Montana Best Times December 2014

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The Hollywood Christmas of ’69
Sausage maker
Family’s Christmas tree a city favorite
Christmas in a jar
A Monthly Publication for Folks 50 and Better
December 2014
December 2014 — 2
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Montana Best of Times
Savvy Senior ............................................Page 3
Opinion ....................................................Page 4
Bookshelf .................................................Page 5
Volunteering .............................................Page 19
On the Menu ............................................Page 20
Calendar ...................................................Page 21
Strange But True ......................................Page 22
News Lite
Cuban couple keeps exotic rodents as pets
BAINOA, Cuba (AP) — Some people keep guinea pigs or
hamsters as pets.
But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana
Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia.
With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia looks like a
giant rat, only cuter, some would say. They live in Cuba and other
Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.
But Pedraza and her husband, Rafael Lopez, say they only
want to protect and take care of the animals, which measure near-
ly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weigh-
ing in bigger than a small dog.
The couple began collecting hutias about five years ago when
they found one languishing on a roadside and named her Congui.
They found her a mate and now have more than a half-dozen
hutias in their home about 25 miles east of the capital, Havana.
Congui and her brood like to drink sweetened coffee and
munch on crackers and vegetables. Her son Pancho enjoys an
occasional nip of rum.
Police: Facebook posts of stolen guns spur arrest
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man is facing
charges after police say he posted Facebook photos of stolen guns
from an unsolved burglary.
KOB-TV reports that Christopher Banegas recently was arrest-
ed and charged in connection with the September 2013 heist at an
Albuquerque home.
Police say they lacked any leads until the victim recently saw
pictures of his stolen guns on Banegas’ Facebook page.
The two had been friends, and the victim tells police he didn’t
check Banegas’ Facebook page because he didn’t suspect him.
Banegas is facing charges of aggravated burglary, larceny of a
firearm, and tampering with evidence. It isn’t known if he had an
Dear Savvy Senior,
Can you recommend some easier ways that I can get help
with my Social Security questions? When I call their toll-free
help line I get put on hold forever, and the wait time at my
local Social Security office is over two hours.
— Approaching 62
Dear Approaching,
It’s unfortunate, but the past few years the Social Security
Administration has made some major budget and staff cuts
that have greatly increased their phone service and field
office wait times for their customers. With that said, here’s
an alternative option and some tips that can help make your
access to Social Security a little faster and easier.
»Online services
With the evolution of the Social Security website, the
quickest and most convenient way to work with Social
Security these days is to do it yourself online. Depending
on what you need, most tasks can be done at SocialSecuri- like getting your Social Security statement, estimat-
ing your future benefits, applying for retirement or disabili-
ty benefits, signing up for direct deposit, replacing a Medi-
care card and much more. See a complete list of what you
can do online at
You can also get information and answers to most of your
Social Security questions at if you’re patient
enough to read through the information yourself.
But, if you need more help than their website offers, you
can always call Social Security’s toll-free service line at
800-772-1213 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and
7 p.m. and ask your question over the phone, or make a
scheduled appointment with your local field office. To
reduce your wait time, avoid calling during their rush hour
times, which are the first week of the month, and daily
from about 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
»Need advice?
If you’re seeking advice on when you should start taking
your Social Security benefits, you need to know that while
Social Security employees do provide information on how
the system works under different circumstances, they aren’t
allowed to give case-specific advice on when you should
start drawing your benefits.
If you want help with this, you’ll need to turn to some of
the free or fee-based Social Security tools that are available
online through private financial service companies or
Depending on the service, these tools take into account
the different rules and claiming strategies that can affect
your benefits, and some of them can crunch hundreds of
calculations to compare your benefits under various scenar-
ios and different ages to help you figure out the best time to
start claiming.
Some of the best free tools are AARP’s Social Security
Calculator (; SSAnalyze
which is offered by Bedrock Capital Management (bed-; and Analyze Now (analyze- — click on “Computer Programs”) which offers a
“Free Strategic Social Security Planner” but requires
Microsoft Excel to use it.
Or, if you don’t mind spending a little money, there are
higher-level services you can use like Maximize My Social
Security (, which charges
$40 for their report, and takes into account the thousands of
different factors and combinations to help you maximize
your benefits.
And Social Security Solutions (socialsecuritysolutions.
com, 866-762-7526), which offers several levels of service
(ranging between $20 and $250) including their $125
“Advised” plan that runs multiple calculations and compar-
isons, recommends a best course of action in a detailed
report, and gives you a one-on-one session with a Social
Security specialist over the phone to discuss the report and
ask questions.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box
5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit
Jim Miller, creator of the syndicated “Savvy
Senior” information column, is a longtime
advocate of senior issues. He has been featured in
Time magazine; is author of “The Savvy Senior:
The Ultimate Guide to Health, Family and
Finances for Senior Citizens”; and is a regular
contributor to the NBC “Today” show.
December 2014 — 3
Convenient Ways to Get Help with
your Social Security Questions
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... at least that was
the intention of this issue of Montana Best Times, in case you
hadn’t noticed.
The December edition features Holy Rosary Healthcare’s
annual Holiday Jar Sale fundraiser on Page 6, a former stunt-
man’s recollections of a Hollywood Christmas party on Page 8,
a family’s Christmas tree that the whole town of Lewistown
turns out to see on Page 12, a feature on Santa Claus, Indiana,
on Page 14, and recipes for holiday plum pudding and hot toddy
on Page 20.
While they all have the holiday season in common, two of the
features stand out as having a strong Christmas connection —
the “Christmas in a jar” story on Page 6 and the “Burton family
Christmas tree a favorite in Lewistown” on Page 12.
The “Christmas in a jar” story relates to a fundraiser for Holy
Rosary Healthcare in Miles City. On its website, Holy Rosary
describes its mission thus: “We reveal and foster God’s healing
love by improving the health of the people and communities we
serve, especially those who are poor and vulnerable.”
A hospital with such a mission deserves support, especially
at this time of year as we reflect on the real meaning of Christ-
And the Burton family Christmas tree, whose lights are
enjoyed by the entire community of Lewistown, is a nice
reminder that Christmas is a time to share our gifts and our love
with our fellow man.
Merry Christmas, Best Times readers, and the best to you and
yours this holiday season.
— Dwight Harriman
Montana Best Times Editor
December 2014 — 4
December stories look a lot like Christmas
A Monthly Publication for Folks 50 and Better
Dwight Harriman, Editor • Tom Parisella, Designer
P.O. Box 2000, 401 S. Main St., Livingston MT 59047
Tel. (406) 222-2000 or toll-free (800) 345-8412 • Fax: (406) 222-8580
E-mail: • Subscription rate: $25/yr.
Published monthly by Yellowstone Newspapers, Livingston, Montana
By Montana Best Times Staff
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Filled with smart and practical advice, engaging anecdotes, and
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December 2014 — 5
“The Couple’s Retirement
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By Marla Prell
Montana Best Times
MILES CITY — Gifts in a jar — like
those layered cookie or soup mixes —
have been around for quite some time, but
they seem to be gaining in popularity
again. Evidence of that is the wildly popu-
lar Holy Rosary Healthcare’s annual Holi-
day Jar Sale fundraiser in Miles City.
The workers in the therapy department
put together hundreds of glass jars full of
everything from ice cream toppings to
drink mixes to meal starters. Some are
ready to eat, while others require adding
one or more ingredients and cooking.
Everyone seems to have a favorite —
the dark chocolate peanut butter molten
cake is a front-runner — but many shop-
pers select several varieties to give as gifts
or to keep for themselves.
Holy Rosary’s jar sale is in late Novem-
ber, but the ladies spend several weeks in
October and November putting together
the mixes for the event. They do it on a
grand scale — probably well over 500 jars
this year — but it’s a simple yet thoughtful
gift anyone can include in their holiday
Given from the heart
It’s not hard to see why the jars appeal
to many people.
“It seems more traditional and homey,”
said Marj Anderson, who works in
HRH’s therapy department. “They’re fun
to look at, they’re pretty, and you can use
them as a decoration if you never make
“It’s something easy but homemade, or
given from the heart,” Anderson said.
In previous years, Anderson has given
jars to the mail carrier and others as a
token of appreciation. The next season,
December 2014 — 6
Fundraiser taps into food gift popularity
On the cover: Rhonda Erlenbusch, from left, Laci Donnelly and Nicole Smith start seeing the fruits of their labors as filled gift
jars begin filling the space where ingredients were once piled high. Above: Nicole Smith, left, and Jessica Carter add finishing
touches to completed jars with a bright Christmas-themed cloth covering over the jars’ lids. MT Best Times photos by Steve Allison
It’s something easy but homemade ... given from the heart.
– Marj Anderson
Christmas in a jar
some have asked her eagerly, “What do we
get this year?”
“People around here have been anticipat-
ing and waiting” for the jar sale, she said.
Of course, in-house sales help a lot.
“It’s been great; we’ve had other man-
agers from other departments, and they’ll
buy enough for every employee in their
department,” Anderson said.
Gift jars just seem to fit the bill if people
are looking to give something unique and
a little more personal.
Easy to get started
It wasn’t hard for the therapy group to
get started.
“We had several books in and we started
picking out recipes we thought would be
fun to do, and we went from there,”
Anderson said.
Sometimes they even vote on favorite
Books on gifts in a jar aren’t hard to
find, especially during the holidays, and
the Internet has a wealth of recipes and
ideas if you search for “gifts in a jar” or
“food gifts.”
The hospital gets a lot of recycled and
donated canning jars from the community,
along with generous donations of baking
ingredients or funds from local businesses.
Proceeds from the sale benefit local people
with various medical needs, so it’s not
hard to find support.
Sampling the goods
The ladies learned that making the reci-
pes first on their own was a good idea.
Recipes with dry beans, for example, can
be challenging. In one recipe, in particular,
the beans were still too firm even after the
recommended soaking time.
“We try to experiment and do our own
cooking instructions,” Anderson said.
Some recipes make for more colorful
jars, with multi-colored layers and inter-
esting textures.
But Anderson said looks can also be
“Cornflakes and coconut, it doesn’t look
real appealing, but it’s awesome.”
Some recipes they have tried but not
liked as well, so it’s a process of elimina-
“Teas are a big hit, like Russian tea,”
she said.
The soups and skillet dishes — nearly
complete, quick meals — are also very
popular. Some require simply adding ham-
burger and liquids.
Other factors the group considers when
picking recipes are ease of preparation and
the amount of ingredients required.
Organized chaos
For the therapy department employees,
getting a system down is important.
“Our biggest thing is organization,”
Anderson said. “You want to make sure
you have everything, all your ingredients
laid out and sitting in front of you before
you start.”
Running to the store for more ingredi-
ents just isn’t practical.
“It is kind of mind boggling, especially
on a scale of 500 jars,” she said. “You
might have four 25-pound bags of sugar.”
They sanitize all their jars ahead of
time, and gather measuring cups and
spoons, funnels (for pouring flour and oth-
er ingredients into the jar) and anything
else they might need.
Make notes on things that worked and
things that didn’t, Anderson suggests, and
be sure to save the recipes that are popular.
“We just get together and pick a night
once a week for four weeks now to put
together jars of whatever we have ingredi-
ents on tap,” Anderson said.
They also manage to turn their charita-
ble activity into social time, including
grandkids and other family members who
either help out or play cards.
Something for everyone
What recipes made the cut this year?
Some are returning favorites, and others
are interesting additions.
Besides those already mentioned, there
• Ice cream toppings, including peanut
butter, hot fudge and crackle topping
• White chocolate lemon cookies, pea-
nut butter scotchies
• Brownies
• Fruit teas, spiced cider, mocha and
mint cocoa, toffee coffee
• Beef barley, chicken noodle and pasta
tortilla soup, Cajun rice dish
• Christmas pancakes
• Cakes in a coffee mug
• Lasagna skillet, beef stroganoff
• Sugar scrubs for hands or feet
Other helpful hints
A quick scan of several books and Inter-
net sites offers several other tips on pre-
paring gift jars:
December 2014 — 7
Rhonda Erlenbusch makes a quick count of the completed jars — a closeup of them
is shown above — so the group will know how much work they have left.
See Christmas in a jar, Page 18
By Eleanor Guerrero
Montana Best Times
RED LODGE — Bill “Brace” Williams
led an interesting career, dividing his time
between Red Lodge and Hollywood over
the decades, doing everything from stunts
to acting to make a living.
“I even took Montana hay from local
farmers to sell to California race horse
owners for years!” he said with a grin.
Williams is a big, charismatic man with
white hair and deep blue eyes. At 83, he is
still as full of energy as you’d expect for a
former physical performer. His career
included standing in for Anthony Quinn
and Andy Griffith, and he played a sheriff
with Dennis Quaid in a movie shot around
Livingston called, “Everything that Rises”
Williams got to know old Hollywood,
was tapped to work as assistant to a major
agent and has many stories to tell. For this
holiday season, he shared some memories,
especially about a big Christmas party in
“I used to work for Freddy Fields, who
founded Creative Management Associates
(CMA) in Hollywood,” Williams said.
“My office was just across from his at the
very top of a new building he’d just
bought that year, 1969, for $7 million. I
had the job of making sure everything got
done for the year’s big Christmas party.”
Willliams said things were just begin-
ning in rock and roll but they had none of
those stars at the party.
“It was old-time glamour and celebri-
ties,” he said.
Although Fields invited the big names
he represented to the party — Steve
McQueen, Barbara Stanwyck, Sidney
Poitier — they
did not show.
As an aside, Williams mentioned, “They
later formed their own film production
company, First Artist Productions.”
But Williams did recall meeting at the
party a friendly fellow, just making it into
the movies, a relative unknown named
Tom Selleck.
“He took people by surprise. He was
extremely outgoing, going around shaking
everybody’s hand,” said Williams. “He
looked a lot younger and slimmer then, of
course, very trim.”
Fields’ first secretary was Sue Mengers,
who became a very famous agent to the
“She was friends with Bette Midler, who
was not famous at the time,” Williams
But, he said, Mengers was very funny
December 2014 — 8
A former stuntman recalls big party with lots of stars
MT Best Times photo by Eleanor Guerrero
Former Hollywood stuntman and actor Bill “Brace” Williams is pictured in Red Lodge with a portable sports utility rack he
invented called CarryMe123.
Hollywood Christmas
Ring flushed by kid returned to family
UNION CITY, Calif. (AP) — Sanitation workers have returned
an heirloom diamond and sapphire ring to a San Francisco Bay
Area family whose 3-year-old son flushed it down the toilet.
After several attempts, Union Sanitary District crews found the
ring, about a month and a half after it disappeared from Munazzar
and Mehvish Tapal’s home in Union City.
Wastewater Collection Supervisor Shawn Nesgis tells KTVU-
TV that the ring traveled about a third of a mile.
Crews flushed the sewer lines and discovered the ring after
vacuuming up debris. Nesgis equated the discovery to finding a
needle in a haystack.
The Tapals say the ring’s return was a miracle. Munazzar Tapal
estimates the ring has been in his family for 60 years.
Mom, daughter return home with new babies
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida mother and daughter
who gave birth at the same hospital on the same day have
returned home with their new babies — together.
Heather Penticoff, 40, and her 20-year-old daughter Destinee
Martin discovered they were pregnant the same day. Each gave
birth in Fort Myers.
Penticoff’s daughter Madeline was born first and Martin’s son
Damien was born almost three hours later, making Penticoff’s
grandson roughly the same age as her newborn daughter.
They all returned to their Lee County home, with Damien
across the hall from Madeline.
Martin tells WZVN-TV that she wasn’t thrilled initially when
her mother announced her pregnancy. But she says the shared
experience turned out “a lot nicer than if it wouldn’t have went
that way.”
herself. “When she became an agent and
people were questioning this new role for
women, she blurted out, “What do you
think, I’m the office hooker?” Williams
But getting back to the party, Williams
said everything had to be first class.
“The Christmas party was catered by
Wolfgang Puck. He wasn’t famous then,
either, but was trying to make an impres-
sion. He had lots of great shrimp,” Wil-
liams said.
There were lots of big shrimp cocktails
and various shrimp dishes and chateaubri-
and, a fine steak dish.
“Although our gathering was small, they
ate lavishly,” Williams said.
Williams ran around all evening.
“One of my jobs was to provide the
(gourmet) coffees, which were just becom-
ing a thing — 300 carafes, and the best
champagne, $100 a bottle. We had an open
bar,” he recalled.
They had all kinds of pies and cakes for
“There were coconut cream pies, pecan
pies and apple,” he said. “Of course, you
had your chocolate cake!”
Burl Ives provided the entertainment at
the party. Ives was a great guy, Williams
Security was tight at the downstairs
entrance.“Later, parties were moved to
Beverly Hills,” Williams remembered.
“Fields bought a restaurant — The Bistro
— on Rodeo Drive. There was an upstairs
‘A Room’ and a downstairs ‘B Room.’”
Stars that frequented The Bistro includ-
ed Natalie Wood and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Years later, Wolfgang Puck bought the
property and opened Spago.
Although Williams never met Wood or
Gabor, he did meet Frank Sinatra and Kirk
“Field’s brother Shelly Fields was a
famous bandleader in the ’30s,” he noted.
“He convinced Freddy to become an
agent. (Freddy’s) first actor client was
Kirk (Douglas), fresh out of the Navy. He
was very outgoing and quick to smile, but
you didn’t push him. If you butted in
while he was talking or wouldn’t stop talk-
ing in order to meet him, he would turn
and walk away.”
When asked what Sinatra was like, he
“He didn’t come to you — you went to
him at his house in Palm Springs!” he
He met Sinatra only once and by
“I was standing in a line to get into The
Sands, where he was performing. He came
down the line shaking a few hands and for
some reason he picked me. He said about
10 words like, ‘How are you doing,’ and
he was gone.”
Williams said Sinatra couldn’t have
stopped to chat.
“If he did, the crowd would get so big!”
he noted.
Williams will be doing his own walk
down the line, of sorts, when he returns
to attend the Christmas Stroll in Red
“I will always be a part of Red Lodge,”
he said.
Eleanor Guerrero may be reached at or (406)
December 2014 — 9
Although our gathering was small, they ate lavishly.
– Bill “Brace” Williams
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News Lite
December 2014 — 10
MT Best Times photos by Jason Stuart
Adam Gartner holds packaged sausages he’s made — summer sausage in his left hand and pork sausage in his right — in his
garage in Glendive, where he makes and smokes his meats.
Glendive man is a pro at making, smoking tasty meats
Sausage maker
By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
GLENDIVE — You might say sausage making is in Adam
Gartner’s blood.
Gartner, 70, a retired U.S. Postal Service worker who now
serves as a Dawson County commissioner, has been making sau-
sage every year since he was a kid, and he continues to keep alive
what is by his account an old family tradition.
“My dad told me stories about doing it when he was a boy on
the farm,” Gartner said.
A family tradition
Gartner’s family moved to Dawson County from North Dakota
in the 1950s, bringing their sausage making tradition with them.
The family made only one type of sausage — summer sausage
— using venison from the deer and antelope they hunted.
The fact that the Gartner family used only the meat from game
they killed during the hunting season made their sausage making
enterprise a one-time seasonal event.
“We’d only do it once a year, and that was usually in Decem-
ber,” Gartner said.
Between himself, his father and his siblings, the family could
harvest enough big game to make an incredible amount of sum-
mer sausage in their “huge smokehouse,” Gartner said.
“At one time I remember we had 900 pounds of summer sau-
sage (in the smokehouse),” he said.
Branching out
When his father died, Gartner moved the old family smoke-
house to his home to carry on the tradition, though not without a
learning curve.
“I had a lot of trial and error, because my dad did it all by
sight,” Gartner said of his early efforts.
With some aid from a recipe book — which Gartner said is
now so worn the binding has come undone and pages are falling
out — he honed his sausage making skills.
He also started branching out from just making summer sau-
sage and began working with meats besides wild game to create
different types of sausages, as well as making different products
like pepper sticks and jerky.
Recently, Gartner built himself a new smokehouse. He con-
structed the smoker out of an old stand-up cooler from the Beer
Jug, a popular Glendive bar and eatery. Although he doesn’t
smoke as much meat as he used to, he estimates the new smoker
could hold about 400 pounds of summer sausage.
So what does he do with all that sausage?
“I eat it,” Gartner said. “And I make a lot for my friends.”
Gartner is using his new smokehouse as an opportunity to
branch out even further.
“With this new smoker, I’ve done some baby back ribs, and
I’ve tried other things,” he said.
Another new product he plans to smoke is something his father
used to do. Although the family made summer sausage only dur-
ing the winter, Gartner said his dad “smoked a lot of fish in the
summertime,” though it’s something he’s never done.
That’s going to change however, since Gartner said some
friends gave him some fish they caught this past summer.
“I’m going to try some fish,” he said.
Tried and true
When it comes to smoking meats, Gartner said he is open to
trying pretty much anything, although he said he does have an
affinity for pork.
However, when it comes to making summer sausage, Gartner
has stuck to the old family recipe, using only venison to make it.
It’s a tradition he and his siblings, nephews and nieces have
kept alive.
“We still get together with my sisters and family once a year,
usually in January, and have a sausage weekend,” Gartner said. “I
like doing it. I’ve always liked doing it.”
And as far as he is concerned, there’s no topping that old Gart-
ner family summer sausage recipe.
“I always like to taste other people’s sausage, and there’s some
I really like,” Gartner said. “Except the summer sausage. I like
the taste of ours best.”
Reach Jason Stuart at or (406)
December 2014 — 11
Gartner shows the new smoker he recently built from an old
beer cooler. The smoker can hold about 400 pounds of sum-
mer sausage.
So what does he do with all that
sausage? “I eat it,” Gartner said.
“And I make a lot for my friends.”
December 2014 — 12
Photo by Jacques Rutten/courtesy of Lewistown News-Argus
The Burton family Christmas tree is pictured in Lewistown several years ago. Every year at Thanksgiving, Burton family
members head to Lewistown to help decorate the tree with lights. Last year, the tree carried 1,050 lights.
Burton family
a favorite in Lewistown
By Doreen Heintz
Montana Best Times
LEWISTOWN — The town of Lewistown is aglow with lights
come the Christmas season. One will see families driving up and
down the streets enjoying the lights and other Christmas decorations
on many of the homes.
One of the most popular sights is a large Christmas tree that sits in
the yard at the corner of Water and Second streets. The tree belongs
to 84-year-old Maxine Burton.
“When we planted the tree in the ’60s, it only stood a foot high,”
said Maxine. “We actually planted three trees, but this is the only one
that survived — thank goodness, because this one takes up most of
the yard.”
For many years, Maxine had the tree trimmed each year, but now,
at over 25 feet high, it is too tall to trim.
Home for the decorating
The reason the tree is so popular in Lewistown is each year Max-
ine’s three grown children — Sam Burton Jr., Susan Spurgeon and
Sherry Cramer — come home at Thanksgiving time to decorate it
with lights. Each year they add more lights to the tree. In 2007, the
tree was lit with 900, and in 2013, Maxine’s three children put 1,050
lights on it.
“At one point it took four different circuits to run all the lights,”
Maxine said. “But two years ago, Dick Butler helped Sam run elec-
tricity to the tree. Now there are three outlets under the tree. My chil-
dren were worried I might fall tripping over cords when I had to plug
them in the garage. Now, I just have to step out onto the patio and
flip a couple of switches. It sure has simplified my life.”
The strings of lights are all numbered, so when they are put away
after the Christmas season, Maxine’s children put them in the same
order for the following Christmas.
Strings of lights with no fuses have to be used at the top of the
“They string out all the lights on the floor of the garage to make
sure all the bulbs are working,” added Maxine. “Sam is very picky
when it comes to the bulbs, as he never wants two bulbs of the same
color beside each other.”
Several years ago, Sam found a fiberglass pole that reached to 30
feet. He used the pole to place each light on the tree that was higher
than he could reach.
“He places each light, while his two sisters hold the lights, and
they go around and around the tree,” said Maxine. “Last year, Sam
was able to borrow a bucket truck to put the lights at the very top of
the tree.”
In the summer of 1999, a tornado blew through Lewistown. Many
trees were uprooted by the wind, but Maxine said her Christmas tree
was unscathed.
“The tornado took out my flowering crab tree and about 20 feet off
the blue spruce tree, which were by my driveway to the garage, but
did nothing to the Christmas tree,” she said.
A way to celebrate Christmas
Asked why her children continue to decorate the tree each year,
Maxine, a widow for 23 years, explained, “We have always had a
tree, and my family always comes home for the holidays. We began
decorating the tree in the 1970s, and it has just continued.
“I never ask them if we are going to decorate the tree this year;
they just go out and start stringing the lights in the garage when they
are here for Thanksgiving. One year my two daughters did the deco-
rating all by themselves as Sam was not able to come home for the
Maxine sees the tree lighting as a way for her family to celebrate
the Christmas season. Although she has four living grandchildren
and three great-grandchildren, it is her three children who still do
most of the decorating.
“My oldest grandson Chris helped one year,” said Maxine. “He
came in and told me, ‘Grandma, that is a lot of work.’ It does take a
whole day to get all the lights on the tree.”
Sadly, Chris lost his life in an avalanche four years ago.
“He died doing what he loved best, being in the mountains,” Max-
ine said.
“It really amazes me there has never been any vandalism to the
tree over the many years,” Maxine added. “I know people really
enjoy it, but I don’t think they realize how much work it is each
The Christmas tree holds a special bond for Maxine and her fami-
ly, as well at for the Lewistown community. Maxine remarked she
sees people driving by each evening after she has turned on the lights
at about 5 p.m.
“It does make my electric bill go up about $50 for the month of
December, but I think it is worth it,” she concluded.
Reach Doreen Heintz at or (406)
December 2014 —13
Photo courtesy of Maxine Burton
Sam Burton uses a bucket truck to decorate the top of the
Christmas tree in 2013.
By Kathy Witt
Anyplace that celebrates Christmas year-round is
already in an advanced state of magical; during the
Christmas season, however, it is nothing short of
Santa Claus, Indiana, has been famous for its
Christmas connection since 1856 when the town’s
first post office was established. Home to the world’s
only post office bearing the Santa Claus name, plus
Santa’s Candy Castle, Santa Claus Museum and Vil-
lage, the circa 1935 22-foot-tall Santa Statue “dedi-
cated to the children of the world,” Santa’s Lodge,
the Santa Claus Christmas Store and more, it’s like
having the North Pole right smack at America’s
On Dec. 5, this tiny town located in southwestern
Indiana shifts into high holiday gear with a knock-
your-socks-off Christmas celebration. Chock-full of
family events and activities, the merriment takes
place over the three weekends leading up to the Big
Visit Kringle Place Shopping Center to see Santa’s
Great Big LED Tree of Lights rising above the shop
roofline. Illuminated from 5 to 10 p.m., it comes to
life on the top of each hour with a patterned light
show choreographed to Christmas music. Complete
your shopping list at the shops at Kringle Place,
including the Evergreen Boutique; the Holly Tree
Christmas Shop, which will host face painting and
wood-carving demonstrations; Kringle Haus Werk-
statt, home of handmade artisan gifts and the Mon-
key Hollow Winery; and Santa Claus Christmas
Store, where families can participate in gingerbread
house decorating and children’s Christmas crafts —
not to mention visit with Santa.
Highlights of this year’s Christmas Celebration
include the International Fruitcake Eating Champi-
onship at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Santa
Claus American Legion; the Run Run Rudolph 5K
through Lake Rudolph’s Santa Claus Land of Lights,
at 4 p.m. on Dec. 6; and the Story of Santa Claus at
the Santa Claus Museum and Village. For this, a
local storyteller will bring to life Clement C.
Moore’s beloved classic poem, “A Visit from St.
Nicholas,” in an interactive performance. Christmas
carols, music and more will accompany the presenta-
tion — which will also reveal how the town of Santa
Claus got its name — scheduled for 2 p.m. on Dec. 6
December 2014 — 14
Photo courtesy Spencer County Visitors Bureau/TNS
A Santa Claus statue stands in front of the post office in Santa Claus,
Santa Claus, Indiana makes for the
most wonderful time of the year
and 11 a.m. on Dec. 20.
Other events include Christmas Crafts
at the Courthouse in Rockport on Dec. 6,
the Santa Claus Arts & Crafts Show at
Santa’s Lodge on Dec. 13 and the Festival
of Lights at Christmas Lake Village on
Dec. 13 and 20. Other activities include
carriage rides and chestnut roasting, plus
writing letters to Santa, chatting with an
elf, catching a holiday theatre production
and having Christmas Dinner with Santa.
The entire town and surrounding county
put its holiday muscle into the celebra-
tion, including the shops, lodgings,
churches, court house, high school and
golf course. Activities spill over from
Santa Claus into downtown Rockport and
nearby Lincoln City for a full-on holiday
extravaganza that has become a Christmas
tradition for many families, and it’s the
only place in the country — and the world
— where you can experience it.
If you go
For more information, visit www.Santa-, email info@SantaClausInd.
org or call 888-444-9252 or 812-937-
4199. Because there is so much to see and
do during the three-weekend Santa Claus
Christmas Celebration, you will need a
list (and checking it twice isn’t a bad
idea). You can download a copy of the
Event Guide here.
There are plenty of choices for over-
nighting in the area. Stay immersed in the
North Pole theme with a stay at Lake
Rudolph Campground and RV Resort,
NorthStar Vacation Rentals, Santa’s Cot-
tages, Santa’s Lodge or Silent Night Vaca-
tion and Golf Rentals. All are located in
the town of Santa Claus. Other nearby
lodging includes bed and breakfast inns
and familiar brand name hotels.
Weekend lodging specials are available
at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV
Resort, Santa’s Cottages, Santa’s Lodge,
Motel 6, and Rockport Comfort Inn &
Suites. See what the deals are here. If
you’re planning to visit the Santa Claus
Christmas Store, download a coupon for
$5 off a $25 purchase here.
Adventure guide to
don’t-miss moments
• Write a free letter to Santa at the origi-
nal Santa Claus Post Office, which annu-
ally receives over 400,000 pieces of mail
in December. (All letters received by
December 20 will get a reply with the
Santa Claus postmark.) You can also
stamp your holiday mail with this unique
postmark before mailing. Each year
brings an original postmark design by a
local high school student as part of an
annual contest.
• Get tickets for Lincoln Amphitheatre
Presents: “Scrooge’s Christmas,” at the
Heritage Hills High School Auditorium,
located in nearby Lincoln City, Indiana.
Written and directed by Ken Jones,
award-winning playwright and screen-
writer and Northern Kentucky Universi-
ty’s playwright-in-residence, it is adapted
from Charles Dickens’ classic tale, “A
Christmas Carol.” Two shows are present-
ed on both Dec. 6 and Dec. 13; three
shows are presented on Dec. 20.
• Experience “Chestnuts Roasting on an
Open Fire” at Santa’s Candy Castle, eve-
nings on Dec. 6, 13 and 20. Originally
built in 1935, this red brick castle with all
the fairytale trimmings is also home to the
North Pole Network, an interactive com-
puter lab for kids that allows them to chat
with an elf, give Santa their Christmas
wish list and, ahem, find out if they’re on
Santa’s Good List and therefore eligible to
receive an official Good List Certificate.
• Join the crowd at 1 p.m. on Saturday,
Dec. 13, for the annual Santa Claus
Christmas Parade. This tiny town of less
than 2,500 residents has but one parade a
year and this is it, with all the holiday
pomp and circumstance you might expect
and Santa’s grand entrance.
• Visit the Santa Claus Land of Lights at
the Lake Rudolph Campground and RV
Resort to follow the “Shining Story of
Rudolph.” This 1.2-mile-long drive-
through an LED light display is the only
show of its kind in North America that
tells a story in lights and storyboards.
Every vehicle receives a free photo with
Rudolph. It is open each night of the San-
ta Claus Christmas Celebration.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Author, travel and
lifestyle writer, and travel goods expert
Kathy Witt feels you should never get to
the end of your bucket list; there’s just too
much to see and do in the world. She can
be reached at or
December 2014 — 15
Photos courtesy Spencer County Visitors Bureau/TNS
Above: Talk to an elf from the North Pole or enjoy roasted
chestnuts at the Santa’s Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana.
Right: Santa Claus Land of Lights at the Lake Rudolph
Campground and RV Resort is a cherished event during the
Christmas Celebration in the town of Santa Claus.
By Allison Steele
The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
Betty and David Hasiuk’s trip to Alaska was “not for the
fainthearted,” he says. “The planes kept getting smaller and
As David and Betty Hasiuk rode through the clouds in a small
airplane delivering mail to a remote Alaskan wilderness, the
couple realized the adventure was one of their most unusual.
The plane was the only way to reach Wrangell-St. Elias
National Park, which had been among the few national parks
that the retired couple had not yet visited. When the plane land-
ed, they saw a handful of local residents waiting on the tiny run-
way for letters and packages.
The journey to Wrangell-St. Elias, a 13-million-acre park big-
ger than Switzerland, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity even
for the Hasiuks, who have spent the last decade exploring all 58
of the country’s national parks. With their visit to Alaska, they
crossed off the final three on the list.
“People collect different things. This is what we chose to do,”
said Betty Hasiuk, 68. “You see America, and you see who we
are as Americans. A lot of people are not even aware that these
parks are out there. To us, it’s an opportunity to learn about who
we are as a country.”
Hasiuk, a retired schoolteacher, and her husband, a former
stockbroker, have been married for 46 years. But they did not
come up with the idea for their National Parks project until
2003, when they were in Yellowstone National Park in Wyo-
ming and happened to see a passport book in which visitors
could collect stamps from different national parks.
They pledged to get to each of the country’s national parks
before David Hasiuk turned 70 — a goal they accomplished
with almost a year to spare.
December 2014 — 16
Above: David and Betty Hasiuk look over some of the national park maps they’ve collected on their travels.
Photo by Ron Tarver/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
Couple have explored all 58
of the country’s NATIONAL PARKS
The journeys have involved meticulous
planning, particularly when it came to the
parks in far-flung areas. They visited
some in clusters, most notably in 2010,
when a six-week cross-country road trip
took them more than 900 miles between
the Grand Canyon, the Tetons, Oregon’s
Crater Lake, and parks in Utah. Their
adult daughter has joined them on several
trips as well.
Pressed to pick a favorite, the couple
offer their top four: Yellowstone, the
Grand Canyon, Yosemite in California,
and the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, where, in
addition to glaciers and wilderness, they
saw whales, seals, puffins, and more
They have collected a menagerie of
wooden animals as mementos, as well as
T-shirts, artwork, and books that tell the
local histories of the parks.
The Hasiuks know they are not the
only two people who have traveled to
each park, but they have never met any-
one else who has done it. That’s partly
because, as Betty Hasiuk said, some of
the trips may not appeal to the average
vacationer. Though they have stayed in
nice hotels and primitive ones, many of
the places they have visited have no tele-
visions or cellphone reception. In most
areas, there is no nightlife.
They have never added up the cost of
their travels, but the trips have ranged
from car rides with picnic lunches to, in
the case of the last Alaska trip, 12 flights
(purchased with help from their many
frequent-flier miles).
“It’s not for the fainthearted,” David
Hasiuk said. “The planes kept getting
smaller and smaller.”
The last Alaska trip also took place at a
time when the sun is in the sky almost
round the clock. Over the course of their
entire two-week trip, they never saw it set
or rise, and had to draw thick curtains
over the windows as they slept.
With 58 items crossed off the list, the
Hasiuks are still deciding on their next
travel goal. But they have already identi-
fied a few National Parks where they
need to return because, they said, they
never got their book stamped.
“We have to go back to Hawaii,” Betty
Hasiuk said, laughing. “Also, the Virgin
Islands. We didn’t plan it that way, but
that’s where we have to go.”
December 2014 — 17
Above left and right: The Hasiuks
look at the national park pass-
port stamps and maps they have
collected after visiting all of the
nation’s 58 national parks.
Right: Shown is a photo of David
and Betty Hasiuk taken at Bettles
lodge in Alaska the night they
finished visiting the last of all 58
national parks. It is surrounded
by items they have collected from
parks on their travels.
Photo by Ron Tarver/
Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
• Be sure to use the size of jar that the
recipe specifies.
• Make one jar first to see how the
ingredients will fit the space.
• Make your own tags with instructions
on how to prepare the mix or use a tem-
plate from a book or website.
• If covering the jar with fabric, you can
use a small salad plate to draw a circle on
the fabric large enough to leave some
fringe below the lid.
• Another decorative covering is a color-
ful cupcake liner or tissue paper placed
similar to fabric liners.
• If you don’t have a funnel to sift ingre-
dients into jars, a rolled coffee filter may
do the trick.
• To keep flour off the sides of the
jar, you can shape waxed paper into a
cone long enough to reach near the bot-
• In general, layering finer ingredients
below coarser ingredients should keep
things from settling too much.
• You can cut small circles of waxed
paper to put between layers, if you like.
• You can use a small flat-bottomed
glass to pat down ingredients as you layer
• For dry layers consisting of multiple
ingredients, blend them well.
• You may want to make sure a jar recip-
ient doesn’t have a gluten or other food
allergy, since many mixes contain flour or
• To add a more decorative touch, attach
a mixing spoon, measuring spoons, hot
pad, cookie cutter or other accessory to the
lid with some ribbon or raffia. Don’t for-
get to attach the recipe or a personalized
gift tag!
Reach Marla Prell at mceditor@midriv- or (406) 234-0450.
December 2014 — 18
Christmas in a jar, from Page 7
Above: Soup jars are on tap next as Nicole Smith and Heidi Brown begin filling the next group of jars.
Cozy up to the fire
(without having to stoke it)
Sip something warm
(without having to brew it)
Meet a friend
(without leaving home)
Theatre, Bistro, Indoor Pool, Game Room
4001 Bell Avenue l Billings MT l
Cottages Independent & Assisted Living Memory Care
CALL TODAY for a Tour
& Complimentary Lunch
December 2014 — 19
Gallatin County
- American Cancer Society-Road to
Recovery: Drivers needed for patients
receiving treatments from their home to the
- American Red Cross Blood Drive: Two
volunteer opportunities available: an ambas-
sador needed to welcome, greet, thank and
provide overview for blood donors; and
phone team volunteers needed to remind,
recruit or thank blood donors. Excellent cus-
tomer service skills needed, training will be
provided, flexible schedule.
- Befrienders: Befriend a senior; visit on a
regular weekly basis.
- Belgrade Senior Center: Meals on
Wheels needs regular and substitute drivers,
before noon, Monday-Friday, to deliver
meals to seniors.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: Be a positive
role model for only a few hours each week.
- Bozeman and Belgrade Sacks Thrift
Stores: Need volunteers 2-3-hour shifts on
any day, Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Bozeman Deaconess Hospital: Volunteers
needed for the information desks in the Atri-
um and the Perk, 8 a.m.-noon, noon- 4 p.m.
- Bozeman Senior Center Foot Clinic:
Retired or nearly retired nurses are urgently
needed, two days a month, either 4- or
8-hour shifts.
- Community Café: Volunteer needed, 2-3
hours at the beginning and end of the month,
to enter computer data into Excel spread-
- Galavan: Volunteer drivers needed Mon-
day-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. CDL required and
Galavan will assist you in obtaining one.
Also volunteers are needed to make reminder
calls and confirm rides for the following day.
- Gallatin Rest Home: Volunteers wanted
for visiting the residents, sharing your
knowledge of a craft, playing cards or read-
ing to a resident.
- Gallatin Valley Food Bank: Volunteers
needed to deliver commodities to seniors in
their homes once a month. Deliveries in Bel-
grade are especially needed.
- HRDC Housing Department Ready to
Rent: Offering a comprehensive curriculum
for families and individuals who have rental
barriers such as lack of poor rental history,
property upkeep, renter responsibilities,
landlord/tenant communication and financial
priorities. Call or email Kate at 585-4856 or for more informa-
- HRDC Vita Program: Volunteer Income
Tax Assistance Program: Volunteers needed
to help with paperwork beginning at the end
of January, training provided.
- Habitat for Humanity Restore: Belgrade
store needs volunteers for general help, sort-
ing donations and assisting customers.
- Heart of The Valley: Compassionate vol-
unteers especially needed to love, play with
and cuddle cats.
- Help Center: Computer literate volunteer
interested in entering data into a social ser-
vices database. Also volunteers needed to
make phone calls to different agencies/pro-
grams to make sure database is up to date
and make safety calls to home bound
- Jessie Wilber Gallery at The Emerson:
Volunteers needed on Wednesdays, Thurs-
days, and Fridays to greet people at the main
desk, answer questions and keep track the
number of visitors.
- Museum of the Rockies: Variety of oppor-
tunities available such as helping in the gift
shop and more.
- RSVP Handcrafters: Volunteers to quilt,
knit, crochet and embroider hats for chemo
patients, baby blankets and other handmade
goods once a week (can work from home).
- Three Forks Food Bank: Volunteer needed
on Mondays and/or Thursday’s to help with
administrative duties, including answer
phones and questions, some paper and com-
puter work. They will train.
- WWAMI Interview Participation: Letting
a medical student interview you to practice
good communication skills and learn how to
gather information about a “patient.”
- Warming Center: Volunteers are needed
for overnight shifts at the center, training is
- Your unique skills and interests are need-
ed, without making a long-term commit-
ment, in a variety of ongoing, special, one-
time events.
Contact: Debi Casagranda, RSVP Pro-
gram Coordinator, 807 N. Tracy, Bozeman,
MT 59715; phone (406) 587-5444; fax (406)
Park County
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: Mentor and pos-
itive role model to a boy or girl, one hour a
week. Also needed is a Community Program
Mentor, who matches children and adults to
find that perfect fit for both.
- City of Livingston: Needs volunteers to
help with mailings and other work stations
that require standing and walking.
- Fix-It-Brigade: Needs volunteers of all
skill levels for two-hour tasks on your sched-
ule to help seniors or veterans with small
home repairs, such as changing a light bulb,
shoveling snow, or weatherization.
- Links for Learning: Help needed with 1st-
5th graders, one hour a week on Tuesday or
Wednesday, after school, with reading,
homework, or playing games.
- Livingston Health and Rehab: Activity
volunteers needed weekends for bingo call-
ers and movie showings, Monday through
Friday, 9-11 a.m.; for coffee and reading the
local news, Tuesdays and Thursdays 7 p.m.
movie night.
- Loaves and Fishes and/or Food Pantry:
Many volunteer opportunities available.
- RSVP: Volunteers to give people rides to
doctor or other appointments.
- RSVP Handcrafters: Volunteers to knit and
crochet caps and scarves for each child at
Head Start, also as gifts for children of prena-
tal classes, Thursdays at 1 p.m. at the Senior
Center. Also needed: donated fabric (a yard
or more pieces) for projects for prenatal nurs-
ing classes which include nursing capes and
baby care packages for new mothers.
- Senior Center Main Streeter Thrift Store:
Someone who enjoys working with the pub-
lic. Come help greet customers, ring up pur-
chases, tag and hang clothes and accept
- Shane Center: Friendly volunteers needed
to greet, answer questions and show people
around the center on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Also a need for volunteers to research the
old East Side School building, collecting sto-
ries and finding pictures of past teachers,
students and the building itself.
- Stafford Animal Shelter: Volunteers need-
ed to play with the cats and kittens, and to
walk the dogs.
- Yellowstone Gateway Museum: Volun-
teers needed for a variety of exciting proj-
- Various other agencies are in need of your
unique skills and help in a variety of ongoing
and one-time special events, including help
with mailings needed.
Contact: Deb Downs, Program Coordina-
tor, 206 So. Main St., Livingston, MT 59047;
phone (406) 222-8181; email: debdowns@
Fergus & Judith Basin counties
- Boys and Girls Club and Local School:
Need volunteers to serve as tutors.
- Community Cupboard (Food Bank): vol-
unteers are needed to help any week morn-
ings as well as with deliveries.
- Council on Aging: volunteers needed to
assist at the Senior Center (Grub Steaks) and
with home delivered meals and senior trans-
- Library and Art Center: Volunteer help
always appreciated.
- ROWL (Recycle Our Waste Lewistown):
Recruiting volunteers for the third Saturday
of the month to help sorting, baling and
loading recyclables.
- Treasure Depot: thrift store needs volun-
teers to sort, hang clothes and put other items
See RSVP, Page 21
Below is a list of volunteer openings available through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in
communities across southern Montana. To learn more about RSVP, call (800) 424-8867 or TTY (800) 833-3722;
or log on to www.
When I was making my rounds as an advertising repre-
sentative for The Livingston Enterprise several years
ago, I stopped at a local grocery store to pick up its ad
copy. The store owner was busy taking an order from a
local church. A member of the congregation was reading
from a list of ingredients for the plum pudding church
members sell annually during the holidays.
She mentioned flour, sugar, raisins, suet and many
other ingredients. When she finished, she hadn’t men-
tioned plums.
When I pointed out the omission to her, the reply was,
“Plum pudding doesn’t have any plums in it.”
Your Best Times recipe contributor was shocked. Plum
pudding without any dried plums? That was not kosher.
There had to be a recipe for plum pudding that actu-
ally contained dried plums. I made it my mission to find
A relative gave me a recipe book for Christmas that
same year. The author was Jeff Smith, who hosted a
cooking show on TV many years ago. The plum pud-
ding recipe it contained called for
chopped dried plums (prunes).
With that recipe as a guide, I
made legitimate plum pudding
every year for the holidays. My son
and I were particularly fond of the
You can use the recipe and serve
it to relatives and dinner guests so
they won’t have to eat counterfeit
plum pudding this year.
The recipe below is taken from
that cookbook.
When cold air is nipping at your
nose, a hot toddy is a very warm
and satisfying cocktail. It’s also a very simple drink that
doesn’t require a college degree in mixology. With your
favorite tea bag, the cocktail can be flavored just about
any way you’d like. Try a hot toddy when Jack Frost pays
you a visit.
On The Menu
With Jim Durfey
December 2014 — 20
Plum Pudding
1/4 c. butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 c. sugar
6 eggs
1/2 c. chopped citron
1 1/2 c. pitted prunes, chopped
1/2 c. dark raisins
1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. fine bread crumbs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
Whipped cream, for garnish
Cream butter and sugar together in electric mixer. Beat in
eggs, one at a time. Combine citron, prunes, raisins, and
pecans in another bowl. Add flour to fruit-nut mixture and
toss. Add to egg mixture along with bread crumbs,
cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Blend for one minute.
Grease and flour souffle dish, about 4” by 7”. Pour batter
into pan and bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, or until
nicely browned. Serve warm by spooning out, or cool and
cut into pieces. Garnish with whipped cream. Makes eight
Hot Toddy
1 1/2 oz. brandy, whiskey, or rum
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 lemon
1 c. hot water
1 tea bag
Coat bottom of mug or Irish coffee glass with honey. Add
liquor and juice of a lemon quarter. On the side, heat water
in tea kettle and add tea bag to make hot tea. Pour steaming
tea into mug and stir.
Counterfeit plum pudding? Not this year!
Iowa woman locked up
after she’s locked out of home
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police say an Iowa woman who was
locked out of her apartment has been locked up after officers who
helped her regain entry found pot plants and drug paraphernalia
Iowa City police say 19-year-old Jailin Turner is charged with
possession of a controlled substance and other crimes. It’s unclear
whether she has an attorney.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the officers were sent to
investigate a report early Friday morning about a woman yelling
and banging on an apartment window. She told them she’d lost her
The officers said in the complaint that when firefighters broke
into the apartment, two bongs were in plain view.
Officials also said they found a scale, potted marijuana plants
and grow lights.
News Lite
— Tuesday, December 2
• Holiday Market Room,
Tuesdays-Saturdays, through Dec.
24, Lewistown
— Thursday, December 4
• Retired and Seniors Volunteer
Program Holiday Open House,
Miles City
— Friday, December 5
• Christmas Stroll, 5:30-8 p.m.,
downtown Dillon
• Christmas Stroll, 5:30-8 p.m.,
around Miles City
• Barn Players, Inc., “A Fairy Tale
Christmas Carol” family play and
dessert bar, through Dec. 6, doors
open 7:30 p.m., production begins
8 p.m., Eagles Lodge Rainbow
Room, Miles City
• Christmas Stroll, through Dec.
6, 6-9 p.m., Red Lodge
— Saturday December 6
• North Pole Adventure, Charlie
Russell Chew Choo, Saturdays,
through Dec. 20, 5 p.m. and 7:30
p.m., Lewistown
— Sunday, December 7
• Monarch-Neihart Community
and Senior Center “all you can
eat” breakfast, 8-11 a.m., Neihart
• Christmas to Remember, 11
a.m.-6:30 p.m., Laurel
— Friday, December 12
• Festival of Trees, 4 p.m., Town
and Country Club, Miles City
• Winter Art Walk, 6-8 p.m.,
downtown Bozeman
— Saturday, December 13
• Ice Sculpting Contest, 9 a.m.-3
p.m., Butte
• Holiday Candlelight Tours of
Lewis and Clark Caverns, 10
a.m.-2:45 p.m., Whitehall
• Winter Wonderland, 1-5 p.m.,
Belle Prairie Road, Glendive
• Crazy Mountain Museum
Christmas Open House, 1-5
p.m., Big Timber
• Billings Symphony: Holiday
Tour of Homes, 7:30 p.m.,
— Sunday, December 14
• Crazy Mountain Museum
Christmas Open House, 1-5
p.m., Big Timber
• Christmas Bird Count, 3 p.m.,
West Yellowstone
— Thursday, December 18
• Rodeo Run Sled Dog Races,
through Dec. 20, West Yellowstone
— Saturday, December 20
• Holiday Candlelight Tours of
Lewis and Clark Caverns,
through Dec. 22, 10 a.m.-2:45
p.m., Whitehall
• Crazy Mountain Museum
Christmas Open House, 1-5
p.m., Big Timber
• Billings Symphony: Holiday
Spectacular, 7 p.m., Alberta Bair
Theater, Billings
— Sunday, December 21
• Crazy Mountain Museum
Christmas Open House, 1-5
p.m., Big Timber
• Southeastern Montana Fiddlers,
2-5 p.m., Range Riders Museum,
Miles City
— Wednesday, December 24
• Christmas Eve Torchlight
Parade and Services, 5:30-9
p.m., Big Sky
— Saturday, December 27
• Ice Skating at Bannack State
Park, through Feb. 28, Dillon
• Holiday Candlelight Tours of
Lewis and Clark Caverns, 10
a.m.-2:45 p.m., Whitehall
— Wednesday, December 31
• Billings Symphony, Orchestra
and Chorale, Beatles Tribute:
Classical Mystery Tour, 8 p.m.,
Alberta Bair Theater, Billings
December 2014 — 21
December 2014 Calendar
RSVP, from Page 19
on display for sale.
- Always have various needs
for your skills and volunteer ser-
vices in our community.
Contact: RSVP Volunteer
Coordinator, 404 W. Broadway,
Wells Fargo Bank building,
(upstairs), Lewistown, MT
59457; phone (406) 535-0077;
Musselshell, Golden
Valley & Petroleum
- America Reads: Tutor stu-
dents in the important skill of
reading. Other tutoring is inter-
twined with this program.
- Food Bank: Distribute food
commodities to seniors and oth-
ers in the community; help
unload the truck as needed.
- Meals on Wheels Program:
Deliver meals to the house-
bound in the community, just
one day a week, an hour and a
half, meal provided.
- Nursing Home: Piano play-
ers and singers needed on Fri-
days to entertain residents,
also assistant needed in activi-
ties for residents to enrich sup-
ported lifestyle.
- School Lunch Program: Help
serve and supervise children in
the lunch room, meal provided.
- Senior Bus: Volunteers to
pickup folks whom are unable
to drive themselves.
- Senior Center: Volunteers are
needed to provide meals, clean
up in the dining room and/or
keep records; meal provided.
- RSVP offers maximum flex-
ibility and choice to its volun-
teers as it matches the personal
interests and skills of older
Americans with opportunities to
serve their communities. You
choose how and where to serve.
Volunteering is an opportunity
to learn new skills, make friends
and connect with your commu-
Contact: Amanda Turley,
South Central MT RSVP, 315
1/2 Main St., Ste. #1, Roundup,
MT 59072; phone (406) 323-
1403; fax (406) 323-4403;
email: rdprsvp2@midrivers.
com ; Facebook: South Central
Custer & Rosebud
- Clinic Ambassador: Need
volunteer to greet patients and
visitors, providing directions
and more.
- City of Miles City and Mon-
tana Dept. of Military Affairs:
Clerical assistance needed.
- Custer County Food Bank:
Volunteers needed for food dis-
tribution Tuesdays, Wednesdays
and Thursdays.
- Custer County Network
Against Domestic Violence:
Crisis line volunteer needed.
- Historic Miles City Acade-
my: Volunteers needed to assist
in thrift store and maintenance.
- Holy Rosary Health Care:
Volunteer receptionists needed
at the front desk.
- Kircher School: Volunteer to
deliver lunches from Miles City
to school, 2-3 times per week,
lunch provided and mileage
- St. Vincent DePaul: Volun-
teers to assist in several different
- WaterWorks Art Museum:
Volunteer receptionists needed,
2 hour shifts Tuesdays-Sundays.
If you are interested in these
or other volunteer opportunities
please contact: Betty Vail, RSVP
Director; 210 Winchester Ave.
#225, MT 59301; phone (406)
234-0505; email: rsvp05@mid-
Dawson County
- Local Farm to Table Store:
Someone to help in and during
store hours, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- RSVP Program: Looking to
establish “Telephone Reassur-
ance” program entailing volun-
teers (needed) calling shut-ins
on a regular basis to check on
their welfare.
If you have a need for or a spe-
cial interest or desire to volun-
teer somewhere in the commu-
nity, please contact: Patty
Atwell, RSVP Director, 604
Grant, Glendive, MT 59330;
phone (406) 377-4716; email:
Q. What’s up when an oceanic dolphin
engages in the activity of “logging”?
A. Inactivity is a better word for it. Here a
dolphin rests on the surface of the water,
looking a lot like a floating log, as reported
in National Geographic’s “Ultimate
Bodypedia,” by Christina Wilsdon, et al.
Dolphins are air-breathing mammals that
need to keep drawing in air as they sleep, so
every few minutes, they need to re-awaken
and return to the surface. Their way of
doing this is to sleep only one side of their
brain at a time; the other side is just awake
enough to remember to come up for air very
regularly and to keep an eye out for danger.
“Most other ocean mammals also engage in
this half-brain sleeping.”
Q. A number of recent studies in
various countries have found that high-
school students perform better when
school starting times are pushed back to
8:30 a.m. or later. Why?
A. “Biological research shows that
circadian rhythms shift during the teen
years, pushing boys and girls to stay up later
at night and sleep later into the morning,”
reports Mark Fischetti in “Scientific
American” magazine. Driven by melatonin
in the brain, this shift starts around age 13
and gradually increases until it peaks at ages
17-19. Delaying high-school starting time
so that teens can get closer to their optimal
eight or nine hours of sleep had dramatic
effects: grades improved on average by a
quarter letter, attendance increased,
depression rates decreased and car crashes
declined. The common arguments against
later starting time — that they interfere with
after-school activities or part-time jobs —
are not supported by data. Even the “bus
issue” can be resolved by bussing young
children first and teens last, since the
younger ones are more awake and ready to
learn early in the morning.
Says education researcher Kyla
Wahlstrom, “Once these school districts
change, they don’t want to go back.”
Q. In an emergency, could you receive
a blood transfusion from the family dog
or some other animal?
A. Not on your life. As you know, blood
types and compatibility are critical issues. It
was 1901 when Karl Landsteiner discovered
blood types A, B and O, says Veronique
Greenwood in “Discover” magazine. Today
there are fully 33 typing systems recognized
by the International Society of Blood
Transfusion, with names like Lutheran,
Duffy, Hh/Bombay and Ok. Blood types
refer to the different molecules on the
surface of red blood cells, which if
mismatched can trigger a fatal immune
Interestingly, blood types are not unique
to humans; dogs have more than a dozen.
Before blood types were discovered, doctors
experimented with transfusions between
humans and animals, with disastrous results.
In 1667, physician Jean-Baptiste Denis
twice infused a man with calf’s blood,
attempting to cure his mental illness, but
after a larger second transfusion, he began
vomiting and passing black urine. With the
third transfusion, the man died. Denis was
tried for murder but was acquitted when
evidence pointed to the patient having been
poisoned with arsenic. As historian Holly
Tucker wrote in her book “Blood Work”:
“Other doctors had orchestrated the
poisoning, fearing the procedure was
morally dangerous, and wanting to make
sure Denis failed before he started a trend.”
Q. What does a car sound like, and
who cares?
A. Make that a new car, and plenty of
people care, especially those in the market
for one and those eager to make a sale.
Manufacturers are well aware of how
consumers take a rather extensive
automotive sounding, says Pam Frost
Gorder in “New Scientist” magazine. Give
that door a slam! Does it issue a pleasing
thunk? When safety legislation insisted on
extra metal in doors, a tinny sound resulted,
requiring some adjustment in the weight of
other door components such as door locks
and hinge design, to achieve a “clean”
slamming sound.
Also, tap on the dashboard. As many as
one out of four would-be buyers in one study
actually did so as they looked over a car,
meaning the acoustics of the glove
compartment might become a selling or
killing feature. Finally, fiddle with the
windows. Experiments suggest that to
convey high-quality, “electric windows
should sound quiet and dull and have a
stable motor speed when opened or closed. It
seems we prefer our windows to be boring.”
Q. The bright red bumper sticker on
the car ahead of you reads, “If this sticker
is blue, then you are driving too fast.”
Physicists get the joke. Do you?
A. First, a quick lesson on the “Doppler
effect”: When a fire truck races on past, the
siren comes toward you at one pitch, then
the pitch drops noticeably as it goes by, says
John Henshaw in “an (equation) for every
occasion = 52 formulas + (why) they
matter.” The Doppler effect also works with
light waves, with the color of an
approaching object appearing bluer (higher
“pitch”) and one moving away appearing
redder (lower “pitch”). But the speed of
light (186,000 miles per second) is so much
larger than the speed of a car that the color
shifts are entirely negligible. Indeed, to shift
a red bumper sticker all the way to blue, you
would have to approach the car in front of
you at about 60 percent the speed of light, or
112,000 miles per second! Hence the joke.
The radar guns used by police to measure
vehicle speeds rely on the Doppler effect.
They emit microwaves that bounce off the
car and back again, where their frequency is
measured. The change in frequency
(“pitch”) from the transmitted to the
reflected microwaves reveals the speed of
the target. Though these changes are tiny,
they have been accurately measured for
many years: Police first used this type of
technology against speeding cars in the
United States in 1954. “Christian Johann
Doppler would have been proud.”
Q. What does the University of
California, Berkeley, “Wellness Letter”
mean when it cautions, “Stay well! Better
respect a ‘hericane’ as much as a
‘himicane’?” Don’t let such stormy, if
nominal, sexism blow you away.
A. According to the “Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences,” people
tend to perceive female-named storms as
less of a threat and thus become more
susceptible to their deadly consequences,
December 2014 — 22
By Bill Sones and Rich Sones, Ph.D.
Send STRANGE questions to brothers Bill and Rich at
What is a dolphin doing when it’s ‘logging’?
the newsletter reports. When researchers
looked at 92 strong hurricanes that hit the
U.S. between 1950-2012, they found that
those with more feminine names were dead-
lier, and further calculated that “changing
the more masculine name of a severe hurri-
cane to a more feminine one could almost
triple the death toll” — “a hazardous form of
implicit sexism.”
It appears that female storms — stereo-
typed as “weak and passive” — are not tak-
en as seriously as their “strong and aggres-
sive” male counterparts, resulting in less pre-
paredness. “Perhaps it’s time to switch to
unisex names for hurricanes — like Ariel,
Brett, Cassidy, Dylan, Randy and Terry,” the
newsletter suggests. “Or as one radio show
host quipped, at least give female hurricanes
foreboding nicknames, like ‘Tiffany—the
Devourer of Worlds.’”
Q. Cat lovers, you probably already
know that cats are solitary hunters of
small prey, unlike large-game pack-hunt-
ing dogs. But can you cite some lesser
known catty curiosities?
A. Did you think of these? Since cats hunt
even when not hungry, they consume barely
a quarter of their prey, while most are simply
left “in situ,” or brought back as gifts for
“lucky” cat owners, says Gemma Tarlach in
“Discover” magazine. As typical low-light
hunters, cats have evolved enormous eyes,
with outdoor cats tending toward being far-
sighted, indoor cats nearsighted. Still, even
though cats can’t focus well up close, they
can rely on their whiskers and excellent
sense of smell to complete most tasks. Their
sense of taste, however, is limited, cats being
one of the few mammals that lack taste
receptors for sweetness, perhaps because
they need meat, not sweets. “Cats are obli-
gate carnivores that get their energy from
protein rather than carbohydrates.”
Says Tarlach, “We’ll soon have a com-
plete genetic image of cats, since recently
the 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequence
Initiative began collecting DNA samples
from cats worldwide.” The resulting data-
base will be used “to research both feline
diseases and some human ailments, includ-
ing diabetes, which affect cats similarly —
and for which we share risk factors such as a
sedentary lifestyle.”
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Hartford, not AARP or its affliates. Paid endorsement. The Hartford pays a royalty fee to AARP for the use of AARP’s intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP membership is
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1 Jewelerʼs concerns
9 Coke product
15 Passed
16 “Top Hat” dancer
17 How Dickensʼ novels
were first published
18 Is wild about
19 Backwash creator
20 Montreal Canadiensʼ
all-time leading point
22 Toon shopkeeper
23 Signals oneʼs pres-
ence, in a way
25 Highly visible septet
27 Year in Clement VIIIʼs
28 Piquancy
29 Silly sorts
30 Jump back into the
32 Clingy husk
33 Paper fatteners
34 Flips
38 Hot air ballooning
watchdog: Abbr.
39 Almond confection
40 About 1% of the
Earthʼs atmosphere
43 Engine once known as
Live Search
44 Abbey section
45 Gig at the brig
47 Your alternative, at
48 Taper off
49 1974 top ten hit for
Carole King
51 Kenyan export
53 Green Giant morsel
55 Dietary practice
57 Efface
58 Sea along the Balkan
59 Letter closing
60 Buoys up
1 Underwhelming
2 She played Principal
McGee in “Grease”
3 View providers
4 Prefix with athlete
5 Right-leaning type?:
6 Bourbon Street city,
7 Drivers can be seen in
8 Broad view
9 Mountebank
10 Five-time A.L. home
run champ
11 A BMOC may have a
big one
12 Colorful cover-up
13 Brunch order
14 Guarantee
21 Whisking target
24 Miss badly
26 Blofeldʼs cat, in Bond
27 Picture of health?
28 “Iʼm off!”
31 Baryshnikov move
32 Wimbledon five-peat-
34 Largest moon of Jupi-
35 Fondness
36 Submits, as an exam
37 Topeka-to-Peoria dir.
39 Bar __
40 Handout from a chair
41 40th anniversary sym-
42 Unintelligible talk
43 Sawyer of old comics
46 “Antiques Roadshow”
47 Booth warning sign
50 Onetime capital of the
Mughal Empire
52 Pacers and Ramblers
54 Bk. of the Torah
56 Baseballʼs Ryan Zim-
merman or Jordan Zim-
mermann, briefly
December 2014 — 23
Good only from participating Miracle-Ear
locations. One
coupon per purchase. No other offers or discounts apply.
Discount does not apply to prior sales. Offer valid on ME-1 or
ME-2 Solutions. Cannot combine with any other offers. Cash
value 1/20 cent. Offer expires 12/31/2014.
Buy One Fully Digital
Miracle-Ear Hearing Aid and
Get the Second One 50% Of!
buy one,
get one
© 2014 Miracle-Ear, Inc.
1527 14th St. West
Billings, MT 59102
Wolf Point
702 N. 19th Ave. Suite 1-C
Bozeman, MT 59718
18 N. 8th Street Suite #8
Miles City, MT 59301
Steven Howell NBC-HIS
National Board Certifed in Hearing Instruments Science 28 years Experience in the Hearing Aid Industry
*If you are not completely satisfed, the aids may be returned for a full refund within 30 days of the completion of ftting, in satisfactory condition. Fitting fees may apply. See store for details. Hearing aids do not restore
natural hearing. Individual experiences vary depending on severity of hearing loss, accuracy of evaluation, proper ft and ability to adapt to amplifcation.
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