“VIEW from the BRIDGE"
I have heard so many glowing reports about the celebration that was held on the weekend of December 3rd. My interviewees said that it was the best ever. Most of those that I spoke with spent the entire day shopping at the Ag Center and at our local businesses. The parade was extraordinary because of the lighting, (there was lots of it.) I am sure that you all agree that the lighting of the Christmas tree was indeed the highlight of the evening. Be sure to tell your appreciation of that event to members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Community Improvement Association who were responsible. How about that Santa…you couldn’t help not being happy or smiling when you were near him. May you get everything you asked for as long as it was reasonable. I realize now that my asking for a secretary was a bit too much. Oh well, if I know Santa…she would be about 20 years old, blond, beautiful and too smart for her own good. You know what Santa, forget I asked.
My sources tell me that the ceremony was beautiful. We were not able to attend however; we were involved in a small way. On Monday, we received a phone call from Nancy LaChappell asking if we could be at the Elementary School at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. She was rounding up 20 Veterans for a fifth grade history project. Each student in the 5th grade was assigned a Veteran to interview about the war in which he/she was involved. Each student had a high school senior to aid him/her. After the interviews, the student was to write up the interview with the seniors help. At the Wreath Ceremony at the cemetery, each student read his or her interview. I have asked for copies of all the interviews and I will take them to the Joel Overholser Research Center for permanent files in the war section of the files. They go down in history.
After our dinner at the Senior Center this Sunday afternoon, we took a drive up to the cemetery. What a beautiful sight at the Veterans site. We drove around the whole cemetery and at the far end near the Missouri, there were many more wreaths. What a tremendous program the Wreath Ceremony is and a wonderful tribute to our much loved Veterans.
I would like to pass on what I checked out on the internet about WWII. I was curious as to how many Veterans were still living. Here is what I found. There were 16,112,566 members of the U.S. armed forces. There were 291,557 battle deaths, 113,842, other non-theater, and 670,846 non-mortal woundings. As of May 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that approximately 2,079,000 American veterans are still living. They are approximately 850 veterans that die every day. The median age for a WWII vet in February 2009 was 86 years old.
Another interesting finding was that 464 U.S. military personnel received the Medal of Honor, 266 of them posthumously. As of August 12, 2011, there were 14 living recipients. We were interested in those figures because of our connection with Donald Ruhl. He was the only Montana Marine to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor and that was posthumously. The medal is no longer called the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is just the Medal of Honor. The article did not distinguish between Congressional Medal of Honor and the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the highest honor that any military personnel can receive. It is usually because they gave their lives for others.
It’s Pie Day again this coming Friday, the 16th at 2:00 p.m. This is a very busy time of year and a break in the middle of the afternoon would be so welcomed. A piece of homemade pie, a cup of coffee/tea, and pleasant visiting time with your friends and neighbors are waiting there at the Golden Age Senior Center. Drop by next Friday and bring some friends along. We guarantee you will have a wonderful time. Another suggestion is to buy a pie and take it back to your place of business to share with your fellow workers. The seniors need a great deal of work done in their building and all their fundraisers boost their coffers toward that goal. Suggestion #3 is a very appetizing lunch is served every day at noon. Everyone is invited to participate…you do not have to be a senior. Many of our surrounding communities Senior Centers do not serve meals every day. On Sundays, at 1:00 p.m., there is a dinner that will fill you up for the whole day. Check the River Press for the daily menu. See you there.
“When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.”
(From Muncie,…I am almost at the end of the Paraprosdokian list. Some of them, I think, are not kind or appropriate for the View. There are many of you out there in Never, Never Chouteau County Land, who are very clever. Send me your made-up Paraprosdokians. I have one below. Tell me what you think.)
“The hurrier I go, the more trouble I get into.” (This came from my experience a few weeks ago when I ran out of gas on Interstate 15 near Ulm. I had driven to Helena by myself for grandson Grayson Bonilla’s birthday party. Honest, I went to the gas station to fill up before I left. I was in a hurry. It was 12:15 and the party was starting at 2:30. It was cold and the wind was blowing so I sat in the truck while it filled. I heard it click off but as it turned out, it was the pump on the other side. I didn’t get a receipt, check the gas pump, or check my gas gauge. When I got to Helena, I did notice that the gas gauge was in the same place as when I filled up. I told the story at the party and was advised to fill the tank. I didn’t take that advice because I thought the gas gauge was broken. Luckily, I followed Hilda and Greg Bonilla home. Near Ulm I ran out of gas, clicked my headlights so Greg would know I had a problem. The truck started again and I chugged about a quarter of a mile to where Greg was waiting. I asked him to please go to Ulm and send AAA back with gas. Well, much to my surprise there is no AAA at Ulm. The woman working at the Subway gave Greg a gas can that held one gallon and he had to return to my vehicle. I will never live this down because what everyone who hears this story says, “Why didn’t you fill up in Helena?” I now pay for my gas inside the station, get a receipt to prove to whoever teases me, that the truck is full of gas. Of course, the men at the station will never let me forget either. “Oh Muncie, I see that your tank is full. Are you planning a trip to Helena?” I’ve learned my lesson and perhaps in some small way, this story will help someone not be in a hurry.
SO LONG FOR NOW
Just about 10 days from now and the days will start getting longer. I really love that day. It is now 5:00 p.m. and is dark outside. I do not like it but unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about it. I just have to wait it out along with the rest of you. The holidays make it go faster because we all are busier. It is hard to believe that December is almost half over.
Take good care of your family and yourself. Try to do one small good deed every day even if it is just a smile at someone, a phone call, or a kind word. Look at the bright side and perhaps there will be peace in the world. Anything is possible and nothing is impossible although it may seem like that now.
GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, MONTANA, and CHOUTEAU COUNTY.