Wednesday, August 7, 2013

View From The Bridge 8/7/13

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

I attended the City Council meeting on Monday evening to hear the report from Don Hazen about the Cottonwood trees.  Several of the trees will have to be removed between the Grand Union Hotel and the Old Fire House.  Others can be saved by putting cables to stronger limbs.

The trees are over 100 years old.  A picture was shown to me by Jack Lepley several years ago.  He found it among the archive storage items and since I was doing research on the rip-rap on the levee, he thought I would be interested.  I had the original picture framed with a rag mat for the Museum and had a copy made for me.  It is one of my treasurers.

The picture shows approximately 30 trees in the area.  There are now 16 trees remaining.  They, (who is they?) removed many of the trees as cottonwoods cannot thrive in such close proximately.  They, (again who is they,) topped the trees years ago which weakened them.  You can also see how the over-burden was accumulating on the levee sandstones.  Another problem that the cottonwoods have is the overburden that accumulated on the top of the Levee these past 100 years.  They covered the roots of the trees which was not a good thing.

If you look closely at the old photo, you can see the gazebo where the City Band played every Thursday evening for a two hour concert.  Those concerts were in the late 30’s.  My Sweetheart, Wally, played for two years in the band.  They practiced on Monday evening in the City Hall that was then located in the Old Fire House.  He remembers that it was very hot and there was no air conditioning.  I would love to talk to any others who played in that band.  Are you out there? 

I try to imagine what the levee would look like without the cottonwoods.  We have about a half dozen memorial male cottonwoods that have been planted in the last few years.  Take a walk along the Levee Trail and check them out.  It will be 20 years before they are of any kind of height.  I will not be around to see that but I do want to be a part of making sure that there will be cottonwoods on the Levee.  When I was on the Tree Board, I implemented an ordinance that only cottonwoods could be planted on the Levee.  They are an historic part of Montana and the Missouri River history.

There will be a very enjoyable evening on Thursday at the Old Fort Park.  Not only will the Farmer’s Market be there, but the Taste of Chouteau County, and you can enjoy a “Five Star” eating experience.  Not only that, but you can sit in the Great Outdoors on a blanket on the grass.  It will not be exactly under the stars but close enough while you watch Shakespeare in the Parks.  It is one of the highlights of the summer season.  Enjoy it because there isn’t much left.  Have you noticed how it is dark shortly after 9:00 p.m. at night?

Did you get a chuckle out of last weeks, “A Slice of Montana?”  They get more humorous as they go along.  No. 2:  “Let’s get this straight;  it’s called a gravel road.  I drive a pickup truck because I want to.  No matter how slow you drive, you are going to get dust on your Lexus.”

The View is short this week because I lost the original in my computer on Monday morning 12:15 a.m.  I was working until 1:00 a.m. trying to find it.  Impossible!  I had to start over this morning, Tuesday, after I had already gotten a reprieve from my 3:00 p.m. Monday deadline.  I needed the time to go to the Council meeting.  It is Murphy’s Law again getting the best of me.  I know one man who will be happy about it as he said my View is too long.  What I should have said was, “Then only read half of it.”