Monday Medley: Hairy Highlanders, Maskless Kids And Missoula’s Interpretive Media Implementation Plan

by Travis Mateer

If you LOVE cows as much as Deputy County Attorney, Wally Congdon, loves cows, then this picture might be enough to get that cowboy itch going, especially as spring brings calving season. The article about Wally and his majestic Highlanders is really quite something. Monte Turner, the reporter, seems to be outdoing himself with the fascinating length and detail of this article.

Imagine this energy being put toward reporting on Mandamus hearings, or a canine rabies execution, or dead spouses. Here’s an excerpt:

Telling the age of a Highlander is the same as a bighorn sheep. They develop a distinctive ring on their horns for each year of life. 

Besides size, the most noticeable difference between the sexes is their horns. A bull’s horns often grow forward or even slightly downward and have a much wider base, whereas a cow’s horns face upward and are longer and finer at the tip. 

These animals have become very popular in the art community with stuffed toys, original, metal and poster art, and many steak restaurants will find room to have a head-mount in their establishment. To purchase the head and horns of a large bull runs around $2,000 before you even take it to the taxidermist for a shoulder mount. 

There doesn’t seem to be much demand for the hides, though. 

“We sometimes sell just the hollow horns for black powder purposes, or wine,” said McMillan.

A head-mount, you say? That sounds like the kind of steak restaurant Mineral County Sheriff, Ryan Funke, would definitely appreciate. Ok, on to the next story.

The emergency school board meeting yesterday for my kids school was probably the most anti-climatic Zoom meeting I could have imagined regarding the possibility of masking the kids. Why? Because the meeting was called to make sure the required masking is NO LONGER required when the Covid count is “high”, whatever that means.

It was rather surreal to be one of only 12 participants in this quick meeting where the only longing for masking was made by Jennifer Long, though she acknowledged it wouldn’t be realistic.

My, how far we’ve come.

The last story for today’s medley makes me worried, but only because Donna Gaukler sometimes ponders engaging in financial terrorism from her Parks and Rec perch, so this “media implementation plan” is something I’m immediately suspicious of. Here’s how the desire to tell stories through interpretive signs is being framed by The Gaukler (emphasis mine):

They are the three most visited parks in town — Caras Park, East Caras Park and Bess Reed Park along Ron’s River Trail — with the river, the mountains, and Missoula as backdrops.

Imagine all the things that happened here over the centuries.

“The desire to tell our community’s stories in those parks is really high,” Gaulker told MTN News.

Missoula Parks and Recreation, the Downtown Missoula Partnership, and Destination Missoula are working to develop a Media Implementation Plan.

The idea is to create interpretive signs along the riverfront, to tell the stories of our past or future.

Um, the FUTURE? What stories about the future is The Gaukler talking about? The near-future where Dave Strohmaier’s passenger train takes all the bad people away?

Before wrapping this Monday medley up, I wanted to note that I mistakingly said City Club is happening this week in the week in review and that’s not right, it’s NEXT Monday that the Higgins Corridor Reduction plan will be discussed at City Club. I cannot wait to attend.

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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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