I’m not sure what the Montana Department of Commerce is doing, but it looks like they want to steal the redhead girl of my dreams who now lives happily with her family in a small town in Northern California.

The incredibly chic and beautiful 12-page full-color brochure begging her to return to her native state arrived by post from state headquarters in Helena. (It’s hell-uh-nuh, “not” hell-eeen-uh. “Even a Californian knows that.)

Cleverly, they used her maiden name on the address line, not the married name she uses in California. You may say it is a mistake or maybe an oversight, but when you see the gist of this whole booklet, it clearly had its purpose.

Basically what he’s saying is “Remember when you were single in Montana before you ran off and married that crazy Californian.”

The folks behind this sinister pamphlet seem to speculate that Montana residents living in California, where hunting, fishing, and rodeos are prohibited, are dying to return home to Montana.

“The Montanan in you?” Asks the back cover. “It’s here.”

In other words, you can get the girl out of Montana, but you can’t get the girl out of Montana.

Pages 2 and 3 combine for a breathtaking panorama of lush green hills reflected in the calm water, without a single word of copy. It looks like the part of the Missouri River where Lewis and Clark once roamed, but it could be just about anywhere in this amazingly beautiful state.

Page 4 shows two strong men lifting large bales of hay without the aid of machines, with the words “It is instinct to do the job with your own hands”.

Come home and bail out some hay seems to be the message here and I may have to tear this page up and hide it lest my sweetheart be overwhelmed with alfalfa nostalgia.

Page 5 shows two large American flags fluttering in the back of a truck as three children are happily roped by a rope-throwing cowboy in a sort of 4th of July parade. (Hint: people in California can’t even tie their shoes, anything less than a lasso.)

Page 6 shows a group of people having an outdoor picnic where all the men are required to wear hats. The caption of the photo explains “The Montanan in you knows what it means to be rooted in a place.”

Again, this place is ‘ingrained’ within you, so don’t try to fight it. It’s in your genes. Or, as they say in Montana, it’s in your jeans. In all respects come home now.

Then we have the father and the dog and the daughter and the son at the fishing hole, located “where you really want to be”.

Yes indeed, you’ve been brainwashed into believing that California is where you want to be, but there’s no denying that your heart longs for a breakfast of freshly caught trout and wood-fired fry. .

Turning the pages with tears in her eyes, we see a young mom sitting at a picnic table with her laptop, apparently an attempt to let sweetheart know that there is indeed internet connectivity in the vast open spaces. of Montana which will allow her to communicate with those of the lunatics she left in California.

“Where you can send your children to good schools and enjoy homemade meals. “

Wow. Who knew you could cook at home? I have never heard of such a thing.

The coup de grace, but which I hope my darling can resist, shows a vast mountain range with the words “The Montanan in you?” He knows Montana, with its open space and Big Sky, isn’t just a place, it’s where you belong. And it’s time to go home.

I counted 26 people represented in this brochure. Each of them appears to have a skin color that matches that of the snow on the beautiful mountains of Montana.

A not-so-subtle reminder that Montana is indeed different from California.

If you think it wasn’t intentional, think again.

– Contact Bob Dunning at [email protected]