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Re: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

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  • Gary Swant
    Steve, That vehicle belonged to Don Stoecker. Don was an avid birder here in Montana and the last ten years or so of his birding days he traveled extensively
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 4, 2010
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      Steve,
       
      That vehicle belonged to Don Stoecker.  Don was an avid birder here in Montana and the last ten years or so of his birding days he traveled extensively across the United States.  Don's goal at that time was to find 50% of all of the birds in every state.  He fell short of his goal by three states before he could no longer bird.  You saw Don's vehicle during his last summer of birding.  In September of 08 Don came to my home in poor health, and disoriented.  His intention was to head south again with the birds, but he was in such poor health that he no longer knew how to head south out of Montana.  Don was never married, and has no family except for a sister who is older than he, who lives in California.  I took Don "under my wing" so to speak, and he is in a rest home here in the community that I live in, Deer Lodge, MT.  I try to see Don once a week, and birding is a distant memory for him, that only comes to life with my prodding and telling of my own birding adventures. 
       
      Don has recovered physically and is doing well, but has lost his interest in birds and struggles remembering things.  What I have learned from Don is, bird while you can, we do not know the future.  Don's van has sat in my yard for nearly two years, and I have begun the process of cleaning it out.  Anyone interested in purchasing a birding van at a very low reasonable price?
       
      You also need to know that Don was not only a good birder in his day, he also taught others to love birding.  He was recognized by Montana Audubon with the Lifetime Achievement Award a few years ago for his efforts in promoting birding in Montana.
       
       
      Don is content, kind and helpful to the other residents, and is always glad to see me, even if he sometimes is not sure who I am.  You saw the van of a great birder and sort of a legend in the circle of Montana birders.
       
      Gary Swant
      Deer Lodge
       
      .----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 1:38 PM
      Subject: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

       

      Mobsters:

      After killing my computer in late December, 2008, now I am in the process of looking at photographs from all of memory cards as I download them to a new computer.   The folder I am in at the moment is from late June, 2008.  When I parked at an overlook along US 85 just to the south of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I saw a Dodge Ram SUV with Montana Bird Habitat license plates with "Birder" instead of some sort of numbers, letters, or combination of letters and numbers.  Since I took that photo I have been curious as to who that person was, is.

      Thanks!

      Steve

      Stevan Hawkins

      San Antonio TX

    • Stevan Hawkins
      Gary: Thank you for your very kind, sweet, note. There are many lessons to be learned from what you describe about Mr. Stoecker s life, the value of a chance
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 5, 2010
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        Gary:

         

        Thank you for your very kind, sweet, note.  There are many lessons to be learned from what you describe about Mr. Stoecker's life, the value of a chance photograph, etc.   As I sit here in San Antonio closing in on two years after the event, I regret not taking the time to wait for Don to return to his van so that we could talk.

         

        Sincerely,

         

        Steve

         

        Stevan A. Hawkins

        San Antonio TX

         

         

         

         

         

        From: MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com [mailto:MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gary Swant
        Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 4:20 PM
        To: MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

         

         

        Steve,

         

        That vehicle belonged to Don Stoecker.  Don was an avid birder here in Montana and the last ten years or so of his birding days he traveled extensively across the United States.  Don's goal at that time was to find 50% of all of the birds in every state.  He fell short of his goal by three states before he could no longer bird.  You saw Don's vehicle during his last summer of birding.  In September of 08 Don came to my home in poor health, and disoriented.  His intention was to head south again with the birds, but he was in such poor health that he no longer knew how to head south out of Montana.  Don was never married, and has no family except for a sister who is older than he, who lives in California.  I took Don "under my wing" so to speak, and he is in a rest home here in the community that I live in, Deer Lodge, MT.  I try to see Don once a week, and birding is a distant memory for him, that only comes to life with my prodding and telling of my own birding adventures. 

         

        Don has recovered physically and is doing well, but has lost his interest in birds and struggles remembering things.  What I have learned from Don is, bird while you can, we do not know the future.  Don's van has sat in my yard for nearly two years, and I have begun the process of cleaning it out.  Anyone interested in purchasing a birding van at a very low reasonable price?

         

        You also need to know that Don was not only a good birder in his day, he also taught others to love birding.  He was recognized by Montana Audubon with the Lifetime Achievement Award a few years ago for his efforts in promoting birding in Montana.

         

         

        Don is content, kind and helpful to the other residents, and is always glad to see me, even if he sometimes is not sure who I am.  You saw the van of a great birder and sort of a legend in the circle of Montana birders.

         

        Gary Swant

        Deer Lodge

         

        .----- Original Message -----

        Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 1:38 PM

        Subject: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

         

         

        Mobsters:

        After killing my computer in late December, 2008, now I am in the process of looking at photographs from all of memory cards as I download them to a new computer.   The folder I am in at the moment is from late June, 2008.  When I parked at an overlook along US 85 just to the south of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I saw a Dodge Ram SUV with Montana Bird Habitat license plates with "Birder" instead of some sort of numbers, letters, or combination of letters and numbers.  Since I took that photo I have been curious as to who that person was, is.

        Thanks!

        Steve

        Stevan Hawkins

        San Antonio TX

      • Carlene Farmer
        dear Gary, thank you so much for sharing Don with us. i was very touched by the details of his life and how you have befriended him. he is one of several
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 5, 2010
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          dear Gary,
           
          thank you so much for sharing Don with us.  i was very touched by the details of his life and how you have befriended him.  he is one of several people i wish i could have met.
           
          blessings,
           
          Carlene Farmer
          Clancy, MT
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 3:20 PM
          Subject: Re: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

           

          Steve,
           
          That vehicle belonged to Don Stoecker.  Don was an avid birder here in Montana and the last ten years or so of his birding days he traveled extensively across the United States.  Don's goal at that time was to find 50% of all of the birds in every state.  He fell short of his goal by three states before he could no longer bird.  You saw Don's vehicle during his last summer of birding.  In September of 08 Don came to my home in poor health, and disoriented.  His intention was to head south again with the birds, but he was in such poor health that he no longer knew how to head south out of Montana.  Don was never married, and has no family except for a sister who is older than he, who lives in California.  I took Don "under my wing" so to speak, and he is in a rest home here in the community that I live in, Deer Lodge, MT.  I try to see Don once a week, and birding is a distant memory for him, that only comes to life with my prodding and telling of my own birding adventures. 
           
          Don has recovered physically and is doing well, but has lost his interest in birds and struggles remembering things.  What I have learned from Don is, bird while you can, we do not know the future.  Don's van has sat in my yard for nearly two years, and I have begun the process of cleaning it out.  Anyone interested in purchasing a birding van at a very low reasonable price?
           
          You also need to know that Don was not only a good birder in his day, he also taught others to love birding.  He was recognized by Montana Audubon with the Lifetime Achievement Award a few years ago for his efforts in promoting birding in Montana.
           
           
          Don is content, kind and helpful to the other residents, and is always glad to see me, even if he sometimes is not sure who I am.  You saw the van of a great birder and sort of a legend in the circle of Montana birders.
           
          Gary Swant
          Deer Lodge
           
          .----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 1:38 PM
          Subject: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

           

          Mobsters:

          After killing my computer in late December, 2008, now I am in the process of looking at photographs from all of memory cards as I download them to a new computer.   The folder I am in at the moment is from late June, 2008.  When I parked at an overlook along US 85 just to the south of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I saw a Dodge Ram SUV with Montana Bird Habitat license plates with "Birder" instead of some sort of numbers, letters, or combination of letters and numbers.  Since I took that photo I have been curious as to who that person was, is.

          Thanks!

          Steve

          Stevan Hawkins

          San Antonio TX

        • Mary Fay
          Hi Gary: Thank you for sharing the details of Don s current life status. What a gift you have been to him. I birded with Don on several occasions and always
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 5, 2010
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            Hi Gary:
             
            Thank you for sharing the details of Don's current life status.  What a gift you have been to him.
             
            I birded with Don on several occasions and always enjoyed his kindness and enthusiasm.   I loved seeing his van with that license plate.  That van was his home.  He so loved birds and so loved to share his knowledge.  Don shared so much with me.
             
            Thanks, again for the update.
             
            My best:
             
            Mary Fay
            Helena
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 3:20 PM
            Subject: Re: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

             

            Steve,
             
            That vehicle belonged to Don Stoecker.  Don was an avid birder here in Montana and the last ten years or so of his birding days he traveled extensively across the United States.  Don's goal at that time was to find 50% of all of the birds in every state.  He fell short of his goal by three states before he could no longer bird.  You saw Don's vehicle during his last summer of birding.  In September of 08 Don came to my home in poor health, and disoriented.  His intention was to head south again with the birds, but he was in such poor health that he no longer knew how to head south out of Montana.  Don was never married, and has no family except for a sister who is older than he, who lives in California.  I took Don "under my wing" so to speak, and he is in a rest home here in the community that I live in, Deer Lodge, MT.  I try to see Don once a week, and birding is a distant memory for him, that only comes to life with my prodding and telling of my own birding adventures. 
             
            Don has recovered physically and is doing well, but has lost his interest in birds and struggles remembering things.  What I have learned from Don is, bird while you can, we do not know the future.  Don's van has sat in my yard for nearly two years, and I have begun the process of cleaning it out.  Anyone interested in purchasing a birding van at a very low reasonable price?
             
            You also need to know that Don was not only a good birder in his day, he also taught others to love birding.  He was recognized by Montana Audubon with the Lifetime Achievement Award a few years ago for his efforts in promoting birding in Montana.
             
             
            Don is content, kind and helpful to the other residents, and is always glad to see me, even if he sometimes is not sure who I am.  You saw the van of a great birder and sort of a legend in the circle of Montana birders.
             
            Gary Swant
            Deer Lodge
             
            .----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 1:38 PM
            Subject: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat

             

            Mobsters:

            After killing my computer in late December, 2008, now I am in the process of looking at photographs from all of memory cards as I download them to a new computer.   The folder I am in at the moment is from late June, 2008.  When I parked at an overlook along US 85 just to the south of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I saw a Dodge Ram SUV with Montana Bird Habitat license plates with "Birder" instead of some sort of numbers, letters, or combination of letters and numbers.  Since I took that photo I have been curious as to who that person was, is.

            Thanks!

            Steve

            Stevan Hawkins

            San Antonio TX

          • thestonechat
            Gary, Thank you for letting us know where Don is and how he s doing. And a big thank you for extending a hand and for supporting him these last few years. Many
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 5, 2010
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              Gary,

              Thank you for letting us know where Don is and how he's doing. And a big thank you for extending a hand and for supporting him these last few years.

              Many years ago when Don lived at Georgetown Lake, Joe and I decided to look for a great gray owl there. After searching unsuccessfully for one, we did manage to find Don. He was building bird nest boxes, but was happy to leave that project to help us search for spruce grouse, which he said hung out in his back yard. His back yard was primary spruce-fir forest habitat. Eventually we did find several spruce grouse, which were new species for us. We thanked Don profusely and asked if we could bird a small lake inlet by his place. He said sure, and Joe and I were lucky to find a small group of pectoral sandpipers. When we reported this sighting to Don, he looked stunned and excited. After we walked back, he saw the pectoral sandpipers and announced that they were a new species for him. It was our good fortune to show each other life birds, even though the great gray owl wasn't among them.

              Don has a big heart and we were lucky to have been recipients of his generosity and his love for birds.

              Poody McLaughlin and Joe Regan
            • Daniel
              MOB-sters: I have heard it said (and have said it myself)that Montana is one small town with very long streets. I birded with Don several times, a few of them
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 5, 2010
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                MOB-sters:

                I have heard it said (and have said it myself)that Montana is one small town with very long streets. I birded with Don several times, a few of them chance encounters with his van at birding hotspots. But my favorite happened outside of Montana, when Susannah and I found him sitting on a bench at Ramsey Canyon in Arizona, and shared some moments with hummingbirds. Gary, I am glad to hear you are providing such friendship to Don at this difficult point in his life.

                Dan Casey
                Somers
              • Cheryl Farmer
                Thank you Gary for sharing this story about Don Stoecker. It s very heart warming and kind of you to continue to visit with him. To add to the other stories,
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 5, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Thank you Gary for sharing this story about Don Stoecker. It's very heart warming and kind of you to continue to visit with him. To add to the other stories, Ron and I also had a far away encounter with Don. We found him camping in his van at the Atwater Prairie Chicken Refuge in Texas. Surprised, not knowing who he was at the time, we told him we were also from Montana. He then told us where to find the Masked Ducks there on the refuge. He's a rare individual that has apparently touched many lives.

                  Cheryl Farmer, Bozeman


                  --- In MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com, "Gary Swant" <Birdmontana@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Steve,
                  >
                  > That vehicle belonged to Don Stoecker. Don was an avid birder here in Montana and the last ten years or so of his birding days he traveled extensively across the United States. Don's goal at that time was to find 50% of all of the birds in every state. He fell short of his goal by three states before he could no longer bird. You saw Don's vehicle during his last summer of birding. In September of 08 Don came to my home in poor health, and disoriented. His intention was to head south again with the birds, but he was in such poor health that he no longer knew how to head south out of Montana. Don was never married, and has no family except for a sister who is older than he, who lives in California. I took Don "under my wing" so to speak, and he is in a rest home here in the community that I live in, Deer Lodge, MT. I try to see Don once a week, and birding is a distant memory for him, that only comes to life with my prodding and telling of my own birding adventures.
                  >
                  > Don has recovered physically and is doing well, but has lost his interest in birds and struggles remembering things. What I have learned from Don is, bird while you can, we do not know the future. Don's van has sat in my yard for nearly two years, and I have begun the process of cleaning it out. Anyone interested in purchasing a birding van at a very low reasonable price?
                  >
                  > You also need to know that Don was not only a good birder in his day, he also taught others to love birding. He was recognized by Montana Audubon with the Lifetime Achievement Award a few years ago for his efforts in promoting birding in Montana.
                  >
                  >
                  > Don is content, kind and helpful to the other residents, and is always glad to see me, even if he sometimes is not sure who I am. You saw the van of a great birder and sort of a legend in the circle of Montana birders.
                  >
                  > Gary Swant
                  > Deer Lodge
                  >
                  > .----- Original Message -----
                  > From: Stevan Hawkins
                  > To: MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 1:38 PM
                  > Subject: [MOB-Montana] RFI: License plat
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Mobsters:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > After killing my computer in late December, 2008, now I am in the process of looking at photographs from all of memory cards as I download them to a new computer. The folder I am in at the moment is from late June, 2008. When I parked at an overlook along US 85 just to the south of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I saw a Dodge Ram SUV with Montana Bird Habitat license plates with "Birder" instead of some sort of numbers, letters, or combination of letters and numbers. Since I took that photo I have been curious as to who that person was, is.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Thanks!
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Steve
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Stevan Hawkins
                  >
                  > San Antonio TX
                  >
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