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Looking Back on the Front

I have a very special guest joining me this afternoon at 4:35 and she WON’T be on the phone-long distance live from somewhere like many of my guests but she’ll be right here in our KSEN broadcast studio on Oilfield Avenue. She’s T.J. Fanning (Toni) and although she’s originally from Northern Michigan, she’s lived here in Montana since the fall of 1994. Toni earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Montana Western and spent six years teaching at the secondary level in Wyoming, Alaska, and here in Montana. Because Montana felt like home from the start, this is where she decided to settle. Toni was teaching in Choteau when she started seasonal employment at Deep Creek Ranch in Choteau. Her employers there had always been interested in learning about the area and thus Toni was afforded the opportunity of interviewing some of the locals to document and compile their families’ histories. They’re all in Toni’s book, “Looking Back on the Front: A Bridging of Historical Perspectives” that consists of a compilation of personal and transcribed interviews, legal documents, newspaper articles, published works, maps, letters, brochures, and Internet sources, covering a time period that spans from prehistory to the early 1940’s. Toni’s book focuses on what occurred on and around the South Fork of the Teton Canyon through the Deep Creek area to the Sun River and it’s ombined in such a way so as to allow each story to reflect the voices along Choteau’s Rocky Mountain Front. Passed on from one generation to the next, the stories provide one-of-a-kind takes on the adventurous spirit, challenges, and triumphs of those who chose to make “the Front” their home. Regarding the individuals talked about throughout the book, their stories are as much about how and why they came to the area as they are about where they were located and what they did while living in the foothills of this magnificent yet rugged landscape that is home to Jim Anderson, a “regular” on the Puffman Show. “Looking Back on the Front: A Bridging of Historical Perspectives is for sale at the Choteau Trading Post and Toni will be there for a book signing tomorrow (Saturday) from 1 until 5 during the Choteau Christmas Stroll. I haven’t seen the book yet but am most anxious to when author T.J. Fanning visits the Puffman Show this afternoon.

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