It’s the People

By Mick Holien

When I moved to Polson after retiring from the Missoulian some 13 years ago I thought since it was just an hour or so away it wouldn’t be anything more than a lengthy jaunt to a suburb.

But while there are some things that make that ring true there’s also times when it seems to be quite a distance


 I used to pride myself, privately if you will, that I could make the trip from Holien acres three miles from Safeway to the front of Dahlberg Arena or even Washington Grizzly Stadium in 65 minutes.

And dear law enforcement folks that is only exceeding the speed limit by the acceptable distance and after Highway 93 was reconfigured hardly ever passing outside of the passing lanes.

The number of fatalities and serious accident I covered on the state’s highways as a reporter influenced that behavior although I have been known to get down the road on Interstates.

But back to the point.

You would think since television service originates in Missoula we’d be pretty well up to speed with what is going on down south but except for the University of Montana I have found waning interest and little understanding with our neighbors.

And that is with a lot of our summer visitors headed this way early Friday only to spend the better share of the weekend in our stead.

I have to admit I miss being able to leisure to campus for a weekday lecture and I also now find I miss a Garden City meeting here and there just because it seems like making the trek home to arrive past 11p.m. no longer appeals to me.

I am content to listen to KERR Radio day and night, or at least until the FCC required power down affects the signal and for the first time in my live I don’t feel newsprint between my fingers except for the two local weeklies.

Today the “Big Brown” driver lamented he’d left the doggie treats in his personal pickup yet took just a second to go up in the yard to pet the neighbors yellow, the mail is two blocks down pot-hole filled dirt road that I sometimes power the scooter to the box.

I can see an ambulance lights a flashing cutting distance between us but   only silence leads him my way and at the end of the day I sit in my driveway next to the house, afternoon sun warming my exposed toes, with only a murmur of Highway 93 traffic over the hill only a slight distraction.

But while not hardly being able to find somewhere open to grab a late-night snack or finding a needed part requiring a several day wait and probably a couple more days before you are notified of its arrival, my adoptive hometown continues to permeate my soul.

Yes the conversation and attitudes are different and the five-minute 5p.m. traffic is sometimes tricky if you are trying to turn the tougher direction but I would not trade living here and conversing with all of you for anything.

Just sayin’        

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