Tuesday, January 31, 2012

View From The Bridge 2/1/12

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Everyone has a story (I would like to hear some of yours,) and this is my story about the Consortium. The Montana Performing Arts Consortium participants said they had the best time ever and were overwhelmingly complimentary about Fort Benton. The weather even cooperated although it was not as warm on Friday and Saturday as it was on Thursday, at least it did not snow. This morning, Sunday, it was so much like spring that they all departed very happy. The Okaidja and Shokoto group housed with us and they were a delightful trio. The leader was Okaidja, I told him that I could never remember his name, would it be o.k. if I called him O.K. and he replied o.k. They had never been to Fort Benton before nor had they been to a Consortium. They arrived early afternoon on Friday from Portland, after staying overnight in Missoula. I guided them from the Ag Center to our home. We went to lunch and I had planned to give them a tour of Fort Benton however, it did not materialize. They checked in at the Ag Center and I did not see them again until dinnertime. I saw all the Showcases on Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Elementary School. It was a zigzag day going from the Elementary, home until lunch at 11:30 at the Ag, back to the Elementary until 1:55, home again, back to the Elementary at 3:15 p.m., home again until dinner at the Ag at 7:00 p.m. The Jam Session, (the most fun of all,) began at 9:30 p.m. and I gave it up about 11:00 p.m. My guests came home about 11:30 p.m. and went right to bed. I climbed into bed about 1:00 a.m. and did not hear a sound of the Group leaving. They had planned to drive straight through to Portland unlike their stopover on the way here. They said they had to time of their lives and hoped to return on the next seasons C.C.P.A. schedule. It is all up to the committees now to work out those schedules in partnership with the other performing arts locations. It is a complicated process and it will be a few months before it is worked out. I looked forward to the Consortium for weeks and I was not disappointed. Each showcase was so good, that one wishes we could have them all perform their entire show at one of Chouteau County Performing Art programs next season. We must be satisfied with at least eight out of the seventeen that made the long journey to Fort Benton.

There was a great time in the old town and a good time was had by all at the Pour House on Saturday afternoon. Ten participants hauled their crock-pots to the entry place and the show began. There were chili-cookers from Great Falls and the Hi-Line as well as from Fort Benton. The two women judges and the two men judges began the tasting. If you have ever been to a cook-off, you know that the entries are numbered and no one but the person who does the numbering know whose chili is whose. After tasting ten different chili samples, the judges came up with a winner. And the winner was, (open the envelope,) none other than Karen’s husband Pat. Now I have to say that Karen, understandably, did not want him to win. The contest was all above board and absolutely no one knew Pat made that particular chili. I am suggesting that Pat’s “Chili” go on their menu along with the sandwiches, pizza, and corn dogs. See Pat…I told you that once you become famous, everyone would want to enjoy the best of Fort Benton chili. Diane Jones won the Hula Hoop contest and that does not surprise me at all. I wonder if her prize was a bowl of chili. Other good news is that Karen said this would be an annual contest.

I have tried several times to organize a Community Calendar. The River Press has also tried and does print a monthly organizational calendar. The calendar I would like to see would be a yearly all events. What brought this up again was last Saturday when there were three events going on the same day. They were the Consortium, the Chili Cook Off, and an EMT Training Session. I do not know how important it is to you…but all three of those events were something that I was or could have been involved. I had registered for the Consortium, I was asked to be a judge at the Chili Cook Off (and I like chili,) and I was asked to be a victim at the EMT Training Session. Obviously, I could only do one. If we had a yearly Community Calendar, perhaps we could avoid having two or three events on the same day. It seems to happen very often. Is there anyone in the River Press reading area who would volunteer and organize such a calendar? It would then be up to the community to call all events into a central location. I would like to see all organizations, businesses, Churches, City and County schedules, weddings, school events, and all other gatherings listed. Is this project just important to me? If you agree…give me a thumbs up. Actually, I do not want you to disagree. Think it over and let us see what we can come up with a solution.

Here is a one-week timetable of my favorite project at this time.
1/19/12 8:06 5:05
1/26/12 8:00 5:15
Minutes gained:

12/28 12 minutes
1/4 6 “
1/12 9 “
1/19 15 “
1/26 16 “
We gained almost an hour of “light” time in a month. I love it.

When this River Press is in your mailbox, you will only have 9 days to mail a birthday card to Effie Johnson for her 90th birthday. She is in the MRMC Nursing Home. Write it now while it is fresh in your mind. Put a note on the front, “To be opened on 2/10/12.” It should make her day.

It would not hurt to prepare for Valentine’s Day now. It is just a couple of weeks away and now not all the candy and gifts are picked over. Can you believe that it is February already and what happened to January? Even young people are commenting on how time flies. Just goes to show…enjoy every minutes of every day.