By Casey Folley

My grandmother Nancy Hough was a remarkable woman. She was a world traveler, fluent in several languages and one of Big Sky’s first seasonal visitors. She lived with her husband, Richard Hough, in Illinois after World War II, but during the war they were stationed in Tonopah, Nevada, where they both learned to love the mountains. Soon thereafter they began visiting Diamond J Ranch in Ennis.

I was told that they met Chet Huntley when he came to the Diamond J Ranch to try and get people interested in Big Sky and his vision for a resort. The story goes that they drove up into the Meadow and sat on the floor of a large teepee where he gave them the pitch.

My grandparents were sold on Big Sky and soon thereafter purchased a Silverbow condo that they owned for the rest of their lives. Until her death in 2005, Nancy was known in Big Sky for walking the spur road from the Meadow to the mountain and back every day during the summer. In Chicago she was known for volunteering as a translator at the Chicago Children’s Hospital. To her family she was simply known as Ralph.

Casey Folley has been living in Big Sky since 2010 but has been visiting since 1982. His grandparents introduced Folley to Big Sky when he was a baby. His grandma exposed him to hiking, and his grandpa taught him how to fly fish on the Gallatin River. Folley is now co-owner of Beehive Basin Brewery.