Join us Saturdays
from 1 to 4 p.m.
"Pickin' in the Park"
It's FREE, it's FUN and you may
feel like DANCIN'
Spring is teasing us, but it is now mid March and old man winter
recently laughed at us again and laid an 8" blanket over us. Gil just
didn't feel like shoveling and plowing so he left his shop closed and
worked on improving some inside displays and writing the newsletter.
By the time this is going to press, the weather will hopefully change and
it may once again look like spring.
In spite of the winter blahs we have had visitors from 22 States, five
countries and three Canadian provinces.
We have really enjoyed having the "Pickin' in the Park"
musicians every Saturday afternoon. Please come and
listen for free and bring your friends. You can sing-a-long,
whistle, and dance too.
Executive Board of Directors
Gil Mangels, President
Cathleen Wilde, VP
Mel Adams, VP
Joanne Mangels, Secretary
Gracia Normandeau Jones
Kendall Dupuis
Mike Maddy
Stan Cohen
Donna Maddux
Nancy Pray
Jeanne Windham
Advisory Board of Directors
Phyllis Fulkerson
Jim Pomajevich
June 23, 2008 Volume VII
A N o n - P r o f i t 5 0 1 ( c ) ( 3 ) C o r p o r a t i o n 8 1 - 0 4 3 7 3 8 6
36094 Memory Lane Polson, MT 59860 406-883-6804
March 2009
One Hundred years of T's
One hundred years ago Ford's first Model T rolled off one of America's
first assembly lines. MOAM has over 10 T's from 1914 to 1927 and would
like to tell you about a couple of special ones Gil has been working on this
winter. For years, Gil has wanted to build a TT (the heavier frame ton
model) into a wrecker truck, using an old wrecker unit that was originally
used by Cline Motors, (where Polson True Value now stands). Recently
Disney - Pixar movies brought out a delightful animated family movie
called "Cars" featuring Tow Mater, (a wrecker tow truck) and Lightning
McQueen, a race car with an attitude.
Well, this inspired Gil to go all-out in restoring his wrecker truck, and to
dig out some accessory parts to build another period correct Model T
Ford Racer. This one is different than the one that is displayed on the
Can you help us save
Some folks have requested our
newsletter on-line
to save paper and
mailing cost. The
two advantages are
reduced postage
cost to us, AND
that you receive it
in COLOR! Also, it
wouldn't cost us 90
cents if you move and forget to tell us of
your address change. Please let us
know by email, with the subject "museum
newsletter" if you want to switch.
Story continued on page 2
Dwight Baker
- two unique circa-19 teens truck axles
Terry Broston
- Several boxes of salesmen's samples
of household cleaning products and hardware store items
Howard Hudson
- HD Clock and various manuals and
Irene Mc Allister
- sheet music, "We Love Our Montana"
Nancy Peace
- sheet music, "Montana Plains" written by
Rubye Blevins (her real name was Patsy Montana) circa
1937, various school and ag books, butter churn and ice
cream maker (both hand crank), WWII canteen, a mess
kit that had been Jim's, and a pair of beaded fur lined
moccasins that she had bought in Alaska in 1950.
Neil Olson
- Parts to restore our 1915 Indian Motorcycle
Dave Marshall and Paul Bonelli
- Painting help
Harlan and Joel Olson
- A propane search light,
blacksmith/wheelwright heavy duty tyre shrinker,
miscellaneous antique oil cans etc.
A huge salute of thanks to our
Sustaining Members:
First Interstate Bank
Glacier Bank
Polson Bay Grocery
Larry & Judy Sagers
Bob Skans
Jim & Barbara Sohm
Whitefish Credit Union
Corporate Sustaining Memberships:
Moody's Markets
Family Memberships:
Rick Breckinridge
John & Toni Erkkila
Ron Marquardt
Mike Noble
Ken Soward
In a class all by itself was a wonderful grant of $1000
from Walmart towards our endowment fund. Walmart,
while not locally based sure donates a lot to Polson's
charitable organizations and we say THANK YOU for this
Big Check
Newsletter layout courtesy of
Carmine Mowbray of
antique car hauler. He narrowed the cowl 8" so it is a
single seater, moved the engine back 8" so it has a longer
hood and lowered it about 6". The tail section he made by
cutting the tops off of two Farmall M Tractor gas tanks and
putting them together to make a streamlined looking tail
reminiscent of the 1920's and early 30's. The engine is
capped off by a rare 16 valve "Roof" racing cylinder head
with four exhaust stacks coming out the left side. Lack of
funds to overhaul the engine means the racer won't run
this year, our "Mater" runs well enough to do a few
parades with "Lightning" in tow. "Cars" takes place in
Radiator Springs, along nostalgic Route 66. To avoid
confusion, our Mater is from Radiator Leaks, MT, along
Hwy 93. Children and adults alike, think the combo is
neat. Any resemblance of ours to Pixar's, however, is
strictly a figment of your imagination. See "Before" and
"After" pictures on our website, under "projects."
Thanks to these folks and all our sustaining and
family members, we are able to preserve and
present history for all to appreciate. We cannot
accomplish this without your help.
We are saddened to report that Carla
Mapston has died. She and her husband, Don,
donated many useful items before their move
to Conroe, Texas a few years ago.
Memorial Jerry Stolle
Silver Rock Pines
Memorial Walt & Phyllis Mangels -
Dr. Palmeiri
Memorial Fred Poloson -
Grace & Lyle Larson
Beautiful beaded Alaskan fur moccasins purchased by
Nancy Peace in 1950
Steve at
Missoula Pacific Steel
who has helped
us in the past by giving us roofing at cost recently
donated several hundred dollars of steel for restoring
our wrecker truck. Some of the steel for our rusted out
bed had to be specially formed. They did a very nice
job on that too.
Glacier National Park will be celebrating their
birthday next year. Gil has been busy doing
an article and taking photos of some of our park
collectibles to submit for inclusion in their
centennial book. We hope to be accepted
Souvenir of Glacier Park. Ladies button
hook and shoe horn patented 1917
Visit Area 51 Without
Leaving Town
Art Jacobson of Denver just sent us a framed
11 x 15 photo of our "Area 51" which he took and
used on our 2008 reception area calendar. He
entered the photo in a recent Roswell, NM art show
under the title "Mimicking Roswell at the MOAM". It
didn't win but in all fairness to the judges in
Roswell, I think that they may have been a little
jealous that someone else could have evidence of
extra terrestrials.
Another American Icon turns 100
For a particular map display Gil has
planned, he needs "glovebox"
maps for Alabama, CT, Hawaii, NH,
OK, RI, SC, TN and VT. Can you
Ask any child . . .
Ask any child: "Who makes the best animated
movies?" and they will probably all tell you, "Pixar",
who coupled with Disney, have brought us some
delightful family movies over the last few years: "The
Incredibles," "Ratatouille," and "Cars" are Gil's
favorites. Director and screen writer, Brad Bird spent
part of his childhood in Polson and Kalispell.
Brad was kind enough to send a nice morale
booster letter to Gil, and he just donated a large box
of goodies including a talking doll "Edna". She was
fashion designer for the super hero family, the Parrs,
in the "Incredibles". Brad thoughtfully autographed
and sent several nice coffee table hardback books
on the making of a good family movie. They make
one appreciate the time and hard work that are
involved. His able assistant, Lori, has also spent
some of her valuable time over the phone with Gil.
Photo at right: Pixar's "Edna" doll from "The
Incredibles", a DVD and personal letter to Gil from
the studio's Brad Bird, who hails from Polson and
Miracle of America Museum
36094 Memory Lane
Polson, MT 59860
Endowment To Sustain Miracle of America Legacy
We're not alone when asking for financial help and with the recession we feel
awkward. We are not asking that you take food or shoes from your family, but
we are heartened that the spirit of giving is alive in these challenging times. We
would like to share our concern and candidly ask for consideration.
Many people ask what's to become of this amazing collection when we get
old. Fact is we are old and are concerned about what is to become of it. If we
turned it over to the city or county, it would inevitably be sold and dispursed
forever - a loss to the community and its rich heritage.
After 24 years we now have only 10% of what we need for a sustaining
endowment. We have used all monies wisely with none going to us or any board
member. The endowment fund is inviolate and the interest it generates could
help hire someone to take charge when we are no longer able. We have
volunteered all our time whereas someone else will likely not be able to.
Our museum savings fund (different from endowment) was depleted last year
to match a generous gift to build our newest village building and restore a few
items that had been waiting a long time. Much of the labor and money to restore
items has come from earnings from Gil's welding and machine works, but there
has been a slowdown in paying jobs. We know there are people out there who
are not aware of this critical need. Why not call, write, or better yet, bring them
in and let their heart be their guide. If you would be willing to pledge or bequeath
just 5 or 10% of your estate to the MOAM what a blessing that would be
towards preserving the museum so that your posterity might enjoy it in the
Gifts are tax-deductible.
Postage Paid
Polson, MT
Permit #89
"The Sunseekers", original sculpture by
Gil. In order for a flower to blossom and
reach its full beauty it seeks the sun. In
order for a person to do likewise, he
must seek the Son, Jesus Christ the Son
of God."
This whole
daylight savings
time change has
me so frazzled.
You did say
"Spring Ahead"
didn't you? -
original sculpture
by Gil