Tuesday, September 25, 2012

View From The Bridge 9/26/12

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

The volunteers at the Visitors Information Center enjoyed a wonderful evening on The Old Bridge last Thursday.  The food and beverages tasted exceptionally good eating on the Old Bridge on the loveliest last evening of summer. There were many “hellos and I haven’t seen you for a long time” greetings.  Spouses were invited and so Wally attended with me. We enjoyed the great view with definite signs of fall across the Missouri.  There was beautiful music being supplied by Jamie and her husband, Shaun.  They were playing Shendoah when we arrived and that has been my favorite song long before I moved to Montana.

Jamie’s sister, Jessica was sitting on the planks nearby baby-sitting Jamie’s baby girl Magdalena.  The funniest thing happened that would never happen again, no matter how you tried.  Magdalena was playing with two paper plates.  She dropped them and they went between a wide space between the planks and floated on down into the river.  We watched them float away while everyone enjoyed a good laugh.  It could never happen that way again as they say, “In a million years.”

The Baumgardner Girls are very musically talented.  Jessica plays the guitar as well as the violin and she played, that was to me, a very complicated piece.  We remember so well when the four little sisters played their violins at the Farmers Markets.  We remember when Amanda opened the Wake Cup Coffee Shoppe.  We remember Jamie’s wedding reception at the Fair Grounds.  When did those darling little girls grow up to be the beautiful women they are today?  What I love most is that they were able to stay in Fort Benton and make our town a better place to live in.

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place and because Ruth Carlstrom, who was responsible for getting the grant for the work involved, was not present, Keith (President of the Chamber of Commerce) chose me to cut the ribbon.  I asked, “Why me?”  He said, “Because I said so.”  Believe me; I really appreciated the honor because of my love for that Old Bridge.  I wish it could talk.  Can you even imagine the stories it could tell?

We Volunteers would like you readers know that since Ruth retired, a very brave Glenda Quick took over the Coordinator job with the help of Joan Schafer.  I do not know if she had any problems, she never said, however, from my two hours a week, everything went like clockwork. (Actually, I could not have done it with Dusty.  She had to call me every week to remind me that it was Tuesday and my time to put in my two hours.)  At the ceremony, Glenda gave us interesting background for the Log that each volunteer writes in during his or her shift.  She said that many volunteers went out of their way, and over and above to help to keep things running smoothly.  For instance, one volunteer said that the person following her shift did not show up.  She said that she would return to put the flags away at closing time.  That is truly over and above.

After visiting with the Commissioners last week, I learned from a Jim O’Hara phone call, that the Old Bridge did have a plaque.  I talked to Jack Lepley this morning, (Monday,) as he was attending the Historic Conference last week.  Jack said that there was a plaque and that it was stolen.  Someone unscrewed the plaque and removed it to no one knows where.  It you have any information about the plaque or its’ whereabouts, please call the Police Department. 

I am now talking to the Department of Transportation, who has all the records, but would like the original returned rather than order a new one.  Please tell me why anyone would want to steal?  It is just beyond my comprehension to take something that does not belong to them, that someone paid for, was on someone’s’ private property, or public property.  It is similar to the road signs being shot at.  Did you see how much money it costs to replace them?  Those replacements all come out of taxpayer money.  Perhaps when these people have to pay taxes, they will realize the wrongness of their actions.  Enough already!

We had to leave the Bridge party early to make out way over to the football field for the game between Simms and Fort Benton.  Another win make the evening a perfect one.  Go Longhorns.  To make the evening more special was the presence of the Lady Longhorns.  The singing of the school song was definitely loud and clear with their help.  Go Lady Longhorns.

After the football game, we drove over to River Street to see the FB lit up.  I was surprised that there was not as much traffic as I thought there would be.  It was Thursday evening and I surmised that most of the residents when out on Wednesday evening after the River Press hit the stands or was picked up at the post office.  I would like to know a few opinions so give me a call after you have looked the lights over.  I am in the book.

I would encourage you to read Walleyne’s story again in last week’s River Press about the FB solar lights.  It was filled with valuable information about who, what, when, and why of the stolen lights replaced, the F lit up, those behind the purchase, those who put them up, and the cleanup of the area.  Can you believe two truckloads of trash hauled away?  I am so happy that there are others in Fort Benton who are in a clean-up mode.  I would like to tell all involved that your work is much appreciated.  It is truly community spirit.

We were there early and got first pick of pies.  I had Raspberry/Rhubarb, which was “out of this world,” or “to die for.”  Dee Lohse’s Mom is visiting from Utah and Dee brought her to Pie Day.  Dee said that she had marked it on her calendar.  I see that Pie Day is also reported on the River Press calendar. 

Well, it is back to the Joel Overholser Research Center on Tuesday for B.J. Conn McIntyre and me after having to take the summer months off.  I was at the Bluffs the other day for the Foot Clinic and stopped by the check on the corrections book.  B.J. and I have a lot of correcting to do and are happy to do it.  We appreciate that you stopped by to check out the display and to take the time to make us aware of the corrections.

It is now Sunday late evening and we had a nice surprise this afternoon.  When Wally was in rehab at Benefis, we met an Occupational Therapist.  She knew that we were from Fort Benton, said she had been on a river trip on the Missouri between Fort Benton and Loma, and found an unusual rock at one of the sites.  She took pictures of it but had no way of knowing what it was.  It looked very much like a petrified turtle.  She brought the pictures for us to see what we thought about the rock.

She and her husband come to Fort Benton to celebrate their wedding anniversary at the Grand Union every year.  They stopped in to visit us for a few minutes to see our artifact collection and the rocks we have collected over the years.  She said that those few minutes taught her what she would be looking for on future rock hounding trips.  That is my second encounter this summer with persons who enjoy that hobby.  As she said, it does not cost you any money, only pleasurable time.

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR TROOPS.  ARE YOU WEARING RED ON FRIDAYS?  I would like to see a “sea of red” all over town on Fridays.  Remember, the whole idea is to support our Troops.