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Montana Cowboy

Looking For Love In All The Right Places

Montana Cowboy

(Ft.Peck, Montana) According to legend, it was on this date in the year 269 that Valentine, patron saint of lovers, was beheaded as he traveled the Via Flaminia in Rome. Correspondent Harry Smith fared somewhat better in his latest travels, encountering modern-day lovers searching the road to the altar in a land where Cupid drives a pickup truck.

Mr. Corky Birge (Cowboy): This is where I feel most at home. Now put me in a city, and I'd be totally lost.

Smith: His name is Corky Birge...

Birge (to cattle: Hep, hep, hep, hep, hep!

Smith: ...and he's a cowboy in Montana, the real thing.

Birge: There just comes a time to decide whether to chase the bucks or to chase the peace within yourself, and right now, the quality of my life is what's most important to me.

Smith: After his two daughters, Corky loves ranch life more than anything else on Earth.

Birge: There's the openness out here that kind of puts things in perspective, I think.

Smith: There's a lot to love about this part of the country. There's still some of the romance of the Old West. The only thing missing for people like Corky is someone to love.

Birge: I'm looking for the one woman I'd like to spend the rest of my life with.

Smith: But finding her is not that easy when it's two miles to the mailbox, 50 miles to the grocery store, and 300 miles to the nearest shopping mall.

Birge: It's different. It takes a special type of person to live here.

Smith: Do you get lonely out here?

Birge: Sure, sure.

Smith: So Corky decided to advertise.

Birge: I'm looking for an intelligent lady with a positive attitude towards life.

Ms. Katie "Cupcake" James (Sweetheart Magazine): She should have strong family values and share some common interests with me.

Smith: Across the state in western Montana at the Sweetheart Ranch, Cupcake James, her husband Charlie, and daughter Lise publish Sweetheart, a monthly magazine of personal ads distributed free in Montana and Wyoming. If you're looking for love, this is the right place.

Ms. K. James: Corky's going to go in this upper corner.

Ms. Lise James (Sweetheart Magazine): Boy, he's got some blue eyes, doesn't he?

Smith: When not ranching, Charlie James distributes the magazine. He's known as "The Cowboy Cupid."

Mr. Charlie James (Sweetheart Magazine): I like to think that we mend broken hearts and fix broken ones.

Smith: Among his best matches: Alda and Ed Allen.

How old were you when you met Ed?

Ms. Alda Allen: Seventy-nine.

Smith: The Allens, both widowed, lived miles apart, and learned that love can never come too late.

Ms. Allen: 'As long as we both shall live' — that's the vows we said.

Ms. L. James: Everybody needs love, you know? And I bet you Ed's going to live a few more years because he's got Alda.

Ms. K. James: We truly believe there's someone for everyone, and everyone deserves a shot.

Smith: Betty Jean Dutton believed that, too, so last fall she took out an ad in Sweetheart. She knew jst what she was looking for in Mr. Right.

Mr. Betty Jean Dutton: He's got good family values. He's willing to go to church with me on Sundays and raise his kids in that lifestyle.

Smith: And she thinks she struck gold. This is Devitt, one of 65 men who saw the ad and contacted Betty Jean. As far as she's concerned, he's the one.

Ms. Dutton: Oh, he makes my heart flutter, yeah.

Smith: They haven't met yet because Devitt is 700 miles away in eastern Washington, clearing snow off mountain passes. He'll be dropping by, come the spring thaw. As for Corky, his ad is in this month's issue.

Birge: Is it going to work? I don't know. Is it better than doing nothing? I definitely think so.

Smith: Hang in there, Corky. There's always hope, even for a lonesome cowboy. Harry Smith, CBS News, Ft. Peck, Montana.

First aired on the CBS Evening News

February 14, 1997

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