Tuesday, September 21, 2010

View From The Bridge 9/22/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

This important part of our community will be closing on the 30th of September as will our Museums and The Fort Tours. That gives the people of Fort Benton another week of visiting the Center. If you travel in Montana, take short weekend jaunts, or advise others about travel in Montana, there is a wealth of information at the Center for you. The Travel Planner list every city in Montana with sleeping accommodations, restaurants, museums, parks that are national, state and county, and basically everything you want to know about Montana.

Did you know that Montana is divided into six (6) countries? Our area is Russell Country and there are separate booklets for Glacier, Yellowstone, Gold West, Missouri River, and Custer.

There is a brochure with a map of Fort Benton with all historic areas numbered. There are brochures about The Fort, The Museums, The B.L.M. Interpretive Center, and much more.

The Chamber members have brochures about their businesses. It is a great help to have these items in your home and when a question comes up, you have the info at the tip of your fingers. You do not have to make phone calls (and who do you call,) to find out what you need to know. So get to the Center before it closes for the season and gather up all the above info. The volunteer on duty will be happy to see you and help with whatever they can. Go volunteers.

Additions and corrections are here to add to and correct last week’s information about the book “The War Years.” First, I will give credit to Linda Knoche as being the “Project Director,” of the book. As I understand more of the story now, there were ads in the River Press asking for help to put together the publication. Linda answered the ad and therefore became involved. In a phone conversation with Hank Armstrong, I learned that his wife Norma was the one who went to the Chouteau County Courthouse with him to gather the names from the discharge files of the Veterans. I also want to give credit to Geri Skaalura and Edna Halley, for their help gathering the pictures. It was quite an undertaking and the result was an important addition to the Fort Benton archives.

I have not heard from anyone at this time about having a copy of “The War Years” to donate to the Sunrise Bluffs. I am again appealing for a copy of the book. If you find one or have one, please take it to Karla Ayers at the Sunrise Bluffs.

I know this will be a tri-peat appeal for the Veteran’s picture request. I have received several phone calls this past week asking questions about what to do. I will start from the beginning and list as best as I can what the Committee has planned. A display was seen last year at Jean’s Bakery Restaurant in Chinook and I copied the idea.

The following is what I would like from every Veteran, past and present, from every war. If children or grandchildren of WWI Veterans can find pictures of parents/grandparents, it would add much to the display. Could it be possible to find a Veteran’s picture from the Civil War?

Please bring one (1) 5 x 7 picture in a black frame, 5 x 7. (Today I purchased a dozen black 5 x 7 frames to accommodate those of you that would find it difficult to find and purchase a frame. They were $1.00 apiece.) The pictures can be black and white, sepia, or colored. Please give information as to name, rank, and service. That information will be on the front of the picture on a gold label. On the back of the picture, on a white label, will be age, how long in the Service, where stationed, and any other details you feel are pertinent.

The pictures will be scanned into the computer so a hundred, two hundred years from now, they will be available for viewing by our great great (great?) grandchildren. Many have said that this is a project long over due.

If you have any other wartime artifacts, (like a hanging window flag with a star in the middle to show that you had someone in the service from your home.) I have an old print of the American Flag, which was given to me, and I was told was a classic picture. That will be hung with pride on the walls of the Sunrise Bluffs. Does anyone have ration books with the stamps in them? We would like to have any war artifacts like plaques, special accommodations, letters from military officials, etc.

If the memorabilia is important to you, then do not even think about donating it. However, if you have it stuck in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen again, then think about putting it in the display where it will be viewed by many people. I am a “Museum” viewer who reads everything so I get my monies worth. However, how can you put a price on what you learn in a museum?

Chouteau County Performing Arts has the first performance next Monday evening, the 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the Elementary School. The group is called Saxophobia and they are spectacular. Anyone who attended the Consortium last January, had a preview of the show, and we were all elated.

The Board also has a deal for you past the deadline of a season’s ticket. A season’s ticket is $40.00 and the program this season has six (6) shows. If you were to come to each show without a season’s ticket, the cost would be $72.00 for the six (6) shows. Now here is the deal…if you are unsure if you want to buy a seasons ticket, we invite you to come next Monday, and the ticket will cost you $12.00. If you liked the show and would then want a season’s ticket, you can go to the ticket office and purchase one for an additional $28.00. See you music lovers there.

This week’s paragraph is titled “Paper or Plastic.” “Bring your bags with you! By taking reusable bags to the grocery store, you can cut down on the 350 bags the average American uses each year and reduce needless deaths of marine life caused by plastic bags that end up in streams, rivers and oceans.”

One of the things that the Montana Recycling Committee would like to implement is instructions to cashiers. They would like them to say to the customer, “Did you bring your bags with you today?” I always carry them in the vehicles but forget to take them into the store. If a clerk would remind me, I would return to the vehicle to retrieve them.

Well, didn’t the weather put a damper on the trip to Chinook for the football game? Only two (2) people visited the Wildlife Museum and Jean’s Bakery Restaurant was closed.

We were a little apprehensive about the outcome of the game because of Chinook’s win over Centerville this season. Our first game last year was with Centerville (who were the Conference Champions) and unfortunately lost the game. Our Longhorns showed off their many talents, their strengths, and immerged the winners. Go Horns.

Do you have your long johns, your snow boots, winter coats, and brushes/scrappers for the vehicle windows, snow shovels, and ice melt ready? It pays to be prepared but actually, I think we will have a beautiful month of October. This is the first September that I remember that has been so rainy and chilly. How about you? Of course, I have only been here for almost eighteen (18) years and that actually still makes me a stranger.

Enjoy every minutes of every day, do a good deed, and GOD BLESS AMERICA and Fort Benton.