BRIDGER CANYON — A year ago, the Bridger Foothills fire north of Bozeman burned everything in its path, including the Mendelsohn family’s home - and also Adam Mendelsohn’s fossil collection.
“I’ve been great. I just started high school in Orlando and I really like it. I do miss Montana but I’m doing good in Florida.”
Now let’s rewind to this same time last year… we first met then 13-year-old Adam right after the community replaced and improved his fossil collection after it and his home burned in the Bridger Foothills fire.
“Like Adam said, we’re here in the Orlando area. We’re rebuilding in Montana.” The family’s originally from Florida, but once their home is complete, they plan on moving back to The Treasure State.
“It’s always been a really special place. Not only is it beautiful, but the people are wonderful, and the lifestyle there is also so peaceful and soothing compared to being in a busier city.”
So the million-dollar question is - where is Adam’s fossil collection now?
“I brought it last year home, and I brought it to science like in my science class and everyone thought it was awesome. But yeah I’ve been collecting a lot of petrified wood and more like I don’t know -- not animal fossils, but more like sea fossils and petrified wood.”
Which he then turns into different things.
“It’s very smooth and shiny and I’m hoping someone can cut it and drill it and turn it into something. But yeah I just have all different sized, really thin pieces that I can turn into like a guitar pick or something.”
The Mendelsohn family has definitely been through a lot within the past year, but their uplifting spirit hasn’t changed.
“We had some health issues last year. Then our house burned down, and then Covid hit, and then everything was crazy. As a family in general, we were raised to always have a positive attitude.”
Which has helped when faced with hardships.
“There’s always light somewhere in life. You might not be able to find it at the moment, and I know with the pandemic and everything right now, life is really hard for a lot of people. But just little things you can try and do like going for a walk. You can always find some good somewhere in life.”
A year has passed, but there’s still a lot to be done for all the families involved.