The Land Report

2019 TX

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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A cutting horse trader named Ned Johnson moved to Bozeman in 1962. His daughter, a tenth-grader like T.D., caught the young pilot's eye. "I fell madly in love with Sidni the minute I saw her, but she wouldn't have a thing to do with me because I was pretty rowdy in high school," he says. After helping her with her chemistry for what must have seemed like ages, he finally talked her into going out on a date. ey registered their T Lazy S brand before graduating from Bozeman Senior High and got married that very fall. Crop dusting and shoeing horses didn't exactly put the young couple in high cotton, especially since T.D. was also enrolled at Montana State College. In 1967, Sidni's sister, a flight atten- dant, learned that a recruiter from United Airlines was coming to Boze- man. It was the height of the Vietnam War, and the manpower requirements of the different branches of the armed forces had caused a serious shortage of commercial pilots. T.D. had considered pursuing a career as a military pilot but hadn't finished college. "I didn't think I could be a pilot because I didn't have a degree. Fortunately, the airlines were desperate," he says. After impressing the recruiter, T.D. drove down to Blackfoot to take a test at the airfield his father had established. Afterward, United sent him to Seattle to take a Stanine test. took me five passes before I finally got it on the ground. A couple days later, I flew to Montana. ere weren't a lot of peo- ple to show me how to do other things. Everybody was busy working." Between buzzing crops and breaking horses, the teenager sketched and stud- ied. "I drew a lot – sketching first. I didn't sculpt until I was 18, and then only a couple stone carvings," T.D. says. His early inspirations? "Russell and Remington, of course, but Russell seemed unapproachable, so far up there. I really studied Will James. He was more down to earth, and his books were easy to find. My mother would tell me to quit walking around bow-legged, trying to be Will James," he says with a laugh. AIRBORNE T.D. is equally at home on the back of a saddle bronc or in the cockpit of one of his three planes. 63 L ANDREP ORT.COM TEX AS 20 19 | e LandReport

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