Tuesday, October 11, 2011

View From The Bridge 10/12/11

“VIEW from the BRIDGE"
By Muncie

Despite the rain, the Homecoming went off with a great deal of success. The Parade went down Front Street with various color umbrellas. The football game was watched with the stands quite full. The whole weekend was advantageous to Fort Benton and Chouteau County.

Homecoming is just what it says. It is coming home to where you perhaps were born, raised, and went to school. Even though you no longer live in Fort Benton, it will always be home. The older you get, the more you enjoy coming home. Most people have happy memories of their hometown and the friends they had. This is the one time that school means everything.

It is unlike Summer Celebration and the Chouteau County Fair. Those celebrations are open to the public with strangers coming from all around the area. Homecoming is family and friends plain and simple. We know that you all had a wonderful time, there will be another homecoming next year, and hopefully it will not be raining.

Last week Tuesday and Wednesday, 22 people attended the Montana Touchstone Project, “Saving Chouteau County History.” The Montana Preservation Alliance presents the workshop and their mission is to save and protect Montana’s historic places, traditional landscapes, and cultural heritage. It was the most interesting two days. If you love history, you missed being involved with the four discussions that those who attended listened intently to every word.

The program included, Archives 101 and Documents/Book Preservation, The Oral History Interview, Montana Memory Project, and Montana Historic Property Record Form and the National Record of Historic Places. Help is offered for each of these subjects by calling 406-457-2822. The speakers will be returning to Fort Benton to aid in any or all of the above programs. Keep reading your River Press for information.

I was especially interested in the Property Record Form and the National Record of Historic Places. Did you know that your home or property only has to be 50 years old to be placed on the record? About 5 years ago I requested the forms for our home but gave up when I saw the paperwork. At the workshop, I was assured that I would receive all the help I would need. My next project, after the three I am working on, will be to fill out those papers.

I have often encouraged the River Press readers to bring their pictures/stories to the Overholser Research Center to be scanned. Those will be permanent records, where in time your pictures will fade and disintegrate. The family records and stories are just as important. There may be some information there for a researcher to use to make the pieces of a puzzle fit together. Once you begin researching, it becomes addictive. You want to know more and more about what happened in the past for those descendants in the future. “If you don’t know where you came from, you can’t know where you are going.”

Saturday, I met 14 people on the Trail. I do not believe I have ever experienced that before. It reminded me of when Wally and I had our rural mail route. We rarely saw another vehicle and when we did, we would say that we would have to move because of the heavy traffic.

That is the thought that crossed my mind when I found the Trail somewhat crowded. It really was great however, and it makes me very happy to see so many enjoying one of Fort Benton’s attractions.

The best thing that happened was my meeting Aaron and Marissa Skogen from Highwood. They were sitting on a bench near 10th St. and were both working on watercolors. Marissa was painting the Old Bridge and Aaron was working on the Bluffs across from the Fair Grounds.

Our conversation jumped from what they do, to Marissa’s birthday (that day,) to my birthday/Garth and me, and to basketball. Aaron is a math teacher at Highwood and Marissa is getting her master’s degree at the University of Great Falls. Aaron is the boy’s basketball coach at Highwood and Marissa is assistant women’s basketball coach at U of GF.

They are a delightful couple and our ending conversation was Aaron telling me that we would meet again at the Highwood/Fort Benton basketball game.

I also met a man, his daughter, and granddaughter from Manhattan. They were on their way home from Havre and stopped to see what was down in the valley off the highway. They thought our town to be very beautiful plus with the historical significance. They had a hard time believing that Fort Benton was now Class C. They remember playing football with our Class B team. Anyone remember that game?

We are overjoyed at these beautiful fall days. The wonderful warm days and the chilly evenings are so enjoyable. About half the trees have turned to color and are starting to fall.

I found the best way to clear my front porch and the sidewalks of leaves is to use the leaf blower. It beats trying to sweep them with a broom by a mile. If you have done that in the past, I wish you had passed it along to me. Actually, it was not my original idea. I saw Brad Utterback, who maintains our lawn; use the blower to blow the grass off the sidewalk after he mowed. It I had not seen him, I would still be sweeping.

I will never get used to these modern conveniences. I do have to tell you that my computer has been a little kinder to me lately. Perhaps that is because I do not mumble, under my breathe, in front of it with not-so-kind words. Actually, I am learning to love it because what would I do without it.

Grades K through 5 will be doing Halloween window painting on Tuesday, October 25th. We always loved watching the youngsters doing their painting and walking along Front Street to see which one we would vote as the best. Actually, they are all the best for the effort put into the project.

Talking about Halloween brings up the subject of “Trick or Treat.” The first year I moved to Fort Benton, we had so many children begging that we ran out of our give-aways. Last year we had about 10 children, if that many. We had to eat all the treats ourselves…just kidding. We donated the goodies. Would someone please inform we “treat-givers,” if there are places we can donate our goodies?

“Evening news is where they begin with “Good Evening,” and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR TROOPS. May this 10-year war be over soon? It has gone on too long. We are spending billions of dollars killing each other and children are starving to death. Does that make any sense at all?