Tuesday, June 5, 2012

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

What a Celebration of Life Day we had with a good turnout of folks last Saturday.  The Chouteau County Cancer Support Committee went all out and put on an event that will be discussed until the 2nd annual event next year   I cannot name all of the promoters of this event but would like them to know that we appreciate what you are doing for us. Those who have been touched by cancer or one of their loved ones were there to celebrate.  That is what it was all about.  It began with a Fun Run at 10:00 a.m. but most walked.  Our grandson, Grayson Bonilla from Helena, came in first running like there was something chasing him.  After breaking the ribbon, he helped hold the ribbon for the other participants.  It rained a bit off and on but it did not dampen any of the festivities.

Then on to the Old Fort Park for fun and games with more sprinkles. At noon, there was a line for the free lunch and a healthy one it was. There were hamburgers made of meat donated by Dr. Harrer who is an Oncology physician from Great Falls at the Sletten Cancer Institute who has treated many of the cancer patients in Fort Benton.  There were trays of fresh fruit and veggies, (no potato chips or potato salad.)  Lemonade and iced tea were the favored drinks (no diet soda or other carbonated drinks.)  It was very healthy and delicious.

Then on to the Elementary School at 2:00 p.m. where we were introduced to Kevin Sharp who is a country singer.  The Chouteau County Cancer Support Group brought him to Fort Benton for the Celebration of Life Day for a reason.  Kevin developed a rare form of bone cancer when he was 15 years old.  He is now a cancer survivor for over 25 years.  He was a gifted athlete in several sports when he began to experiencing fatigue and unexplained pain.  After diagnosis, he went through two years of grueling chemotherapy, radiation, and experimental drugs.  He was introduced to the “Make a Wish Foundation” that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.  His wish was to become a successful country artist.  He went into remission in 1990 and never forgetting the generosity of the “Make a Wish Foundation,” he acts as a national spokesperson for the group.
I love Country Music and Kevin certainly satisfied my love with the songs he sang and had written.  His song, “Nobody Knows,” held the top spot on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart for an astonishing four weeks.  Another song, “If You Love Somebody,” involved the Fort Benton audience and we loved it.

If you would like to know more about Kevin, check out the internet and you will be amazed at what he has accomplished in his life.  What he sends out in his songs is “Love.”  That is what it is all about when you celebrate life.

Kevin has also written a book, a copy of which was loaned to us by Connie Jenkins.  The name of the book is “Tragedy’s Gift,” and Kevin would like it to be a movie.  If that happens, I will keep you posted. It is inspiring reading and I will check on getting more copies available.  

This day was the 1st Annual Celebration of Life and do not miss the next one.  If you do…it is your loss.   You never know when you may need the support of the Chouteau County Cancer Support Group.

To round out Saturday, the Kings of Country, Tim McGraw, and George Strait performed at the Chouteau County Fairgrounds.  I really got my fill of country music and to make it more exciting; they performed in the Cow Barn.  What a way to go!  There were bleachers set up in a semi-circle that left room in front for dancing.  George performed first and I really thought that it was George.

A group of young people who danced what I call the “Pretzel Dance” also entertained us.  They twisted and turned so fast that it was exhausting just to watch.  I do not know who they were but I think that they are home-schooled youngsters.  It was a great addition to the evening.

Enter Tim McGraw, (and I really thought it was Tim,) with who-haws and more dancing by the crowd.  Both artists did a lot of coming off the stage to greet the country music lovers.  It was a great evening to finish off a great day.  Please let the Club House and the Chouteau County Fair Board know how much you enjoyed the show.  They are responsible for bringing George and Tim to town.

Now the focus is on the upcoming Summer Celebration.  There is a lot of good information about the Celebration in the River Press and at Summer Celebration's web site.  Help is always needed and if there were, something that you think you would like to help with, do some contacting.  There are phone numbers in the Press and please, just do it.  This is another big celebration of Shep’s 70th anniversary.

I know of one project that I have been asked about many times and that is to paint the backside of the Depot before Summer Celebration. Fort Benton will have many visitors that will want to visit Shep’s burial place, (on the hill by the Depot,) and take pictures.  I have a donor that will pay for the paint.  If you think that you could take on that job, please let me know at 622-3217 after 2:00 p.m.  There may be more to this project than meets the eye, (as far as permission,) but if I get volunteers, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

I think that this is going to be a quiet week. I always call it, “Catch-Up-Time.”  Unfortunately, I still have not learned at my age that you never are caught up.  As soon as you see the end of the line, do not look behind you because…o.k. you know what I am talking about.  I have not heard about anything going on as far as events.  If any organizations or committee’s have plans for events, please let me know.

Beth’s hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  I would not like to be young again, however I would like to have some of the endurance that I had even ten years ago.  I would like to clone some of the energy that Beth has.  Actually, I would like to have anyone’s energy that can spare some.  I used to say that it takes me twice as long to do anything but lately it is four times as long.  I used to clean my house in three hours and now it takes me three days.  I know that I have a lot of sympathy from my friends who are in the same boat.

Our grandson, Whitney Grovenstein helicopter pilot, returned from Afganistan today, Monday the 4th.  He is Darcy Morger and Glen Grovenstein’s son.  Welcome home Whit.

I would like to hear news about what Chouteau County Servicemen and women are doing.  I know they are out there and that everyone would like to be in touch by prayers and thoughts.  Let me know a.s.a.p.  They need to know that we have not forgotten about them or that they are not appreciated.  Just do it now.