Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Charles Haddon Shank


Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 117

  • Dear Editor: Politics - Not My Favorite Topic

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|May 22, 2024

    This is not my favorite topic, but I figured it 'tis the season, so here goes. Of course, I'm referring to election or political season. I do NOT like politics! I do my best not to get involved; I rarely vote, except for local elections occasionally. Speaking of local elections/politics, although I STILL would rather not get involved, I DO plan to vote this time. The biggest complaint I've been hearing lately from those who live in town (I do not) is the increased water rates while still...

  • Dear Editor: Licenses - The Latest Overstep

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Mar 27, 2024

    Dear Editor, Although one might note that this letter is somewhat in response to the FWP article in the most recent Whitehall Ledger (3/20/24), it is a long time coming and overdue! The most accepted definition of "license" is "a permit from an authority to own or use something, do a particular thing, or carry on a trade (especially in alcoholic beverages)." However, the legal definition is a bit starker and more honest: "permission granted by a qualified authority permitting a licensee to do so...

  • Dear Editor: AI and Voting

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Feb 14, 2024

    Dear Editor, I'm going to try to kill two birds with one stone! Neither of my subjects, Voting & AI, are necessarily about anything currently happening in Whitehall, though voting is probably on the minds of many. AI, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. This letter is somewhat in response to the article by Keith Hammond of the Boulder Monitor, published in the January 31, 2024 edition of the Ledger. Whatever one's opinion about voting, it must be represented that, it hits closer to home than...

  • Dear Editor: The Cost of Living is Increasing

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Nov 29, 2023

    Dear Editor, The cost of living is increasing! We see this almost everywhere, but probably more noticeably as Winter threatens. I don't keep a real close eye on it myself (probably because I drive an EV), but apparently, the price of gasoline has recently fallen, so hopefully, that's a good sign! Speaking of Winter, though, many families get hit with a double whammy around this time of year; not only has the cost of living increased across the board, with its increased heating costs, but many fi...

  • Dear Editor: Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Oct 25, 2023

    Dear Editor, A wise man once asked the eternal question, "Why can't we all just get along?" Well, as you know, we're all different, so that might be one way to explain it. How many people do we know, however intimately, who are as different as night and day, yet somehow, they manage to get along, seemingly even, against all odds? If only we could all learn to tap into the source of that happiness, that joy! Life is all about choice! The reason some people just can't seem to play well with the...

  • Dear Editor: Organized Religion

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Oct 4, 2023

    Dear Editor, This letter is not in response to anyone. It IS, however, a bit of a diatribe! The main subject of this letter may engender a negative response among certain people in this town; but then, sometimes the pot just NEEDS to be stirred! Not to be too negative though, it would seem that, for the last few thousand years, since the beginning of time, human beings have committed many atrocities in the name of their favored deity, or "God." Basically, what it comes down to is, that if you...

  • Dear Editor: The Sound of Freedom

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Jul 26, 2023

    Dear Editor, I wasn't planning to go see The Sound of Freedom; in fact, I was planning not to, but a friend asked me to watch it with her, so I decided to give it a whirl. I wasn't too disappointed; in fact, I was almost pleasantly surprised given the subject matter. The Sound of Freedom was heart wrenchingly honest about the deplorable issue of child sex trafficking; deplorable doesn't really even begin to describe the horrors of it! As uncomfortable as the subject matter is, it is there,...

  • Dear Editor: We Can't Blame It All on Gen X

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Jun 21, 2023

    Dear Editor, We can't blame it all on Gen X. Although much could be directed toward the generation in question, this is a generalization; it's not quite fair to say all people from this particular era are at fault. It's also not quite true that Gen X, or ANY particular generation, can claim sole responsibility for the mess which we are witnessing in this day and age. The mess: the irresponsibility which seems to be almost proudly or maybe just brazenly exhibited lately. Not only is there a...

  • Dear Editor: Whitehall Public Restrooms

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|May 31, 2023

    Dear Editor, I am a bit cautious about writing such a letter, on what could be a very touchy issue, but the growing lack of public restrooms in Whitehall is a bit distressing! One really can't blame our local business owners, with the blatant disregard that many people these days seem to exhibit for other people's property. Many businesses in town have closed off what used to be public restrooms to all but paying customers. Again, this is not so much a reflection on any particular business here...

  • Dear Editor: CHICKEN

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Apr 26, 2023

    Dear Editor, Most of your readers probably remember the 80s TV show Who's the Boss? That's the subject of this short rant. I vaguely remember writing something to this effect previously, though it's been some time, but "Who IS the boss?" The overwhelming majority of our public servants, those who are elected to represent (NOT rule) us seem to have forgotten that all-important principle. Oh, sure, many or most will publicly acknowledge they are appointed to serve the best interests of the...

  • Dear Editor: Turn and Face the Strange

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Apr 12, 2023

    Dear Editor, Turn and face the strange... Some of your readers may recognize these words from the refrain of David Bowie's Changes. I begin in this manner because of the changes coming to our small town, both in the near and not-so-near future. Two fairly recent changes we should all be aware of by now were front-page news this past Wednesday. First and saddest is Settings by All Things Montana closing its doors by month's end. If they haven't already, I highly encourage anyone reading this to...

  • Whitehall Happiness Corner: Owen David Shank

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Mar 22, 2023

    OWEN DAVID SHANK St. Patty's Day 2023 dawned bright and clear. For a change, the ever-present wind was fairly calm as well. This was also the day my dad, Owen David Shank (who went by David) decided to finally leave this present life. Some would say that he graduated to the heavenly realms. Along with my mother, his wife of almost 60 years, Dad had recently moved to Winter Garden, Florida, roughly six months ago. One of my sisters and her husband converted one end of their house into a kind of...

  • Dear Editor: Stress, not Technology, is the Real Killer

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Mar 8, 2023

    Dear Editor, Over the past week, more or less, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking on the subject of this generation’s reliance on technology and the detrimental effect it had. I originally wrote, “technology is killing us,” though I DID acknowledge later that it’s actually stress that’s the real killer! This is true enough, but when it comes down to it, we really must admit, we’re doing it to ourselves! Over the past century or so, technology has made great leaps most seemingly, or purportedly, for the better. In fact, many of the leaps made we...

  • Dear Editor: Term Limits

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Feb 8, 2023

    Dear Editor, As you and your readers know by now, I despise politics, especially as they stand in this day and age where the almighty dollar seems to have taken precedence over our precious right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The latest furor concerning the proposed convention of states, in particular, the push for setting stricter term limits has gotten me thinking (I know, DANGEROUS). We’ve heard arguments, both in support of and against the proposal. As far as the arguments against setting (tightening?) term limits, they m...

  • Dear Editor: Freedom to Practice Religion Starts with You

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Jan 25, 2023

    Dear Editor, I am by no means a lawless person, but neither am I one of those who say "there outta be a law." In the interest of peace and positivity, I'm not going to point fingers here, or name names; in essence, no religion or person, in particular, will be called onto the carpet! It should be noted, however, that not just in this town, but around the country, if one practices any religion but the prevailing religion of any given region/area (if indeed there is one), then that person, or...

  • Creating Fiction From History: 1/25/2023

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Jan 25, 2023

    You've come a long way, Baby! At the tender age of 13, not only was Carolina Duggard the first from her family to attend an institute of higher learning, she also might have been one of the youngest female graduates of St. Paul College, a public and community college in St. Paul, Minnesota. How did this little girl, whom we last saw at the tender age of 4, end up in St. Paul, Minnesota? Well, that's rather a long story; growing up as she did in little Whitehall, Montana, in the 20s and 30s,...

  • Creating Fiction from History: Week of 1/18/2023

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Jan 18, 2023

    As babies go, she certainly wasn't remarkable. Of course, every baby, no matter how ugly they are, is cute. Barley certainly wasn't an ugly baby, although one might have noted that they'd seen cuter (not to the mother, of course.) Barbara Leigh Jones, Barley to those who knew and loved her, was born on the 19th of April, in the year of our Lord, 1899, to John and Margaret Jones of Isabella, a small town in Polk County, Tennessee. At the time of her introduction to this world, though the economy...

  • Creating Fiction from History: 1/11/2023

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Jan 11, 2023

    One might say she was born to it; It was in her blood! Carolina Mae Duggard was born January 16, 1919, in Harlan County, Kentucky, a region of the eastern United States called Appalachia. Her parents, Jim Bob and Lucy, ran the family business, which could be very lucrative but also very dangerous! In fact, it became so dangerous that Jim Bob decided to relocate his little family to a climate that promised to be even more lucrative and hopefully less dangerous. Unfortunately for him though, whoever sold him on the idea neglected to warn him...

  • Creating Fiction from History: 1/4/2023

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Jan 4, 2023

    Roberta Henson never won a beauty contest, but to certain people, the ones whose opinion truly mattered to her, Bertie was a veritable angel from heaven! Our homely heroine entered this realm in the usual way on the 6th of April, 1909. She was born in the newly-built City Hospital across the river in Missouri. While she was technically a Missourian by birth, Bertie would always and forever claim her Kansan roots. Growing up on the river, over in Kansas, she was used to hearing the steamboats as...

  • Creating Fiction From History: 12/28/2022

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Dec 28, 2022

    Joseph and Mary Smith never planned to settle down in the wild, wild west, much less raise a family there. However, as life is what happens between our plans, Joseph's new job required him to travel to Pueblo, Colorado from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where their oldest son had been born. Joseph had labored for years in the steel mills of Northern Pennsylvania, but had recently been called out to expand his vision West of the Mississippi, to work in the administration of the fairly new workings in P...

  • Creating Fiction from History: 12/21/2022

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Dec 21, 2022

    Mary Ann McGee was born to William and Margaret McGee on November the 8th, 1889, which, incidentally, was the day when Montana gained statehood. Where Mary started her life on this Earth is not so important to our story as where she ended up and might have become. Both second-generation Irish immigrants, Mary's parents were used to hard work, which was a good thing, for there was plenty to be done as our fledgling nation rounded the curve coming into the 20th century. William had caught the...

  • Dear Editor: Addiction & Politics

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Dec 7, 2022

    Dear Editor, I broach this subject very carefully, with a bit of hesitation and more than a bit of consternation, because it is a rather touchy one! Addiction! Of late, there has been a lot of talk going around having to do with another touchy subject, Politics. This is one of the two subjects, alongside of Religion, that one should NEVER talk about in bars. Both of these subjects, by the way, are VERY closely related, but that may be a subject for another day. Addiction; it would seem almost that certain parts of society today have an addictio...

  • Creating Fiction from History: 12/7/2022

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Dec 7, 2022

    Since the day the world made her acquaintance, December 19 in the year 1871, "Woozie" had been known for her sweet demeanor. When Winifred Louisa Johnson first greeted this cold, sometimes cruel, world just before Midwinter's Day in the environs of Waukon, Iowa, the town had just received a fresh layer of glittering white snow. Saying the town had just received a fresh layer of glittering white snow is putting it mildly, however. Woozie was delivered by her father, Jack, for neither the midwife...

  • Creating Fiction from History: 11/30/2022

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Nov 30, 2022

    Technically, Anya wasn't Russian. Though she had lived in a rural area just south of Moscow since she was three, Anya Mussorgsky was actually from the good ole U.S. of A. She had been adopted by Russian diplomat and statesman Maxim Petrov Mussorgsky and his wife, Lady Katarina, during a routine visit to New York City. At the time, New York City was still a gathering point for much of the growing world's political business. As the young couple was not able to have children of their own, they...

  • Creating Fiction From History: 11/23/2022

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|Nov 23, 2022

    She coulda been a contender!! Ginger Woodbridge might have been the first great female boxer, but as the case may be, the little fighter, born Virginia Woodbridge on a cold Winter's day in 1919, would not see past her seventh birthday. From that cold winter's day when she entered this earthly realm, Ginger proved herself a real scrapper. After trying for many years, Robert and Janelle Woodbridge finally produced a living, breathing child; but from the beginning, they had a fight on their hands....

Page Down

Rendered 05/24/2024 07:14