We've heard many "not in my backyard" complaints before, but none quite as ridiculous as one from some northern Wyoming ranchers who are upset that a group of Roman Catholic hermit monks wants to build a monastery in their area.
There are a lot of potential neighbors who could justifiably raise the ire of the ranchers, who reportedly don't want to see their rural open spaces disturbed. A smelly factory, crack house or camp for serial killers are just a few on the long list of facilities that understandably wouldn't be welcome.
But a monastery for hermit monks? What could possibly be less threatening to anyone's quality of life?
Dave Grabbert, a ranch owner who wants to sell his property about 20 miles from Meeteetse to the Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel, posed a pertinent question: "What's puzzling to me is if people complain about these guys as neighbors, what kind of neighbors would they want?"
Some of Grabbert's fellow ranchers have hired an attorney and have protested the sale to the Park County Commission, which must grant final approval for the monastery. The commissioners are scheduled to discuss the permit to build the monastery at an Oct. 5 meeting.
Granted, it would be an odd-looking addition to the area. The monks' plans call for a 144,000-square-foot French Gothic-style monastery and coffee roasting barn (they make and market their own brand of coffee, Mystic Monk). The church would seat 150 people, and a single spire would be 150 feet tall, the equivalent of 15 stories...