Tuesday, June 29, 2010

View From The Bridge 6/30/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

I have been asked by the committee of the Military Appreciation Day to try to impress upon The River Press readers about several projects that are happening or trying to happen in Fort Benton. The first is the Military Appreciation Day that will be held on July 17th at the Old Fort Benton Park from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4047 and the American Legion Post #26 are having a difficult time acquiring a list of names and phone numbers of veterans in the area.

If you have a family member, a friend, or a neighbor that you know was in the service of our Military, spread the word about the Appreciation Day. Have them contact Mary Seright at 622-5563, Ron Saville at 622-5556, Diane Jones at 270-7021 or Ken Knudson at 788-9196 a.s.a.p. They want to know who you are and that you and your family are invited to the Appreciation Day.

This committee also needs volunteers for fun things like help with the event, donations of rummage sale items, food and donations. The main thing is “SPREAD THE WORD” because the committee knows that you are out there but they do not know where you are.

The second project is one that I have been working on but have yet to hear from any veteran families. I asked for a 5 x 7 photo, in a black frame, of men and women who are in the service of our country or have been in the service. I saw a great display of military photos in a Chinook restaurant last summer and have wanted to copy it ever since. I have pictures of each display (of each war and a memorial,) and it would be an honor to put one together for Chouteau County.

Two women have talked to me about the project but I have not gotten the pictures yet. To tell the truth, I have not prepared Wally’s yet but as soon as I find a place to display these photos, I will get this project going. So dig into your photo albums and get those old, new, or whenever pictures into frames and get them to me. If it is more convenient, drop them off at the Visitors Information Center. I know I have friends there who will help me with this project.

No doubt about it…it was the best one yet. My only objection was that it was not long enough. The days flew by as I went through the program and tried to take in all the events. The Pig Roast is always popular along with the entertainment. One just moves on to the Ice Cream Social. The Pot Luck, Friday evening was great. The line was long but went quickly as four lines were in progress at the same time.

The Pot Luck flowed into the Pie Auction and can you believe how many different kinds of pies there were. There were about 15 less pies this year but the GFWC of Fort Benton realized $2,500.00 more in revenue then last years figure of about $4,000.00. These figures are not exact but approximate.

One striking fact about the Woman’s Club Pie Action is that women who do not belong to the Club bake many of the pies. Of course, they are welcome to join but in the meanwhile, they are appreciated and so are their pies.

The Fun Run, the Fishing Derby, Art on the Levee (excuse my saying Art in the Park all the time. did you notice?) the Entertainment everywhere, the Fireworks, the Street Dance and on and on. I am just afraid that I will miss some event or someone. You all have your favorites.

We wore our t-shirts on Friday as the woman in charge, Cathy Burch, delivered them to us. Countless number of people said to us that they loved the shirts this year. The Kids had many more things to keep them busy. I would like to hear from some of you.

The Apple School, Dorner School, Eagle Butte School, Elim School, Penzer School, Pleasant Valley School, and West Wayside School were all one room schoolhouses that Wally Morger delivered mail to at one time on his rural route. West Wayside School and Dorner School are no longer in existence as they, were either torn down or moved to another location (any information would be welcome.).

At this point is where you, the View readers, help with this upcoming project. I was in the right place at the right time last week, when I returned in the afternoon to the Museum of the Upper Missouri to pay off a bill I had charged earlier in the day. A photographer, Charlotte Caldwell, was at the desk talking with Mary Zanto. When I walked through the door, Mary told Charlotte that I was the one to talk to about one-room schoolhouses. Charlotte is about to embark on a book project about the one room schoolhouses by photographing them. She would like to have people who have attended these schools to be photographed in front of the school.

I am appealing to those of you readers who have attended or taught at a one-room schoolhouse in Montana to contact me at 622-3217 after 2:00 p.m. a.s.a.p. I have one name already for the Loma School but any of you who have attended that school is also welcome to get their name and picture in the book.

I think this is a very exciting project and a very important one for historical reasons. Charlotte is returning to Fort Benton in two weeks and I would like to present her with a long list of schools and students names. It will also be interesting to know how you felt about attending a one-room schoolhouse, how it affected your life, and any interesting stories that happened to you at the school.

I just cannot imagine how life would be teaching at a one-room schoolhouse. Teaching classes K through 12 must have been very trying, living alone in the back of the schoolhouse, dealing with the weather conditions, and probably just having gotten your teaching degree. They were strong women and must have been very devoted to their profession. Today we appreciate them much more than they were those many years ago. I could not have done what they went through. God bless them.

Mark July 12th at 7:00 p.m. on your calendar for a visit to Fort Benton by Susanna, an author of a fictional novel that starts and ends in Fort Benton. She is finally going to make the trip here after several interfering incidents and we would like to welcome her to the best little town in Montana. See you there.

Show me a person who is visibly moved at the strains of our National Anthem and, I’ll show you a volunteer.

At the Celebration, Bob Morrison visited our table at the Old Fort Park. He not only is an avid volunteer but he is a recycler too. In my book, that is a real volunteer as recycling takes time and that is what a volunteer is capable of giving his or her time.

Yes, I know that I am hung up on volunteering but can you imagine if everyone in town gave two hours a week, how much could be done. Everything would be spick and span, recycling would be accomplished with great success, the patients in the Hospital and Nursing Home would have more visitors, the paper work in the Library, Court House and other offices would be caught up and in general, a great attitude would prevail.

I acknowledge that there are many of you readers who already are caretakers, or need care yourselves…you cannot volunteer. Raising a family is an issue but just think about what you are teaching your children about what they can do for others.

I cannot believe that I did not put GOD BLESS AMERICA in the last issue of the River Press. I will now put it again to make up for last week…GOD BLESS AMERICA. Every day brings about more realization about how lucky we are to be free. Do you think a Summer Celebration could happen in Iraq or Afghanistan.