Tuesday, July 26, 2011

View From The Bridge 7/27/2011

”VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

By the time, you read this there will be only three or four days left in July. The summer is flying by and harvests are a month behind. If you like it hot, you have gotten your wish. If you do not like it hot, you have to tolerate without too much complaint. After all, we all did want the warm weather after that ungracious winter and spring. Just about the time we thaw out, it will be cold again, so enjoy.

Just caught the 5:30 newscast on Friday evening and saw Wanda Diekhans, one of the coop founders, being interviewed. There were several good shots of a variety of artist’s work shown. That ought to bring a few art lovers to visit Fort Benton. Let’s keep wishing all of the artists good luck with their endeavor. It was a great deal of work to set up and decorate. Actually, word of mouth is the best advertisement. I have always said that appearance is everything and The County Shoppe is on top of it.

The Thrift Shop business is being taken over by Vivian Cameron on August 1st. She plans being open Thursday, August the 4th. The regular business hours will be on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vi will have an Open House as soon as she gets settled.

This business needed a woman’s touch and appearance is everything. She will be adding a “Kiddies Corner,” where children can amuse themselves with books and small games while their parents look around. She plans on a “Brides Aisle,” small furniture, and household items.

Fort Benton needs this type of business and let us support her efforts. Nice clean clothing in good condition and actually every item that is clean and in good condition is welcome.


The month of August is going to be an exciting time around town. Shakespeare in the Park (The Merchant of Venice,) will again be presented in Old Fort Park in conjunction with Taste of Chouteau County on Thursday, August 11th.

Last Saturday on PBS program, Backroads of Montana accompanied the Shakespeare in the Parks troupe to Birney, MT. Birney is the smallest community to host the tour and according to the narration, everyone participates. The troupe’s sponsors (I cannot remember their names) have been doing it for over thirty years. Each year as different actors/actresses show up, they become family. They are housed, fed, and made to feel at home. Their hostess was even making last minute phone calls to be sure that every person in town showed up at the performance.

The Golden Age Senior Center is having an Ice Cream Social on Wednesday the 10th of August from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Listen up folks. This is homemade ice cream and it is awesome. Put the date on your calendar and do not miss this once a year event. Invite everyone you know.

The following week will be the Chouteau County Fair. High spots for me are the Pig Wrestling, The Ringling Five, and the Demolition Derby. However, there is so much more for everyone including the kiddos. Spread the word amongst your family and friends and let us do everything we can to keep this 99-year-old tradition going. Next year will be the 100th anniversary and we cannot let it go away.

The Fair actually begins on Wednesday the 17th of August with the Ringling Five sponsored by the 4-H Clubs. If you have never heard the Ringling Five, you have a real treat in store. They have performed in Fort Benton several times before and you will thoroughly enjoy every minute of their show.

Thursday will introduce a new event and that is a “Bar-B-Q Showdown,” sponsored by The Grocery Store in Big Sandy. I expect that this event will show off all the cooking expertise of our male population. I have often heard some bragging about what experts they are with a steak. This is their chance to see what they can do with a brisket. For details on how to get in on the action, see last weeks River Press.

Of course, the big one for the parents and grandparents is the Pig Wrestling on Friday evening. Let us really support this event this year as last year was a total loss in revenue for the Fair. I cannot imagine that there is anyone that does not know what happened last year. The whole affair was even on the national news. Go pig wrestlers.

The “Play with Gravity” duo sounds exciting but will find me sitting on pins and needles. I will check it out though and just cover my eyes if I cannot stand to watch.

Saturday night will feature a Rodeo and Sunday will end the Fair with the Demolition Derby.

Oh, I forgot to mention the best part of the Fair and that is FAIR FOOD. Everyone I know feels the same about eating food (and lots of it,) that we do not normally eat during the rest of the year. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner for five whole days and again ladies, you do not have to cook for those five days. What fun especially not having to do dishes. There is such a variety of food that you do not have to eat the same thing twice. Go for it…it is only once a year. See you there.

The American Legion Post 26 of Fort Benton and the Post 102 of Geraldine are holding the Walk on Sunday the 11th of September. It will be the 10th anniversary of 9-11. A Bar-B-Q will honor those who died but area active duty and retired veterans and their families.

Preparations are now being planned and your donations will be most welcome. The Legion has an article in this copy of the River Press for further details.

The Legion will also be working with me to encourage residents to purchase and fly an American Flag on their homes. Ten years ago this would not have been a difficult task and we encourage you to show your patriotism especially at this time of year.

The Visitors Information Center Coordinator, Ruth Carlstrom, passed on this small world story to me this past week.

A visitor from North Carolina came in to the Center who was interested in the Shep story. When she returned home from her trip, she called the Center and Ruth happened to answer the phone. She related the following story to Ruth.

The following Sunday after the woman returned home, the minister at her church told the story of the Faithful Dog in his sermon. He was commenting on the faithfulness of the animal and comparing it to faithfulness that his congregation should strive for in their lives.

The woman went to the minister’s office after the service and told him that the dog’s name was Shep. He asked how she knew that and she told him that she had just returned from the site of Shep’s burial place, the Shep monument, and the brick courtyard.

Her phone call to Ruth was a request for more Shep brochures, Shep booklets, and Shep charms. Now, I would like to know how the minister in North Carolina heard about Shep. It’s a small, small world.

Have a great week and look forward to upcoming events. Drive carefully and think about what you are going to do before you do it. Don’t even think about school starting again. Don’t get too much sun, relax, and enjoy every minute of every day.