Tuesday, October 30, 2012

View From The Bridge 10-31-12

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
by Muncie

If you did not attend the Chouteau County Performing Arts evening last Wednesday, an enchanted evening is what you missed.  What a professional performer, what a gentleman and a scholar, and musical genius is pianist Mike Strickland.  The whole evening was filled with beautiful music, both well known and his own very enchanting melodies.  We did not want the concert to end.  My favorite piece of the whole evening was Clair de lune by Debussy. Mike played it because that was his mother’s name and one of his favorites...  What a wonderful tribute it was to his mother.

I would like to adopt Mike.  I told his lovely wife that I wanted to live next door to them.  Why?  So I could listen to him practice, of course, because it was so relaxing just to have the music flowing over you.  I watched a movie once that the main character was seeing a shrink who told him to listen to Braham’s to relax.  

When I was about 8 or 10 years old, there was a boy, who lived down the street, who was an excellent piano student.  I would sit on his front steps and listen to him practice.  I barely can remember what he looked like but I still remember his music. 

The other enchantment of the evening was the honoring of our precious music teacher for 65 years in Fort Benton, Doris Rowe.  She blushed at every compliment said about her and her long career in music.  She and Mike played Nola as a duet and the song that everyone knows how to play, Chopsticks. We all love you Doris and you are one of Fort Benton’s treasures.

This week many of Fort Benton’s old-timers lost a dear friend.  Mary Ann Hampton is gone from us physically but not from our hearts.  She was such a blessing to our community.  For those of you who knew her gentleness, we shall never forget.  For those of you who did not know her, but only heard about her, it was truly a loss for you.  Women like Mary Ann made a difference in lives of others.  We will miss you Mary Ann and guide us from that far away place you are in called Heaven.

Can you even imagine what Fort Benton looked like 130 years ago?  I have seen pictures of the hotel at different stages of its life however not so clearly as on Backroads of Montana last Saturday night.  Early pictures show chimneys above every room releasing smoke from the fireplaces.  I wonder whose job it was to build fires and keeping them fed with wood.  Were they stoked every evening to keep the room warm all night?  The cooks must have prepared meals on wood stoves.  That is an art in itself.  Did the bedding get changed every night and how did they handle laundry?  Was it a “gathering place,” as it is now?  Perhaps someday in the distant future, we will be able to go back in time.  I am very sure though, that I would want to come back as quickly as possible.  I am too used to my modern conveniences.  How about you?  I am also convinced that it was much harder on women than men way back then.  Let all women now take a moment of silence that we are living today.

If you have never attended a Poker Tournament, do drop by the Grand Union on Friday evening to see how it progresses.  It begins with 40 men and women and they are eliminated one by one until the final table of eight.  It really gets exciting then but about this time, it is after midnight.  We have not reached home until about 2:00 a.m. because we stick it out to the very end.  You can watch poker tournaments on TV but there is nothing like actually being there.  Come on over and sit with me to the excitement of the final card being played.

I am still asking for a sea of red on Fridays.  Now that it requires a coat when you go outside, it is difficult to see if people have red on.  At the “What Women Want Show” a couple of weeks ago, my daughter bought me a pin that said, “Support Our Troops.”  It was attached to a card that was titled Red Friday.  I am going to pass on one paragraph each week and perhaps it will help to make you realize how important it is to support our troops.

Americans who supported our troops used to be called the “silent majority.”  We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for country and home in record-breaking numbers.  We are not organized, boisterous, or overbearing.  Many Americans, like you, all our friends, and me simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops.

Please Folks, try to attend this meeting that will impact Fort Benton.  On Thursday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m. at the Golden Age Senior Center a meeting will be about possible recycling with the United States Department of the Interior and the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center. The core committee working on this project have been to most businesses and organizations, however will return sometime in the next few days with posters.  They will urge you to come to the meeting or to send a representative.  We want your imput and even the smallest suggestion is helpful.  The only dumb question is the one that is not asked.  Put it on your calendar right now and just be there.

It is that time of year again. I have one clock that I do not change.  It is too heavy and I have to take it to the World of Time to have it changed.  I have not wanted to do that for several years and so I am just going to have to remember that it is an hour ahead.  However, it is better to be too early for an appointment than too late.  It is just a matter of a little concentration that I do not have much of these days.  Whatever!  I wish you a fun Halloween, a thankful Thanksgiving, and lots of luck with your Christmas shopping.  Remember to shop local.