Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Troubling Conversation

As I often do, I struck a conversation with the checker in a slow checkout line in a store yesterday.  The checker was a woman beyond normal retirement age.  I detected an upper East Coast accent.  She told me she was only working part time and would be moving back home soon.
“Where is home?” I asked.
She told me where she came from—exactly where her accent placed her.
“And how do you like Montana?” I asked.
“I don’t like it here at all.  People are not friendly.  I have had other people tell me the same thing.”  She went on to explain that she lived in a neighborhood “surrounded by Mormons…not that that should matter.”
I was a bit stunned, but went on to ask her what brought her to Montana.
“My daughter is here.”
“And how is she doing here?  Does she like it?”
“She hates it here.  But she is stuck because her husband has a really good job.”
I told her I was sorry that she had not connected with Montana or the people here.  I explained that, having been born and raised here, I could not understand her experience.  I thanked her and exited the store.

--Mitchell Hegman


  1. A pity the mother and the daughter do not like Montana. As long as one has a computer, tons of books to read, music to listen to and a camera to capture the beauty of Montana who gives a hoot about socializing with neighbors who aren't friendly?

  2. Helena is the most unfriendly town I ever lived in. If you are not a "local" (born and raised there) you are given the outsider treatment. Lived there 12 years and had a few friends from Helena, but most of our friends had moved there from another city and felt the same way. The place is a closed "good old boys club ".

    1. Kim, I have heard this before. I have no way to judge since I was born and raised here. All I can say is: I was sorry to see you go. Happy that we are still connected!!

    2. So are we. Read you everyday.