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Trying to Understand the Montana Lifestyle

In today’s Bozeman Chronicle there was a story titledĀ Gallatin Valley Farm Fair returns for a 13th year. So after reading all the things that where going to happen at the farm fair, I started to understand how my upbringing in New York City was very different from that of a Bozeman kid.

Even on my show, we did a story about a woman who went hiking and was lost for a week. Luckily, they found her with her dog and it had a happy ending. But again, maybe there are somethings I will never understand. I feel different.

Hiking. You go into the woods and mountains and walk around. Why?

It seems so alien to me to go out in the hot sun and walk around for no purpose. Yet, God bless them, all my new Montana friends can’t let it go. People call in and try to tell me the joys of hiking. I have gotten offers to join them on a hike. Now, if I knew in the forest I might find money or gold, maybe a hike would seem reasonable, but again, why wouldn’t I use a car and drive into the wilderness? What if it starts to rain? The only time I would hike is if my car broke down and I had to “hike” to a gas station.

Does a friend really encourage you to go walk in the hot woods where you might be killed by a grizzly bear or a mountain lion? If I had children, telling them to go into the woods and walk around seems like child abuse.

The farm fair story talked about milking cows, bee hives and live pigs.

All I could think about was the smell. In Texas my radio station sent me to a rodeo to do some interviews. When I got there, I couldn’t even think of interviewing someone; it smelled like horse crap. No one talks about that. I tried to hold my nose and talk. Do people who like rodeos like that smell? It’s 2017, isn’t there a machine to get rid of cow crap? Not to mention, horses have a strong odor.

Could it be milking a cow is fun? I found it disgusting. When I drink milk, if I think about it coming out of a cow, it makes me NOT want to drink it. I know for a fact children should not be forced to milk or even see a cow being milked.

My Uncle Carmine would never drink milk. I found that odd. Why? Milk is cold and tasty right? Even as a kid I knew that. My Aunt Stella told me the truth: Milk doesn’t come out of a cow cold. It’s warm. I had no idea. She told me my uncle as a boy was forced to watch his dad milk a cow and some of the warm milk shot into his mouth. That did it. From that day until the day he died he never drank a glass of milk.

After hearing the story I wanted to throw up. I want to think of milk being cold and clean. I don’t want to think about the smell of a cow or a pig or a horse.

And I will never understand how my new Montana friends think walking around in the hot sun with bees, mountain lions and killer bears could ever be fun.

Call it hiking, call it farm life…I call it not for me.

Fonterra Co-operative Hold Annual General Meeting
Martin Hunter/Getty Images

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