Tuesday, May 29, 2012

View From The Bridge 5/30/12

“View from the Bridge”
By Muncie

I hope someone that belongs to the River and Plains has written up the Dedication that took place last Saturday.  I do not think I could describe how magnificent the new building is and the Starr Gallery is one of the finest in Montana.  Take the time to visit the Old Fort and enjoy a time in another world.

It was a busy Sunday for us and other Veterans.  The first invitation came from Pastor Ross Rettig from the Methodist Church for a service on Sunday morning honoring Veterans.  A dozen Veterans were each called upon to speak.  It was a very touching tribute and geared toward the thanksgiving of the service given by every Veteran both living and those who gave their lives. We sang American the Beautiful, America, and both songs were in the Hymnal.  Afterward there was fellowship in the meeting room with goodies that satisfied our sweet tooth.  The Veterans were treated royally.  We appreciate Pastor and his Church for their thoughfulness.

At 2:00 I walked over to the Grand Union Hotel, (in the rain,) to congratulate the Ferguson’s on their 50th wedding anniversary.  I saw many friends there and many memories were renewed.

Two Marines drove from Great Falls and we met just as I was at my house corner.  They brought “Support Our Troops,” t-shirts, sweatshirts, and pins that Connie Jenkins sold today, (Memorial Day at the Bluffs,) for the Marine Corps League Detachment 688.  They were to be sold at the Sunrise Bluffs on Memorial Day.  If you are interested in a shirt like that, please let me know.

At 4:00, I walked over to The Club House to celebrate Speed Steinbacher’s 90th birthday.  A couple talking with Speed, who were just ahead of me, when saying their goodbyes said, “See you on your 100th.”  I hope so too and you had a very nice party.

In the evening, we watched the PBS Memorial Day Celebration from Washington, D.C.  It is something that we look forward to each year and PBS will do another show in the same vein, for the 4th of July. Memorial Day show is all about remembering our Veterans where the 4th of July is about celebrating the U.S.A.

I woke with a start at 7:15 remembering reading a sign at the Price Rite about closing on Memorial Day.  I rushed downstairs to phone the store and it rang quite a while making me think it was not open.  I had ordered 10 dz. Donuts for the Open House at the Sunrise Bluffs. We had invited people to come for coffee and donuts after the celebration of the Wreath throwing at The Old Bridge and the ceremony at the Riverside Cemetery.  I was assured that an employee was coming in at 8:00 a.m. and would have the donuts ready at 10:30.

I had earlier on said that if 50 people showed up I would be happy.  I also asked son Randy to announce, in his outside voice, at The Old Bridge about the Open House.  There were a tad more than 50 people and I told them that with the amount of donuts we had, they would each have to eat 2 ½ donuts apiece.

I gave an appreciation speech, which I did not prepare in advance much to my chagrin   I forgot three people that I neglected to talk about and what is bothering me now is that I am sure to think of more.

The most important two people in this scenario are Madeline Ragland and her granddaughter.  The granddaughter asked her grandmother, Madeline, to give the grant to a project in Fort Benton.  Madeline choose to give Karla Ayers and myself the grant for the Veterans Photo Project.  I forgot to mention them and my sincere apologies go out to them.

Another person, I neglected to acknowledge was Nancy LaChappell who brought the mike system over and set it up.  I had not thought of a podium and the next thing I knew, Nancy had turned a bookcase around, decorated it, and set the system on it.  It was so perfect for the setting we had.  Nancy, you are one special person.

Although Ken Robison was not in attendance, nevertheless, he did the scanning, (for forever-permanent records,) all the 229 plus pictures that this project now totals.  B.J. Conn McIntosh and I were a real thorn in his side.  We were always disturbing him to scan some pictures that just came in, or to check to see if a picture had been scanned.  I’ll bet he is happy that most of the program is over.

I did tell those that came to the Open House how I appreciated Karla Ayers for the use of the Bluffs walls to hang the photos. Karla said that it was an honor for her to do so.  B.J. Conn McIntosh was my constant associate most of the year and a half of the project.  Kathy Nelson and Lindsay Krause are unsung heroes of mine for what they do for me at the River Press.  Kathy, (a former schoolteacher,) corrects my spelling and punctuation every week.  How many good things can I say about Lindsay?  She is a marvel what she has done with the design of the River Press and the View from the Bridge.  I tease her occasionally about running off to Africa or Alaska for an adventurous marriage.  Actually, it scares me that she may find big city living a lot more exciting than small town living.  Enough said. Karla, Gary Goldhaun, and Lorna Krause helped tremendously by offering to type bios.  It actually was an interesting job because it allowed you to read some of the stories of the Veterans and some of them brought tears to our eyes.  Finally yet importantly, I applaud the job the Bakery Department at the Price Rite did with the donuts that I ordered.  I ask that it those donuts that had frosting could be done in either red, white, or blue frosting.  I wish you could have seen how they were decorated.  All three colors were fancily decorating most of the donuts.  It made them so much better to eat.  You are such artists in your craft.  Please let me know if I have left anyone out.

I would like to remind you readers about the Photo Project.  It is an ongoing project.  If you have a loved one that you would like the photo hung and the bio in the notebooks (there are two because they all would not fit into one book,) please take to the Sunrise Bluffs and leave them with Karla.  We will get right on it because one or two are a snap to do now.

If you get to read the Bio Book and find an error…please use a sticky pad to tell us what is wrong.  Also, put a paper clip on the plastic sheet so we know where to look.

Those of you who have lived in Fort Benton for a long while will enjoy this story.  Whose picture do we not have hanging?  He was a WWI Veteran and lived to be 104 years old.  He was in every parade that Fort Benton ever had.  Do you know whom I am talking about?  Charlie Behrens of course.  I will check at the Overholser Research Center tomorrow, (Tuesday,) to see if I can find a picture in Hank Armstrong’s collection.

Next Saturday, the 2nd, will be a great day in Fort Benton.  Arrive at the park at 10:00 for the Fun Run/Walk.  Registration required to receive the t-skirt.  At 10:30 a.m., there will be Games in the Park.  At 11:45 a.m., the Ribbon Cutting at the Pool will take place.  All you swimmers are really going to enjoy the new cover this summer.  I just wonder if there will be enough room under it for everyone.  The Committee wants you to stay out of the sun because of skin cancer. Just do it.  At 12:00, there will be a Free Lunch at the cook shack.  What could be better than a free lunch?  At 12:30, there will be musical entertainment with wandering local musicians.  (What do you readers think about my walking around with Garth Brook’s guitar and just letting everyone touch it?  Yes or no?  Perhaps you think it is a crazy idea but let me know.

From the Park make your way to the Elementary Auditorium for a Capstone Concert.  Kevin Sharp was well known in 1997 when he had a hit that ran #1 on the charts for weeks.  He is a cancer survivor

Talk about an entertaining day…that evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairgrounds there will be more music going on. The Kings of Country Tim McGraw and George Strait Tribute Show will perform.  It will not really be Tim and George but I will bet you will not be able to tell the difference.  So come on down to the Fair Grounds and finish off the day with a great show.

Yes, there is more however, no more time, or space.  Besides, I do not even want to talk snow.  Actually, I must say that it was great for the crops and it is now 4:00 p.m. Monday and the sun is out.