Tuesday, April 19, 2011

View From The Bridge 4/20/11

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Many students in the Fort Benton school district feel the loss of one of the best teachers the system has ever had. She inspired a great number of students to go to college and many of those students to follow her lead and become teachers. One of the inspiring thoughts she passed on, was “Hope” and she always relied it.

The teaching profession is so under rated, under paid, and not understood. By under rated I mean that they should be up the scale with doctors, dentists, and lawyers. They deserve the recognition for being saints because their job requires more patience than any other profession. Of course, this is just my opinion but I am sure that many of you will agree with me.

Ellen chose her path in life, however she was in her 40’s before she was able to fulfill her dream of attending college. After graduating, she spent 29 years of that life teaching in Fort Benton. She was a very devoted teacher; many people loved and admired her, as evidenced by the turnout for her Memorial Service at the Grand Union on Sunday afternoon.

My association with Ellen was a brief one. I met her on the Levee Walking Trail when it was extended to the Sunrise Bluffs. She walked every day with her walker. Being the friendly person she was, she would stop and chat. There were times we would sit on a bench and solve the world’s problems in quick, easy lessons. She was a delightful person, and when she left the Bluffs, I missed seeing her every day. I always kept track of her whereabouts and I will always remember her when I walk the Levee Trail.

If you did not make it to the Wilson’s farewell on Sunday, (because of the weather that I would rather not think about,) you can bid them farewell in the next two weeks. They will be around town for that length of time and then off to Missoula. Good luck, so long, and God speed to the Wilson’s.

Skip Ross and Mimi Hayden were a great help in researching the dates for the Levee Walking Trail beginnings through the five (5) phases. I really appreciate their help because I had no memory of the dates.

The 1st trail was in 1998 and it was completed by The City of Fort Benton. It ran from The Old Bridge to the Lewis and Clark Memorial Statue. The 2nd phase in 2001 went south from the Grand Union to approximately 10th Street. Phase #3 in 2002 again went south from 10th to The Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center. (I was corrected on the name because I referred to it as the B.L.M.) The 4th phase in 2006 headed north from the Boat Dock to 21st Street. The 5th phase in 2007 was from 21st Street to 23rd Street.

While I had Skip and Mimi on the phone, I asked for dates on The Old Bridge span completions. The 1st span and the planter were completed in 1976 for the Bi-Centennial Celebration. This work was completed by The City of Fort Benton with a great deal of volunteer help from Fort Benton schoolteachers. They were Harry Buckingham, Pat Flanagan, Ron Jovanovich, and Dave Parchen (I hope I did not leave anyone out…please call me if I did.) That same year the Lewis and Clark Memorial Statue was put in place for the Centennial Celebration. It was a big year for Fort Benton.

The 2nd span was finished in 1996 with a grant. The 3rd span was completed by the City of Fort Benton in 2002. I hope that you find this information as interesting as I have.

The Fort Benton Boys Track Team was up against Class A’s schools in the Track Meet held in Havre last weekend. They came in 3rd place and that is a remarkable feat.

Congratulations to Riley Shaw who took four 1st places in the 200, 400, 300 hurtles, and the long jump. You are quite an athlete Riley. I also congratulate Blake Ereaux for his shot put and discus wins.

The Girls Team came in 4th place and beat teams like Shelby and Wolf Point. The 1600 relay was 1st place for Miranda Evans, Bethany Schular, Bailey Hasler, and Katy Allen. I think that this race is the most exciting of a track meet.

I would like to do individual races, however, look for Tim’s report.

On Tuesday the 12th, at 3:30 p.m., there was a gathering of Girl Scouts and Woman’s Club members at the parking area near the highway. The Scout Troop, 3077 has 12 ambitious young girls who did a whole lot of pickin’.

Karen Giles organized the cleanup with one sheet of instructions on, “Everything you have ever wanted to know about highway cleanup.” Another sheet had a stretch of the area to be cleaned from Highway 87 down into town to the Welcome sign. Groups of four Scouts with two adults were assigned to four areas. I cannot remember exactly which area was which but what follows is the general idea.

Area A was from the Highway down to the Underpass on the left side of the road. Area B was from the Underpass up to the Highway on the left side. Area C was from the Underpass on the left down to the Welcome sign and Area D from the Welcome sign up on the left to the Underpass. This pattern kept the “Pickers” facing the traffic at all times on the left hand side of the road.

There were treats and water/juices for them when they returned to the parking area. There was no sign of “rattling” sounds and everyone came back with flying colors. It was a great job not only for the Woman’s Club but also for the Girl Scout Troop. They are our future, whatever they want to be, and many of them will be mothers of our grandchildren and great grandchildren

I asked one of the leaders what badges the girls were working on. Although she was not the leaders of Troop 3077, she was the leader of an older group. She said they were working on baby-sitting skills. That is a great skill, however, I wonder if Boy Scouts have to learn the same? It would not hurt them at all and you can see which side of the fence I favor.

I have a lot to report on the plots but it will have to wait until next week. I have to do checking on each plot and which are still not adopted. Time is fleeting.

C.C.P.A. - On Wednesday, the 27th will be the last Chouteau County Performing Arts program of the season. I am reminding you this week because you may not pick up your copy of the River Press in time to make plans. I am giving you a weeks notice.

Tim Ryan will be performing with Rob Quist and Christian Johnson. Tim is a “Star” in the recording world. He is a Montana boy by birth and comes home to live with his family often. He lives in Nashville where he performs and writes music. He is strictly a Cowboy and Western singer. When you read your C.C.P.A. story about Rob, you will understand his love of Cowboys and Western culture. He has written many songs and many well known artists have performed them

He has an album that will be released in October titled “Born to Be a Cowboy” which includes a book about champion cowboys. Are you curious now? If you are a Western music fan, be sure not to miss this performance. I love Western even though I am from the East. I would rather say I am from the Midwest which I would rather Michigan would be. Makes me feel a little better about my up bringing, as I don’t much cotton to Easterners. There are too many of them and they do not even get along with each other. I love Westerners. There is a world of difference if you know what I mean. (I’ll be in trouble for that statement I am sure, however I’m glad I said it.”)

SUMMER CELEBRATION – It is only two months away and is now well into the planning. If you have some time to volunteer, let it be known. The committee can always use an extra hand or two. Invite all your family and friends to help welcome our neighboring country…Canada.

I have seen the t-shirt design and it is special. It is a keeper and actually an artifact. Do any of you readers have a collection? I have been in Fort Benton for 18 years and have purchased two t-shirts each year for 17 of those years. That is 34 t-shirts plus 8 sweatshirts. Anyone out there who can claim more? I do not know when shirts began so perhaps it was before my time. Let me hear from you and I will get you a free shirt this year.

How I long for spring. I woke this morning to that four-letter word starting with “S.” Will it never end? I would just like to see the sun in the morning even if it is chilly. I can handle it if the sun is out. Perhaps after this cold snap, we will get a break. I hope so.

Be good, kind, love, and be thankful for all your blessings. Mother Nature must have a reason for this weather. I would like to know what it is. She is a woman however and has the right to change her mind. We do it all the time, as you dear husbands and men are well aware.