A Field Of Schemes In Wally World

by Travis Mateer

Do you know what’s it’s like to see a famous cowboy in person? It’s pretty exciting, especially if you catch him making the sort of tough sacrifices today’s subject has made, leaving the fields he LOVES for the necessity of the Mineral County Courthouse’s copy room.

This blurry picture of “Wally” in the wild is what broadened my appreciation of Mineral County’s solution to the shit show formerly known as Ellen Donahue. Why Wally? Because he’s been all around the state, doing law stuff, talking about “dirt roots”, and allegedly giving his special Scottish cows the kind of lives that’s supposed to make them tasty when served on fancy plates at restaurants like Cafe Dolce.

I mention Cafe Dolce, the painstakingly beautiful building built by Peter Lambros, because my research into Wally uncovered not just a love of beef, but a real estate deal. Here’s Lambros talking up Wally’s beef 14 years ago, after his restaurant on Brooks Street opened (emphasis mine):

“We find that the more you know the source, the more you have confidence in the product you’re serving,” said Lambros last week, as his restaurant on Brooks Street buzzed with a lunch crowd.

Lambros knows the sources quite well, in a circular sort of way.

One is Wally Congdon, owner of Big Sky Natural Beef near the small town of Lima, and of the Congdon family that Lambros purchased his land from.

I had no clue about this Lambros connection when I sought out the wisdom of Wally Congdon last Friday regarding HOW active the apparently active Rebekah Barsotti case is. I mean, she’s dead. She’s been autopsied twice. Her “former spouse” has her ashes. So why tease Rebekah’s mother with FINALLY releasing personal items, including Rebekah’s laptop, and the chance to get the COURT-ORDERED back up of the laptops hard-drive?

I made my report on what I learned from Congdon in the only place that felt appropriate: by cows.

If you don’t want to watch the clip, the big takeaway is Congdon defines “active” however he wants, making the word almost meaningless. Wally literally told me (since he doesn’t use email) that the ONLY part of the case that is active is the part where the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office has yet to release Rebekah’s personal items. Somehow Wally absolved himself of timely carrying out this court-order because “drama”. And something about lawyers, and waiting for calls back.

Again, Wally Congdon, a Deputy Attorney, told me he conducts most of his business by phone, and not email, so it’s difficult to convey exactly how evasive he was when NOT really answering my question. He DID light up a bit when I mentioned my research into his cowboy fame. But that’s because he hasn’t heard my song yet.

Before the song, I really need readers to understand how seemingly credible this hall of fame bio makes Wally Congdon sound. Definitely not the kind of cowboy who would let ANY of his cows starve to death. Right, Wally?

Wally, a practicing lawyer and currently the Deputy County Attorney for Civil Matters for Lake County was fresh out of law school when he went to work at his father’s law practice in Missoula. His legal career includes, city attorney for Lima, County Attorney for Beaverhead County as well as a Deputy County Attorney for Beaverhead County, Special Deputy County Attorney from Lincoln to Prairie County and numerous places in-between. Across the state, he’s known as the guy to call, about any help with federal agencies regarding preserving grazing, timber, agricultural opportunities as well as water quality and availability.

Utilizing his legal expertise, Wally authored all the state and federal law for certified natural and certified grass-fed beef that is in existence today. He also created the template that is used for every right to farm ordinance in Montana. Preservation of Montana’s “dirt roots” is a personal priority to him.

It’s really hilarious that FEEDING cows is such an important focus for Wally. It came up in that article, because what you feed the things you eat became a nice selling point for restauranteurs, like Peter Lambros:

“The humanity of how an animal is treated, if you look at today’s cattle industry, it’s a pretty tough world,” said Lambros. “The maturity span (for Scottish Highland cattle) is at least double, and they’re allowed to grow into adult cows. Basically, they have a good life.”

Yes, I’m sure those cows had a GREAT life, just like I’m sure there are no complaints that have EVER been filed to ANY government entity about maltreatment of any kind.

Now, how about that song?

Thanks for reading/watching/listening!

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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4 Responses to A Field Of Schemes In Wally World

  1. As Rebekah’s Mom – the only drama that I am aware of is the calls to my attorney stating Mineral County was going to release the laptop. Mineral County was reminded, I have a court order to receive a hard copy, (which could have been accomplished months ago, but I am not the one to determine when items can be released). Within 48 hours we were ready. Then apparently, Mineral County withdrew the intent to release the laptop and provide the opportunity to create a hard copy. The next phone call was to inform my attorney that Rebekah’s personal items were ready to be released. Again, Mineral County was reminded I have a court order stating I have the right to inspect the items. Arrangements were actually made to participate in that process within less than 36 hours. Again, Mineral County withdrew the intent to release the items. Most recently, David Barsotti is apparently anxious to get Rebekah’s guns back. According to David’s attorney, Julie Sirrs I am the delay? Again, in less that 24 hours, arrangements were made to participate in this process. Again, Mineral County Wally Congdon did not follow through. BTW, Wally Congdon also boasts of a 90 foot hole where Rebekah supposedly got caught up on a metal structure. (She must have gently collided with this structure as there is no physical proof of that happening or of her being torn away and released from it in the rushing water run off). Brad Smith from Wings of Hope offered to ride the river to the site with Wally Congdon. Brad’s boat, sonar and depth finder at Wally’s disposal. Wally didn’t follow through with that offer either.

  2. amastrovito56 says:

    Mineral County needs to understand one thing…..I am not going away…..friends and supporters are not going away.. ..Rebekah’s Legacy is just getting started so it is not going away.

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