I belatedly received a copy of a most curious article by T. R. Reid in The Post's Jan. 8 issue ("American Journal: No-Frills Lawmaking in Montana"). I apologize for this response being so untimely -- the Pony Express riders out here in wild Montana have had a particularly rough winter.
Reid described our capitol as being "wonderfully rococo." Is that a complimentary reference to our legislators? If it means that things get a little cuckoo during the time when the legislature meets, the notion would find widespread agreement among our citizens.
Reid made a few slight errors in his report. He accurately pointed out that we do have a 90-day session, and he can't be too roundly faulted for merely counting out the 90 days on a calendar and coming up with April 4 as our final day.
It is true that we have a farm and ranch culture here in faraway Montana requiring work seven days a week, month in and month out. However, we legislators, for reasons based on historical precedent from our frontier past, do take Sundays off to rush home, feed the cows for the week, bring up water from the crick, fill the wood box, put a little lime in the outhouse and other necessary chores.
When Reid points out that "huge portions of Montana were destroyed by forest and prairie fires last summer," it is understandable that 20,000 acres would be considered one pretty hefty chunk of pasture in Washington. But here in Montana it ranks more like the South Forty.
Finally, Reid and The Post's readers might appreciate knowing that the aw- shucks, easygoing governor he interviewed has "set up" this 49th legislature and the people of Montana by proposing a budget that is pert near $60 million in the red. This may seem easygoing and neighborly down-home stuff in the multibillion-dollar debt world of Washington, but it is gol dern serious business in Montana. We are thankful our constitution prohibits us from following the governor down his rosy path.