Tuesday, October 4, 2011

View From The Bridge 10/5/2011

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Last Wednesday’s performance by Pam Drew Phillips was a smashing success. Over two hundred people attended and were thoroughly entertained. Pam is not only beautiful, charming, but also very talented.

She was asked how many songs she knew. She said that once she has heard a melody she could play it. We sat where we could see her fingers on those ivories. We have never seen any pianist’s fingers move all over those keys so quickly.

She visited the Sunrise Bluffs and played each song that was requested. The residents as well as the audience that evening did not want her to leave Fort Benton. Perhaps she will return just for a visit. We will look forward to that.

The next performance will be Monday, October 24th and will feature Suds ‘N Suds. It sounds like a fun evening. We also look forward to the intermission when we can enjoy coffee/lemonade and cookies. The General Federations of Women’s Clubs Fort Benton really outdid themselves last week. Why do my cookies never taste as good as Woman’s Club cookies? We sure do appreciate that break.

Herbert the Entertainer is returning to Fort Benton on his way home to Saskatchewan. He and his wife travel from their home to Mexico every year. All the way there and back, they entertain at retirement homes, hospitals, and nursing homes.

When he was here, soon after Summer Celebration, he thrilled the Sunrise Bluffs residents with his electric piano. He is also a songwriter, singer, comedian, and ventriloquist.

The date is in a couple of weeks; however put it on your calendar now. It will be Sunday evening, October 23rd at 7:30 p.m. It will be at the Bluffs again and the public is welcome. They can set up for a large crowd in their dining room so please be there to enjoy a wonderful evening of a variety of music. I will remind you again for the next couple of weeks.

Last week I mentioned the McFarlane’s visit and said that I would put into print their story. Since there is no longer news from the Visitors Information Center or other items this week, I am going to share portions of Leslie’s e-mail.

Leslie and her husband Jim are involved with the volunteers at Fort Battleford, Saskatchewan. Jim is quite knowledgeable about the history of Fort Battleford and the area. He is involved with the canon and rifle demonstrations that are held every day from mid May until the first week of September. Fort Battleford has a replica-working canon that has been used in the reenactment of the Battle of Cut Knife Hill.

Jim travels to Calgary to be in their parade, to Regina to be used in their Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sunset Ceremony and to Fort Walsh for activities held there Leslie’s involvement at the Fort began (for one season) as an interpretive guide to present the history of the Fort. Her interest in the history led her, because she sews and gardens, to doing the heritage garden and mending the period costumes.

Jim retired this year and that allowed them to become involved with the North West Mounted Police Commemorative Association. They travel by invitation to various events. They set up a camp similar to that which would have been set up by the Mounted Police as patrol historically and they present the history of the time.

This voluntary activity brought them to Fort Benton. They were at Fort Steel for their Fair Days, on to Seattle visiting family, and on to Fort Benton to add another link to the chain of events, that is their past.

They arrived in Fort Benton on September 21st and checked out the Museum of the Upper Missouri. They were told that the next day was Heritage Days for the schoolchildren. They were invited to participate and did that in costume. Jim wore his North West Mounted Police 1885 uniform and Leslie was a settler’s wife.

They enjoyed the buffalo on a spit, soup, biscuits, and baked desserts. Listening to the guides explaining the history to the children, witnessing skinning of an animal, and the scrapping of a hide were some of the activities.

Leslie enjoyed a conversation with the teacher who introduced the native dancers. They shared a “Small World Story,” as the teacher spent some time on a reserve a mile from where Leslie lived.

The guided tour they later enjoyed was very rich with the history of Fort Benton itself. (What have I been trying to tell you for months? If you love history and have not been to the Fort for the tour…you are missing the opportunity of a lifetime. Now you have to wait until next year.)

Their evening walk took them along the Levee Trail reading the historic signs and it added to their whole experience of what Fort Benton was in the past. They stopped by the Visitors Information Center by invitation to the Fall Fort Benton Chamber of Commerce Prelude Mixer. They chatted with many of the Chamber Members and learned of the present history of Fort Benton.

We enjoyed meeting the McFarlane’s and invite them to stop by any time.

I appreciate the one phone call I received to help type bios and autobiographies. Every little bit helps since my right hand person (who is left handed,) had to return to Oregon for six weeks. However, as with everything else…it will all work out.


Next Wednesday, October 12th will be a Friends of the Library. We had such a great time last month with our author speaker and our potluck luncheon.

Remember that we do not discuss a book until January. You will receive the book in December so you will have a month to read it. You will not want to miss our Christmas party and White Elephant sale. It tops off all the rest of the holiday parties. Dues are only $5.00 for active members and $10.00 for inactive members. What a deal. No, I did not make a mistake. The fees are one of our own Cindy’s sense of humor ideas. Go Cindy and as she says, “Be a friend and bring a friend.”

Woman’s Club of Fort Benton will be the next day. They are always busy with projects. The highway is to be cleaned of trash, plans for the Thanksgiving baskets are underway, and there are always those cookies to be baked for C.C.P.A. Come and join the best Woman’s Club in Montana. Help boost our members count. See you there.

If your organization or club has any special projects coming up…please let me know. Along with your ad in the River Press, it does not hurt to remind people in the View. I can only write about what I know about as far as events around town.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.