DeWayne and Joy

DeWayne and Joy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Birthday, New Friends, Museum and Heading South

First of all, I want to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful daughter (and best friend), Ginger!  We love you, Baby Girl, and hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Here she is with her beautiful daughter Jana at the reunion:
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That’s my girls!  :)

How the years have flown by!  Ginger, you should still be this size and dancing with your brother:
Now you’re thirty-“something” and still my baby.

We will be leaving Great Falls tomorrow after a month and will be heading south to warmer temperatures.  The high today was in the 50’s here and will be much cooler tonight, so it’s time to chase down some sunshine and warmer weather.  It’s been fun here, but time to move on.  We’ll definitely be back to Great Falls in the future.

I’ve been getting all the vacuuming and cleaning done the last couple of days so we don’t have to head down the road with a dirty “house” and since I haven’t posted to the blog since we went to the C.M. Russell museum, I wanted to get that done tonight before we leave tomorrow. 

I was a slug today and didn’t get a shower til after five this afternoon.  I thought I’d wait til after I was done with all the housework to get my shower, so that’s what I did.  I had just finished my shower and was mostly dressed in my “fat clothes” and baseball hat, my fuzzy house shoes and no makeup when we heard a knock on the door. 

DeWayne answered while I finished getting dressed and was not sure who he was greeting at the door, but I could hear the voice outside say they were Rollie and Gina, so I knew immediately who it was!  What a great surprise!  And poor DeWayne was totally confused, so I explained to him that I read THEIR BLOG every day and we had exchanged comments now and then.
I can’t believe the good fortune we have had to meet so many wonderful people since we started fulltiming and Rollie and Gina are no exception.  We liked them immediately and just had the best time visiting with them.  What a great couple!
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I had no idea they were back in the area, so I was both surprised and delighted that they looked us up during their stop-over in Great Falls.  Lovely people and we look forward to crossing paths with them again, hopefully many times.  Thanks, Rollie and Gina for making our day and safe travels tomorrow as you go on your way!

A couple of day ago, we decided to check out the C.M. Russell Museum that is right here in Great Falls and get some lunch at Goode’s again (love their food!).  We weren’t exactly sure what to expect and already knew it would cost us $16 to see the museum, so we were sure hoping it was worth the money.

And was it ever!  The museum is way bigger on the inside that it looks to be on the outside and we spent two and a half hours taking it all in.  Let me explain who C.M. Russell was for those of you that don’t know (as we didn’t).  He was a famous artist that lived here in Great Falls, having moved here as a young man from St. Louis, Missouri. 

He left a wealthy family behind and came to Montana to be a cowboy and master his skills as an artist because he came here with a family friend to visit and fell in love with it.  He married and eventually adopted a son, then lived the remainder of his life here and produced over 2000 paintings, not to mention his sculptures and books.

He rubbed elbows with Governors, senators, writers, other famous artists and even Will Rogers, just to mention a few.  And his art is phenomenal!  I took a hundred pictures, so here we go!

The museum itself was built right behind his home and studio, so we visited those first.  Here is a few pictures of his home:
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And I fell in love with this kitchen!
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And the bathroom:
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Then we went upstairs to find a half bath (or water closet, as they called it) at the top of the stairs.  Apparently that was pretty unusual back then, so the Russells were definitely “up town”.  The rest of the upstairs was pretty nice too!
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Notice the buffalo horn chair in this next pic?
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Then we went to his studio next door:
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This is where he did most of his work:
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After viewing the studio, we headed back to the museum building and found two floors full of C.M. Russell’s work and we were both just in awe of the scale of his talent.
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This is C.M. Russell and his wife, painted by a friend and fellow artist:
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Here is one of the chairs that C. M. Russell had in his studio made from buffalo horns.
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C.M. died in 1926 at the age of 62.  When he knew he didn’t have long to live, he made a request to his wife that when he died, he wanted a horse drawn hearse to carry his body since he never liked automobiles.  The hearse that carried his body during his funeral is now in the museum.  Click on the next picture to enlarge it, if you want to read about it.
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The bottom floor was reserved for works by other artists, artwork for sale, and various displays of Indian dress and artifacts and other various things.  I took pictures of some of my favorites and I share a few.  It’s hard to pick just a few pictures, but otherwise, this blog post would never end.  Here is a sampling:
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And this is a life size display that was amazingly realistic!
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I left out a lot of good pictures, but there are just too many.  Anyway, we highly recommend this great museum for anyone that wants to spend a half or even full day exploring a really interesting place.  Two thumbs up!

Well, it’s getting late, so I’ll wrap this up and get it posted.  Tomorrow is “moving” day, so I still have knick-knacks to gather up and pack away among other things. 

We’re heading toward Fallon, Nevada tomorrow and I’ll be sure to document our trip for the next post.  But until then…….



  1. Thanks for including the C.M. Russell Museum on your traveling blog. It is always fun to see the comments by people who have been to the Museum. Glad you enjoyed it and hope you will come back soon. Darrell Beauchamp (Executive Director, C.M. Russell Museum - Great Falls, Montana)

  2. You are quite welcome, Mr. Beauchamp! We loved the museum and have since read much more about C.M. Russell on the internet. We are recommending the museum to all our friends and family. The dedication of you and your staff is evident in the quality of the museum!