this is not her first “hat trick.” In 2009 Sami swept the individual medleys at Montana State Short Course Championship. This most recent Phelps-like win amazingly took place just a few short months after Duval had been consistently adding time to her events instead of becoming faster. “It was difficult for me to cut time,” Sami notes of her winter and spring season. “I didn’t give up then. I don’t let challenges – like my vision – get in my way of my goals. That sweep was my goal.” Sami was born with albinism. The condition affects her vision and how much time she can spend in the sun. To manage she wears loads of sunscreen, custom swim goggles and looks ahead to reaching her personal goals. Despite her focus, Sami admits that yes, it does hurt when someone looks at her and says “albino” in a disparaging way. “How I look doesn’t define me as a person. When someone first sees you and calls you albino, they don’t see who you are they, just what you are. And that’s not fair.” But, as the saying goes, Sami lets it slide off her back like water. In addition to swimming, Sami served on the Student Council for three years, earned honor roll grades and was co-salutatorian of her Lockwood Middle School class. Apparently, standing alone in front of large groups of people, whether behind a podium or on a swimming pool starting block, is a common occurrence for this young woman. In a strange juxtaposition, swimming is a social sport. Similar to track and wrestling meets, it’s a “hurry up and wait” venue. Between events, Sami chats it up with long-

time teammates, but she’s also the first one to welcome a new swimmer. She’ll learn their name and favorite stroke before their first meet. Ironically, it is her personal attention and happygo-lucky attitude that puts her in a leadership position. Others are drawn to her positive, upbeat and focused demeanor. It’s as though the younger swimmers to try to emulate her can-do world outlook. “There’s so much satisfaction when someone – anyone – does well. I work hard to prove to myself, and others, that I can still do things as well as everybody else,” she notes. “Or, that I can do them better.” With the state championship medals and her infectious work ethic, there’s no doubt that Sami Duval does motivate others to do “better.”

In Sami’s words:

I definitely admire my mom and dad most of all. They always encourage me and tell me that what others say doesn’t define me. They continually tell me that I shouldn’t care what other people think – just do what makes me happy. And swimming makes me happy. Swimming well makes me even happier.

Out of the Park

Dehler park signing autographs for three hours until dark it started to sink in,” Carlson said. The Big Sky All-Stars 2011 trip to the Little League World Series will forever hold a place in sports history, as well as in the hearts of Montanans. More importantly, for those youngsters who dream of someday becoming a Montana All-Star, these boys set the bar, displaying character on and off the field. That’s something rare in today’s celebrity-athlete culture – but so are the boys from Montana.

By Allyn Hulteng • Photo by Paul Ruhter

Big Sky Little League All-Stars All-Stars – Sports Heroes – History Boys

There was no doubt the boys from Montana were the underdogs. After all, no Big Sky team had ever won the regional championship and gone on to the Little League World Series. Yet here they were, in Williamsport, Pa. Twelve youngsters along with their coaches, parents and fans eager to take to the field. When Montana won their first game against Rapid City S.D., people thought it was a nice showing. When they won their second game against Lafayette, La., they made a statement: We’re from Montana, and we can play ball. As the team put more marks in the win column, something amazing took place back in Montana. The entire citizenry began to root for the underdogs. People who had no prior connection with the Little League world started watching, cheering for the players. Ben Askelson, Cole McKenzie, Patrick Zimmer and the rest of the boys became household names; everyone wanted to hug little Conner Kieckbush. It wasn’t long before reporters from around the world began to take note, telling and re-telling the improbable tale. Theirs was a modern-day rendition of David and Goliath; everybody was riveted. *** The Big Sky All-Stars went all the way to the semifinals where they lost to Huntington Beach. But the story doesn’t end quite there. “When we were in Willamsport, the boys were isolated a little bit as far as knowing what their wins Don’t be scared; don’t be intimidated. They’re good, meant to the community and the state,” said Gene but you can play with them. Carlson, Big Sky All-Stars manager. “They didn’t fully understand it until after they got home.” The team, along with their coaches, returned to a hero’s welcome. After making numerous appearances across the state, the youngsters were honored at a Anything can happen as far as your dreams and goals. Don’t doubt community celebration at Billings’ Dehler Park attended yourself. Work hard and improve one thing every day. by some 4,000 fans. “I think when they were sitting at

Advice to the Big Sky All-Star team from Coach Gene Carlson before playing Huntington Beach in the semi-final: Advice from Coach Carlson to youngsters everywhere:

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For Our Own Good By Brenda Maas • Photo by Bob Zellar

LynAnn Henderson

Executive Director of Billings Wellbeing Institute

The signature line of LynAnn Henderson’s email contains this quote from Mathatma Gandhi: “We must become the change we want to see.” Those words are not a surprise to those who know LynAnn; to those who do not, it quickly becomes apparent that she is the epitome of change. An achiever. A woman of passion and action. From a young age, LynAnn has been a doer. As a teen she would catch the Trailways bus in her hometown of Fromberg to study classical piano with Montana State University-Billings music professor, Dorthea Cromley. Twenty years has not diminished her ambition. In fact, it may actually be on overdrive. Several years ago, LynAnn suffered a back injury. Unfortunately, it came at a time when there was a lot on her plate professionally. As a result, she notes, she struggled to get better. When LynAnn attended a Gallup presentation about the economics of wellbeing she knew she had found a key to her future. “It was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me,” she says. “And I knew I had to bring the Wellbeing Institute back to Billings with me.” She goes on to note that the information presented touched her on both professional and personal levels. The Wellbeing Institute is a non-profit organization that is working to bring together leaders from all sectors of the community – health care, education, business, government, churches and others – in order to develop a comprehensive, community-wide strategic plan focused on financial, career, social, physical and overall community

well-being. What sets the Wellbeing Institute apart is its collaboration with Gallup, a national research firm, which will conduct studies to track, measure and report changes in the overall well-being of our citizens. Year-over-year, these benchmarks will provide a baseline for making improvements. As Executive Director of a conceptual institute instead of the traditional brick-and-mortar, LynAnn has a big job. But her enthusiasm fills the room. “Billings has a ‘pioneering’ spirit, and I would characterize the citizenry as a group of healthy, engaged ‘workers,’” she reports. “I see this as an opportunity to build a place where marriages are strong; where young people don’t have to leave Billings because of a lack of opportunities; where businesses realize the connection between well-being and productivity. I am bringing together leaders who realize how important these elements are to our economic growth as a community.” Yet, within the driven LynAnn is dedicated wife, mother of four, grandmother of one and a spiritual woman. “I struggle with all the same things everyone else does,” she admits. “When I’ve fallen down I’ve really had to re-prioritize and lean on my support system.” That support system, she admits, starts at home. She cites her children, her husband, Brian, her brother, Kris Vogele, who is a cancer survivor and her parents as huge motivators in her life. While Billings-area natives may know LynAnn as a high school and college basketball stand-out, others may know her as coach or Director of Admissions at Rocky Mountain College. However, she feels all those roles were necessary pre-cursors to her current position – one where she can work with business and government leaders in the Billings community to influence real change. And real change is what LynAnn is all about.

In LynAnn’s words:

Take a holistic approach to improving your life. Instead of emphasizing one area for improvement, set goals in every area – physical, financial, social, career and community – and take a balanced approach for making each better.

Dave Caserio leads a writing workshop for people who battle cancer. >

Poetic Perseverance By Brenda Maas • Photo by Bob Zellar

Dave Caserio

Poet and Waiter at Enzo’s

Dave Caserio does not consider himself a person who motivates others. Yet, he touches the lives of many simply by being true to himself. As director of the Feast for the Hunger Moon performance poetry event at Venture Theatre and co-coordinator of a writing workshop at Billings Clinic for cancer survivors, families and caretakers, he mentors many to speak their own introspective truth. “If you can make what you do reflect who you are inside, if you tend to that, then you will be an inspiration to others,” he notes. “It will raise their own spiritual sense of their self. My goal is to make what I write as pure, true and passionate as I can.” In following that quest, Dave influences others. Using the art of writing, along with more technical writing techniques and tools, he helps others to process their cancer journey. “I consider it an honor and a privilege to be a part of the self-discovery that happens when someone writes – it’s someone speaking their fears, what’s inside of them, their vulnerability,” Dave emphasizes. “These are serious workshops, but we are laughing half the time. And that somehow allows people to gain control of their situation.” Although he has acted in live theater for a living before moving to Montana, poetry has spoken to Dave since he was a kid. But he laughs at himself and said, “It wasn’t until

I was 30 that I wrote a poem that someone couldn’t take away from me. It was the real horse – a bit wobbly, but it had legs.” With his own voice, came his ownership. And, his life path. Now Dave lives to share his art. He has recently been appointed to the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau and still matches his poetry to words at venues like Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company. “Art is like never having had chocolate; the minute you taste the real thing, you know you have loved it all your life,” he says. “Venues like the ones in Billings create a space for artists, audiences and patrons to come together, it links generations and bypasses our economic and political differences. When these venues aren’t available, we create them as a community or we go looking elsewhere. It is an incredible human loop.” When it comes to genre writing, Dave points out that poetry slows one down. That, he feels, is a good thing. Poetry has a meditative sense to it that demands time and concentration. In reading aloud, Dave notes, words become more powerful, have deeper meaning – they come alive. He also considers poetry to be not just words, but a whole physical entity – it takes breath, language and sound to bring a rhythm to words, and a rhythm can help heal. Or, at least cope. And those regenerative qualities, Dave feels, have a beauty all their own.


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Redefining Retirement

By Allyn Hulteng • Photo by James Woodcock

Shirlee Bitney

Peace Corps – Volunteer

At age 62, Shirlee Bitney could have retired comfortably. After all, she had just finished a long career teaching world geography in the Shepherd School District, and the last of her six children left home to attend college. But retiring was the last thing on her mind. “I loved to travel, and I wanted do something to help people,” she said. It was 1992 and Bitney decided to apply to the Peace Corps. Shortly after being accepted, Bitney was dispatched to serve in the Marshall Islands, a smattering of small

islands and atolls in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. To say the locale lacked amenities is a gross understatement. “There were no houses, no electricity, no running water. We used the same bucket of water to bathe and wash clothes,” recalled Bitney. Despite having almost nothing, Bitney says the Marshallese were happy. “They were friendly, peaceful and so curious,” she noted. For two years, Bitney taught elementary school kids. She also taught music. One day while she was giving a music lesson, two

small boys “no more than four or five years old” began harmonizing. “It came completely naturally to them, and it was beautiful,” she said. Bitney was astounded to learn that the entire tribe was musically gifted. “They created such incredible musical pieces.” In all, 12 Peace Corps volunteers, including Bitney, had been assigned to the Marshall Islands; only Bitney and one other volunteer stayed the entire two years. “It was very primitive. We mostly only ate what the locals ate: rice, fish, coconut and breadfruit. And like the natives, we ate with our fingers and slept on the ground.” After completing her assignment in the Marshalls, Bitney returned to Billings. But the urge to serve did not abate. One year later, Bitney moved to Kosice, Slovakia to teach high school English. Her experience in Eastern Europe was vastly different from her stint in the Marshalls. “Kosice is a very urban city. There were nice restaurants and even a K-Mart in town,” she said. When Bitney’s students learned that she only spoke one language, they were amazed. Most of them spoke at least three different languages; many spoke five. “But they all wanted to learn English, the international language of business,” said Bitney. “They were smart, serious and driven to succeed.” After twelve months in Kosice, Bitney signed on for a third international assignment, this time teaching English at Jian Teacher’s College in rural China. The poverty, she said, was extreme. While Bitney and other teachers had modestly comfortable accommodations, the students shared starkly-furnished, cramped dormitories. The college’s communal bathrooms had open water trenches for toilets, and many of the school windows were broken, which meant classrooms were freezing in winter. Despite the conditions, Bitney made many Chinese friends with whom she has stayed in touch. “The people were so gracious,” she recalled. After two years teaching in China, Bitney once again returned home to Billings. “The hardest part about working overseas is coming home and seeing all the ‘stuff’ Americans have,” she noted. “It’s shocking, really, once you’ve been away from it all.” Today, at age 82, Bitney continues to volunteer, albeit closer to home. In the summer you’ll find her working at the Billings Chamber of Commerce; in the winter, she volunteers at St. Vincent Healthcare. She also serves as a substitute volunteer at the Pompey’s Pillar Visitor’s Center. “So many people need help,” she said. “I’ve been blessed to have had good health and to be able to have these experiences.”

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Engineering a Vision By Brenda Maas • Photo by James Woodcock

Kris Koessl & Quentin Eggart Co-chairs of the Healing Field event

Quentin Eggart, left, and Kris Koessl stand by the 9/11 memorial at the MSU-B College of Technology. The two were co-coordinators of the Healing Field.

Imagine walking through a field of 1,000 eightfoot tall American flags, symmetrically lined up, row-after-row, flapping in Montana’s late summer breeze. Few people would be able to experience such a place without speechless emotion. That’s exactly what happened when Quentin Eggart visited a Healing Field in Jacksonville, Fla. And, he knew he had to find a way to bring that moving tribute to Billings. However, having a dream and getting it done are two different things. For Kris Koessl, construction administrator with A&E Architects, and Quentin Eggart, owner of Eggart Engineering and Construction, their question was not “Can we get it done?” but rather,

“How do we get it done?” These motivated men are in strong agreement about one main principle: attitude is everything. As co-coordinators of the 9/11 Healing Field flag memorial® they brought together the three Exchange Clubs of Billings along with Montana State University Billings to get the job done – and done well. While there is no official count, organizers estimate that some four thousand people strolled through those rows to commemorate on the tenth anniversary of the most traumatic day in recent U.S. history. While neither Koessl nor Eggart may know the true impact their work had on the individual visitors, they are familiar with the

passion that drove their work. It is simply the way they choose to live their lives. As owner of his own business, Eggart notes that his positive attitude is simply a trickle-down theory. “I create the mood. I bring the weather, so to speak. If I inspire others to give their best, they will be happier about their effort and their lives, they will have better family lives, and we’ll have fewer social issues. If people are well-educated and well-employed, it all just pays forward.” Koessl grew up in Glasgow, Mont., traveled to Ireland during college and moved away for several years, eventually returning to Montana. For him, the same concept applies. “Your attitude is the one thing that you can control 100 percent in your life,” he notes. “If you bring something positive to your community, like the Healing Field, you can influence the attitude of others. Personally, I come from a big military family. Even though I didn’t choose that path, I feel honored to help put this event on.” Eggart, who grew up in the Custer area, stresses the importance of community – in both large and small towns. To that end, the team hopes to bring the Healing Field to smaller communities across the state in coming years.

While the Exchange Club, their common link and vehicle for organizing such feats focuses on family, community and country, Eggart easily sums up a simple, yet elusive mantra: “If you focus on the minuses, you will never be happy, no matter where you live.”

In Eggart’s words:

Do it for love, not for money. Look far out – past tomorrow. Look weeks, months, years down the road and base your decisions on what you see farther out. It’s like looking down the road when you are learning to drive – don’t look only directly in front of you, but where you are going.

In Koessl’s words:

Find something you are passionate about and pursue it – it’s a big world out there. And, you can learn a lot by simply listening – to yourself and to others around you.

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MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 83

Anti-DUI Duo By Allyn Hulteng • Photo by James Woodcock

Scott Twito Yellowtone County Attorney

David Carter Senior Deputy County Attorney

Man admits endangering children in late-night DUI Woman, 57, faces ‘at least’ 7th DUI charge Man admits DUI No. 8 ~Headlines from The Billings Gazette, September/October 2011.

When Scott Twito assumed the helm as the newly-elected Yellowstone County Attorney, he challenged his staff to think differently. “The system should be better every day. I push our people to be forward thinking, to participate in making the process better,” Twito said. That new attitude was evident in the push for legislation to help curb repeat DUIs. In the past, law enforcement could get a warrant for every type of crime except DUI, which is one of the most problematic across the state. “There’s still a perception that a DUI is like a speeding ticket; that it isn’t a crime,” said Twito. In fact, driving under the influence is a crime. “When a person with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he or she is making a decision. And that decision can be deadly.” According to Twito, 80 percent of people who are convicted of a DUI learn their lesson. “It’s a one-time mistake; they never do it again.” The other 20 percent – the repeat offenders – typically make the headlines. Unfortunately, that’s only when they’re caught.

Twito points to a University of Montana study which concluded that repeat DUI offenders average 363 impaired driving events before they actually get caught and arrested. “That’s 363 opportunities to cause severe injury and death that go unchecked,” Twito said. Repeat offenders have been through the process before; they know the loopholes. “They know that refusing to take a field sobriety test lessens the likelihood for conviction,” said Twito. That loophole has now been closed. During the 2011 legislative session, Twito, along with Senior Deputy County Attorney David Carter, introduced a DUI search warrant bill. The bill would allow law enforcement officers to obtain a search warrant to draw blood from a suspected drunk driver who has had one or more previous convictions. Those lab results would be admissible as evidence in court. “DUI is not a partisan issue,” said Twito. “The legislators listened.” Starting Oct.1, the DUI search warrant gives law enforcement and prosecutors a powerful new tool for combating repeat offenders. Twito and Carter worked collaboratively with the Billings Police Department, the Sheriff’s office, RiverStone Health and the courts to implement the law in Yellowstone

County and create a protocol that is effective and efficient. And officers, fed up with the problem of repeat DUIs, have bought in. “It takes just seven to 12 minutes to get the warrant,” Twito said. The new search warrant law works in combination with another new rule, the 24/7 law. That law requires twice-a-day breathalyzer testing for people who have charges pending for a second or subsequent DUI. It’s a one-two punch that Twito says can curb repeat offenses. “DUIs cost a lot,” said Twito. He points out the cost of injuries, homicides, investigations, prosecution, incarceration, medical and car insurance – not to mention the terrible emotional costs. “If we can stop even one repeat offender, it pays off hundreds of times.”

In Twito’s words:

“You can’t legislate personal responsibility. But you can give law enforcement tools to reduce the number of infractions on highways.”

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito, right, and Deputy County Attorney David Carter have worked together on laws to curb repeat DUI offenders.


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Scout’s Honor By Brenda Maas • Photo by David Grubbs

Sally Leep

Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming

Word association is a strange thing. Mention Girl Scouts and most people think of one thing: cookies. But mention Girl Scouts to Sally Leep and she thinks of 7,644 motivated, achieving, can-do-anything-they-dream-of girls. As Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, Sally represents the strong trunk that each council, each branch and each sprout of a Girl Scout needs in order to grow. In 2008 the Girl Scouts of the USA faced the brutal truth of a declining membership, dated image and some programming in need of improvement. Nationally, more than 300 councils were combined into 112. Sally took this challenge and merged three councils – two from Montana and one from Wyoming – under the umbrella of one council to streamline operations, stabilize finances and increase efficiency. “I am confident that we have been successful,” she notes. “We are in the top seven

Sally Leep, CEO Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming.

percent of councils nationwide in terms of growth and continue to expand our program into even more areas.” A certain irony lies in the fact that as a young girl, Sally was a Girl Scout for a brief time. But her family relocated too often for it to work out. Perhaps that fuels her passion today. “I want this opportunity to be open to all girls,” she emphasizes. “I am very mission-driven. I could easily work for another organization but the work I do here is so inspiring. I’m motivated every day to serve more girls.” She points out that in giving to their communities, the girls are in the full-circle process. For example, some local troops have made blankets to give to homeless people and others crafted “birthday in a box” as a way to package birthday party goodies – cake mix, candles, card and party hats – for those who might not otherwise have these basics for a celebration. In the process, the girls experience what volunteers most value – a look at life outside their own and how even small gestures of kindness can influence change. At the same time, the girls are working toward various achievement levels within the organization. Sally almost gushes with the pride of a mother when she talks about the nearly 8,000 Girl Scouts within the council. “These girls motivate me every day – it is simply amazing what girls can do when they put their minds to it, and what a


difference they can make in their community,” she notes. Behind the scenes, Sally builds and manages the structure that the newly-merged council needs. While she originally planned to study medicine, Sally found her niche in serving youth. She has worked at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, Tumbleweed Runaway Program and Head Start while also earning a Master’s degree in Health Administration. Clearly, her heart lies with the youth in the Billings community – and she has touched countless lives. The Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming is the largest geographic council in the U.S., covering some 245,000 square miles, and Sally travels almost 2,000 miles each month. Yet the busy CEO still finds time to occasionally pop in on one of the Girl Scout summer camps. Clearly, for Sally the rewards far outweigh the demands. “I love this job,” she says, and there is no doubt she does.

In Sally’s words:

If you can dream it, you can do it. You need to know where you want to be in order to get there – and go for it! But you won’t get there if you don’t make an effort. The world is wide open for youth today to be whatever they want to be.


1010 S. 29 TH ST. W.


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It’s My Life, Coach By Craig Lancaster • Illustration by Lee Hulteng

As the holiday season approaches, I find that I’m like any other self-concerned American: I’m thinking about that perfect gift for me. In years past, I might have relied on my parents to get me a ten-speed bicycle, Star Wars figurines or the entire canon of “Rocky” movies, but those days are gone. Now, at 41 and counting, I know better than anyone what will bring me the greatest happiness.

I need a life coach neutralizer. You know what a life coach is, of course. It’s that impossibly perfect person who has become so adept at regulating the rhythm of his or her own life that they suddenly have vast sectors of time available to improve yours. As a bonus, your average life coach comes to the job with the fervor of the newly-touched religious. After all, who better to flay your eating habits than someone who recently dropped half his body weight? Who better to put your financial house in order than she who fought through bankruptcy and became a kajillionaire? Who better to inspire you to heights of achievement than some apple-cheeked lad who has overcome his own setbacks? Surely you see the menace we’re up against. It’s only through dumb luck that I have come to grasp how pervasive the life coach truly is. Two years ago, I was abruptly thrust into situations where I had to speak to groups of people rather than just mumble veiled threats at the television set. I didn’t do anything noble to achieve this. No, I wrote a book. And then, in an act that can only be described as avaricious, I wrote another one. Suddenly, people wanted me to talk to them, and I came to realize that “uuuuuuuhhhh” and “you know” are insufficiently refined communication tools. Realizing my problem, I sought the curative powers of Toastmasters and walked right into the life coach’s lair. Oh, sure, you’ll meet people in Toastmasters who simply want to communicate more clearly in inter-office settings or write more persuasive memos, but just as surely you’ll find airbrushed men and women with white chicklet teeth and graceful manners and mellifluous voices that make you want to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, or at least the nearest sandstone butte. These are the life coaches. Take appropriate care. At Toastmasters, I delivered nearly a half dozen speeches, and at the conclusion of each, I was kindly evaluated by a colleague, sometimes an ascendant life coach. I can summarize the criticisms thusly: I should stand up straight. And not put my hands in my pockets. And move

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around the room a bit more and make more eye contact. Herein lies my beef: I’m a sloucher. I like putting my hands in my pockets (there’s sometimes candy in them). I like to stand still, and the patterns of the average floor interest me. This is part of my charm. (Incidentally, “this is part of my charm” is a phrase central to my existence as a human. It’s how I explain away almost everything, including my habit of returning empty saltine boxes to the pantry. People love that.) Rather than be carried away on the rainbow clouds that the life coaches live in, I decided that I’d had quite enough of Toastmasters. My speech had improved. I’d learned many things. And my natural-born slackerdom had not been compromised. Months went by. I continued on my merry business. People still asked me to come by and talk to them, and nobody seemed to complain that my hands remained steadfastly jammed in my pockets. I don’t want to imbue this thing with too much importance, but I think it’s fair to say that I beat the life coaches at their own game. Then I went to Fort Benton in September. I talked for a little while. I answered some questions. I signed some books. And I smiled politely as a woman leaned in solemnly and said, “You would be so much easier to listen to if you didn’t say ‘you know’ so much. Could you work on that, please?” I suspect that she’s a covert agent for the life coaches, but just to hedge my bets, perhaps I should give Toastmasters another whirl. You know?

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406.656.5501 2147 POLY DRIVE MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 89




When it is Time for Memory Care By Karen Powers, The Goodman Group

Being the sole caregiver for a person with memory loss is a challenge from the first diagnosis. As the memory loss progresses, behaviors start to develop that are very hard to cope with, the increased confusion that that can result in anger or aggression; unpredictable behavior; the need for constant supervision to prevent wandering; loss of continence and more. Trying to handle any of these care issues on your own can be exhausting and impossible when you add them all together. Many spouses and children begin to recognize their own fatigue and frustrations and realize that this is not good for them or the person with memory loss. Where to turn? Memory Care is the term used by senior care providers to define care services and programs for those suffering from memory loss due to stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other diagnosed dementia. Many years and much thought has been put into finding the best way to provide for the special needs of a person with memory loss. Doctors, researchers, organizations like The Alzheimer’s Association and many senior housing companies are dedicated to developing resources and providing services for the best possible care. The benefits of the programs are many: Secure wings, wander guard systems and enclosed courtyards Residents with memory loss can be restless and need room to wander safely. Multiple caregivers to be of assistance around the clock As the

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sole spouse or child knows – help is a good thing and a person with memory loss can have night time issues as well. Nursing staff to handle medication issues and secondary medical conditions Residents often cannot express how they feel or what they need and it takes a trained person to interpret and monitor those needs.

You are making the right choice.

Caregivers that are chosen for their patience Trained to handle the challenging behaviors and interpret the needs of residents who cannot ask for help. Meal programs designed to encourage eating and adapt to a residents needs Beyond three meals and snacks, we can help them eat and find ways to make sure they are getting the best nutrition. Activities that are stimulating and designed to reach the memory loss resident Quality of life can be found through social interaction, mental stimulation, music therapy and feeling purposeful. When the personal care of a family member with memory loss becomes too much of a challenge, transitioning to a secure memory care community, whether in a nursing home or assisted living facility, can be the right choice for your family. You can find this care at Westpark Village and Billings Health & Rehabilitation. Both feature the signature Pearls of Life Memory Care Program.

At some point, we all need help for ourselves or someone we love and we have to make the choice.


Billings& Rehabilitation Health Community

2115 Central Avenue Billings, Montana 59102 (406) 656-6500


Health Care Center 1807 24th Street West Billings, Montana 59102 (406) 656-5010


Westpark Village A Senior Living Community 2351 Solomon Avenue Billings, Montana 59102 (406) 652-4886

See this article and more resources and news on

YWCA Purse-a-palooza 1] Christina Garza, Tricia Harrison, Audrey Worthington

2] Karen Stensrud, Deb Peters, Jody Lafko

3] Pam Ivanoff



3. 5.

St.Vincent Healthcare Saints Ball 4] Aimee and Dr. Michael Brown

5] Dr. David and Sandy Shenton

6] Jason and Kyle Barker 7] Ralph and Tancy Spence

4. 6.


MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 91

Billings Clinic Classic 8] Nancy Schulz, Jennifer Corning and Corby Skinner

9] Karen Frank and Dorothy Metz

10] Dr. Fred Gunville, Kathy Kelker and Dr. Paul Kelker



11] Maura and Len Smith 12] Dr. Karen Cabell, Dr. Deric Weiss and Dr. Claire Kenamore

13] Jill and Mike Follet 14] Kimberly and Dr. Tye Young

15] Alex and Calvin Tyson

Ales for Trails 16] Shelly and Keith




17] Teah and Noel Mason 18] Erin and Sam Jones Harvest Fest 19] Barbara and John Turcotte

20] Annie Bergland and Lance Lundvall


12 14.

21] Doug and Jenna Nickels 22] Kurt and Suzanne Jacobson

15. .

Photos courtesy of Julie Seedhouse, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings Clinic and Brian Wagner

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17. .


18. 20.

19. 21.

22. .

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 93

BECAUSE BARE FOOT ON BARELY CLEAN JUST WON’T CUT IT... A clean floor is yours with a quality vacuum.

Holiday Hams - Bone In or Boneless Smoked Turkeys • Standing Rib Roast Gourmet Sausages & Jerky

Visit Stuart’s today to experience a tradition of outstanding customer service from a locally owned business.


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and so much more!!


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High calorie burn Focus on strength & flexiblity

ANTIQUES • Sofas • Vanities • Dining Room Furniture • China • Art • Wardrobes • Dish Sets COLLECTIBLES • Dolls • Marbles • Books • Comics VINTAGE • Jewelry • Kitchen • Home Decor

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Coffees Jams Gift Baskets Candy Specialty Meats

Antiques and Collectibles


Unique Gifts & More


15 Avanta Way, Billings James Wright, 12 years experience as a professional trainer

1701 Grand Avenue • 406-281-8261

406-698-4355 •

December 1-3, 2011 26th Annual Festival of the Trees The Festival of Trees, the Billings Exchange Clubs’ annual event for the prevention of child abuse, is scheduled for Dec. 1 through Dec. 3 at the Shrine Auditorium. For the first time, Tea in the Trees will be held before the auction on Thurs., Dec. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday’s events include the Gala Dinner and Tree Auction, and on Saturday, attendees can shop at the Craft & Gift Show, have Brunch with Santa, and attend the Writer’s Roundup and Family Fun Night.

December 2

Annie Location: Billings Studio Theatre Contact: 248-1141 Captivated by the twinkling lights and decorations, Addison Kay wonders through the Festival of Trees 2010. Photo by Paul Ruhter.

NOVEMBER November 15 – January 5

Christmas at the Moss Mansion Location: Moss Mansion Contact: 256-5100

November 18 – December 18 Oliver! Location: Venture Theatre Contact: 591-9535

November 18

Billings Senior High School’s Bronc Extravaganza Location: Billings Senior High Contact: 652-3273

November 19

Girl Scouts’ Believe in Girls Expo Location: Holiday Inn Grand Montana Convention Center Contact: 800-736-5243

St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral Annual Bazaar Location: St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral Contact: 245-3640

November 19 & 20

Annual Holiday Parade Location: Downtown Billings Contact: 294-5060

November 26 & 27

Holiday Food and Gift Festival Location: MetraPark Expo Center Contact: 696-6585 www.theholidayfoodandgift festival. com

Billings Symphony Orchestra The Nutcracker Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 252-3610

November 20

November 29

Yellowstone Chamber Players Location: Yellowstone Art Museum Contact: 248-2832

November 24

Run Turkey Run Location: Good Earth Market www.

November 25

Community Christmas Tree Location: Community Park Contact: 254-7180

Time for Three Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 256-6052

DECEMBER December 1 to 3

Festival of Trees Location: Shrine Auditorium Contact: 252-9799

YAM’s First Annual WinterFair December 2-3 Location: Yellowstone Art Museum Contact: 256-6804 Eagle Mount Ski Program Fundraiser, ski film, “Like There’s No Tomorrow” Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 245-5422

December 2

Christmas Stroll/Artwalk/ First Friday Location: Downtown Billings Contact: 259-6563 Young Frankenstein Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 256-6052 World AIDS Day Benefit Location: Big Horn Resort Contact: 245-2029

MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 95

December 20

A Christmas Carol Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 256-6052

December 22

Christmas Gala on Ice Location: Rimrock Auto Arena

December 31

Don McLean Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 256-6052


December 17

January 13 – 29

The Moss Mansion Family Festival will be held on Dec. 11. Photo by Larry Mayer.

December 3

Billings Symphony Annual Tour of Homes Location: Various Contact: 252-3610

December 4

Messiah Festival (Free Admission) Location: Alberta Bair Theatre Contact: 237-0453

December 10

Billings Youth Orchestra Concert Location: Alberta Bair Theater

bellissimo! Location: First United Methodist Church Contact: 471-3932

December 17

Chase Hawks Rodeo Location: Rimrock Auto Arena December 17 & 18 Billings Symphony Chorale Kings & Shepherds Location: St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral

Ragtime – Concert version Location: Venture Theatre Contact: 591-9535

January 14

ABT’s 25th Anniversary with Marvin Hamlisch Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 256-6052

Big Hearts Under the Big Sky Banquet and Auction Location: Holiday Inn Grand Montana Contact: 406-449-3578

January 20 – February 4

Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom Location: Venture Theatre Contact: 591-9535

January 20

Yellowstone Chamber Players Location: Yellowstone Art Museum Contact: 248-2832

January 21

Blake Shelton Location: Rimrock Auto Arena

January 28

Billings Soroptimist A Night of Wine and Roses Location: Mercedes-Benz of Billings Contact: 294-1948 Billings Symphony’s Family Concert The Composer is Dead Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 256-6052

December 11

Moss Mansion Family Festival Location: Moss Mansion Contact: 256-5100 Yellowstone Chamber Players Location: Cisel Hall (MSUB) Contact: 248-2832

December 15 to 17

Ag Technology Show & Cowboy Christmas Location: MetraPark Expo Center

December 15

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Holiday Party Location: Alberta Bair Theater Contact: 256-6052

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Tiny Tim sits upon Scrooge’s shoulders in this holiday classic from Venture Theatre. Photo by Paul Ruhter.

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MAGIC I holiday 2011 I 97

last word

allyn hulteng

31 days of giving In this season of giving,

gift to one of these local

remember to share your

organizations will help

bounty with those

make our community and

in need. Your


A place where thousands of kids have found a positive environment filled with adult role models and opportunities to BE GREAT. Call 406-2454457.

Dedicated to litter prevention, recycling education, proper waste handling practices and the beautification of Billings and Yellowstone County. Call 406-248-6617 or email brightnbeautiful@



Interfaith Hospitality Network Yellowstone County A community of 21 Billings religious congregations which provide meals, shelter and a safe, non-judgmental environment for families experiencing homelessness. Call 406-294-7432.


Yellowstone Historical Society The YHS shares the history of Yellowstone County and surrounding area through programs and tours and preserves historical sites.


Global Village A fair trade organization with the mission of selling fairly traded goods produced by low income craftspeople and farmers of the world. Call 406-259-3024 orglobalvillagefair. org.



A women’s center dedicated to the support, education and empowerment of women in a safe, accepting and nurturing environment. Call 406-255-0611.

You can change the life of a young person through mentoring. Call 406-248-2229 or email enroll@

Donate money, food or other essentials for recipient agencies in Yellowstone County who then distribute these commodities to those in need. Call 406259-2856.

Angela’s Piazza

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County

Billings Food Bank., Inc.

the world a better place.


Boys & Girls Club of Yellowstone County


Bright n’ Beautiful

Volunteers of America Northern Rockies A nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Call 406-860-4998 or email


Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter YVAS provides shelter for animals in transition, serve as advocates for animals and their people and be a leader in enhancing the human-animal bond. Call 406294-7387 or


Montana Rescue Mission Montana Rescue Mission Women’s & Family Shelter proides food, clothing, shelter and other services to women and families who are homeless. Call 406-259-6079 or

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Dress for Success helps women overcome some of the barriers they face as they try to enter or re-enter the work force. Call 406-256-7304 or email

Eagle Mount offers recreational opportunities to individuals with disabilities of all ages. Call 406-245-5422 or email info@

Family Service helps the area’s most vulnerable residents, keeping them from falling into hunger, homelessness and hopelessness. Call 406259-2269.






New Day, Inc. offers a variety of services that include therapeutic and educational activities, as well as recreational programs for youth. Call 406-254-2340 or email

A 70-acre wildlife park located in Billings, ZooMontana is Montana’s only zoo and botanical park. Call 406-652-8100 or email

Providing support and services that empower women, children and families, building strong families, affirming the uniqueness of individuals. Call 406-252-6303 or

Working to preserve the heritage of the people of the Yellowstone River Valley through artifacts and archived history. Call 406-256-6809 or

The museum exhibits, interprets, collects and preserves art, with an emphasis on Montana and surrounding regions. Call 406-256-6804 or






This community-based agency provides services to runaway, homeless and otherwise at-risk youth and their families. Call 406-259-2558 or

Special K Ranch provides family-oriented Christian homes on a working ranch for adults who have developmental disabilities. Call 406-3225520 or info@ specialkranch. org.

Homes is to break the cycle of addiction one family at a time. Call 406-294-5092 or

offers families a way to stay together – in proximity to the treatment hospital – and be comfortable and cared for during their stay. Call 406256-0130

This organization empowers persons with disabilities to live freely and equally through the provision of independent living services. Call 406-259-5181


Chase Hawks Memorial Association, Inc. CHMA awards grants, organizes volunteer efforts and labor and co-sponsors fund-raising benefits for families facing crisis situations that fall outside traditional sources of aid. Call 406-248-9295 or email info@

New Day, Inc.

Tumbleweed Runaway Program


BikeNet Established to support Billings’ efforts to build multiple-use trails.

Dress for Success


Special K Ranch


Hope 2 One Life A faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides hope, clean water, health care and educational resources for impoverished people.

Eagle Mount Billings

YWCA Billings

Second Chance Homes The Mission of Second Chance


The Family Tree Center Committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Yellowstone County and the surrounding area. Call 406252-9799.

Family Service Inc.

Western Heritage Center

Ronald McDonald House The Ronald McDonald House


Habitat for Humanity MidYellowstone Valley Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent affordable houses with the help of dedicated volunteers and generous donors. Call 406-652-0960 or email

Yellowstone Art Museum

Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow



PLUK represents the 30,000 families of children with disabilities and special health care needs in Montana. Call 406-2550540 or

The Billings Community Foundation works to enhance the capacity of donors and charitable organizations to meet the needs of the greater Billings community. Call 406-839-3334

Parents Let’s Unite for Kids

Billings Community Foundation

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Profile for Billings Gazette

Holiday 2011  

Celebrate with Family, Food and Friends. A Seasonal Epicurean Experience: 3 Local Chefs Share. The Definitive Montana Ski Guide. PLUS, The Y...

Holiday 2011  

Celebrate with Family, Food and Friends. A Seasonal Epicurean Experience: 3 Local Chefs Share. The Definitive Montana Ski Guide. PLUS, The Y...