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When It’s Your Heart, It’s All About Time

We’re Ready for You Before You Arrive

If you experience chest pain, don’t wait. Call 9-1-1. When you’re having a heart attack, minutes matter in minimizing damage to your heart and saving your life. We receive your EKG while you’re en route in the ambulance, saving valuable time. The ER physician and Billings Clinic’s average time Cardiologist consult before to heart attack intervention*, you arrive, and the team is measured from arrival to ready and waiting for you. treatment of the blocked artery Our processes have been recognized by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care through Chest Pain Center accreditation – and Billings Clinic is the only facility with this accreditation in a three-state region.


The only accredited Chest Pain Center in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota *November 2012 – October 2013

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Who Has Your... Sali Armstrong 698-2520

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Feb/MAR/APR 2014 B I LL I NG S ' M O S T R E A D M A G A Z I NE

55 special technology issue

get wired

Billings public Library downtown‘s newest high-tech centerpiece see page 86

68 lost art of penmanship

cursive takes a back seat to keyboards

by jim gransbery



home smart home

the beat goes on

space-age home automation

billings' rock 'n roll roots

by laura bailey

by anna paige



montana's music history

social media decoded

preserving a legacy

the complete guide to tweeting, friending and pinning.

by anna paige

by jason burke

80 bullies at large


kids aren't the only ones being bullied

high-tech wizardry

the year's best gadgets

by shelley van atta

by nick mann



more than a place to check out books by jennifer quinn








photography by larry mayer



Feb/MAR/APR 2014 B I LL I NG S ' M O S T R E A D M A G A Z I NE




EDITOR’S LETTER by ALLY n H u lt e ng











14 20






s i m o n b e rge n

m e a l s on w he e l s


St e v e K u e nne n a n d Ro b i n E a rl e s







26 32


b e a m i ng w i t h b e a u t y


gl ob a l g a s t ronom y

Siam Thai serves up delicious, from-scratch spring rolls with sweet chili sauce See page 32


Why Magic City?

montana perspe c t ive s

39 42 44 46 48


w om e n's v o t i ng r igh t s

photo journal

a r t of t e c hnol ogy

just sayin’

tickling the twine


Seeking the amorist


santa fe, new mexico

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


Michael GulledgE Publisher 657-1225

We Make Your We Make Banking Your BankingeasY... Easy...

e di t ori a l

Allyn Hulteng Editor-in-chief 657-1434 Bob Tamb0 Creative Director 657-1474 Brittany Cremer Senior Editor 657-1390 Brenda Maas Assistant Editor 657-1490 Evelyn Noennig asistant Editor 657-1226 pho t ogr a phy/ v ide ogr a phy

Larry Mayer, James Woodcock, Casey Page, Bob Zellar, Lloyd Blunk Adv e r t ising

Dave Worstell Sales & Marketing Director 657-1352 Ryan Brosseau Classified & Online Manager 657-1340 Shelli Rae Scott SALES MANAGER 657-1202 LINSAY DUTY ADVERTISING COORDINATOR 657-1254 MO LUCAS Production/Traffic Artist 657-1204 C on tac t us: Mail: 401 N. Broadway Billings, MT 59101 F ind us onl ine at

So you have more time to do what you enjoy.

F ind us at va rious r ack l oc at ions t hroughou t Bil l ings: Billings area Albertsons I Billings Airport I Billings Clinic Billings Gazette Communications I Billings Hardware I Copper Colander Curves for Women I Evergreen IGA I Gainan’s I Good Earth Market Granite Fitness I Kmart I McDonald’s (select locations)neecee’s I Pita Pit Real Deals I Reese and Ray’s IGA (Laurel) I Sidney Airport I Stella’s St. Vincent Healthcare I The Y I Valley Federal Credit Union (Downtown location) Western Security Banks (Downtown location) I Williston Airport Yellowstone County Museum I Plus many other locations Subscriptions are available at the annual subscription rate of $29 (5 Issues). Single copy rate $4.95. Mail subscription requests and changes to address above, ATTN: Circulation Magic City Magazine is published five times a year by Billings Gazette Communications Copyright© 2014 Magic City Magazine All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written consent is prohibited.

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If you can’t beat them… I vividly recall my first foray into the world of texting. My two teenage daughters and I were shopping at the mall and decided to split up. “When and where do you want to meet?” I asked. “Just text when you’re ready,” they replied. Hmmmm, I thought… ‘ just text??’ My cell phone learning curve had stalled when it came to mastering the art of saving contacts; my progeny, of course, were light years ahead, dual-thumb texting at warp speed. Not wanting to appear Luddite-like, I put on my best game face and asked them to show me how. Ten minutes later, sitting alone on a bench, I was still trying to peck out my first message, frustrated because my phone kept trying to guess what I wanted to say until what I wanted to say became unprintable. It was not an auspicious beginning.

Help in hand

More than 10 years after that first texting torture, smartphone technology permeates my life. Truth be told, if I had to choose between my cell phone and a personal assistant, the phone wins hands down. I love being connected in real time to family and friends almost as much as I appreciate the expediency of Googling the name of a restaurant and pressing “call” to make a reservation. Yet my affection for this little technological gem goes much deeper. My phone is my banker, my travel agent, my news correspondent, my photographer, my meteorologist, my research assistant, my personal shopper. Recently, she also became my personal trainer – tracking every step, calorie and sleep cycle. Because of her, I now have access to tons of information tailored to harmonize my body, mind and spirit – if only I had the time…

A cordless tether

It’s amazing – and a little disconcerting – to realize just how attached I have become to my iPhone. But I am not alone. According to Pew Research, a whopping 91% of American adults own a cell phone, and 55% of us have a smartphone. Two-thirds of adults say they check their phones for messages, alerts and calls even when it doesn’t ring; 44% admitted sleeping with their phone next to their bed. Perhaps most telling is that 29% - nearly one-third – describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.” The rapid adaption and dependence on something that didn’t commercially exist a scant 15 years ago is indicative of a world that is rapidly changing. Like it or not, new technologies are reformatting the way we live, work, communicate and recreate – and they’re hitting the marketplace with astounding speed. Which begs the question, will we be able to keep up?

Full circuit

Just as we finalized the cover of this issue of Magic, my daughters happened by the office on the way to lunch. “What do you think?” I asked, explaining that readers could scan the QR code on the front to experience the magazine and possibly be selected to be inside the next issue. They both gave me a quizzical look. “What’s a QR code?” one asked. Stunned, I sat back in my chair. Though both are wellversed in all kinds of digital applications, neither had used a QR code. “You mean I know something techy that you don’t?” I asked, grinning ear to ear. It was – for me – a glorious moment. “Come on, I’ll explain it to you on the way.”

Allyn Hulteng


c o n tri b ut o rs

Laura Bailey

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.

Jason Burke writes for the discoverer in all of us. As a Professional Engineer, management consultant and freelance writer, work keeps him on the move, meeting interesting people everywhere he goes. Originally from San Diego and recently returned from Australia, his background includes degrees from UC Berkeley and Montana Tech, a private pilot certificate and sharing the wonders of engineering, aviation and technology.  In Montana for 10 years, he lives in Billings with his wife, Christy, and their three children.

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

Chris Rubich has more than 35 years of experience as a reporter, photographer and editor for newspapers in Montana and Wyoming, including 29 years with the Billings Gazette. A graduate of the University of Montana, she enjoys sharing plants from her garden with others, volunteer activities and walking her rescue dogs.

Jennifer Quinn is the owner of Huntington Learning Center in Billings. She made a dramatic change in her life six years ago when she moved to Montana from New York City. Jennifer considers herself a lifelong learner is inspired every day by her students’ choice to transform and enrich their lives through learning.

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

Shelley Van Atta

is a writer and award-winning marketing and communications strategist with more than 30 years of executive leadership experience. The owner of Van Atta Marketing Communications, she has degrees in journalism and English from the University of Montana. Van Atta is a former marketing and public relations executive in the private sector, as well as the former university relations director for Montana State University Billings, and director of college relations and marketing for Rocky Mountain College. She and her husband, Larry, both Montana natives, have three children and are extremely active in the Billings community. 245.6434


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Simon Bergen Accepting a calling “One thing about kids—you have to be honest. They read between the lines better than most adults. You don’t have to prove anything, you just have to be real.”

extensive knee injury sidelined Bergen’s athletic career, he received a call from a RMC friend, offering him a job as defensive coordinator for the Joliet High School football team. “I was still in my pity party, but I drove out, hobbled to the field and this team of kids just started clapping for me,” recalled Bergen. “That was pretty powerful; I stayed.” Bergen, who grew up without a father in the picture, was raised by his grandmother—a woman of great strength who Bergen noted was completely selfless. “She always put others and their needs first. No matter

Simon Bergen never had a strong desire to be a father. Nor, did the Texas native intentionally plan to live in Billings, Mont. A brief visit in 1999 turned into 15 years for the school counselor, football coach, husband and now-father figure of nine. While visiting family in Billings, he was recruited as cornerback, a position he had never played prior, for Rocky Mountain College. Then, shortly before graduating, Bergen signed to play for the then-Billings Outlaws indoor football team. He missed few games over his six-year tenure—one specifically to walk in his RMC graduation. When an


The Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County proudly present:

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BE how crazy things may have seemed, she took everything in stride,” he recalled of his mentor. While Bergen was coaching in Joliet, a player’s parent planted a seed for his new direction in life. “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Simon, I’ve been watching you with these kids. Have you ever considered being a school counselor?’ So I thought about it,” Bergen said. “I was working at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch at the time but didn’t even have the money to take the test for grad school.” Like many things in life, the details worked themselves out. With assistance from co-workers and friends and some financial aid, Bergen returned to school. After 13 short months of working fulltime, parenting, coaching and going to school, Bergen earned a Master’s degree in Education with a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor option. “My professor, James Nowlin, said he didn’t want us to leave the program to find a job or career, but wanted us to accept a calling,” he noted. Bergen did just that. Like most high school counselors, Bergen handles approximately 300 students at Billings Senior High School, helping them with everything from getting into the right class, to preparing for postsecondary education, tests, applications and so on, to the really tough stuff like truancy, addictions and other personal situations. “If you are dealt a crappy set of cards, you might want to stop dreaming, but I try to present alternatives to kids, to get them to think. More than anything, I understand kids, connect with them,” he said and expounded. “One thing about kids—you have to be honest. They read between the lines better than most adults. You don’t have to prove anything, you just have to be real.” And Bergen, who has lived a life of ‘never saying never,’ thrives on what is real. “Hardship has no boundaries,” emphasized Bergen, who has overcome obstacles in his life but feels that he is now in a position to offer kids something tangible. “The principles are the same regardless of color: If you work hard, respect others and try to make good decisions, then you can make it, and you can contribute to society.” He has a strong faith, too. “God has truly blessed me,” Bergen said. “I’ve had so many different people who have stepped in to get me to where I am now. If I can get to where I am today by being a decent person, then any kid has that same chance—that’s what I want for them. This is my opportunity to make a difference.”


Dinner & Auction When: March 14th, 2014 Time: 5:30 pm Where: Crowne Plaza To sponsor the event or purchase a table contact: Sarah Berndt at 294-4510 or visit for more information!

Simon Bergen, counselor at Billings Senior High School and defensive back football coach at Billings West, believes in being straight-up with kids. “If you can present alternatives—whether it is in football or, ultimately, in life—then you give them a chance to succeed,” he said. “I can’t make a kid change, but I can be the agent for change.”




meals on wheels Receive by Giving Volunteers pick up meals from kitchens in Laurel, Worden and the Alliance Center on Avenue D and deliver them to homebound seniors. Some are just out of the hospital and need meals for a couple of weeks, while others have used the program for years. Most of the 115 volunteers in the county are senior citizens, many “looking for something to do that makes a difference,” Melichar says. Each community has a Meals on Wheels coordinator who will interview prospective meal recipients and determine if a need exists. The meals often help couples where one serves as a caregiver for a spouse and the program lets the couple enjoy a meal and relieves some stress, Melichar notes. Meals has a budget This March the Meals on Wheels program will once again of about $435,000 and benefit from the March for Meals fundraising effort. During gets federal funding, the month of March, six different restaurants have agreed to which has been reduced help raise money for the program by donating a percentage in the last year. Menus of food sold. have been adjusted while retaining nutritional The dates and participating restaurants are: value to meet cuts. Recipients are asked Monday, March 3: The VIG, Billings Heights for a donation of $4 Tuesday March 4: Fuddruckers, Billings West End toward meals, although Tuesday, March 11: The Rex, Downtown service isn’t denied if Sunday, March 16: TEN – The Northern, Downtown the person can’t make a Monday, March 17: Walkers, Downtown contribution. Monday, March 24: Hooligans, Downtown. Sometimes family members, a church or Be sure to tell the wait staff you are dining out to support others donate toward the Meals on Wheels and a percentage of your purchase will be cost of meals for a senior donated to the program. citizen. As the program works In addition to the March on Wheels program, the public can to stay within budget help by sponsoring meals at $4 each for area senior citizens. constraints, “we’re trying Donations make up about 24 percent of the program’s to be very cautious and budget, with 12 percent from other funding. careful with everything we do,” Melichar says. Volunteers are also needed on existing routes as drivers, And, as Jim McFate whether on a regular schedule or relieve basis. Drivers receive says, for him and other mileage for their delivery routes and a meal on delivery days. seniors, that lifeline is “a godsend.”

How to help

When a volunteer brings Meals on Wheels to Billings retiree Jim McFate, he receives much more than food. The 75-year-old gets a few moments of companionship, and the former Park City football quarterback gets a chance to talk sports, too. “I don’t get out too much,” he says. Since his wife died in 2007, McFate doesn’t cook much, relying instead on the microwave. He often stretches the meal delivered at noon and supplements the leftovers for an evening meal. While Meals on Wheels delivers only a noon meal Monday through Friday, he and other senior citizens can also get frozen meals to tide them over on weekends and holidays when the program doesn’t operate. As with many seniors, he was referred to Meals on Wheels by someone else—maybe a friend, a doctor, a nurse or family member. Wheels in Yellowstone County served 52,445 meals to about 225 residents ages 60 and older, says Bea Ann Melichar, executive director of the Adult Resource Alliance, whose services include the meals program. Above: Ken Peterson delivers a Meals on Wheels lunch to Barbara Mann in her South Forty apartment.


The Alliance can be reached at 259-9666.

I’m not an aortic aneurysm.



I’m forever grateful. Our heart and vascular team is made up of experts in the field of cardiac and vascular medicine who work together to deliver world-class care. One shining example of this dedication is our new Steve and Debbie Reger Hybrid Operating Suite, the most sophisticated operating room in the region. Here our patients are able to receive the most advanced heart and vascular treatments from our exceptional team of specialists. By combining catheterization and surgical equipment in one space, the Hybrid OR allows for innovative and personalized approaches to complex heart and vascular procedures. It’s just one more way we’re committed to caring for the region’s cardiovascular health. Call (406) 237-7006 or learn more at


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By Donna Healy I PHOTOGRAPHY BY Larry Mayer

Steve Kuennen and Robin Earles unassuming genius The couple runs a successful lawn care and


snow shoveling business, but many of their clients never know both yard keepers have a master’s degree in art and an emerging, fine-art printmaking studio.

Above: Robin and Steve in their studio in downtown Billings.

In the former Billings Dance Club in downtown Billings, Steve Kuennen stands at a relief press, wiping ink into razor-thin scratches on a copper plate and then hand pulls each print. He has the lanky shyness of a veteran team roper and the patience of a born teacher. Nearby, his wife, Robin Earles, punctuates a conversation with a laugh as unrestrained as her curly hair. Earles’ charcoal drawings and lithographs swirl with motion and moods. Kuennen’s optimism bathes a rendering of the sugar beet factory in a pink sunrise. “We were driving and saw this cold morning sun coming up over the Rims and hit that thick sugar beet smoke,” he explains. Like singer/songwriter John Hiatt, Kuennen sees Billings as “a working town.”


The couple runs a successful lawn care and snow shoveling business, but many of their clients never know that both their yard keepers have a master’s degree in art and an emerging, fine-art printmaking studio. Last fall, Kuennen and Earles raised their profile with an art show at Rocky Mountain College, a tour of

their Buffalo Art Press studio and the first of a series of weekly art classes. The classes are meant to do more than teach drawing, painting and printmaking. “We’re creating a community of people learning about art together,” Kuennen said. The couple, who met in grad school at the University of California at Long Beach, married in 2006. Kuennen, who was raised in Bozeman, settled in Billings after watching over a friend’s ranch at Molt. They fell into their studio when they met the owners of Meadowlark Gallery at an ArtWalk. “Robin does drawings of birds and swans in charcoal that are so exquisite, so beautifully done and finished,” said Sally McIntosh, who arranged the couple’s RMC show. Earles has begun creating frame-able art prints tucked in notecards as an affordable way for people to collect art. Kuennen, who always assumed he’d be a Western artist, is inspired by the optimism and sparkle of illustrators from the 1950s and ‘60s. A freelance illustrator for more than 30 years, he taught classes at the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, Calif., landscape painting in Provence, France and a monoprint class for the Yellowstone Art Museum in 2011. “There’s a love of life in his work, always a song behind the work, a narrative to it,” Earles said. Like true optimists, they talk about how the lawn and snow shoveling business has forced them outdoors at times of incredible beauty. Working in an early-morning snowstorm, Kuennen remembers how the amber gold sky and intense blue pine trees were like an impressionist painting. Robin Earles is represented by Toucan Gallery, while Steve Kuennen is represented by Meadowlark Gallery. Their work, along with information on their studio art classes, can be found at

Top left: I Caught A Good One It Looked Like It Could Run, Kuennen. Right: Top Of The World –Beartooths, Kuennen, Linoleum Block. Middle left: Interlude, Earles, Charcoal on Paper Middle right: One Swallow, Earles, Intaglio – Image for Frameable Card. Left: Bull Buffalo, Kuennen, Linoleum Block



BY brenda maas

The Ultimate Game Room Check out these finds for your at-home play room Unique centerpiece You can have a regular pool table. Or, you can have one that has everyone on the block talking. Made from 100-percent, Montana-grown lumber like ponderosa pine, lodge pole pine and juniper, these tables are made by Billings-area craftsman Troy Saunders of Bearcreek Billiards. Each table is truly unique. Break!

Available from Bearcreek Billiards Prices vary $2,500-$12,000 Photo by: Greg Roset

One-armed bandit Revived from days-gone-by, this 1933 Mills War Eagle slot machine is fully restored and functional. Gamers of all ages will love trying their luck with coins from pennies to silver dollars on vintage machines from the Billings-based Slots of Montana. Jackpot!

Available at Slots of Montana Prices vary from $1,500-$5,000 Photo by: James Woodcock

Pinball Mania Are you a pinball wizard? Then you will flip for a vintage machine like “Tumbleweed” wood rail, circa 1949, from The Exhibit Supply Company. Other restored machines available. Can you say “tilt?”

Available at Oxford Antiques Prices vary $500-$2,500 Photo by: Bob Zellar


Slip, sliding away You don’t have to take a cruise to enjoy shuffleboard if you have this table in your game room. Made by Brunswick and available in 12- 14- and 16-foot lengths, this table is really two games in one—traditional shuffleboard with a “bowling” option. Complete with an eight-puck set and padded gutters, this is hours of plain, un-plugged fun without a screen.

Available at K2 Spas & Sports Starting at $3,000 Photo by: Bob Zellar

You want butter on that?

The microwave packets really don’t cut it. For the ultimate snacker, this movie-theater style popcorn maker is a must-have. The inner kettle is constructed of thick-gauge anodized aluminum for maximum performance, durability and easy cleaning. The pedestal provides additional storage. Please pass the salt, and watch out for old maids!

Available at Home Theaters and More $530 for two-piece set. Photo by: Casey Page





HAIM “Days Are Gone”


The Miseducation of Cameron Post

By Emily Danforth

Quirky-cool funky femmes. That phrase best describes emerging rock/R&B/pop group, HAIM, formed by three sisters from Los Angeles. Danielle, Este and Alana Haim have waited years to set their eclectic catalog of songs free. With fiery resolve, the trio has recently enjoyed success from singles “The Wire,” “Forever” and “Falling.” Also notable on their debut album is a tribute song to Fleetwood Mac titled “Hold Me.” Their fun, funky musicality will get under your skin and find its way into your iPod.


Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Time, tradition and politics shape the life of butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), who serves in the White House over three decades for eight American presidents. The film traces the dramatic changes that sweep American society during this time, from Civil Rights to Vietnam and beyond. Most interesting are the segments featuring a behindthe-scenes look at what could have happened inside the walls of the White House during notable slices in political time—Jackie Kennedy after the assassination of her husband, Nixon beleaguered and stressed during Watergate, Reagan struggling to land on the right side of history with regard to apartheid in South Africa. Cecil Gaines is the human thread that weaves through this anthology, reminding us how far we’ve come as a society, and also, of how far we have to go.


Duolingo App In her debut novel, Miles City native Emily Danforth tells the heartfelt tale of Cameron Post, an inquisitive teen finding her way through a world that just took the lives of her parents. In this beautifully-written, coming-of-age tale, “Cam” searches to discover and embrace her true self, finding the courage to define love on her own terms. Set in the early 1990s, Eastern Montana readers will enjoy the references to local geography, points of interest and vestiges of the past. Every reader will enjoy Danforth’s effortless ability to access authentic teen emotion, her literary—yet organically accessible— lexicon and cleverly-veiled sarcasm.


Parlez-vous Français? Sprechen sie Deutsch? ¿Cómo te llamas? Ditch mindless hours playing Candy Crush and make good on your lifelong goal to learn a new language. Duolingo is a free app that helps users learn a new language from their iPhones or iPads with both visual and verbal lessons. Learners are rewarded with experience points, which they can use to buy perks within the app. Right now the app offers five languages, including Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Italian, but more options are in the works. Impresionante!

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beaming with beauty By julie greeN I photography by james woodcock

Nels Houghton had never lived in a timber frame home. He’d never even toured one, in fact. But he’d dreamed of one…and thanks to hard work and a bit of high-tech imagination, that dream is now a reality.


Legendary Missouri craftsman Danny Schwartz, constructed the beams throughout the Houghton home using traditional Amish techniques. Main photo: The exterior of the home features crafted timber and flagstone for an elegant rustic theme.




Take one step into the Houghton home on the city’s far West End, and you know that you are in a space quite unlike any other in Billings. Richly grained, heart-cut Douglas fir trusses tower high overhead, their massive pieces held together not by nails or screws, but by wooden pegs. It was a space created thanks to Nels’ imagination and the skill of Danny Schwartz, an Amish craftsman whose construction techniques are practically legendary. “I had the chance to visit his shop in Missouri,” Nels recalls. “There were all sorts of people, and I remember asking if they were

Above: The entrance and great room are warm and inviting, with ceilings reaching 23 feet at their peak. According to Nels, the tongue-and-groove white pine Structurally Insulated Panels (SIP) making up the ceiling are 80 percent stronger and 70 percent more energy efficient than traditional drywall.


his employees. He laughed and said, ‘Nah, they’re all my kids. Except that one over there—he’s my neighbor’s kid.’ That’s when I learned he had 14 children.” Danny’s shop was devoid of the cacophony of cords and power tools associated with modern construction. Instead, the drills, saws and other tools were powered by a series of belts and pulleys turned by horses. Because Danny didn’t drive, Nels rented a car and drove him around the area, experiencing for the first time—and firsthand—the beauty of timber frame construction. Returning to Billings, Nels worked with Danny to design an ideal space for his family. His training with Vectorworks, a 3-D CAD system, allowed him to take a very hands-on approach. Top right: To complement the Douglas fir from which the home is constructed, the couple chose sturdy hickory cabinets for the kitchen. Expansive countertops made of swirling black granite provide plenty of food prep space. High-end stainless steel appliances and a walk-in pantry complete the space. Right: The home’s multiple lighting, HVAC and other automated systems can be easily controlled by the intuitive touchscreen panels Nels designed and installed in the home. “I can now access and control them on my smart phone,” he says, “but that wasn’t always the case. We actually had to wait for cell phone and tablet technology to catch up.”

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experience what does

look like?




“If we decided we’d like more room in one area, I’d make the changes on the plans and send them over,” Nels said. “Danny’s draftsman would evaluate them and make any adjustments needed, then send them back over.” Once plans were finalized with the assistance of engineer Kevin Skibiski, best known for his work on Bass Pro Shops, Danny and his team of workmen crafted the massive trusses preparing them for the long journey across the country. “Danny brought four of his kids with him,” Nels says. “They had a competition to see who could do the most work. They’d just go, go, go. It was hard to keep up with them.” Nels, who decided to take the nearly 6 months of vacation time he’d accrued so that he could be on-site and serve as the project’s general contractor, worked side-by-side with the construction crews. He also designed and installed the 5,600-square-foot home’s state-of-the-art lighting and automation systems. The hard work, he says, has proven more than worth it. “Over the last six years the color of the wood has deepened, I love that in some areas you can see the beads of sap that have seeped out,” he says. “The joints have even become tighter over time. As it’s aged, the house has actually gotten even more beautiful.” Above: A double-sink vanity in the en suite master bath can accommodate even the busiest morning routines, while a custom sound system and jetted soaking tub add to the room’s spa-like feel. The glassed walk-in shower features custom tile work, which is repeated throughout the space.


What is Timber Frame Construction? Timber frame, or post-and-beam construction, differs from traditional stick-built construction in that it utilizes heavy beams and carefully fitted timbers joined together with large wooden pegs. It is an age-old building form; in fact, some of the earliest examples can be found in Japan’s seventh-century temples. Many of the designs with which we are now most familiar were created in Europe in the mid- twelfth and thirteenth centuries. England’s Westminster Hall, for instance, features stunning hammer beam trusses, while other examples can be found throughout France and Germany. When the Pilgrims traveled from England to America, they found large forests from which they could harvest the wood needed for timber framing. Timber frame construction remained the preferred method for nearly 200 years, and examples can be found in historic homes and commercial buildings in New England and along the Eastern seaboard. There has been a resurgence in timber frame construction over the last 50 years as people again grew to appreciate the style’s beauty and strength. While some, like Nels Houghton, opt to work with Amish builders who join the timbers by hand, others choose builders who utilize modern CAD programs and computerized cutting techniques. There are some downsides to timber frame construction, however. The cost to build a stick built home is generally less. This is in part due to the high cost of the hardwoods utilized by timber frame builders, as well as the modifications which may be required to plumbing and electrical systems.

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mexican greek 32 I FEBRUARY 2014 I MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE


Taste buds—warming. Palate—tantalized. Stomach—satisfied. Crafted with special, secret sleight of hand, international cuisine delivers a welcomed taste bud teleportation from your typical meat and potato

global gastronomy menu. Lucky for us, specialty spices

and unusual ingredients from around the globe can be found scattered around Billings. Check out one of

these popular haunts for a taste of

extraordinary, or channel your inner gourmet and recreate one of these

exotic dishes at home. Bon Appétit!

by brittany cremer I photography by casey page




If you’d rather host a fiesta, then try…Gold Medal Sizzling Fajitas Recipe courtesy of Ingredients

If you like spicy chilies, grilled vegetables and salsa, then try…Guadalajara With several locations in Billings, this family-owned and operated restaurant offers signature, savory combination platters of from-scratch entrees like chimichangs, enchiladas, tostadas and more. For a tasty and tactile experience, try their delicious sizzling fajitas, available in chicken or beef.


1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder Dash hot sauce Salt Freshly-ground black pepper 1 1/2 pounds meat (boneless, skinless chicken breast, skirt steak or peeled and deveined shrimp) 1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise 1 green bell pepper, sliced 1 red bell pepper, sliced 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas (or try Trevino's, made in Billings and available in stores everywhere) 1 lime, juiced, for topping Sour cream, for topping Salsa, for topping Guacamole, for topping Cheddar cheese, shredded, for topping


1. In a heavy-duty, re-sealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, salt, pepper and your choice of meat. Seal and toss the bag around to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator. *Cook’s Note: 15 minutes for shrimp, 20 minutes for chicken and 1 hour for skirt steak. 2. Preheat your cast iron servers in a 400-degree oven for at least 20 minutes to get a good sizzle when you plate the fajitas. 3. Heat the outside grill or a large indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and place it on the hot grill; discard the marinade. Cook chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side; skirt steak about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare; and about 2 minutes for shrimp. Slice the chicken and steak into strips if you are using. 4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and fry the onions and bell peppers until crisp-tender with some salt and pepper. 5. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven with the servers for 15 minutes. When you are ready to serve, remove the cast iron servers from the oven and quickly arrange the meat, peppers and onion on it. It will immediately start to sizzle from their fat and moisture. Serve sizzling immediately with the warm tortillas and other accompaniments.

If you’re adventuresome, then try…The Authentic Greek Gyro : “A Greek Grill Party” Recipe courtesy of Ingredients

If you like tangy yogurt, olives in brine and garlic, then try… The Athenian It’s Greek to me—and you. This local favorite has been serving up authentic gyros, Greek salads and everythingfeta for years. Located at 18 N. 29th St. in the heart of downtown, stop in and enjoy a from-scratch gyro with extra tzatziki sauce or a refreshing salad.


2 lbs. lamb (use lean, boneless lamb meat cut in 1-inch cubes) 2 large red onions (cut in thinly-sliced rings) 24 small romaine lettuce leaves (washed and dried) 12 large pita bread rounds 3 tomatoes (ripe and sliced in thin wedges)

1. The evening before a backyard BBQ, make marinade by combining oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, herbs and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the marinade to later mix with the onions. Place cubed lamb in bowl with remaining marinade and toss to coat well. Refrigerate lamb and marinade reserved for onions.

Gyro marinade 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced) 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (chopped) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon olive oil Salt and black pepper (to taste)

3. Mix yogurt with minced garlic, herbs, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

Yogurt sauce 2 cups of plain Greek-style yogurt 1/3 cup olive oil ½ cup lemon juice 2 garlic cloves (peeled and quartered) 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped) 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (chopped) Ground black pepper (to taste)

2. The morning of the BBQ, place onions in small bowl and toss with reserved marinade. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate several hours.

4. When ready to BBQ, stack pita bread in two piles of 6 and wrap each pile in foil (dull side out). 5. Heat coals or gas grill. Remove meat from marinade and reserve marinade for basting. (Discard any large garlic pieces.) Thread lamb onto greased skewers and grill over greased grill about 4 inches from hot coals. Cook (turning and basting often) about 10 minutes or until lamb is brown on the outside, but still pink inside. 6. Warm pita rounds over barbecue. 7. Before serving, lift onions from the marinade with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl. Cut whole tomatoes into thin wedges and place on a serving plate with the lettuce leaves. Set out yogurt sauce and lots of napkins (you’ll need them!). 8. To serve, cut each warmed pita round in half and separate to form 2 pockets. Each person fills a warmed pita picket with some of the grilled lamb cubes, lettuce, tomatoes and onions, then top with a spoonful of the yogurt sauce.




If you’d rather soak in exotic Southeast Asia in the comfort of home, try…Easy Garlic Shrimp Recipe courtesy of

If you like aromatic curry, pungent fish sauce and lotus blossom, then try…Siam Thai Located at 3210 Henesta Drive on Billings’ West End, Siam Thai is that quaint, special niche restaurant you frequent with your friends on girls’ night. It’s also the perfect quiet alcove for date night—snuggled up between a platter of Pad Thai and pot stickers. For something more savory than spicy, opt for the intricately-plated jumbo garlic shrimp with steamed vegetables and caramelized garlic sauce. Pair it with made-from-scratch spring rolls and a chili-garlic sweet and sour sauce for a flavorful—and filling—repast.



12-15 medium to large shrimp or prawns, butterflied (shells can be removed or left on, as desired) 1.5 to 2 tablespoons oyster sauce 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 4-6 cloves minced garlic (to taste) 2 tablespoons lime juice 2-3 tablespoons oil for stir-frying 1 fresh red chili, minced, or up to 1/3 teaspoon dried crushed chili (to taste)


Lime or lemon wedges Handful of fresh coriander


1. Make the marinade/sauce by combining oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, lime juice and chili in a mixing bowl. Stir well. 2. Place shrimp in the marinade and stir well to coat. 3. Heat a small amount of oil in a wok or frying pan. When hot, add the shrimp and marinade. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are plump and pink. They will also be lightly browned from the sauce. (Avoid overcooking, or shrimp will turn rubbery.) Taste-test for salty-sweet balance, adding more sugar if too sour. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice. 4. This dish can be served 2 ways: For a dinner or lunch entrée, simply slide onto a serving platter and sprinkle with coriander, plus additional fresh chili. Add lemon or lime wedges to the side, and serve with rice or crusty French loaf. If serving at a party or as an appetizer, use tongs to pick shrimp out of the wok/pan, allowing most of the sauce to drip back into the pan. Arrange the shrimp on a serving platter with tails up and stick a toothpick into each one for easier eating. Pour sauce over and sprinkle with fresh coriander. Garnish with lime wedges.

And the Secret Ingredient is… Wow your foodie friends by adding a sprinkle or dash of these exotic ingredients to your staple ethnic recipes. Available locally, or merely a short drive away, these special ingredients will up the ante to your food’s flavor factor.

Little Sugar’s Asian Grocery Store

304 1st St. E. Roundup, MT 406-323-1279 Inventory is shipped directly from Asia to Roundup and includes milk fish, kimchi, egg roll wrappers, coconut juice, longaniza sausage, teas and more.

Good Earth Market

3024 2nd Ave. N. Billings, MT 406-259-2622 When your recipe only calls for a “pinch” of turmeric or a “dash” of coriander, Good Earth Market is a great place to go because you can purchase as much or as little as you need. GEM offers an extensive array of bulk foods, including nuts, pastas, granolas, rice, candies, herbs and spices.

Babcock and Miles

105 W. 12th St. Red Lodge, MT 406-446-1796 Whether you’re searching for gourmet olive oil or melt-in-yourmouth German chocolates, Babcock and Miles is a destination shop for the would-be foodie. Their cheerful staff is happy to assist, and the store carries an extensive selection of herbs, spices, dried mushrooms, grains and more.

Siam Thai Grocer

3210 Henesta Drive Billings, MT 406-652-4315 After enjoying some Pad Thai or garlic shrimp at Siam Thai, pop next door to the restaurant’s retail space where they carry hardto-find items like fish sauce, anchovies, curry powder and rice noodles. These authentic, delicious ingredients will make your next Thai meal taste like the real deal.

World Market

2815 King Ave W. Billings, MT 406-651-4340 Stocking ethnic food items from around the globe, World Market is the place to shop for the gourmet cook on your list. With ingredients organized by country and varietal, check out curious finds like falafel mix, grape leaves, Tahini paste, nori, chili sauce and much more.



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Ahead of Her Time

Though Montana established women's suffrage six years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the campaign for political equity had just begun.

By tim lehman

Sixty years ago, Joan Harwood Galles helped the League of Women Voters

establish its Billings chapter. She still has fire for the cause. Mention women’s right to vote, and her eyes brighten, her hand strikes the armrest for emphasis and she declares with conviction, “My girls have to know about this. We’ve got to tell them. You’ve got to vote!” Nearly one hundred years ago, on November

the territory became a state, Billings businesswoman

3, 1914, Montanans narrowly passed a referendum

Clara McAdow personally lobbied all 75 (male)

amending the state constitution giving women the

delegates to include women as voters in the new

right to vote and hold office. Montana thus joined

constitution. Mrs. Alice Van Cleve from Billings

nine other western states in establishing women’s

urged national suffrage organizations to campaign

suffrage six years before the 19th Amendment to the

in Montana. Since Billings was a railroad town, most

U.S. Constitution declared women’s voting rights

national suffrage organizers on their way to larger

nationwide. The right to vote did not arrive without a

western cities stopped at least long enough to rally

struggle. At the 1889 constitutional convention when

local suffrage supporters




1889 Billings businesswoman Clara McAdow personally lobbied all 75 (male) delegates to include women as voters in the new constitution.

Many of the opponents of enfranchising women also argued in terms of traditional female roles, sometimes mirroring the extravagant claims of advocates. Allowing women to vote would mean “the death knell of saloons,” might compel the state to initiate experiments in social reform such as universal child care, prevent participation in war and threaten the traditional family. 40 I FEBRUARY 2014 I MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE

November 3, 1914, Montanans narrowly passed a referendum amending the state constitution giving women the right to vote and hold office.


1920s The League of Women Voters grew to 20 million voters nationally.

The League fizzles under the pressures of the Great Depression and WWII.


Many Montana advocates of suffrage argued that voting was merely a natural extension of women’s traditional role as protector of the home and guardian of children’s morality. How could a wife and mother protect her children, they asked, if she could not control external influences on the home? Reforming municipal government, protecting women and children who worked in factories, providing better care for the state’s orphans, or creating pensions for retired teachers were all examples of how women’s sensitivities might contribute to the state’s welfare. Given Montana’s history of “copper kings,” corruption, and domination by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, these appeals to “municipal housekeeping” had special resonance. Many of the opponents of enfranchising women also argued in terms of traditional female roles, sometimes mirroring the extravagant claims of advocates. Allowing women to vote would mean “the death knell of saloons,” might compel the state to initiate experiments in social reform such as universal child care, prevent participation in war and threaten the traditional family. Suffragettes worried that not all women supported the cause. The women of Montana, one speaker assured listeners, would “not make it their business to meddle with politics” and “do not want to be irritable and lose the esteem of their male friends.” Although female participation did not purify politics or lead to a golden age of progressive reform, women generally supported reforms that favored workers and schools. Perhaps more importantly, with the passage of the suffrage amendment at the national level, the extensive statewide suffrage organization became the first non-partisan organization for public education on behalf of voters—The League of Women Voters. The League grew to 20 million voters nationally. The local chapter met intermittently in churches and homes, sponsored public political education programs and sent delegates to the state convention, but then fizzled under the pressures of the Great Depression and World War II. Not until the 1950s did the Billings chapter of the League of Women Voters achieve a lasting, stable organization. Nurtured into life by the support of Irene Sweeney, an organizer with the national League, the Magic City chapter had 36 members by 1952 and joined provisional chapters from Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and Butte to make a state organization of 300 members. Two years later, precisely 60 years ago, the Billings group achieved full status as a permanent chapter of the League of Women Voters. Membership grew to nearly 100 during the 1970s and currently is stable at around 60 participants. As with the suffrage campaign, the chapter featured many prominent leaders of Billings society. Joan Galles was a charter member and early president, while Mrs. Ray Smith and Mrs. Thomas Astle also served as presidents during the early years. Although politically active and intellectually astute, these women lived in an era when married women were identified by their husband’s name and news items about the League often appeared on the society pages next to gossipy bits about women’s clubs. The Billings Gazette assured its readers that the league “is not a group of bustling ‘do-gooders.’ These women, housewives and professionals alike, are concentrating on getting and understanding the facts…They understand the folly of crusades without facts, understanding, and foundation.” Over the years, these women did indeed demonstrate their understanding of political facts, and in at least a few instances showed a keen grasp of political theater as well. In addition to launching a membership campaign, the group also initiated study groups on topics ranging from city-county government to inflation

Magic City chapter has 36 members and joined provisional chapters from Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and Butte to make a state organization of 300 members.



Membership approaches 100, League President Edith Gronhovd could report that the group’s activities had converted many skeptics.

The Billings Gazette’s picture of genteel women walking gingerly “across rip-rap through piles of rusting scrap iron to the point where the odorous industrial wastes enter the river” illuminated politics in exactly the way the League intended.


2014 League in the US has more than 8,000 chapters and Montana celebrates 100 years of the right for women to vote.

and the U.S. budget to the role of the United Nations in world affairs. Strictly non-partisan, the group featured members of both major political parties and sponsored speakers on competing sides of controversial issues. “The Democrats think we are Republicans, and the Republicans think we are Democrats,” one early leader said. They registered voters, studied municipal bond issues and toured the offices of local government and industry. In one well-publicized event, the women toured the Yegen drain as it emptied into the Yellowstone River east of town. The Billings Gazette’s picture of genteel women walking gingerly “across rip-rap through piles of rusting scrap iron to the point where the odorous industrial wastes enter the river” illuminated politics in exactly the way the League intended. By the 1970s, with membership approaching 100, League President Edith Gronhovd could report that the group’s activities had converted many skeptics. As a charter member, she remembered when “no one” thought much of a women’s, non-partisan, political education effort. Now she could happily claim that candidates responded enthusiastically to the League’s call for pre-election information. This growing respect reflected changes in women’s role in society. As more women moved into professional positions in the workplace, the League shed its reputation as a group of society wives and earned a name as a “forum for thinking women” dedicated to “making sure the right of the franchise does not become extinct.” Joan Harwood Galles, whose grandfather was among Billings’ first residents and whose father was a well-known judge, has seen these changes. She remembers when men tried to prevent women from voting and when women were reluctant to vote because of society’s message that it was “not proper.” In an age when women “hadn’t been able to do much of anything,” she insisted that they were citizens and voters. In a time when even activist women were identified by their husband’s names, she explained to women that they could vote and that they did not have to “explain to anybody” how they had voted. Voting was, she insisted, the act of an autonomous citizen, an act which helped women to consider themselves as free and equal. As the Billings League of Women Voters celebrates 60 years of work and 100 years since Montana women have been enfranchised, the group continues the serious work of making democracy both informed and inclusive. They have studied numerous issues, including law enforcement and the courts, urban growth and the environment, and agriculture and food safety. Recently they have supported same-day voter registration and campaign finance reform. As current League President Teresa Schneder points out, there will always be “basic issues about who is included” in establishing good government. With more than 8,000 League chapters in the United States, the organization is now helping new democracies in Eastern Europe and the Middle East who are interested in promoting non-partisan, political education for a new electorate. With democracy here and abroad always a work in progress, she concludes, “the League will endure.”

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One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men, but no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. — CROFT M. PENTZ

the art of technology


Left: Dave Witthar of Riverton, Wyo., left, and Dick Tombrink of Worden drive a 1900 Case steam engine in a parade of tractors at the at the Huntley Project Threshing Bee. Photo by Casey Page. Top: Steel wheels and drive gears of Dick Tombrink's current project, a 1918 Titan tractor, have a fresh coat of paint. Photo by Larry Mayer. Above: Grease covers the steering gears on one of Dick Tombrink's steam tractors. Photo by Larry Mayer.




Tickling the Twine

By Gene Colling I Illustration by lee hulteng

In my high school senior yearbook, the basketball team poses in the shape of the letter “A” for The Agates. The name of our team was picked years before by a well-meaning but geologically-challenged teacher. For a long time I didn’t even know what an agate was. We might as well been named “The Aardvarks” because they were just as common as agates in my neck of the prairie. It didn't help that we were surrounded by teams named after fierce animals like tigers, eagles and bulldogs. How fierce is an agate? Looking at the gaunt faces and stick frames of my teammates, I notice that by today’s baggy trunk standards, it looks like we are wearing Speedos. Striped knee socks, canvas high top shoes and knee pads complete the uniforms. The haircuts are uniformly short, and there are no tattoos. That black and white photo marks the peak of my athletic career in team sports, but my love of basketball started long before. It began the day my brother and I bolted a hoop to one of the sheds—just a hoop—no backboard. I didn’t care about the backboard, but I insisted on a net because I loved the sound of the swish when the ball made a perfect entry. I soon wore an arc of dirt around the hoop, and the thump of the basketball is a common memory of my siblings. My future-farmer brother could see tasks that needed to be done and spent his time on constructive projects. If I had any down time, I grabbed the basketball and headed out to shoot.  In my time and place, there were limited options for winter activity. For some reason, hockey never caught on so basketball was the only winter sport. It was a state-wide passion with each little town waiting for the cosmic convergence that would produce a state championship team. It happened in my hometown in 1956 when both the Catholic and public high school teams won their respective tournaments. The victories put us on the map, and basketball became ingrained in our culture. The schools’ gymnasiums were open on weekends for pick-up games, and the community would pack the stands. My senior year was the only one I was on the team. The logistics of getting home from practice was the issue. Finally, one of my teammates who lived on a farm beyond ours got a car. The other part of the arrangement was teaching my younger sister to drive so she could get the rest of the kids home after school. Since her main agenda at the time was to vex me, and the car was a stick shift, my burden was almost herculean. Even though I didn’t play on the team for the first three years of high school, I followed basketball however I could. At night I would dial into a radio station that carried legendary announcer Danny O. He announced thousands of games over his long career and was a pro’s pro. He had the ability to paint a picture of the setting and describe the action to make you feel like you were there. Often, he would broadcast games between Native American teams who played in a fast-paced style. Most of the players had lyrical names like Crow Flies High, Bad Moccasin and Big Eagle yet he could keep up with the action and the longer names.  Our style of play was much more genteel than today. Any contact was called as a foul, and if we got the whistle, we dutifully raised our hand to admit our transgression. If an opposing player fouled out it was considered good sportsmanship to go over and shake his hand rather than mock him as they do now. At


tournaments an award was given for sportsmanship. Referees brooked no trash talk or argument. If a coach threw a tantrum and screamed at the ref, he would have been banished to basketball Siberia. Because I was more than six feet tall, my position was forward and my role was to prowl the baseline. A couple bigger players did the dirty work inside fighting for rebounds and swinging elbows. My strategy was to stay on the periphery and get any ball that bounced out of the melee. There was I soon wore an arc no water waiting at the bench; for some draconian reason drinking water during of dirt around the a game was frowned upon. After games I would spend the night stretching out leg hoop, and the thump cramps. Each gymnasium we played in had its of the basketball is peculiar quirks. One was half the regulation size and, it was possible to shoot from a common memory one basket to the other. The state scoring record had been set there. Some gyms had of my siblings. My the new style glass backboards but most, like ours, had the metal fan-shaped type. future-farmer brother A faulty water pipe under our floor had created a small ridge that ran from the could see tasks baseline to the center. We would try to maneuver opposing players to bounce the that needed to be ball off the ridge and out of bounds. The idiosyncrasies of each gym added another done and spent his element to the game plan. My one basketball season was not a time on constructive sterling memory. After a couple games our coach suffered a heart attack and had projects. If I had any to convalesce for the remainder of the down time, I grabbed season. A former coach, who ran the train depot, stepped in as a volunteer. We basithe basketball and cally had one play we used until the other team figured it out and stymied it. Then headed out to shoot.  we just went to free form, which amounted to passing the ball a few times until someone could take a shot. We ended the season with a break even record and didn’t go to a tournament. Even though my playing career as an Agate was fleeting, I have retained a lifelong passion for basketball. That goes for men’s and women’s teams. I always look forward to March when the collegiate season ends in the Final Four and NCAA championship. Looking at that team photo in my yearbook made me realize not only how much things have changed, but how much they are still the same. There is still that perfect arc of the ball that hits the middle of the basket and tickles the twine for two—or maybe, three. 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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By Anna Paige

Amorist (noun): A person who is in love or who writes about love. I’ve been seeking The Amorist. I thought that when I finally found this person, I would be cured of heartache; I would be able to pull the chunks of heart wreck from my body and salvage what was left of my insides. In doing so, I would be able to create a new, magnanimous person capable of giving AND receiving real, true love—someone who could move through loss with grace and transcend death as though nothing is ever truly lost. Instead, I found my quest was not for love, nor for strength or self-betterment, but rather I was seeking to numb the gaping holes in my heart. I wanted to quiet the seeping memory of loss, to deny my body’s reaction to pain and force healing through a concept I was not ready to accept. What I have come to understand is that The Amorist is not something you can chase, nor can you catch. The Amorist does not appear on command and cannot be manifested through a rabid desire to be healed. Rather, The Amorist is something we grow into as we develop self-love and compassion for others. In becoming The Amorist, we begin to value ourselves and accept our own vulnerability. This honest approach to self acts as a conduit for reciprocal love. My friend Trey Owens considered love the greatest subject of all, and he encouraged the people in his life to seek The Amorist. Trey taught me to find muses, to dream but live in the present, to imagine the things that bring me closer to happiness, to health, to being the Amorist, and pursue those things with honesty, transparency and generosity. The cancer that lived in Trey and took him from us in early 2013 caused him intense pain, yet he responded with endless love and compassion. Trey’s miraculous story is of his compassion for others. Compassion itself is derived from suffering. Compati, the word’s Latin origins, means to suffer with. “Trey lived in his heart,” recalled his mom, Deb Raden. “If there was ever a moment when he was not in pain, he wanted to be with people, he wanted to be out sharing his


love and his search.” To Trey, existence was constant movement forward. He felt intensely the pull of life and death, the cycle of laughter and the tide of crying, and knew that the spirit inside us is forever swimming. Trey never wanted to get out of the water. When he passed into the invisible beyond, what remained was the essence of his swimming— a life immersed in moments. Trey taught me to keep swimming. He helped me widen my heart and fill my lungs with songs that heal, with the words of the wise, and to quiet the noise in my mind that kept me chasing ghosts. In death, Trey left behind so many warriors that carry his spirit and his boundless love forward. I’ve seen him on the walls of galleries and in the tips of paintbrushes. I’ve heard his story in the voice of hip-hop artists who called him professor and on the tongues of poets who talk of love personified. He is embedded deeply in the mosaic of our community like a quilt where we’re all sewn together as one. We’ve all chased The Amorist, seeking those moments of un-distilled honesty and genuine connection to bring us closer to love. Yet, to become an Amorist is to understand that love is not a race, and the love we manifest for others cannot come without the love of self. Being an Amorist is to feel another’s suffering as keenly as one’s own and be moved to compassionately reciprocate the love we’ve been given. Being an Amorist is being in honest, unmasked, beautiful love.





A unique blend of old and new, Santa Fe is a timeless city that’s often described in superlatives. You’ll find it in Top Ten lists for travel, romance, culture, history, clean air, museums, galleries, spas and world-class food. And then there’s the transcendent light in and around this 400-year-old capital city that has enchanted visitors and visionaries for centuries.

Photos courtesy of Santa Fe Visitor's and Convention Bureau


Signature adobe craftsmanship, like this at the New Mexico Museum of Art, hallmark downtown Santa Fe. Photo by Chris Corrie. L-R: Santa Fe Train Station.Photo by Doug Merriam. St. Francis Cathedral Basilica. Photo by Chris Corrie. Sangre De Cristo Mountains Photo by Chris Corrie.




You’ll find yourself enchanted, too, with Santa Fe’s southwestern hospitality, 360-degree mountain views, exquisite turquoise skies (and jewelry), adobe architecture and healing waters. Plan a spring or summer trip now to Santa Fe, and return refreshed, renewed, and re-energized. We’ve started the planning for you, with the following highlights.

History. Start your exploration in the downtown plaza, where the past meets the present. Originally a presidio (fort) surrounded by high walls, this area is now home to shops, restaurants, galleries and Native American markets. Explore earlier times at the New Mexico History Museum, the Palace of the Governors and the San Miguel Mission. Tour the celebrated Loretto Chapel and its Miraculous Staircase, which features two 360-degree turns with no visible means of support.

Top Left: Dancers at Guadalupe Church. Photo by Bottom Left: Loretto Chapel. Photo by Chris Corrie.



Arts. Santa Fe boasts 250 galleries and is the

r Award 20 rgy Sta 13 e n e PARTneR OF THe YeAR

third largest art market in the nation. Don’t miss the more than 100 galleries dotting the mile-long art mecca of Canyon Road. You’ll discover everything from Native American and Mexican folk art, to Russian, historical, contemporary, whimsical, clay, wood and wearable artwork. Visit some of the 14 museums or indulge your inner artist at a Santa Fe Creative Tourism workshop.

The Great Outdoors. With 300+ sunny days per year, you’re sure to soak up the sun in Santa Fe. Catch the end of ski season at Taos in the early spring. In late spring and summer, choose from horseback riding, hot air ballooning, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, golfing, fly fishing, walking tours, birding and hiking. Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and 1.5 million acres of national forest, the Santa Fe area offers limitless outdoor activities.

Top Right: Petroglyphs Near Santa Fe. Photo by Chris Corrie. Middle Right: Snowy Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Photo by Jack Parsons. Bottom Right: Horseback ride on Santa Fe outskirts. Photo by Doug Merriam.

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Spas and Relaxation. This area has a wealth of options for those seeking some soul

(and body) serenity–everything from world-class day and resort spas to yoga, meditation classes and healing waters. For spa treatments, choose from European, Shiatsu, Thai, Balinese and Native American massage techniques, or delve into healing energy work with Reiki, Cranial-Sacral therapies and Chakra Balancing.

Food and Drink. New Mexican cuisine is a fusion of Native American, Spanish and

Anglo influences, and the chili reigns supreme. At restaurants, you’ll be asked “Red or green?” and if you’re not sure which, sample both sauces with an answer of “Christmas.” With 250 restaurants in Santa Fe, you’ll find plenty of other cuisines, and, of course, outstanding margaritas. Want to re-create regional specialties at home? Take


a hands-on class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

Accommodations. Lodging options range from boutique hotels to grand resorts, historical hotels, bed and breakfasts and even an art hotel. Steep yourself in history at the Hotel St. Francis. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this lodging features handcrafted wood furniture and reflects the years of the early Franciscan missionaries. For exceptional service and a unique union of Asian and adobe, don’t miss the Inn of the Five Graces.

Beyond Santa Fe. Venture beyond Santa Fe, and tour

Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu or take a road trip to Albuquerque and explore the 54 miles of galleries, shops, museums and historic mining towns along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. Visit Taos, or tour the cliff dwellings and petroglyphs at Bandelier National Monument.

Top Left: Santa Fe Plaza. Photo by Chris Corrie. Middle Left: Santa Fe Gallery 2. Photo by Douglas Merriam. Bottom Left (L-R): New Mexico Taco. Photo by Doug Merriam. Santa Fe Railyard. Photo by Seth Roffman. Pamper yourself at any number of relaxing spas. Photo by Doug Merriam. Top Right: Flowers at Farmers Market. Photo by Dianne Stromberg.

Resources. Start your planning at the Santa Fe’s Convention and Visitor Bureau website, You’ll find maps and suggestions on accommodations, dining, shopping, things to do and even New Mexican recipes. United Airlines flies to Santa Fe, with a change-over in Denver.

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special technology issue

get wired we're not even half way through the 21st century and our technology allows us to live like we're in the 25th century. With home automation we can live like the jetsons, social media allows us to connect all over the globe 24/7 and designers are inventing gadgets that make our lives easier and easier. Magic City magazine explores today's technology and how it impacts today's world. Beam me up scotty!


Smart Home

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social media

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special technology issue

get wired Imagine answering your front door when you’re miles from home, or starting the oven from the grocery store, or receiving an alert complete with a video clip of an event that triggers your home alarm. While it may seem futuristic, new technologies in home automation enable homeowners to do all of these things and more with the touch of a single button.


Smart Home

Remember The Jetsons? That space-age cartoon family from the ‘60s who enjoyed fantastical home amenities and gravity-defying cars? While it may be some time before airborne autos become available, today’s families can take advantage of state-of-the-art home automation technology that would astound even George and Jane Jetson.

By Laura Bailey


Simply stated, home automation systems connect compatible devices within your home. Lighting, appliances, temperature, whole-home audio, theater, security and many other systems can be controlled through a touch-screen remote control panel or your smart phone or tablet. Though for some the idea may seem complicated, most new systems are very userfriendly. Once installed, homeowners will wonder why they waited so long.

Whole-home harmony

For most, the first introduction to home automation is distributed audio, said Rick Cope, technician at COMTECH Audio Theater Security, a Billings company that designs and installs home automation systems. People often install audio systems because they want to play music throughout their home or access a variety of sources – satellite radio, CDs or a digital music library – in various zones in their homes. With a whole-home audio system, radio can be playing in the kitchen, while part of the family watches a movie in surround sound in another room, while someone else streams music from an iPad on the patio. As home entertainment systems – with surround sound, Internet-capable HD TVs, BluRay players and satellite receivers – have become more complex, their operation can actually be simplified with a home automation system. Everything can be powered up at once, and the

“Remote capabilities are what people are looking for today, anywhere you have cell phone coverage you can know the status of your security system.” — Thad Lensing, ­

Director of sales and marketing at Kenco Security

device you want to use can be selected with the touch of a button on your smart phone or tablet. You can even adjust the lighting and temperature in the room from the same device, Cope said.

Shelter safe-guarded

Home security concerns have grown in recent years, and technology has responded by offering more advanced solutions. The same home automation system that controls your home theater can also be used to manage your security system. From your smart phone or tablet you can control the locks on your doors, view live footage from security cameras and remotely investigate any disturbance, whether it’s a prowler or just the cat on the kitchen counter. Technology even allows you to see visitors at your door on a display on your smart phone, greet them via remote microphone and unlock your door all with a few swipes on a touch screen. “Remote capabilities are what people are looking for today,” said Thad Lensing, director of sales and marketing at Kenco Security and Technology in Billings. “Anywhere you have cell phone coverage you can know the status of your security system.” In addition to integrated security systems, Kenco Security and Technology also offers home automation services, which can control lighting, temperature and other systems in your home. For homeowners who are often away or those who have second homes, a home security system

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can also include sensors that send an alert to your smart phone if temperatures drop below freezing in the house or detect high humidity levels as a result of flooding. Home automation systems allow you set up a variety of lighting schedules to make it appear like someone is home and can also be used to manage underground irrigation systems, Cope said.

Dollars and common sense

Home automation can translate to improved energy efficiency, saving you money over the life of the system. How much you save depends on your habits, Cope said. Most home automation systems allow you to power down everything from a single appliance to all the lights in your home with a single touch. If you’re already gone for the day and remembered you left the coffee pot on or forgot to adjust the thermostat, your smart phone or tablet can allow remote access to the system, tell you what you left on and let you shut it off. Schedules are another way to save, Cope said. By putting your thermostat on a daily or weekly schedule you can be sure your house is comfortable while you’re there and conserving energy while you’re not. Your lights can be added to the schedule as well, and a schedule can be set up for irrigation. On a rainy day


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Home automation starts with a home control system and wiring throughout the house. While it’s relatively easy to integrate home automation into a new build, existing homes can also be retrofitted with all the wiring and components necessary. Like many technologies, the entry cost for installing whole-home automation has decreased dramatically as new products come to the market. Today, the system that provides the network backbone starts at about $1,500, not including the wiring Cope said. Wiring costs depend on the size of the house, and each component that’s added increases the cost. A simple, whole-home system can be achieved for about $3,000 to $5,000. For the do-it-yourselfer home automation kits are available, although homeowners who install their own systems should take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of being hacked. For those still wondering if home automation is right for them, a stroll through a local showroom may be helpful. There you can explore 21st century technology that would astound even George Jetson.

Protect your investment with a power conditioner Power can be unpredictable – particularly in rural areas – and frequent, small surges and drops in the current can cause deterioration in sensitive electronic equipment. To keep all your devices operating with maximum efficiency and protect your investment, consider purchasing a power conditioner. Power conditioners filter and improve the quality of the power that’s delivered to your electronic devices, ensuring that the current is kept at a consistent level. Depending on your needs, a power conditioner can serve just a single room or the entire home, according to Rick Cope, technician at COMTECH Audio Theater Security. At a minimum, for families with high-end electronic devices Cope recommends a power conditioner for the media room or home theater. Depending on the specifications of the model, power conditioners start at about $350, a relatively small investment compared to the cost of an elaborate home theater system.

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special technology issue


social media


Just what does it mean to “like” someone on Facebook? Can you really “pin” a website? How exactly do you “connect” with a business on LinkedIn? And what in the world is a “Tweet?” If those omnipresent social media icons on TV, in your newspaper and everywhere online offer more confusion than clarity, it's time for some easy-tofollow instructions. In this article, you won’t learn how to boost your business with social media, nor how to monetize your search engine optimization to parse your virtual SMS customer interface. Nope. What you will learn is how to join in those secret digital circles with confidence. The only two requirements for this lesson are 1) Access to the Internet, and 2) Desire to be a part of an online community, sharing your experiences with friends, family or anyone else. Let’s go!

By Jason Burke


The basics Almost every social media site requires each user to establish an account in order to access the site. Be aware, however, that some accounts aren’t legitimate. Though most require at minimum a name and email address, the online world abounds with scammers and swindlers. In addition, most sites then recommend you build a “profile” to share a bio with others. This can include personal interests, geographic location, contact information and career or school history. Feel free to share as much or as little as you like as it’s all optional, but the more you share, the more you need to be aware of each site’s privacy settings and their frequent updates. Which sites? There are hundreds of social networking sites on the Internet. Some are public while others are limited to specific corporations or professional organizations. If you have yet to explore any online communities, you will most likely gravitate–following friends who are already there–to one of the top public sites based on membership size. Of these, the most well-known is Facebook. Though not the first social networking site, Facebook still acts as something of a model for others, being based on personal updates, photos and interaction through comments and “likes.”



This table illustrates many of the differences between the most popular sites, as well as a few notes about how to get started and use them effectively. Posting brief updates more frequently is generally better than a long message every couple of months. For better or worse, every site is built somehow around these updates, and quantity tends to be favored over quality. With a little practice–and some encouraging likes from your friends–you’ll soon be on your way into this revolutionary communication medium.



What is it?

Who uses it?

Getting started

What to do



The largest online community on the Internet - individuals and businesses sharing short posts, photos & online games

With more than a billion users and about two thirds of all Internet usersalmost anyone. Account setup: Name, email, birthdate, gender Profile: Work, school, location, relationships, contact info

Double-check those privacy settings Only “friend” people you know personally Post plenty of pictures, and “like” your friends’ posts



Community-based network focused on common interests of members

Smaller but growing community, especially IT, entrepreneurs and other business professionals Account setup: Create a Gmail or Google Apps account with name, email, birthdate, gender Profile: Photo, school, work, personal interests

Connect with people you otherwise might not know through common interests Use “circles” to organize your interests and groups of connections Use Google’s Picassa app to upload and store photos connected to your Google+ account



Internet-based, real-time phone, video and text communication

People from all walks of life use Skype to communicate around the world great for students, travlers and those with limited mobile phone access Account setup: Name, email (and you will need to download the Skype application to your PC or mobile device) Profle: Birthdate, gender, location, photo, mobile phone number

Like an unlisted phone number, your contact information is only available to your connections A fast broadband Internet connection is important for quality video transfer, but audio and text can be used almost anywhere. You can “call” only other computers with Skype, unless you pay for premium service to call phones as well



Professional network of working folks and job-seekers

Slightly older demographic than other networks, but important for maintaining professional history Account setup: Name, email Profile: Career and education history, interests, contact info

Only connect with those you know personally Keep personal history factual and brief Join groups and follow companies for regular updates and news feeds



Near real-time news and update “ticker” type network

Used to track rapidly changing events, news, celebrities, and athletes Account setup: Name, email Profile: Interests, location, personal website

Be prepared to tweet significant events constantly Re-tweet posts of those you follow Preface a keyword or two with a “hashtag” (i.e. #hashtag) to allow your tweets to be viewed in searches



Mobile phone-based photo sharing

Younger demographic, travelers and a growing segment of Facebook users Account setup: Just your email, but you’ll need a mobile phone and the Android or Apple Instagram app first Profile: Photo, phone number, gender, birthdate, website, interests

Learn how to take great pictures with your phone and filter them with the app Document your travels and other adventures More and more this site is replacing Facebook for frequent photo sharing



Full-resolution photo storage and sharing

Attractive to professional and amateur photographers due to large storage and high-resolution capability, but useful for anyone interested in archiving photos online Account setup: Sign in with Yahoo, Google or Facebook account, or create a Flikr (actually Yahoo) account with name, phone number, birthdate, gender Profile: Create “buddy” (watermark) icon, Flikr URL, location, gender, relationships, short bio

Purely for photos; you can’t upload any other file formats Join or create groups based around common interests



Users “pin” photos found online and organize them into topics such as wishlists, crafts and holiday ideas

80% of all users are female. Account setup: Connect through a Facebook or Twitter account, or sign up with name, email, location, and gender, Profile: Photo, select boards to follow, short tagline, website, connect to Twitter, Facebook, or Google+

Add a tag or comment to your collected photos to indicate what it is or why it’s interesting Install the “Pin It” toolbar to your browser to allow pinning of any online image “Like” and comment on others’ pins

(In Millions)


Worth The Surf

tech talk


+1 (plus one): Similar to Face-

book’s likes, the “g+1” icon appears many places – blog posts, news articles and YouTube videos. Clicking the icon indicates your interest and approval of that page and may cause those within your Google+ circles to see that you have done so.

Account: A record of each

individual user of a system, usually requiring basic personal information (i.e. name, email) and the creation of a unique username and password.

App: A discrete program that

performs a specific set of tasks when installed onto a mobile phone, tablet, eBook or similar device. Can be free or premium, accessed through your phone’s operating system (i.e., iTunes for Apple or Google Play for Android devices).

At: The “at” sign (@) is used as a

prefix to indicate an individual user or account on Twitter, and more recently Facebook. For example, typing “@ twitteruser” turns the text into a link to that account’s profile.

Chat: Available in many online

locations, a real-time exchange usually via typed text between two or more people.

Friend: Another person on Facebook with whom you have established an association, ideally someone you are acquainted with in real life. Friends’ posts, photos and other updates will appear on your newsfeed as they are created. Group: Created by individual users, a community based around a particular organization, profession, business or other interest. Can be either public (anyone can join) or private (requests to join are approved by a moderator). Hashtag: Also known as the pound or number sign (#), this symbol is included as a prefix to any word to make it a searchable keyword in Twitter, thereby including the containing tweet in that hashtag’s newsfeed. i.e., by adding #montana to your tweet, it will appear whenever someone searches for “Montana” or follows the Montana newsfeed. Now used by other sites including Facebook and Instagram.

Like: A shorthand way to indicate

approval or agreement with a post through a single click rather than typing a comment.

Newsfeed or Homefeed:

“circle of friends,” this is a virtual collection of people or companies categorized by you based on topic or interest.

Often shortened to “feed,” this is a constantly changing ticker-like log of posts, ads, and other updates by your network and paid sponsors. Often the default home page of any site you are logged into.

Comment: A typed response

Page: Usually used to market a busi-

Circle: Adapted from the phrase

to a photo, post or other content, usually expressing interest, gratitude, congratulations or other positive sentiment.

Connection: The online equiva-

lent of a business contact. A connection is someone with whom you have some professional or educational relationship.

Follow: Each site may have a slightly different definition based on its particular content. In Facebook, “follow” is used to subscribe to an individual account’s public posts and updates. You automatically follow any friend’s updates, but can also follow others who are not friends as well. Following allows you to view only public updates.

ness, website or other brand. A page provides a single location and brand presence, manageable by more than one account. To subscribe to a page’s public updates, you would “like” it.

Photo Filter: As a photo-based

network, digitally enhancing photos is an important way to personalize your work. There are 17 core filters that can change coloration, saturation, contrast and hue before you post a picture publically. Until you get the hang of it, this will be mostly trial-and-error to find a few filters that work for your photography style.

Pin: Copies a website address to

your Pinterest account, categorizing it based on your selection of “boards” (a visual organization of tagged links).

Post: Text, video, photo or audio

content submitted by an individual for public or private viewing to any social media website.

Private: Limiting access to a

particular post to certain individuals or groups. For example, restricting access to a photo to only family members on Facebook.

Profile: Additional personal

information submitted to make a basic social network account more unique. By doing so, some websites can tailor your newsfeeds to display information you are more likely to find interesting.

Public: Most posts, updates,

comments, pins, likes, +1’s and other submitted content is considered public by default. Unless you specifically modify your account settings, anyone online may view your posts and may comment on them.

Re-tweet: Resubmitting another’s

tweet under your own name. Often abbreviated RT, the original author will receive a notification that you have re-tweeted their post. This is a quick way to share links and news without re-typing the entire tweet and gives credit to the original author.

Share Photos: Most social

networking sites allow for photos to be posted as updates. Some, such as Instagram and Flikr, are specifically organized around photos. Most mobile phone photo apps have an option to “share” one or more photos and will display options based on which social media apps you have installed as well.

Tag: On Facebook, a tag is an

indication that a particular individual is visible in a photo. Tags can be assigned by the photo owner or anyone else with access. You can be tagged in a photo even if you have not viewed it. Facebook tags are not saved with the photo itself: they only apply within the site. More generally, a tag can be any descriptive keyword or category assigned to a photo to aid organization and searches.

Tweet: This is Twitter’s unique name for a post, distinguished by its brevity (limited to 140 typed characters) and its use of hashtags to categorized and search.

Whatever your interests, the Internet provides an infinite number of topics to explore, learn and engage. Yet the sheer volume of websites can make it hard to sort the garbage from the good stuff. To save time and facilitate your search, we asked readers to share some of their current favs.

Health & Wellness A repository of ideas and products “that allow human beings to live healthier, happier lives.” The organization’s mission declares “we are ambitiously, ridiculously and irreverently determined to unleash the full potential of humanity…” Short stories, tips for healthy living, recipes – plus a rich array of content related to body, health and lifestyle.

Business This award-winning website balances news about on the latest tech gear with features on culture, business, science and entertainment. It’s a great way to spend five or ten minutes seeing what’s now—and what’s next. Quick but meaty reads on business, money, leadership, technology plus advice for entrepreneurs. Learn what’s happening in the design world, take a peek into creativity around the globe and take in great blogs on leadership all in one place: Fast Company. Whether covering high-profile execs, ways to work smarter or industry news, the articles are interesting, well written and always leave you wanting a little bit more.

Home & Garden Little nuggets of ideas for home renovation and décor. Includes thousands of fabulous photos. Easy to spend hours curled up in a comfortable chair as you peruse room after beautiful room.

Travel Everything travel. Targets more upscale and mainstream travelers. A discount student travel agency. Book cheap student and teacher flights, hotels, and hostels.

Special Interest great wine and wine-related content.

Family Great food ideas but also really good mommy content with a focus on all things natural and organic.

Innovation Through its network of “Springspotters”, the site collects a host of stories about new services, technologies and ideas that are deploying in places around the globe.

Something for everyone Navigating reddit can be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it you can find information, comments and ideas on virtually any topic at any time. Start with the most popular subreddits like pics or technology, or dig deep with more targeted communities. Warning: this is a site that will draw you in quickly. Only log on if you’ve got a few minutes (or hours) to spare.

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special technology issue

get wired


wizardry We are all familiar with gadgets like our smartphones and tablets. In fact, it’s hard to imagine life without them. Yet just five years ago, these devices didn’t exist. Whether we are ready or not, technology continues to march forward, transforming the way we live our lives. Here are a few cutting-edge devices that aren’t quite mainstream, but are pushing the bounds of how we interact with the world around us.

By Nick mann

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Wearable tech is coming, and Samsung is leading the charge. The Galaxy Gear watch has so many cool features it would make James Bond jealous. The watch connects wirelessly to your Samsung Galaxy phone and allows you to make or receive phone calls via the built-in mic and speaker. You can see notifications such as texts, reminders or app updates. It has a built in camera which allows you to snap photos or short videos. It can even help you stay fit, tracking your movements and giving you feedback on your workouts. Galaxy Gear is compatible with a variety of Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets and can be purchased at electronics stores such as Best Buy or Verizon stores.


special technology issue

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Makerbot Replicator Z18 3D Printer

One of the most exciting emerging technologies right now is the 3D Printer. In fact, over the coming decade this could be the technology that changes the world as we know it. Soon you may be using these devices for everything from building your children’s Christmas presents to making a pizza from scratch, all with the push of a button. The Replicator Z18 is one of the most advanced consumer 3D printers on the market. It won’t make you a pizza, (yet) but it does allow you to design shapes, sculptures and a variety of other things online, which can then be printed into works of art, or tools you can use around the house. You could even make your boss a pencil holder that is ‘from the heart’ for Boss’s Day and save yourself a trip to Walmart. To be honest, the best reason to buy this 3D printer is that it is just unbelievably cool. You early adopters know what I mean. The Z18 is coming soon, and will be available at Microsoft stores in Seattle, Denver or Minneapolis.

Google Glass

Google Glass is Google’s attempt to break into the wearable tech world. Rather than a watch, Google designed what basically amounts to a pair of glasses. Voice commands control what you see, which is displayed on a small, clear screen in front of your eye. Make a video of yourself riding a roller coaster or get point-by-point GPS directions while you’re riding your bike. There are plenty of apps available for Glass, including one absolutely incredible app that can translate words written in a variety of languages into English in real time. Perfect for trying to decipher the difference between steak and snails on the menu at that high-end Parisian restaurant. Not yet available to the public, Google Glass is scheduled to hit shelves in 2014.

Samsung Curved UltraHD 4k TV

Welcome to the next generation of high definition television. These ultra-light, ultra-big TVs have four times the pixels of current 1080p HD TVs, making them truly a marvel to look at. Samsung has introduced a new wrinkle into its television sets as well. The screen is curved. The curving is intended to reduce glare and to create a more immersive experience for the viewer. Don’t like the curve, or would prefer it to curve the opposite way? No problem, the TV will position itself however you want with the touch of a button.


Android/iOS Integrated Cars The leading smartphone manufacturers realize that despite dire warnings, people love to use their phones while driving. So, if you can’t beat them, join them. Both Google and Apple have been working with car manufacturers to develop ways to build in smartphone integration. Recently, Honda announced that the 2014 Honda Civic will offer a version of what Apple calls iOS in the car, allowing certain apps on your iPhone to be displayed on a 7” touchscreen built into the car dash. Some of the apps included in the initial release include Pandora, access to iPhone’s Siri, Navigation and the iPhone’s media app. Though Apple has a jumpstart on car integration, Android isn’t far behind, announcing plans in 2014 to partner with companies such as General Motors, Honda, Audi and Hyundai.


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Xbox OnE

“Xbox on!” It’s that simple. Tell your device to turn on and it listens to you. This by itself would be pretty cool, but this game console does much more than that. It runs your cable TV, browses the Internet, makes Skype calls, monitors Fantasy Football scores, shows Netflix videos, and plays video games, all at the same time. Say goodbye to that little ‘Input’ button on your remote control. Xbox One takes multitasking to new levels, allowing you to simultaneously watch TV and search the web on the same screen, or Skype with a friend while playing a game. The combinations are endless, and you control it all with your voice. Xbox One also has built in exercise programs. Using its Kinect camera, the Xbox One monitors your progress and gives instant feedback on your workouts. It’s even sensitive enough to detect your heart rate. You can pick up an Xbox One now wherever electronics are sold.

Savant Home Automation

Those of us who grew up watching The Jetsons got a sneak peek at 21st century home automation. While Savant won’t install moving walkways in your home, it can certainly make you feel like you are living in the future. Savant’s Home Automation package allows you to walk into your house and with the touch of a button on your iPhone, turn on specific lights, set the thermostat to a pre-determined temperature, turn on your favorite music and even activate the jets to your hot tub. Similar variations can be set up for when you first wake up, when you leave the house or when you have company. You can even control these settings on the go so you’ll never have to wonder if you remembered to turn off the lights. Visit www.savantsystems. com to get started.

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Cursive writing is on its way out, giving way to technology and curriculum changes that focus on keyboarding rather than handwriting. Most teens nowadays write with their thumbs.

The Lost Art of

enmanship n the day after Christmas 1805, Elizabeth Ross, 15, of Williamsport, Penn. sat down to practice her penmanship. Across the continent on the Oregon coast,

words are all perfectly formed in unison. The

explorer William A. Clark took to his

result of many hours of practice. The young

journal to write the highlights of the same

woman’s handwriting is illustrative of the script

day. He complained of fleas in his blankets.

used by Gouverneur Morris, a Pennsylvania

In perfectly formed cursive script, the

representative to the Constitutional Convention

teen dipped her quill pen into an ink well

in Philadelphia in 1787. Morris “wrote” the final

and wrote out “Havanna a sea port town of

draft of the foundational document of the United

South America.” She wrote it several times in

States of America. It was ratified in 1789, the year

succession before moving on to “Dover a sea

before Elizabeth was born. The ability to write

port town in Kent England.” The letters of the

was a mark of an educated person at the time.

By JimGransbery Writing Samples Courtesy of Barbara Scheppele


“Each line is immaculate and straight. It is the same each time with no variation,” observed Barbara Scheppele of Billings. Elizabeth was Scheppele’s great-great-great-grandmother. Her practice writing book is among a cache of documents that Scheppele is cataloguing while constructing a family genealogy. The documents are in “good” condition considering they survived a fire that left them damaged from flame and water. In a stroke of irony, Scheppele is using a tablet (the electronic kind) to build the family tree. However, she signs her name in a style very similar to her ancestor’s. "My penmanship sucks,” Scheppele said during an interview on a gray winter afternoon. She remembers practicing her writing in a Big Chief tablet with its measured lines of solid and dashed to delineate upper case letters from lower case. She also recalls the green placards above the blackboard (now called a white board) providing examples of the Palmer Method of cursive writing – the method most adults were introduced to in the elementary grades “The capital Q looks like a 2,” she noted. It was either the first or second grade that she learned cursive writing, she said. Cursive writing is on its way out, giving way to technology and curriculum changes that focus on keyboarding rather than handwriting. Most teens nowadays write with their thumbs. The explosion of technological communication devices has led to the creation of its own language – r u there, brb, OMG, etc. Written communication is by email, texts and tweets from keyboards. Another document in Scheppele’s collection is a letter from William Fisher Packer, her great, great grandfather, dated April 13, 1864, to his daughter Annie. Packer was the 14th governor of Pennsylvania. The letter was written in the prosaic flourish of the time. “That is the way people wrote,” Scheppele said. Had there been telecommunication at that time, Packer would have known that the Civil War began the day before with the firing on Fort Sumter in the Charleston, S.C. harbor. The cache of documents were in the possession of Libby Laird, Scheppele’s sister. They were in a house in Minnesota that burned 33 years ago. For the past four or five years Scheppele has been working on the family history based on the


The explosion of technological communication devices has led to the creation of its own language – r u there, brb, OMG, etc. Written communication is by email, texts and tweets from keyboards.

handwritten documents that survived. Nowadays, history is being stored in the bowels of computers; in the ethereal known as The Cloud. And handwriting in cursive is being phased out. Not in the Billings School District, which continues to teach cursive writing and keyboarding, but in a growing number of schools in America, handwriting is giving way to keyboarding, which according to Common Core standards, students should be proficient by fourth grade. Scheppele noted that the explosion of electronic telecommunication devices has resulted in a “regression to inventive spelling.” Texts and tweets have developed as a result of character limits (140 for Twitter), speed and “privacy from parents,” said Scheppele. “There is a sub lingo to keep secrets.” Just as modern speakers and writers of English have difficulty in reading the Middle English of The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, future speakers and keyboarders of current U.S. English will struggle to read the founding documents of the country. It will take the geeks of the future who have resurrected cursive script that will enable them to read the Constitution as written by Gouverneur Morris and the letters of ancestors from the beginning of the 19th Century.

Above: Letter dated April 13, 1864 from Pennsylvania Governor William Fisher Packer to his daughter, Annie. Fisher was Barbara Sheppele's great-great-grandfather.

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It’s 1959 in Billings, Montana, and a teenager named Chan Romero has just reminded an LA record producer who worked with Ritchie Valens about a song he wrote called Hippie Hippie Shake. Just two months earlier, Valens perished in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and the “Big Bopper,” J.P. Richardson. The music industry was still reeling from “the day the music died.”

the beat goes on BILLINGS' rock 'n roll roots At the urging of local radio DJ and friend Don Redfield, 17-year-old Romero played a recording of his song over the phone to Bob Keane, Valens’ manager and owner of Del-Fi records. “Keane was surprised and said I sounded a lot like Richie,” Romero said in a recent interview with Magic City Magazine. “I didn’t know anything about Valens at the time.” The song, with its lo-fi surf rock vibe, sounded like it could have been written on the California coastline, but also harkened back to Elvis with that hip-swinging, toe-tapping, thwapping bass line of early rock ‘n’ roll. When Keane heard Romero’s recording, he heard a successor to Richie Valens and wanted to sign him right away. Though still in high school, Romero took off to Gold Star Studios in Hollywood and recorded Hippie Hippie Shake with the same musicians that played for Valens. “That was quite an honor for me,” Romero said. The song went on to receive international fame after being performed by the Beatles and launched Romero into a robust career in music. Paul McCartney lists Romero as one of his top early influences, and still plays Hippie Hippie Shake in concert.


Opposite page: Re-released album cover. Above: Chan Romero & The Renegades, Butte, Montana. Left to right: Jim Blankenship, bass, Chan Romero, guitar and vocals, Bob Blewitt, drums, Cliff Champeau, guitar circa 1960. Chan Romero below.


Montana rock roots

Romero was born to a mixed heritage family who migrated from Colorado and New Mexico to Montana to work in the fields. Raised in Billings, Romero was 13 when he first picked up the guitar. “I saw Elvis on TV singing Hound Dog, and I thought, ‘Boy, that’s what I want to do,’” said Romero. He borrowed guitars from his five older brothers, who all liked country music, and taught himself to play. “When I started playing, the only thing on the radio was country,” Romero recalled. “No one really knew about rock and roll. My family wanted me to sing country, so when I started singing Elvis songs they got a bit upset with me.” At 16, Romero hitch-hiked to California to spend a summer with relatives in East L.A. There he met a man named Sonny Bono who expressed interest in Romero’s song, My Little Ruby. Before he could meet again with Bono, Romero was on a bus headed to Billings for the school year. “That was the end of my career with Sony Bono,” he lamented. Back in Billings, the music scene was pretty quiet, Romero recalled. There was a single teenage club by the river where he started playing with a group of musicians on Friday and Saturday nights. “That was the first real gig we had,” Romero recalled. “It was a lot of fun, especially for kids who wanted something to do on the weekend.”

“When I started playing, the only thing on the radio was country No one really knew about rock and roll. My family wanted me to sing country, so when I started singing Elvis songs they got a bit upset with me.”

Shake it to the left…

Romero wanted to record some of the music he was writing, which is how he connected with Billings recording engineer, Larry Faught. “I believe I have the first studio recording of Hippie Hippie Shake that was ever made,” Faught said. Faught recorded some of the first songs Romero wrote, including Hippie Hippie Shake and My Little Ruby, the song that intrigued Sonny Bono, which was recorded with fellow Billings’ musician Kostas Lazarides. “When I first started writing music I would tape the songs so I wouldn’t forget them,” Romero said. “Larry had a two-track machine in his basement, and that’s where we cut the stuff. Those were good old days.” Kostas, who went on to be a nationallyknown country music artist, also recorded his first 45 RPM in Faught’s studio. Kostas was the Romero’s paperboy, and Chan had given him his first guitar lessons. Eventually, Kostas moved to Nashville where he wrote songs for Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakam and George Strait, among others. Another musician, Kenneth Ray “Thumbs” Carllile from Missouri, frequently performed


Chan Romero playing at the Western Heritage Center in 2009. Photos by Gazette Staff.

in Billings. He also played guitar on some of Romero’s early recordings with Faught before going on to play in Roger Miller’s band. “He was quite a guitarist—one of the best I’ve ever met,” Romero said.

Shake it to the right…

“It’s amazing to think how much music was happening in Billings during this time,” said Dave Martens, a University of Montana graduate student and self-proclaimed lover of music. Four years ago Martens began work on a project to preserve rock ‘n’ roll music written and performed by garage bands in Montana during the 1950s and ‘60s. “I believe that was one of the best periods of recorded music, and Billings was a music hub at the time – there was so much happening here,” he said. Fearing that tunes from that era would soon be forever lost, Martens embarked on an ambitious effort to locate any available records and tapes and have them digitized – saved for future generations. To date, Martens has recovered dozens of recordings by Montana musicians and is working on a compilation of rock ‘n’ roll tracks to be released later this year. Romero, he noted, was a huge influence in the Montana music scene during the late 1950s. “It was really unique for a guy like Chan to be writing and recording his own songs, when most bands during that time were doing cover songs and playing hits of the day,” Martens said. “For one of those songs to become an international hit—well that inspired many Montana musicians.” Martens recalls Miles City musician Burch Ray and his band, The Walkers. (Burch told Martens he started a band after seeing Romero perform). The Walkers toured the Montana Highline, and in turn inspired Rick Rictor from Havre, who started the band The Squires. Members of The Squires went on to record with several other Montana bands. “In Billings, Chan inspired The Frantics and the Wanderers, and even helped these guys put out records – also recorded in Faught’s studio,” Martens said. Romero’s musical career ended in the 1967 when, while touring and on the road, he made the decision to return to California and focus on his family. He opened an auto dealership and left the music business for good. Romero and his wife, whom he met in Billings, have been married for nearly 53 years and have 12 kids, 48 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. “It’s been a good ride,” Romero said. “I’ve had a lot of good times. I don’t regret anything, that’s for sure.”

Montana’s music History Growing up in Havre, Montana, Dave Martens was not exposed to a robust music scene, though he describes himself as a huge music fan. “From my isolated point of view in Havre, I didn’t really know that music was even made and recorded in Montana,” he said. “It seemed like something that happened anywhere but here.” A graduate student at the University of Montana, Martens’ love of music prompted him to seek out and digitize music made in Montana, specifically fo-


cusing on rock ‘n’ roll from the late 1950s and ‘60s.

Top: Dave Martens (right) inspects tapes from Larry Faught's collection. Photo courtesy of Kurt Wilson/Missoulian. Above: Larry Faught holds a master tape he produced in 1959. Photo by Gazette Staff


“No one was preserving music from this time; some of the most amazing music could potentially be lost forever.” — Dave martens “No one was preserving music from this time; some of the most amazing music could potentially be lost forever.” Martens said. In the summer of 2010 he started tracking down tunes. The earliest recordings Martens has found were by The Renegades from Butte and several songs by Chan Romero, both recorded in Billings in 1959. Most of these early recordings came from Larry Faught. A former recording engineer, Faught still has an impressive tape library that Martens hopes to help transfer to digital recordings. “Larry’s recordings are clean and have a very unique sound, with echoing guitar and plenty of reverb,” Martens said. “It’s elegant, and captures a distinct period in music.

Though only in the recording business for five years, during that time Faught captured an incredible selection of the area’s music. His early collection spans genres from rock ‘n’ roll to country and pop music. Despite being more than 50 years old, the recordings are remarkable; full-bodied and robust, with rich vocals and a comforting twang. Today I met someone just like you / He smiled that same old smile that I once knew, sings a brooding country gal named Judy Lowenstein on one of Larry’s original recordings. In the background is the sound of Thumbs Carllile picking a slow country

waltz against a light drum spray. Among other recordings are yodeling country singers and others cutting through the swinging melody with clear, pristine notes. Some songs are original; some are covers. And then there’s Chan Romero, pure rock ‘n’ roll, the kind that gets your hips swinging and your feet taping. Faught’s daughter Kyle Colling recalls getting to clap in the background of his lo-fi surf rock-esque Hippie Hippie Shake. Shake it to the left, shake it to the right, do the Hippie Hippie Shake. In the background Thumbs can be heard playing a hard-picked guitar against a thumping pulse of bass strings.

Top: Larry Faught in his home recording studio. Left: Larry Faught's label is on a record that he created a master tape for. Larry cut the record himself. Next page top: The Renegades, a Montana rock band that Larry recorded. Middle: Posters of bands that Larry also recorded. Right: Larry Faught holds a 45 RPM he used for his square dance calls. Photos by Gazette Staff. Period art courtesy of Larry Faught.


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Decals on a briefcase highlight Faught's extensive travels for recording music. Photo by Gazette Staff.

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Faught’s foray into the realm of music began at a young age when he learned to play guitar by ear. Over time, he became interested in audio, which led him to the recording business. In 1958, Faught opened Faught Recording service in the basement of his home. He was already active in the musical community as a square dance instructor and caller. “Our house has been filled with music ever since I could remember,” said Kyle. She describes being swept away by the music in the family home. “If we were like mice, dad would allow us to sit downstairs in the recording studio and watch. It was beautiful; the musicians were so talented. I just remember being down there listening.” Faught’s original recordings are incredibly well-preserved. Captured on half-track quarter-inch tape manufactured in the 1950s, the tape was far more durable than its counterpart manufactured in the ‘70s and later. “The earlier the tape, the better,” Martens said. “That being said, those tapes are reaching their shelf date. It’s important to get those recordings digitized.”

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Funds for this project have come largely out of Martens’ pocket. Music is being digitized at Missoula’s Recording Center by Rick Kuschel and will soon be sent off for mastering. Martens plans to finish the first compilation focusing on rock ‘n’ roll this year. For Martens, the process has been rewarding, as he’s been able to reconnect musicians who haven’t played together in a band for upwards of 50 years. “They’re excited for this music to once again see the light of day,” Martens said. He also feels a sense of urgency, as many of these musicians are quite old or have already passed. “Montana’s recorded music history has been scattered in piles around the state,” Martens said. “It’s a treasure I want to gather, preserve and share.” If you or someone you know have recordings of early Montana music, or if you are interested in purchasing a compilation, contact Dave Martens at or on facebook: lostsoundsmontana.







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Bullies At

Large Kids aren’t the only ones being bullied.

For many of her 14 years at a prominent Billings organization, Linda* enjoyed the respect and admiration of her colleagues. “I was very happy,” she said. “I lived and breathed that place.” The organization boasted many longtime employees, some of whom had been there 25 and 30 years. Then a new CEO arrived; everything changed. “I worked like a dog, a ridiculous number of hours, to prove myself, and I guess I expected that he would know I was a good employee based on my past evaluations and reputation.” Linda thought wrong.

By Shelley Van Atta


*** If we saw a child being bullied on a playground, how many of us would immediately jump to the child’s rescue? All of us, right? Why then, when we see a colleague being bullied at work do we not have the same reaction, asks Darren Walker, vice president of human resources for St. Vincent Healthcare and an ardent crusader against bullying. As a society, bullying among kids has emerged as a critical epidemic that requires swift intervention. But Walker asserts that bullies are also prevalent in the workplace. He cites recent studies that show one out of every six U.S. workers (about 35 Falsely accusing someone of million) has experienced workplace bullying. “errors” not actually made. “It’s a silent epidemic, and the impacts are shocking,” Walker said. According to the WorkStaring, glaring, being nonverbally place Bullying Institute (WPI), bulling is four intimidating and clearly showing times more prevalent than sexual harassment or hostility. racial discrimination in the workplace; 29 percent of bullied targets considered suicide, and 16 percent had a plan. Discounting the person’s thoughts or feelings (“oh, that’s silly; that’s Devious acts childish”) in meetings. Walker defines bullying as abrasive and inappropriate behavior that erodes, disrupts, demeans, Using the “silent treatment” to devalues and stifles. “ice out” and separate from othA bully may use verbal abuse or display ofers. fensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating or intimidatExhibiting presumably uncontroling. Work interference – or sabotage – that prelable mood swings in front of the vents another from completing work is also congroup. sidered bullying. Bullies are experts at justifying, blaming, taking credit when it’s not due, deflecting blame from Making up own rules on the fly that themselves onto others (regardless of innocence), even she/he does not follow. and will exhibit behavior such as overreacting, Disregarding satisfactory or exemimpatience, belittling, demeaning, humiliation, plary quality of completed work becoming unglued, yelling or speaking loudly despite evidence. oblivious or uncaring about who is listening, door slamming, rolling their eyes, sighing and nameHarshly and constantly criticizing calling, among others. Except, however, when having a different ‘standard’ for their boss or executive/management peers are the target. around. Then, they are all sunshine and smiles, leaving little wonder why many bullies are bossStarting, or failing to stop, destrucand corporate-peer favorites. tive rumors or gossip about the For their part, targets feel betrayed and powerless. Often they become submissive or disengaged, person. especially formerly high-producing employees. “They feel like no one cares,” said Walker. Encouraging people to turn against Victims frequently experience stress-related the person being tormented. illnesses, absenteeism, reduced innovation and lower productivity – all of which can lead to deSource: Workplace Bullying Institute pression. According to Walker, those who bully another are missing “emotional sonar,” he says. They are blind to the emotional devastation and impact their behavior has on others.

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The new CEO brought in his own people, and the culture changed. Many of Linda’s longtime colleagues began leaving. “I started getting written up for things I formerly had been praised for,” she said. “My opinion had always been valued under the prior administration, but with the new CEO, I was told I was ‘outspoken’ and ‘opinionated.’ Every day she was worried about being fired. “How can you sustain a positive mental attitude when you worry this could be the day your paycheck might end,” said Linda, a single mother with sole “We now worry about support of her children. The CEO assigned Linda to train his new people, who later, she noted, became it [bullying] across the instigators of some of the worst bullying perpetrated against her. board, We worry about “They were a mostly male staff and told me that a woman could not do this it with kids in schools, job,” seemingly ignoring the fact that she had been doing an exemplary job for well over a decade. we worry about it with In one “terrifying” encounter, in front of others, the CEO leaned in close and spouses in homes, we shook his fist in her face while, ironically, screaming at her that she was too ‘conworry about it with frontational.’ “All of these guys were large men,” she added, which “was physically intimidatemployees in ing.” The stress she was living under was the workplace. literally a killer. “I had no more to give.” Linda was frequently sick and perpetIt’s everywhere.” ually exhausted. She lost weight; her skin turned sallow and she became increasingly depressed. “I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew that — Joe cassidy, if I stayed in this job it would kill me, so I quit even before finding another job. It Licensed clinical was that serious,” she quietly rememprofessional counsler Billings Clinic bered. “I decided I would clean toilets, do anything, rather than let them beat me. I lost my house and had to move in with my mother. I lost my insurance, everything.”

Grey area

Joe Cassidy, a licensed clinical professional counselor at Billings Clinic and practitioner for 33 years, says that although bullying has been around for as long as he has been practicing, he has seen a marked escalation of incidents in the past decade and a half. “We now worry about it across the board,” he says. “We worry about it with kids in schools, we worry about it with spouses in homes, we worry about it with employees in the workplace. It’s everywhere.” Cassidy says the legal line between harassment, which is illegal, and bullying, which is not illegal, can be nebulous for the recipient and difficult to prove. “How much bullying can someone tolerate; what’s their resiliency?” he asks. For instance, he explains, there are people who may work in a very close workspace. If a co-worker has a

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radio tuned to a channel that another co-worker finds offensive, or if the volume is too loud, it could be deemed as creating a toxic work environment. If the co-worker knows the radio is offensive and continues the behavior, that’s bullying. Bullying, Cassidy adds, is not only direct abuse from intimidation, it also can be what is termed ‘interference,’ such as assigning an employee to a room with no window, phone “If there is a chain of command that is or computer; withholding responsive, report what’s going on with your information necessary to complete a work task; not supervisor,” advises Joe Cassidy, a licensed providing adequate trainclinical professional counselor at Billings ing; or not giving an emClinic. ployee the right tools to perIf that gets no traction, go over their form the job, with the intent head. of making that person mis“Ratchet it up if you can’t get the type of erable enough to quit. “These behaviors disresponse you’re looking for.” He emphasizes credit a person,” Cassidy that confrontation with a bully is advisable says. “It’s a nefarious tact only if it’s safe. “That bullies use because it’s hard would be the first line. to prove. I tell people, if Then, it’s a matter of they have difficulty with pulling in any resources someone, the thing to do is to document, document, you need.” document: date, time, what If at all possible, was said. If you want to state get as much physical your case credibly, you have distance as you can to have specifics.” from the bully. Cassidy says, “Detachment and Insidious targeting Bullying is difficult to avoidance are key. If counter. Legally, workplace you can stay away from harassment connotes sexual the person, you won’t misconduct and a hostile get conned into their control issues, which work environment from is what they want. If you have to work in which workers are proclose proximity, try to become emotionally tected by law. WPI reports that illegal discriminatory detached. Stay in your own bubble, encapsuharassment occurs in only lated away from emotional or social interac20 percent of bullying cases, tion with that person. Try to remember that suggesting 80 percent of you’re there to work and not to socialize,” bullying falls outside the He reminds us that we do not have to like scope of legal redress. or be friends with everyone at work, but “we While 61 percent of bullying occurs within the do have to be professional and civil.” same gender, women bullies target other women in 80 percent of cases. Many corporations don’t have anti-bullying policies. To date, no

What should you do if you’re a victim of bullying?


state has enacted any anti-bullying laws. However, 25 states have introduced anti-bulling legislation; 11 states, including Montana, have had active bills.

No dummies

Bullies tend to have a high IQ, Walker says, although they have a low EQ (emotional intelligence). They often are the rainmakers; the top producers who are highly valued. They know how to manipulate to get ahead without getting caught. With a need to control, they tend to be micro-managers, checking your emails, tracking everything you do for fear something will reflect negatively against them. Think of the person in your office of whom most people are afraid and new people are warned not to cross. They’re tolerated because they typically have longevity, work long hours and let everyone know just how good they are. If you complain about the bully’s behavior, you may be told that, “This is just the way she is. Ignore it. Learn how to deal with it.” The bully’s behavior is minimalized and the victim, not the bully, is being asked to change. WPI reports that ninety-three percent of managers surveyed said they don’t have the skills to deal with bullying. As organizational leaders, Walker says, “We are failing ourselves if we minimize the impact aggressors have on our organizations.” What these leaders often fail to see are the many valuable employees they lose because of just one bully. Good employees whom a company may have spent tens of thousands of dollars recruiting and training are lost to their competition. High turn-over is expensive.

*** Nearly four years later, Linda lives and works in North Carolina “doing the exact same thing I did” at the organization in Billings, in a job she was recommended for by the organization’s former CEO, for whom she had worked those many years. “He felt terrible about the way I had been treated, and he knew my abilities. He suggested this job to me, and it was a life-changer.” Linda has a “high success rate” in her current position, where, she is being groomed for a vice presidency. And after she quit her health improved dramatically. “Nobody should have to go through the bullying I was put through,” she said. “Quitting that job broke my heart. It had been my life.” Still, she has no regrets. “If I hadn’t quit, I’d be dead now. They thought they could get me,” she said determinedly. “They couldn’t.” As for the new CEO whose administration allowed the bullying? “He was fired,” she said with finality. Walker is hoping Montana enacts an anti-bullying law. “Nobody ever should go home hurt emotionally or physically,” says the anti-bullying advocate. “Nothing pains me more than seeing people hurting other people. We need to treat each other with dignity and respect. To tolerate anything less is to reduce the humanity of us all.” *The name was changed to protect the individual’s privacy.

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86 I FEBRUARY 2014 I MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE by Jennifer Quinn

Billings Public Library is more than just shelves of books and periodicals. It is a community center for learning and technology. The days of being “shushed” in the library are over. A destination for learning and information, the libraries of yore were stale, stark vestibules filled with rows of books and silence. Billings Public Library breaks that mold. Equipped with all the accoutrements necessary for modern-day learning and comfort, Billings Public Library is so much more than just a place to check out a book. Featuring online learning opportunities, e-Books, free music downloads, enrichment opportunities, a coffee shop and café, our new library encourages the open exchange of communication and innovative thinking, sans silence.

Elizabeth Andrews, right, shares a space with her sister Abigail and brother Mike during the opening morning of the Billings Library. Photo by James Woodcock. Stellar Bulltail uses a new computer in the Billings Library to comment how much she likes the new library on her Facebook page during the grand opening of the Billings Library. Photo by James Woodcock. The main floor lobby with attractive ocular skylight. Photo by James Woodcock.


Lower Level

Warm welcome

Guests to the new library will enjoy easy access via the soon-to-be-completed parking garden adjacent the first floor entrance. The footprint for the parking garden is the old library, which will be demolished this spring. Plans call for the construction of a beautifully-designed walkway leading up to the double doors.

Rooms for all

Upon entering the vestibule, there is a Community Meeting Room to the left that seats 125 people auditorium-style with an adjoining courtyard that accommodates an additional 250. The primary purpose of the meeting space is to host library-sponsored events and activities; however, the space is available to rent at a very reasonable cost– $50/hr with a two-hour minimum. The perfect venue for business meetings or educational gatherings, Billings Public Library was proud to host its first live Tedx Billings Talk in the community meeting room in mid-January.

Bottom Left: The Community Room at Billings Public Library. Photo by Casey Page. Top: Main floor lobby. Photo by Casey Page.Bottom Right: The Story Tower children’s reading area. Photo by Casey Page.


Upper Level

Read, relax, refresh

When you step into the first floor lobby, there is a Help Desk and signage to orient you. The sitting area located next to the Rimrock Reflecting Pool is infused with natural light streaming down through a large glass ocular high above. The sensory experience is wonderful; feel the stress just slip away. If you need a pick-me-up, head to the Sweet Café, a coffee shop located at the north entrance, for a cup of fresh brew and snack while browsing the library’s extensive offerings.

The Rimrock Reflecting Pool provides calming respite at Billings Public Library. Photo by Casey Page

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An exterior view of the new library from the vantage point of 6th Avenue heading south. Photo by Larry Mayer.

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Special collections abound

Tots, teens, genealogists and geeks

With orange walls, a story tower and many section alcoves for looking at books, the children’s area is a kid-magnet. The First Five Years section contains interactive kiosks designed for children ages 1-5 and a 44-foot story tower that gives children a cozy, relaxing place to enjoy a good story. To the far west, there is a craft area with supply cupboards, a sink and a fenced off children’s garden. On the second floor, guests will find the Great Reading Room, the Teen Area, the Digital Learning Lab, the Montana Room and Computer Commons. The large windows and natural light in the Great Room are perfect for reading, reflecting and letting your imagination wander in this vast 20,000-square-foot space. To the west is the Montana/Genealogy Room where researchers have access to various historical records and family histories. The dedicated Teen Area is filled with the latest books and magazines for young adults. It is outfitted with small study rooms with tables and white boards. In addition, the Digital Learning Lab provides a place for teens that inspires learning through digital media. The Digital Learning Lab is a 750 square-foot lab inside the (See sidebar for more information.) Billings Public Library. The planning and beginning stages for this

Life is knocking on your

To the east, behind the blue glass, is Popular Materials (music, movies, best sellers and large print materials). The area is designed to help you find books similar to those you already enjoy and to introduce you to new authors and subjects. This area contains tables with ample seating where visitors can easily sit together for group discussion.

Sheila Larsen 406-672-1130

Digital Learning Lab

project were made possible by a $100,000 grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the MacArthur Foundation. Billings is one of 24 cities nationally to receive the grant, allowing teens to build digital literacy skills that can be applied to education and the workforce. Because the lab is primarily for teen use, the library has established a Teen Advisory Group to provide function and stylistic suggestions for the lab that are in line with this age group. The Learning Lab Steering Committee, chaired by Kristy Bouck, supervises the teen group. “The lab is a great avenue for kids to use their imagination,” said Kathy Robins, systems administrator at the Billings Public Library. Technology has changed how we learn, communicate, share, create and organize information. The lab will give teens access to tools they may not have access to anywhere else, providing a place for them to tinker and experiment with ideas of their own choosing. If you are interested in learning more or volunteering at Billings Public Library, please contact Leslie Modrow, Library Foundation director. She can be reached at 406-237-6149 or

Lifelong love of learning

Still need more reasons to visit your new library? Here are 1,778—that’s the number of new library cards issued in just the first three weeks since opening. That compares to a total of 5,026 cards issued all last year. Plan a family outing to experience the library firsthand. The hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Staff members are eager to assist and answer questions, providing the best possible library experience for you and your family.

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A Christmas Carol 1] Martha and Richard Spillman 2] L-R Sharon Smith, Pauladine & Shawn Laughery & Allison Holycross 3] Manuel Vazquez & Joan Morgan



3 4

ArtWalk & Christmas Stroll Downtown Billings 4] Chuck & JoLynn Sommers 5] Robin Kraft, Kris Jensen, Samantha Jensen, Alicia Torgorson & Scott Beadle 6] Jessica Nobil & Britney Sinclair 7] Jennifer & Tom Lyman & Mariah Kirst 8] Sande Seibert & Karen Hould

4 5

Manheim Streamroller Rimrock Arena at MetraPark 9] Jeryl Macauley & Kathy Davies 10] Martha & Kevin Hint, Scott & Gail Turner 11] Jay & Debbie Strever 12] Lucas Woods & Kendra Olson


4 8

9 11

7 10






Festival of Trees The Family Tree Center 16

13] John Heimann & Vickey Maki 14] Lisa & Sophia Adkins 15] Andrew Miller & Melanie Scerseth 16] Aryanna, Summer & Lynn Arnold & Angela & Sarah Lind 17] Brooklyn Delpriore & Janice Geiger


Messiah Festival St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation

18 19





18] Cheryl, Jeanne, Steve & Linda Nitz 19] Connie Capra & Kim Rees 20] Joan Hendricks & Roseanne Plath 21] Deb Sheehy & Leslie Stahly 22] Kim Kaiser, Judi Mackney & Susie Barbero 23] Lorna Dyk & Shawn Heringer 24] Shane Nobel & Susie Barbero






The Nutcracker Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale 25] Cordy Smith, Elli Cooper & Julie Holzer 26 Liz Lich & Molly Bell 27] Troy Krieger & Karrie Marler 28] Phoebe Webb, Jaci Webb, Chrissy Webb

Oak Ridge Boys Alberta Bair Theater


28 27

29] Carl Kirshner & Oak Ridge Boys

Botanica Alberta Bair Theater 30] Betty, Sophie, Katie, Amber, Brynn and Olivia Loos 31] Kate & Matt Hamlin 32] Corby Skinner, Jody Grant & Willliam Wood 33] Robert & Jean Miller 34] Bill, Blake, Jackson & Laverne Royer 35] Dana Anderson and Cindy Milligan

30 32




34 35

Art Auction 46

March 1 – Yellowstone Art Museum In conjunction with the Yellowstone Art Museum’s (YAM’s) 50th year anniversary, museum patrons will celebrate Art Auction 46 with 198 works for sale from 175 artists. The gala includes silent and live auctions along with cocktails and endless hors d’oeuvres offered within the beautiful backdrop of created by the museum’s spacious galleries. During the popular “Quick Draw” event, eight local artists will have one hour to create art in front of auction-goes. The annual Art Auction is the YAM’s most significant fundraising event, generating proceeds in support of exhibits and educational programs throughout the year.

febRUARY February 20 Kenny Rogers Alberta Bair Theater

February 21 Dave Brubeck Tribute Alberta Bair Theater

February 20-22 MATE Show & Home and Health Expo Montana Pavilion, Expo Center

February 22

March 2

Trivia Night Zonta Club of Billings St. Bernard’s Church

Harlem Globetrotters 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour Rimrock Auto Arena

February 24 Happily Ever After Alberta Bair Theater

West Side Story Alberta Bair Theater

February 27March 2

Oscar Night NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

RV & Boat Show Expo Center


February 21 Neil Gaiman Babcock Theater

February 21-23 & February 28March 2 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

March 1 Art Auction 46 Yellowstone Art Museum Terpsichore Dance Company Pop Art Babcock Theater

March 6-8 St. Nicholas Fringe Theater NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

Funky Bunch Venture Improv NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

Quilt display by Susan Barnes St. Andrew Presbyterian Church 406-656-9256

March 7-9, 13-16, 20-22

March 13-15

Pump Boys and Dinettes Billings Studio Theatre

March 8 Cherish the Ladies Irish Homecoming Alberta Bair Theater Heritage Playapalooza! Western Heritage Center

St. Nicholas Fringe Theater NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

March 14 BE GREAT Ball Yellowstone Boys & Girls Clubs Crowne Plaza

March 7 Jam at the YAM Yellowstone Art Museum

March 7-9 Home Improvement Show Montana Pavilion & Expo


May 12-17 MSU Billings Foundation’s Wine & Food Festival Highlighted with the “Fine Finish” reception on May 17, the MSU Billings Foundation’s Wine & Food Festival celebrates excellent wine-and-gourmet food pairings with local chefs and superb vinters. Randy Ullom of Kendall-Jackson and Erik Miller Kokomo Winery serve as Winemasters this year, the 22nd annual. The Festival supports scholarships and other Foundation activities; to date the event has raised over $4.3 million. For a complete list of classes, activities and events, see

March 14-16 Spotlight Dance Cup Montana Pavilion

March 15 St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celtic Street Fair Downtown Billings Eagle Fest 2014 Yellowstone Country Club 406-969-2949 Russian Days and Arabian Nights Alberta Bair Theater

March 22-23 Billings Got Talent Riders of American Defenders (ROAD Rash) American Legion 406-670-3805


March 22 Opera Fest Yellowstone Country Club

March 26 MSU-B Winefest Studies Various locations

March 29 Rescued and Reclaimed Antique and Salvage Market Metra Park Montana Pavilion facebook/ rescuedandreclaimed

March 29-30 Carmen’s Tragedy NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

March 30 Purple 5k Downtown Billings


April 3 Doc Severinsen and His Big Band Alberta Bair Theater

April 4 Jam the YAM Yellowstone Art Museum

April 4-5 A Midsummer Night’s Dream NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

April 4-6, 1-13 & 17-19 Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping Billings Studio Theatre

April 5 HAIR Alberta Bair Theater

April 11-13 PBR Built Ford Tough Invitational Rimrock Auto Arena

April 11 Peter Gros Wild Kingdom Alberta Bair Theater

April 14 The Snail and the Whale Alberta Bair Theater

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April 15

May 2-4, 8-11 & 15-17

The Midtown Men Alberta Bair Theater

Chemical Imbalance Billings Studio Theatre

April 25-26

May 5

Funky Bunch Venture Improv NOVA Center for the Performing Arts

The Whitney Houston Show Alberta Bair Theater

April 26

May 6

Carmina Burana Alberta Bair Theater

Arlo Guthrie Alberta Bair Theater

PEAKS Style Show and Luncheon St. Bernard’s Catholic Church 252-8884

May 7 Mel Tillis Alberta Bair Theater

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Profile for Billings Gazette

February 2014  

SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUE Get Wired! Social Media Decoded; Total Home Automation; Best Gadgets of 2014; Workplace Bullies: A Silent Epidemi...

February 2014  

SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUE Get Wired! Social Media Decoded; Total Home Automation; Best Gadgets of 2014; Workplace Bullies: A Silent Epidemi...