Tuesday, April 6, 2010

View From The Bridge 4/7/2010

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Benton Pharmacy’s Customer Appreciation/Jimmy Buffet Day will be early this year. Chris Halko usually schedules this party after Income Tax Day to sooth the shock of what you have to pay or to enjoy if you have a return coming. This year Chris has to be out of town the following weekend and so he scheduled the party day for the Friday the 9th. Put on your Hawaiian gear (but not an absolute) and come on over for the celebration. It is always a fun day, a very social event, so come any time as it goes on all day. See you there.

Fort Benton will be the showcase to an international audience next Wednesday afternoon, April 14th. The Rocky Mountain International (RMI) annual Round-up is taking place in Great Falls. As part of that Round-up, more than 30 tour operators from Europe will visit Fort Benton as they determine places in the American West to recommend as vacation stops for their clients.

Fort Benton’s Community Improvement Association (CIA,) Chamber of Commerce, River and Plains Society, General Federation of Women’s Club and a number of businesses and individuals are all pitching in to help show off our great little town. The tour bus will deposit the tour operators at the Ag Center for lunch and afterward they will bus to the Old Fort, and Museum of the Upper Missouri. Next, they will be invited to stroll the Levee Trail and Front Street, weather permitting, viewing our history, and peeking into shops and stores.

The Baker House and the Visitors Center will be open for them to visit. The next stop will be the Grand Union for coffee and cookies. The finale will be the Bureau of Land Management Visitors Center. All of this visiting will take place in a three hour period. That is clearly not enough time but they are pressed for it. We would like them to know, to pass on to their customers, Fort Benton is a destination place. A visit here is an all day event to take in all that we have to offer.

I know they will appreciate our always-warm Fort Benton welcome. If you happen to be in the area and see the Tour Bus or Wayne Hampton’s Trolley, give them a good old fashioned wave. Wouldn’t it be a great day to fly your American flag and tidy up so the town will sparkle for them?

The next evening, April 15th, will be Pub Night at the Ag Center. It promises to be another of the great CCPA performances. In my opinion, it is the premier evening of CCPA programs. Folks, this is big time stuff. Billy McGuigan, who portrays the legendary Buddy Holly, has been all over the United States, and audiences continue to be awed by his realism, sincerity and talent. Come early, enjoy the snacks, songs, music, and dancing. Even if you do not dance, it is enjoyable to just sit, listen, and watch. Please do not miss this last and final show of the season.

If you did not attend the last CCPA performance of Mudd Bay Jugglers and Tune Stranglers, you missed the greatest show. You had to be there to see the amazing juggling that went on. My favorite was when they did a slow motion act. It must take hours of practice to achieve such perfection. The leader of the band and jugglers was Harry Levine. When he did his introductions, he said they loved to come to Fort Benton. He also loved the CCPA Board Members and we (the audience) should love the Board Members every day for working so hard to do what they do. The Board of Directors members are (alphabetically) Robert Boettcher, Ruth Carlstrom, Evan Goldhahn, Connie Jenkins, Wendy Kamm, Cynthia Lenington, Dottie Meehan, Randy Morger, Peggy Romano, and Margie Schuler. Next time you see one of them, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate their efforts, and to pass it on to the others.

The 14th of April, Wednesday, is also the Friends meeting date. Wish that you would join us, as it is such a great group of people. It is going to be a great discussion about the book I told you about last week. Time flies by so quickly that it is hard to believe that we only have one more meeting this season. This is a Cindy Lenington saying, “Be a friend, and bring a friend.”

Received a call from Rachael Plante last Wednesday, March 31st, to report seeing a meadowlark the Sunday before which would have been the 28th of March. She was at the Ritland Farm at the time. I appreciate the call Rachael since you shared the info the same day the River Press was in the mailboxes.

Tom Willson reported a sighting of an Egyptian Goose this past week. This goose hung out in a lot next door to Tom, on Franklin St., a week and a half ago for several days. It did not have a mate and Tom was able to go within a few feet of the goose, but if he tried to catch it, it would fly away.

This 63-73 cm long species breeds widely in Africa except in deserts and dense forests, and is locally abundant. They are found mostly in the Nile Valley and south of the Sahara. It has also been introduced elsewhere; Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany have self-sustaining wild populations. The former dates back to the 18th century, though only formally added to the British list in 1971. In Britain, it is found mainly in East Anglia, a parkland with lakes. It was officially declared a pest in the U.K. in 2009.

The conversation with Tom was concerning where did the goose come from? The only explanation was that it was someone’s pet and had escaped. It was known that through the hundreds of years, the Egyptian Goose was a pet of the wealthy. That brings up another question, why would they want a messy bird like that for a pet? I know, because they did not have to clean up after it.

No one called about seeing an Easter Bunny. He sure is sneaky, much more than Santa. Actually, we had a very large Easter Bunny in our yard plus three little Munchkins and twenty-two Big Kids (over 18 and way over 18.) It was a gorgeous day for an egg hunt and they found most of the almost 300 eggs, in fact one super egg hunter found several from last year. A good time was had by all. (Lisa, are you paying attention?)

Mark your calendars and enjoy all events that are taking place. The weather is co-operating with plenty of sunshine. March came in like a lamb and went out like a lamb. We do not remember that happening for a long while. God bless America and above all let us have a peaceful world.