What happened to Montana manners?

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


My grandparents homesteaded near Ashland in the early 1900’s. They were resilient people, raised five daughters and worked hard to establish their life here. Their girls grew up, married, had their families, grandchildren, great and greatgreat grands, etc. We have been Montanans for generations.

I was raised with what I call ‘Montana Manners.’ We agreed to disagree. We cussed and discussed, but always came away with a hand shake and usually, a smile. We respected each other, even when we didn’t see eye to eye.

It saddens me to see the change that is taking place. The anger, divisiveness and total disregard for differing opinions is stunning. We Montanans know better. We are better. We were raised to see the other person’s opinion and, again “agree to disagree.”

We have an opportunity today to teach the country, if not the world, how to rise above the fray. Let’s show them ‘Montana Manners,’ leading the way to a more civil, humane ability to examine our differences, explore the possibilities and exhibit kindness to each other. It has never been more vital.

Lynne Turner Fitzgerald

Red Lodge, MT