Missoula: The Town And The People

by Travis Mateer

This is the time of year when people like to make predictions about the future. While engaging in the “what ifs” of prediction-making can be fun, I’m more interested in examining the past for clues to our current predicament.

The title of this post is ALSO the title of a book released in 1987 by Betty Wetzel. What I’m discovering in old printed materials like this book are fascinating insights into the development of this town during time periods where our local influencers were less self-conscious about communicating their visions for Missoula.

Chapter 8 is simply titled DOERS and features the perspective of the Lambros clan. Here’s a fascinating quote from Dan Lambros. Remember, this is 1987 we’re talking about here:

Dan philosophizes, “As we move from an industrial society into an information society, I think we have all the ingredients in place to make Missoula very attractive to such industries as bio-tech, high-tech–quality endeavors which will be attracted here because of our lifestyle. We’re talking about brainpower. In business the most important thing is your work force. We have got to tell potential industries that their people will be happy here.

How is this Lambros vision for Missoula going in 2021? Are the high-tech people happy? How about the bio-tech people? And what the people serving them food and coffee? Anything about them, Dan?

We don’t want the kind of people or industries which will degrade our way of life. I think we are putting in place all the ingredients to make this happen. We are going to live by our own design. We are not going to be victims. We have got to figure out who we want–and those people who are going to destroy what we have here, we don’t want. We must take control of our own lives.

Yes, Dan, I TOTALLY AGREE. If we don’t take control of our lives, then “those people”–the opportunists and gentrifiers and subsidy snatchers–will destroy what we have here.

I’m fighting back against these MFers, even if they are ostensibly home-grown locals, like our forever Mayor, because I am NOT going to live by their design for me and my family.

I hope you’ll join me in this inspired endeavor in 2022. Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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2 Responses to Missoula: The Town And The People

  1. JC says:

    Ok, I’ve got to blow off a little steam, and I apologize if this is the wrong post, but here we go:

    Yesterday’s Missoula Current had an article wherein the United Way’s Susan Hay Patrick basically comes out begging the community to donate used blankets (preferably wool) to homeless folks using the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space shelter. She mentions there are currently 20 folks in need of blankets.


    Oh, my heart strings have been pulled, and if I had an extra blanket I would go and donate it to the designated Rescue Mission’s Hope Thrift Boutique–I really would. Except, WTF is Susan Hay Patrick doing using her position at United Way and personal name to ask people to donate used items to another business, who then may give them to homeless people, or resell them to the city/county who is running the shelter?

    United Way Missoula has a near-million dollar a year budget, and a million and a half in assets:


    So why and the hell can’t Patrick just liberate a thousand dollars of that budget and go out and buy 40 new wool blankets and give each resident two? And keep her god damn mouth shut and quit using homeless people as a megaphone to advertise her, her nonprofit, and another businesses interests?

    • I saw that article and sometimes feel some local actions are a form of trolling. What Susan Hey might be hoping for is more content from places like this blog to make a case of harassment. I’m still under the UNSAFE designation from Microsoft Defender, which I’ll put some time into trying to address next week.

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