Anyone who has been in Lewistown, Mont., for long knows DJ Arthur Arriaga. They may not know his name, but they recognize him as he walks the streets listening to his boom box.
Arriaga, 36, grew up in Sacramento, Calif. His parents still live there, but he decided to move to Lewistown several years ago because his sister lives there. Since then, he has thrived with the help of Snowy Mountain Industries. He holds a job, in fact several of them.
He lives independently in his own apartment, he takes care of his own money, including paying his own bills, and he does his own cooking, cleaning and taking care of the other necessities of his life.
Through Snowy Mountain, Arriaga has worked as a helper clerk at Albertson’s grocery store in Lewistown.
“I will have worked there for five years in October,” he said.
Disc jockey gigs
In addition, he has learned to be a disc jockey for dances with the help of Ken Bergren and Nik Scebba of the local radio station. Now Arriaga has his own equipment and loves to DJ once a month at the Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center in Lewistown.
“Ken and Nik really helped me out to get started as a DJ,” he said. “Now it is one of the things I enjoy the most.”
Arriaga has also had the opportunity to DJ at the Lewistown Civic Center during open roller skating on Friday nights during the winter. He has purchased many CDs over the years and also has an MP3 player he uses as a DJ.
Music plays an important part in Arriaga’s life.
“I don’t have a particular type of music I like the best,” said Arriaga, who can often be seen walking with his headset on. “I just like to walk and listen to my music. I also enjoy interacting with people.”
Hunting for bargains
Another of his favorite activities during the summer is going hunting for bargans, especially on electronics Saturday at garage sales.
“I like to fix electronics for other people,” he said. “Some of the ones I fix I give to people who don’t have any of their own.”
Another favorite activity of Arriaga’s is competing in Special Olympics. He has competed since 1985. In the spring, he competed in bowling, the 100-meter walk and the shotput at both the local games and at the state games in Billings, Mont.
At the state games, he earned fourth place in bowling, a silver medal in the 100-meter walk and a silver medal in the shot put.
He admitted to having generations of medals from Special Olympics.
“My mom, who still lives in Sacramento, has several shoe boxes full of my medals,” he said.
In addition to his parents who live in Sacramento, Arthur has three siblings – two sisters and a brother.
“I went to school for 12 years,” he added proudly, “and I was the only one in my family to graduate from high school.”
As many people will attest to, Arriaga lives a full and successful life in Lewistown.
Doreen Heintz is a reporter for The Lewistown News-Argus in Lewistown, Mont.