Tuesday, May 18, 2010

View From The Bridge 5/19/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Thursday event is the reception and beginning of THE MULLEN ROAD CONFERENCE. An exciting time is in store for those who have registered and that registration is up to a 50 count.

Friday is PIE DAY at the Golden Age Center. Homemade pies and coffee at 10:00 a.m. until gone.

Friday through Sunday is the FISHING DERBY. Call Tom Willson at 621-5592 for information.

Your participation in any or all of these events is appreciated.

How can one describe an author, who has won the Montana Book Award for 2009, whose book is his first, and who is humble, humorous, and a delight to listen to? The only way I can think of is to say all the above things about him. The Friends of the Library enjoyed an hour, wished it were longer, listening to amusing stories about writing, agents, and having a book published.

Jamie Ford, author of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” told us that his interests as a boy were never in sports but in the arts. His parents encouraged him and sent him to Art School. He became interested in writing later in life, and the book actually came from a short story he had written.

He found his agent, a woman he spoke highly of, on the inter-net. She was extremely encouraging and helpful. Who would not want to help the unassuming young man who had a dream of writing a book? So many people want to write a book but very few “get published.” Yet, when one goes to a bookstore or the library, there are thousands and thousands of books. I always say, “So many books and so little time.” It is not just luck though to have a book published. It takes a lot of hard work and talent.

The Friends really enjoyed it when Jamie talked about going to Hollywood to talk about having his book produced into a movie. He said, “absolutely not,” when they wanted to eliminate the main character, the Chinese boy, and make the Japanese girl the main character. I think we all agree that a book is always much better than a movie. A movie cannot possibly get the details so vital to the story.

Cindy Lenington is working on getting the second place book winner to come to our September meeting. Those who have read the book said that it is also a, “hard to put down,” book. I hope this encourages you View readers to consider joining our group.

Details will be announced soon and you can read the book before September.

In July, we have another author coming to visit Fort Benton with her book that starts and ends in Fort Benton. It is a romantic adventure novel about canoeing the Missouri. We have the date of the 10th of July weekend set aside and will give you notice of the time she will give her presentation. Look for further information as we will invite you to attend.

I will be attending the Workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday in Choteau (not Conrad) with Judy Remick. We hope to bring back a workable plan partnering with our neighboring communities. Whether you agree with global warming or not, you surely must believe that, we will eventually bury ourselves in our own garbage.

Where I came from, the small community next to mine had filled 12 landfills with garbage from the Detroit area. They (we do not know who they are) wanted to build an incinerator in my small community. An incinerator was a no-no with most of the community (because of environmental issues) and the plan was finally abandoned. I was on the Environmental Review Board at the time and was one of the board members who voted against the incinerator. A recycle program was put into effect at that time. Each home site was provided with containers for bottles, aluminum, newspapers, magazines, etc. which were picked up a different day than the other trash.

I realize that was the “Big City” and those arrangements did work there. Small communities have to come up with a solution for rural areas and I believe that brain storming with come up with an answer. I will report next week with as much as we can learn.

I was able to visit Helena from the 12th to the 16th this past week. We stayed with daughter, Audra, son-in-law, Greg, and grandson, Grayson Bonilla for two days. (By the way, they said to say hello to everyone in Fort Benton.) The reason I mention this is that we went to the Montana Historical Museum. Grayson’s 2nd grade class had a field day there and he wanted to show it to Gramma. It is a very interesting museum (but not as great as Fort Benton’s, (do not tell them that but spread the word about Fort Benton’s.) When we were leaving, the attendant asked if we had seen the white buffalo on the second floor.

Upon entering the second floor, I was facing the Montana Historical Society doorway. I had wanted to contact them for a long time about Dr. Enoch Porter who built the house we live in, 100 years ago this year. I was hoping to find out about his descendants and I was able to do that with their help in a Montana History book and information from his obituary notice. I spent two hours there, found it super organized, and I cannot say enough about the helpful staff. I hope that the next time you visit Helena you will visit the Society. Your tax money supports it

The next day I was able to visit this library. Talking Books is a federal program and I have been using it for 30 years. I have long wanted to visit this library and did so for an hour and a half. I had a tour of their recording studio where the books are taped and was introduced to many of the staff. They recognized my name and made me feel very welcome. Of course, as a small world story, I met a young man who was related to the Culbertson’s.

I have tried to encourage people in Fort Benton who have poor vision to take advantage of this program. A few years ago, some of the staff was visiting cities to make them aware of the advantages of this federal program. I had asked that they put Fort Benton on their list of possible visits. Like everything else, the program’s funds were cut and now there is no possible way for them to continue that program.

I am asking those of you who have poor vision or none at all (hopefully someone reads the River Press to you,) to call me for details. Please believe me; it is wonderful to have books read to you. They have catalogs for every category of book that would interest you. I have always concentrated on Montana books and have enjoyed many with a great deal of history in them.

For instance, I listened to Mrs. Charlie Russell’s book about her life with Charlie. An interesting part of that book was that she wanted to remarry after Charlie passed on. She did not do so because the relatives did not want her to lose the Russell name. Kind of sad is it not.

I also listened to a great book about the Hilger family and Gates of the Mountain. Another was titled, “Doc” and it was about a doctor in Ennis who was a very well known sports injury surgeon. People came from all over the world to the small town of Ennis for his procedures. Doc still lives there and is over 90 years old. He no longer practices but people wish he did.

The book tapes (now CD’s) are there for you and there is no charge. The Library will send you a form for your doctor to sign and you are on your way to the Talking Books world. Do not miss one of life’s pleasures (books) because you are afraid to ask. Call me for details at 622-3217 (after 2:00 p.m.)

Show me a person who takes ridicule more than compliments, and I will show you a volunteer.

The hours are going to be changed this year. The Museum of the Upper Missouri (known as the MUM) will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. the same as last year. The Ag Museum hours are changed to 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This will give Visitors an opportunity to see the Ag Museum after Spoon’s afternoon tour at the Fort at 1:30 p.m. His morning tour remains the same at 10:30 a.m.

As you must have read in the Tribune this morning (Sunday) the Fort will be much more exciting to visit. New events are being planned within the Fort walls and the volunteers at the Visitors Information Center are eager to send the visitors to The Old Fort. However, they are not just for Visitors…we would like the Community to enjoy the Museums and The Old Fort also. Every person in town should visit The Fort so they can pass the information on to other members of their family and their friends. Tourism is a must for us now. Word of mouth is the best advertisement. I just spoke with Sharalee Smith and she reported that The Old Fort site on the web is getting 20 to 30 unique visitors a day. I think that is impressive because those 20 to 30 people tell 20 to 30 other people.

I have not heard from anyone yet who wants to help me set up a Veterans photo area. Memorial Day is almost upon us. However, if those families who have Veterans from any war, would send me a 5 x 7 picture in a frame (probably black,) please do so. Perhaps this will get the ball rolling.