Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy 105th George Foster!

If my father, George W Foster, were alive today, he would be 105 years old. Happy birthday in the great beyond, George Foster!


Herbert Foster (brother), Maragaret Cameron (sister), Florence King (sister), Helen Cray, Evelyn Foster (wife), Joanne Foster (daughter) and George W. Foster, Chicago, Illinois, circa 1949.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Color Me Clueless

Paul Bunyan statue, Brainerd, Minn. Bathgate, N. Dak.
Lest there be any doubt as to my pop culture ignorance, I chanced to look through the list of Emmy award winners from last night.  Going down the list, I had to look down to the sixth award (Saturday Night Live • NBC - Jimmy Fallon as Host) before there was a show or series known to me (Saturday Night Live premiered n 1975). The next show or series I had heard of was Fargo • FX Networks, checking in at number 19 on the list. And the only reason I knew about "Fargo" is the miniseries has been driving views of one of our most popular posts, On the Road to Bathgate Act 1: Fargo the Movie 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday Pictures on Monday

Saturday Pictures on Monday
August 24, 2014


Nothing like a little August snow to keep the spirits bright!




The antique coffee grinder is a lamp now.



Late season flower blooming in the valley.







Sunday, August 24, 2014

Here It Comes!

From time to time we have blogged about the sacrifices made when we moved to Montana, notable among them, forgoing Dunkin' Donuts. We also toil through existence in a Slurpee free zone (no Seven Elevens), and had to give up our Five Guys habit.

Going cold turkey on Five Guys proved most difficult. Accordingly, when I traveled to Bismarck, North Dakota, last winter, I trudged through a blizzard for Five Guys. When we got down to Huntsville, Texas last Christmas and then in June, Five Guys was our first commercial establishment stop. Whenever we motor to or through western Montana, I put a jog in our route to ensure we go through Missoula, which has been home to the only Five Guys in Montana. You get the drift.  

We came to Five Guys early and naturally. The first store was actually located in our tiny neighborhood Westmont shopping center in Arlington Virginia. Its buns were supplied by our local neighborhood bakery, Brenner's, also once located therein.  A Virginia blogger relates:


Original Five Guys at Columbia Pike and
South Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia.
In 1986, while living in Arlington and working out of Washington, DC, we tried a new burger joint that had just opened in a run-down strip mall at the intersection of Glebe Road and Columbia Pike, not far from the Pentagon.
That burger joint, started by a husband and wife with four sons, was called Five Guys.
Five Guys sold burgers and fries based on a simple formula: Cooked from scratch food served quickly. The tasty burgers and boardwalk-style fries.
We loved simple food places with fare served at reasonable prices: Bob & Edith’s Diner on Columbia Pike, Hard Times Cafe — a chili parlor — in Alexandria, Whiteys on Washington Boulevard and — after just one visit — Five Guys.
The first time we ate in a Five Guys was around 2002-2003. By then the original location had closed and moved to larger quarters, just outside of Arlington, in Alexandria, at the corner of King and Beauregard streets. It was recommended by friends. One meal and I was hooked. Preparing the fries in peanut oil is brilliant. The founders opened three or four additional stores in Northern Virginia that were gangbusters patronized. We picked up the vibe that the business was franchising. Teresa said we should get on board. I scoffed citing risk and insecurity. Now 2,500 locations later, all I can say is "What a stupid I am."

This morning I was paging through the one Listserv from back in Arlington that hasn't thrown me off for moving out of town, and saw this posting.


That made me wonder if Five Guys has expanded beyond Missoula in Montana. So I went to the corporate website, and, there it was, Bozeman is coming, voila! 


MontanaReturn to Top

Bozeman

Coming Soon!
2855 North 19th Ave, Suite I
Bozeman, MT 57915
Hours: 11am-10pm Every Day

Mountain View Shopping Center

2415 US-93 N
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: 406-752-4567
Hours: 11am - 10pm Every Day

Missoula

820 East Broadway
Missoula, MT 59801
Phone: 406-830-3262
Fax: 406-830-3263
Hours: 11am - 10pm Every Day


So when the wife and the girls stock up craft or baking supplies at Michaels (they are in Suite B) or discount shop at Ross Dress for Less (Suite A) I will be a willing chauffeur on account of the culinary attraction nearby.  

Please be advised Five Guys that we are a potato growing valley. We expect locally grown, fresh Gallitan Valley potatoes sourced in our fries. We know you will be true.

Cheers!

Good Morning from Montana!

Mountain base at Big Sky.




The ridge at Bridger Bowl.




Saturday, August 23, 2014

100,000 Page Views: Hurrah!

Picture of the Bob Wards retail gun counter,
from our inaugural blog post.
I started with a post about a pre-Christmas shopping trip

We had no plan for additional posts and no agenda set on what topics to write about. But I knew I wanted to think things through, and express myself from time to time. In my post retirement world, I did not have a good vehicle for doing so. So Along the Gradyent came into being. 

Winter had set in. We are in Montana now, I thought. We need activities to help us get through frigid winter days and the even colder nights. So I took up indoor swimming to keep body together and forged into the blogosphere to nurture the mind and the soul. When we had several dozen page views the first week, we were pleased.

Today we passed the 100,000 page view landmark!

We are proud of running 'em up, but we are not driven to maximize. Now, don't get me wrong. We like being read and followed. We want steady growth, at this stage about 60 percent year over year. We look at the numbers each month to see what attracted the most readers -- the ratings do not dictate how we move forward, but they do go into the mix. 
Our page view counter reaches 100,000, August 23, 2014.
At the same time, one of our best posts was written early on, and to this day, is among our least read. That hasn't stopped us from doing other serious work from time to time. I remain proud of the Phil Mickelson post and its straightforward message. It shows a country, an economy and a culture that veered in the wrong direction. It's all about dollars and envy now. Little attention is paid to production, growth in the real economy and value. With all the interventions, disruptions to and distractions from the economic value building process, it is no wonder median incomes (and ultimately, living standards) are in decline. The financial system and its government guardians are both servant and king. You all have elected the representatives who created this system. The American people reinforce the culture of envy. You have only yourselves to blame.

We know there are things we could do to significantly ramp up our readership -- first and foremost being to sign up for ads. Getting into the advertising space would advance our links closer to the top of search engine results, in consequence of Google's and Bing's financial relationships with advertisers. God bless the internet cartel. 

Our Google supplied free software gives us the option of allowing advertising by the flick of a switch. The minimal financial benefits are not motivating, but someday I will likely contrive a rationale (like the world will be a better place if Along the Gradyent has more readers) and go there. Don't be surprised.

Another promotional tactic would be to spruce up our posts with pop culture references. Our most frequently read post (The Golf Channel: Spouse's Guide To Sanity) references Axl Rose, Armani, Refrigerator Perry and Katie Perry, among others.  That's more pop culture references than you would find in a hundred posts written by yours truly. The celebrity names are search engine eye candy. 


The Golf Channel post was written by my wife who actually understands people and pop culture. We will go down that route more often if, and when, she gets the impulse to write a post more often than every year or two. As my children gleefully point out on almost a daily basis, I am guilty of abject pop culture ignorance.

As for the future, our blogging will experience its normal seasonal pick up during the next few months. Climatic fall is hitting hard here in Montana this week, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s, and snow forecast above 6,500 feet (we are right around 5,000 feet at Along the Gradyent Central). The cottonwoods are turning yellow. We know there will be spurts of Indian Summer and relief. But when winter sets in, we already have binders (to use Mitt Romney's unfortunate term) of research to support writing new items for the On the Road to Bathgate Series, and we will order up five microfiche reels at a time (that's the inter-library loan limit at five dollars a pop) from the North Dakota State Historical Society, and/or take another mid winter trip to the frigid environs of Bismarck to add to our research trove. 

All thanks to the wonderful relatives who are helping and have supported me in this endeavor -- and especially the wife and the children who put up with it.

The best is yet to come. Cheers!



Why Montana?

Why Montana people say, besides it is beautiful, outdoorsy, invigorating and real? Additional reasons lie in the map.


According to the Tax Foundation, one hundred dollars is worth $96.90 in Virginia, where we used to live, compared to $106.16 in Montana, where we live today. That is generally a fair comparison for someone such as myself, who is retired, and therefore, experiences no state-to-state income disparity.

But the actual comparison for us is much more highly skewed because we resided inside the massive federal government borrowing and spending bubble inside the Washington Beltway, one stop light away from Washington, DC. The DC valuation of $84.60 for each hundred dollars would be a more proper metric for where we used to live. 

As for real estate values between Montana and DC metro, they are barely in the same world. In Montana we were able to buy more than twice the house, on 15 times the lot, with fantastic mountain views, for a price that was a fraction of what we sold our old home in Arlington, Virginia.  

People, if you don't like your lot in life, pick up your rear and find economic opportunity. Or get off of your butt, and seek lower cost. Young or old, rich or poor. Opportunity is out there for virtually anyone who seeks.

More Global Warming

That blue stuff ain't rain.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Ecomium to the Men and Women of Gallitan County Search and Rescue.

Here in our little corner of the world, in rural Gallitan County, just outside of Bozeman, Montana, taxes are pretty low, in large part because people volunteer, kick in, contribute, pitch in and take the initiative to do things that in many other jurisdictions are paid for dearly and expensively with tax dollars. We were reminded of that again last week when a summer concessionaire employee went missing on the Yellowstone River, in Yellowstone National Park between the river's junction with the Lamar River and Gardiner, Montana. That section of the river drops 700 feet.

On August 12, the Billings Gazette reported,
A search is underway in Yellowstone National Park for a Georgia man who was swept down the Yellowstone River near Tower Junction Monday evening.
Three young concession employees reportedly used inner tubes to illegally float the Lamar River on Monday. Shortly after reaching the confluence of the Lamar and Yellowstone Rivers, two of the men got out of the water.
Yellowstone River flowing down canyon nearby river junction.
The third man, 22-year-old Darien Latty, was last seen about 7:30 p.m. Monday being propelled downstream by the rushing water, without an inner tube or life jacket. The river downstream of the junction features numerous rapids as well as a narrow rock-walled canyon.
Initial search efforts Monday evening failed to turn up any sign of Latty, who is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Search efforts were increased on Tuesday, with a helicopter, three dog teams and several small groups of people searching the Yellowstone River corridor from Tower Junction downstream to Gardiner. About 50 people had been dedicated to the search effort as of midafternoon Tuesday.
This story did not have a happy ending.
On Friday, Latty’s body was recovered, his uncle, Kevin Latty, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday. Late Friday, searchers spotted Darien Latty’s body in a steep and dangerous section of the Yellowstone River, about a quarter-mile from where he was last seen, the NPS said. A swift-water rescue team from Gallatin County, Montana, later returned with kayaks and a raft anchored to both banks of the river and recovered the body, an NPS spok
esman said. A helicopter was utilized to remove his body from the remote area.
Darien, who planned to re-enroll in college after his summer job ended, had been working in Yellowstone since earlier this year, his uncle said. 
“The last 2 to 3 months were probably the best 2 to 3 months of his life,” Kevin Latty said.
That swift water rescue team is not under the aegis of the National Park Service. It is ours. And it is staffed by volunteers.


The Sheriff's Office is responsible for all search and rescue missions in the county. Trained Deputy Sheriffs act as incident commanders in support of highly skilled volunteer groups. The volunteers are organized into specialty groups including:

  • Alpine Hasty Team
  • Backcountry Hasty Team
  • Big Sky Search and Rescue
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Gallatin Ham Radio Club
  • Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association
  • Salvation Army
  • Sheriff’s Posse
  • Tactical Divers
  • West Yellowstone Search and Rescue
  • Western Montana Search Dogs
SARPlaneCrash.jpg



Statistics

2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
Searches
(Looking for the lost)
65
46
60
43
53
69
50
42
51
51
Rescues
(Rescuring the injured)
35
29
30
26
40
37
59
39
45
45
Totals
100
75
90
69
93
106
109
81
96
96



Volunteers

Gallitan County SAR dive team training.
Gallatin County Search and Rescue is made up of volunteers ranging from construction workers, doctors, retired persons, college students, and real estate brokers, just to name a few.  We have recognized experts in the field of technical climbing, technical radio operations, avalanches, extreme snowmobile operation, and search operations.  If you are considering a challenging and rewarding way to serve your community through Search & Rescue, please see below for contact information.  There are a multitude of ways to serve, from actual search operations to support, administrative, and public outreach functions.

Below are links to two videos that showcase our volunteers.  They may take several minutes to load.
Video #1                Video #2


If you know a Search and Rescue volunteer, be sure and thank them for the hundreds of hours they volunteer each year in support of their community.

Interested in Joining Gallatin County Search & Rescue?

Thank you for your interest in Gallatin County SAR.  The way into SAR is through membership in one of its volunteer groups.

The groups are organized by geography:
-Valley -- See specialties below,
-West Yellowstone – Contact Jason Pond 406-641-0000
-Big Sky – Contact Mark Bradford 406-539-6981

Or by specialty
-Alpine - technical climbing – Contact Chuck Swenson 581-6563
-Hasty - expert cross country skiers and avalanche – Contact Scott Gill 581-7991
-GVSA – snowmobile/ATV ownership and operation – Contact Rob Balke 580-7762
-Divers – underwater search and recovery – Contact Mike Gianfrancisco 58509248
-Hams – communications & computer technology - Contact Don Wilson 920-2395
-Dogs – search and rescue K-9 – Contact Ladean McKittrick 388-7070
-Posse – provides general training for Search and Rescue.  The Posse also provides our watercraft and whitewater rescue services.  Contact Nikki Foley 581-7670

If you know what you might be interested in please contact that group’s representative directly at the number given above.  If you are not sure where you might fit or have other questions, please contact Lt. Jason Jarrett at 406-582-2105 or email. Note that most people starting out in SAR go to the Posse.  Membership in more than one group is allowed and encouraged.

As mentioned, the Posse is responsible for whitewater rescues. The Gallitan Country Sheriff's Posses was organized in 1959 in the aftermath of the Hebegen earthquake that cleaved off the side of a mountain and created Quake Lake.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Posse found it's origins in the aftermath of the 1959 Earthquake.  A group of ranchers, at the request of the Sheriff, rode in on horseback to the Hebgen and Quake Lake areas to rescue stranded campers.  While Gallatin County has grown over the past few decades, so has the Sheriff's Posse.  
SAR work is not glamorous.  It is lots of hard work performed by dedicated volunteers.  There are no scheduled hours on search or rescue missions.  The calls come in at any time and may last for a few hours or a few days.  Every volunteer must be prepared to spend as much time as needed regardless of conditions including overnight in the wilderness.  Personnel assigned must work as a team and under the direction of the Incident Commander and team leaders.  The professional application of skills and techniques as well as maintenance of safety standards is mandatory in the performance of all missions.
When an incident begins whether it is a missing person, lost hunter, car in a river, injured hiker or any number of others a call is usually made to 911.  The Sheriff's Office will have the Posse called out via pager.  An Incident Commander is assigned and directs response of the members to assemble equipment  including boats, ATV, Snowmobiles etc.., go to the scene or other activity as determined by the incident.
The Incident Commander will brief the teams and provide them with necessary information to initiate the search or rescue.  Safety issues are reviewed and all equipment is checked prior to launching the mission.  The Incident Commander coordinates the mission, communicating with the teams in the field via radio.  If necessary, additional resources such as helicopters or emergency personnel may be requested.  Once the subject is found their physical condition is assessed.  Sheriff's Posse members are trained in First Aid and CPR.  Some are certified Wilderness First responders as well as EMT.  Following evaluation an appropriate method of evacuation is chosen depending on the situation and condition of the victim.  Following completion of the mission the teams reassemble and are debriefed.  Equipment is repacked and vehicles are prepared for the next call out.
Gallatin County has a diverse terrain including rugged mountains, major rivers, small streams, lakes, reservoirs, heavily used recreation areas and urban areas.  Sheriff's Posse members must train for many types of missions.
In order to maintain a high level of proficiency as a volunteer agency we must put in a lot of training hours every year.  All members receive training in subjects such as wilderness navigation, survival, first aid and radio communications.

Gallitan County SAR extracted Ken Gibson's body by
helicopter and snowmobile on January 2, 2014.
One of the Search and Rescue team's sad responsibilities was to recover the body of the snowmobiler whose tragedy we profiled in January.

Downstream from the national park, below Gardiner, the Yellowstone River is gentler and can be safely rafted or tubed with proper equipment and supervision. However, within Yellowstone National Park, rafting and tubing are strictly prohibited because of extremely dangerous conditions (waterfalls, cascades, and severe rapids).



We owe a big debt of gratitude to the men and women of Gallitan County Search and Rescue who venture out in difficult and extremely dangerous conditions dozens of times each year to bring people back. Their's is an incredible and selfless contribution. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

No Comment

The Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate from Montana.

Democrats Are Phonies and Economic Hypocrites

Here is the latest political shell game the Democrats are playing -- economic patriotism it is called.
The White House is seeking to amp up the Democratic base this fall by criticizing corporations for abandoning the United States to lower their tax bill.  
It’s a return to economic populism months for a White House that has repeatedly flirted with the theme, but sometimes been distracted by other pressing domestic and international affairs.
Democrats believe the issue could help their party hold on to its majority in the Senate, which Republicans are hoping to take over. 
“Let’s rally around an economic patriotism that says, instead of giving more tax breaks to millionaires, let’s give tax breaks to working families to help pay for child care or college,” the president said during a speech in Texas last month. “Instead of protecting tax loopholes that let corporations keep their profits overseas, let’s put some of that money to work right here in the United States rebuilding America. 
Democrats see the tax issue as a political winner that allows President Obama to side with middle class taxpayers and against corporate executives who can be painted as disloyal and unpatriotic.
A government, of course, cannot do anything to force a corporation to stay in its country, any more than without a Berlin Wall, a militarized DMZ or an Iron Curtain and armed guards it can force individual citizens to stay. But individuals and governments, by their purchasing and sales decisions, can have a major influence -- and they do.

I have always bought Chevy, Ford, Dodge or Jeep, because they are American car companies -- period. Now that Obama and the auto workers' unions have sold off Chrysler corporation to Italian interests, in the future I may buy GM or Ford only.

But walk down the street in any liberal neighborhood and look at the cars. Toyota, Lexus,and Acura, Honda, Subaru, BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, Hyundai, and Nissan dominate almost to the exclusion of American cars. I did this in my old Arlington Heights neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia (Jefferson precinct, 71.4 percent Obama in 2012). The odd and end GM, Ford or Chrysler car stood out for being exceptional, and usually were known to me to be owned by independent minded people (the dude with the big ass Suburban, when he left his mainstream media job, went to work for Peter King, a Republican congressman), not the hypocritical liberal intelligentsia, the very same inside-the-Beltway hypocrites who are conjuring up this lying, phony message for the mid-term elections.

CGI Lobbyist and Toyota owner Nicholas Evans
 (far right) raising money in his home with
Democratic Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe (second from
right) and Virginia state delegate Alfonso Lopez (D - 49th)
And what does Obama do when he gets into trouble and reaches for a life preserver? We need to look no further than the ObamaCare website debacle. When the Obamanistas dumped my old lobbyist neighbor's company (the lobbyist was good buddies with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Virginia Governor Terry McAullife), CGI Federal, a Canadian company who they had awarded a sole source contract, they awarded another sole source contract to Accenture, an American founded company that had flown the domestic coop, and reincorporated for tax purposes in Ireland

We have nothing less here than just one more case here of elitist Democratic phonies pushing through a listen to what I say, don't look at what I do theme, in hopes of deceiving the American people. Pay no attention folks. Move on. Good luck to all.





Saturday, August 16, 2014

Police Thugs at Work in the "Liberal" City of Seattle

Police Militarization is Counterproducitve

The Cato Institute (you know, that font of all things evil, founded by the Koch brothers) reports,
As the unfolding events in Ferguson, MO—a town of 21,000 outside of St. Louis—demonstrate, America’s domestic police forces have come to resemble the standing armies the Founders feared.
A picture of modern day police tactics.
“Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb?,” asks Cato’s Walter Olson. Why fire tear gas canisters at people standing in their own yards? “Shock and awe” tactics are fast becoming the new normal as federal policy has fed an unhealthy warrior mentality among what used to be called “peace officers”—with federal subsidies and Pentagon giveaways of military ordnance.
The clampdown in Ferguson highlights the dangers of our drift toward paramilitary policing, as well as the broader trend of law-enforcement lawlessness documented by Cato’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.
It reminds me of the first street demonstration I walked in, at the University of Wisconsin, back in the day -- hob nail booted police and state troopers with billy clubs poised to strike, law enforcement reinforcements prowling in armed personnel carriers, locked and loaded national guard personnel at the ready, and tear gas canisters pointed our way and then exploding all around (it's nasty stuff). All hell broke lose.

Madison, Wisconsin, Police Dept. breast/shoulder patch.

I also remember the last student demonstration at the University of Wisconsin. The armored personnel carriers were locked away in storage. No tear gas canisters were in sight.The cops showed up jaunty in their polo shirts and powder blue blazers with a police department breast patch, razor haircuts, and smiles on their faces, uttering friendly hellos and engaging in banal conversation. When we started a bonfire in the street, a fire engine showed up to make sure it didn't get out of control. It was a party, not a war. 

We have fallen so far, so fast.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Evans Scholars Loses its Long Time Leader

I believe in telepathy.

We have written about our days as a caddie and our tremendously good fortune to have been awarded an Evans Scholarship, which funded our passage through college and became the foundation for everything following that we may have accomplished in life. The other day, out of the blue, I thought let's write a post about the founding, development and growth of the caddie scholarship program, supplementing the well known and documented story of Chick Evan's legacy, with original research, if we could turn up anything. Let's honor the program, I thought, and the people who founded it and developed it, and get the story out there.

So I sat down at my laptop, logged on to my account on the www.newspaper.com website and typed in "Evans Scholars." The earliest article that popped was dated March 1934. It was a short feature on the first two Evans Scholars, Harold Fink (who, as I, caddied at Glen View Club in Golf, Illinois) and Harold MacInnes.

Here it is.
YOUTHS GIVEN SCHOLARSHIP BY CHICK EVANS TO RECEIVE THEIR DIPLOMAS FROM NORTHWESTERN----------------
By ROBERT WALTON
 EVANSTON, Ill, March 11-- (AP) -- In Northwestern university's graduating class this year are two youths whose college educations resulted in part from their ability on the golf course -- not as players, but as caddies.
Miami (Okla.) Daily News Record, March 12, 1934
  A one-time caddie who developed into a great star but who never forgot the days when he trudged the fairways carrying a bag of golf sticks, made their college education possible -- Chick Evans, winner of both the national open and the national amateur championships in 1916.

W. G. A. Direction

  It was four years ago that Evans provided its scholarships and put them under direction of the Western Golf Association and the university. 

  Now the first two recipients, Harold Fink and James McGinnis, of Chicago, are winding up their college and will receive diplomas in June. Five other "Evans Scholars" are now in school.

  Two scholarships are awarded annually on an elimination basis. Each club in the association is privileged to nominate one of its caddies and the final selection is based upon scholastic ability, character, physical fitness, years of service as a caddy and leadership qualities.
On Purple Varsity
  Besides receiving tuition and other financial assistance, the recipients are given individual attention by the university and special quarters in the men's dormitories at reduced rates.
  Of the caddies now attending the university Fink and Tom Saielli, a sophomore, are members of the Northwestern golf team. The latter is a stellar player and much is expected of him during the coming season in the Big Ten.

From that humble beginning, the Evans Scholar program has grown to produce almost 10,000 alumni, all young men and women who needed help to get through college and worked in their tender years, with no guarantee of reward, for the opportunity to get it.

Identifying potential news and information sources is in the first stages of our blogging process. I paged through some more of the thousands of articles that appeared and put my brain on background processing mode, knowing that I would come back to the task days or weeks later, with more sharply defined organizing themes and messaging in mind.

Then I got an email from the Evans Scholar Foundation. I learned that Jim Moore had died the same day that the research and writing impulse popped into my head. For almost half a century Jim Moore was the consistent driving force behind Evans Scholar program. He will be more than missed.

Here, in full, is the obituary written in Golf Week.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Excitement at Cottonwood Hills Golf Course

We had a bit of excitement at Cottonwood Hills last Wednesday morning. 

If you are up to no good and wish to evade detection, I would suggest that wandering around a golf course bare footed at dawn is not the best strategy. And for God's sake, don't lose your keys!
A Billings man was arrested Wednesday morning after taking two water coolers from a golf course, an “unusual bag” and a dirt bike from a Norris Road residence and a fire extinguisher from a gravel pit.
According to court documents, Deputy Dane Vranish responded to a criminal trespass at the Cottonwood Hills Golf Club Wednesday morning. When Vranish arrived, he talked to a golf course employee.

The employee said saw a barefooted male wandering near the golf course. The wandering man appeared disoriented and claimed he was looking for his lost keys, court records state.
Law enforcement found the man, later identified as James Howard Crane, 34, near his vehicle at a nearby gravel pit.

Additional reports of burglaries and criminal trespass complaints at Norris Road residential addresses came in while deputies were investigating.
One reporting party said a man had taken an “unusual bag” from a building near his house. The victim said the bag’s contents were dumped outside the building. The same victim said his white Honda dirt bike was also missing.
Deputies found the missing dirt bike near Crane’s vehicle. They also located the odd bag in the Crane’s SUV and two water coolers.
Crane was taken to the Law and Justice Center to be interviewed. Crane waived his Miranda Rights and admitted that he trespassed on golf course property and stole two water coolers.
While Crane was being interviewed, another deputy took a report from the gravel pit. Gravel pit employees said someone broke into one of the structures on the property and caused $1,500 worth of damage. The burglar also stole a fire extinguisher.
Deputies found the fire extinguisher in Crane’s vehicle.

Crane was charged with burglary and taken to jail at the Gallatin County Detention Center. His bail was set at $10,000 by a Justice of the Peace Thursday morning.

I have it on good authority that when the Sheriff's Deputy arrived on scene he greeted the accused by name. 

The watering station on the 15th tee was sans water coolers from last Wednesday through yesterday. This morning, the stand was replenished with one old cooler, and one new, the old cooler's partner apparently having been retained as state's evidence. Here are the crime scenes. Crime does not pay!