Monday, December 17, 2012


Do you hear what I hear?
Saturday evening we attended a musical soire supporting our local Art Center.
Founded in the mid 70's by a group of area artists -
The Lewistown Art Center nurtures local artistic endeavors and education.

OK... plug over... now back to the evening... 
All of the musical performers were local.
Standing in front of an audience of your peers must be daunting.
Some were decent - others amazing - all were 100% engaging!
But for the audience a live performance is thrilling no matter the output.

That's because you never know what to expect.
Living in Lewistown is sort of like being in that audience.
Believe it or not... there's usually something new and different to see.
The organizers of this evening expected about 150 people at most.

Jack's Hangar - Lewistown MT - Photos courtesy of

Jack's Hangar

The musical event was held in a hangar at our local airport.
This wonderful venue was built by local business owner Jack Morgenstern.
Rather than keep it purely utilitarian - the interior is just plane fun.

A collector of antique
automobiles and trucks -
Jack resurrected the
enamel facade from
the old Standard Gas
station that once stood
downtown on the
corner of Main & First.

Not to be outdone -
his wife installed her
own retro malt shop
called "Annie's Fizz Bizz".
Nothing takes you back
to better times like
sitting in a vinyl booth
eating a hot fudge sundae.

What is most amazing
is that Jack and Annie host many local charitable events at their hangar -

Lewistown Band - Lewistown MT - 1910s - Courtesy Montana Memory Project - Lewistown Library
Music has always been an important part of life in Lewistown.
From the start residents performed wherever - whenever they could!
Solo, or together in bands, orchestras, choirs, chorales, etc.

Judith Theater - Lewistown MT - Courtesy Montana Memory Project
In those days there were
plenty of places to do so -
The Culver Opera House,
Three theaters including
The Judith (pictured left),
a plethora of Fraternal Club
stages, plus local
school auditoriums.

Sadly most of those venues are gone or converted into apartments.
However that doesn't stop our local musicians from performing!

Aluminum Room Lewistown courtesy
The Aluminum Room
Every Wednesday evening -
all summer long -
weather permitting- 
a group of local musicians 
perform for free 
on the Main Street 
sidewalk in an 
aluminum clad alcove.

Conveniently located next to
The Montana Tavern - 
you can grab a beer 
and listen to the music 
under the stars.
Or if you prefer you can
fish while you drink!
Big Spring Creek
one of Montana's
best trout streams
runs under the tavern.
Just open up the hatch
in the floor
and drop your line!

NPR visits The Montana Tavern!

Now... back to our program...

Dave Rummans put together
the program and performers.
Another local who left town
Dave is a passionate
advocate for all things
musical AND Lewistown.

You see - just doing something, anything in Lewistown makes a difference.
That's the beauty of a small town. Almost any effort has big impact!
What would Lewistown be like without people like Dave?

A note to my dear readers...
We all learned last week what an awful place this world can be.
Many have written amazing and moving commentary on that sad event.
This blog is purposefully "light" so I've opted to continue in that vein.
Hoping that positive words and thoughts can change the reality we live in.