Tuesday, July 21, 2009

View From The Bridge 7/22/09

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie Morger
A very enthusiastic young woman moved to Fort Benton about a month ago. I met her a week later on the Visitors Information Center tour of the RV Parks, Guest Houses, Pioneer Lodge, and Grand Union Hotel. She recently purchased the Old River Press Building and that is such a plus for our town. We do not need any more empty storefronts. (This brings up a subject, which is to be discussed later.) Terri Baker moved to Fort Benton from Columbia Falls, was born in Glasgow, raised in Wolf Point on a farm/ranch and lived in Great Falls for twenty years. Her decision to move here was an easy one and had been in the making for four years. She wanted to be on the east side of the mountains in a quieter environment and with people who were “keyed down” unlike the west side. It has been a pleasant move and renovating the old building is keeping her a busy bee. She is a person of many talents and among those are being an artist, an Art Gallery owner and a picture framer. We have in town a contingent of art-minded people who have talked about an Art Coop for years. I think that Terri may be the person who can put that together (with the space she has available.) We have many artists right here in town and I personally would like to see their work displayed. If you happen to meet Terri, let her know how you feel about her proposed plans. She has a genuine interest in people and will be happy to hear your opinions. Welcome Terri and I know you will be an asset to Fort Benton.

Advertisements for the market have been in the River Press for the last few weeks but in case you missed them, I am reminding you. On the past two Thursdays, the Market has been waiting for you, from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., to make your appearance. Be sure to be there on Thursday because there will be a small red item the size of a cherry waiting for you. This product will be fresh picked in the morning in Big Fork and rushed to Fort Benton by 5:00 p.m. by Ron Young Jr. In fact (I got the info first hand,) these people will be here the following two Thursdays also. We were so happy to see the O’Hara’s there with their special breads but we missed out on the scones. A friend just ahead of us purchased the last one. Oh well, we will just have to get there earlier next time. We also purchased the best small beets that reminded me of my childhood and my mother. We prepared them exactly as my mom did by steaming them, removing the skins while hot, cut them in quarters, slathered them with butter and making a meal out of them. Heavenly! During Summer Celebration, Connie and I shared a meal on Sunday afternoon. We met a young man (Patrick O’Brien) who was making chicken skewers (High Plains Concessions) and they were excellent. He will be at the Market as he is from Great Falls and does not mind the ride to Fort Benton. Stop by and say hello. Our most successful Farmer’s Market (Taste of Chouteau County) is a success because of the variety of foods served. We want to encourage these other food vendors, as we want them to keep coming every week. The American Legion, Post #26 will be there also with their bbq sandwiches and dinners.

There were three celebrations going on this past weekend that we knew about. Ruth and Bert Carlstrom celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a huge family reunion in the Old Fort Park. They are great outdoors people and the weather totally cooperated for them.

Our Darcy Morger Grovenstein and her husband Glenn, were celebrating their 30th anniversary and the family was picnicking on the other side of the park from the Carlstroms. Randy Morger and I crashed Ruth’s party (not really, because we would have been invited if we had not had Darcy’s party.) We meet several members of Ruth’s family but felt we knew them because like any mother, Ruth talks about them occasionally. Darcy and Glenn renewed their vows on the Old Bridge. Randy read a very poignant piece about the history of the bridge and the Morger family. All nine of the Morger kids threw white roses into the Missouri in honor of their Mom, Vickie, who was there only in spirit. Darcy’s good friend, her son, and her friend’s mother, drove up from Arizona to attend the festivities. They had never been further north than Yellowstone and their reaction to Fort Benton was a familiar one. “What a beautiful town. Only one stop light? The river is breathtaking. You have a bit of history here, don’t you? I walked from one end of the trail to the other. I just sat on one of those benches and watched the river. Your museums are the best we have ever seen. Fort Benton is the best-kept secret in Montana. You are the first best place.” Please come back again because you made our day.

The third event was the wedding of Marie Connor and Tommy Willson. Connie Jenkins reported that they were married at the Meriwether Campground. They arrived on the Gates of the Mountains “Hilger Rose” boat. When they reached the campground, they found that it was flooded. Fortunately, they found a spot on the beach and winged the ceremony. The newlyweds were an hour late for their reception but all went well. Just like Summer Celebration, there were too many things going on.

Wayne Loving, on his way home from Kipp, about 15 miles east of Denton, spotted a rare bird that perhaps has never been seen before in Montana. This occurrence was several weeks ago but Wayne did not have his camera with him. He watched for the bird and again spotted it last Wednesday the 15th. He was prepared and took the accompanying pictures. Enjoy, you bird watchers.

As we all know (and do not really need to be reminded,) these are tough times especially for small communities. We need to support the businesses in town. Try to “buy in town.” The Lehman Brothers have very competitive prices and I know from experience that their service after the purchase is phenomenal. No matter what my problem with household breakdowns, they solve them. Next door at the pharmacy, Chris Halko and his crew (I just love those female pharmacists) meet all prices on prescriptions with insurance cards. They are compelled to do that. Potential customers drive miles to get a better price on an automobile/truck. I would like to go through every business in town and they would have the same outcome results. Business wise…we would like to see Fort Benton grow. I know that I am impatient but I would like to see it in my lifetime so potential business out there…step it up.
The third line of The Final Analysis is “If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.” Mother Theresa. God bless American, Montana and Fort Benton.