Our sons, Leif and Cedric, perform a repertoire fur trade era and other 19th century music. They dress in period-appropriate clothing and play on era-authentic guitar, banjo, bones, and other instruments. Between songs they give spoken historical explanations. They perform as Eric and Arty of the Upper Missouri.
This takes them to a variety of venues where the history of those eras is being preserved and re-enacted. In one instance, western artist C. Michael Dudash was present for an informal evening around a campfire. He made Leif the subject of a new work of art, titled "Six Stringer." The work is oil on linen, 16" h x 12" w, dated 2/9/17.
The March-April 2019 issue of Art of the West features it on the cover. Dudash says, page 9,
As a lifelong musician -- guitar, piano, mandolin -- it's only natural that paintings of pickers and players would be of special interest to me. The banjo is one of the truly original American instruments and comes with either four, five, or six strings and is strummed and played in several different ways. The six string is probably the rarest. I've seen only a couple in my day, and I actually had one several years back. I tuned it like a guitar. Painting old timers by campfire light is always challenging, but loads of fun."
The cover story by Sara Gilbert Frederick is about Dudash, titled "I’ll Never Retire; I’ll Always Paint."
Debra Gilbert, Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator, and I were privileged to be presenters at the Emergency Management Forum in Helena at the beginning of this month.
The Forum is organized by the Montana Department of Military Affairs, Disaster and Emergency Services Division. It brings together people working in a wide variety of organizations and roles to provide disaster and emergency services. There were people from all across Montana, from state agencies, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, from the North Dakota DES, from private relief agencies, and from industry.
The Forum was held for 3 days. Debra and I presented on Day 2. The theme of that day was Mutual Aid. I presented a paper that I wrote for the Forum titled, “Guide to Montana Mutual Aid Statutes .” Montana has over a dozen mutual aid statutes, and this has been a source for confusion and obstacles in achieving mutual aid during disasters and emergencies. My presentation surveyed the many statutes and simplified the process of using the right statute in the right way to make mutual aid happen.
Debra led a panel discussion on mutual aid, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” The discussion was of a very practical, rubber-meets-the-road nature and engaged the Forum with actual real-world examples. The session was especially helpful because, like so many when they first take on DES positions in county government, at first she says she had little idea what she was supposed to do. She charted a course for digging in, discovering the role, forming networks, and making mutual aid happen.
Unlike many such meetings, this Forum was productive in that we accumulated a list of action points and projects to pursue. Debra and I are working on interstate mutual aid agreement templates which can be so important to our own county because we are right on the border with North Dakota. We also learned the value of assembling an inventory of disaster and emergency assets for ourselves and to share with neighboring counties and the state DES.
Richland County asked the Montana Association of Counties to prepare a bill for the 2019 Montana Legislature to provide specific relief from land use regulation.
The bill gives county commissioners discretion to lift restrictive agricultural covenants from land that is leaving agricultural use but is going into a public use.
A law like this recently would have saved our rural electric cooperative over $80,000 in useless and time-consuming subdivision regulation studies. Since the cooperative will be using the land for an electrical substation to serve the residents of our county, there really was no reason for an expensive study of drinking water and sewer regulations. With this law, when local county commissioners can see that the regulations are useless, expensive, and a waste of time, they will be able to lift the restrictions.
In the photograph above, standing on the right is Loren H. Young, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, at the bill signing with the Governor of the State of Montana.
Art Of The West
C Michael Dudash
Disaster And Emergency Services
Eric And Artie Of The Upper Missouri
Eric Of The Upper Missouri
Fort Union Muzzleloaders
Loren H. Young
Montana Association Of Counties
Montana Infrastructure Coalition
Richland County Commissioners