Thursday, June 25, 2009

Family ties

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 11:37 AM

As a member of the family that originally owned most of Huey Lewis' land, I was very interested in your article about him (see "Deep cut," June 18, 2009).

The Flanagins bought the land and built the original farmhouse in the late 1800s. When my grandfather took over running the farm, his parents built a smaller place nearby. Grandpa sold the big house, barn and his half of the land in the early 1950s. Since then, that part of the property has been broken up with different folks in the house and others in newer houses built near the barn. My great aunt raised her family in that smaller house and lived there well into her 80s. Huey befriended her and bought her land and buildings when she needed to move into a nursing home. Aunt Phyllis died about a year afterward. Huey's caretaker was at her funeral and invited us to come for a visit to see the work they had done on the land. (I never took him up on that offer!)

I don't know anything about the controversial slough, but do know that we flood irrigated the land using ditches. I also know that Huey treated my aunt kindly and with dignity. My aunt's daughter shared that hunters and folks fishing often stopped to ask permission to cross her land as they headed to the river. Personally, I would rather Huey own the land than see it more chopped up and with houses.

Susan Flanagin, Missoula
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