Tuesday, May 15, 2012

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Last Saturday evening on our way back into Fort Benton near the underpass, we spotted a light on the bluffs.  At first, I thought that an outer-space object was visiting us.  Driving on to River Road, we discovered that someone (who remains anonymous,) had put solar lights on the letter “B.”  What a surprise!

Who came up with that terrific idea and how much work did it take?  How many lights light up our world of “B”enton?  Did anyone see the person who placed them?  Any information will be appreciated and let us get to the light of day on this one.  Surely, it could not have been accomplished undetected.

To the “Lighter or Lightened-ee,” I thank you very much because it is a great gesture.  It sure lights up my nights.  Take a ride along River Road and see for yourself.  Perhaps you have already noticed and so I ask, “Why didn’t you call me?

On FRIDAY morning, MAY 18th at 8:30 a.m., you are welcome to the Benton Pharmacy to celebrate Jimmy Buffet Day.  They will be serving Mocktails all day and there will be Nachos and a treat for lunch.  This is an all day affair and closing time is 5:30 p.m.  Everyone is welcome whether you wear Hawaiian clothes or not although it is more fun to dress up for the occasion.  You will be entertained with Jimmy Buffet music all day.  Come on down and put a little excitement into your life.

It is the last Pie Day, FRIDAY, MAY 18th for the season.  The women will not be baking pies during the hot summer months.  So get yourselves over the Golden Age Senior Center on Friday to enjoy the best pies you will ever have.  It will make you happy and make the pie bakers happy.

The Chouteau County Cancer Support Group is holding this very successful perennial plant sale on SATURDAY, MAY 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 23:00 noon on the Levee.  This is in conjunction with the Fishing Derby.  I have only heard about the Fishing Derby from one person so I do not have any details.

Anyone wishing to donate plants please drop off at the sale on Saturday morning or call 868-6210 if you need help.  Help includes digging or transporting.  Perennials, vegetables, houseplants, seeds, bushes…any donation is welcomed.  All proceeds go to the Cancer Support Group.

Anyone who has ever participated in this event has said it is the most fun for gardeners.  Get involved this year and give a green thumb boost to the Cancer Group.

I received an e-mail from John Twiggs, who is the producer of the show, this past week.  He informed me that the show with the segment of Wayne Hampton is called, “Singing in the Wires.”  As I previously told you, it will air on WEDNESDAY, MAY the 23rd at 7:00 p.m.  John said that the program would be repeated immediately at 7:30 p.m., then again on SATURDAY, MAY the 26th at 5:30 p.m., and THURSDAY, MAY the 31st at 7:30 p.m.  That is a whole lot of Wayne going on so if you miss it one day there is always another.

The GFWC Fort Benton Woman’s Club is sponsoring a Business Attire Fashion Show on Wednesday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the Wake Cup Coffeehouse.  Business interview outfits, (including shoes and accessories,) that have been donated for the Fashion Show, will be then donated to the Mercy Home in Great Falls.

Go through your closet and see if you can come up with a business outfit.  Then donate it to the Woman’s Club by calling Nancy LaChappell at 868-6210. It will be a fun evening so call all your friends and enjoy an evening out with the girls while helping the Mercy Home women.

Fort Benton again is going to be offering another page in Montana’s history.  I received a news release today (Sunday,) about the opening of the reconstructed Bourgeois House on SATURDAY, MAY 26th.  A full press release will appear in the River Press; however, I would like to tell you a little bit about it from my prospective.  I have seen some pictures of the inside of the building and they are fabulous.  You will see Montana’s newest art gallery that includes Bob Scriver’s No More Buffalo Collection, rare Karl Bodner’s prints of the 1830’s, and John Mix Stanley’s original portrait of Alexander Culbertson, (the founder of Fort Benton in 1846.)  You will learn the history of all of these collections. It is so worth your time to visit and what a way to entertain visiting family, friends and neighbors.

The public is invited to attend the opening ceremonies at 1 p.m.  The museums and other historic landmarks are free for the day courtesy of the River and Plains Society.  This is such a great opportunity for the kiddos and young people to learn the history of their hometown.  Those that live here, whether they know it or not, are a part of living history today.  They should be aware of their ancestors, where they came from, and what is happening today.  Do not miss this opportunity.

I joined Connie, Sharalee, Patti, and Ruth for the fundraiser at the Grand Union.  There was a whole lot of talent going on that evening.  They were warming-up when I arrived so the five of us walked over to the Shep Courtyard to look at the bricks.  What a way to give a tribute to someone near and dear for any reason.  That brings to mind that there are several hundred bricks still open for purchase.  Remember that thought for a special birthday, occasion, anniversary, or just as a kindness for someone who may have done something special.

Now back to the Fund Raiser…the group did not pass a hat.  The hat sat on a chair and I am not sure that everyone saw it.  If you attended the fundraiser and  missed putting something into the hat, please send a check to the Highwood High School.  Make the check out to the Highwood Jazz Band.  It will be appreciated and we wish them luck in their quest for funds.  They are working hard at it.

Next on my list of businesses to open in Fort Benton after a laundromat, an automated car wash, I have been longing for a bakery to open in town.  I got my wish for a laundromat and now my wish for a bakery is about to happen.  “Benton Bread and More” will be opening soon by Beth Ettinger.

I spoke with Beth this morning, Monday the 14th, and she cannot give me a definite date but it will be a.s.a.p.  The best part about it is the fact that it will be located right across Main St. on 14th St. from my house and the baked goods odors will waft my
way.  The Thrift Shop moved from one room of Jim Cummings building to the room on the other side.  (If you need directions, just stop at my house.  Actually, that is supposed to be a joke.)

Beth is working very hard to put the bakery in running order.  She moved to Fort Benton from PA a year ago.  Her mother and grandmother taught her to bake.  She had a small bakery in PA but the Amish competition was too much.  She will bake a variety of products and add more as she goes along.  I can hardly wait and want the community to support her.  That should not be too difficult.

I thought her story about having to adjust her recipes for the higher altitude was interesting.  No wonder some of my baking does not come out eatable.  Who knew!    

The Visitors Center opened yesterday, Tuesday the 15th.  Volunteers are ready to go and schedules were filled in at a meeting today, Monday.  There are many changes because of Ruth Carlstrom’s retirement.  We are going to miss her and her devotion to the volunteers and the Chamber of Commerce.  New assignments are going to Ali Nardinger, Glenda Quick, Joan Schaefer, and Judy Beloate.  They will reorganize and reassign duties to cover all the jobs that Ruth did.  If you have questions address them to Keith Ballantyne, Chamber President first, and then to Ali.  It will be an exciting time for everyone concerned.

I cannot believe that not everyone in Fort Benton has been to visit the Center.  If you have not…then walk yourself over there.  There is a wealth of information for you, your family, your friends, and guests.  There are maps that you cannot live without.  There is information about the businesses, their hours, and locations.  Get out and about and enjoy your beautiful town. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR TROOPS.