Bear With Me

I am known as Montana Griz and live in northwest Montana along with grizzlies, elk, deer, cougars, black bears and sheep, My children were raised on a small ranch and had to do chores every day. There were 3 boys and one daughter. Rather than buy milk for the boys I bought 3 milk cows so they could have all the milk they wanted. Of course they had to milk the cows to get their milk, the extra milk I sold in town to regular customers who really enjoyed it.

On the ranch we had chickens, sheep and beef cows which led to lots of chores. The boys belonged to 4H and raised beef cows for their project, the daughter raised a sheep. We were all kept busy as the kids were all in sports at school and I worked as a log buyer and log scaler at the local sawmill. The mill is gone and all that remains is an empty lot. I guess that is progress.

I was born in northern Wisconsin and graduated from High School in my home town. My grand dad passed away when I was in High School and I moved out to his farm to help my grandmother with all the farm chores. They had 5 milk cows and raised chickens for meat and for eggs. I had to milk the cows the old fashion way as we couldn’t afford a milking machine and we didn’t have electricity at the barn. The milk was separated for the cream and the cream was sold and the milk was fed to the pigs which they also raised and butchered. My grandmother was a butcher by trade and she did all the butchering, She was an amazing woman, never smoked and disliked women who did. My grand dad never smoked or chewed tobacco but did swear once in awhile. He was shorter than my grandmother and actually had to stand on a stool to have their wedding photo taken and I still have the photo. Grand dad came over on a ship as a stowaway from Poland. They were very hard working people and cleared their homestead by hand with horses. After I graduated from High School the farm was sold and I left to attend college.

While I was a senior in school a friend and I started a Polka Band and we played for local dances and all over the county, We played for weddings and special occasions. After I left for college I would hitch-hike home on weekends to play at dances. The distance I hitch-hiked was 100 miles and during the winter I almost froze as northern Wisconsin is known for its harsh winters. I needed the money from the dance jobs to pay for college. I attended St Norbert college, then Oshkosh College and then left for Montana. When in High School I worked in the woods for my Dad peeling pulp for his contract with the paper company. It was a miserable job, hot, dusty and biting bugs. All bugs bit me, deer flies, horse flies, misquotes, no-see-ems, even house flies after a storm. I almost went berserk from the bugs.

When I got to Montana and saw the mountains, it was a beautiful sight. My first experience in the mountains was heavenly. I got out of my car and nothing bit me!! I thought I was in heaven. Good bye Wisconsin I was home!!!