Tuesday, March 27, 2012

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

We have participated in each of the Poker Tournaments held at the Grand Union Hotel. We have also stayed until the final show of cards to see who would be the lucky and skilled winner. Gambling was prevalent in the old days of Fort Benton and much of it went on at the Grand Union Hotel. Today the tournaments are held with an air of frivolity and friendliness. Last Friday evening was an exciting event for our Morger family. There were three generations involved, Wally (dad and granddad,) Randy (son,) and grandson Gerald Miller. Wally was also the oldest participant and Gerald was the youngest. As the evening progressed from 7:00 p.m. to hour after hour toward 2:00 a.m., we watched our grandson advance to the final table of nine men. Eliminations went on and the table seats were reduced to the last five players who were in the prize money. Gerald hung in there and then there were four. The tension grew as the crowd gathered around the table. Then there were three. Then there were two. Then the winner played his final winning hand and it was Gerald Miller. He is one lucky kid who has always wanted to come for the tournament from Missoula but could never manage to get here until now. Perhaps you remember that four years ago, Gerald won a truck with a hole in one at a golf tournament at Signal Point. He was 20 years old at the time. How many of us reached a couple of goals at age 24? Is it just pure luck or skill? We just know that we do not want to play poker with him again.

I heard the cutest story this past week and want to tell you about it. Mind you folks, these are 3rd graders. The following are Danae Gessaman’s own words as she dictated to her mom Debbie Gessaman.

“Abby Clark and I started this because we first were doing teaching crochet because I just learned how from Marilyn Scott and want to start our own crochet group. One of my best friends was making a big chain and I thought we could make a chain to tie up the school. One of my other best friends made a note to Mr. Thompson and it said, “We are going to tie up the school” with the names of a bunch of kids. Mr. Thompson said “ok.” My goal was to tie up the school with my friends, Abby and Allie wanted to be in the record book for the longest chain of crocheting. Josie and I thought that was a good idea too. We are making the chain out of yarn and some string. We are doing both crocheting and finger knitting and sometimes finger crocheting. Abby is good at this. We don’t know when it will be done…no predicting. The friends that are helping Danae are Abby Clark, Allie Wallace, Johanna Argenbright, Trey Gibson, Jayden Axtman, Angie Haugen, Kylee (not sure of spelling,) Danbrook, Kitty and Kallie Adams. There are a lot of people, pretty much all the 1-3 grades are doing it. We work on this pretty much whenever we can except for on cold days. Warm days are our favorite days to work on it. We haven’t tested it yet but I am pretty sure it is about from the kick field to the door of the office at the Elementary school.”

I will have to keep tabs on this story and see how the “chain” is coming along. Is there anyone out there that would be willing to measure the distance so we have some idea how long the chain would be? I think this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened at the school. Just think…these are our future mayors, councilpersons, commissioners, legislatures, and presidents. If they can think of ideas like chaining up the school, imagine what they can do with world problems. Awesome!

The Backroads of Montana is back-roading to Fort Benton this coming Friday. They are going to do one of their segments on Wayne Hampton who builds stringed instruments. Perhaps you know about Wayne from the reception that was held at the Grand Union a while back. Who know? Wayne’s daughter, Gail, is a music teacher in Chester and plays all of the instruments that Wayne builds. At the reception, she played many of the instruments but the most enjoyable was the harp. I heard about one man who traveled a great distance just because he heard that someone was going to play the harp. On Saturdays, late afternoon 5:30 p.m., we enjoy watching PBS and the Backroads show. If you have not watched, we know that you would enjoy visiting small towns, historical places, and interesting spots like Lewis and Clark Caverns and Our Lady of the Rockies. You know the song, “I’ve Been Everywhere Man, I’ve Been Everywhere.” Well, the Backroads of Montana has been everywhere in Montana. It is thoroughly enjoyable and now they are going to do our own Wayne Hampton. The question asked of me the most is, “When are they going to show it on TV?” Honestly, I have no idea but perhaps next weekend I can come up with an answer. Last Sunday, the Backroads had a fundraiser from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. One of the producers, John Twiggs, said that they only produce two new shows a year. This is the year for Wayne and no one deserves it more. If you see the Backroads Crew around town, give them the usual Fort Benton warm welcome.

Four people made my day this past week. My plate has been a little full the past few weeks and the last thing on my mind was robins since I have not seen one in my yard. However, in past years it was always in the View asking who saw the first robin. On Thursday last (the 22nd,) Wes Wellman phoned to say he had just seen a robin at 1:32 p.m. On the morning of the 23rd, Rachael Plante called to say that there were six (6) robins in her yard. (She also reported that Jenny and Kenny Ritland saw their first meadowlark. Another woman reported seeing a robin, however I cannot find my notes for her name. Sorry.) Later that afternoon, I saw Mary Chappell and Merial Fitzgerald at the Benton Pharmacy and they related that there were at least forty (40) robins in their yard. They commented that they wished the birds would stand still so they could count them. I now have heard of earlier robin sightings but they were not reported at the time. I really appreciate that you readers remembered about the robins and called to remind me. It truly made my day.

I just went outside on the deck to check the lilacs. Honest to goodness, there are buds on them. I am afraid that what happened in some other years, there will be a freeze and there will not be any lilacs. One Mother’s Day quite a few years ago, my son-in-law, Mark Pyrec, gave me a plane ride over town. It was the most beautiful sight with all the lilacs in bloom. I can still close my eyes and bring that into my sight. It was awesome.

Please readers, call me on this one. I just got word that the folks who planted it cannot maintain the most beautiful plot any longer. I now have about four (4) plots that need to be adopted. The recent cancellation will not require much work because they are perennials. Just a little cleanup of leaves and debris, and some weeding will take care of it. The other orphans need a little more T.L.C. Let me hear from you soon.

In the next couple of weeks, the planter in front of the Old Bridge is going to be replaced. This was in the planning last spring but due to the rain, the work could not be accomplished. Granite rocks are already in town and Skip and our City Crew are lined up to make it look like a very a “special photo taking spot.” Toot when you go by to let them know what a great job they are doing.

There is much more to report but the View is already too long. Until next week, enjoy every minute of every day.