February 22, 2003


Montana - "The Treasure State"

Pearl: "Montana, my home state. Producer of lots of barley and the best hard red winter wheat in the world. (And what would life be without beer and bread and pasta, I ask you?)
Montana has Butte, the site of Dashiel Hammett's novel, Red Harvest. Butte is also where disgraced FBI agents go to do penance.
Montana has Miles City, home to the Bucking Horse Auction.
Montana also has what may be the most unusual "motto" on its state highway patrol badges: 3-7-77. This refers to the dimensions of the graves the vigilantes dug for their "victims."
Famous Montanans include Charlie Russell, Will James, and Myrna Loy."

Official Home Page

Posted by Lester on February 22, 2003 09:59 AM

Ahem?: Mike Mansfield (longest serving Senate Majority leader, and ambassador to Japan), Jeanette Rankin (First woman ever elected to the US House of Representatives), Ivan Doig (author of "This House Of Sky" and "A River Runs Through It"), Gary Cooper (star of "High Noon", considered by some to be the best Western Film ever made), and, as your quote mentions, Pearl S. Buck.

Montana is also the home to Custer Battlefield National Monument, the US's largest publically held Bison Range, the original flight home and training ground for the SR71 Blackbird (Malmstrom Airforce Base), and serves as the gateway to two of America's greatest treasures: Glacier National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. Do I need to mention that Montana has several of America's best trout-fishing rivers? (The Beaverhead, The Madison, The Blackfoot ...)

Posted by: Wulfgar! on February 22, 2003 07:07 PM
  • A small town with long streets. No matter where you are in Montana, you can usually find a mutual friend. From there, you might as well be family.
  • Where term limits were overwhelming approved in a referendum, and a term-limited senator was re-elected shortly thereafter; without lawsuits or complaints.
  • No matter what city you are in, you are no more than 10 minutes from the country.
  • Home of the Montana Grizzlies
  • Where a handshake and a word is still bond.
  • Home of Butte, America.
  • A day's travel can take you from the high plains to the high Rockies.
  • Seeing 200 head of elk is no big deal.
  • In the springtime, it can be 60 degrees and springtime in Billings, and you can find 20 foot snowdrifts less than an hour away.
  • Home of Our Lady of the Rockies
  • We know what nose mittens are.
  • Likewise, Rocky Mountain Oysters
  • Longtime home of Richard Hugo
  • MacKenzie River Pizza
  • Movies filmed here include: The Missouri Breaks, Little Big Man, A River Runs Through It, Far and Away, The Horse Whisperer, Cattle Queen of Montana, Continental Divide and some other, lesser known ones, including, but not limited to the 1998 stinker, The Patriot (behind the scenes story can be found here.)
  • Spokane is considered "The Big City," and Minneapolis is "Back East." California is considered "Off Planet."
Posted by: mtpolitics on February 22, 2003 11:56 PM

Montana is a great reminder that Americans don't always have to be in a hurry, or in a crowded megalopolis...those things can be nice, but it sure is great to have a place like Montana to get away from hustle-bustle, traffic, etc.

Also, it's great to have four seasons -- sometimes all in the same week!

Posted by: David on February 23, 2003 02:17 AM

One minor correction to Wulfgar's excellent post:
Norman McLean, not Ivan Doig, wrote A River Runs Through It.
Another movie filmed in MT: The Untouchables (down around Wolf Creek).
And finally, I'd like to make a shameless plug for what may well be the best pieces of public art in the world, that being the boundary markers on the Blackfeet Reservation. I only regret that I can't remember the artist's name right now.

Posted by: Pearl on February 23, 2003 11:01 AM

yet another movie made in Montana: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot was made in Great Falls

Posted by: karen on February 23, 2003 05:54 PM

Pearl, thanks for the correction. And I only take small exception to the fact that mtpolitics forgot that this state is also the home to the MSU Bobcats, current BigSky champions. (I am, myself, a Grizzly fan, but I work on the MSU campus). Um vs MSU is the longest currently running interstate football rivalry in the US.

Also, "Disorganized Crime" was filmed in the Bitteroot valley, where I grew up.

Posted by: Wulfgar! on February 23, 2003 09:46 PM

Some of the damn nicest people you'll ever meet.

Half the state has the beauty of the plains, the other half has the beauty of the mountains.

The Rims, which on the right day, just before sunset, shine with a color that will likely never be seen any where else.

A sky so big that anywhere else feels a bit claustrophobic.

In Missoula, tour buses of historic homes drive by century-old homes now turned into rentals covered with Pabst cans...and people still take pictures.

Thai Orchid.
Na Ra.
Rockin' Rudy's.
Cactus Records.
Big Sky Brewing Company (especially Scapegoat).

Posted by: Left in the West on February 24, 2003 02:57 AM

My parents and brother are moving there soon. My husband, son and I plan on joining them and are making firm plans to move within the next couple of years. What I know of Montana right now is mostly a mystery... but it holds a dream of majestic mountains, a simple life and lots of wide open spaces. :)

Posted by: liz on February 25, 2003 05:50 PM

The Tom Catmull Band also resides in Missoula and when I was there, was frequently be heard at The Top Hat. That place and that band rocked!

Posted by: Bystander on February 26, 2003 03:30 PM