The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Independent Voice Of Valley County Since 1913



Dear Editor,

I graduated high school with Mike & Maryann (Burns) O'Connor, the class of 1964.

As we planned to gather for our 50th class reunion in May, 2014, Maryann suggested that we release balloons over Fort Peck Lake in memory of those that had passed on. She, like many of my high school classmates, had lived and attended grade school in Fort Peck, so this was a natural suggestion.

This inspired me to write a poem as part of the ceremony. We had first gathered around a table at the newly rebuilt restaurant and ate while we shared memories of those that had gone on before. Then we stepped outside to a perfect Montana evening with a slight breeze blowing and as I read the poem, a Meadowlark sang and the breeze carried the balloons over the lake.

As I wrote the poem I was inspired by the Nashua Cemetery, there high on the hill covered in natural prairie grasses and wildflowers with Meadowlarks often sitting on a fence post, singing.

Now, as Mike and Maryann are laid to rest there, this poem that she inspired has even yet a deeper meaning. And too, it speaks to all of us who have loved ones who've been laid to rest at Nashua Cemetery or any cemetery on our beloved Montana Prairie, where so many of our forefathers came in response to the Homestead Act or seeking work on Fort Peck Dam.


by Isabelle Anne Hill Collins


Across the wild prairies

The flowers grow

Amidst the grasses

As they blow

And Meadowlark

Sings fond goodbye

As we pay homage

Here nearby.

You've gone before

You're here no more

You've gathered

To a distant shore

Where one day

We will meet again

And sing a song

Of sweet amen!

So many memories linger still-

Dumb things we did

That gave us thrill

Dumber stuff yet

That gave us chill

Around many a corner

Down many a hill.

Many thoughts tucked

Within each heart

When you were here

Though now apart.

We pause and remember

You now with Love

Precious gifts to us

From God above!

You graced our lives

With joy and laughter

We remember you now

We'll remember long after

This day is through

As we pay homage

To the memory of you!


A memorial service was held for Mike and MaryAnn on Saturday, July 27, 2019, at the Nashua Cemetery.


Isabelle Hill Collins

Farmington, Minn.


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