Throughout the United States, especially in the West, people have been enjoying Don Greytak's pencil drawings of rural Western scenes.
His depiction of rural life is what he suspects caught the attention of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame announced Friday that Greytak will be inducted into the Hall for his work.
He was chosen to represent District 4. Hill, Blaine, Liberty and Chouteau counties.
Two "legacy" inductees were also announced.
The Hall of Fame will honor the late State Rep. Francis Bardanouve, D-Harlem, and the late Roscoe "Doc" Timmons, who was Hill County sheriff for 44 years.
The winners were chosen for making "a notable contribution to the history and culture of Montana through 1980."
"Well, I think that there are a lot of folks who have done a lot more work than me," Greytak said, saying he was surprised by his selection. He is one of 11 living Montanans who will be inducted.
He said because of his background — he spent many years in ranching and farming — he can add to his drawings details and the feel that farmers and ranchers have.
"I just want to stress that I made the mistakes, but it is a God-given gift," he said.
On the wall in his studio hangs a drawing he did of cattle being loaded onto a railcar in around 1948.
To prepare for the drawing, he studied photos taken of the area, reviewed the history of the rail line, found out exactly how long the cattle cars were and walked the area to get the feel for what it was like.
"I knew about cattle," he said. "I have pushed cattle into cattle cars. I know just where the cowboy would be."
While he always liked drawing — it was something to pass the time in high school study halls — he didn't start drawing as a business until he was long out of high school.
When he was running cattle on Fort Belknap during the 1960s, he built a trailer.
People saw it, liked it and asked him to build one for them, he recalled.
"To me, the best part was designing the trailer," he said.
But people wanted a trailer that was just like their neighbor's trailer, he said. So there was little design work.
So his brother took over the trailer business, and he started doing welded steel sculptures.
Then, on a trip to Seattle, he saw a woman do pencil drawings. He liked them and decided to do the same thing. "That was May 1978," he said.
"I was more surprised than anyone else when I learned I could draw," he laughed.
By 1984, Kathleen Shirilla had become his agent, and he began selling his work throughout the West.
Other inductees from the Hi-Line:
Bardanouve was elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 1958 and was re-elected 17 times. For much of that time, he was chair of the Appropriations Committee, where he became known as being "tight-fisted," yet socially liberal. He was a strong advocate of education, especially higher education. He was also an advocate of deinstitutionalization of patients at Warm Springs and Boulder.
Born with a speech defect, he married his speech therapist when he was 50, and became the stepfather of three.
Earlier this year, the west wing of the state Capitol was named in his honor.
While he was respected, even feared in Helena, he loved returning to north-central Montana after the four-month legislative session, where he was Francis.
"All the sessions I served in Helena, I go back to Harlem and someone passes me on the street and says, 'Francis, where have you been all winter? Did you go down south?'"
Roscoe "Doc" Timmons
A Texan by birth, Timmons married a Havre woman, Cara Garske, in 1914.
He was elected Hill County Sheriff in 1922 and remained in office for 44 years.
His early years as sheriff were marked by the unpleasant task for serving eviction notices of farmers and homeowners who were victims of the Great Depression.
Historians say he was a master of tracking down bootleggers, of which there were plenty in the area during the Prohibition years.
There were also epidemics of bank robberies in the area, including a hold-up of the Gildford bank that garnered national attention.
Timmons was a veterinarian by trade, and often young children would bring sick and injured pets to the sheriff's office where the vet in him would take over.
He was active in community affairs. He was a charter member of the Havre Kiwanis Club in 1923, and was a 50-year member of the Elks and Eagles clubs.
The meeting room at the Hill County Courthouse was named in his honor.