Sunday’s Missoulian is going to be a “lollapalooza,” to borrow one of my favorite words from the annals of the Western Montana Fair.
Years ago, I wrote a story on highlights from a century’s worth of county fairs, and in one of those the Missoulian reporter remarked that the fair had been a “lollapalooza.” I think of that story each year when Fair Week rolls around.
And here it is, on our doorstep once again!
On Sunday, we kick off our coverage of the 2010 Western Montana Fair with a stroll down Memory Lane with a few of the fair’s longtime supporters and volunteers. Kim Briggeman took that walk, and has their heartfelt story. Also coming Sunday: our annual special section feting the fair and all it offers: 4-H kids and their animals, a hypnotist, the return of horse racing, rodeo action, mutton bustin’, arts and crafts, cooking contests, you name it …
Here’s a look at a few more features from Sunday’s lineup:
A MAN AND HIS DOG: Reporter Joe Nickell visited this week with a Missoula soldier who made it through his tour of duty in Iraq with the help of a newfound friend, a dog. Now he’s back at home, with the dog, and a lovely story to tell. You’ll find this soldier’s story on A1 of Sunday’s Missoulian.
GOING BATTY: At night in the Pryor Mountains, scorpions skitter across rocky flatlands in search of spiders and other insects to eat, unaware they, too, are being hunted. Overhead, spotted bats pick up on the low-frequency noises the scorpions make and glide silently downward. When they’re close, the bats use their sense of echolocation, similar to radar, to zero in on the scorpions to make a kill. “The pallid bat that does this has a different leg structure so they can land on the ground and run after the scorpions using their wings,” said Kerry Foresman, a University of Montana professor of biology and wildlife biology whose graduate student did bat research in the Pryors. “Apparently they’re pretty good at handling them so they don’t get stung.” The spotted bat is so rarely seen in Montana that it’s only been documented twice – once in Helena after one flew into a window and the other time during the research in the Pryor Mountains. Meet these mysterious creatures in Brett French’s story in Sunday’s Missoulian.
WESTERN MONTANA GETAWAY: The Stateline Trail dangles above lots of little lakes along the Montana-Idaho border. Choosing the right one can be a temper-testing experience. Reporter Rob Chaney takes Missoulian readers into the mountains in his Western Montana Getaway in this Sunday’s Montana section of the Missoulian.
TERRITORY: Joe Cosley’s outlaw infamy – as poacher and park ranger, ladies man and mountain man – has endured through Glacier National Park’s first century. His name is etched onto the landscape, both literally and figuratively, and his story is still told around campfires here. Now, that narrative has come to life in an exhibit of Cosley artifacts, on display at Discovery Square in Columbia Falls. His saddle, his sketchings, his pearl-handled pistol – and, of course, his illegal traps – have been gathered to help illustrate not just his story, but also the larger-than-life tale of Glacier Park’s earliest years. Reporter Michael Jamison and photography editor Kurt Wilson tell Cosley’s story in Sunday’s Territory section of the Missoulian.
SUNDAY SPORTS: Griz quarterback Andrew Selle enters his senior year working with a new coaching regime after leading the Griz to the national title game in 2009. This Sunday, we check in with Selle as fall drills begin at the University of Montana.
PARADE MAGAZINE: Kenny Chesney took a year off to remind himself of his roots. Find out how high school football changed everything for this country star and inspired him to produce the documentary The Boys of Fall, due to air on ESPN this fall. Chesney is the cover story in this Sunday’s Parade Magazine.