Tuesday, August 28, 2012

View From The Bridge 8-29-12

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

The last of the summer holidays is upon us.  Enjoy your weekend because 19 days later it will be fall.  The solstice means that we are half way to the nights being longer than the days.  I, frankly, do not enjoy that.  Since there is nothing I can do about it, I’ll think about a beautiful fall. I know that we are all wondering what kind of winter we are going to have.  Actually, I do not want to think about that either.  Think about what Labor Day really means.

Labor Day, September 3rd, the Visitors Information Center will be the last day this season to be open.  The Museums, both the Ag, the Museum of the Upper Missouri, and The Old Fort will be open through Sunday, September 30th.  You have one month left to visit Montana’s most historic structures.  If you are interested in history, even in a small degree, especially Montana and Fort Benton history, then just do it now.  Please do not let another year go by.  The way in which change is taking place, you may not be here next year.  A change in your life could have you located somewhere else and you will have missed a great opportunity to know where you came from and where you are going in your own family history.

The Museum of the Upper Missouri and The Old Fort will be open by appointment only after September 30th.  Call the Ag Museum office at 622-5316 Monday through Friday to set up an appointment.  If you are visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, please call Betty Cook at 622-3201. If she is available, she will gladly arrange a tour for you.  For visitors from out of state, there will be a notice on the doors of the Museum of the Upper Missouri, (the Little Museum,) listing the times and phone numbers.

This history talk brings up another subject that I have nagged at the readers of The River Press many times before.  I will again now.  You may not be interested in your own ancestry but someday someone will be.  That may be your children, your grandchildren, or your friends and neighbors.

Please bring your old family pictures of the homes you lived in, your farm property, pictures of the Fort Benton Community, and Chouteau County to the Joel Overholser Research Center, Schwinden Library located at the Ag Center.  The volunteers are there only on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

If you have never visited the Research Center, you will be amazed. Joel Overholser was editor of The River Press for over 50 years.  He kept every article that he ever printed in the weekly paper with meticulous care.

Each family has its vertical file.  However, some files are very scant and there are many residents that there is no file at all.  Please take the time to bring your old pictures to be scanned.  Hank Armstrong (has been handling photos for over 25 years,) has to be kept busy. (Just joking Hank, because you are always busy.)

Mary Zanto and I will be happy to photo copy your papers such as birth certificates, wedding licenses, obituaries and any other documents you may have.

Trust me when I say that these bits of information are very important.  JUST DO IT NOW.

There are people who have contacted me during the summer months about this program.  Because of my Sweetheart’s hip replacement and B.J. Conn- McIntyre in Oregon all summer, it was on hold.  We will be back in September ready to volunteer again and catch up with the approximate 10 pictures we have gotten over the summer.  We will also make the corrections at the Sunrise Bluffs that were in the correction notebook.

I have not heard any information about young men or women who are now serving our country.  Either we do not have anyone, service members do not want their names published, or are just not interested.  We are interested in you and want you to know that we support you.  We really understand and are grateful that you are protecting (your own choice,) our very comfortable ways of life.

Our three grandsons are back from Afganistan for the time being. They say that it is a desolate country.  Do any of The River Press readers have family members overseas?  Please let me know at 899-1380.

Slowly but surely, the Chamber of Commerce and Fort Benton Idealists (F.B.I.,) are changing the look of Fort Benton’s Front St.  The side rails of The Old Bridge are being painted.  This project has been a couple of years in the planning; however, it was worth the wait. Because of the prohibitive cost of new side rails, it was decided to sand and paint the old ones.  Ruth Carlstrom obtained from the Lippard/Clawiter, a grant for the labor.  Tanya Allen/Missouri River Lumber and Ken Carlstrom (Ruth’s son,) of Pratt & Lambert, donated the paint.

The painter is Dan who wants to become a Fort Benton resident.  He worked on the Court House window renovation and was called back to do water repair work.  He comes from the Flathead Valley area that he said used to be quiet and serene like Fort Benton is today.  If you can help Dan to stay in Fort Benton, call him at 406-885-2121.  I met Dan last week on The Old Bridge while he was painting.  He calmed my fears when I thought that the bridge was being painted powder blue.  “No, that is only the primer,” he said.  The top coat will be a midnight blue/black.  It is lookin’ good already.  Now on to the next project which has yet to be decided.  

On one of the most beautiful evenings of the summer, Greg and Maria of Ma’s in Loma hosted their Harvest Festival, (I formerly called it Ma’s Pot Luck Supper.)  It was the sixth annual and we estimated about 150 festival goers were there to enjoy the roast pork (superb,) and the potluck salads and deserts that most brought. What did you think about the entertainment?  Husband and wife guitarists really did what they were supposed to do and that was to entertain. They played songs that we all knew, young and old.  We could sing along and they asked for requests that were quickly shouted out from the audience.

Ma’s has recently hard-topped their parking area.  Most of the group sat on the parking lot and it was great for dancing.  A good time was had by all.

I know that there was something more to tell you but I cannot remember what it was. In the meanwhile, remember to WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS, Save your Labels for Education, buy your C.C.P.A. Concert tickets, buy your Gold Card from the High School, do a good deed every day, enjoy every minute of every day, please don’t throw your butts on the sidewalk/street, join an organization to give back to your community, visit The Old Fort/Museums this week, visit your Chouteau County Library, and spread lots of love around.