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Last night at the Heritage

I was at the Marias Heritage Center last evening (Tuesday) reading “Montana History” with a group of Heritage Center residents in the comfortable sun room. We are about three quarters through “Forever Friends-The journey of two families from Civil War Virginia to Montana Territory 1860-1868″. To sum up last evening’s adventure, Jeremiah and Joseph (who turned out to be a girl and is now “Josie”) are still on the lam from the Confederate Army, living in St. Louis for the winter before they head for Montana Territory. They have fallen in love, gotten married, are living in a boarding house run by the Mutchnik family, (with a name like that, I wouldn’t trust these folks not to turn them in…and you thought Puhek was a funny name!), and Jeremiah is looking for work in order to get enough money to pay board and rent until they head up to Montana Territory come spring. The Mutchniks have taken a shine to these young southern deserters and the mister has given Jeremiah work at his mercantile shop and the missus, feeling like Josie is the “daughter she never had”, has taken her on to do help with the cooking and other sundry chores around the boarding home. I’ve always been a fan of boarding house stories, having read Major Hoople’s Boarding House in the funny papers for years when I was younger. Meanwhile, Jeremiah’s former love, Amelia, up in Boston, attending medical school, believing Jeremiah got killed in the war, is about to marry a rich handsome debonair young doctor who reminds me quite a bit of myself…I’m the Puffman. This is one good read and it’s Helena author Lenore McKelvey Puhek’s (her last name rhymes with Buick and the last time I heard from her, she was riding Greyhound) third book in a series featuring pioneer women. It’s a wonderfully warm delightful story and Lenore has a unique way of not only presenting these characters but also bringing them so much to life that I feel like I know them personally. Three quarters through, and it is the type of book that you wish never to end. In the meantime, I pray that Lenore gets her Buick out of the shop and that you all go out and buy the book. You’ll thank me for this recommendation on this spell binding saga. Until next week at the Heritage…

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