Tuesday, March 30, 2010

View From The Bridge 3-31-2010

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
by Muncie

The Friends meeting date for April is on Wednesday the 14th. The book that we have been reading for the last month is “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. It is a great story and most of the Friends said that they could not put it down once they began to read.

The novel earned the ’09 Montana Book Award. This annual award founded by Friends of the Missoula Public Library, recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book. It must be written by someone who lives in Montana, be set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues. The author, Jamie Ford, is a former resident of Great Falls and this is his first book.

We have a book discussion at the meeting and Jill Munson is the moderator this month. The meetings are one hour long, are informative and lively. You can bring your lunch if you would like to, and there is always coffee, tea and dessert. This is a drawing point if nothing else; however, the enthusiasm of the members about the book draws us together as lovers of books. If you have read the book or not, I would like to invite you to attend this meeting because of what happens at the May meeting.

May is the final meeting of the season and we have a potluck luncheon. Everyone brings a salad or dessert to share and I believe that we organize it so A to L brings dessert and M through Z brings salad. The excitement about the May meeting is that Jamie Ford will be our guest speaker. He has been traveling all over the country and is now quite a celebrity. It is a great opportunity to ask him questions and to have him sign your copy of the book.

The Friends invite you to come to both meetings because we would like Mr. Ford to see what a wonderful town we have, the friendly people, and our very special library.

I finally got a phone call from Mary Zanto about seeing a robin in her yard last week. John Cloepfil saw one about three weeks ago and told me about it at a church function. Wally saw one last week too but just told me about it. I told him he should have called me on my cell phone from his land phone. Then it would have been official.

Now I am asking for a phone call from the person who sees the first meadowlark. That sighting would be for those of you living out of town, as I do not believe meadowlarks are seen in town. Could I be wrong (again?)

That reminds me to ask once more…please put a bell on your cat or cats as the case might be. I have not seen a bird in my yard for a very long while because of a cat that got his lunch or dinner in my yard. I just know that birds have some sort of a “warning system” that there is a predator in that house on the corner. There used to be dozens of birds at my feeders and now nothing. I miss watching those finches, sparrows, and other small birds swarming around the feeders. Isn’t it interesting how they dart in and out before you can blink your eyes?

This past week when I walked, I came across a grandfather, father, and son who is 7 years old and in the 2nd grade. They drove up in front of the Mandan just as I arrived at that spot. They were from Lewistown and although they had been in Fort Benton before, they had not stopped. They had made it a destination place with this visit to see the Mandan. The young boy was very interested to learn about it. I told them about the impending repair of the keelboat and invited them to return when it was completed. They did not know about the movie, “The Big Sky” although the dad did know about Guthrie’s book of the same name.

We discussed the National Monument division of what I call land and water. Remember the struggle that Fort Benton had to get the designation of the river part of the monument. The dad said that Lewistown did not have the Missouri River flowing near them (right…about 100 miles away,) and he enjoyed looking at it.

I was pleased that they stopped to see the Mandan but had found that there was so much more that Fort Benton had to offer.

If you have been thinking about a brick in the Shep courtyard for any of a hundred reasons, get serious now. Spring is a great time for any of projects around town. Spring orders for bricks (need at least 10 to 12 before ordering) could result in their placement by late summer or early fall.

We could also use three more tables along the Levee. Plans were to place one every block. We have not considered tables north of the New Bridge at this time. If that would be something you would like to get in memory of a loved one (or any other reason) let me know.

It is time to think about working on your plot. We have been blessed with such great weather during March. I believe Mother Nature gave us that because of the three months of winter she doled out.

Have you ever wanted to take a ride in a hot air balloon? I have and considering my daughter, youngest son, and I were “balloon chasers” at one time, I was never able to go “up, up and away.”

I have often asked (especially the volunteers at the Visitor’s Center) for stories they encountered at the Center. That request actually went out to anyone who had a story. I received a phone call, the first in a long while, from one of my readers. Barbara Kegel, an octogenarian, was so excited about a balloon ride she had just taken in Park City, Utah. Her granddaughter accompanied her and everyone in the area was amazed that she would be taking this ride at her age.

She said that they were in the air for an hour. Barbara said she had to wear very heavy clothing because of the height of the balloon. She said she was not cold but I will bet that it was because she was so excited. If you see her out and about town, ask her if she is still up in the air.

At the Overholser Research Center, Mary Meissner came across a great quote, which I would like to share with you.

“When you develop your mind, it is as if your feet have wings so you walk with an enlightened mind, spirit, and body while you live.” ----Chief Spotted Dog.

What a revelation that was for me. Read it over a few times and let it sink in. Do you get the same reaction I did?

Have a wonderful Easter weekend and I would like to hear who sees the first “Easter Bunny.”

God bless America. We need all the blessings we can get.