Pam is wearing her father’s letter sweater from when he played at MSU in the 1930s. Gary is wearing a sweater he was given after being inducted into the Bobcat Hall of Fame. Pam’s son, Brant, was a captain for the MSU Bobcat football team. PHOTO COURTESY PAM BIRKELAND


“I would yell so loud and then I would come back on Monday to Helena to work and I couldn’t talk, and I think that’s what happened,” Pam Birkeland said as an explanation for her soft voice. Beyond cheering, Birkeland sang the National Anthem at Montana State University (MSU) football games twice during her son’s collegiate football career.

Ron and Susan Hardwick traveled around the country for nine years after Ron retired. Ron worked at the Ennis RV Village when the couple first came to Ennis, and Susan continues to work there now. PHOTO COURTESY OF RON HARDWICK

More to the story

It is true that you never really know someone’s whole story.

Ron Hardwick is 75 years old, but over the phone, and arguably in person, you would peg him in his early sixties tops. Over these 75 years, he has learned, seen and discovered much, some aspects well-known to those around and others more on the back burner.

Currently, the Madison River below Ennis Lake is above the 76-year average discharge measured in cubic feet per second (cfs). On May 20, the river reached 3,500 cfs while the average lay near 1,900 cfs. PHOTO BY MADISONIAN STAFF

High waters

Memorial Day weekend is often viewed as the beginning of camping season in Montana. More often than not, it snows the very same weekend. In some ways, the end-of-May holiday embodies many of the factors that make rivers in the area more dangerous in the spring.

FROM L TO R: Chris DiMichele, Nikki DiMichele, Johnny France and Sue France. PHOTO BY SAM DIMICHELE

The Bottle Barn

Kari Swenson, a biathlete, was kidnapped at gunpoint by two ‘mountain men’ while on a training run in the Spanish Peaks. FBI teams, helicopters, and multiple facets of law enforcement searched for Swenson for months. Local sheriff, Johnny France, was the man who apprehended the captors.

The Julius Lehrkind Brewery in Livingston opened pre- prohibition. The flight pictured here was taken at Neptune’s Brewery, a part of the craft beer boom. PHOTO BY KEELY LARSON

Adapting to the times

Breweries changed with the times during prohibition and again as craft brewing became trendy. In the coronavirus era, social distancing effectively shut down breweries, but their adaptive nature keeps the kegs flowing.

Reported by the New York Times, Nate Kleinman of New Jersey posted on his social media for the planting of ‘Corona Victory Gardens.’ He heard from 1,000 gardeners after doing so. PHOTO COURTESY OF KAYE SUZUKI


Once upon a time, a tattered traveler came to a small village and asked for something to eat. “No, we have barely enough for ourselves,” said the wary villagers as they started shutting the door. “Then could you spare some water for my pot?” he said with a twinkle in his eye.


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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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