Time to celebrate with the May/June issue
We’ve got history. We’ve got horses. We’ve got places to play. We’ve got food. The May/June issue of Montana Magazine has a lot to celebrate and it’s ready to read now.
With all there is to read, a couple celebrations take center stage. First, writer Jesse Zentz takes us back in time to the Montana of 1864 – when the area was officially granted territory status 150 years ago. It was the Wild West no doubt. Also, writers Kristen Inbody and Erin Madison take us back in time and explain the conception of Montana State Parks. The system is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and we’re encouraging everyone to get out and explore the 54 parks spread across the state.
That’s just a sliver of the stories included in the May/June issue.
New Deal murals still hang in six Montana post offices
Lots of cool things came to Montana thanks to the New Deal back in the 1930s. The Civilian Conservation Corps helped build some of the most important infrastructure of Montana’s state parks and plenty other structures that helped shape the state.
And six artists were commissioned by a special New Deal program to paint murals inside Montana post offices in Billings, Deer Lodge, Dillon, Glasgow and Hamilton. The works of art are still hanging today and in most cases the artists who painted them went on to have storied painting careers that captured special moments of Montana history.
We ran a cool story about the murals in the March/April issue of Montana Mag.
Below is a location list of the six murals. If you’ve got business in one of the six posts offices listed below or are hitting the road and passing through one of these towns, don’t forget to take a few minutes to stop and appreciate the art.
Here’s where to find Montana’s six New Deal post office murals are spread across the state
- “Trailing Cattle” by Leo James Beaulaurier, Billings Downtown Post Office Station, 2602 1st Ave.
- “James and Granville Stuart Prospecting in Deer Lodge Valley – 1858,” by Verona Burkhard, Deer Lodge Post Office, 510 Main St.
- “News from the States” by Elizabeth Lochrie, Dillon Post Office, 117 South Idaho St.
- “Montana’s Progress” by Forest Hill, Glasgow Post Office, 605 2nd Ave. South
- “Flat Head War Party” by Henry Meloy, Hamilton Post Office, 150 North 4th St.
- “General Sully at Yellowstone” by J.K. Ralston, Sidney, Donald G. Nutter Building, 123 West Main St.
Montana slang: Montana photographer puts together an impressive list
Photographer Todd Klassy is known for the great images he takes across the state.
Turns out he’s a bit of a scribe, too. Klassy posted a great list of “Montana slang” terms on his website recently. It’s a pretty funny list that anyone who’s spent time in the Big Sky State will appreciate.
“Montucky” made the list. As did “Moose Drool.”
The first slang term (listed in alphabetical order) is “A bit nippy out: 20 degrees below zero or colder.”
I’ve definitely heard that one before. But there were a lot of terms (“can openers: spurs” or “Chesterfield: a sofa”) that I hadn’t heard before.
Whatever your fluency with Montana slang, it’s a fun list.
‘Montana is Calling’ a beautiful poem about missing Montana
Of all the emails, letters and phone calls we get about Montana Magazine each day, some always stand out. They’re the notes about the allure of Montana and the want of so many to come here, live here one day, or for the natives who’ve moved away, to come back one day.
These notes are always great to read, and many are beautiful and poetic too.
So we thought we’d start sharing some these notes, poems and stories in a section on MontanaMagazine.com called “Love Letters to Montana” (it’s under the More of Montana tab on the home page.)
We’ve put several love letters up and will add more soon.
One of my favorites came from Janet Fulkerson, who found writings by her mother Imogene Z. Hansen after Imogene passed away in 2013.
Imogene lived and raised a family in Helena before poor health forced her to move to Indiana to live with Janet. The photo with this post is of Imogene and her husband Bruce Hansen, and Janet’s sister, Susan Marie.
Her poem, “Montana is Calling,” was written in 2012. The full poem is here and a snipped is listed below. It’s worth a read.
Montana Is Calling
By Imogene Hansen
September 17, 2012
My heart’s in Montana; my heart is not here.
It’s in Big Sky Country so high, wide, and clear.
From the mountains and prairies that I loved to roam
Montana is calling, and I want to go home.
I miss Montana which is far, far from here
where the earth is too flat and the sky seldom clear.
Wild Horse Stampede: The secret’s in the pickle juice
Not only does the Wild Horse Stampede in Wolf Point boast the best rodeo, parades and wild horse races in the West – you can also find what is arguably the best burger in the state during the event that takes place there each July.
You might have to wait awhile to get a “Catholic burger,” but as writer Richard Peterson told us in the March/April 2014 issue, it’s worth the wait.
Along with his feature about the storied history of the Wild Horse Stampede, Peterson let us know where you can find a Catholic burger. And photographer Lynn Donaldson found out from one of the cooks that the “divine” taste of the burgers comes from the pickle juice that is splashed on the fried onions that top the burger.
It’s tradition for Stampede-goers to munch on a “Catholic burger,” an iconic food people are willing to wait for. Some wait for as long as 45 minutes in 90-degree plus temperatures to get a taste, Peterson wrote.
An annual fundraiser for the Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish in Wolf Point, the burger stand – open 24 hours during the Stampede – will go through a ton of hamburger and hundreds of pounds of onions in four days, parish member co-organizer Kerry Hanks said.
“That smell of fried onions and burger drifts down the block, and sometimes the line of people will, too,” she said. “That’s a big part of our success.”
Not quite as old as the Stampede, the Catholic burger stand has been in operation for 66 years. It started as a small concession stand on one of Wolf Point’s side streets, but its popularity forced it to set up on an empty lot on Main Street during Stampede.
This year, you can get a Catholic burger for yourself July 10-13 during the Stampede.
Montana springtime slideshow: Clouds and baby animals
April is here. As most of Montana continues to shake off the winter, it seems like the right time for a springtime slideshow.
And thanks to our great Facebook friends, we’ve put together a pretty nice set of images to share.
In some ways, we could call this the Mark LaRowe show. Mark shared a handful of amazing shots, including the calf, the Ninepipes weather and the baby bighorn images included here.
Also have to give a big thank you to Catherine Dotson (McMillian Ridge), Ken Stolz (Freezeout Lake), Travis Scott (rainbow) and Yvonne Moe Resch (McGregor Lake) for sharing images with us.
Our readers easily the best. Enjoy!
Top four things to see and do at Makoshika State Park
We shared a spread of photos by Jason Savage featuring Makoshika State Park in the March/April issue Portfolio that was pretty incredible. I hope you had a chance to check it out.
And now, I hope it inspires you to go take a look at the park in person.
Makoshika’s 11,538 acres – located just outside Glendive – are filled with giant formations of light colored capstone that reach toward the expansive eastern Montana skies like elegant pedestals.
I talked with Makoshika Park Ranger Tom Shoush for some insider tips about what visitors should do and see once they reach the park. Here’s a Top Four list based on Tom’s recommendations:
- Drive the 10-mile road through the park.
“If the road system is open, I always tell people to drive to the top. That’s where the views are,” Shoush said.
- Watch out for dinosaur bones.
The bones of 10-12 species of dinosaurs have been found inside Makoshika. Most of the finds, Shoush said, are large herbivores that lived near end of the age of dinosaurs. The most significant is an entire Thescelosaur, a “very rare” and “tremendous find” Shoush said.
- Stop at the visitor center.
It’s home to dinosaur bones and rare artifacts left behind by ancient peoples. “A human presence in the area dated back to 10,000 to 12,000 years ago,” Shoush said.
- Stop by during the “spring green up.”
Shoush recommends visiting from Makoshika in mid-May through mid-June.
“I tell people somewhere around June 1 you have the best chance of seeing the flowers in bloom and the migratory birds have returned,” he said.
Meet the people who make Montana Magazine
Each issue of Montana Magazine includes about 12 features, from our Portfolio photography spread to a handful of features from around the state. In all it’s about 15,000 words and dozens of photos. That you probably know.
We also want our readers to know a little bit more about the talented group of people who bring write the words and make the images that fills each issue. They really are a great group – from retired journalists to full-time photographers who make a living making images from across Montana to historians to the deputy director of the department of commerce.
One, Jeremy Lurgio, (who made the images for the story in the March/April issue about Missoula bowyer Jim Rempp) is a adjunct professor of photojournalism at the University of Montana who has taken countless photos across the state while working as a professional photographer.
Many do work for the magazine for the same reason readers read it: They love Montana.
To help give readers a better idea of who our contributors are we began including a contributors pages in each issue. We have a contributors page online at MontanaMagazine.com . It’s a compilation of all the writers and photographers who have contributed their work to Montana Magazine in 2014. We’ll add more as the year goes on.
Check it out. Chances are you know one or two of the contributors, this is Montana, right?