Enlightenment in Missoula, Montana

Once again, Master Po happy to report awesome 8-day vacation with Mrs. Po – with our first visit ever to wonderful state of Montana.  Master Po used to believe Montana was only bunch of ranches, cattle, cowboys, wolves, grizzlies and mountains.  But the city of Missoula prove me dead wrong.  This town, extremely liberal and progressive and its citizens are as open in thought and behavior as much as big sky there is open to sunshine. (Master Po must rememba to bring sunglasses on next visit to avoid retina burn from big sky.)
Evidence of liberalism found everywhere, as example of Montana 4-H photo show below:

Music, ballet, arts, entertainment and huge variety of beverages are prevalent throughout area.  And most women there must be allergic to Spandex and Latex because they not wear bras.

At last count, there are also 8,652 registered micro breweries in Missoula County too.  And at end of every work day, they full of patrons, who not only imbibe on premises, but fill huge glass gallon jugs called “growlers” with different types of beer so they can do honorable thing and bring some home for spouse and kids.

Each brewery have at least 7,887 different flavor of beer too.  Moose Drool, Elk Snort, Sip and Go Naked, and Bear Bottom Blonde are just a few examples that you cannot purchase in PA.  Some of the beer is light in color like water – others dark as tar. Hops (as you can see in the 4-H symbol above) are big out there too.  Amount of hops connect to alcohol content and to bitterness of beer and directly relate to manhood of consumer – the higher the numbers, the more manly the imbiber is.  “Hops” – derived from the Native American languages are so named cause it caused early settlers to hop around, up and down, uncontrollably when consumed.  Today it is frowned upon for women, allergic to spandex or latex, to consume hops. But there has yet to be one man complain about them doing so. See pics below taken in Tamarack Brewery.

Above:  Alcohol content # followed by Hops #

                             Above: Ordering dinner at Tamarack. Dave Jr. will fill "Growlers" at other location.

Montana Highways
Master Po sharp eye notice many white crosses along road when we take ride north to Blackfoot and Lake Flathead. He puzzled as to why so many fatalities occur on road.  He figure it out though when he notice speed limit is 75 mph and drivers drive home after stopping at local breweries. Combined with an occasional grizzly mauling, bighorn gorging and rattlesnake bites, it is no wonder so many people succumb to their demise.

University of Montana
Residents take pride in local university too, with students even more liberal and free than townsfolk.  They build and now maintain a huge “M” above town on mountainside made from concrete.  Students traverse up the mountain, each one hauling paint, tools and 8 growlers of beer to work on the “M” a few times per year.  Some do not return, but theories differ whether it’s the hops or grizzlies that are responsible for missing volunteers. Top-heavy women, allergic to spandex and latex are advised not to try to climb hill too.

Area History
According to legend the Cheyenne of the Black Hills of S. Dakota met up with Sioux tribes in eastern MT to fight General Custer at Battle of Little Bighorn.  Due to all the fighting, the Native Americans had little time to bath in clean river water and after leaving Black Hills, they take on name “Blackfoot” after their victory over Custer.
Celebrating their victory and moving westward, they discover herbs, hops and hemp growing wild in area, and began bumping their heads on branches and rocks, and challenging male bighorn sheep, while intoxicated.  They soon changed their name to the Flathead Tribe.
Years later, they make huge recreational lake, rent out canoes, make rope of hemp and start to brew their own beer. And that brings you up on history of area.

Mrs. Po
Mrs. Po has little issues on this trip.  She sign lease on car rental and was only one permitted to drive.  She end up going into Exit lane of fast food place one time, but she able to back out (in strange, non familiar car) in about a half hour or so of trying without hitting anything or anyone.   Also, while landing in Denver, she look out plane window. She usually close eyes, but this time she feel brave (from learning history of brave tribes) and she keep them open.  She announce to others on plane, “That was the smoothest landing I've ever experienced.” I reluctant to tell her, that we not touch down yet.  She soon find out, and her braveness leave in hurry.

Business Idea
When Master Po grow up, he want to become Master Brewer and market his own brand of beer here in PA. He intend to call it, Master Cheap Po’s Pale Ale and hope to sell it for 10 cents per quart.  Of course any lady with allergy to spandex or latex will get further discount.   

Above: Brewing vats at Flathead Lake

Above: View from Dave Jr.'s back yard - Missoula just over the hill - Western snow caps in background. 

Above: View from Dave Jr's front of house

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA