Episode 11: Owning Pray

The sign to Pray, Barbara Walker in the old post office and Madge Walker, one of its former, glorious postmasters.

Barbara Walker owns a town in Paradise Valley, Montana, just north of the only year-round entrance to Yellowstone National Park. For years, she’s been its mayor, its rent-collector, its head maintenance person and the chief lawnmower. The town of Pray, complete with a U.S. Post Office and its own ZIP code, is a place the Walkers have owned since the 1950s. She inherited it from her husband’s family and it became a place to love and take care of and honor its history. It’s complicated, but the truth is she’s ready to move on. She first tried to auction her town in 2012, but that didn’t work out and she’s still waiting for someone else to write Pray’s new chapter. Now, this is as much a story about Barbara’s legacy as it is her town’s. Reported by Last Best Stories host Jule Banville.

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