Ericka Kirkpatrick demonstrates the hat smoothing process. After sanding the felt a torch is used to get rid of any remaining fibers, creating a hat as smooth as velvet. PHOTO BY JOLENE PALMER

A tip of the hat

Growing up watching her mother Sheila make cowboy hats, Ericka Kirkpatrick certainly learned a lot about the unique trade. She’d help with all the aspects of the trade, but she was sure it wasn’t something she’d take on as her own career.

Hard work matters

Waded Cruzado, President of Montana State University, has a message for aspirational students in the state: Hard-work matters. Cruzado should know. She is a first-generation college student from Puerto Rico who, due to hard work and perseverance, serves as one of the few Latina presidents of a university in the nation.

Miss Montana at the Museum of Mountain Flying in Missoula, before departing for Ennis: (L to R) Shaun Raunig, Mike Farinelli, Richard Raunig, Fred Raunig, Bill Drew. PHOTO COURTESY KEELY FLATOW

From Normandy to Ennis

Among the 24,000 American, British and Canadian troops who landed at Normandy Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, were scores of Montanans. They included ranch kids from places like Choteau, Geyser and Sand Coulee. Thankfully, many made it back home and lived long lives.

Niva described himself in these three ish words: passionate (for the business community), empathetic and embodying a lack of patience with bureaucracy. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAD NIVA


Brad Niva moved to Big Sky at such a time that he gets to experience the Big Sky we all knew before the pandemic ever happened. Or at least, a Big Sky relatively removed from some of the more obvious pandemic details.

“I’ve always been someone who volunteers and is really interested in community aspects and dynamics,” Richardson said. PHOTO COURTESY OF HANNAH RICHARDSON

The right person to get involved

Place-based education is a pedagogy that focuses on teaching students to be involved in the area they live and to understand the needs of their community and the best ways to support the population. One example of this could be community trash cleanup days hosted by Discovery Academy and Community Learning Center.

Steelhead Trout, creamy umami barley with shiitake mushrooms, charred cabbage wedge, topped with ginger pickled cabbage and ginger dashi miso broth. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRACE GANOOM-GREIN

A switch

Big Sky is a hard place to get to, and an even harder place to leave.

Grace Ganoom-Grein has been living in Big Sky since she was ‘itty bitty,’ and basically has never left. Even for college, she went just down the canyon and into Bozeman to study mathematics and education at Montana State University.

James Miranda has lived in the area for 25 years, but started working for the Big Sky School District five years ago. PHOTO COURTESY OF BIG SKY SCHOOL DISTRICT

New coach in town

Big Sky School District health educator James Miranda agreed to be both the football coach and track coach.

An “Army brat” from south Jersey, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy and comes from a family of educators and military officers.

A collection of Mark “Bucky” Gibbons’ crazy hairdos for Dirtbag Day over the years. It has become a celebrated mystery and tradition for local dirtbags. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARK GIBBONS AND KAREN MACKLIN

Who the *$#! is Mark Gibbons?

There are stickers floating around Big Sky, some prominently placed throughout Brothel Bikes that ask: “Who the F––– is Mark Gibbons?” So, LPL set out to solve the mystery.

The problem is Mark Gibbons says he also does not know if Mark Gibbons knows who Mark Gibbons is. Maybe at the end of the day, most people cannot say who they are.


More Information

Lone Peak Lookout

Cori Koenig, editor: editor@lonepeaklookout.com
Susanne Hill, billing: shill@lonepeaklookout.com
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