Yaak school arts and crafts fair is June 30

Submitted by Sandy Beder-Miller


Start your July 4th holiday early by attending the sixth annual Yaak School Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday June 30 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. It will be held on the grounds of the historic Yaak one room school house.

Proceeds from this event will help fund special projects at the school.

Arts and crafts for sale will include knitted and crocheted items, photography, rugs, paintings, pottery, jewelry, hand-sewn items, wood stoves, authors, plants, items made by the Yaak School children, greeting cards, wooden furniture, wooden signs, artisan baked goods, and information from local organizations.

There will be free activities for children from 12:30  until 3 p.m. Lunch will be available for purchase from Cabinet Mountain catering, and the Yaak Women’s Club will sponsor a bake sale to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The one room log Yaak School house was built in 1932 by local  residents. Two additions were constructed in subsequent years to provide bathrooms, a library and an office, but the basic structure has not changed. We have an excellent teacher, knowledgeable clerk and a hard-working board of trustees. Our K – 8 school provides an excellent foundation to children in the valley who have gone on to become teachers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, engineers, musicians, nurses and researchers. We are proud of our school, staff and students.

The Yaak School is located 45 minutes from Troy. To get there from  Troy, take Hwy. 2 west and turn right onto Yaak River Road (Hwy. 508). The school is located between mile marker 30 and 31 at 29893 Yaak River Rd.

Local author releases new book on military history

Submitted by Cyrus Lee


In-Country is the latest historical publication from local author Cyrus Lee.

In-Country is the second book in the larger magazine-style format that is proving very popular, it makes viewing the full color photos and text easier on the eyes.”

“Many of those who have followed my Soldat publications, which have all been themed on German WWII subjects, since 1987 have asked me to take a step into the US side of military history. Over the years I have geared up to do a book one this, but this or that got in the way, never made it.  A friend of mine, who has a nice US Army Vietnam War aviation collection, brought the idea along with initial funding for the project, to me. I had a place in the writing schedule, at the time it was late winter-early spring, rain everyday so I could not get to outside projects. So I dug in, made this the mission and cranked. Had it in just under two weeks.”

“Vietnam was the first widely combatant photographed war our nation was involved in. Just about every soldier had a camera at some point. They captured the personal feel of their time overseas. Army aviators were free with self-created ‘nose’ art for their aircraft and helmets and units created unique ‘in-country’ uniform patches. There is more raw material out there than I could use for this project.”

Readers like story with illustration, picture books are for everyone. I built my Soldat series on that idea and that is now the industry standard format in that genre. What I could do in 1987 is peanuts to what can be done now. With the photos, words, and artifacts of crews of these aircraft drawn together in one full color book it is a new level of historical documentation, of story, for my work and for my readers.”

With the continuing development of demand print publishing and advances in self-publishing software Lee is able to completely put the book together on his laptop. Local publication pro Scott Becker worked over the design and final layout, from there it is uploaded for print and publication.

“About six to ten days later Ryan Lett, my UPS guy, delivered a box of books at my office.”

The ability to make low run products allows Lee to venture into new areas and also take on customer’s projects without having the worry of paying for and storing thousands of copies of books. With every new title he finds the industry has changed a bit more for making the next book easier to create.

There is a community of writers in and around Libby. Some well-known, most not. Some, like Lee, are well known in niche publication areas.

“The Soldat series and I are well known in the world of military collecting and historical field of the Deutsche Soldat or German soldier of the Second World War. But as a novelist, I’m still unknown struggling to get my book Me & the ‘53 really recognized. After years of promotion I got the break of a spot on the Montana Public Radio ‘The Write Question’ webpage, a great opening to the wider book review world. I’m encouraging all who have read about the Kid, Scorchy, Wanda, the ’53 Harley and that Montana summer of 1965 to get on there and give the work a shout-out and a shot at that prime time interview.” (http://mtpr.org/post/me-53-cyrus-lee)

The In-Country series will continue with the next volume taking a look at the soldiers who rode into harm’s way with the crews of those Army choppers. Lee is also working with partners to get that first US World War II book off the ground.

“Right now I’m planning to do this first volume on US Navy Aviation. My dad was a naval aviator in WWII, as was President H.W. Bush, and thousands of others. For the most part aviation history has focused on US Army Air Force when it comes to books and film. Not to take from that effort or sacrifice, but there were a lot of Navy guys in there as well.”

Lee’s books are available on Amazon, from him, and some local vendors. You can always take a look at them at the Clear-Cut Barbershop just by the big eagle while you wait your turn in the chair.