INSIDE THIS ISSUE Where to get the totem pole you’ve always wanted. You don’t have to go to the moon for a space age massage.
Premiere Supper Club in the middle of no where? Beads on Bone - The art of native beading goes contemporary.
Meet a saddle maker living in Hog Heaven.
The Symes Hotel & Hot Springs
209 Wall St. Hot Springs, MT.
406 406--741 741--2361
email@example.com “It’s the Water!” Bathhouse Grill & Cantina
Cozy Rooms Hot mineral soaking pools Live music on weekends
Photograph by Jake Wallis
Tell the desk clerk you saw this ad in The West and get a 2 for 1 on a $7.00 soaking pass
OUTDOOR HOT GEOTHERMAL SOAKING POOLS Located in Hot Springs, Montana off of Highway 28 $5.00 a day for soaking pass. Contact Leroy O’Bennick @ (406) 741-5140
Spend a night or a week, within walking distance of efficiency apartments at Alameda’s Hot Springs Resort
Tepee Rentals Available
Volume II - Issue I January, 2013
The West Old & New - Published by Susan Faye Roberts P.O. Box 10 Hot Springs, Montana (406) 741-5210 firstname.lastname@example.org Online at: http://issuu.com/westerngalspeak
Stairway to Heaven - Photograph by S.F. Roberts
FEATURED ARTICLES ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
George Gulli & Son - Totem Poles In Hamilton, Montana a son carries on a tradition begun by his father creating totem poles. Pg. 4
The 21â€“ Day Cure Twenty-one days of water, more water and mud was the prescription for healing in western Montana beginning in the 1920s. Pg. 6
Museum of Early Montana History
Written in Stone Barry Chandler of Proctor, Montana sandblasts word into stone. Pg. 4
Located near a beautiful sanctuary for water fowl in western Montana the early history museum gives visitors a look into the past. Pg. 6
SPACE AGE MASSAGE ON EARTH
Growing Up Western
Body worker Sandra Sitzmann shares the miracle of the Richway Bio-Mat. Pg. 4
Meet Monty Hall, 84 year old rancher and author. Pg. 7
Americana Cigar Box Guitars Musician & craftsman Nathan Eyre takes an old guitar to a new level. Pg. 5
Taste of Montana
Beads on Bone Katrina Ruhmland uses her artistry to make native beading contemporary. Pg. 5
FOR - SALE - BY - OWNER
2 Bedroom house w/full basement & garage. Garden area, berries, fruit trees, chicken house, tool shed, well, and septic all on 1.5 acres of land in Camas Prairie. Asking $95,000 Contact: Paul & Elise Curtis (406) 741-2708
The Miracle of America Museum south of Polson, Montana Pg. 7
The Cattle Baron Supper Club in Babb, Montana. The Windmill CafĂŠ in Ravalli, Montana Pg. 9
Saddle Maker Jeff Morrow lives on an old homestead in Hog Heaven and creates works of art that are usable and beautiful. Pg. 10
FOR - SALE - BY - OWNER Retire to income! 21-unit Timberline Apartments located in Hot Springs, MT. - the home of the healing water. $350,000 Call: Deanna Peters @ 406-741-5142
George Gulli & Son - Totem Poles In the heat of a summer day driving busy Highway 93 north out of Hamilton, Montana my eye caught long enough on the facing wall of a business that I began looking for a way to turn around and go back. A quarter of a mile later, and after crossing four lanes of traffic I finally pull into George Gulli & Son’s Totem Pole business. Climbing out of my vehicle I was immediately engaged in looking at several sculpture’s of St. Francis of Assisi, a large fish and a wolf’s image carved into a slab of wood. Inside the door of a large open shop it took a few minutes to engage the wood carver, George Gulli, Jr., a man of few words and busy hands. A third generation carver he has taken on the art of the totem pole. George was engaged in painting the ends of several old growth trees so I followed after him full of questions. The art work on the shop which faces the highway was done by his wife, Vonnie. George told me that his father originated the totem pole business on the northwest coast. His father’s father had been a stone carver in Italy, and he had learned wood carving from his father. I asked him how he gets his customers and he said that people actually go shopping for totem poles. Later in conversations with folks, when I mentioned the beautiful work done by Gulli, most commented that they would love to have a totem pole. George stated that his work is collected internationally and graces businesses and homes across the nation. Traditional totem poles were carved from Western Red Cedar by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Few examples of poles carved before 1900 can be found, although a few dating back as far as 1880 exist at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver. According to scholar Eddie Malin the Haida people of Queen Charlotte Islands originated the carving of totem poles with the practice spreading to the Tsimshian and Tlingit people and then down the coast to the indigenous people of British Columbia and northern Washington State. Regional differences in the indigenous tribes created style differences and the introduction of metal tools changed the time line on creating one, although it generally takes 6 to 12 months to carve a tall totem pole. The meanings of the designs on totem poles are as varied as the cultures that make them. Totem poles may recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. Some poles celebrate cultural beliefs, but others are mostly artistic presentations. Certain types of totem poles are part of mortuary structures, and incorporate grave boxes with carved supporting poles, or recessed backs for grave boxes. Poles illustrate stories that commemorate historic persons, represent shamanic powers, or provide objects of public ridicule. House front poles were meant to show the success of the families. Totem poles were never objects of worship. Although early European explorers thought they were worshipped, later explorers such as Jean-François de La Pérouse noted that totem poles were never treated reverently and were usually left to rot in place when people abandoned a village. The association with "idol worship" was an idea from local Christian missionaries of the nineteenth century, who considered their association with Shamanism as an occult practice. Certain Christian missionaries reviled the totem pole as an object of heathen worship and urged their converts to cease production and destroy existing poles. If you are interested in seeing some of the work by George Gulli & Son go to: http://www.GULLITOTEMPOLES.COM
Written on Stone I drove into the driveway of Written on Stone located off Big Meadows Road in Proctor, Montana and was held up for a few moments while a small bunny decided if it should move and which way it wanted to go. Pulling forward into a long round driveway I wasn’t sure if I should pull all the way around to what looked like a shop building and approach it hoping to find the artisan I was seeking. At that moment Barry Chandler came down a path with a cup of tea in hand. I had driven to this out-of-the-way place to interview him about the beautiful works of art he sand-blasts on rock and I wasn’t disappointed. Chandler can do several different methods of putting messages and art into stone, all kinds of stone, some of it native to Montana and some not. Born and raised in Montana he did a stint in Providence, Rhode Island before coming home, and from the looks of it he is at home in Proctor. A well versed artisan he has been commissioned by EWAM in Arlee to create colored granite plaques with the same saying by Buddha in six different languages which will then be placed within a tall sandstone pillar in the Buddha’s garden. He was commissioned by the University of Montana to do a Memorial Row 2011 Monument Rock which is located on the campus. He has done numerous types of jobs all over Montana but one will keep him engaged for quite awhile. Chandler is blasting Biblical verses on garden stones made from Pennsylvania Blusstone Tumbled Cobbles. The meditation garden will be located in Missoula, and comprises numerous stones of all sizes and shapes. The stone itself is smooth and a gray-blue color. Written in Stone is owned by Barry and Janet Chandler. Janet is well known as a cellist to music lovers in Western Montana. Written in Stone makes custom address rocks, garden stones, poem paths, custom architectural and hearth features, and memorial rocks. Their brochure states, “We carve what you want in native Montana rock.” For information visit the website at www.writteninstone.org. Photograph to the left shows Barry Chandler sitting on a stack of Pennsylvania Blusstone.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO THE MOON FOR A SPACE AGE MASSAGE Discovered by NASA this bio-mat made with amethyst crystals can be just what doctor ordered. Sandra Sitzmann, a diminutive power-house of a masseur, recently gave me great massage. Without much ado she focused in on at least two troublesome areas in my neck and back and then found several other areas I hadn’t even been aware of until she focused on them. An added bonus to this delightful experience was her use of a Richway Bio-Mat which was placed on the massage table beneath me. The mat is activated by 120 volt A.C. current which is buffered by a 5-tiered system that converts the current to D.C. which is bio-electrically compatible with the human body. The bio-mat combines state of the art Far-Infrared light and negative ion technology in rows of amethyst crystals. Amethyst crystals have long been known for their calming and healing effect. Tested scientifically amethyst crystals were the only substance found that clearly changes the spectrum of infrared light. The wave forms mimic patterns similar to the human voice. The Far Infrared Rays (FIR) refracted through the crystals organize into geometrical patterns for higher bio-compatibility penetrating 6-8 inches into the body to benefit the skin, muscles and deep tissue affecting the lymph glands, blood vessels, nerves and organs. First discovered by NASA, scientists have proposed that of all the energy spectrum coming from the sun FIR waves are the safest and most beneficial electromagnetic energy directly affecting all metabolic and cellular functions. NASA uses these bio-mats on astronauts returning from space. The bio-mat also delivers negative ions directly to the body via the skin, activating a rapid return to the body’s optimal physiological state. The bio-mat is approved by the FDA as a medical device and is said to provide the following health benefits: improved circulation and cardiovascular function, improved immune system function, pain relief, easing of joint pain and stiffness, stress and fatigue reduction and a sauna setting detoxifies the body. A half hour session on the bio-mat according to the AMA burns as many calories as rowing or jogging for the same period of time. Sitzmann has been using the bio-mat in her massage practice for years and also sells them. If you are interested in checking out this space age healing tool go to www.bio-mat.com/starline or call Sitzmann at (406) 741-5433 The West - January, 2013 - Page 4
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GUITAR’S OUT OF BOXES “So I went ahead and made me a guitar. I got me a cigar box, I cut me a round hole in the middle of it, take me a little piece of plank, nailed it onto that cigar box, and I got me some screen wire and I made me a bridge back there and raised it up high enough that it would sound inside that little box, and got me a tune out of it. I kept my tune and I played from then on.” Lightnin’ Hopkins
By S.F. Roberts Today you can get music out of a box, a cigar box or a wine box, with an instrument made by musician, teacher and artisan Nathan Eyre. Eyre has Mission Valley Guitars, his one man shop located in the Mission Valley of Polson, Montana. He builds custom, one of a kind Cigar Box Guitars. Nathan grew up in Missoula and studied piano and guitar. His father is a custom wood worker and guitar player. Surrounded by music and wood as a kid it was a natural for him to build his own standard electric guitar and in the process he stumbled upon this old style of musical instruments. Eyre states on his website, “These seemingly simple guitars sound like no other. I have played and owned many guitars throughout my career and none come close to recreating the sound as one of my hand crafted cigar box guitars of yester year. Of course, these instruments have not had an electric guitar pickup in them, but you can always turn it on. Unplugged, they resemble a banjo, but plugged in, these bad boys really shine. They create such a haunting sound; you can’t help but be whisked away to the Deep South.” Cigar box instruments have been around since as early as the 1840s – 60s, and are a primitive chordophone. The earliest predecessor had one or two strings connected between the end of a broomstick to a box, almost any kind of box, or even a tub. The earliest example of a cigar box fiddle is in an old Civil War etching done by artist Edwin Forbes, showing two soldiers at a campsite with one playing a Figaro cigar box instrument. The etching was copyrighted in 1876. Plans for a cigar box banjo were published by Daniel Carter Beard, co-founder of Boy Scouts of America in 1884. The plans were retitled, “How to Build an Uncle Enos Banjo,” and became part of the American Boy’s Handy Book. These primitive instruments were important in the rise of jug bands and blues. Most of the performers were Black Americans living in poverty who could not afford real instruments. The Great Depression of the 1930s saw a resurgence in these homemade instruments. Times were hard in the south and for entertainment purposes an old cigar box and a piece of broom handle with a couple of wires from the screen door made an instrument to play. A modern revival known as the Cigar Box Guitar Revolution has been gathering momentum with an increase in makers of the instruments and performers. A loose-knit group of musicians tour the East Coast each summer under the banner, “Masters of the Cigar Box Guitar Tour.” This revival of the primitive instrument was documented in the 2008 film, “Songs Inside the Box,” which was shot at an annual Huntsville, Alabama event called the Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza. Nathan lives in Polson with his wife and daughter where he records and teaches music. You can find his handcrafted Cigar Box Guitars and some made from tin lunch boxes (Scooby Doo, and Pac-Man) on www.missionvalleymusic.com. Photograph of Nathan Eyre is by Rod Wood.
Beads on Bone By S.F. Roberts Life has taught me that meeting someone who shares a perspective on the landscape of Montana generally cements a new friendship and meeting artist Katrina Ruhmland verified that. Katrina and I share a love for the Rocky Mountain Front. I was raised there until five years of age and she lived there with her former husband near Swift Dam. Katrina’s last name Ruhmland means peaceful land, and her body of artistic endeavors speaks to a quest to fulfill that inside and out. Katrina did not discover drawing until her twenties. She had attended some college studying geology prior to a decision in 1983 to attend the U of M in Missoula to study art and painting. She says she paid for her tuition by making and selling elk horn belt buckles. Going into the formal study of art Katrina was aware of her self-taught realistic perspective and says after attending the U of M she came away with a better understanding and propensity for abstract art. Katrina paints large, in oils on paper and canvas, creating frames for each from recycled pieces of wood and metal. Her work has a dream quality to it, and if asked a piece often has a night dream attached to it. Her most recent work came about during a dark night of the soul. Dealing with a back injury that has left her on disability, she found herself sprawling in a grassy field looking up to the sky and praying to find the next path. Her dog trotted up with a deer leg bone and the idea of twelve pieces made of beads on bone, formed itself. Her first piece titled, “Tsunami,” began with a nightmare of rattlesnakes. “My intention, when I sat down in February was to bead rattlesnakes onto a long stick of beaver chewed willow,” She stated in a recent interview. The tsunami hit Japan the day she sat down to bead and she listened to the carnage. As the piece progressed she kept finding Magpie feathers, and they began to make their way into the work. In April she met a woman from Japan and discovered that the place hardest hit by the tsunami had a yearly Magpie Festival every July. The next piece titled, “Osprey,” is on a piece of smooth elk leg bone. Watching an osprey, Katrina says she was inspired by the feminine power and grace, the bird’s forthright expression to the adversity of nature. Another piece titled, “Red Tail Hawk, was created as an expression of the bird’s primal scream. “The pure strength of that sound as a connector for our core to what we are doing in life,” she stated. One bone has the story of a goose that Katrina watched sitting on its nest brooding every dawn. “I was struck by the focus and continuity of life, the instinct to survive that creates the continuum of the life force. The day I spoke with her, a new piece lay on the work table that will tell the story of a Golden Eagle. She plans to finish the twelve pieces and is looking forward to a gallery show of the work. Recently Katrina has been painting canvas floor clothes. She has sold them as soon as they are done. If you would like to contact Katrina, email her at email@example.com. Katrina lives and works her artistic magic in Hot Springs, Montana with her two dogs and a cat. Photograph to the left is of the Osprey. The West - January, 2013 - Page 5
The 21-day Cure By Sandra Sitzmann, LMT Hot Springs, Montana was called “Pineville” in its early days, and later named for the healing geothermal waters that existed since time immortal north of town on tribal land. In 1910 there were alleged to be as many as 300 tents in a settlement near the primitive pools with a Picture Gallery, barber shop, short order place and a few other businesses. The Tribal Bath House stands north of the town on the ground of Camas Hot Springs, tribal land that for years has remained barren of anything but the stately boarded up building created in 1948. At its opening in 1948 5,000 people were served elk and bison sandwiches. One important guest was the famous Native American football player Jim Thorpe. Back in the day many came for the twenty-one day cure, a combination of soaking in the hot mineral water, mud baths and drinking a cup or two of the warm sulfuric smelling water. Around the cure, small cottages sprang up behind homes with one to two rooms to rest in after taking the cure, most with no bathing facilities, but all the ne- Many a visitor sat with their feet in the “corn hole” on a bright sunny day at the Camas Hot Springs in Montana, enjoying the hot geothermal water and mud. cessities for a temporary stay. For those now living in the springs it is hard to imagine that this place had a hay day with thousands of visitors taking up residence during the winter months. Baden-Baden (meaning bath-bath) is the famous Black Forest spa town in Germany that is well-noted for its thermal mineral baths. People from around the world have bathed in these waters since Roman times. Spa treatments from the historical Frederechsbad/Friedrichsbad Spa offer traditional Roman-Irish treatments with applications spanning 3 hours of soothing relaxation. The original soaks date back to the 13th century. A initial investigation of the 21 Day Cure used in these Roman-Irish Spas led to very few specifics of the exact methods used in treatment, other than mentioning spas, baths, beauty, hot stone therapy and aromatics as modern day terms in pursuit of sales at certain Resorts. So I pursued my older medical texts dated 1901 through 1945. These medical books have delighted me every time I browse them. They were written for the lay person in easy terminology as an educational home based program to help learn and maintain the wellbeing of your family. I found intriguing Chapters on Massage Treatment of Disease, Hydrotherapy (healing water), Electricity in Medicine, Mental Healing, German Home Medical Treatment (Kneipp Cures), and Osteopathy (curing disease without the use of a knife or drugs, and using the laws of nature as the cure). Hydrotherapy is historically the use of water in the treatment of disease and was practiced by Hippocrates, a skilled Greek physician, 400 years before the time of Christ. It was used extensively by the Romans at the time of their highest development. During the Middle Ages it fell into disuse. It was not popular until Dr. James Currie restored it to prominence in the 18th century. The founder of modern hydrotherapy was a German farmer, named Preissnitz. He treated patients from all parts of the world, and schools were started, making Hydrotherapy a preferred treatment for disease. Physiologically, hot or cold water has effects externally and internally. Original methods of using hot &/or cold applications in Hydrotherapy would have you taking a half bath, a sheet bath, a drip sheet bath, a cold rub, a wet pack, a wet compress, a hip-bath, a steam bath, a hammock bath, a warm full bath, a Turkish bath, or a Russian bath (using steam, drying, and a cold plunge). Whew! The effects of the external treatments could often be lost unless cold water was given internally. In these Hydrotherapy treatments, body temperatures were raised by hot water and lowered by cold. The amount of blood at the surface of the skin was increased or decreased, the speed of the blood current was altered and the blood itself improved. For instance, one might experience alertness due to more blood feeding the brain, and drowsiness or sleep with less blood pumped to the brain. Internal consumption of water is critical. So calculate the amount of water to drink daily by weighing, then dividing that number in half to get the ounces needed. Often it equates to three to four quarts per day per person. Water is essential to hydrate our bodies, and especially to rid the body of toxins. Each different application of Hydrotherapy was specific to a condition. For example, a cold hip-bath or sitz bath as low as 50 degrees would be stimulating and used to over come muscular paralysis, loss of tone, prolapse of the uterus, and constipation. While a hot hip-bath of 104 to 110 degrees would be used to overcome pain in the abdomen and pelvis, to cure urethritis, uterine hemorrhage and diarrhea. Sunstroke would require cold water and ice, then hot water bottles applied to the feet and limbs when the temperature falls to 103 degrees. The 21 day Cure would consist of repeated and varying applications of cold &/or hot water specific to the patient’s condition. Hydrotherapy was considered an art and a science, with trained experts carefully monitoring the patients. Fortunately for the locals and tourists, Hydrotherapy still exists in the quaint little town, home of some of the best geothermal waters in the world. The healing waters have 34 minerals, supposedly topping the Baden-Baden count. The story is that health benefits are enhanced when individuals bathe in the mineral water twice a day for 20 minutes, repeatedly for 21 days. This Hot Springs 21Day Cure also requires you to drink one to three ounces of the geothermal mineral water daily. These daily routines are convenient for those who live locally or for travelers who stay at local hotels for purposes of healing and repair. I have heard stories told of individuals who have healed from cancerous wounds, serious skin conditions, as well as some who have “limped in and leaped out” due to knee, ankle or arthritic challenges. Just recently a gentleman soaked and returned home without the use of his cane after one day of “in and out” soaking. Homesteaders to this area in 1910 could probably list many more believable tales from their years of living in Hot Springs. (Sandra Sitzmann works as a massage therapist in Hot Springs and Polson, Montana)
MONTANA’S NINEPIPES MUSEUM OF EARLY MONTANA
GOOD MEDICINE GALLERY Contemporary & Traditional Native American Art
418 Broadway in Hot Springs, MT Painting by J. Nelson
The West - January, 2013 - Page 6
Located on Highway 93 between St. Ignatius and the Charlo turn off you will find an amazing museum, well worth the time to visit. Established in 1997 the museum presents the history and culture of the Flathead Indian reservation and early Montana. The museum a non-profit organization has a collection of work by early artists who contributed to Montana such as Charlie Russell and E.S. Paxson. There is a Hall of Photographs of Indigenous people, trappers, miners, loggers, cowboys/ girls, ranchers and settlers. Displayed in several rooms and hallways are old guns, spurs, saddlery, bows, arrows, and life-size figurines in scenes from the past. The museum holds a huge collection of the finest Native American beadwork. One of the best features is a gigantic diorama of wild animals with a native camp including a tipiand all that goes with it. Outdoors you can take a nature walk or have a picnic while enjoying the Mission Mountains to the east. The museum is currently raising money to purchase the beautiful log building that houses the collection and approximately three acres. They have memberships available and charge reasonable admission. Group rates are available. They also have a gift shop. For information on this wonderful historic experience visit their website at www.ninepipesmuseum. org. The phone number for the museum is (406) 644-3435.
Growing Up Western By S.F. Roberts Monty Hall is eighty-one years of age, of course, he shows some wear, but the truth is he shows more the wisdom of his years every time he opens his mouth. Monty Hall is a natural storyteller, and everything he has to tell is true, embellished perhaps by his sense of humor, or his view of things, but all true, and all western, even his use of language. Anyone raised in Montana, say fifty years ago, knows a cowboy when they meet one. They look at life different, at the animals and plants, even the mountains, everything has meaning to them and all of it is set in a landscape that invites the heart to participate. On a crisp morning in April I rode along as Monty fed his cattle on his spread near Hot Springs, Montana. We rode in an old truck that bounced along through ruts deep as a child’s legs, his dog a constant presence around this side and that side as we drove back and forth to pick up rounds of hay and deliver them to the waiting animals. While we bumped over the heavy clay land steeped in sagebrush we conversed on life and its meaning. The night before had run into Monty at a fundraiser being held in town, and it was at the event that I got to see him in action. A quiet man at our table, he had no problem joining the band playing that night to sing a couple of songs that brought the house down. You see, Monty Hall is a man of many talents. He remains devoted to the memory of his wife, who passed on a few years ago, confessing he spent his lifesavings to keep her here to no avail. And he is no doubt the kind of father and grandpa who will leave a wealth of fond memories. Monty often attributes who he is to his own grandfather, who raised him from the time he was a toddler. Monty Hall grew up a horse trader, rancher and natural storyteller. No doubt about it, he was writing down everything that happened in his life in some fashion, actually making it to print in 1997 with the help of a long-time friend he made while running the Fort Owens Inn Steakhouse in Stevensville, Montana. In the preface of the book Joe Durso, Jr. says, “Monty watched over his customers in the restaurant as he had tended new calves on his range. He greeted newcomers when they arrived, he made it a point to get to know them personally, and he roamed the dining room making sure everything was O.K. And he loved to talk. Or “visit,” as he’d say.” Joe Durso saw something that ignited the writer in him in Monty’s stories, and he was the one who encouraged their collaboration. A professor at the University of Montana’s School of Journalism, and a former news executive and broadcaster for CBS Radio, he knew a good thing when he saw it. Joe Durso is no longer alive and according to Monty the hardback book is no longer in print but he did sell a few. Monty loaned his copy which I read. The prologue of “Growing Up Western,” is worth the price of admission. It begins, “Things got a little bit western the day the cowboys decided to hang the hippie after the rodeo in Niarada.” Monty tells the tale of a bunch of cowboys sitting around Todd Sander’s bar after the rodeo setting the stage by describing the sunlight pooling on the floor and the happy, loud and dusty patrons. The only thing out of place was a booth with several long haired young men in it. When the discovery is made that one of them has a local cowboy’s saddle in his vehicle, a few of the patrons get their hands on some lariat rope and say they are going to hang him. Monty says he didn’t think they were really going to hang the man, but only meant to ...stretch him long enough so he’d learn what it meant to come to a cowboy bar and steal a man’s saddle. The owner of the bar grabbed the hippie and took him off to an old storeroom where there were no windows secured by a big wooden door with a padlock. After which he called the sheriff. And thus begins a book about the life of man who grew up in a west people have forgotten existed. Joe Durso in the preface of the book explains he discovered while helping Monty write the book that he was hearing a story that was about two things. On one level the stories were about life on a small western ranch during the 1930’s and on another level, “…he was telling us about the origin of a distinctly western attitude, a holdover from frontier times, an independent, self-sufficient, confident, arrogant attitude, with an unexpected underbelly of softness and thought.” Monty went to his grandparent’s ranch located in Kila at thirteen months old in 1932. His mother left him with her parents to go to work in Kalispell in a WPA sewing room. Monty says he didn’t know much about his father and really didn’t want to know. Monty saw his mother from ‘time to time’ even spending a night or two with her, aware of her poverty and still proud that she bought him the only new toys he ever got: a red wagon and a Shooting Star sled. Monty’s grandfather shaped his life. Old Al ran cattle, raised horses and had a small dairy herd. His grandmother raised turkeys. He learned to ride young, rope and run a ranch from a man he still speaks of with reverence. Monty began horse trading at ten years of age, riding alone thirty odd miles to pick up a Shetland. He brought up that particular experience the day I sat and visited with him, noting that now days no one would send a ten year old off alone for a thirty mile ride. He said he was gone three days and managed to wrangle three horses out of the deal and get them deliver by truck to his grandfathers. The book is filled with heart wrenching stories about the struggle to survive, some funny and some not, but all of them balanced by common sense, instinct and a love of life. In the Epilogue the year is 1972. Monty is a married man with children and still ranching on the place he’d grown up on having purchased it from his grandmother twenty-five years earlier. He walks into the hay field along Ashley Creek unaware that his life was about to change. “The grass was tall and thick, and would make a good crop of hay this year. I got about a hundred yards out into the field when I hit water. A little further on, and I was over ankle deep. The hay I was about to cut was flooded. The irrigators had got me again.” As Monty turned and headed back toward the road a car pulled up and parked behind his pickup. It was a man from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He introduced himself and said, “You know, we think this would make a terrific duck refuge!” A short time later he became the first small rancher in the area to sell his land to the government. “If you drive to Kila today, you’ll come upon a big sign that says, “Smith Lake Waterfowl Production Area. “Vlasak’s tire flew off his car right where that sign sits, and it rolled down the hill a short distance to your right, past the porch were Old Al and Grandma stood that night in their good clothes, waiting. Beyond, you can see the slough grass where George the runaway workhorse froze to death, and beyond that is Smith Lake. On the other side is the road where Budd was murdered. The government did a good job obliterating all evidence that a ranch had been there once. The brick vault that was my room, Old Als’ corrals and his big barn, and Grandma’s turkey house, all are completely gone. In their place is a field of waving grass, and the marsh, home now to mallard and teal, canvasback, redhead, pintail, and ruddy ducks, among others, two species of gulls, and some Canada geese.” A copy of the book, “Growing Up Western” was recently seen on Amazon.com.
AMERICANA THE MIRACLE OF AMERICA MUSEUM The history of American life exists in a series of buildings along Memory Lane in Polson, Montana. The museum, twenty- seven years in the making, is a major tribute to life in the U.S. and includes a massive collection of just about anything ever made from cars, motorcycles, farm equipment, military, to the innovations of clothing, saddles, and gadgets. The museum is open in the summer between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and takes an average time of 2-6 hours to tour. A year end report by Gil Mangel, President of the non-profit, and the man behind the collection stated the museum had around 12,000 visitors from all 50 states and 44 countries and six Canadian provinces. Mangel doesn’t mind admitting the museum is the result of a hobby that got out of hand. A machinist and welder Mangel creates amazing works of art as an aside which decorate the grounds. His grandfather, George Mangel, homesteaded north of Polson in 1910. The museum has the largest collection of memorabilia from Glacier Park, the largest taxidermy Moiese bison at 2,800 pounds, a replica of a Saddle Shop once owned by Jack Welch, and so many other things it is hard to even try to enumerate on them. If you find yourself on Highway 93 headed south of Polson, pull over and spend a five dollar bill for a look at over one-hundred years of history, all in one place. Besides the inside museum displays there is a whole lot of stuff outside, buildings filled with old vehicles, machines and other things Mangel hopes to restore for your viewing pleasure. You won’t regret visiting this museum, and may come away with a new perspective on our culture. If you are lucky you might even get a tour the by the master picker himself! To the right is one of Mangel’s alien creations. The museum includes all kinds of art projects made with recycled parts of found objects.
The West - January, 2013 - Page 7
The National Bison Range Moise, Montana Established in 1908 the National Bison Range is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is the oldest Wildlife Refuge in the nation. The 18,700 – acre range consists of native Palouse Prairie, forests, wetlands and streams. Elk, deer, pronghorn, black bear, coyote and ground squirrels share the area with 350 to 500 bison. A drive thru park there are several different roads that can be taken. The Prairie Drive/ West Loop is a five mile long gravel road that travels through the flats and is open all year long. The Red Sleep Mountain Drive is a nineteen mile long one-way road which gains 2,000 feet with switchbacks. This drive is open from mid-May to late October. The Winter Drive is a ten mile gravel road through the flats and along Mission Creek. It is open from October to mid-May. There is a day use and picnic area near Mission Creek with tables, grills, water and accessible toilets. A covered pavilion is also available. There are no garbage cans, so you must pack out what you bring in. The bison on this range have a high level of genetic diversity. This herd is closed from outside sources to retain the high genetic quality. The relationship with the bison was the heart of the traditional way of life for the Salish and Pend d’Oreille people. “Going to buffalo” was part of the traditional cycle of life for these people. They developed a wide-ranging, complex trail system throughout their vast territories to the buffalo grounds. Often the river corridors were used by these Indigenous tribes for traveling to the buffalo. The indigenous people used all parts of the animal and wasted nothing. The meat of the bison would be dried, pounded and packed into parfleches. The hooves were boiled for food, and the intestines and organs baked. The neck hide of the bulls would be formed over stumps and used for buckets or made into strong ropes after being cut into long strips and pounded with stones. The hair of the bulls would be braided and used for halters and bridles on horses. The bones were chopped and pounded with the bone marrow extracted. The horns were used as drinking cups, and later for storing gun powder. The robes of the animal were highly prized for clothing and bedding. The hides after tanning were sewn together to make Shed horn sculpture in the parking lot of the National Bison Range. lodges or tipis. Dried buffalo chips were used in fires. The elders say that in the second to last year of the traditional buffalo hunts, hunters were able to kill only 27 buffalo. The following year that number was seven. Pend d’Oreille elders some years earlier had said a man named Atatice (Peregrine Falcon Robe) had proposed that the people herd some of the orphaned calves back west of the mountains to begin a herd of bison on the Flathead Reservation. This change in the traditional way of life was not acceptable to the elders at the time and Atatice withdrew his proposal. In the late 1870s the chiefs seeing a lose of their bison allowed Atatice’s son (Little Peregrine Falcon Robe) to carry out the idea. About six calves survived the journey west. Some years later this herd was sold to Michel Pablo and Charles Allard and a buffalo range was set up along the Flathead River where the herd grew to hundreds of animals. In 1896 Allard died. In 1901 a portion of his herd was sold to the Conrad family in Kalispell. Other portions of the Allard herd were sold to Howard Eaton, a friend of Charlie Russell’s. Eaton later sold his animals to Yellowstone Park. In 1904 Congress passed the Flathead Allotment Act which cut the reservation land into smaller parcels and led to the opening of the reservation for white homesteading. With the advent of homesteading Michel Pablo rounded up his herd and sold them to the Canadian government. By 1908 some 695 buffalo had been rounded up and shipped by train to Alberta. In 1905, some wealthy non-Indians formed the American Bison Society in New York. In 1909, they convinced Congress to seize over 16,000 acres of the Flathead Reservation to form the National Bison Range. In 1994 the American Indian Self-Determination Act was passed and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes crafted a proposal for management of the range. The tribe is considered one of the most accomplished and highly trained Natural Resource Departments in the U.S. and they manage the reserve in accordance with federal standards combining it with their ancient cultural values and the modern techniques and scientific management tools. By 1854 Buffalo herds were thinning in the west. In the 1870’s the market for buffalo robe coats and buffalo tongue soared and white hunters began the wholesale slaughter of the animals. At that time the estimated number for bison still roaming the west was fifty million, in 1875 a mere one million were left. Ten years later in 1885 the last great herd of buffalo in the U.S. was exterminated.
This photograph was taken hiking out of the Boiling River in Yellowstone Park in the fall of 2007. It was October, the weather was mild and there was a slight rain, which created the beautiful rainbow seen in the background. Located at the 46th Parallel a few miles from the entrance to the park, you can walk in and soak in a very cold river that has hot geothermal water flowing into it. The trick is to find the best spot where the hot and cold water mix together. Photograph by S.F. Roberts
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The West - January, 2013 - Page 8
Taste of Montana Beef – It’s what for Dinner at the Cattle Baron Supper Club in Babb, Montana By S.F. Roberts Nothing says perfection can’t thrive in the middle of nowhere and the Cattle Baron Supper Club in Babb, Montana is the perfect example of this theory. Located at the edge of the Blackfeet Nation approximately thirteen miles from the Canadian Border, Babb, not more than two blocks long, lays nestled against the Rocky Mountain Front with views into the heart of Glacier National Park to the north. The front is in continual movement with clouds coming and going on a constant and pervasive wind. The summer of 1976 I was pregnant with my first child. My mother happened to be leasing the Johnson’s café in Babb and that is where I spent the summer working in the café as a waitress and cook. I arrived in May and the truth is it never did seem like summer, the wind always had a bite to it, and the sun, although hot, never seemed to get a chance with the changing cloud cover that rolls over the peaks to the north. In the middle of the summer, one night, my mother and her boyfriend went to hear live music at the Babb Bar. At that time the establishment was small, had no running water and a dubious reputation. All kinds of tales had survived of knifings and shootings over one thing or another. Every Sunday vehicles would get parked outside. This was Indian Country and since Canada was dry there were Bloods coming across the border for a day of drinking. The kid’s would hang out, in the parking lot in the backs of trucks while the adults imbibed. At some point, late in the day or near dark, everybody would be loaded up and head home. I left Babb in August going over the mountains to the Flathead Valley to give birth and I didn’t return until the summer of 2009. The notorious bar infamous for its Wild West persona was changed. The actual building still exists, now a quiet historical relic attached to the Cattle Baron Supper Club. When I had lived in Babb in the 70’s two families lived in Babb proper, the Burns family and the Johnson family. One was Native American and the other white. The Burns family had taken the Babb Bar into the next millennium in style, transformed from a Podunk western icon into a classy establishment, furnished with impressive native art, rock and wood. The dining area encompasses the second floor, tables laid out along the walls next to windows showcasing the mountains and the prairie. Place mats provided the story of how it all came about, giving customer’s history to digest while waiting for the house specialty – beef! I ordered a rib-eye steak, my favorite and was not disappointed. The restaurant has its own secret marinate for the meat and it was grilled to perfection. It came with the usual sides of potatoes and veggies, all of which were tasty and fulfilling. The menu items run from between twenty and fifty dollars, and my rib-eye somewhere around twenty-two dollars was well worth the price. I had a pre-dinner cocktail, a dry-dirty gin martini made to perfection. We had red wine with dinner and took desert for the road, along with to-go boxes of our dinner because we were too full. Out in the parking lot which was full on a week night, I noted the various license plates on the numerous vehicles were from all over the place. The Cattle Baron Supper Club should be made part of any itinerary when going to the east side of Glacier National Park. Located on Highway 89, it is an easy drive from St. Mary’s and has in my opinion the best beef steaks around! Google it and read the reviews on the web, they are numerous.
PARADISE WHISTLE STOP Paradise, MT. 406-826-0460
Inn Café Ravalli, Mt. 406-745-0997 Hand pressed Buffalo & Beef Patties Hard Ice Cream/ Huckleberry Shakes & Pancakes- Sat. Nite Taco Bar & Sunday Breakfast Buffet REAL - GOOD - FOOD
Nancy Martin is owner with her husband of the Windmill Village in Ravalli, Montana off of I-93 North of Missoula. She makes some of the biggest and best freshest donuts you will ever get the chance to eat. The cafe has sandwiches and soups on a daily basis and does bakery items, wedding cakes and catering. Just like Grandma’s kitchen according to Nancy. Check out the Windmill on Fb.
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Open 7 Days A Week Catering All Home Made Next month The West will be doing a story on how to cook bison. Everyone calls them buffalo, but they are not really buffalo. Many in the west have had a bison burger or two but cooking with bison takes skill. If done correctly it is a beautifully lean, rich meat and very healthy.
Niarada Montana Saddle Maker Jeff Morrow It all started with a piece of animal hide back in AD when the Sarmations, a tribe of serious horsemen, invented the first saddle equip with metal stirrups and spurs. The saddle has evolved in many different ways with how saddle trees are made, to the designs and uses of saddles. In the twenty-first century it is a craft that garners respect from any serious rider and the people who make them. In Niarada, Montana, located in the western half of the state on Battle Butte Road Jeff Morrow is using his twenty-five plus years of working with leather in his business, Shooting Star Saddlery. His workshop is located in the original ranch house built by homesteader John Herman prior to the 20th Century. The old homestead is located in big coulee cattle country, often referred to as Hog Heaven by the locals. John Herman was one of the first cattlemen to run cows on the Flathead Indian Reservation and his brand was the first one alleged to have been registered in the state of Montana. Morrow’s business is named for the early spring blooming wildflower the shooting star and stated it is his most popular floral pattern. Morrow works with his customers to create a wide range of saddles from wades, slick fork, Leather work detail of tooling on saddle. ranch saddles, mountain saddles and historic reproductions. He has been making Will James saddles for over fifteen years. Using the finest saddle leather tanned in the United States, Morrow states every edge of his saddles are rounded, slicked and finished in a process that involves twelve to twenty different steps, then finished with oil, tallow and waxes. His tooling designs are old period, and floral including the Sheridan style of carving. Customers can choose the style of the fork, horn, cantle and seat as well as the type of rigging, skirts and the overall appearance. His saddle trees are made of rawhide-covered laminated hardwoods and cottonwood. Custom made his cost twice as much as a common tree but Morrow believes they are worth every penny. When making a saddle he takes into consideration any anatomical disabilities of the rider including sore knees and hips. Morrow loves to repair old saddles and research designs. Morrow has also created unique items like the pommel bag that will not interfere with the saddle horn, and a shoulder holster rig that is adjustable for the pitch and position of a gun taking in the shooter’s size and amount of clothing. He also crafts chaps, belts, wallets and bags. He is currently working with Grizzly Log Furniture making custom leather trim for bars, tables and cabins. For several years Morrow has participated in the three day weekend Western Heritage Days at the Grants-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site in Deer Lodge Valley and often can be found a several craft shows across Montana and even other states.
A True Story - July 1891 Taken from the archives of the Anaconda Standard - Anaconda, Montana Joseph Thomas worked from seven in the morning until three in the afternoon, managing a crew that did the general housekeeping on the copper concentrator at the plant located in Anaconda, Montana. Joe would tell the men what area to work on and then spend the next eight hours checking on the work. The copper concentrator was a large area, not only above ground but below and due to Joe’s speed running from place to place he acquired the nickname, “Smokin’ Ankles.” Joe was known as a nice sort and always took his crew for an after shifter at Tim Ryan’s Saloon every day, paying for the first round. Although his nickname was related to his job there was in his past a story that makes the name all the more interesting, an incident that took place in July 1891 when he was only eight years old. A violent thunder and lightning storm commanded the sky over Anaconda and the surrounding area on that fateful Thursday evening. The flashes so bright, according to the morning edition of the Anaconda Standard, “that it was an easy matter to view the whole valley as if it were day.” The storm spawned a lightning strike that night around 12:30 a.m. that took the lives of Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Thomas, as they slept in each others arms. Miraculously their youngest son, Morgan, then six survived. An article about the night states that on the night of the tragedy two beds were in the small bedroom of the ranch house in Lost Creek. Sleeping in the same room in another bed was Mr. Thomas’s mother, age 89. She had awakened frightened by the storm and waking her son asked that the three children sleeping in the other room on a folding bed be moved nearer to the stove. That done the three adults retired to the small bedroom taking the youngest, then six and putting him between the parents. The elder Mrs. Thomas commented to the paper that her daughter-in-law was frightened by the storm but was comforted by Mr. Thomas when he told her, “All will soon be over,” and so it was. The demise of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas was discovered when the young Morgan began calling for his mother, awakening his sister Gwynne, age 13 and when she went to him she discovered her parents unresponsive. Gwynne ran to the granary to wake the hired man, George Austin. Austin threw on his pants and headed for the house and after entering the bedroom checked for a pulse on the couple. Finding none he summoned the neighbors to stay with the Thomas children and rode five miles into Anaconda to procure Dr. Leiser. The lightning had struck the house at the peak of the roof on the west side, built of logs and covered with pine boards, the lightening had cut the frame in two for a distance of four feet to the top of the only window on that side of the house. It then passed into the bedroom just above the window sash running down the wall and passing through the headboard of the bed and into the center of Mrs. Thomas’ head. “When found husband and wife were clasp in each others arms. Mrs. Thomas was lying on her back with her right arm encircling her husband’s neck, while he lay on his left side with his right arm thrown across his wife’s breast. The sight was indeed a touching one. The face of the wife wore a smile as though pleasantly dreaming.” The undertaker named Ehert was summoned to the ranch and began the work of laying out the corpses. “To separate the pair, the strength of four men was required, so tightly were they entwined in each other’s arms. It was speculated to at the time that the lightning undoubtedly contracted the muscles. It was impossible to straighten out the arm which Mrs. Thomas had clasped about her husband’s neck and marks were visible where his head had lain. There were no visible marks on Mrs. Thomas’ head except that the hair was slightly scorched. The husband’s eyebrows were singed, this evidently having been caused by contact with his wife’s arm. Both of the bodies turned a dark blue tint, except Mrs. Thomas’ face, which remained its natural color.” In the attic old steel broken bed springs were discovered, “placed in the garret just over the heads of the unfortunate couple.” The boy, Morgan, who’d been allegedly sleeping between the couple survived with a slightly blistered tongue. Mr. Thomas was age 46 at the time of his death and his wife was 44, they left five orphans with his elderly mother.
The West Old & New will be publishing online a monthly edition of the magazine starting with this issue. Every season the best stories will be printed in a quarterly hard copy available by contacting The West at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost of the quarterly is $10.00 a year and it will be mailed to your address. The West - January, 2013 - Page 10
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