Tuesday, June 12, 2012

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers.  It is your special day.  The best present you can give to those great men in your lives is…your time.  You do not have to go anywhere or do anything except sit and talk.  It is the most special gift because the memories linger on forever. Enjoy.

Awesome…Walleyne Flanagan.  You are a journalist supreme.  The name that you coined for the Vets Photo project was a tearjerker.  “A Wall of Remembrance,” is just what it is, and you came up with the perfect name.  Most Veterans and Senior Citizens have glad and sad memories of WWII and up to today have sons and grandsons still fighting for our country.  They are such heroes; they love their country, and do not fear for their lives.  The “Wall of Remembrance” is a daily reminder to do what we can to support them.

Karla Ayers has done so much to improve the hallway where the pictures are hanging.  There is now a huge directional sign at the beginning of the hallway, put there because some people walk right by without looking left on the way to the dining room.  The maintenance man at the Bluffs, Jim Lindsey, found an old podium, spruced it up, and made a cover with a flag on it.  The Memory books, (formerly the Bio books,) rest there.  The guest book is also there and do not forget to sign it when you visit the “Wall of Remembrance.”  The podium also has a much-needed light.  Jim, several weeks ago, had installed more lighting in the hallway so the photos are more easily seen.  The area has now become a very hallowed place.

Walleyne was very kind with her words, but actually, everyone is giving me way too much credit for the project.  It would not have been done without B.J. Conn McIntosh, Karla Ayers, those who typed bios, and those of you who sent in/brought in photos and bios.  It was a labor of love.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we did not have a picture of our famous WWI Veteran, Charlie Behrens.  This past week, because of the wide circulation of the River Press, brought me a letter and picture of Charlie.  His son, Charles Behrens of Salt Lake City, sent me pictures of his father.  One of the photos was of Charlie as a young man and the other was a watercolor in his uniform.  Co-incidentally, the watercolor was done by Brian Morger 25 years ago.

Dr. Behrens said that he and his wife talked many times about sending his dad’s picture but never got around to it.  I know that there are many of you readers who are thinking the same thing.  You have promised either a photo, or a bio, or both and never got around to it.  It is not too late to have your loved one on that “Wall of Remembrance.”  Just drop the pictures off at the Sunrise Bluffs and we will get them up a.s.a.p.  It is the same deal with those of you who sent in pictures but no bios.  It will be much easier to fill in one or two at a time than the packets of 20 that we did previously. Remember…just do it now.

Authors hold an appeal for me and I have a list somewhere with the names of all of the authors I have met in Fort Benton.  I envy an author especially one who has successfully self-published and/or had a company publish their book.  It is a long and tedious job and in my opinion, sometimes not worth the hassle you have to go through.  I would probably give up very quickly because I like things done yesterday.

On Sunday evening, son Randy brought over a couple from the Grand Union that he met n the lobby.  He found that Sharon Midkiff Randolph had written four (4) books dealing with Montana.  She researched the material for seventeen (17) years and as a result now has the published books.  Her first volume has been in the Chouteau County Library since 2008.  The second volume has a copyright of 2008 also.  The third and fourth volumes are copyrighted 2009.  The books are titled “Connecting Us to the Sun.”  The first volume is titled, “Trails Leading to Montana.”  Glancing through the index, I saw that seven (7) pages referred to Fort Benton.  It seemed to me that there were more pages on our town than any other subject. After all, we are the Birthplace of Montana.

The second volume turns north to, “A Nation’s Attention to the Northern Rockies.”   Going on to Volume 3, we are “Finding Our Place in the Sun-The West Side.”  The final volume r is, “Finding Our Place in the Sun-The East Side.”  Each volume is about 100 pages long and has medium sized print.  We are looking forward to reading the volumes and if you want to read along with us, there are copies at the library.  Sharon and her husband Gerald live in Columbia Falls and when they bade us goodnight, they said they are going to return as soon as possible.  They seemed fascinated with Fort Benton.  They were telling us about walking on the Levee Walking Trail, (in the rain on Sunday,) and just enjoying the trail and the Missouri River.  We hope to see you soon Sharon and Gerald.

The Celebration of 2012 is almost upon us.  I had a peek at the artwork on the t-shirts and it is outstanding.  It is all about Shep and the shirt will be a treasured keepsake.

I just spoke with Connie Jenkins and the schedules will be all around town on Friday.  Pick some up for yourself and mail to your family and friends.  It is going to be a big one and a fun time for all.  See you there.

I have two Summer Celebration shirts, in my closet, for the past nineteen (19) years.  If you have t-shirts before that time please contact me (899-1380 after 10:00 a.m. and any long distance after 7:00 p.m. Mt time) as there is a project in mind to raise funds for Summer Celebration.  You would have to give up your shirt but it would be for a very good cause.  Let’s get this one rolling and perhaps by Summer Celebration of 2013, it may be completed.

I have not heard from anyone about his or her husbands, wives, or sons who are presently in the service of our country.

I did find a story about Rosa Potts in the River Press May 30th edition.  If you are a friend of Rosa’s, you will be happy to learn that she received a promotion to First Class Petty Officer.  She is stationed in San Diego, and has been in the Navy for 12 years.  She is also a new mother in May and her sons name is Samuel David.  She was a 2000 graduate of Fort Benton High School.