Mountain West Voices

Monday 4:54 PM
  • Hosted by Clay Scott

Mountain West Voices with host Clay Scott is a program featuring the extraordinary stories of ordinary people throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

Clay Scott

Dean Blount was a Cold War-era Russian language specialist in Turkey. Back home on Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation, he is trying to ensure that his two Native languages - Dakota and Nakota - are passed on. At the Presbyterian church where he is a lay minister, he has taught his tiny congregation to sing hymns in Dakota.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 11/12/14. Listen Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

Clay Scott

Montana arachnologist, artist and feminist Dr. Bea Vogel has studied and worked all over the U.S., but found her way back to Helena, Montana: "(Some people) feel that they're owned by where they live. I've always felt that way: I'm of Montana; I need to be here. This is just about my idea of paradise."

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 11/5/14. Listen Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

Clay Scott

The second installment of the story of Joyce Vashro, an Englishwoman who married a U.S. serviceman and came to Montana 70 years ago. She and her baby embarked on the Queen Mary with 2800 other war brides. Like them, she says she hardly knew the husband she was rejoining, and had no idea what awaited her in Montana.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 10/29/14. Listen Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., or via podcast.)

Clay Scott

George Nickel survived the roadside bomb that killed his comrades in Iraq. Back home in Boise, Idaho, his readjustment to civilian life was a disaster. An armed standoff with Boise police led to jail, and almost a year of solitary confinement. Now George's life is dedicated to helping other combat veterans make the difficult transition to non-military life.

Full Circle: From Refugee To English Teacher

Oct 8, 2014
Clay Scott

Linh Huynh came to Canada as a child with the exodus of the 'boat people' from Vietnam. Today, she helps Calgary's new immigrants, teaching them English, and helping them adapt to their adopted country while preserving their own cultures.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices,"  7/13/15, Monday afternoons, 4:53 p.m., or via podcast.

The story of a rural North Carolina kid who took a long and circuitous path to the major leagues - and never lost his passion for the game of baseball.

Sarah Linden

A visit with poet Tyler Knott Gregson, an unlikely success story from Helena, Montana. He typed his first poem off the top of his head, standing up, on an old typewriter an a junk store. Three years and 900 poems later, he has a following of several hundred thousand people around the world.

Freedom Is A 3,100 Mile Solo Hike

Sep 25, 2014
Clay Scott

"I can't imagine a better existence," says Kayla Murchison. She's nearing the end of a 3,100 mile solo hike on the Continental Divide Trail. After 4 1/2 months walking from Mexico to Canada, she's "hard as nails", and "ready to take on anything."

In our Clip of the Week Kayla talks about the simplicity, freedom and beauty of life on the trail.

Clay Scott

We meet Kayla Murchison along the Continental Divide Trail in Montana, 4 1/2 months and 2800 miles into her quest to traverse the spine of the continent from Mexico to Canada.

(Broadcast: Mountain West Voices, 9/17/14)

Mister S

Sep 16, 2014

Razmick Sarkissian came to Wyoming via Armenia, Iran and Calcutta. For the last thirty years he has taught music in Sheridan, Wyoming, bringing his students "joy in learning, truth in learning."

(Broadcast: Mountain West Voices, 9/10/14)

A War Bride Looks Back

Sep 4, 2014
Clay Scott

The first of several stories in a series looking at the "war brides" who came to the United States by the thousands at the end of World War II. Joyce Vashro, now of Helena, Montana, looks back on the tumultuous years when she and her fellow "Land Girls" (volunteer female farm workers) had whirlwind romances with men they knew they might not see again.

Clay Scott

Robert Bassett of Butte, Montana talks about a life that took him from the Marine Corps, to the lumber camps of the Northwest, to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Clay Scott

A story about a homeless Montana man, about grief and kindness, rootlessness and companionship, and about what happens when we put ourselves in situations we can neither predict nor control. (This piece, originally broadcast January 2014, was remixed as part of PRX's Second Ear Program.)

(Broadcast: Mountain West Voices, 8/13/14)

Clay Scott

This week's Mountain West Voices looks back at the late Darrell Kipp, scholar, educator and Blackfeet language revolutionary.  In a 2012 interview, Kipp reflected on a career that took him from the Army, to the Harvard School of Education, then back to the Blackfeet reservation, where for the last 30 years he pioneered efforts

Jazz Is Like A Really Good Conversation

Aug 7, 2014

Montana jazz icon M.J. Williams was singing in clubs in the early 1960's. Fifty years later, her gorgeous voice and innovative style have reached new levels of warmth and maturity. Listen to this piece and you'll hear why she's a jazz legend in the Rocky Mountain West.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices,"  7/26/15, Monday afternoons, 4:53 p.m., or via podcast.)

courtesy of Kenton Rowe

A retired history professor from Montana reflects on a childhood during the Depression, and on the nature of poverty...and happiness.

(Broadcast: Mountain West Voices, 7/30/14)

Clay Scott

A really moving love story worthy of Shakespeare - only no one drinks poison. There's some plant biology and Irish music thrown in for good measure.

(Broadcast: Mountain West Voices, 7/23/14)

The Gardener: A Hmong Life In Montana

Jul 17, 2014
Clay Scott

Mo Thao reflects on her chaotic early life in Laos and on coming to Montana...and on gardening.

Montana Public Radio

7/9/14: This week on Mountain West Voices: 94-year-old activist Meyer Chessin talks about his journey from his Yiddish-speaking Bronx neighborhood during the Depression, to a career in plant pathology at the University of Montana.

Clay Scott

A middle-aged woman with grown children left a bad relationship to start her life over in Missoula, Montana. Within a couple of weeks she found herself living in a homeless shelter. She got back on her feet through the generosity of strangers, and now works for a non-profit that deals with homelessness.

Clip of the Week: Crafting a Life in Montana

Jun 26, 2014
Clay Scott

Master canoe builder Greg Morley loves building canoes and exploring the Montana wilderness surrounding his home. He talks about the intersection of place and purpose in this week's Clip of the Week.

Clay Scott

6/25/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" The story of Doug and Anna Crabtree, who left good careers and invested their life savings in a farm in a remote part of north-central Montana.

Katy Wright

6/18/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" Montana rockabilly guitarist Russ Nassett visits with his grandson Jack about the importance of playing music.

Clay Scott

7/17/13: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" A visit to the Nekaneet Reserve in southwest Saskatchewan. Elder Linda Oakes talks about racism, about the importance of the Cree language, and about her people's fight to remain in their ancestral home in the Cypress Hills.

Clay Scott

6/11/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" Master canoe builder Greg Morley talks about his life-long love of exploring the wilderness in his own hand-crafted cedar boats.

Clay Scott

6/4/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" George Nickel survived the roadside bomb that killed his comrades in Iraq. Back home in Boise, Idaho, his readjustment to civilian life was a disaster. An armed standoff with Boise police led to jail, and almost a year of solitary confinement. Now George's life is dedicated to helping other combat veterans make the difficult transition to non-military life.

Clay Scott

When Scott Hannon retired after 23 years as Navy SEAL and made his way to Montana, he wanted to hunt, fish, and live a quiet life. Then he discovered the therapeutic value of working with injured wildlife - especially eagles.

Clay Scott

5/21/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" When Ruth Walter and her husband, both of them with 8th grade educations, decided to take their three children and leave the Flat Willow Hutterite Colony to make a new life for themselves, they 'didn't have a kernel of salt in their cupboard.' 22 years later, they are pillars of the tiny Montana farm community of Judith Gap.

Clay Scott

5/14/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" Mike Williams and Aaron Parrett of Helena, Montana, talk about old time American music, its evolution, and their relationship to the genre.

Clay Scott

5/7/14: This week on "Mountain West Voices:" A conversation with Kirby Mathew, award-winning preservationist, at a remote Montana cabin that is one of hundreds of historic buildings he has restored.

Pages