Tuesday, June 28, 2011

View From The Bridge 6/29/11

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

How do Connie and her committees manage to make Summer Celebration better, more exciting, and more fun each year? That it was this year, for the 35th anniversary. Even the weather cooperated except for a bit of wind that swept my lunch plate off the table.

I managed a few interviews on the Steamboat Levee while waiting for the Fireworks Show. Families from Missoula and Carter liked Art in the Park and the Parade. Their 20-month-old beautiful little girl learned very quickly from her 6 and 3 year old friends how to gather candy.

A couple from Ohio, who are working out of Havre for Human Resources Development Council, were made aware of our Celebration by friends in Havre. They had thoroughly enjoyed their day.

The funniest one came from Kim and Dave from Kalispell who liked the Indian Tacos best. (Go Chandee.) They al liked the Parade, Art on the Levee and commented on our towns hospitality. (Go Fort Bentonites.) Debbie from Billings also complimented our town for its atmosphere.

I spoke with two men who had met and served at Malmstrom Air Force Base years ago. One of them lives in WA State and was invited by the Fort Benton man to get-together after these many years for Summer Celebration. It was one of many reunions and many happy memorable times.

I spoke to many of the vendors and most of them did very well. When we entered the Old Fort Park on Friday late afternoon for the Potluck, the man who was selling chairs waved to us. At the Pie Auction, he donated one of the large suede swivel rocking chairs to be auctioned off for Woman’s Club. On Sunday late afternoon, I saw him packing chairs into his truck. I thanked him again for the donation and he said he was glad to do it.

The Food Vendors said they could not keep up with the crowds. Many visitors said that the food was great and they did not mind standing in line. They met and visited with new people and old friends while waiting. The Pot Luck had a great variety of salads/desserts as well as the tasty hamburgers/hot dogs.

When I checked about the Pie Auction, I was told that it was a huge success with more donations for fewer pies than other years. (Go pie bakers.)

The entertainment was outstanding this year. Everyone liked the way the entertainment was at different locations…if you could not catch it at one place, you could catch it at another.

All the programs with our Canadian neighbors were very historically interesting. All that business about the Whoop-Up-Trail whiskey trade was brought into the open again. We keep trying to hide it under the rug; however, it keeps creeping into conversations. Did you see or get to speak with those handsome Royal Mounted Police? What is it about a man in uniform? I am going to add women in uniform to that sentence. Perhaps the reason is that they are protectors. Whatever…they are great to have behind your back.

Now on to the Fireworks Show…Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. Comments everywhere said it was the greatest ever. The “Waterfall” was a surprise to most and was stunning. I think it was the highlight of the whole Celebration but wait, there was more coming.

The “Lighting of the Bridge” will long be remembered and we can enjoy that every evening from now on. Wasn’t that an exciting moment. If you have been able to walk the Old Bridge, it gives you a greater perspective on the “Good Old Days,” when wagons, trucks, and automobiles drove upon it. I would very much like to hear from some of you reader’s comments about the lights. Remember, only good stuff.

Therefore, another Celebration is in our memory banks and we can look forward to next year, more class reunions, and more togetherness in our community. I hope that I did not forget to mention any program or persons. There was just so much going on that it was hard to keep track. I hope that we see you next year.

Can you believe that next Monday is the 4th of July? With spring just arriving, (you well remember we had no spring,) it seems like it should be Memorial Day. The weather forecast is mind boggling with 77 today (Monday,) 89 on Tuesday, 81 on Wednesday and then dropping to 69 on Thursday. Talk about a woman (Mother Nature,) changing her mind. She has to do it, “My Way.”

On Monday June 20th, the Missouri River level was 8.09, on Thursday the 23rd it was 7.60 ft. and then went steadily up to 8.50 today, Monday the 27th. The flow is quite fast but not a lot of debris. On our way to Helena last week, the mountains in that area had a lot of snow on them. A report we saw on the news program said that the Road to the Sun might not be cleared until the middle of July because of the avalanches. It certainly has been a weird weather year so far.

I am still being asked if photos can be turned in for the project. YES, they can. This is an on going program and photos can always be added. My friends at the Research Center, Betty and Mary, are keeping up with the project while I am taking a little time off to recoup from recent months family matters. Please spread the word if you know someone who was in the service or is still in the service to get his or her photos and bios to me. We are taking pictures of any relatives of people who live in Chouteau County whether or not the service person lived here.

Several months ago, many of us seniors took the “55 and Alive” class at the Golden Age Center. One of the things that I was always in doubt about was who had the right of way at an intersection and found that many others were in doubt. We learned that it is the vehicle on your right who has the right of way.

What I have noticed is that is not happening to me. I do not know if it is because you know me, because I am a woman, or because I am elderly, you are waving me on when I do not have the right of way. You are very polite and kind to the elderly but remember…THE PERSON ON YOUR RIGHT HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY. I would not like to see you ticketed which could very well happen.

Perry Stupey’s steamboat sign is back on Highway 87 just before the turnoff to Fort Benton. The steamboat sign was taken down, quite a while ago, to support a political advertisement. Then it was nowhere to be found until finally Perry tracked it down. However, once found it was not put back in place. He contacted Jim O’Hara about the replacement before Summer Celebration and it is now gracing the highway. (Go Perry.)

Enjoy your summer (what there will be of it.) Our gardens are coming up nicely and since they just were planted, perhaps we will get some tomatoes and zucchini. We are envious of those who planted their garden on the few nice days we had without rain. Perhaps they will share.