As a young woman in the 1880s, SuzAnne’s great grandmother, Clara, lived in a cabin in the mountains near Great Falls, Montana. There, she gave birth to SuzAnne’s grandmother, Gertrude. However, circumstances forced Clara and Gertrude to leave the state. Eventually, Gertrude returned to Montana, married, and started her own family.
As Clara grew old, she rejoined her daughter. Upon returning to the original cabin and her beloved Montana, Clara declared that she was “done roving” – that she never wanted to leave Montana and she would stay until she died. So they tacked a “Dun Rovin” sign on the cabin. Growing up, SuzAnne spent many wonderful summer days (and a few winter days) with her grandmother, roaming the hills in that beloved place.
As an adult, SuzAnne lived 20 years in Alaska, before returning to Montana. Within a month of her family’s return, and naming their new ranch “Dunrovin,” SuzAnne received a book in the mail from a distant relative, which told the story of her great grandmother and the naming of the Dun Rovin cabin.
In that book, for the first time, SuzAnne saw a picture of her great grandmother Clara with “her fancy gaited horse, Lady.” Clearly, this acorn fell close to the family tree: SuzAnne now has her own “fancy gaited horse,” Lady Lonza, named after Clara’s grandson (SuzAnne’s father), William Lonzo Goodman.
A couple of years ago, SuzAnne drove back to see if the old cabin was still standing. Her family had sold it when her grandmother died. She found the cabin and left her business card taped to the door, asking the owners if they would be interested in letting her rent the cabin some day. About a month later, she received a call from the wonderful Great Falls couple who owned the cabin. They invited her to come and stay as long as she liked.
SuzAnne sent them old photos and some history about the place. She says, “Montanans are really wonderful, friendly people, who think nothing of responding favorably to a business card left by a trespasser on their property!”