Tuesday, June 18, 2013

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
by Muncie

What was I thinking about last week?  I completely forgot about Father’s Day.  Perhaps it is because my father has been gone for many years.  However, how could I forget about my family and friends who are fathers and are near and dear to me?  I am so sorry and now say that your must have had a wonderful day even without my greetings.  Mother Nature could not have been nicer to you.  It was the most gorgeous day so far this spring. 

Our afternoon in the Shonkins was peaceful and quiet.  Cell phones do not operate there.  We enjoyed the fathers, in the gathering, telling how many years they had been fathers.  It is a great time to get together in a place that has to be very close to perfect.  We hope to be in the same place, same time, next year.  HAPPY BELATED FATHER’S DAY to all the fathers who read this “View.” 

Two weeks ago, I did a story on a new entrepreneur, Kathleen Ryan, who opened the Artlight Gallery in Fort Benton.  I mistakenly said that she came from Geraldine.  I must retract that to say that she was from Highwood.  I cannot give the credit for her talent to Geraldine when it belongs to Highwood.  I believe that I have it straight now.  Kathleen is a native, born and raised in Montana; however, she now lives in Highwood.  Sorry, Kathleen, for the wrong info and I do know that it is a good thing to know exactly where you are located and that would be in Highwood.  End of correction and I hope you are not as confused as I made it to be. 

Grayson, (our grandson, who lives in Helena,) visited this past weekend for Father’s Day.  I was enthusiastic about walking over to the Grand Union with him to take some small part in the activities. History has always been a big thing between Grayson and me. There was a crowd milling around admiring each Model T.   Our goal was to get a ride but there were none available at the time. 

We walked to the Visitors Information Center and picked up a few new Montana Maps.  We chatted with Rita until some other Visitors came in.  On our return to the Grand Union parking lot, we were able to locate a ride.  Much to my surprise, the vehicle chosen was none other than our own Wayne Hampton. 

Our time was running short and Wayne asked us where we wanted to go.  We asked him to go north on Front Street, around the circle to Veterans Way, to Main Street, and make a left in park in front of Bonilla’s, (Grayson’s other grandparents home.)  They were waiting on the front lawn and snapped pictures.  Fifty years from now Grayson will enjoy those pictures.  We returned to the Grand Union on Front Street waving all the way to people on the Levee Walking Trail, on the sidewalk on the other side of the street, and cars passing by.

My observation about the Model T’s was that they are not easy to drive.  They are all open and offer no protection from wind, rain, or snow.  You have to put your arm out straight to show that you are turning left.  (We did not have to turn right but the signal for that is the hand straight up.  I had to learn those signals when I learned to drive my family’s ’39 Ford.  There were no signal directional at that time.  At least we had windows.)

Overall, it was a fun couple of hours and a good time was had by all.

Do you know Mike Nottingham?  He is a dyed in the wool Mountain Man.  He is an angler, a trapper and has a Keel Boat for hire.  He does tours at The Old Fort when Burnt Spoon has his days off. Those are long stories in themselves but today I want to tell you about a fishing story.

A few months ago my daughter, Jennifer, and I had our day together at the Loma Flea Market.  We met up with Mike, his wife Linda, and while Mike was carrying on a conversation with Jennifer about fishing while I was conversing with Linda. I heard Jennifer say, “You did that?”

A few weeks later, I remembered to ask Jennifer what their conversations was about when she said, “You did that?”  To know what Mike did, you will have to remember a movie, “A River Runs Through It.”  Mike was the man who taught Brad Pitt how to fly-fish.  I realize that men would not get excited over this revelation but how about the women who read the “View.”  Can you even imagine teaching Brad Pitt how to fly-fish?  I do not know how long it took Mike to accomplish the task but I would have dragged it out for weeks.

Hey Mike, why did you keep that a secret for so long?  Next time I see you, I will have to ask if you were in the credits at the end of the movie.  That was a great deal more exciting than my getting Garth Brook’s guitar.  I did not get to meet Garth.  You had hands on, one on one, face-to-face contact with Brad Pitt.  Awesome.

I was a patient of Dr. Kumm for several years.  It was so much more convenient, (as a Senior Citizen,) to visit the Eye Clinic here in Fort Benton rather than driving to Great Falls.  He was a very caring, time generous, and always smiling person.  When I needed immediate attention, it was provided by Dr. John and the staff at the Eye Clinic, (Linda and Karen.)  They went the extra mile to help you relax knowing that you were being well taken care of.  I spoke with several people who had appointments on Tuesday the 11th of June.  They were especially hard hit with the news.

His many patients in Fort Benton will long remember him and his kindness.  No one will ever be able to take his place.  So long for now Dr. John.

I went to Lehman’s True Value store last Friday and lo and behold, there was a man with a red shirt on.  Before I could say anything, he exclaimed, “Look Muncie, I have red on.”  The red shirt person was Wes Wellman.  I really appreciate your wearing the red shirt to show your support for our troops putting their lives in danger for us.  Perhaps your wearing of that red shirt is the start of something big in Fort Benton.  Fort Benton could be, “The Red Shirt City of Montana” and another of my ideas, “The American Flag City of Montana.”  Those two projects have both run a little short of my expectations.