Tuesday, September 27, 2011

View From The Bridge 9/28/2011

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

I am asking help to type up on the computer, the biographies, and autobiographies for this project. These records will go into a notebook that will be available near where the photos will be hung at the Sunrise Bluffs. I am trying to complete the project by 11/11/11. I have enough help for hanging the photos.

If you feel that you have the time to type 10 bios, (I have about 175,) I would be most grateful if you would volunteer. Some of the material is very short and others are long. I have one that is on a c.d. and would have to be copied. I have no idea how to do that. Remember, my computer hates me.

I have the page set up, margins etc. designed by Lindsey Krause. She does such a great job with the River Press and she did a great job for me.

If you turned in a very short bio, perhaps you could gather up a few more facts about their duties while in the service. These are permanent records that will be at the Joel Overholser Research Center forever. Many more people are coming to the Center to check the records not only their ancestors but also other subjects. (See article below about Chouteau County History.)

It is not too late to get the photos and bios added at any time to the project and it is ON GOING. I have said many times before that the “War Years” book has 1,080 names in it. There is still a long way to go as I only have 175 photos. Many of those are service members and women who have served or are serving after WWII. I ask you to go through those photos you have of your parents and grandparents to see if you can find military pictures. It is the only honor we can bestow upon them at this time. We owe them our lives.

After a couple of good frosts, we will be able to get the granite from Square Butte quarry. The high weeds and snakes will not be a problem that has held us up so far from completing the project earlier this summer.

I need help with this project as well. It will be a last minute phone call when we are ready to proceed. A clue as to when will be the tearing down of the old planter. When that happens, we should have the granite in town ready to be placed. That will be when we need your help. Please do not volunteer if you have a bad back. It should be a great project and look so much better than what is there now. The present planter hides the front of the bridge. Call me at 622-3217 after 2:00 p.m.

Visiting Venetta Morger from Houston, TX and I walked the bridge last evening. What a wonderful stroll under the lights. I wonder if the Committee who did the yearlong (perhaps longer,) study, planning, and execution of the Lighting of the Bridge received enough thank you and accolades. It is one of the best projects that have happened in Fort Benton. We appreciate you…”Lighting the Bridge Committee.” You are awesome.

Chatted with Ruth Carlstrom about the Center last week. She had some figures worked up about attendance during the season. The busiest day was Sunday June 24th, (during Summer Celebration) when 114 visitors signed the Guest Book. The total for the season was about 3,500. Those figures can be doubled because half of the visitors do not come into the Center or do not sign the register.

I do not know why visitors do not sign the register. My theory is…they do not want to put their address. The Center does not ask for their address, merely where their hometown is. As I told you last week…the most visitors came from Canada. We do have great neighbors.

Fort Benton had the pleasure last week of a visit of Jim and Leslie McFarlane from Canada. They stopped and camped here for a couple of days. They arrived on September 21st and found out that Heritage Days were taking place the next day.

This couple is very into volunteering at Fort Battleford, Saskatchewan. They were invited to participate in the Heritage Days program in costume. Jim wore his North West Mounted Police uniform (period 1885) and Leslie was a settler’s wife.

They were also invited to enjoy the Fort Benton Chamber of Commerce Fall Prelude Mixer that evening. We enjoyed meeting and talking with them about their volunteering and travels in their RV. In the near future, I will put their entire letter in the River Press, that I know you will enjoy reading. Hello McFarlane’s. I know that you will be reading this column on the web site. You added much interest to the mixer and all of us were happy to meet you. Come back again soon.

On this coming month’s (October) third Friday, the time of Pie and Coffee will be changed. Instead of 10:00 a.m., we will get those delicious pies at 2:00 p.m. This is a trial to see if an afternoon snack is more suited to pie eaters than breakfast. It sounds like a great idea and suits my “Gang” just fine. We go with the flow, (whatever that means.) See you there. I will remind you again the week before the third Friday.

If one more person asks me, “When are you going to play that guitar,” I am going to scream. At the Longhorns game last Friday night, Roger D. said to me, “What’s in this rumor I heard that you are going to play that guitar at halftime?”

Actually, I took guitar lessons years ago, with two of my kids, on TV. A Laura Weber taught an hour class every Saturday night for a year. When we got to the second book of instructions, I gave up. I could play, “Green, Green Grass of Home,” if you like…with a few wrong chords. You would not enjoy it.

Yesterday (Sunday,) I was told that I was on Garth Brook’s blog. The picture that Tim (our editor) took was there in full page. I am hearing from long lost friends especially in Great Falls after the article appeared in The Great Falls Tribune. My 15 minutes of fame continue.

Trust me when I say that it is tough to be a celebrity. People want to know how an 82-year-old woman from Fort Benton, Montana goes to Las Vegas and comes home with Garth Brook’s guitar. I really do not know anyone in high places but like to kid about it. It really was not about knowing anyone but just plain being the luckiest person in the Garth Books fan club.

“If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.”

Just a few days left in my favorite month. There are a few yellow leaves here and there and it somehow feels like fall. Perhaps it is the cool evenings. Whatever enjoy, because before we know it, we will be wishing for spring. That seems far off but we can be assured…it will be back. Now we have Halloween, Grayson’s 10th birthday, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s to look forward too. Enjoy every minute of every day and I will talk at you next week.