Tuesday, January 18, 2011

View From The Bridge 1/15/2011

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

On Monday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. there will be an organizational meeting of “The Friends of the Fort.” It will be held at the Montana Agricultural Center Offices Board Room.

The Old Fort is Fort Benton and we need to preserve our history. “A People Without a History is Like the Wind in the Buffalo Grass.” I do not know who wrote that, and I saw it on a poster in Kalispell. If people in Kalispell are preserving their history and culture, how much more important that Fort Benton does.

There is another ad in this issue of The River Press; however, it does not hurt to repeat the announcement in The View. Make an effort to be there and do your little bit to get The Fort finished, and doing its thing to gather in visitors to see what The Fort has to offer. You have no idea what it has to offer unless you have taken the tours by Burnt Spoon. Attend this meeting and find out.

I was not able to be at the Research Center last Tuesday, nor will I be this week. More pictures have been turned in however, and the project goes on. On the 25th, we will begin calling for bios and those names we cannot find will be listed the following week in The River Press.

I will repeat that in the book, “The War Years,” there are over 1,000 names and between 300 and 400 pictures with bios. To date, we have about 140 pictures. Where are the rest of WWII Vets? In fact, of those 140 photos, not all are WWII Veterans. We have many present day Servicemen and Servicewomen. I would guess that only about half are of WWII Veterans.

I know that a great many of these men have gone where there are no longer any war but perhaps children and grandchildren can find pictures of their parents and grandparents. Please do what you can and as soon as you can.

This past week I received in the mail, two photos, and the bios for Walter and Vic Elliott. Marty Elliott Thieltges, who lives in Helena, sent them. She heard about the project from her cousin, Judy Elly (daughter of John Elliott,) who read about the program in The River Press.

Marty is the daughter of Walt Elliott and the niece of Vic. John Elliott has a River Press subscription and lives in Milwaukee, WI. He read about the Veterans Photo project, told his daughter Judy (who lives in Milwaukee,) who in turn told Marty (who lives in Helena.)

Quite a while ago, I wrote about Walt (Stub,) who under Coach Midget ran the Fort Benton Cross Country Race. The race began at The Old Fort, continued on Front St., across The Old Bridge, to and up the hill, touching the B, and back again to The Old Fort. Walt could run that distance in a little over 14 minutes. Wonder if anyone today could do that?

Vic Elliott should be remembered as the donator of the gazebo in the cemetery. That was a great happening for the volunteers at the Visitors’ Information Center, who could then tell visitors that they could find their loved ones resting place by checking out the gazebo.

While I am on the phone talking with Marty in Helena to ask permission to use her name, cousin Judy’s, and John Elliott’s, Randy Morger knocked on the door. He had a letter in his hand that he received yesterday from Judy Elly. It was a contribution to the Light the Bridge project from John Elliott who had read about the project in The River Press.

John had some memories about The Old Bridge but the one that made us laugh was this one…George Vielleux and John Elliott were chased by City Marshall Earl Morger for riding their bicycles on the sidewalk. Do those laws exist today.

Trivia information: Earl Morger was City Marshall because his father was the Mayor. Alderman Lell said he would like to have it noted that the City Marshall was getting paid $150.00 a month, and that was much more than any other City Marshall position in the area. So much for politics.

How close to home can one get with a small world story? How far away does The River Press go and how far does word of mouth go about The River Press? Don’t stay awake tonight thinking about the answer but if you have a thought…let me know.

Have you ever seen so many fans across the court as there were at the Geraldine/Fort Benton games a week or so ago? It must make those players, from those foreign places, feel special that they have that great cheering crowd Additionally, the weather was like, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” This attendance was a real surprise from a school that boasts 33 students. Over half the students play basketball. Amazing!

Last Friday night Fort Benton faced Highwood, a high school that has 29 students. Everyone in Highwood town must have been here in Fort Benton to cheer their team on. Several people have commented to me that it is so great to be playing the towns closest to Fort Benton. Yes, I agree. The drive is not so long and you know or are related to many of their population. There is not anything like living in a small community.

Correction about last weeks article…labels brought in $900.00 last year, not the $100.00 I reported. The committee would, of course, like to exceed that total. It can be done and at the end of February, we will have the results. I did, however, find that each label is worth 10 cents when turned in to the company.

The committee is still working out details on collections although they also had an article in last week’s River Press about drop-off places. So just save…save…save. Check all your boxes and cans to see if there are any labels. More and more companies are joining the cause.

Are all of your Christmas decorations stored away? I will probably have that done in time for Easter. Are you with me? Oh, forgot…I do have some Valentine decorations. I have a hard time with decorations because I used to have a little helper named Grayson, who loved to help me. I miss him still, since he moved to Helena. If you read this Grayson, call me because I need a “Grayson fix.”

I am still thanking every person I see in a uniform for their service. They all say that they have it easy as compared to WWII. They are all heroes in my opinion. You have to be brave to join any of the services today. GOD BLESS THEM ALL AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.