Wednesday, March 30, 2011

View From The Bridge 3/30/11

View From The Bridge
By Muncie

I hope that I am not mistaken; however, tomorrow is the last day of March and according to the almanac, it is supposed to go out like a lamb. It certainly came in like a lion roaring and threatening. April should to be the month of showers that bring Mayflowers. The rain should wash off all the grime and dirt on everything. By the end of the month, the trees will be budding and the grass will be green. Most of the readers of the River Press (who have talked to me and there were many about the weather,) are looking forward to this gift from Mother Nature. Give us that break Old Girl. We need it.

The month will go quickly because of preparations for Easter and the beginning of spring work outdoors on our yards. It will be so wonderful to get outdoors once again. I have “cabin fever,” big time.

FRIDAY, (THIS COMING THE 1st of APRIL), the Grand Opening of the River City Laundromat will take place. I am scheduled to be the first to use the machines, (Trampus promised,) so if you arrive before me, you will have to wait. Of course, why should I be late when I live across the street? See you there, as I know you will support this endeavor.

Oops! I reported last week that you would be in Europe for 5 weeks. I know that you would like to be but the truth is that it will be only 16 days. I not only spoke with you but I found my notes.

Her thank-you in the River Press last week told about the success of the fundraiser. She made her goal due to the generosity of those who lent a helping hand to make it possible.

Jo Alice Juedeman phoned last week to tell me that she saw her first meadowlark.

One of the joys of having the mail route for Wally’s 41 and my 6 years was the sighting of the first meadowlark. The first hello and the last goodbye to that beautiful State of Montana bird, meant spring and fall to us.

On the corner by Dennis Romain’s ranch there was a fence on which sat a meadowlark. I am sure it was the same bird that sang to us each day of our route schedule. I loved that bird so much that I took a picture of it. I gave the picture to Leona Cloepfil and she did a watercolor for us. I treasure that framed piece of art that hangs in our porch room.

Another story about the 3-mile stretch of road from Dennis Romains to Ray Romains is the daisy story. One year, that 3-mile stretch was lined on both sides with yellow daisies. I named it the “Yellow Brick Road.” I like to think that still occurs every year but I will probably never see it again. I have a photo of it and the memory.

The robins are everywhere. I could not believe that flocks of them (12 or more) were on our front lawn today (Sunday.) They were picking at the lawn and disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

Fort Benton had a visitor from this well-known magazine, The National Geographic, last Thursday and Friday. Jonathon Tourtellot will be a featured speaker at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism (which began on Sunday the 27th, through Tuesday the 29th.) He is a National Geographic Society Fellow and is the founding director of the Center for Sustainable Destinations. He had previously spent time at Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks and he traveled Central Montana this trip. Besides Fort Benton Tourtellot visited Virgelle, Havre, and Chinook.

Tourtellot has traveled the world and according to reports, he said that Fort Benton had a treasure in the Ag Museum. He was impressed with the Old Fort, the Levee Walking Trail, the Grand Union, and his vehicle ride around the whole town.

The delegation from Fort Benton to the conference included DeDe Axtman (representing the Chamber of Commerce,) Ruth Carlstrom (Russell Country,) Connie Jenkins (Summer Celebration,) Randy Morger and Ron Young (board members of Russell Country,) Kernan Myers (Grand Union Hotel,) and Sharalee Smith (River and Plains museum board.) They will bring back reports that we will pass onto you next week.

My humorous take on Jonathon’s visit is that I asked this question of the people who visited with and were guides during his stay. Did he look like Clint Eastwood? (If you do not understand this piece of humor…you did not see “The Bridges of Madison County.” If he had knocked on my door, I could have showed him where The Old Bridge was. I think that is worth a picture in National Geographic, don’t you?

It was brought to my attention a news release dated October 30, 2008. It was released from Washington, D.C. and it was the “New Law Authorizes Veterans’ Salutes during National Anthem.” A new provision improves upon a little known change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering, or passing of the flag, but it did not address salutes during the national anthem. Last year’s provision also applied to members of the armed forces while not in uniform.

The most recent change authorizes hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. The provision (Defense Authorization Act of 2009,) was signed by President George W. Bush.

To make this news release clearer I will give the exact wording.


Section 9 of title, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘all persons present’ and all that follows through the end of the section and inserting the following: ‘all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

Too many veterans and service members not in uniform, it “feels” disrespectful to not render the salute they are accustomed to when the flags presented. The new legislation explicitly gives them the option to do so. Not in uniform means, literally, anything else.

Now when you are in a public place, such as a parade or ball game, and you see civilians saluting the flag, at the appropriate time. Take a moment to thank them for their service.

We attended the birthday party last Saturday for Marshall Fisher who reached his 90th. When the old-timers meet, the first thing they say to each other is, “Did you ever think that you would live to be 90 years old (or whatever the old age may be?) They say that they never thought they would put that many years under their belts.

So, Happy, Happy Birthday Marshall, and we enjoyed your party very much. It is always nice to visit with old friends.

Looking forward to April and waiting for the warm-up on Wednesday and Thursday. Enjoy every minute of every day and I will be talking at you again next week.

GOD BLESS AMERICA and our troops.