'The Last Best Place'

Fascinating story in today’s Washington Post about a wealthy entrepreneur’s attempt to trademark a slogan—“The Last Best Place”—that has come to symbolize Montana and the West.

The businessman is none other than David Lipson, who is the former chairman of lingerie company Frederick’s of Hollywood and former CEO of discount haircutter Supercuts. He’s now dabbling in Montana, where he owns a ranch, and wants to brand a company after the slogan, “The Last Best Place.”

On the surface, it seems almost ridiculous that this is front-page news in Washington, D.C. But it’s also a sad commentary that Lipson is so hungry for money that he’s buying up a phrase that originated from William Kittredge’s book of stories and poems, titled The Last Best Place. Kittredge’s book was published in 1990.

Perhaps what’s most enjoyable is the public-relations onslaught Lipson is enduring as a result of his move. Montanans are not happy. And even the state’s Democrat governor, Brian Schweitzer, has entered the fray.

"We just don’t like big shots coming from someplace else and claiming they own something they don’t," Schweitzer told the Post. "Who is he? The Wizard of Oz? We don’t think he is the Wizard of Oz, and I sure as hell ain’t the scarecrow!"