The local electric company is a co-operative. This seems to be pretty much the norm outside the big cities. They are sometimes referred to as "RECC"s, Rural Electric Cooperative Companies. They are owned by their consumers, and cover 75% of the US land mass. Americans are very comfortable with common ownership, provided nobody spoils the party by mentioning the dreaded 'S' word.
They are having a big debate here at the moment about health service provision, with the 'S' word much bandied about. There are TV adverts decrying "death by socialism" in Britain and Germany. I tell them to look at France, which has a different way of doing it (I don't spoil my argument by mentioning that, at bottom, it's just as socialist).
I was talking to a man from the local electric company at the big party they put on for me. I knew he was from the electric company because it said so on his hat. Everyone here has something written on his hat. Except me, of course: I've got a proper hat.
The party was called "Brews and Blues". They had assembled twenty local beers for me to taste and pass judgement on. I tried them all, and declared a winner, but I can't remember what it was. The transit bus brought me home and I can't remember that either.
The blues were provided by some local groups ('local' is quite a loose concept in Montana). They were very good, except for the modern fashion of being too loud. All the local young ladies had come along hopeful of getting on my dance card, but I distributed my favours very sparingly. I hope they weren't too disappointed.
Earlier in the day, we had 'Mud Bog' racing. It seemed a very farming sort of thing to do. Everyone taking part got very dirty. With the temperatures in the 90's (about 33) they had quite a job keeping it muddy. Apparently it helps to make the water soapy. It was too hot to stay for the whole afternoon, so I don't know who won, but I don't suppose it mattered very much; everone seemed to be having a really good time.