Tuesday, April 20, 2010

View From The Bridge 4/21/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

What a Rock n’ Rollin’ night that was. Door receipts showed there were about 300 people at the Ag Center last Thursday evening. What a diversified group they were, coming from towns and cities around Fort Benton. The word had spread that the cost of tickets to see “Buddy Holly Rave On” was a bargain here.

The Ag Center was set, up front, as a theatre and there were tables in the back section. The Committee knew that there would not be enough room if just tables were set up. The plan went as scheduled and the first half of the performance was fairly quiet.

During the intermission, the Lottery Ticket Tree was raffled as well as bottles of wine and pots of flowers. The Lottery Tree was won by non other than Lisa Morger Miller from Arlee. She and husband John had made the trip over the mountains just to attend Pub Night. They had such a great time last year and since brother Randy, is on the C.C.P.A. Board, they could not miss this event.

After the intermission, the Ag began to “Rock n’ Roll.” The dancing went full time and the dance floor was filled almost to capacity. All you could see from the back tables were arms flinging into the air. It was such a great time just watching them. As one person said, “There were teen-agers and 80 year olds out there.”

Some of the comments were, “The best Pub Night ever.” “I will be back for every C.C.P.A. performance next season. I never realized how great they are.” “How did Fort Benton get such a great show to come here?” (Just ask a Board Member how much work it was.) “He sounds just like Buddy Holly.” “How could Billy McGuigan keep up that pace? He sang for one hour and fifteen minutes the second half without a break. He just went from one song to another non-stop.”

We had a “Scratch Party” at our house on Friday night with the Lottery Tree that Lisa won. It was very orderly as there were six of us taking turns and scratching one ticket at a time. Out of approximately 80 tickets, we found 12 winners for a total of $77.00. Lisa and John immediately donated the winnings back to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Fort Benton.” Lisa said the best part was not the money but just the fun of winning, as she had never won anything in her life before. They are looking forward to next year, as are the most of the rest of us. This is a very popular event every year and most said it was their favorite.

This event turned out to be way beyond expectations. In spite of the rain, the busload of European Tour Guides traveled from the Ulm Pischun to Fort Benton on schedule. Their first stop was at the Ag Center for lunch prepared by the Woman’s Club of Fort Benton. They then toured the Ag Museum and viewed the Hornaday Buffalo room. Because of muddy conditions, they had to skip walking the Village but the shoot-out did take place. On to the Old Fort by bus and then they were to walk down Front Street to view the Levee historical statues and signs.

About 12:30 p.m., it had stopped raining. Wally and I were assigned to the Visitors Center and I thought they would choose to ride the bus to the Grand Union. Not true. Only two rode to the Hotel and the others walked. They began pouring into the Info Center mainly to meet Wally and shake his hand.

The reason for the hand shaking is this story. When Wally was teen-ager, he was into football and basketball. There was a Father and Son banquet and Wally’s father could not attend. Seeing Wally alone, Mr. McAffey (the superintendent’s wife’s father) asked him if he could act as his father that evening. Wally said that he would be honored and Mr. McAffey said they should shake hands on it. They did and Mr. McAffey then said, “You are shaking the hand of a man who shook hands with President Lincoln.” (This is a true story folks. When volunteering at the Overholser Research Center, I found a handwritten letter signed by Mr. McAffey documenting the story below.)

When Mr. McAffey was four years old, his mother took him to the train station to see President Lincoln. The President was on a campaign tour and spoke from the back platform of the train. The President saw this four year old being held by his mother and said, “There is a young Republican and I would like to shake his hand.” Therefore, the story goes, Wally shook the hand of the man (Mr. McAffey’s), who shook the hand of President Lincoln.

Randy Morger (the Tour Guide for Fort Benton) told this story to the visiting European Guides and that his father would be at the Information Center. All of these Guides wanted to shake Wally’s hand. One of the young women from France was asked if she knew who President Lincoln was. She replied that they were taught in school about Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

All of these Guides were bright, energetic, had electric personalities, and could speak excellent English. Many of them spoke about making Fort Benton a destination point. This was a great event for Fort Benton and we look forward to seeing their customers here in town this summer and beyond.

Another short side story to this event is that one of the women in the group wrote in the Guest Book. Her comment was “I want to take Wally home with me.” I am putting this to your vote. Should I let him have a free trip to Europe or should I keep him here in Fort Benton?

This event is about a month away but it should go on your calendar now. On Friday, May 21st starting at 6:00 p.m. through Sunday, May 23 at noon the Spring Classic Fishing Derby will take place. There are Adult and Children categories with multiple categories for game and non-game fish. There are many prizes…$500 in cash prizes, 12 mountain bikes, a gas barbecue, a 12-gauge shotgun, 50 rod and reel combos, and t-shirts. There will be more details but for now get that calendar out and put it down. If you need to know, more now…go to www.fortbenton.com/derby

The Woman’s group of The First Christian Church is sponsoring this unique shopping experience. It showcases Fair Trade products from India Afghanistan, Nepal, Madagascar and Thailand. Eternal Threads is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and children most at risk of extreme poverty, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation. This is a wonderful opportunity for “women who love to shop” to not only have an experience of shopping but to help other women. This will all take place on Sunday afternoon at the First Christian Church from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 2nd. Please be there.

A quote for this week is from Nicolas de Condorcet (1743-1794.) He was a French Philosopher and Mathematician. (If you think you have problem, read about his life on the inter-net.) He said, “Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” Try it this week and find consolation. God bless America.