Quite coincidentally, I arrived back in Missoula after five years of being away, pulling up in a 26-foot U-Haul just weeks before the Independent's article "The Good Ol' Days" appeared in the recent Fresh Facts special issue. During that time, my wife Joyce and I spent three years in Bend, Ore. (we likened it more to Bozeman than to Missoula) and two years exile in New Jersey, where the stereotypes of rude people are stereotypes for a reason. That being said, it's hard to list all the things we missed and are now happily rediscovering again: from the new Top Hat and Kettlehouse to the Big Dipper and Shakespeare and Co. Like everywhere, Missoula has changed and stayed the same. Also like everywhere, locals—as the article alluded to—are proud and smug of where they live. The difference is in Missoula they have a right to be. A place where happy hour means something, and I'm just another guy with a ponytail cycling by.