Tag Archives: Montrose



Tree and roots
photo by tricky on Flickr

At first glance, if you blink while zipping past the gigantic bull’s head sculpture on I-90, McCook County is fairly unremarkable. On the map, it’s a pretty boring square, sliced in half north and south by the interstate highway. Zipping toward Sioux Falls or the Black Hills, you don’t see the valley thickets or the rocky rolling hills or the towering cottonwoods lining the streams and lakes. You’d miss the diversity of the soil and the careful geometry of the grain fields. You’d fly right by the people and real places.

Besides a few years away at college, I’ve lived in McCook County all my life. It’s strange, but I’d never before stopped to think a bit about just how rooted I am here. Forward and backward, the Montrose area is part of my generational being. My four daughters are at least the fifth generation to live in this place–on every side of the family. All of their great-grandparents were raised here, and raised their children and their children’s children right here.

My Lakota friends talk of being mindful of how your actions and decisions will impact seven generations of family (and what the previous seven would expect of you). My great grandchildren will be that seventh generation in this community called Montrose, and though they may not call it home by then, this soil and this place and the legacy of my great grandparents will nourish their soul and call them it’s children. An emotional reflection for me today.

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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Family


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Get Your Spud-tacular Parade Entry Registered

Word from Rani: It’s time to register that parade entry for the Fourth SpudFest in Montrose. The big deal is August 21st, complete with sugar-hyped middle-schoolers on fast lawn mowers  and cow poop bingo for all.

To get in the parade, call Rani or Janel with your fun and spectacular idea by August 15th. If you need their numbers, just email me.

And here’s the best gaurantee in all the land:

“SpudFest 2010 is guaranteed to be SPUDTASTIC or your potatoes are FREE!”

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Posted by on July 13, 2010 in Montrose


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Big shot.

McCook Central-Montrose in the District Championship. Tie game with 1.5 seconds left. (Hat tip to Mommyville.)


Posted by on March 8, 2010 in etc., video


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All the World’s a Parade

Montrose homecoming parade this past Friday. A sexy banner holder for the Daycare, first graders lovin’ it, third graders just doin’ it and Uncle Ray squashin’ it. Not pictured: one awesome marching band, lots of tractors and some horse manure. The Fighting Cougars won a nail biter 6-0.

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Zoey was proudly sporting a new tshirt.


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Posted by on September 21, 2009 in Celebrations, Family, football


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The Bartblog Challenge (make ’em proud Montrose)

I was at a conference on the future of Rural communities last week in Sioux Falls, where I co-hosted a session with a friend of mine. The session went pretty well, and it was in large part because my pal Jerry came up with a really powerful question for the crowd to dialogue on. He asked “What will our grandchildren praise us for having started today?”

I’ve been thinking about that question a while now, and how it relates to my own life. One of the things I hope our grandchildren are proud of one day is the Montrose Area Foundation. OK, so this sounds like a shameless plug. Because it is. But, I really feel it’s that important for our little village. Montrose has made a big turnaround over the past several years while taking part in the Horizons program. It’s made a difference because so many people have pitched in to keep the momentum and excitement going (thank you for that, y’all). What kind of excitement? People are jacked about the idea that we can create our own future here–we don’t have to sit back and let our little town and our rural way of life disappear if we don’t want to.

There are all kinds of good projects going on, and we’ve been blessed with a little funding to pay for them  (thanks, Northwest Area Foundation). The Montrose Area Foundation provides a way for all of us to pitch in what we can to be sure neat little projects can take place in our community every year. Forever. It’s much like a savings account for our community. We all put in some money, that money gets invested on our behalf by the smart folks at SD Community Foundation, and we use the interest we gain to make small grants to worthy causes each year. The grants will always be selected by a group of local volunteers, and will always be used for good projects in and around Montrose. Our money, our decisions, our future.

Let me say that again: every single dollar you put in will make a difference for Montrose’s grandchildren, and their grandchildren. It’s a pretty sweet project.

So, we (I am on the founding board of the Foundation) are in the middle of a funding campaign for the Foundation. Our courageous goal is to raise $100,000. If we hit that goal, the SDCF will give us a matching grant of another $25,000. So, we’d then have $125,000 and counting in our account, which would turn into more than $6,000 in local grants every year, and grow from there.

We’ll have a booth at the Irish SpudFest this weekend. If you’re in town, please stop by and make a donation. If you won’t be here for the big community bash, that’s OK. You can send a check or make a pledge over time. You could even donate a wagon of corn, some land, a house or car, or include the Montrose Area Foundation in your will. All the usual ways to leave something behind for the next generations.

You can mail a check or make a pledge to:

Montrose Area Foundation
PO Box 182
Montrose, SD 57048

If you have any questions, just shoot me an email and I’ll get you the details. By the way, this isn’t about asking everyone for big bucks. Just give whatever you can, wether that’s twenty bucks or twenty thousand. Every dollar counts. In fact, Jaim and I have been saving up for this. We’d like to challenge you to make a donation. Every dollar that goes to the Montrose Area Foundation between now and the end of 2009 from Bartblog readers will be matched by us, up to $1000. You heard me.

So, here’s your chance to make me give away some money. It’s simple:

  1. Make a donation or pledge to the Foundation before December 31, 2009
  2. Email me to let me know how much you’ve pledged or donated
  3. Jaimie and I match it up to a total of $1000 (maybe more if others want to play too)
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Posted by on August 19, 2009 in Celebrations, etc., money, Montrose


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Community Gardening

The Montrose Community Garden is different than most. No plots you can rent. Just a group of volunteers who plant and nurture veggies out there, and harvest them every early Saturday morning to share with the whole village. Donations are accepted, but not expected.

This past weekend, the bounty was beets, carrots, onions, monster cabbage and zucchini. All wonderful. We were too late to grab some carrots, but Uncle Ray invited me to come down any evening and dig a few up. I think I will, but it’ll be more about digging stuff up with Ray than about wanting carrots.

Because of all the beets, there were a whole lot of greens piling up around the garden market on Main Street. The community gardeners sent all the “waste” home with me to turn into compost. It took two trips, and I found about a dozen beets in the bottom of one container that were missed (I brought them back uptown).

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Posted by on July 14, 2009 in compost, garden


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