Tuesday, April 10, 2012

View From The Bridge 4/11/2012

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

I met Mike Nottingham at the Loma Flea Market a couple of weekends ago and he had a bit of interesting news to tell me. He will be joining Burnt Spoon (Indian name) doing the Old Fort interpretations. Mary, Betty, and Bob have been filling in on Spoon’s days off and do a great job; however, they are not mountain men obviously. I would like to clone their brains of the knowledge they have about the Old Fort. I am looking forward to telling Visitors at the Information Center when they are going to visit the Old Fort, that they will meet real live mountain men. It is fun to see the Kiddos eyes grow wide with curiosity. Good luck Mike, I wonder if you have an Indian name, and we will see you at the Old Fort soon.

As you know from last weeks View, PBS of Missoula Backroads of Montana was here in Fort Benton on Friday the 30th and Saturday the 31st. Allison (Production Assistant,) and John (Producer,) proceeded on to Chester on Sunday. A phone call to Gail (Wayne Hampton’s daughter,) informed me about an Art Show at the Liberty Village Art Center that day. Allison and John attended the 2 ½-hour show. Gail played her Celtic Harp and the Hammer Dulcimer. Her husband Rudy played the Banjo, Guitar, and the Psaltry. The Psaltry is an ancient musical instrument consisting of a flat sounding box with numerous strings struck with the fingers or with a plectrum. Gail also said that the Psaltry is the forerunner of the violin. Julie Gannon (Cheryl Gagnon’s sister-in-law,) also plays the guitar with Gail and Rudy. It was a full house audience and I wish I had been there.

On Monday morning, Allison and John filmed the town of Chester. Gail invited us to visit her town and have lunch at the Senior Center. Their Center only serves meals during the weekdays and not on the weekends like our Golden Age Center. We are looking forward to that visit. Once again I will repeat that Wayne’s segment will be shown sometime in May.

The Montana Talking Book Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Helena sent to me the following as an interested community service to put in the View from the Bridge.

If you cannot see to read, the MT Talking Book Library is here for you. Did you know that approximately 23,200 Montanans have a visual disability that hinders reading standard print material? The MTBL is available for to enjoy a wide-range of printed material. The MTBL is a Regional Library of the National Library Service and provides free specialized audio and Braille books, magazines and other materials to eligible MT residents. Their currant in-house inventory is over 7,500 digital book titles, 57,600 cassette book titles, 1,050 local MT recorded titles and 16 magazine titles. There are 6 staff members who are experts in providing these direct specialized library services to you. Over 100 volunteers are individually trained by staff to perform various duties. MTBL served over 3,900 Montanans in 2011. Contact MTBL at 1-800-332-3400: e-mail mtbl@mt.gov, or visit their website: http://www.msl.mt.gov/tbl.”

If you feel that you can use this service, please do not hesitate because you think you cannot handle it. They are there to help you, provide you with the kind of machine you need, provide you with catalogs of the books, provide the books, mailing costs (first class,) and it is all free. Take advantage of a service provided so you can keep up with the world. We seniors are falling way behind in technology. Books are the knowledge to a new world. Time wise, listening takes as much time as reading. Trust me when I say that I have used this service for 30 years and it has made a difference in my life.

These are the last five clues to Rural Community Survival: Attention to sound and well-maintained infrastructure, Careful use of fiscal resources, Sophisticated use of technology resources, Willingness to seek help from the outside, and Conviction that, in the long run, you have to do it yourself.

I really love that last one. It is the story of life and the greatest lesson you can learn is, “you have to do it yourself.” If you want it to get done…you have to do it yourself. If you do not do it right you have a second, third, or on and on to get it right. It is known as learning the hard way, not my way. (Whenever I hear that phrase, “I’ll do it my way,” I call that person Frank. Young people will not understand that but we seniors remember Frank Sinatra singing a song titled, “I’ll do it my way.” It does not always work that way though. “My Way” may not be the right way. Enough already.

Do you have your calendars marked for this coming Saturday the 14th? It is the most popular of the Chouteau County Performing Arts presentations. Prepare yourselves for a long evening, as there will be two groups performing and two intermissions. The Chouteau County Performing Arts for this season will be over and will not begin again until next September. Yes, I am prejudiced about C.C.P.A. programs because I appreciate the effort that the Committee puts into the selections, the setup/teardown work, and all the behind the scenes work that is done. I am looking forward to the next season.

I have not had any response to my pleas for plots that have not been adopted. Yes, I know you young people are all busy with your daily lives, however we older seniors who may have some time on our hands, can no longer bend over or kneel. If we get down, we cannot get up. Once the plots are set-up, there should not be too much maintenance. I am sending a second appeal, especially those of you who frequent the Levee Trail. Please!

Last week when I drove down Front Street, I saw that the huge junipers that were in the planter area were gone. Two huge rocks were hiding under those plants. The new planter plans should go into effect soon and it is going to be beautiful. Remember to honk your horn in approval for the City Crew. I am looking forward to what the next project of the F.B.I. (Fort Benton Idealists,) is going to be.

On Easter Sunday, on our way home from Loma, we drove on the Bench. We saw dozens of meadowlarks, a few deer, and snow on the Shonkin/Highwood Mountains. We also saw many bunny rabbits that were safely hiding behind the fence at the airport. When we reached town, we went around Signal Point, and down the road a short way to view eagles. It was a rewarding sight to see one eagle in the nest and three other eagles in the tree. We are sure that she is sitting on eggs in the nest. We will keep on checking in the next few weeks. When we arrived home, I received a phone call from Joan Albers telling me about a blue heron colony that houses five or six herons. The colony is located on the road going to the Jim Wood home. They are called the great blue heron and may stand over four feet tall with a six-foot wingspan. They are very interesting to watch as they stand perfectly still in the water. When their preys are in their reach, they spear with their long beaks. If you are a Birder, you would enjoy taking a ride to see them. They are a very unusual species of bird.