We still have the gas station


As life-long residents of Moccasin, we feel burdened with the several errors in your recent article (see “Return to sender,” Nov. 17, 2011).

There aren’t that many buildings leaning toward collapse (maybe two, and the only one we could find boarded up is the house we grew up in, now owned by my sister). There just aren’t that many buildings.


The 90-year-old woman the story mentions is my mother. You reported that she was born in that house, has lived there all her life and has never driven a car, when in fact she was born in Lewistown, raised in Buffalo, graduated high school in Selah, Washington and lived and worked all over Washington State before meeting my father, Cecil Ashcraft. And she drove every car we ever owned.

Sure, that post office is convenient for our family, but its economic viability has long since been outlived. We had assumed that it would close once the current postmistress reached retirement age. It served the large farming population well for more than 100 years (my uncle worked the 100-plus-mile rural route for 26 of those years), but now there is no one to serve—kind of like my payphone business.


I am amazed at the number of people who know where Moccasin is. I am continually surprised by the number of people who relate to the Moccasin Pump as the only cheery spot on the road between Billings and Great Falls and the number of people who know the place, have lived here or own land in the Judith Basin. Anyone who has visited or driven through relates to that lit-up pump, and will surely remember it long after the post office is gone. It even made the cover of Montana Magazine years ago.

Joe Ashcroft

Ketchikan, Alaska

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