Not So Average Joe

Brian Wheeler expresses deep appreciation for his family and the people he has met along his life path. He has made a lot of good things happen in the community – things that would not have been possible without the help of others. Miranda, Abram, Dan, Mary and Brian Wheeler attend a wedding at Big Sky Chapel. PHOTO BY MARY WHEELER

Community abides

Brian Wheeler is an idea man, a list-guy and also a person of details and action. He has no qualms about offering his opinion or being the outlying vote in the boards on which he serves. Former Big Sky County Water and Sewer district president Paul “Packy” Cronin describes him as the real McCoy – as genuine as a person can be.

Ken Morton felled 120 foot tall standing dead trees out from between cabins at Lone Mountain Ranch – they now compose the walls of his home. “We used a tow truck with cables to favor it to go in between the cabins and had to make the cut in the morning. Some of those are three feet in diameter – they’re huge and they’d cut a cabin right in half. They wouldn’t allow us to bring a bulldozer and to skid them out, so we had to winch them out with a tow truck,” he said. Some were upwards of 500 years old – he co

Renaissance man of Big Sky

Not many people can claim they once landed a plane on Highway 191, took out some power lines and narrowly dodged an r.v. – but Ken Morton can. He only slightly missed longtime local Woody the Woodlord before coming to a halt across the road from the 320 Ranch.

Paul “Packy” Cronin enjoys riding his mountain bike in the Lionshead area and is passionate about mountain bike access to public lands. PHOTO COURTESY PACKY CRONIN

Finding the time to ride

Paul “Packy” Cronin, likely the longest tenured member of any board in Big Sky history recently steppeddown as Big Sky County Water and Sewer district board president. After 19 years serving on the board and 20 years of living in Big Sky, he’s been no stranger to controversy.

Photo by Jana Bounds

Welcome to the family

Good natured ribbing and good food – these function as a part of the foundation of any solid fire department. That kind of camaraderie coupled with integrity and professionalism is necessary when the firefighters respond to emergencies and need to function as a team. The sporadic intensity of the job demands a strong brotherhood, a family.

Photo courtesy of VITO VALENTINETTI

Locked down in Spain

Quick click connections come as second nature to Vito Valentinetti. Conversation from his apartment in Spain is sprinkled with humor and self-deprecating jokes. He regularly travels throughout Europe, but says he is terrible at most languages – enough to get by. He claims that Scandinavians speak english better than he does.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Max

A scientist and a gentleman

Stephen Max seamlessly transitions from helping customers at Big Sky Print & Ship to speaking of scientific theories, discussing Albert Einstein’s, Noam Chomsky’s and Alan Turing’s contributions to science – and the world in general. Some customers were so pleased with his work and demeanor they tried to buy him lunch last week.

Photo courtesy of Zach Hinte

The authentic life of Zach Hinte

From growing-up surfing on Virginia Beach, to playing professional soccer in Australia, to working on a massive cattle ranch, Zach Hinte believes life is best lived with experiences and authenticity. After heeding advice from a friend and settling in the area, he has become a living, breathing ode to the Old West.


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