Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A sense of belonging ...

Here's another quote from K. Ross Toole, the remarkable man who was almost certainly Montana's best-known historian. This is from the introduction to his 1959 volume, Montana: An Uncommon Land:
Strangely enough, Montanans have a strong sense of belonging -- a sense which grows, perhaps, out of their common necessities. They live, after all, in a place where nature can turn a face of cold inhospitality upon them in an hour's time. Without kindness, friendship, and co-operation they could not stand up in the face of it.

And perhaps Montanans feel that they belong, too, because of the kindredship of the old and the new. All around them are the old sights, old sounds, and old smells of the land itself.


  1. It's true. I've lived in several places and away from Montana for sixteen years now, and I've never met anyone more sentimental about their state than Montanans. Except maybe Texans...

    Love your postings, by the way. Just found this blog about a week ago.

    Beth Christopher

  2. Okay, I just stood up and said, "Amen!"
    And I think it's true, about the hospitality. It also may be why we are so bewildered by the news and the world beyond our borders. Relationships aren't disposable, they are essential and real and sustain us.

    And Beth, you're right on, regarding Texans! Perhaps that's why I felt so at home in West Texas, when I visited.

    (Gosh, I missed my daily Montana! I'll be scrambling tonight, to catch up. Hope you're well and warm, Mark.)

  3. Beth, thanks so much for stopping by ... and I'm so glad you said hello. I'm happy you're enjoying the read.

    And you're definitely right about both the Montanans and the Texans. I think the pride of the average Montanan is far more gracious, though ... and at the risk of sounding ungracious, I think we have far more to be proud of. :)

  4. I'm looking for a story about this huge bear that was so called killed back around the sixties. and deer lodge restarant had photos and the story but is now gone. can anyone help me on this