Articles written by Robert C. Lucke


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  • River Rules: Benton to Kipp

    Robert C. Lucke|May 31, 2017

    There are plenty of rules if a person wants to go boating in the mighty Missouri from Fort Benton to the Fred Robinson Bridge. There is also a wide array of pamphlets to describe how to play by the rules when on the Missouri. Most of the material is available in Fort Benton at the Interpretive Center. There are sheets of suggestions. There are frequently asked questions. There are even sheets for portable toilet options. There are sheets of river and camping fees. There are pamphlets of authorized outfitting and vender services in case a...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|May 17, 2017

    Last night when I turned off my light on the night stand and prepared to go to sleep, I laughed out loud. Someone would think that to be very strange to laugh when turning off a light. But not to me. Years ago I had a cabin up by Baldy on Beaver Creek that did not have electricity. At the time I was teaching in Glasgow and I went into Markles hardware one day and found an “Aladdin Lamp” for sale. Now I did not know what an Aladdin lamp was but it had a large and fragile wick and it came with directions. I filled it with kerosene and lit the...

  • Big Sandy brings home the Bronze

    Robert C. Lucke|May 10, 2017

    Hold on to your hats partners for the world has just found out what we here in Big Sandy have known for a long time. Big Sandy High School is a darn good school! But we never knew quite how good until “US News and World Report” came out with the top high schools in Montana. Big Sandy is not only in the top 25 of Montana High Schools but took home the bronze award. The top twenty-five schools are broken into awards. The best school got the Gold Award. Schools two through eight got the Silver Award and schools nine through twenty-five got the Bro...

  • Big Sandy students head to International Science Fair

    Robert C. Lucke|May 10, 2017

    Two Big Sandy students will be going to Los Angeles on May 14 through 19 to participate in the International Science Fair according to their science teacher, Melanie Schwarzbach. Those students are Senior Gabriella Blatt and Sophomore Tyler Schwarzbach. They will be competing against 1600 students from 80 different countries. This is the third year that Gabriella has qualified for the International Science Fair. Gabriella has developed an eco-friendly method for converting the lignin in pine...

  • Margaret Grubb, Mother of the Year

    Robert C. Lucke|May 10, 2017

    Each year "The Mountaineer" chooses a Mother of the Year in order to honor all area mothers for Mother's Day. This year is a repeat performance. Margaret Grubb has been the Mother of the Year before. Since she turned 99 a couple of weeks ago, it seemed fitting to celebrate with her this Mother's Day. Imagine this. When Margaret's mother and father came to Big Sandy they were looking for homestead land. That is what brought them from Ellis Island to Chicago and then to Big Sandy where Martin Blaz...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|May 10, 2017

    If it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes that village to make its schools the best that they can be. That happened with the Big Sandy schools and with Big Sandy High School as well. Probably the most important story I have had a hand in writing since I have been writing for “The Mountaineer” is the story that reported that Big Sandy High School took home a bronze medal for being one of the top 25 high schools in Montana. I hope that the community realizes what an honor that is and all the schools, some that take huge amo...

  • Giggles from Glacier Guides

    Robert C. Lucke|May 10, 2017

    Years ago an old Glacier National Park worker named Jim Whitt wrote a tiny book entitled. "Giggles from Glacier Guides". It included stories that Glacier guides have used for years and years to entertain dudes and dudettes. Red bus drivers use some of these stories daily only they embellish them even more than Whitt did. I even used some of them when doing Bear Paw tours. So, with apologies to Whitt and other old time Glacier Guides, here are some of my favorite giggles from the book and other p...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|May 3, 2017

    Most readers of this column know that the first week of each month I try to include a recipe. I do the same when writing this column for the “Blaine County Journal”. Rarely do I write the same recipe for each newspaper. This month, though, I am. I looked at many recipes for Easter and saw many good recipes using asparagus but there was not a single recipe that used Hollandaise Sauce in their Easter banquet. Hollandaise is great with asparagus. It is also good with Eggs Benedict; many roasted root vegetables like parsnips, carrots or roa...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Apr 19, 2017

    I went into my mother’s bedroom the other night and found it to be like it was when she used it. Some of her favorite pictures and mirrors were on the walls. An old cannon ball bed, vanity, and chest of drawers were used for years by her and there are Oriental rugs on the floor along with a huge mountain goat rug made from four mountain goats. She said she liked put her bare feet in the rug as it kept her feet nice and warm. There are some odd pictures that make a good story for mother, me, and Grandma Lucke. I was about ten years old and we h...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Apr 5, 2017

    Big Sandy is an amazing place! While most small towns in this area are retrenching and drying up, Big Sandy is making progress to become larger and have more amenities that will attract even more people to call this home. Think about the new library on Main Street. The Bakery that the Stiles family made out of an old and unused building, the remodeling of the Mint, the great school system, our own grocery store. Big Sandy Activities and maybe most important of all for a small and isolated town, a medical center with a care center combined with...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Mar 29, 2017

    A friend was telling me this week how much she loved March because each day held the promise of spring. I told her I did not like March at all because it always seemed to have more winter than spring and that the March winds are always some of the worst in the year. The day after my talking with her, I experienced those terrible winds in Big Sandy where coming out of the east, there must have been gusts of more than 40mph. Many is the cabin on Clear Creek that I spent nights in March when I thought the roof was going to blow right off. That...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Mar 22, 2017

    This is Charlie Russell’s birthday week. You can always tell that because it is Western Art week in Great Falls, Montana. Charlie Russell was born on March 19, 1864. That would make this his 153rd birthday. Charlie Russell was a boyhood hero for me and my friends growing up in Havre. I was given many Russell books for birthdays and Christmas and still cherish them to this day. Whenever my family went to Great Falls, I spent hours wandering around his Great Falls home and studio. I saw that he stacked his teepee poles on brackets on the front p...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Mar 15, 2017

    Friday is St. Patrick’s Day. It is a time to visit Butte and see the wonderful parade if you can, to wear plenty of green and to cook up a batch of corn beef and cabbage for the family. I have a very good corn beef and cabbage recipe. It even has a secret sauce for the corn beef and for dunk at the table as well. For the secret sauce you simply need equal parts of yellow mustard and brown sugar. Mix together and it should taste more sweet than mustard. Last time I made this corn beef recipe I used cranberry mustard and that was very good w...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Mar 8, 2017

    Daylight Savings Time starts March 12. It is a pain in the neck for me because I collect old clocks and have to reset them that day. I don’t know about your old clocks but mine are very temperamental and take some adjusting to get them all up and running again after messing around with them twice a year. I have one old coo coo clock that is so old that I have given up running it when I have to fool around with it twice a year. About the time I get it back up to speed so to speak, it is time to reset it once again and I am back to ground z...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Mar 1, 2017

    My sister called me one night and said she was in the middle of making some chicken and dumplings. I reminded her that our dad used to make chicken and dumplings out at Clear Creek several times a season and feed it to anyone coming along to his fishing camp. His chicken and dumplings were very good. The dumplings can be made from Bisquick for a very easy application or use the simple recipe included here but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. To make the chicken stew you will need 3 pounds of bone in chicken parts. Thighs work well. 8 cups of c...

  • The Mint gets a fresh new look

    Robert C. Lucke|Feb 22, 2017

    If you have not been in the Mint on Main Street in Big Sandy, go in and be prepared for the "Wow" factor. It isn't that there is a new floor and that the famous rocks that line the bar are again in place or that there is new paint throughout. It is more than that. It is a look that the Mint did not ever have before. For instance one of the owners, Marie Jappe says that most people who look back in the kitchen think there are all new appliances. Not true she said. It is just that with a new coat...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke, BSM News|Feb 22, 2017

    Sitting here looking at a blank page of the computer, I realize that I have no meanderings left in me this week. When that happens, sometimes if I just start out, something clicks in me and there is something to write about. I thought about writing about the outrage of daylight savings time but although it is just around the corner, maybe I will save that for a column closer to the dastardly event itself. Then there is wind chill factor. That is always a good topic for winter and sort of fits right in with Montana weather. It is close to fifty...

  • Senior Center News

    Robert C. Lucke, BSM News|Feb 22, 2017

    Contact Senior Citizen Cooks at 378-2405. Menus for the coming week are as follows: Wednesday, February 22 chicken and dumplings with a dinner roll, salad and dessert for the Lunch of the Week! Thursday, February 23 meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies, salad and dessert. Friday, February 24 fish tacos, chips and dessert. Monday, February 27 Selmer’s chicken, potato salad, veggies and dessert. Tuesday, February 28 French dips, macaroni salad, fruit and dessert. Donna said that this recipe for Super Duper Chocolate Cookies is Loren’s fav...

  • Pioneer News

    Robert C. Lucke, BSM News|Feb 22, 2017

    Thursday, February 23 National Guard Optical Course in Gym. Parent permit slips are required for students to participate. Friday, February 24 junior high wrestling at Fort Benton starting at 4pm. Monday, February 27 Mid Term Monday, February 27 Adult Education Spanish Class in high school history room from 7 to 8pm. Tuesday, February 28 junior and senior job shadowing in Great Falls, Montana. Wednesday, March 1 Spring testing begins. See the school website for all details concerning that testing. Breakfast and lunch menus for the coming week...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke|Feb 15, 2017

    I love the winter. Let me preface that remark by saying I love winter when I do not have to go anywhere in it and when I am in a house I can keep warm and most important of all, one that has a full larder. Even when living in town, it is still so good to have a pantry that lets a person fix just about any kind of meal wanted. I stock in with dried soup mixes for a starter. Even though I love to make my own soup from scratch, these dried soups make very good soup too and lots can be added to make them even better. Take this noon. After writing...

  • Best Superbowl Ever!

    Robert C. Lucke|Feb 15, 2017

    Most anyone who knows me at all knows that the Patriots and the Seahawks are my two NFL teams. I have written again and again how the Patriots got the shaft with Deflategate and how quarterback Tom Brady should not have had a four game suspension at the beginning of this season and how the Patriots should not have been fined a million dollars and lose two draft picks. And yet, there was always another thought running around in my head and that is that will owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady be so mad that...

  • Coyote Hunt huge success for a great cause

    Robert C. Lucke, bsM News|Feb 8, 2017

    here were lots of people in Big Sandy the last weekend of January. Not only was there a big annual gun show but the first annual coyote hunt was held as well. Lindsay Boyce and Clete Ophus were in the "Mountaineer" this week to tell us all about it and to thank the community for so much cooperation in the dual activities that went on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Lindsay's husband Stephen Boyce came up with the idea as much as anyone. It is known that there are too many coyotes around this area...

  • Winter Over Marmot says

    Robert C. Lucke, BSM News|Feb 8, 2017

    Most everyone knows that an east coast ground hog is the official predictor of whether or not there is going to be six more weeks or winter. If that ground hog sees his shadow on February 2 there is six more weeks of winter and if he doesn't see his shadow, it means that spring is here. We don't have any ground hogs in Montana. Our closest relative is the marmot or whistling marmot and in the Bear Paw Mountains we are fortunate to have one that forecasts the end of winter. His name is Marmaduke...

  • Bear Paw Meanderings

    Robert C. Lucke, BSM News|Feb 8, 2017

    This column is mostly about western art and dogs. Let’s start with the dogs. I have never counted the number of dogs I have had in my life but it has been plenty. The most I have ever had at one time is three and the least, one. I remember well my first dog. He was a sort of black lab by the name of Jinx. We called him that because he would chase cars on Tenth Street when it was the main highway to Great Falls. He would get hit frequently, go quickly to our Dry Cleaning Plant on Tenth Street and get under the big steam boiler until he was well...

  • @ THE LIBRARY

    Robert C. Lucke, BSM News|Feb 8, 2017

    This week Vicki picked “THE WISH” by Beverly Lewis. Leona Speicher got the sister she always dreamed of the day Gloria Gingerich and her family moved to Lancaster County. The Arkansas newcomers seem to be the answer to Leona’s prayers until Gloria’s father is expelled from their Old Order Amish church for reasons no one will discuss. Much to Leona’s dismay the Gingeriches suddenly pack up and disappear. Then after a silence of several years, Gloria unexpectedly contacts Leona who makes up her mind to go after her friend. Yet Leona’s f...

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