Of course, it was Tuesday & I was reading "Montana History" up at the Marias Heritage Center here in Shelby. We're currently reading the Nancy Russell book, "Behind Every Man". I always hope the members of my reading group are enjoying this Montana history as much as I am. I don't know about you, but when I was in school, I wasn't much interested in or too big on history...even local history. As time goes by & I become long in the tooth, I find history fascinating, especially the history of early day Montana. Apparently I was snoozing during most of my classes in school, because all this stuff is entirely new to me. What a story! The Nancy Russell (she was, of course, married to the famed western artist, Charlie) book is an excellent read & truly offers a glimpse into how things used to be. And they were not good by any stretch of the imingation. Life was tough, if not downright overbearing & overwhelming. Money was short or non existent. I mean, last evening we learned that when 16 year old Nancy's mom died, a pinewood casket (for paupers) was $20 & a rosewood casket was $22.50. As a kid, Nancy had to go out into the neighborhood & scrape up $2.50 for a rosewood model & then bury her mom in a pauper's grave in the "pauper section" of the cemetery...the section where the weeds grew tall & there were no headstones! Now, that I've brightened up your day, I'll put my thinking cap on & come up with another cheery blog later in the day. Looking forward to finding out more about Nancy & Charlie Russell next Tuesday evening at the Marias Heritage Center. You might want to check out this book which is available at C.M Russell Museum down in Great Falls. It is definitively an engaging story.