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The Smithsonian Comes to Shelby

Jack Dempsey fighting Jack Sharkey in 1927. (Central Press/Getty)

I stopped by our Marias Museum Sunday afternoon and wished I could had stayed longer.

“Lean Dean” Hellinger was on hand greeting friends and visitors alike and I had the opportunity to meet Jason Kelly, the Chicago author of the book on the famous 1923 Jack Dempsey/Tommy Gibbons prize(?) fight here in Shelby, “Shelby’s Folly Jack Dempsey, Doc Kearns, and The Shakedown of a Montana Boomtown.”

I was more than impressed with both the railroad and old radio displays at the Marias Museum, not to mention all the newspapers (many of them Great Falls Leaders with the familiar orange page) from the World War One and Two days.

And of course, the traveling exhibit, “Native Words, Native Warriors” is on display through the end of July in the museum. I’m sure most of us have heard the stories of the famous American Indian code talkers but I learned so much more of the story, in not only viewing this new Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition, but also in talking with Dean. In my opinion, he’s a real treasure and we are all blessed to have a man of his stature in our community. We can all learn a thing or two and most likely a ton of things in talking with Dean.

I invite you to stop by the museum. The new building is GRAND and they’re open from 1 to 5 and 7 to 9PM Monday through Friday and Saturday afternoons from 1 until 4. This month is a great opportunity for all of us to take advantage of this traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institute.

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