Written by Devon Boen
When I first pulled into Wolf Point a little over a year ago, I was pretty sure I needed to turn around and go back to where I belonged. Obviously, I didn’t do that. I stayed and slowly made this small town nestled up in the corner of Montana my makeshift home.
To this day, I think about what a huge mistake it would have been to leave. I would have missed out on meeting hundreds of interesting people with different stories to tell. I learned about the nuances of state and tribal law from the Wolf Point Police Department, I relayed stories of mischievousness and heroism from a Vietnam Vet walking across the country and I had the opportunity to interview two of Montana’s most important political figures, Congressman Steve Daines and Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.
Over the past year, I’ve been able to cover fun, lighthearted stories, but I’ve also had the opportunity to take on intellectually and morally challenging topics.
I’ve been amazed at the depth and importance of Wolf Point’s and Roosevelt County’s issues and current events. I particularly loved covering the Charles Bowen negligent homicide trial. I found the process to be fascinating and felt like it was my responsibility as a reporter to provide in-depth coverage.
For those professional opportunities and lessons, I need to thank Darla and Sheridan Shumway, as well as former Herald-News editor Jeff Tucker who helped me out when I was a brand new intern. Darla and Sheridan provide reporters with the chance to cover all spectrums of reporting and that type of experience is invaluable.
But, what made my time in Wolf Point most enjoyable were the people I met. I never minded going to weekly commissioner meetings. I knew Gary, Jim, Duane and Brenda would always help me out.
And, I looked forward to blotter each week where I could spend some quality time with Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada, who always had some type of unhealthy treat to give me, or Lieutenant Brian Erwin, who I could count on for straight answers.
On a personal level, I’m grateful I met Jasmine Azure, who was a good friend from day one, and one who will be missed when I leave. I already miss Faye Hotomanie who recently moved to Billings and was previously the longtime ad/sales employee for The Herald-News.
We were happy when Sam Stanich joined the paper in October. The three of us kept each other sane while folding hundreds of Searchlight newspapers by hand each Wednesday and we could usually be found at the pub on Fridays.
Most of all, I’m glad I gave Wolf Point a chance because I met Skyler Turner, who is now my boyfriend of one year. Besides just him, I’m grateful I was openly welcomed and cared for by his family, Dee, Marlene, Preppie, Dani and Kay.
If I’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that you don’t always know what you need. I never thought moving to a remote location with a few thousand people would ever be something I wanted, let alone needed, to change the direction of my life but, now, it’s quite clear it was the only solution and a serious gift.