Southeast — Character

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Southeast Montana is a land of character.

Eighty-six-year-old Lyman Amsden, top left, manages the Corner Store in Broadus. A Broadus native and WWII veteran, Amsden says he has hope for better times in Broadus in the future, but no expectations for any big changes.

Wearing his cowboy hat while working behind the counter at the Corner Store in Broadus, Ken Johnstone, 64, says he’s  a cattle rancher when he’s not behind the counter. “I love eastern Montana,” he says. “I just never thought about going anyplace else.”

Laura Lee Ullrich, 60, owns the Copper Moon gift and antique store in Broadus, selling what they bill as “the best milkshakes in 500 miles.” She says people are the diamonds in southeast Montana’s crown. They are are resourceful, bloom-where-you’re-planted folks.

And then there’s Diane Turko, who owns and runs the Stoneville Saloon in Alzada all by herself.

Perhaps the brightest prospects for southeast Montana are embodied in the future of Ekalaka native Nate Carroll, who is  acting curator of the Clark County museum, while also beginning graduate work in paleontology at Montana State University in Bozeman. Carroll says southeast Montana is rife with dinosaur fossils and he’s been studying them since he was a kid working on his family farm and ranch.  Now he is looking toward positioning the museum to lead Ekalaka into the economic world of paleotourism, hoping to draw visitors to hunt for the abundant fossils in the area.

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