A male red deer wanders through the oak woodlands of the designated preservation area inside Killarney National Park of Ireland. The red deer is Ireland’s largest land mammal and is the only species of deer that is considered Native to Ireland. Red deer have inhabited Ireland since 10,000 B.C. However, a hefty increase in hunting, commercialization, and deforestation has caused many herds of red deer to go extinct. The country’s wildlife department is now collaborating with others working to work towards preserving the unique and majestic species. (Photo courtesy of KNP)
by Brian Baxter
“I am delighted that my Department – through the National Parks and Wildlife Service – is entering into a Sister Parks arrangement with the U.S. National Park Service by developing best practice and establishing closer links between Killarney National Park here in Ireland and Glacier National Park in Montana,” shared Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage of Ireland, Darragh O’Brien. “In doing so we will enrich the experience and capacity of the personnel of both Parks through exchanges of staff and best practices.”
“I look forward to the day when I can visit Montana, to see Glacier
National Park in all its glory firsthand.” Ciara Shaughnessy, Adviser to
Minister O’Brien added, “Just to note, this proposed relationship is due to be formalized on the twenty second of this month.” With a little Irish luck, the agreement will be signed just after St. Patrick’s Day.
Occasionally in this world, as human beings we are fortunate enough to visit and experience two beautiful locations that seem to be magic parallels. Such places spark enjoyment and ignite a fire of warmth of emotion in many, creating a common bond of appreciation for the world around us.
Most Montanans would likely agree that our own Glacier National Park in the northwest corner of our state is one of these locations. For those who have experienced it, Killarney National Park in County Kerry, Ireland, would likely serve as Glacier’s parallel.
Spelled Chill Airne in the ancient Irish language of Gaelic, Killarney was the first national park created in Ireland when the Muckross estate was donated to the Irish Free State in 1932. This gorgeous Emerald Isle Park has since been expanded substantially and now encompasses over 25,425 acres of diverse ecology which includes the Lakes of Killarney, oak and yew woodlands of international importance, and several mountain peaks. Killarney is also home to the only red deer herd on mainland Ireland and the most extensive covering of native forest in Ireland.
The beauty and ecological aspects of both Glacier and Killarney parks have much in common than one might assume at first glance. Killarney is in southwest Ireland, close to the islands most westerly point. It is 4,176 geographical miles away from Glacier in northwest Montana.
Continued on Page 7
Local author releases collection of short stories, “Montana Wild Wife”
by Stacy Bender
Libby native, Margie Johnson, will appear this coming Saturday, March 20, at Good News Christian Books & Music in Libby to sign copies of her new book, “Montana Wild Wife.” Copies of
Johnson’s new release are also available online at www.scottcompanypublishing.com/store
From the depths of a disadvantaged childhood to the heights of extraordinary wealth, Margie Johnson is blessed. And she knows it.
The last of sixteen children, Margie grew up with very little. Taking her many, many childhood disadvantages, she made them her adult opportunities! She claims a person’s character is built out of her crisis and that’s how she becomes inwardly rich.
Her family roots cleanly trace to Montana pioneers. Margie’s grandfather, Charles Wesley Hutton, moved to Libby in 1894 and became Libby’s first school principal in 1899. Margie married, had two sons, lost one when he was 9, later gained a daughter-in-law and two grandsons, started a business and lives today in Libby, Montana with her spouse of 51 years, Junior, on 10 wooded acres of her family’s original 160-acre homestead.
So begins the
forward to Libby author, Margie Johnson’s, new book, “Montana Wild Wife.”
After ten years of writing editorial pieces for Montana Woman Magazine, and as life seemed to carve a passage of time divinely designed for pause and reflection, Margie decided in the Fall of 2020 to piece together several of the short stories she had written over the years. Within just a few months, a carefully chosen collection was complete and published just in time for the holidays.
“I didn’t know my mom was compiling this
collection of her articles,” shared Travis Johnson, Margie’s eldest son and father of Conner and Cody – the grandsons to whom her new book is dedicated. “I received my copy right before Christmas and was so excited to get it.”
“My mom is very proud of her heritage here in Libby and being part of the Hutton family,” Travis continued. “Obviously, when you are one of 16 children you have to fend for yourself most of the time. My mom figured out early in life that if she was going to do something, she was going to have to take the bull by the horns you might say.”
And wrangle that bull she most certainly has. The stories within her latest collection include a wide array of topics. Memories of her beginnings, reflections on
marriage and romance, lessons on parenting and grandparenting, thoughts on the unbearable grief of losing a child, how she transformed that grief into calm assurance, and several stories from her life’s travels, and tips from the work she has perfected daily over the years – decorating, dressing, and dining on a dime.
“But probably the most important thing my mom ever did for our family was to search out a
relationship with God,” said Travis. “She knew there had to be a purpose to life that only a relationship with God could fulfill. Soon after I was born, she saw an ad for a ladies
Bible class and the rest is history. Her determination to create a more
stable life in our home through her relationship with Jesus Christ was the foundation for everything we did.”
“Did we have a perfect family? Absolutely not,” Travis continued. “However, did we live by principles and not feelings? Absolutely. There was never a day in my life that I ever doubted the foundation my parents provided and the example of marriage they lived daily. Growing up I
always knew without question that my parents were committed to each other and were going to be there through thick and thin.”
“My mom has always had a deep desire to improve upon her past. Structure and accountability in everything you do was of utmost importance to her and still is. This carries over into everything she does – parenting, decorating, writing, marriage, you name it, she’s always looking to improve. We are thankful for the time she took to compile her thoughts and memories into this book so that we can all enjoy it for generations to come.”
Margie’s book will likely leave a similar feeling of thankfulness on the hearts of those who read its pages, no matter the familial connection. Her uniquely strong candor invites readers to feel welcomed with the trademark hospitality she describes discovering at a very young age.
Welcomed to pause,
exhale, reflect, learn, and then instantly find inspiration to grow forward in life with passion and faith at the helm.
Margie will be appearing at Good News Christian Books and Music this coming Saturday, March 20, from 12:00 noon – 3:00 p.m. to sign copies of “Montana Wild Wife.”
Johnson’s collection of 45 short stories will remain available for $16.95 at Good News Christian Books & Music, 519 Mineral Avenue, and the Montana Gallery, 33866 U.S. Hwy 2, in Libby. Direct purchases may also be made by visiting Scott Company Publishing’s online bookstore.
See Page 11 for an
“Montana Wild Woman”