What needs changing and what doesnt?You be the judge


What needs changing and what doesnt?

You be the judge

Well, school has begun, Havre High had a full weekend of sports, classes open this week at Northern and Stone Child, and no, I've not died, been incarcerated or institutionalized, or moved away. Sorry.

I stopped by for some chips on the way to a camp out recently, and Mel and Judy told me to write another bit-o'-history column. Marlene came into the office last week and told me the same.

Before I get into the history bit, I'd just like to commend the Gallatin County Commissioners for issuing information for the newly arrived. In response to numerous calls to their office and other city and county offices in the Bozeman area over the years, the commissioners are following the lead of Madison County and others in publishing a "Code of the West" tip sheet about life in Montana.

According to an Associated Press story published in the Daily News on July 26, Gallatin County Commissioner Jennifer Smith Mitchell said, "It really needs to be distributed to people who are considering purchasing property out in the country, or people who are moving out here from places that don't have extreme weather. People of a more urban background."

Among the tip sheet's tips, according the AP, are:

"Unpaved roads generate dust. This is an unpleasant fact of life for rural residents."

"Animals and their manure can cause objectionable odors. What else can we say?"

"If you choose to live among farms and ranches, do not expect county government to intervene in the normal day-to-day operations of your agri-business neighbors."

Like I said, we ran that story on Friday, July 26. Cool. Then on Monday, July 29, we received an AP story about Gallatin County's elected officials asking for a 4 percent raise. Four percent isn't outrageous. But considering that the tip sheet is expected to reduce time-consuming telephone complaints and make their lives easier, coupled with the fact that the elected officials got a 19.5 percent raise last year well.

But back to the topic for which I was reawakened.

With the Fourth of July just behind us (what are two months when you're battling mosquitoes?) and Festival Days looming, I thought I should mention Band Festival. As I recall (was it spring or fall?), there was a school band or choir performing at nearly every intersection downtown. Before becoming a band man myself, I remember those days particularly for the water guns, water balloons, pea shooters, potato guns, greased pigs, straw hunts (what we'd do for a nickel or dime back then, huh?) greased pole climbs and parades.

In one Spanish hamlet last week, about 38,000 people turned out to throw rotten tomatoes at each other. Nice. Elvis never knew what he missed back in '57.

Now, back to the Fourth. Remember when we used to car caravan a couple of thousand cars or so to Fresno Reservoir for the fireworks display? Now those were dusty, dirt and gravel roads. The bumper-to-bumper drive from our house to the lake seemed to take about four hours. The picnic lunch we packed was gone long before we reached the main beach, if we ever did. When seen from the bluffs above the lake, the explosions mirrored on Fresno's smooth surface magnified the thrill.

I've worked around a lot of out-of-staters this last year or so, and you'd be surprised how many of them wanted to change our climate, improve our attire, or put up stop signs at every intersection. I remember when stop signs were put up because of accidents (the one at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Fifth Street next to Minnicks' was my sister's; the one at Seventh Avenue and Eighth Street should belong to my dad and sons).

A four-lane Highway 2, now what that would do for a trip to Fresno and that picnic lunch.


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