Ellis McElry Goodson Gentleman Rancher


One of the driving forces, if not the main one in the early West, was the rancher. The cowman. The man who put his money where his mouth was. He fought Indians, rustlers, the weather, bad luck, fate itself in establishing his mark on the West. It took more than determination, more than desire, it took iron resolution and the strength and courage to persevere in the face of every kind of adversity imaginable. And he did. It was men like him that created the West.

Back in the mid 1860’s you managed your ranch with an iron hand and common sense, yet with a common core of ethics, a strong sense of morality and a vision. If he was your friend he was your friend for life. And he expected no less from you. This was big land and it took a big man and others like him to settle it.

This is Ellis McElry Goodson. He was an early settler and rancher near Bannack, Montana, a mining town in Southwestern Montana and he sought his fortune in the cattle business rather than mining like everyone else. There was more than one way to strike it rich.  After all miners had to eat too. A man could make a good living for himself and his family by proving the meat for a hungry mining camp. Miners paid dearly for a good steak and the currency was gold. He was essential to the existence of many a town and that made him very wealthy and an important figure in the community. He never called himself a gentleman rancher. That would be unseemly. But everyone else did. When he was mentioned in the ever present conversation that went on in every saloon, street corner, and general store he was called Mr. Goodson, gentleman rancher. He was thought of with respect and he earned it every day. That’s the way it was in the West.

Diorama Sale !

Here it is again! Our February Inventory Clearance sale of overstocked Dioramas! That’s right throughout the month of February *The Institute is making all of our Overstocked Dioramas available to the public at a vastly reduced price. Everything must go to make room for our new Spring line. We are offering especially low prices for all of our top sellers regardless of size or overall approval rating from the traveling public.

Shown above is our deluxe Spruce Tree House Surprise diorama from our exclusive Mesa Verde National Park series. One of our all time best sellers. This is an extraordinary 1:1 reproduction of one of the most scenic views from famed Spruce Tree House, a centuries old Anasazi dwelling normally off-limits to all but the richest visitors. You heard us right! That’s a 960′ wide by 1530′ high, 18″ thick exact copy of Spruce Tree house. Unlike the original you can walk right up to this reproduction and touch it without fear of repercussions or arrest from Rangers or others seeking to protect our National heritage. Avoid being Tazed or tear-gassed by over zealous authorities. With your own personal copy you could even tag it with your own slogans or art work using our own proprietary spray paint that washes off easily with a power washer and ultra-strength bleach. Make it your own by using your own designs or purchase, for a reasonable cost, our own patented stencils for fun and artistic display. Fix what the Anasazi left out. Add those missing items to your diorama like your street address, or personalized messages like “Emma’s Garden” should you choose to install it in your backyard.

We were able to get into the park late in the evening and pull rubber molds from the dwellings and rock face adjacent to them allowing us to get the realistic detail and character that you have come to demand from our dioramas. In fact, on some of the earlier serial numbered dioramas you can even find small pieces (not more that 6″ in diameter or less) embedded in our reproductions. Proudly show your friends bits of these unique pieces of dwellings from a World Heritage site. Note: we cannot guarantee that all dioramas will have these exclusive chunks of Anasazi history embedded in them so order soon to get the pick of the litter.

This beautiful one piece diorama is made from our own patented, trade marked, super-secret foam and pumice material guaranteed to last for months and months with little or no upkeep. Order it with our own optional specially formulated sealer that will protect it from the elements, bird droppings, rain, (acid rain excluded) sun, most unexpected mishaps, small children, civil disobedience, war, dog urine, and other acts of mayhem. Not suitable for Rock Climbers. Note: this is a non-smoking diorama, keep open flames, jerks smoking, and kids with magnifying glasses away. This puppy will go up like a Roman Candle if not properly protected. Burning chunks will stick to the skin if contact is made. Use at your own risk. The Institute is not responsible for any claims of damages or loss of life due to improper installation and use. Read and understand any directions included with this product. Dispose of packing materials properly. Installer is responsible for the placement of guide wires and other supports and all necessary permits.

Order now for immediate delivery. We have less than sixty of these beauties left and they will go fast. Marked down from our every day price of $106,975.00 to $3900.00 these beauties won’t last long. Cash,Credit cards, checks (please allow nine weeks for us to clean out your bank account) bearer’s bonds, items of gold, silver, platinum and/or precious stones gladly accepted. Se Hable Espanol. Please indicate your preferred method of shipment, PP, UPS, or Common Carrier. Call us for shipping charges. Purchaser responsible for unloading.

As this may be your first exposure to our National Parks and World Heritage sites dioramas you might like additional background information on these wonderful additions to your State or County parks, or for that mega-mansion you’re building, or even to dress up that local trailer park, please see the following post for more information.


We look forward to cashing your check and doing business with you. Remember order now and order often. We can’t do this all day.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.


That Montana Gold


On a recent fact-finding trip through Montana for The Institute, we noticed a rather odd occurrence. We had sent our tame Geologist on a mission to discover whether or not  there was any gold left in Montana. He was to locate, then find, any gold deposits that may still be available to people that didn’t have any so they could go up there and get some. Thereby making their lives better because they had become filthy, stinking rich. They would, the new filthy, stinking rich people, then give The Institute a large percentage of the total value of the find, making us Filthy, Stinking rich too. We saw it as a win, win situation. Plus a nice thing to do for the general public.

Well imagine the output of our salivary glands when these photos began downloading into the central information receiving center’s photo receiving and downloading machine here at The Institute. We were stunned and amazed, some of us were even GobSmacked, that was our Brit contingent, they use words like that all over the place. Sometimes you can’t even understand them. But never the less we were surprised.

We debated about telling anyone about this find, preferring to keep this motherlode for ourselves so that we could become even more filthy, stinking rich than we already were, but then we decided that as it was on public land, and in a national park (Glacier) and right next to the road they would find out about it anyway, so we decided to look like heroes and disclose the find to the general public.

This is a nugget about 60′ long 40′ wide and 40′ deep which is slightly longer than a semi-trailer and a lot wider and frankly we were surprised no one had hauled it off by now. That’s a lot of gold sitting there. Our resident metallurgists figure that there is well over 800 maybe 850 dollars of gold sitting there right out in the open just for the taking. That isn’t cheese whiz laying there that ‘s gold.

Were we to, say, bring this nugget back here to The Institute, we would have to string a couple of our empty tuff sheds together to put this thing in to keep it out of the weather and away from prying eyes of whoever may be checking us out. We might even have to build a barn or something to put that thing in and you know how expensive it is to build anything up in the mountains now days so we’re still debating on whether we want to borrow our friend Jim’s flatbed and go get it or not.

Anyway that’s our problem. Yours is to figure out if you want to go up there and get any of that gold that’s just laying around next to the street, as it  were. You might check gold prices before you get all excited though. The last time we looked, gold was at 30- 35 bucks a pound, which make the cost efficiency of dealing with it problematic. But if you’re out of gold and need some, it’s up there. But then maybe you think being filthy, stinking rich is too much bother,
A lot of people do. We’ve done our part the rest is up to you. Good luck.


Spa Day



It’s Friday again, I know, how could that happen, it was just Monday a minute ago but it is. And as you know this is the day we give you ideas on what to do over the weekend. This weekend we thought we might offer something a little different. Last weekends suggestion of jetting off to Cape Disappoint on the Washington coast in your private jet was a big hit with some of you. Actually very few of you but the ones who went said it was great.

This weekend we decided to scale it down a bit and offer something for the ladies out there. That’s a big fat Spa day! Guys can go along too, but I’d recommend skipping the pedicure session Saturday morning. Ladies and some who aren’t really, like spa days and find it a big treat to go to them and have stuff done to them that they can’t get done in the privacy of their own homes.

So what can you do at a spa and more importantly what can be done to you in a spa, you might ask. Well lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Listed below, in no particular order, are spa treatments you can order at your local spa, or if they’re unavailable there, where you can go this weekend to get them.

First is a Snake massage.

Hop over to Israel where you can get a massage from several non-venomous snakes as they slither up and presumably down your spine. Cost $70 US.

Or try your choice of the Tea, Coffee,red wine, sake, or Ramen noodle bath in Japan.

This is one is a little closer to home and I’ll bet to ladies hearts. That’s the chocolate wrap you can get at the spa in Hershey, Pa. They will wrap you or more concisely smear chocolate all over you and they mean all over and then leave you alone for a while. As a guy I have to wonder why they would leave you alone for a while but women do some strange stuff so we’ll just leave it at that.

Gold. In Japan, they give you a gold facial. That’s gold painted on your face for as long as you want it there. The cost, a measly 250 bucks, and I gotta say that if you can afford the plane ticket to Japan and back that’s pretty darn reasonable.

How about a cactus massage? In Mexico you can get rubbed, whacked, stroked or whatever with a spineless cactus paddle and pay for it. The cost $245. It doesn’t say whether that is in peso’s or dollars

And for those of  you with more agrarian roots there is a Wet Hay Wrap in Italy where you get wrapped in wet hay harvested from the meadows of Alpe di Siusi between mid-July and early August then lie on a special 100° waterbed until they harvest you I guess. As a special bonus for those of you who make it you receive a foot treatment where a fish named the Garra Rufa eat away whatever may be lurking on your feet.

I saved the most special treatment for last. That’s the Fanny Facial.  I know it seems like a contradiction in terms but that’s how it’s listed. In New York City, like where else except maybe most of California, can you get a fanny facial? I mean it’s strange even asking the question. What happens is you go in and ask for this deliberately, obviously they don’t just give you one without asking, then they perform a exfoliation of the fanny areas with a papaya-mint scrub, followed by a micro-current therapy where they apparently zap your hiney with low-voltage current to remove in their words, “any lumps or bumps from your butt”, then the whole business is finished with an organic spray tan so your fanny glows like the noon day sun. This has got to be special people. The cost was not revealed but I got to say it has to be worth it.

So those are just some of the treatments available to the Spa goer. Yes they may seem a little irregular to those who don’t frequent spas regularly or that only go to low rent ones where these special treatments aren’t available but our job is to bring you the newest and trendiest things out there, and these were certainly out there.

The ladies pictured above have just completed Yellowstone’s interpretation of a spa which is, as you can see, a snow spa, where you can spend a leisurely hour or two in the sub-zero waters of the Yellowstone river, then be rubbed down by brawny park rangers with snow before finishing the day next to a warm geyser. Upon asking we found that the Fanny Facial is not offered in Yellowstone.

There you have it. That’s the special weekend activities for you ladies. I’m sure you can’t wait to “hit the spa” as they say somewhere I’m sure. For you guys I might remind you that there’s a game on almost every minute of the weekend and beer in the fridge. Just give her the credit card and don’t ask.