Senior spotlight: Ronald Forest

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High School Graduate: 1963, St. Regis High School

Military Service: Two tours in Vietnam in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1967

Family: Married to Linda for 28 years, Ronald has 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.

What was St. Regis Football like when you played?

It was 8-man football, I played halfback, I only weighed 100 pounds. Our district didn’t compete against teams up in the Flathead, because at the time the 13-mile bridge didn’t exist. We only had the ferry to cross the Clark Fork. So all of our games were against towns to the South and East.

What was your first job?

I joined the Labors Union in high school and worked with my Dad over at Wolf Creek Canyon building 80 mile marker bridge north of Helena on I-15. After that I joined the Carpenters Union and continued working on bridges for the highways before I was drafted for the Vietnam War.

How has St. Regis changed?

The school has gotten bigger. The Bennett Lumber Mill was a big part of the town before it closed back in the ‘60s. Mostly every one worked there. Now where the mill once stood is the St. Regis Community Park.

“Back in the day” what did you do with your friends for fun?

There were dances almost every other week with live music. I was in the sax quartet, the choir, and the male quartet. My friends and I would hunt and fish on our way to and from school. If we got something, we’d be late to school.

It’s hunting season – are you still a hunter?

Haven’t hunted in several years, the wolves have put me out of business. I used to hunt all the time for deer, elk, and antelope.

Hobbies and Interests?

I love to travel and ride my Harley. I’ve been to 22 countries. I’ve ridden my bike in places like Australia, Japan, Russia, and Europe.

Do you feel like people are less social these days?

People are addicted to the television. As a kid my folks had pinnacle parties, four tables of friends squeezed into our tiny house. You knew your neighbors.

What is a “Millennial”? (Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 is considered a Millennial)

Ron: Is that me? I do have a beard!

What are some slangs/phrases from your youth?

Ron couldn’t come up with any! Online I found, if an event was “righteous,” it was fantastic. A pretty girl would be considered “choice”. And if you were tooling you were driving around.

Any advice for the next generation?

Put down the I-phone. Read a book or the newspaper.

Favorite Movie: Anything with John Wayne in it

Favorite Song: In the Mood by Glenn Miller

Favorite place to eat: The good old Montana Bar in Saltese

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