Heart of Montana
While living in a rural community
is wonderful, being a local carries
a lot of responsibility. Like it or not,
everything we do has an impact on
others. Within our geographic limits
most do their best to leverage local
talent, resources, and finances. An
investment in Lewistown not only
makes our community a better place
to live, it enhances the lives of all
who call this place home. Every bit
counts and the more we keep things
local, the stronger our future will be!
Keeping it close to home requires that
everyone does their part. When we first
returned full time to town, I was certain
that I would have to ship my vino from
Manhattan. However upon querying my
local purveyor of all things alcohol,
I found a partner in crime. Rather than
saying "we don't have it" - Vine & Vat
found a way to get it. Now the owner is
being asked by his distributor why he's
selling so much of the good stuff. All
I did was ask and all he did was listen.
Everybody wins! I'll drink to that!
Neither here nor there
It's really not that odd for me to shop
locally. For years I did so in New York.
Now that Bergdorf Goodman is not a
few blocks away I've had to change
my point of view. Here I frequent my
favorite Main Street establishments
and oddly, they have most everything
I need. Selection may be limited, but
if I'm honest it was also at Barney's.
And just like I used to do when living
on East Fifty Fifth, if I can't find it then
I log onto eBay. In reality, commiting
to your community makes life easier.
The out of towners
Over the past few years several rather
affluent folks have discovered our area.
After amassing massive tracks of land
they build beautiful homes. Sadly the
local economy rarely benefits as these
newbies rarely spend locally. Most of
the work, materials, furnishings, and
accoutrements are shipped in from out
of state. Even odder is that we never see
these folks in local restaurants or shops.
They come and go as they please. And
that means in and out via private jet.
We call that the ultimate get away...
Out of sight, out of mind
Hence locals tend to grouse about
these out of state interlopers. With
278,001 acres and counting, Texan
brothers Dan and Farris Wilks are
the largest private landowners in
Montana. When they bought the
venerable N Bar Ranch outside of
town, most assumed we'd never see
them. For several years we did not
as they quietly improved their land.
Retaining local companies, supplies,
and equipment without any fanfare.
Yet, nobody thought they cared.
Lewistown has had a city pool since the
teens. Generations of local kids grew
up bobbing in it's spring fed splendor.
In the sixties it was replaced with a
state of the art complex. Fifty years
later it was leaking water and cash.
The good news is that our community
is committed to maintaining a summer
hot spot for our kids. A majority voted
to build a new pool with public and
private funds. While close, a gap of
around $400,000 remains. If not met,
Lewistown's pool may sink not swim.
Oddly, it wasn't until a month ago that
somebody was brave enough to ask
the Wilks brothers and N Bar Ranch
for help. They immediately agreed to
match all donations through the end
of the Save Our Swimming Capital
Campaign. Proof that you don't have
to be a local to care about Lewistown.
However the Wilks brothers can't do
it alone, everybody needs to pitch in.
That's where you come in. Just click
here for more information on how to
donate and Save Our Swimming!
Do us all a favor -
Post or send a link to this blog to your friends and family. Even if they don't live in Lewistown, everyone can help SOS!