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Old 10-17-2008, 11:17 AM
Location: Washington State
17 posts, read 43,579 times
Reputation: 15


Thanks for the information on Winnett. Whenever I ask someone if they know where Winnett Montana is they reply with "Huh, what" I have wonderful cousins that live in Winnett and we are planning a trip there next year. My Aunt rest her soul was a great writer, she wrote alot about the area and Montana. She was well known around that area.

Here is a story on the Montana Hand Shake.


My dad taught us of two kinds of hand shakes, THE honest hand shake and the wet noodle hand shake. Now in telling this story remember I am not poking fun at anyone or discriminating.

The honest hand shake (I quickly learned as a youngster) would take you to your knees if done right. Not to mention the tears that would form in your eyes.The honest hand shake meant alot of things. First it meant you grab the other person's hand and squeeze with all your might, if they can return the grip then they are a hard working, honest person. You were to shake hands when greeting or saying good bye. You would shake hands upon sealing a deal and that was never gone back on. Unlike todays times. You didn't need to sign papers to seal a deal. You did the hand shake. I have known several people that could not return my dad's hand shake and it was not because they didn't care or they were not honest. It was probably because either they had already been the recipiant of the hand shake or because they had arthritis. I think some of them prefered hugs from my dad, and even then that was painful.

There was also the hand shake followed by the hug. This was done with family and close friends upon greeting. It meant you were happy to see them.

Now lets get to the wet noodle hand shake. My dad really did not like this one. And we were taught to wonder about the person attached to the hand. My grandmother on my mom's side (from Laurel) was the first wet noodle I met. Here's what my dad thought...not a hard worker, maybe not so honest. Not to really be trusted in my dad's eye. Pansy's were a better word for them. Like my Grandfather, my dad was a hard working farmer and your hands told the story of all the many hours of hard work. More like the princess shake in my opinion.

Now, I will tell you that my dad's son in laws and other family members, even the grandchildren were taught the hand shake rules. To this day I laugh about one of my ex-brother inlaw's, he had the wet noodle and dad did't really trust him. We soon found out later dad was right. My husband the hunter, lumber industry, out doorsy guy he is, would enjoy the hand shake contest with my dad. I think it was a game with those two. You see all the way down to his grandchildren the hand shake became a legend. We still all do the hand shake with people. My girls would run when their papa would want to hand shake. Wonder what he thought of that? I know why they ran, I wanted to also, but I knew if I didn't do the hand shake I would let the legend down.

I went to Nevada with my mother in law for my sister in laws wedding. I was in my 30's. I met a man, about 60 years old ( a freind of my sister in laws) I did the hand shake and he looked at me and said "wow, that is a hand shake" I replied with "this is the Montana hand shake" He looked at me ( I have rough hands) and said these are hard working hands, Now can you guess what he said next?.............. He was born and raised in Monatna, he was in Nevada visiting his Daughter and her family. I don't need to explain anything to him.

My dad was born in Flatwillow and my mom in Livingston.

Now I leave with this, You Montana folks.. you already know about the hand shake, and to all of you non Montanan's that don't-well no better time than the present to start.

I am 48 years old and I still shake hands when meeting new people.

But I think my dad is responsible in a small way for my arthritis in my thumbs. HAHA
Take care Montana and see you in a few days....
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