Flatwillow News

Flatwillow Homemakers held their May meeting at Lillian Moore’s home on May 10. Sandi called the meeting to order and Ginger led the Pledge to the flag. Roll call was answered with “your favorite spring flower.” There was discussion on where we will go for our end of year tour. Florence motioned to tour the Moss Mansion, Jean seconded. Sandi will make the arrangements and let us know. 

Officers were elected for the coming year. It was decided to keep the same officers with the exception of the scrapbook. Florence wanted to pass that on and Ginger was selected to keep up the scrapbook. Thank you, Ginger. Officers are Sandi Gonzalez, president, Bonnie Moore, vice president, Donna Lund, secretary/treasurer, RayeAnne Lund, reporter. 

Ginger won the blind pig. Secret sister gifts were handed out. Everyone bid on the opportunity table. The next meeting will be our tour and as soon as Sandi has the arrangements made, she will let everyone know. Sandi, Arlene, Shirle, Ginger, Donna, Bonnie, Jean and Florence were all at the meeting.

It’s June 14, and we are ready to tour the Moss Mansion. Flatwillow Homemakers met at 10:45 a.m. at the Moss Mansion in Billings. RayeAnne drove and took Donna, Jean and picked up Florence in Roundup to head for Billings. Arlene and Sandi came together. Only six of us were able to make the tour. It was a busy month and busy times. We missed those who weren’t able to come. We had a great tour. Most of the ladies had been there; I had never toured the Mansion, so I really enjoyed the tour. I love history and there was a lot of history from the Moss family and their commitment to their community of Billings. What a beautiful home and lovely grounds. After our tour, we ate at the Rib and Chop Restaurant. 

Our first meeting of the coming year will be hosted by Melody Whitcher on Sept. 13. That will be here in Winnett at Jim Johnke’s home. It will be so nice to see everyone after our summer break. We will do our books and reveal our secret sisters, and draw for new secret sisters. Have a great summer. See you in September.

The Winnett area has been hit hard these last few weeks; both with hail damage and saying goodbye to longtime Winnett residents and friends. We’ve had to say goodbye to Annie Shaw, Marlene Grantier and Vi Hill. All three ladies have been influential in Winnett history and raised their families in this area. We send our condolences and our heartfelt sympathy to all the families and friends. They were family to all of us here, whether we lived here our whole lives or moved in later; we were all family and friends. They will be missed by all of us, but their legacy will always live on in our hearts and in the community.

June 9, a hailstorm moved through our area with devastating results. The sky was such a strange color and you could see the storm cell swirling. There were extremely high winds and hail bigger than golf balls that hit our town. Every building was damaged in some way. Any buildings that had west-facing windows lost all the windows. Petroleum County courthouse lost every second floor window and even the first floor windows were damaged. They were double paned and the outside panes were broken, but the inside panes held. Large trees were uprooted and fell over. Streets were littered with leaves, limbs, shingles, trees. yards were covered with broken glass. The force was so strong that carpets and flooring need to be replaced inside where the windows shattered. Shards of glass are imbedded in the carpet, furniture and flooring. Roofs were damaged. Some area ranchers and farmers lost their hay and grain crops. Where there used to be hay growing, looks like a plowed field. There have been a lot of adjusters and insurance companies in and around the town. We have such a caring community. Everyone was out helping board up windows, clean out trees, and making sure everyone was okay. They came together to help one another in whatever way they could. Thank you to all. We are so blessed to live in such a caring community, and are so thankful no one was hurt. Now we begin to rebuild and put our homes back together, and once again anyone that needs help, someone will be there.

There are applications at the city offices for low income and/or elderly homeowners who have no insurance for some assistance in getting help for the repairs to their homes. Check with Ralph Corbett or Bill Cassell in getting these applications and assistance in filling them out. The city and county did file with the state for disaster assistance.

The next afternoon, another storm cell swirled and hit Roy with devastating force. They had damage to buildings and windows also. This same storm went north of Winnett and did damage at the Crooked Creek Recreation area. Some families that lived in that area had severe destruction. A tornado set down in that area and roofs were blown off, a barn was lifted up and destroyed and stock trailers and vehicles were thrown around. It was quite a violent storm. I think this same storm was what moved on and set a wicked tornado down in Baker. These last few weeks have been kind of nasty with spring storms and hail in central and eastern Montana. Mother Nature has been throwing temper tantrums these last few weeks.

Levi Johnson hosted a basketball tournament this last weekend for high school. The boys played on Friday, June 17 and the girls played on Saturday. There were several teams that traveled to Winnett to participate. Some of the teams that came were Big Timber, Park City, Scobey, Jordan, Roundup, Melstone plus our own Winnett/Grass Range team. There were several more. I apologize; I can’t remember what other teams came but they all seemed to have a good time. What a great group of athletes and nice parents and fans that came to the games. They had all heard about the damage to Winnett and drove around to see for themselves. Several also mentioned that it was a very nice tournament and they hoped it would be held again next year. Thank you to Levi and Kate, and all who participated and helped out to make it a nice success.

It seems like we just barely finished up branding and moving cattle, now I see hay bales appearing in fields and more swathers getting out ready to go. Summer just barely started and it is busy already. July Fourth is only two weeks away. Whew. Have a great summer. Stay safe.


Where is your favorite place to go camping in Central Montana?