Tuesday, August 2, 2011

View From The Bridge 8/3/2011

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Last Wednesday afternoon, the walls of the building behind the Laundromat fell with a huge thunder like sound. It appeared to me that there were about six men working that afternoon. Formerly, two workers had done most of the leveling work. The walls were gutted and all that remained were the support structures for the roof and of course the roof.

They began removing the back wall structures and when the final one was removed, the back half of the roof collapsed. I missed seeing it by seconds as I had just driven by, parked in our driveway, and gotten out of the truck when I heard the thunder sound.

The roof then was supported by the front structures. I did see the front part of the roof collapse when they removed those front structures. It was not quite as loud but it was a remarkable sight. It is a feeling of missing something that we have been looking at every day for years. Change is the name of the game.

The question I would like to clarify (it has been asked of me many times,) “Is that building an historic one?” The answer is a bit vague however; it is not on the National Registry of Historic buildings. Court House information established that it is 111 years old having been built in 1900. It is historic in structure but not in any other capacity. Owners of private property can do what they wish with their property and the decision was made because of the poor condition of the building. (There were many critters and creatures squatting as if they belonged there.)

Did you know that property in Fort Benton was not zoned until 1978? Amazing fact. Eight individuals have owned that corner property since that time. I would have to go back to the Courthouse to find information about who owned it from 1900 to 1978. I will check on that at another time.

This is just a reminder because it is the same day as the River Press is due out. On the 10th of August, the Golden Age Senior Center is having a really true, homemade ice cream social. It will be from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

It is a fundraiser for the Center and your support is welcome. It is not just for seniors. Youngsters and mothers with children are welcome. I know how the kiddos love ice cream. It will acquaint them with the seniors and the Center. It is like gramma and grandpa’s place. See you there.

Another reminder about the dates of this event and The Taste of Chouteau County. It will be Thursday, the 11th of August at 5:00 p.m. for The Taste of Chouteau County and 6:00 p.m. for Shakespeare in the Park. The reminder is because you may not pick up your River Press from the Post Office until Thursday. You also might read it until evening and then it would be too late to get to the Old Fort Park.

Show your support for these events that require hours of preparation by not only the actors/actresses but for our Fort Benton volunteers who make all the arrangements. I should also include the businesses who provide the food for The Taste of Chouteau County and the vendors who participate in the Farmers Market.

We have a unique little town. Most of the visitors who visit here would like to move here. We have a beautiful town and we are out of reach historically with any other city in Montana. I know that you know about those descriptions but it is a reminder to reflect on it occasionally.

If you have ever lived in a big city, you know what I am talking about when I say that you have no space to breathe. You travel from one city into the next. I had a visitor on Sunday who came from the Detroit area as I did. We talked about going on I-75, which runs from the Michigan Upper Peninsula to Florida. As you travel north from Detroit to the Mackinaw Bridge on I-75, you are on a divided highway. There are trees, trees, and more trees on both sides of the road. It is boring, boring, and more boring a ride. You have to exit the freeway to all the towns that cannot be seen from the highway.

It is not like driving to Great Falls and seeing five mountain ranges. On a good day, you can see the Rockies. It is not like coming over the hill at Highway 87 at 9th St. or 15th St. and seeing Great Falls, the Missouri River, spread out below you. It is not like the drive to Helena that I have heard it is most beautiful canyon road in the United States. In fact, the ride to anywhere in Montana is spectacular. Let us count our blessings for Fort Benton and Montana.

A while back, I talked about the afternoon quite a few of us spent learning about “Get Lost in Montana and Found.” Passed out was a descriptive sheet of “Through the Years, Generations at a Glance.” It was most interesting to read about the differences in the generations and I am going to share bits of it at a time because there is so much information.

I will start with the descriptions of the four different categories. The first are the Traditionalists who were born before 1945. Our motto was “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” The second group is the Baby Boomers who were born between 1945 and 1964. Their motto is “Never trust anyone over…60.” The third group is the X Generation born between 1965 and 1980. Their motto is “Is it going to be on the test.” (I do not quite understand that however perhaps someone from that generation will explain it to me.) The fourth group is the Millennials born after 1980. Their motto is “How can I make a difference?” Now, that I understand and applaud them. They are doing an excellent job in the world and are making a difference.

More next week. Are you interested?

To those of you who live elsewhere and do not check the Weather Channel regularly, Fort Benton has been hot. Some love it and some do not. Whatever is your choice, we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. We have had rain, no drought conditions and lots of sunshine. We have had a couple of serious thunder bumpers, a hail storm, the electricity out once for about 45 minutes, and lights have flickered several times. All in all, it has been a fairly normal summer.

Who can believe that school will be starting this month? Since I have a grandson at Carroll College, I know the first football game is September 3rd. He is due back to Helena on the 9th of this month.

I am already thinking about what kind of winter we will have this year. Will it be a repeat?

I found a card in the box with my business cards. It reads, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”