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The only reason I wasn’t born in Montana is because my parents lived somewhere else at the time.

Not sure either of them had ever been anywhere close to Montana. I kept telling Dad, “Go North Young Man.” He never listened.

In 1993 the wife and I packed up and set out to live our dreams in Montana. We never looked back. We feel sorry for others unfortunate enough not to live here.

I Need A Montana Card

So how long do you have to live here before you're a naturalized Montanan?

I want to be official. Put a “Native — Sort of” bumper sticker on my car. Is there a test I can take? Some oath?

Even after 20 plus years of giving my all to Montana insiders still make me feel somewhat ostracized.

I need the secret handshake so I can sit on the downtown bench and make fun of tourists — rather than feel like one.

Yokel Not Local

My driver’s license is Montana. My address is Montana. My dog’s name is Montana or maybe Butte. I forget.

I’ve even been to Butte for God’s Sake. That should count for something.

I meet people on the street and they are always cordial and greet me with a big smile and a “howdy partner.”

Yet I silently wonder after we’ve passed each other if they share, “You know, he’s not local.”

Some Final Thoughts

We need a date — A time frame that makes you an official Montanan. It shouldn’t be a short amount of time but also not unreasonably long.

There might be some milestones you have to achieve like surviving a two-foot snowfall or -30 below temperatures.

Attending a certain amount of Sweet Pea’s or Christmas Strolls. Eating a Bison burger at least once a year.

Much like merit badges in the scouts.

I really don’t think that’s too much to ask. I think I’ve paid my dues. I’ve been a pretty vocal proponent of Montana.

It’s way past time to make me official.

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