Tuesday, December 28, 2010

View From The Bridge 12/29/2010

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

I have lived a good many years; however, I have not yet seen a year that has gone by as quickly as 2010. It is time to say, “HAPPY NEW YEAR”, and to whatever the New Year brings. There will be many changes and we expect that we will adjust to them, as we do not have much of a choice. The only things certain are death and taxes and that is a subject…,”the less said the better.”

So make New Year’s Day a new beginning as every day should be. We look forward to spring, Easter and Summer Celebration. In the meanwhile, keep warm and cozy and enjoy the days getting longer.

I would like to share the Morger Family Christmas present with you. It was the most exciting Christmas that we ever had as Wally’s great grandson, Garrett Thomas, was born in the late afternoon. Everyone that is told about the birth says, “How wonderful, a Christmas Baby.”

He decided to make his appearance about 10:00 a.m. when Grammy Valerie and her family were just finishing opening their gifts to each other here in Fort Benton. She packed up quickly and was driven to Helena. We waited anxiously for six or seven hours answering every phone call with, “Is it a boy or a girl and how is Tessa?”

Garrett is the son of Tom and Tessa Bley McGree. Tessa is the daughter of Valerie Morger who is Wally’s oldest daughter. Garrett joins the family to make the count of three great grandchildren. His sisters, Molly and Sophia, are now seven and five years old respectively.

Someone that does not live in Fort Benton has told me, that they do not read the “View” because I sometimes write about people they do not know. I tried in these paragraphs to outline the family lineage. Those of you, who know the Morger family will rejoice with us and if you do not know the family, will now know us a bit more personally.

I know personally that many of you had family and friends come from afar. You must have some great Christmas stories and I would like very much to hear about them.

Looking forward to January 6th when our Longhorns and Lady Longhorns will be playing Geraldine here at home court. GO…BOTH TEAMS.

We have to wait until Wednesday, January 28th for the next Chouteau County Performing Arts program. Do we or do we not have a lot of winter before us? The only redeeming factor is that the whole country is feeling the effects of the cold and snow.

We saw a very informative program about the “Almanac” on TV and it covered pros and cons. Whether you are a believer or not, you must admit that, they hit the nail on the head with the 2010 version. Almost makes me want to buy the 2011 edition.

I always love saying this the last week of the year. “Well, I will not be with you until next year or I’ll be seeing you next year.” It sounds so distant and perhaps by saying it, the days will go by more slowly. I know this “View” is short and hopefully sweet but there has not been much activity around town. Everyone has been enjoying Christmas with their families and friends or else they left town to visit families and friends. Whatever the case, so long for now.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

View From The Bridge 12/22/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
by Muncie

I wish all of the readers of the “View” the most wonderful Christmas you have ever had. I wish that as you read the River Press on Wednesday or Thursday, everything went well with all your preparations. I wish that you heard from friends that you have not heard from for a long while and know that they are well and happy. I wish that amongst family and friends, there were much forgiveness and much love. I also wish that all these wonderful Christmas feelings last throughout the next year. My last wish is that there will be peace on earth and it will be soon. It cannot be soon enough for me and I know that you all feel that way.

All of our Christmas celebration get-togethers are over and this week before Christmas should be a quiet, reflective one. The weatherman said tonight (Sunday) that we would have a harder snowstorm starting at midnight until noon tomorrow (Monday) than we had a week ago. It is a little much but we should be used to it by now. I will say again that it is not even winter yet. That should keep us inside the house to finish the miscellaneous items of preparation for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

It is now Monday morning and it looks as though the area has about 6 in. of new snow. The sun is out and the wind is not blowing (yet.) That makes it seem warmer than the 13.5 that shows on our satellite weather station. Keep warm and cozy and you seniors do not go out unless you absolutely have to. Always let someone know where you are and where you are going. Please do not fall because you do not want to break a bone for the holidays. You want to be “home for the holidays.”

Have you had an opportunity to drive around town and see the Christmas decorations? The snow and ice may have prevented you from doing that, but if you can manage, take a ride in the evening and enjoy the decorations.

Aunt Dode Morger loved it when we would pick her up from the Sunrise Bluffs and drive her around town. We took her every other night and it is not as enjoyable without her because she would “ooh and awe” at every decorated house.

My favorite part of the decorations is the day the City Crew turns on the Christmas lights on Front Street. I watch out my kitchen window every late afternoon after Thanksgiving to catch the first lighting. The lights are usually left on for a few weeks after New Year’s and I know that the next time I see them it will be Summer Celebration. Will summertime June ever be here again?

The merchants on Front Street also do a great job of decorating. I wish it could be like that all year because it is so festive and cheerful.

This summer I moved my birdfeeders from the lilac trees close to the house to the garden fence. The reason for moving them was that a black cat was visiting our yard for a dinner it might find and the birds passed the word around. The cat could jump from the deck railing into the lilac trees and catch a bird in midair. Moving the feeders result was that the cat (or cats) would not reach the birds. I was filling the feeder every other day. Now again, I have no birds. We see the cat almost every day in the yard and apparently has had a feast on some birds. The word went out again amongst the birds and they avoid my feeders.

I have two friends who also feed the birds and they said there has been no letup with filling their feeders. I am asking once again, please put a very loud bell around your cat’s neck. I know that helps to let those tiny birds know a cat is approaching.

Are you thinking that I should have better things to be concerned about then feeding the birds? Perhaps that is true; however, I did enjoy watching the birds in the lilac trees. Now that the feeders are near the garden, I cannot see them as well from the house. I can only tell if the birds have been around by checking the feeders. I filled them last Thursday and today (Sunday) one has not been touched. One of the feeders has about one third of the seed gone and another that is the smallest, is half-empty or half-full as you would have it. There is very little activity and I want my birds back.

We were only able to attend the games on Friday and Saturday evenings. We wish we could have attended the Big Sandy on Thursday game but could only read the final scores the first thing on Friday morning. There were very exciting outcomes of all the games and made for a very enjoyable evenings. The High School Band entertained us both evenings and the Cheerleaders were there on Saturday night. All did a great job.

I try not to talk about religion, politics, the Grizzlies, or the Bobcats in the area. However, I can talk about The Saints from Carroll University in Helena. I believe that every football fan in Montana was rootin’ for the Saints on Saturday. However, there may be some migrants from North Dakota who are loyal to their state team. They would have to muffle their cheers as they were overwhelming outnumbered.

Thankfully, we were able to watch the game, courtesy of our TV provider. It was a great game right down to the last few seconds and again Montana has a National Championship Team.

I have to admit that I have a stake in the Saints Football Team. I have a grandson, Bryan, who is a freshman at Carroll and was red-shirted this season along with all the other freshman football players. Because of his attachment to Carroll, I have become a “Saint.” I contributed to a fund and that is probably the only way I will ever become a “Saint.” Do we have any other Saints in Fort Benton? Let me know if you see me on the street.

Again, Merry Christmas to all of you. “May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmas’ be white.” (Actually, I think we have had enough of that white stuff to last for the next three years but after all is said and done, it is very beautiful as long as you do not have to go out in it.

Enjoy every minute of every day because these are the memory-making times that last forever.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

View From The Bridge 12/15/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Can you believe what is going on with the weather? River Press readers tell me that the Almanac said the entire country would have a rough weather. Our friend, Fred Pfeiffer (Weather Reporter,) said we would get 1” of snow on Friday. Well, Great Falls had just a few flurries and Fort Benton’s surrounding area got dumped on…big time.

You must admit that it is beautiful when it is coming down covering everything with a soft white blanket. However, it is not very beautiful when you have to get out there to shovel when you have to be somewhere for an appointment. If you can stay inside, look out the window at the snow coming down, have a cup of hot chocolate, and a good book…that is the way to go. I hope that that works for you. My thoughts were with those who had to drive home from work, in actually what are considered dangerous conditions.

Most of us are thinking about what is to come. Will this cold, snowy weather continue for months? It makes for great conversations with the older generation about how it used to be like this every winter. Thank goodness, the snow is moving eastward. I spoke with my oldest son this evening (Sunday,) who lives near Cleveland, Ohio and his area has blizzard conditions up for Monday. Does anyone have any winter weather stories? I would love to hear and write about them.

Mary Conn’s daughter, Betty, is staying in Fort Benton until March. She and Mary share an apartment at the Sunrise Bluffs. Betty entertained us playing the piano at the spaghetti feed at the Bluffs a week ago. When I spoke with her, she volunteered to come to the Research Center on Tuesday and help me with the pictures. I had the photos in order on my dining room table and I transferred them to the Center. Betty and I spent the day washing the glass on frames, and preparing them for hanging. We finished about forty photos and on Tuesday the 14th will do about another sixty that Ken Robison scanned a couple of weeks ago.

Then will begin the checking out of the biographies of those who have not yet been able to get them to me. However, do not panic folks because everything is on hold until after the holidays. Everyone is running around, full speed ahead, with the shopping, baking, wrapping presents, writing cards, and in general preparing for the holidays. The honest fact is I do not want to think about photos just now. Enjoy doing what needs to be done and the photo project can wait until the New Year.

Saw some great games last Friday and Saturday. We are so happy with the schedule of playing the girls and boys on the same day. We were able to watch both teams and are looking forward to more great games.

The Lady Longhorns are strong and aggressive and won both their games against Denton and Chester. The Longhorns did not fare as well against Denton and lost to Chester by only one point. If anyone left the game at half time, they missed an exciting third and fourth quarter. The boys made up the deficit of about 10 points and kept a pace of basket after basket right to the end. I know it was a heart breaker for them, but it made for a very exciting game for the fans.

The Student Body across the way did a lot of hootin’ and hollarin’ and I am sure it helped boost the team to try harder. We appreciate two great evenings of the first games of the year and keep up the good work. You are #1 in our eyes.

Hey, Bo Sparks! You cannot take four months off to do trapping and not write for the River Press. We want to hear about the trapping and we are sure that some great stories will come from that endeavor. We have heard about some of Mike Nottingham’s trapping stories so how about some of yours.

Randy Morger told us a story today about his rabbit hunting a couple of weeks ago. He got a cottontail that had porcupine needles in his nose. Poor little thing. I try to picture this little rabbit trying to make friends with this porcupine and getting the surprise of his life.

We have a “thing” in the family, mostly the females that bunny rabbits are for pettin’, not for eatin’.

Remember that when you receive this edition of the River Press, the following Tuesday will be the 21st. It is the “Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve’s Eve.” Oh happy day…the days will be getting longer.

Remember your one good deed and be kind. I remember a saying from a long time ago. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Try to imagine living in someone else’s shoes.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

View From The Bridge 12/8/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
by Muncie

To those of you River Press Readers who live in warm states, I wish you could have seen Fort Benton day. It was very cold, (I know you do not miss that,) but it looked like the movies, “White Christmas, Dr. Zhivago, and Call of the Wild.” The trees all over town looked so beautiful with their branches frozen. The sun was shining directly down Front Street and it was a sparkling winter sight.

The Sunrise Bluffs had a spaghetti dinner for the community at 1:00 p.m. today (Sunday.) We were on our way home from the Bluffs on Front Street when we saw how the rain had frozen on the trees. I hurried home to get my camera. I wanted to take a picture of the willow tree across from the Freeze, (you know the one I mean.) I ended up taking a dozen pictures because so many trees looked like a Christmas card. I would not wish the weather we have been having on you Snowbirds but I do wish you could have been here today.

Weather is not much of a subject these days. We all just wish it would go away. We have not seen a Chinook at all and the snow continues to cover the vehicles and the sidewalks almost every day, sometimes twice a day. It is dark by 4:30 p.m. especially when the sun has not shown its face. The cold is tolerable if the sun is shining. Could you Snowbirds possibly send some warm winds our way?

I mentioned above that the Bluffs had a spaghetti dinner for the community today. They provided the spaghetti dinner and we contributed by bringing salads and desserts. We helped ourselves to the salads first and they were all very pleasing to the palate. We were served our dinners and afterward enjoyed coffee and dessert of which there were many that satisfied our sweet tooth. It is very comfortable at the Bluffs and many of the residents stopped at our table to chat with us.

We used to go to the Bluffs often when our friends Ken and Bonnie Morrow played dance music once a month. Bonnie played the piano and Ken accompanied with his drums. With Ken gone, we do not see much of Bonnie. If she reads the River Press, we would like her to know that we miss Ken very much and we miss seeing her. Life takes such strange turns and we that are left behind must simply adjust. Sometimes it is very difficult to adjust.

At last, the season has arrived. There will be a tournament in Fort Benton on Friday evening, the 10th, and Saturday, the 11th. All Girls games are at 3:00p.m. and 6:00p.m and the Boys are at 4:30p.m. and 7:30p.m. The next game will be on the 16th in Big Sandy and the following day, the 17th, the team will play Augusta here at home count. There will be away games on the 18th and 20th at Centerville and Box Elder respectfully and then we will have to wait until the New Year (January 6th,) for the next game and that will be with Geraldine.

I really had not gotten, so called, into basketball until I moved to Fort Benton. I really love the game, and we very seldom missed a game until the schedules were changed. We then had to pick and choose which games we were going to…the boys or the girls. I am happy to see that both teams play on the same days this year. We will not have to decide which games to attend.

Wasn’t that a fun time. The Vendor’s must have to work all year to prepare the inventory that they bring to Fort Benton. The really neat thing is the about 95% are “Made in Montana,” products. Let’s keep our money in Fort Benton, Chouteau County and Montana. Check your labels to make sure that is where your purchases are coming from.

The Winter Celebration Committee put together a great program and I know that a good time was had by all. I do not have a report on the success the vendors had at this time but I hope that the weather did not stop too many people from getting out to enjoy the many events going on.

It was probably the worse road conditions so far not only for the ice on the roads but the fog that kept traffic at about 35 m.p.h. One of the vendors told me that it took her 1 ½ hrs. to travel from Great Falls to Fort Benton. Kim Pimperton said it took her ½ hr. to drive from Carter to Fort Benton. That is twice as long as it usually takes.

Actually, it was the same story last year if you remember. Perhaps next year the odds will be in the Celebrations favor and it will be a very pleasant day. Good luck with that thought.

This is the busiest time of year for everyone. Please take your time and enjoy the season. Remember to squeeze in a good deed and make a phone call to someone you have been thinking about.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

View From The Bridge 12/1/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

The Winter Celebration that is “happening,” this coming weekend is just as exciting as Summer Celebration. The reason being, the whole of Chouteau County is involved. The three-day event gives one time to visit our adjoining cities and towns. All of them offer food, crafts, and entertainment. Corral your friends and make it a three-day, “fun time,” and shop ‘til you drop.

There are so many choices, and that makes it difficult which way to go. However, there is something for everyone, so enjoy. Spend your Christmas money in Chouteau County and give to boost its economy.

I enjoy visiting with the Vendors who are not from this area and especially with those who are. Everyone has a story and you never know to whom you are related.

What happened to it? I think it disappeared in the snow. In conversations with those around town, the main subject is the way time flies. The best thing about December, weather wise, is that in three weeks the days begin to get longer.

My four grown siblings and I still celebrate another holiday the week of the winter solstice. The 21st of December is the eve of the eve of Christmas Eves eve. Now you try that one out on your calendar. We phone or e-mail each other, “Happy eve of the eve of Christmas Eves eve.” It is kind of fun to say it and as well as mean it sincerely. The 21st is on a Tuesday and I invite you to the Research Center for coffee and cookies. You can also tour the facility while you are there. (I wonder if the volunteers might take that day off because of Christmas. If so, I will let you know next week.)

There will be a meeting on Monday the 6th of December. I saw in the River Press a picture last week of the new Council table that was not in place at the last meeting. In a phone conversation today (Monday,) the New City Hall is not quite ready for an open house. I will keep you posted.

I have only heard from two participants in the program that made me aware of errors in the supplement. One of the errors was in a bio. The Vet said that he did not do all the events that were listed under his name. So far, I have not found to whom the bio belongs to, but I am working on it.

Two weeks ago, Ken Robison, was not able to make it to the Research Center because of the weather. Last week I was not able to be there because of an appointment in Great Falls. I have over forty (40) pictures to be scanned by Ken, and bios to be typed into the computer. Perhaps at that time I will find the correct bio for the correct picture. Wish me good luck.

Are you recycling your magazines and catalogs? I know that it is inconvenient to haul them to Great Falls and for those of you who do not know, there are bins at Sam’s Club and Albertson’s on the Northwest Bypass for magazines/catalogs and newspapers. I do not have the statistics at hand but hundreds of thousands trees are cut to make paper each year.

It was mind boggling this past week when I counted the catalogs I have received in the last month. Would you believe there were forty-three (43,) and many from the oddest businesses/locations that I have never heard of.

I remember a few months back writing about this same subject and saying that I wrote to “? (cannot remember,”) asking that I not get junk mail. Since I did that, I am getting more than ever. I, again, requested the address from the Post Office this week, and am passing it along to you. It is…Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing, PO Box 643, Carmel, N.Y., 10512.

I also went on line to search Direct Marketing junk mail and came up with the website. You can register on line for a minimal fee or send a postcard to the above address.

However, remember that when you do this, those catalogs that you do use will also be removed from your address. I solved this problem a few years ago when a particular catalog company I ordered certain products from, was sending me a new catalog every two weeks. I called and asked if they would only send one every three (3) months. They said they could not do this. I solved by keeping the old catalog and ordering from it. The backfiring of that deal is that once I call in an order, I then start receiving their catalogs again every two weeks. That entails making another phone call to cancel again. What goes around comes around. Just think about the good you are doing for the environment. You may save a tree or two.

So much to do and so little time. I took a workshop that taught us to make a list every morning of six things you wanted to do that day. If you finished two on the list, you were batting 100%. Do not stress, and enjoy every minute of every day. I know you are thinking, “Easier said then done,” but at least try it. It is not worth the wear and tear on you.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

View From The Bridge 11/24/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Attending the City Council meetings gave me the privilege of being the first person to be given a tour of their new digs. Mayor Morris was my tour guide along with Councilman Don Hazen. I am impressed. It is just what a City Hall should be and the entire city of Fort Benton should be very proud. From the front entrance to the back of the Police Department are orderly and a place for everything and everything in its place.

There are a few minor details to be completed but the most important features are finished (like the restrooms and the heating system.) The council tables are not in place yet but one great advantage of the council room is the acoustics. I could hear everything although the visitor chairs are not closer to the council tables. (Maybe I am not getting hard of hearing.) I still have a vivid memory of the inside as it was before and you have to see to believe the changes. There will be an open house that will be announced soon.

I can hardly wait until next spring. When the Visitors Information Center opens, the volunteers will be directing Visitors to the Bureau of Land Management building. We will be able to tell the Visitors to take note of our newly renovated City Hall and Police Department on the way.

I have not talked to any of the Football Team members but…we feel proud once again that the Longhorns won their game against Chinook 44 to 24. The Longhorns were Chinook’s only loss. It was the best game of the year. We are proud though that a team from our conference won the state championship but…there is that little glitch in our minds that we were the team that beat Chinook. It seems to be some sort of consolation.

The photos are still coming in much to my pleasure. However, now the corrections are being to trickle in. Unfortunately, those photos that were missed from the supplement will have to wait until next year. We are very sorry but there was confusion with having pictures being sent to four different places. I tried to note who brought me pictures but neglected to tell the Sunrise Bluffs, the River Press staff and the Research office to do the same. That made it difficult to obtain bios when I did not have a name and phone number to check them.

I am again urging those who turned in photos without bios to mail them to me at P.O. Box 866 or e-mail them at muncie1929@itstriangle.com I would like to do a special notebook with all the bios. Keep those photos coming. I hope that you are not tired of me nagging you about this project but I have found that at times it takes many times to get something like a photo. If you do not have a photo, then just send the bio and we will put it into a frame. Do not forget rank, (at the time of discharge or retirement,) name with middle initial, and the service they were in.

Well, it is all about the weather this week. Mother Nature dumped on us a bit more this past week because she went around us the week before. It is getting a little tough to handle not only the snow but also the cold. We did not leave the house over the weekend and will not until it warms up a bit. That may be Wednesday and I will have to get outside and get my River Press of course.

Our grandson, Grayson who now lives in Helena, loves winter/snow. I called him to see if it was snowing in Helena and he was so happy that it was time for sledding. I am happy that someone is happy about it. For me…we have said every year that when the winter type weather comes along, we may become Snowbirds. This may be the year but if I even really think about it, I get homesick. I do not like to be away from Fort Benton for any extended length of time. I think we will just tough it out another year.

I do not know if the View had anything to do with the turnout for Pie Day, but it was more of a success this month. We arrived at the Golden Age about l0:15 a.m. and the Pie Ladies said that most of the pies were already gone. We did not know some people so perhaps next month we can meet them as we were a little pressed for time.

Gladys Peres brought a homemade cherry pie, (not a mix,) and her crust is so flakey. You are the Queen Pie Baker Gladys along with Arlene Ayers. I think there should be a class at the high school for pie making. It is a dying art and Mrs. Callender is taking over. There are other great pie makers as evidenced by the Summer Celebration Pie Contest but…for old fashioned, old-time pie baking; no one can beat Gladys and Arlene. Yummy.

Homes are being decorated and what fun it is to ride around after dark to check them out. Floats are now in preparation for the parade. All the businesses are gearing up for visits from the community. Our neighboring communities are also included in the day’s festivities. Try to visit all of them and take advantage of their specials and the Christmas Button. See if you can guess who Santa is on the button this year. He is different Santa than last year. Have fun.

H and O Parts has a new coat of white paint and looks bright, shiny and inviting. I remember like it was yesterday, when they painted it a few years ago. It seems like a couple of years ago but probably was about five. They did a lot of scraping and sanding because the weather plays havoc with the wood trim.

Some of the older buildings are also being improved like the old River Press building. Terri Baker has done a great job with her old building. I visited her the other day as she said she would do some picture framing jobs for the Veterans Photo project. Her plans for the building are moving along and I will keep you up to date on what is happening there.

You should be well into Christmas shopping, Christmas cards and cookie baking by this time next week. It is four weeks from Saturday and so much to do. Relax, enjoy, and do not be stressed. I am directing this to the women readers…”When momma ain’t happy, there ain’t nobody happy.” So be as happy as you possibly can and make it a holiday that everyone will remember.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

View From The Bridge 11/17/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

River Press, what an awesome project that was. There are 99 pictures of Veterans, Servicemen, and Servicewomen with bios of interesting reading material. As you may have noticed, some of the photos had no bios. If anyone has information about those men and women, please type it and mail to me at PO Box 866 or to the River Press. We would like to have all of the bios as permanent records in the Research computer files.

Even though the supplement program is over for this year, the framed 5 x 7-photo project is not. The photos are still being collected so do not procrastinate, gather the pictures and bring them to the Sunrise Bluffs or my home, (I am in the book.)

The setups for the gold labels are being worked on by the High School and Pam, (at the Research Center,) will begin entering the rank, name, and service for the front of the pictures. The bios will go on the back and as a plus we will have a special book made up with the bios in it. Some of the bios are too long to fit on the back of the photos. I would like complete bios of your, and or your loved ones service experiences. If you did send a short one, perhaps you can now take the time to do complete coverage. They make great reading now and for future generations. In addition, the special nails to hang the pictures arrived in the mail last week. My volunteers and I are ready to roll on hanging the pictures at the Sunrise Bluffs a.s.a.p.

I received an e-mail for Veterans Day that said 2,000 WWII Veterans are passing away every day. Get their stories now before it is too late. I know that many of them do not want to talk about their experiences but if they could know how important it is to tell their stories, they may relent. Good luck with that project.

I remember my first ride to Fort Benton like it was yesterday. It actually was 18 years ago and I was visiting my daughter’s family in Great Falls at the time. She told me that she wanted to take me on a ride to Fort Benton. There was a Summer Celebration going on and it was the 4th of July. Summer Celebration was held on that weekend way back then. She also said that I would love Fort Benton because it was full of history.

Living in Michigan previously, where towns are one after the other with no space between them, the 40 or so mile ride to Fort Benton seemed forever. I kept asking when we were going to get there. We then spotted a Golden Eagle on an electric pole and that made me very excited. I had never seen an eagle before.

I love the ride to Great Falls and never tire of it. One can see 5 mountain ranges…The Highwood’s, The Little Belts, The Big Belts, The Bear Paw and on a good day, The Rockies. I have seen wildlife from tiny gophers, rattlesnakes, antelope, and deer, (did not get to see the grizzlies,) almost every trip. I know that many of you have seen more and made the trip hundreds of more times than I. Many of you remember paying a small fee for a train ride to the big city. The bus transit company had a stop in Fort Benton from Havre to Great Falls the first few years I was here.

However, none of the above is the focal point of my story. Have you ever noticed the electric lines starting at about the 20-mile marker? They meet Highway 87 coming from the east and run along the right side of the road traveling northeast, to a crossover near Carter at about the 24 or 25-mile marker. They are then on the left hand side of the highway. I always noticed them because when I reached the 20-mile marker, I knew I was half way to Great Falls or half way home.

Just this summer I learned a story about those poles. In all these years Wally had not related that, these poles originated in Great Falls and provided electricity to Fort Peck when the dam was built. Can you imagine running those lines all the way from Great Falls to Fort Peck?

To verify this story, I found documentation at the Research Center a week or so after hearing about the poles. It was an article that appeared in the River Press in 1937. The article was titled, “Missouri River Sent Through Diversion Tunnels at Fort Peck.” A paragraph in the article said, “To carry electricity for construction machines, a 288-mile power line was built from the Rainbow Falls, near Great Falls, to the dam site. It carries 154,000 volts.”

I have great admiration for those poles, the men who installed them and the history that must have taken place within those 288 miles. There are times when the little things take precedent over the big things. I think this is one of those times when those little poles are compared to that big dam. Do you remember that project from 1937? This is another example of the historical events that the River Press documents. We miss you Joel Overholser.

This Friday, the 19th, is Pie Day at the Golden Age Senior Center. I wish I could impress on you how great this morning event is. The pies are all homemade by the women who belong to the Center and they are delicious. If you do not have time to eat your pie there, you can take a piece or a whole pie home with you or back to the office. Our Gang, (our group of friends that number from 8 to 10 people,) ask that you come and not only enjoy the pie/coffee but also enjoy the social hour. I know that you are all very busy, that we are mostly retired, but the Center needs the support of the community. It is a fundraiser for them and trust me…they put a lot of work into baking those pies. See you there.

As I told the Longhorns earlier, we love you too, no matter what. You also gave us many thrilling moments and you gave it your all. You certainly tried harder and as the saying goes,…there is always next year. I know, (with sympathy,) that doesn’t go for the graduating seniors but perhaps you will play in college and your experience at Fort Benton High School will pay off. Good luck in all your endeavors and we will miss you. In the meantime, enjoy your last year of high school. It will be over before you know it.

I will wish you a Happy Thanksgiving this week because you may not read your River Press in time for next week. I love Thanksgiving because it is the one holiday that has not become so commercial. It is devoted to family and giving thanks. We, who live in the United States, have more to be thankful for than any other place in the world.

If you have any special thanks for something that has happened since last Thanksgiving, please let me know. I would like to write about those special blessings because they are such an inspiration to our everyday lives.

Take care in your travels and try to get in touch with someone this week that you have not heard from in a long time. Take care of yourselves, your health, and your families. Take some time out for yourself doing something that you enjoy doing and do not let that ugly “stress,” get the best of you.

I have a hand-embroidered sign in our house that says, “I WONDER WHAT IT WAS I WORRIED ABOUT A YEAR AGO?” What was it that you worried about a year ago?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

View From The Bridge 11/10/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

All the television programming, newspapers, and events, will be focused on Veterans this week. They will be honored with dedications, and speeches that are truly due them. Do we really honor them as much as they deserve? We owe our lives to them. What is that worth?

There is nothing in the world that would take the place in the hearts of parents who have lost their sons/daughters, or wives/husbands who have lost their husbands/wives in a war. Their grieving and loss is ours as well. Nothing will bring them back, but their courage and dedication should be a lesson every day about love of country.

Nothing brought this love of country to me so strongly as working on the Veterans Photos program. When I read and type in the computer the bios of these men and women, I have a completely new respect of their lives and what they went through..

We have photos of Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima and the Bataan Death March survivors. Reading about these events first hand makes our efforts at patriotism seem insignificant. Are you at all about the ending of these wars going on today, for these young men and women who are away from their families, lonely and afraid? They are not afraid of what will happen to them but of what is happening to their families. They are hundreds, thousands of miles away with no idea when they will be back in the United States and home.

If you have a Veteran in your family, see a Veteran on the street, spot one in a shopping place…tap them on the shoulder and tell them how much you appreciate them. We owe them so much…it can never be enough.

Many of you readers have thanked me for starting this program, which they say, needed to be done. Please…do not thank me. I want to thank you because I have enjoyed doing it more than any other project I have done. Just reading all the bios has been like the thrill one gets from reading a great history book. I have also talked to and met so many people. Now I can put many names to many faces. I really appreciate all of you who have joined in this program for all of your efforts.

Although there was a deadline for our Editor’s Veterans Supplement, (last Friday,) my program for Veterans photos has not ended. I would like to have put up the photos we received by 11/11, Veterans Day, but I cannot meet that goal. The program will continue indefinitely until the last picture is received, scanned, and the bios put on the computer.

The gold labels that Pam Schoonover ordered arrived last week and that part of completing the pictures will begin. The gold labels will go on the front of the pictures with rank, name, and service on it.

Be sure to include that information with your photos. Some of the bios (that will go on the back of the frames,) are very short and others are full pages. If you did not write a bio with your photo, please send it to me now. I am missing quite a few and will have to phone for the information if I do not hear from you. I would like as much information as possible. Please type and mail to PO Box 866 or e-mail me at muncie1929@itstriangle.com

I ordered special nails from Frames Unlimited in Michigan where I used to work as a framer for ten years. The nails used to cost .89 cents for a package of 25. The cost now is $1.89 for a package of 15. Will wonders never cease? We move on however and would like you to keep looking for photos and bring them to be scanned. Remember, the delivery points are the Ag Center Schwinden Library Overholser Research Center (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays,) the Sunrise Bluffs (every day,) or my house (if I’m out and about, leave it on the steps in the entry way Main St. side of house. I am in the phone book. P.S. There are now over 100 pictures.

On Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m., do not forget the Appreciation Dinner for all Veterans and their families. It is the V.F.W. way every year of getting the Veterans together for some food and conversation. This is a wonderful event every year so take advantage, (Veterans wives…you do not have to cook that night.) See you there.

I thought that the Longhorns football game a week ago was a script that even Hollywood could not match. You Lady Longhorns outdid that one with your divisional games on Saturday. You came back through the losers’ bracket to win five straight matches to WIN the divisional championship. How proud we are!

Send this story down to the odds makers in Vegas and see what the odds would have been, (1,000 to 1.) Even more credit to you for never giving up. This puts meaning into Longhorn Spirit and the creed, “We Try Harder.” GO LADY LONGHORNS.

We love you no matter what. We understand your frustration. We all thought that this was our year. It was especially tough on the seniors…you were so close. Time will heal all and you must know that you did your best efforts. We all think that you were the best team, so go on with your lives knowing that your fans would like you to know how much we appreciate the great football you played for us. You made it a great season. Now live your lives with the creed and try harder with whatever life has in store for you.

The next Council Meeting will be Monday 15 November, (month will be half over.) According to schedule, the meeting will be held in the newly renovated City Hall.

At the last meeting, I brought to the Councils attention the complaints relayed to me concerning the cardboard behind the Seniors Center. Mayor Morris said that he would check into it and in the meanwhile, I did some checking.

The story that was told to me by Ed Lehman, was that cardboard dropped to .01 cent a lb. a couple of years ago. Before that time, there was quite a profit on cardboard. Everyone began storing their cardboard waiting for the price to go up. I also remember talk about that at the Recycling Workshop that I attended last spring. I have to talk to another man in town about taking the cardboard away but I was busy last week with the Veterans Photo project. I’ll work on it this week?????? (means maybe.)

Did you enjoy these warm days this past week? I writing this on Sunday evening and do not want to listen to the 10:00 newscast as they are predicting rain turning to snow tomorrow. Are you ready for that and have you winterized? Oh well, I will get those windows washed in the spring…no use doing it now.

It will be a busy week with Ladies Tea Party on Tuesday (if you weren’t there…you missed it,) Friends of the Library on Wednesday (did you miss this too?), Woman’s Club on Thursday, and Veterans dinner on Thursday. Those activities may keep our minds off the weather.

Have a great week, do a good deed, and GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

View From The Bridge 11/3/10

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Do you want the scary side or the not-so-scary side? That was the question on Halloween night when I arrived at the ZombieVille Haunted House. We only had 10 Munchkins come for Trick or Treating, (maybe I scared them off by my comments last week about doing a Trick in the manner of a song or dance.)

It was 7:30 p.m. when Connie Jenkins came rushing over to take me to the Sheriff’s office. She said, “You have got to see this,” and away we went on our brooms. It was the greatest, scariest, perfectly designed, Haunted House I have ever been to. The Ghosts and Goblins must have worked through several nights, (they only work at night,) to be ready for the big night. I wonder how some of those creatures knew my name. I must be on a list for monsters to scare. Whatever the circumstances, I had the time of my life and found I could scream with the best of them. GO ZOMBIEVILLE.

It was quite a game show that you put on for us last Saturday. Hollywood could not put out a script like that. It was one of those games that you did not dare leave the stadium before the end of the game for fear that you might miss some thrilling offensive or defensive plays. No one moved from the area where we were sitting and a good thing because even with the last 18.7 seconds left on the clock, Fairview’s Quarterback Cody Vitt (the big kid,) ran a kick-off 79 yards for a touchdown. Then on the kick-off to Fort Benton, Riley Shaw ran 70 yards, which put the finishing touches on a most exciting game. GO HORNS.

We would also like to mention that all of the fans appreciate the Andreasen’s for the transporting “The White Longhorn,” to the games. It is a real effort on their part to get that large animal onto a truck, drive it to Fort Benton, set-up a pen, stand guard on it, load it back into the truck, drive back to the ranch, unload it, and call it a night. I say it helps the team to win as they are mighty like the bull and they do not give up.

Likewise, appreciation goes to those fans on the hill. We have been told that you have been very generous to the Football Team. That is especially important for the Play-Off games because of the added expense of those events. Keep up the good work and honk a little louder please, to let us know you are there.

This question has been asked of me many times and after singing the School Song so many times at the game on Saturday, the question came up again. What is our creed? The last line of the song is, “And we shall ever profit by your creed.”

I made a few phone calls without success. Then I phoned my stepdaughter, Darcy Morger Grovenstein who lives in Prescott Valley, AZ. She is our family historian and researcher. Sure enough, she found the answer.

In the 1960s and 70s the school motto was “We Try Harder.” In the 1969 Yearbook, there is a drawing of the School Crest on the Dedication page with the following note: “We the Publications Class, dedicate this, the 1969 Pioneer, to the future generation of students for whom this crest has been created. To those who have in the past walked these hallowed halls as students, we say “thank-you” for setting the highest standards of honor, integrity, and service for which this crest stands. Let it be said of the students to come, that they too upheld these traditions of excellence.” The crest has three words on the bottom…Comatus Plus Contendemus, which is Latin and translates to “We Try Harder.” Mest

Darcy also remembered the words to the Shorthorns Fight Song (sung to tune of On Wisconsin.) “Benton Junior High, Benton Junior High. Always Fair and Square, All the boys and all the girls, Are here to do their share. Rah Rah Rah! Benton Junior High, Benton Junior High. Victory is nigh. So fight fellas, Fight Fight Fight! For Junior High! Junior High Rah Rah! Junior High Rah Rah! Junior High, Junior High, Junior High!

How many of you Alumni remember that song? How many of you remember that there was a Basketball Fight Song? How many of you remember that the Junior High colors were blue and white for several years? Who remembers when the High School colors were Cardinal Red, White, and Gold? When did that change? What do you remember?

Last week when I told you about calling Helena to find out what to do with glass bottles, I also asked what to do with office paper. Discard the office paper with your newspapers. I am trying to get this information to the schools, businesses, and the hospital who discard great amounts of office paper to recycle it. Do it even if you have to take it home to discard with your own newspapers. Be sure to take any papers that have personal or business information and shred them. GO RECYCLERS.

This recycling tip is especially for mothers who use flushable wipes or anyone else who may use these products...Please do not flush them. Fort Benton’s system cannot accommodate these wipes. I frankly do not have any advice as to what to do with them. I would say, without very much research on the subject that you would dispose of them the same way you dispose of diapers. I can imagine that this may upset your schedules but think of it as avoiding problems with the sewage system. You would be doing a good deed for recycling.

Actually mothers, we senior women talk often about how lucky you young women are today when disposable diapers came on the scene. I will not go into a lot of detail here but…you never had to worry about sticking the baby with a pin, rinsing out a diaper, a diaper pail, no disposable wipes, another rinse in the washing machine and then the actual washing. Then there was the folding of perhaps 3 to 4 dozen diapers after drying in a dryer. Whoa, perhaps you did not have a dryer and you had to hang them on a clothesline in all kinds of weather.

Perhaps you were lucky and had a basement in which to hang them. I can see all of you seniors, nodding your heads. Do you wonder what we did with our time? Wonder no more because that one chore took hours each week.

Young mothers…I am teasing you. Just as my mother said she would not trade places with me because of my activities outside the home, I would not trade with you. You have so many more school activities, lessons of all sorts, etc than I ever had.

I will end this with this statement, “just do what you have to do and do the rest when your children are grown and gone.” I will add, “teach them to recycle and save our earth.” Children love to recycle. They will sort for you and put the items in makeshift bins. They are natural recyclers. GO KIDDOS.

Nothing could have been more entertaining than last Wednesday performance by Philip Fortenberry. A comment made by Evan Goldhaun was, “We have had that grand piano for 4 or 5 years and this was the first time that it was played like a piano should be played.”

We sit close to the front and I could not believe how fast Philip’s fingers moved. They were so fast that I could hardly see them. His show was called, “Broadway, My Way.” There was no acting, no singing, just the beautiful songs from Broadway shows. They were familiar songs and a plus was the program that listed his choice of numbers.

It was a delightful evening and Fort Benton was chosen by his agents as a starting place to perform in Montana, as Philip had never been in our state before. Many of the audience are in hopes that he will return soon.

You have another week to turn in your photos for the Veterans Project and for the River Press Veterans supplement. Do not procrastinate any longer. Find those photos and get them to the River Press office, the Sunrise Bluffs, or to me at my home. I am in the phone book. You do not want your loved one to be left out.

Take good care of yourselves, do a good deed, and read the River Press for the latest breaking news. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

View From The Bridge 10/27/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
BY Muncie

I would like to clarify that although this program has been labeled “Veterans Photos,” it also encompasses all Servicemen and women’s photos. All conflicts carried on by force of arms (I do not like the word war,) are included. All young men and women that are in any way connected with armed services, who live in, have lived in, are related to anyone who lives in or has lived in Chouteau County, please send your photo with relevant information as soon as you possibly can.

The program has expanded since last week. In case you missed the article by Tim Burmeister about the supplement that is upcoming for Veterans Day, I will repeat. Tim will be using the photos and bios from the information that I have gathered for the supplement. We would like all the Veterans to be honored but we cannot do that if we do not know who you are. Please do it now, do not put it off another day. It is a very important part of Chouteau County history and it is up to you to be an important participant.

Of course, nothing moves fast enough for me because as I often say, “I would like to see it done in my lifetime.” I am however, very pleased at the response thus far. I have heard from Veterans from all over the country. I received photos and bios from the Ragland’s in Ohio, from Margaret Ritter in Great Falls about her husband, and from Darcy Morger Grovenstein’ three sons who are serving our country. I mention these because it shows they are faithful River Press readers as are all the rest of you. You know this can only be done in a small community and aren’t we the lucky ones.

Dig out those old photos and if you do not have one (several people have told me that they no longer have one,) then pass on your bio and we will do it up in a 5 x 7 frame. You will and should be included.

When I read your coaches write-ups about your games, I mistakenly omitted writing about you. It was not that I did not follow your progress. It was brought to my attention that I was neglecting you and I want to tell you that it was not intentional. I am so proud of the team and your spirit. I do know how hard you have worked and believe me; I am partial to girls in sports. You have to work twice as hard to attain your standings because of your strength being in the “female” category. I know that you are playing your best game and deserve recognition for your efforts. GO LADY LONGHORNS.

All of the above comments are for the Cheerleaders too. I see you out there, week after week, pumping up the crowd. You work together so smartly and you must

practice many hours to get your team doing the same motions at the same time. The best part is that you noticeably are enjoying every minute of it. GO CHEERLEADERS.

The game last week was the most exciting of the season. Those are the kind of games that we enjoy the most. Good job and we are looking forward to next Saturday for the first playoff game. We are still in suspense (Sunday evening) as to which team we are playing. We asked around but no one we talked to seemed to know yet. It will be a surprise. GO HORNS.

Adding to the excitement was “Seniors Night,” and we say so long to 11 Football Players and 4 Cheerleaders. You all will be off to college next year and you will then be Alumni. You will join the Booster Club and come to as many Fort Benton games as you can. You will be proud to say that you are a graduate of Fort Benton High School

We will miss you and wish you the best of luck. Keep in touch.

Last week was the last of the “10 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Earth!” Even if you adopted one of the things, it would be a step in the right direction. These kinds of programs seem to be, you do, or you don’t. May the dos be in the majority?

The Highway Cleanup was accomplished a week ago Tuesday by the Woman’s Club with the aid of the Girl Scouts. It was a remarkable sight to see these second graders working to improve the environment. There was interesting discussion as to why anyone would throw their trash, aluminum cans, and bottles out of the windows of their vehicles? Would you believe that three large bags were filled with aluminum cans?

The question came up as to what to do with glass bottles. I called the Environmental Department in Helena to seek an answer. The woman who answered my call said that the only place in the State of Montana that collects bottles at this time is Helena. She offered to come to Fort Benton and pick our bottles. I unfortunately had to tell her that at this time we have no collection place for them.

The Recycling Committee is working to find a building where recycling could begin in earnest. There is much to be done and so little time that people have to spare. Another meeting of the Committee is being planned and the time and place will be passed on in this column.

Talking about recycling…do not forget this coming weekend and the weekend after that is the Fall Cleanup. Check the River Press for the schedule and get rid of all that unwanted clutter.

This River Press will be dated Wednesday October 27, 2010. The following Tuesday will be Voting Day and there are very important issues on the ballad. A news report said that absentee ballads were down and the reason is not known. If you have not voted with an absentee ballad, then be sure to get to the polls next Tuesday.

Late this afternoon I walked over to the Grand Union to say hello to a friend that I thought I knew. I knew him as a very pleasant person to talk to, a “Trolley Man” who gave rides just for the joy of it, a man who knows the history of Fort Benton as well as any historian, and a long time resident of our town.

Well, much to my surprise I learned that the man, who loves music and is not a musician, handcrafts stringed instruments. No one taught him…he is self-taught by ordering parts from a catalog and reading directions. It takes the patience of a saint and a knowledge of wood. He said that because he did not play an instrument, he wanted to make instruments for people to play. He succeeded.

His very talented daughter Gail is a music teacher. She played the harp with the accompaniment of her husband and another young woman. I could have listened to them for hours. Gail showed off many of the instruments and there were many. If you ever have the opportunity to talk with Wayne Hampton…take advantage of it. You may even get an invitation to visit.

Are you ready for Trick or Treaters? I think these little goblins have it easy these days. We actually had to do some sort of Trick which could be a poem, song or dance before we got a Treat. I still enjoy seeing some of the clever costumes and the excitement that is the Halloween happening.

Are you ready for Day Savings Time to “fall back” on November 7th? Is it my imagination or does it spring ahead and fall back earlier and later every year? Do you love or hate it?

GOD BLESS AMERICA and all those serving our country.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

View From The Bridge 10/20/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Here is an update on the proposed “Schoolhouse Photographs” book by Charlotte Caldwell. I received an e-mail from her this past week and her schedule reads like this. She is going to cover Hill, Toole, Liberty, Pondera, and Glacier counties and would like to include Chouteau if time permits. (That is quite a schedule.)

She did not realize that I had put together another list of schoolhouses that you readers called in after she left Fort Benton. The list is almost another page of locations. This weather, if it holds, would be the perfect time to drive around the countryside, searching for not only schoolhouses but also a spot that you have never been to before.

I have a book that previews 52 Weekend Scenic Drives. Unfortunately, most of them are on the other side of the Rockies. A friend of ours told us to take a road out of Geraldine which goes east around the Shonkin Mountains and lo and behold, you end up in Geyser. It was a beautiful ride scenery wise with ranches/farms a great distance from each other. You would recognize some of the names on the entry posts.

Two other interesting Sunday afternoon rides are to the Virgelle and Carter Ferry Roads (not on the same day.) The journey would take you there one route and return another after you cross over on the ferry. Most of you readers are probably familiar with and have traveled these routes but if not…there are maps at the Visitor’s Information Center with the roads marked on them. If you would like a map, give me a call and I will see that you are mailed one. Take a snack and water…(just a suggestion.)

A very thrilling “true experience” story last week at Friends of the Library was the our guest author Nancy LaChappell. Nancy resides in Fort Benton as the result of a friendship with our much-loved Nurse Practioner, Debbie Meeks. They were stationed at Malstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls and worked in the same office for three years. When Nancy retired (as a Lt. Colonel,) Debbie invited her to look over Fort Benton as a retirement residence. Nancy, her husband Matt, and her son Charlie did not take long to decide that this was the place.

The book, “Letters from Afganistan,” takes you into the heart of the country and its people. Nancy spoke for over an hour and we could have listened to her for hours more. It says it all when Nancy said that she would return in a heartbeat if she had the opportunity.

The next day, Nancy was the guest of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. She again talked about her book and those of us who attended The Friends enjoyed again facts about the people, their culture, and their attitudes about the war. If you have the opportunity to hear Nancy, do so. Just as we have criminals in our United States, Afganistan has the Taliban. If we could rid the countries of those elements, we could live in peace and not in fear. Will that ever happen?????

No. 9 on the Simple Things list to Protect the Earth is GET OFF. Catalogs are great when they’re from companies you like to order from. But if you’re getting catalogs from companies you don’t buy from, call them and tell them to get you off their list (it’s usually a toll free number,)---and that’s an order.

Just in today’s mail, we received 3 catalogs from company’s we have never heard of. Since it has not helped us to write and call about getting junk mail…we are going to do the above approach. I actually would not mind getting a company’s catalog twice a year but not every month. Some companies mail even more often. STOP. We do not want them. You would think that after sending a catalog for two years with no response…they would get the picture. NOT! So see how many catalogs you can eliminate by next week. I would like to hear from you.

What fun! Even though we did not attend many of the events, those that we did were so exciting. The “Snake Dance” after the coronation, wound its way right in front of our home. I dashed onto the front porch to wave the great pom-poms that we found on our kitchen table that afternoon left by the “Pom-pom Mystery Person.”

The football game on Friday was made more exciting because of the new lighting system. Joke…we had to wear sunglasses because of the brightness. All kidding aside…what a great project. It was so much easier to see all the plays no matter where they were on the field. Whoever thought of the idea is another of my unsung heroes.

I wonder if all of the Horns fans will remember that the next game is Wednesday with Centerville. It is Sunday as I write this column and I still do not know what the standings are. Then the playoffs begin and that is when we all have to say, GO HORNS.

By the way, the moon will be two days away from being full. Two years ago, when the moon was full in October, the Horns were pitted against a team who were several touchdowns ahead of us at the half. A group of us Old-Timers began to sing, “Shine on Harvest Moon.” The Horns came back to the game to overcome the deficit and win. We “Seniors Citizens” were convinced it was because we sang. So…what does that mean? Be ready to sing again next Wednesday if you get this message. I will provide the words. This especially goes for you, Janice and Howard Hunter. You have the best singing voices…true story.

Ken Knutson mentioned in one of his columns not long ago that I was one of his unsung heroes. I appreciate that Ken, but…I do not feel like one. I sometimes come up with an idea but my unsung heroes carry them out.

The City Crew headed by Skip Ross, (this includes Tim…I cannot sing loud enough. I talk often to Skip and it is always to ask him to do something, (I try to say it is a favor.) It always is done and just the way I pictured it in my mind. Case in point…the five-cottonwood trees that he and the Crew planted this summer. I love looking at them and God willing that I can see them growing next spring. If I named everything that Skip has done for me over the 17 years I have lived in Fort Benton, I would be writing a book. GO SKIP, TIM AND CITY CREW.

My next unsung heroes are Denny and Myrna Allen. These friends put all the plaques on the Memorial Benches and Tables. They have applied about sixty (60) plaques and some of them in the hottest weather we have ever had. They have put in countless hours, which of course make them experts in that line of work. I am sure that if any of you readers ever have plaques to be placed, they would be willing to accommodate you. GO ALLENS.

More of my unsung heroes are my fellow volunteers at the Joel Overholser Research Center. All of them have spent time aiding me in my research for my projects, (example Veterans Photos,) or doing the research for me when I didn’t know which way to turn. They all know so much and are so willing to share. GO RESEARCH CENTER.

Kathy Nelson and Lindsey Krause are the most patient women in the world. I have a deadline to get the View to the River Press and although I always have a good excuse, I am almost always late. They give me some slack depending how honest the excuse is, (example I went to bed very late and overslept my 3:00 p.m. deadline.) Kathy (a teacher in her other life,) and Lindsey (a very talented graphic designer,) are the backbone of the River Press. Oh, by the way, Tim, you do a very fine job too.

Finally yet importantly, Sharalee Smith is another of my favorites. She does all the work to put “View” onto the Fort Benton website. She goes out of her way to put pictures that I provide or that she provides for me. She furnishes me with comments on the blog and provides me with figures on how many people read the View. Another plus for you readers is that she has it on the internet on Tuesday mornings almost two days before the paper comes out. If you need to know what is going on in town ahead of time…you know where to go, www.fortbenton.com. GO SHARALEE.

I have so many more unsung heroes but that would be another book. Just know that if I have not mentioned your name, you are in my thoughts. I appreciate all your support and when you talk to me about something that is in the column, you make my day.

As I said last week…October is half over. There are not many social events going on this week except the football game. Warm weather is returning so get out there and prepare for the time you will be hanging out in the house. So much to do and so little time. Keep thinking kind thoughts and if you lose patience, try to imagine what it is like to live in the other person’s shoes. GOD BLESS AMERICA and all of our Servicemen and Servicewomen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

View From The Bridge 10/13/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

At the Research Center on Tuesday the 5th, a mystery person left two sheets of photocopied photos of the Graceville Post Office and photos of two men. Bill and Fred Payne’s names were on the backs of the sheets. I looked up the Payne in the telephone books that I have, but found no Payne names.

At first, I thought it was a schoolhouse but further examination of the papers, found the information that it was a Post Office. If someone called me about Graceville (perhaps it was a schoolhouse before it was used for a Post Office,) I cannot recall the conversation. I have a good memory but it is short.

The papers were given to me because none of the other volunteers claimed them. They do not remember anyone dropping them off. Until I hear from whoever left them at the Research Center, it will remain a mystery. Come on…fess up.

The program is really rolling now. Last weeks total rounded out at thirty-seven (37) pictures which Ken Robison has scanned and are permanent records at the Research Center. Pam Schoonover has volunteered to do the labels, gold on the front of the photos (with rank, name, and service,) and white on the back with more detailed information. Joellen Benjamin Clark phoned to volunteer to make the signs, (example WWI.) That was a load off my mind. I am so grateful to all these volunteers and to all of you who have gone out of your way to provide the pictures. Karla Ayers reported pictures dropped off at the Sunrise Bluffs and I have had drop-offs at my house almost every day this past week.

I purchased another dozen frames and will probably fill those on Tuesday. I anticipate there will be over fifty (50) pictures by then. It is only a month until Veterans Day and we would like the pictures we have, hung and ready to be viewed. God Bless Our Veterans.

We did not know what to do with ourselves on Friday night since there was not a football game. Oh well, we rested up for the big “Homecoming Week” ahead. It looks as though the weather is going to cooperate by turning warm again after Tuesday’s cool-down. GO HORNS.

No. 8 on the list of simple things you can do to help protect the earth is…GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR ROOTS. PLANT A TREE! Good for the soil, good for the birds, good for reducing climate change, and good for the air you are breathing!

The two big “Dumpster Weekends” are coming up soon. On these nice days, clean up your yards, clean out your garages and sheds. Get rid of what you can recycle or dump those things that are useless and taking up space. From what I read, those clothes items that you have not worn for a year…GO. Those items that you have been “going to work on someday,” should GO but you have a little longer time on that…five years. If they are valuable, try to sell them. Another suggestion would be to have a garage sale with your neighbors…perhaps a block sale.

I am a “Garage Sale” addict. Where I came from, although I would rather not think about living where there are four million people in an area the size of Chouteau County, there were subdivision sales. Every household joined in and you would spend the day going from one home to another, one street to another and not only found treasures but visited with your neighbors.

There were people who sold coffee, lemonade, lunch, and snacks. It was more fun than a circus. They had lawn chairs set up so you could take a break. We dragged a wagon behind us and it was filled with items that could easily be sold at next year’s sale. If an item was too large for the wagon, you could come back with your car when the sale was over to pick it up because the streets were closed to traffic during the sale except for emergency vehicles.

If just one block in Fort Benton would start this “tradition” next spring, it may catch on. Is there anyone who would like to organize that project? There would be a whole lot of No. 3 of the simple things that said…GO FOR SECONDS. It can mean using things for a second and third time. That’s what garage sales are all about.

Because October the 1st was on Friday, Pie Day will be this coming Friday, the 15th. Mark your calendars and be at the Golden Age Senior Center at 10:00 a.m. (until gone.) You will enjoy the variety of homemade pies and a great cup of coffee…hot and they keep it coming. In September the first Pie Day of the season was held and enjoyed very much by the regular customers. I asked for a rhubarb pie and there were two, one by chance and the other by my request. I really appreciated the gesture and could I be so lucky this coming Friday? See you there.

I am really enjoying the writing of Ken Robison, Hank Armstrong, Becky Aaring, Sherry Eddy, Dennis Nottingham, Bo Sparks, Dale Krause, Ken Knudson, Superintendent Scott, and Mary Frances Mousel…hope I did not forget anyone. Becky and Sherry were kind enough to mention my Veterans Photos project in their columns. Every little bit helps.

I am not a hunter but I enjoy reading about the experiences. I did go Pheasant hunting once, as I knew I was a good shot. Remember those machines we had in the “Old Days.” For 10 cents, you could aim at a target and shoot for about 5 minutes. Hey, I used to get a higher score than all the guys. No kidding. Couldn’t do that today as the old eyes ain’t what they used to be. That’s my hunting story. What do you think Bo?

I have not heard from the “Schoolhouse” photographer as yet. She was supposed to return in October and we will be almost half way through it by the end of the week. I will contact her this week and if you have any more information about your schoolhouse, please contact at me. Check my number in the phone book. I have quite a list of names compiled and it should be interesting to see the results. What a history there is in those old buildings. If only they could talk.

Take good care of yourselves, do a good deed, be kind, and be happy. See you around.

GOD BLESS AMERICA and our surrounding area. We need all the blessing we can get.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

View From The Bridge 10/6/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Can you imagine how thrilled I was last week Tuesday at the Research Center when Ellen Ames Bronec brought in a photo of her great grandfather who fought in the Civil War. I believe that I mentioned Civil War before in my requests for photos but not in the last few weeks. I thought it an impossibility. Ellen you are the greatest for taking the time to go through your memorabilia and finding not only that photo but also several others from other wars.

Later that afternoon, Ken Robison came up with three (3) more photos that were on the archive files of Civil War Veterans. As of last Tuesday, there are thirty-one (31) pictures in the file and the dozen black frames that I found for $1.00 each have been used. I will be getting more.

My request for someone to make signs designating each war has not yet been met. I tried on my computer but it would not cooperate with me. I managed an 8 x 10 with a gold star border but could not get, for example, WWI to enlarge in the middle. Perhaps someone whose computer likes them could manage it for me. I thought my computer and I were getting to like each other but now we are estranged again. I may not speak to it for a week after I finish this “View,” until next week when I have to turn it on again.

I thought that I had mentioned the project too many times but found last week that it was just being recognized for what the project is all about. I would like to say again that if the Veteran or currant Service Person is in Chouteau County, has lived in Chouteau County, does not live in Chouteau County, but is related to you in any way, then the project wants the picture.

Please turn in a 5 x 7 black and white or colored photo in a plain 5 x 7 black frame either to the Research Center on Tuesdays only from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or the Sunrise Bluffs that is open every day. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors and perhaps we will have hundreds of pictures, at least that is our goal. I will keep you posted.

I verified this morning that the Fort Benton High School does still collect old phone books. They receive some funds for this so please drop your old books (they will not take 2011 books,) at either the High School or if it is more convenient, at the Elementary School. There used to be a day that phone books were delivered to your home and you could refuse them if you so chose. Today they are placed in your mailbox and you do not have a choice. The only possible call you could make would be to the publisher and tell them you do not want their book. Perhaps they would then not send so many. Good luck with that.

The Elementary School no longer collects plastic bags. They discontinued this project a while back. I do encourage you to buy cloth bags and do not forget to take them into the stores when you shop. It is a difficult thing for me to remember and I always have to return to my vehicle to get them. Oh well, I need the exercise.

On that subject, I would like to talk about junk mail which is well over half of our mail every day. I called the number I was given by the Post Office, twice, and I also wrote a letter. Since I did that, I am getting twice as much junk mail and catalogs as I did before. Honestly, one day we had 11 pieces of mail and 8 were junk mail. What a waste of time, material, and patience. I will try again but I am afraid that I will get three times as much junk. How does a small gift store in the upper corner of Maine, get my address? I can understand if you have done business with a company, they would have you on their mailing list. But…a gift store in Maine! Give me a break and save a tree. I do not need a catalog from a store in Great Falls that has one every week with, “The Biggest Sale Ever.” How can you have a bigger sale than the one you had just a week ago? The only way to object is a phone call but you do not get anywhere with that either. Just keep recycling until someone gets the picture that we are not looking at their ads. Or is it just me? Give me your opinion when you see me next time in our stores in Fort Benton or on the street.

7th Simple Thing for Recycling: Flip’em off. In much of America we cannot even see the stars anymore due in part to all the electric lights. Keep the light on in the room you are in but keep the rest of your house dark. You will find the dark is soothing.

Chouteau County Performing Arts was extraordinary on September 27th. Sax phobia’s fame for the young people was that Rob Verdi came from Disneyland. He said that he refused to play, “It’s a Small, Small World,” one more time as he played it every day for 17 years at Disney. For the rest of us, there attended, it was a history lesson in music. The evening was extremely entertaining and we all went home happy.

For those of you that were not able to attend…I have a story. It was about Rita May and her father’s saxophone. Rita is a Visitor’s Information Volunteer and she was not able to keep her shifts after she was involved in a serious automobile accident at 10th Ave. S and 13th St. in Great Falls.

Because Rita’s shift at the Center was just before mine on Tuesdays, I and all the other Volunteers kept track of her progress in the hospital (6 days,) and when she returned home to recuperate. That is how I got involved by visiting her one-day. She told me the story of her father’s saxophone that day.

When Rob Verdi began telling the story of Rita’s father’s sax, the whole audience listened with rapt attention. Therefore, for those of you who were not there, here is the story. Rita invited Rob to her home for a cup of coffee and to show him her father’s sax that had not been played for thirty six (36) years. Rob tried to play it and found that it only played a couple of notes. He borrowed the sax and spent much of the afternoon fixing it. That evening he played a lovely melody and it sounded like the best sax in the world. Rita was sitting a couple of rows behind us and the tears were rolling down her cheeks. She had wonderful memories of her father playing the sax. I think that is one of the most beautiful stories and should be made into a Hallmark movie. It made a lasting impression of the love of Rita’s family for music because of a saxophone.

We were told yesterday that as of now, the Longhorns are in a three-way tie. The Horns, Dutton/Brady, and Chinook are 4 and 1. So hang in there Horns so you can make the playoffs and on from there to the championship. GO HORNS.

No complaints about the weather…hasn’t it been just gorgeous. Walking along the Levee Trail at this time of year is the most beautiful. We could not ask for anything more. Keep these memories tucked away for another time that I do not want to mention.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, Fort Benton, Chouteau County and Montana. We love you all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

View From The Bridge 9-29-10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

By the time you read this, (if you pick the River Press up on Wednesday evening,) you will have one more day to visit the Center. It is hard to believe, that it opened up five (5) months ago. It has been a busy and interesting time as we had many foreign groups visiting. Without checking the Guest Book, I can safely say that the most Visitors are from Canada. They are very interested in the history between Canada and the United States.

They like the story of the whiskey trade and most of them know how, “What goes around, comes around.” In case it slipped your memory, we traded whiskey to Canada during the fur trade and steamboat eras, and they traded back again during prohibition. I also like to tease Canadians by asking when they are going to join the United States. They are always so polite and either just smile or say they do not think that will ever happen.

Next Monday evening, October 4th at 7:30 p.m. will be the next City Council meeting. The meetings are being held at the Ag Center while the City Hall renovation is in progress. I urge you to attend these meetings so you can get first-hand information about ordinances that are being passed. These ordinances affect your life one way or another. You should have a say as to your opinion.

I took a tour of the City Hall on my own last week. I visited with Mimi Hayden in her makeshift office and then found my way to the back section. There was one man working and I asked if he had some plans so I would know what each room would be. He said he did not have a set of plans but the room he was working in was the furnace room. That is all I know folks…the location of the furnace room.

I heard at the meeting that the Police Department offices might be complete by the week of October 8th and the rest of the building by the middle of November. It will be a great addition to Fort Benton…a building to boast about and further beautify Front Street.

Oh, the difference in the climate between the week before the game at Chinook and last Fridays game at Power. It was perfect weather for a football game. We were cheering all the way Horns and you did have some very hard competition. I think that because it was Power’s Homecoming Celebration, it put extra pressure on them to win on their own field. We were very happy when The Horns made a touchdown because we cannot remember the last time the team was shut-out. As has happened before, you may be playing them again. Let’s look for that in the playoffs. Go Horns.

BYOB. Last year Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles. Fill up a reusable water bottle at home and take it with you wherever you go. Don’t like the taste of your tap water? Buy a filter! (Remember much of the bottled water sold today is filtered tap water anyway...)

Pictures are coming in every day now and the numbers are in the 20’s now. I really appreciate the response. The neat part of this project is checking the pictures. “What a hunk!” It is not that these men are not good looking/handsome now but way back then…WOW.

I met with Karla Ayers at the Sunrise Bluffs again last week and as soon as we have 50 pictures, we will begin to hang them. I am going to ask for some more help to make some sort of plaques, signs, markers that designate WWI, WWII, BAY OF PIGS, KOREAN, VIETNAM, DESERT STORM, and AFGANISTAN.

If an artist volunteers, we can discuss it further. I am at the Joel Overholser Research every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or call me at 622-3217 after 2:00 p.m. Even some suggestions would be welcome.

I am looking out the window next to my computer armoire at sunshine coming through the lilac tree onto the deck. How beautiful! Yesterday we sat in the gazebo for the first time in a month. We had spent most days (well at least half a day,) during July and August. This will be a “memory” keeper to remember in December and January. I wrote last week that I thought we would have a beautiful October.

My good deed for the day has gone behind schedule but I did see someone practice what he preached by pulling weeds from a neighbor’s lawn. It made my day and I hope that you experience something like it in your life this week. It is almost time for “Make a Difference” nominations. I know several people who have made a difference in my life and they are unsung hero’s. I will leave that for another time.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

View From The Bridge 9/22/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

This important part of our community will be closing on the 30th of September as will our Museums and The Fort Tours. That gives the people of Fort Benton another week of visiting the Center. If you travel in Montana, take short weekend jaunts, or advise others about travel in Montana, there is a wealth of information at the Center for you. The Travel Planner list every city in Montana with sleeping accommodations, restaurants, museums, parks that are national, state and county, and basically everything you want to know about Montana.

Did you know that Montana is divided into six (6) countries? Our area is Russell Country and there are separate booklets for Glacier, Yellowstone, Gold West, Missouri River, and Custer.

There is a brochure with a map of Fort Benton with all historic areas numbered. There are brochures about The Fort, The Museums, The B.L.M. Interpretive Center, and much more.

The Chamber members have brochures about their businesses. It is a great help to have these items in your home and when a question comes up, you have the info at the tip of your fingers. You do not have to make phone calls (and who do you call,) to find out what you need to know. So get to the Center before it closes for the season and gather up all the above info. The volunteer on duty will be happy to see you and help with whatever they can. Go volunteers.

Additions and corrections are here to add to and correct last week’s information about the book “The War Years.” First, I will give credit to Linda Knoche as being the “Project Director,” of the book. As I understand more of the story now, there were ads in the River Press asking for help to put together the publication. Linda answered the ad and therefore became involved. In a phone conversation with Hank Armstrong, I learned that his wife Norma was the one who went to the Chouteau County Courthouse with him to gather the names from the discharge files of the Veterans. I also want to give credit to Geri Skaalura and Edna Halley, for their help gathering the pictures. It was quite an undertaking and the result was an important addition to the Fort Benton archives.

I have not heard from anyone at this time about having a copy of “The War Years” to donate to the Sunrise Bluffs. I am again appealing for a copy of the book. If you find one or have one, please take it to Karla Ayers at the Sunrise Bluffs.

I know this will be a tri-peat appeal for the Veteran’s picture request. I have received several phone calls this past week asking questions about what to do. I will start from the beginning and list as best as I can what the Committee has planned. A display was seen last year at Jean’s Bakery Restaurant in Chinook and I copied the idea.

The following is what I would like from every Veteran, past and present, from every war. If children or grandchildren of WWI Veterans can find pictures of parents/grandparents, it would add much to the display. Could it be possible to find a Veteran’s picture from the Civil War?

Please bring one (1) 5 x 7 picture in a black frame, 5 x 7. (Today I purchased a dozen black 5 x 7 frames to accommodate those of you that would find it difficult to find and purchase a frame. They were $1.00 apiece.) The pictures can be black and white, sepia, or colored. Please give information as to name, rank, and service. That information will be on the front of the picture on a gold label. On the back of the picture, on a white label, will be age, how long in the Service, where stationed, and any other details you feel are pertinent.

The pictures will be scanned into the computer so a hundred, two hundred years from now, they will be available for viewing by our great great (great?) grandchildren. Many have said that this is a project long over due.

If you have any other wartime artifacts, (like a hanging window flag with a star in the middle to show that you had someone in the service from your home.) I have an old print of the American Flag, which was given to me, and I was told was a classic picture. That will be hung with pride on the walls of the Sunrise Bluffs. Does anyone have ration books with the stamps in them? We would like to have any war artifacts like plaques, special accommodations, letters from military officials, etc.

If the memorabilia is important to you, then do not even think about donating it. However, if you have it stuck in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen again, then think about putting it in the display where it will be viewed by many people. I am a “Museum” viewer who reads everything so I get my monies worth. However, how can you put a price on what you learn in a museum?

Chouteau County Performing Arts has the first performance next Monday evening, the 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the Elementary School. The group is called Saxophobia and they are spectacular. Anyone who attended the Consortium last January, had a preview of the show, and we were all elated.

The Board also has a deal for you past the deadline of a season’s ticket. A season’s ticket is $40.00 and the program this season has six (6) shows. If you were to come to each show without a season’s ticket, the cost would be $72.00 for the six (6) shows. Now here is the deal…if you are unsure if you want to buy a seasons ticket, we invite you to come next Monday, and the ticket will cost you $12.00. If you liked the show and would then want a season’s ticket, you can go to the ticket office and purchase one for an additional $28.00. See you music lovers there.

This week’s paragraph is titled “Paper or Plastic.” “Bring your bags with you! By taking reusable bags to the grocery store, you can cut down on the 350 bags the average American uses each year and reduce needless deaths of marine life caused by plastic bags that end up in streams, rivers and oceans.”

One of the things that the Montana Recycling Committee would like to implement is instructions to cashiers. They would like them to say to the customer, “Did you bring your bags with you today?” I always carry them in the vehicles but forget to take them into the store. If a clerk would remind me, I would return to the vehicle to retrieve them.

Well, didn’t the weather put a damper on the trip to Chinook for the football game? Only two (2) people visited the Wildlife Museum and Jean’s Bakery Restaurant was closed.

We were a little apprehensive about the outcome of the game because of Chinook’s win over Centerville this season. Our first game last year was with Centerville (who were the Conference Champions) and unfortunately lost the game. Our Longhorns showed off their many talents, their strengths, and immerged the winners. Go Horns.

Do you have your long johns, your snow boots, winter coats, and brushes/scrappers for the vehicle windows, snow shovels, and ice melt ready? It pays to be prepared but actually, I think we will have a beautiful month of October. This is the first September that I remember that has been so rainy and chilly. How about you? Of course, I have only been here for almost eighteen (18) years and that actually still makes me a stranger.

Enjoy every minutes of every day, do a good deed, and GOD BLESS AMERICA and Fort Benton.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

View From The Bridge 9/15/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Many folks in Fort Benton need help. There are folks who are not able to do simple chores like going to the grocery store. There are seniors that lack the strength to lift or move things. There are young and old alike that may have had surgery and need some assistance.

I know that all of the Churches in town are very helpful to those in need. However, I have been asked to put out feelers about needing an H.E.L.P. program. It was suggested that a volunteer would be asked for an hour or two of assistance. It does not mean a major renovation of your home or other huge projects.

If anyone has suggestions about how this can be organized, please let me know (622-3217 after 2:00 p.m. or 899-1380 after 9:00 a.m. if it is a local call.) We need to be ready for the cold weather when more accidents happen and sickness occurs.

One of the most difficult things to do, for most people, is to ask for help. It is in our nature to think that we can do it ourselves. When you finally admit that you cannot do it, it would be wonderful to call someone who could arrange help for you. I believe this all comes under, “Love thy neighbor.”

This past week brought about a huge leap ahead for this project. On Tuesday when I went to the Research Center, I showed the Volunteers a picture that had been brought to me the day before. Hank Armstrong went to the bookshelves and gave me a book that was titled, “The War Years.” There is a picture of the Iwo Jima flag raising on the gray cover and on the bottom it says Chouteau County, Montana.

The publisher, Curtis Media Inc. in 1995, put an ad in the River Press asking for a person from Chouteau County to gather names of Veterans from WWII to publish in a Veterans book. Hank from Geraldine and Linda Knoche from Highwood compiled the list by going to the Chouteau County Courthouse for many hours to check on discharge papers. (They received no acknowledgments for their work and so I give it here. Good job for posterity.) The book lists a surprising number of Veterans and that is 1,080 names. That figure is about 1/5 of the counties population. Some of the old-timers will remember that the Draft Board doubled the number of men because of an error in the system.

Curtis Media Inc. went out of business resulting in the end of communications between the company and Hank and Linda. However, Curtis Media had somehow collected 326 pictures for the book for the publication.

The book belongs to the Schwinden Library and cannot be removed. I would like to have a copy of the book to place at the Sunrise Bluffs on display. There is no record of how many books were published, but I am assuming that they were offered to the Veterans whose names appear in the book. If you are a Veteran, baby-boomer of a Veteran, or grandchild of a Veteran, it would be very much appreciated if you would donate the book to this project. The book is historically important. Please take it to the Sunrise Bluffs and give it to Karla Ayers. It will always belong to you but would be considered on loan so Veterans and their families can look at it. It will be well taken care of.

To date I have ten (10) pictures. I realize that with the rate of Veterans dying at 1,200 a day, many of the 1,080 WWII Vets from Chouteau County will no longer be living. I depend on the children and grandchildren of these Veterans to supply their pictures. Look through the old pictures that they left behind to see what you could find. They will be on display at the Bluffs and will be scanned to go down in Fort Benton history as the “Greatest Generation.”

Next Friday night the Longhorns will be in Chinook. Jean’s Bakery Restaurant is where the idea for a Veterans display was copied. Chinook also boasts the “Wildlife Museum” that is one that should not be missed. I spoke to the Curator and he said that it is open by appointment only but he would have it open from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday. There is a fee but it is a museum that “is a must.” The Buffalo Jump and the Wetlands displays are so realistic. As you look at the Wetlands display, you can see above and below water activities. We wondered how a town as small as Chinook could put together a museum such as that. It took the promoters ten (10) years to put it all together as donations and grants pushed the project onward. Now almost completed, it is so worth your time and money to view it. Pass the word around town, as it would be very good if a large group of Longhorn fans would tour the museum. Teachers…please tell your students it would be part of their homework assignment. Perhaps you could assign it as “Wildlife Studies 101.” (Just joking.)

After you have completed your tour of the Museum, cross the street to Jean’s Bakery and see the display of Veterans pictures. There was a picture of one of the displays on the Fort Benton website last week but not in the River Press. Those of you who do not have a computer would not have been able to see it. Check it out in person. You will be on a time schedule that will have you arriving at the game on time. See you there.

Next Friday, the 17th, will be the first Pie Day since last spring. Come on down, have a great slice of pie and coffee, greet old and new friends, and donate to a good cause. It is a real social hour and you will find the best pie bakers in Fort Benton who donate their pies at the Golden Age Senior Center. I baked a couple of pumpkin pies for grandson Grayson a few weeks ago and it took me all day. I have no idea how these Senior Women have the time and patience to bake pies. All I know is that they are the best and they make my day. P.S. Would one of you please make Rhubarb pie? It’s my favorite.

Last Friday was a nice day and we planned to go to the football game at Simms. Randy, our oldest son, is our driver these days to long distance destinations. I put our down jackets in the trunk of the vehicle and hand warmers. Everyone laughed but he who laughs last, laughs best. When we emerged from the vehicle at Simms, the cold wind blew in our faces. However, we were well prepared and some hot coffee/candy bar at halftime helped a lot. What we cannot understand are those youngsters who were running around in shorts and t-shirts. They did not even have a sweater on. No one ever told us that old age made you feel cold all the time and once you got cold…it was impossible to get warm. Thank goodness, for down coats, hand warmers, and next time we will remember to take gloves. Go Horns, it was a great game

WATCH YOUR WASTE…items you are throwing away can contaminate the soil and water for thousands, maybe millions, of years. Your community probably has special disposable procedures for things like used oil and batteries. (THIS IS WHY WE NEED A RECYCLING PROGRAM.) Ink cartridges can probably be recycled where you bought them. (PLEASE TAKE THEM TO THE CHOUTEAU COUNTY LIBRARY OR THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.) Many of the new super-efficient light bulbs contain mercury, so proper disposal is crucial. Check with the store where you purchased them. (THE RECYCLE COMMITTEE CAN DO THIS FOR YOU.)

The trees across the Missouri are turning yellow. The countryside is no longer green but brown. Some furnaces go on early in the morning. Ten days from today (Monday the 13th) is the end of summer or the beginning of fall, (I know…you don’t want to be reminded.) Let’s tough up and prepare for what ever lies ahead. I would love to be a “Snowbird,” but cannot bear to be away from the football and basketball seasons. “When winter comes, can spring be far behind.” I am really trying hard here to make myself feel better. As fast as the days are flying by, it really will be spring again. Keep busy, do a lot of catching up, do good deeds, be kind, and ask God to Bless America.