Reviewing the Past

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Following are articles as they appeared in the Ranger-Review, the Dawson County Review, and Glendive Independent, 25, 50 & 100 years ago this month.

25 Years Ago

Sixteen-year-old Thad Rule was recently awarded the highest award in scouting, the Eagle Scout.

In his four years as a Cub Scout, Rule received the “Arrow of Light” and “Parvium Dei,” which is a religious metal. Rule was a Boy Scout for almost five years before receiving the Eagle Scout award. He had to move through several ranks as a Boy Scout before he was able to achieve the Eagle Scout honor.

In order to become an Eagle Scout, Rule had to go through classes to become proficient in several areas and earn 22 merit badges. Among these were awards for first aid, safety, citizenship and swimming.

A service project is also required to gain the Eagle Scout honor. Rule helped set up displays at the Makoshika Park Visitor’s Center as part of his project.

Five years ago if someone had told John Trangmoe that he would retire from teaching and go to work on 18 to 20 hours a day selling caviar during the summer he would never have believed them.

As executive director of the Glendive Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Trangmoe’s summer is dominated by the Chamber’s paddlefish program. His work with the paddlefish caviar doesn’t end with the summer though. Since the Chamber has taken over the processing and marketing of the caviar, the project has become a year round endeavor, he said.

The process starts in February, when the Chamber negotiates a “memo of understanding” with Fish, Wildlife and Parks. That is followed by trips to trade shows and contacts with buyers and suppliers.

The activity is most intense during paddlefish season. Trangmoe makes one or two trips to Intake every day to monitor activity, help with record keeping and transport processed caviar back to Glendive. He is also involved in packing the caviar and transporting it to Billings, Bismarck, N.D., or the Glendive airport for shipment to buyers, he aid.

Working with caviar buyers has been a real educational experience, Trangmoe said. One of the first things he learned in marketing caviar was that buyers don’t trust anyone, he commented. They have problems believing in the existence of places like Montana, where people are honest, say what they mean and do what they say. Most expect to be cheated.

The Chamber has never lost a shipment of caviar or had to refund payment because of spoilage during transport. There have been some close calls though. Trangmoe remembers some particularly stormy late night and early morning trips to Billings or Bismarck where he fought wind, rain and hail to keep his pickup and its thousands of dollars of caviar on the road.

The caviar project has taken a waste product and made it into a very successful revenue generator for the community. By the end of this season the project will have grossed a million dollars. It has brought outside money into Montana suppliers and working with local shippers, has kept most of the money in the state, he observed. “It has been an experience,” he said.

50 Years Ago

A workshop in behavior modification under ESEA Title I was conducted at Dawson County High School on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, June 9, 10 and 11.

Ray Beck, consultant for the Great Falls public schools and Dr. Wally Berard, instructor at the University of Montana conducted the workshop which dealt in the use of more effective methods and techniques of working with students. Don Campbell, ESEA Title I Consultant from the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction was an observer during the workshop. Twenty teachers from the Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson schools and 11 teachers from Dawson County High School participated.

The workshop was the opening phase of an ESEA Title I project for the Glendive Public School system. The high school will deal with the improvement of work study habits and will get underway Monday, June 14 at 8 a.m. in the library. There is still room for students who are interested in science, math, English, speech, reading skills and in improving their work study habits.