Tuesday, October 19, 2010

View From The Bridge 10/20/10

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Here is an update on the proposed “Schoolhouse Photographs” book by Charlotte Caldwell. I received an e-mail from her this past week and her schedule reads like this. She is going to cover Hill, Toole, Liberty, Pondera, and Glacier counties and would like to include Chouteau if time permits. (That is quite a schedule.)

She did not realize that I had put together another list of schoolhouses that you readers called in after she left Fort Benton. The list is almost another page of locations. This weather, if it holds, would be the perfect time to drive around the countryside, searching for not only schoolhouses but also a spot that you have never been to before.

I have a book that previews 52 Weekend Scenic Drives. Unfortunately, most of them are on the other side of the Rockies. A friend of ours told us to take a road out of Geraldine which goes east around the Shonkin Mountains and lo and behold, you end up in Geyser. It was a beautiful ride scenery wise with ranches/farms a great distance from each other. You would recognize some of the names on the entry posts.

Two other interesting Sunday afternoon rides are to the Virgelle and Carter Ferry Roads (not on the same day.) The journey would take you there one route and return another after you cross over on the ferry. Most of you readers are probably familiar with and have traveled these routes but if not…there are maps at the Visitor’s Information Center with the roads marked on them. If you would like a map, give me a call and I will see that you are mailed one. Take a snack and water…(just a suggestion.)

A very thrilling “true experience” story last week at Friends of the Library was the our guest author Nancy LaChappell. Nancy resides in Fort Benton as the result of a friendship with our much-loved Nurse Practioner, Debbie Meeks. They were stationed at Malstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls and worked in the same office for three years. When Nancy retired (as a Lt. Colonel,) Debbie invited her to look over Fort Benton as a retirement residence. Nancy, her husband Matt, and her son Charlie did not take long to decide that this was the place.

The book, “Letters from Afganistan,” takes you into the heart of the country and its people. Nancy spoke for over an hour and we could have listened to her for hours more. It says it all when Nancy said that she would return in a heartbeat if she had the opportunity.

The next day, Nancy was the guest of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. She again talked about her book and those of us who attended The Friends enjoyed again facts about the people, their culture, and their attitudes about the war. If you have the opportunity to hear Nancy, do so. Just as we have criminals in our United States, Afganistan has the Taliban. If we could rid the countries of those elements, we could live in peace and not in fear. Will that ever happen?????

No. 9 on the Simple Things list to Protect the Earth is GET OFF. Catalogs are great when they’re from companies you like to order from. But if you’re getting catalogs from companies you don’t buy from, call them and tell them to get you off their list (it’s usually a toll free number,)---and that’s an order.

Just in today’s mail, we received 3 catalogs from company’s we have never heard of. Since it has not helped us to write and call about getting junk mail…we are going to do the above approach. I actually would not mind getting a company’s catalog twice a year but not every month. Some companies mail even more often. STOP. We do not want them. You would think that after sending a catalog for two years with no response…they would get the picture. NOT! So see how many catalogs you can eliminate by next week. I would like to hear from you.

What fun! Even though we did not attend many of the events, those that we did were so exciting. The “Snake Dance” after the coronation, wound its way right in front of our home. I dashed onto the front porch to wave the great pom-poms that we found on our kitchen table that afternoon left by the “Pom-pom Mystery Person.”

The football game on Friday was made more exciting because of the new lighting system. Joke…we had to wear sunglasses because of the brightness. All kidding aside…what a great project. It was so much easier to see all the plays no matter where they were on the field. Whoever thought of the idea is another of my unsung heroes.

I wonder if all of the Horns fans will remember that the next game is Wednesday with Centerville. It is Sunday as I write this column and I still do not know what the standings are. Then the playoffs begin and that is when we all have to say, GO HORNS.

By the way, the moon will be two days away from being full. Two years ago, when the moon was full in October, the Horns were pitted against a team who were several touchdowns ahead of us at the half. A group of us Old-Timers began to sing, “Shine on Harvest Moon.” The Horns came back to the game to overcome the deficit and win. We “Seniors Citizens” were convinced it was because we sang. So…what does that mean? Be ready to sing again next Wednesday if you get this message. I will provide the words. This especially goes for you, Janice and Howard Hunter. You have the best singing voices…true story.

Ken Knutson mentioned in one of his columns not long ago that I was one of his unsung heroes. I appreciate that Ken, but…I do not feel like one. I sometimes come up with an idea but my unsung heroes carry them out.

The City Crew headed by Skip Ross, (this includes Tim…I cannot sing loud enough. I talk often to Skip and it is always to ask him to do something, (I try to say it is a favor.) It always is done and just the way I pictured it in my mind. Case in point…the five-cottonwood trees that he and the Crew planted this summer. I love looking at them and God willing that I can see them growing next spring. If I named everything that Skip has done for me over the 17 years I have lived in Fort Benton, I would be writing a book. GO SKIP, TIM AND CITY CREW.

My next unsung heroes are Denny and Myrna Allen. These friends put all the plaques on the Memorial Benches and Tables. They have applied about sixty (60) plaques and some of them in the hottest weather we have ever had. They have put in countless hours, which of course make them experts in that line of work. I am sure that if any of you readers ever have plaques to be placed, they would be willing to accommodate you. GO ALLENS.

More of my unsung heroes are my fellow volunteers at the Joel Overholser Research Center. All of them have spent time aiding me in my research for my projects, (example Veterans Photos,) or doing the research for me when I didn’t know which way to turn. They all know so much and are so willing to share. GO RESEARCH CENTER.

Kathy Nelson and Lindsey Krause are the most patient women in the world. I have a deadline to get the View to the River Press and although I always have a good excuse, I am almost always late. They give me some slack depending how honest the excuse is, (example I went to bed very late and overslept my 3:00 p.m. deadline.) Kathy (a teacher in her other life,) and Lindsey (a very talented graphic designer,) are the backbone of the River Press. Oh, by the way, Tim, you do a very fine job too.

Finally yet importantly, Sharalee Smith is another of my favorites. She does all the work to put “View” onto the Fort Benton website. She goes out of her way to put pictures that I provide or that she provides for me. She furnishes me with comments on the blog and provides me with figures on how many people read the View. Another plus for you readers is that she has it on the internet on Tuesday mornings almost two days before the paper comes out. If you need to know what is going on in town ahead of time…you know where to go, www.fortbenton.com. GO SHARALEE.

I have so many more unsung heroes but that would be another book. Just know that if I have not mentioned your name, you are in my thoughts. I appreciate all your support and when you talk to me about something that is in the column, you make my day.

As I said last week…October is half over. There are not many social events going on this week except the football game. Warm weather is returning so get out there and prepare for the time you will be hanging out in the house. So much to do and so little time. Keep thinking kind thoughts and if you lose patience, try to imagine what it is like to live in the other person’s shoes. GOD BLESS AMERICA and all of our Servicemen and Servicewomen.