“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
Last week I asked you readers to remember William Swensgard on his birth date, September 21st which was incorrect and should have been October 19th. No one called me on the error, however, Kayla Mcomber, at the American Legion meeting last Wednesday night, did notice. She was at the meeting to join as new member of the American Legion. I would like the officers of The Legion to know what a sharp new member they have.
The meeting that evening honored the Vietnam Veterans because it is the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Diane Jones put together the program and it was held at the Sunrise Bluffs. Reasoning for that was because of the Veterans Photo program. (Thank you Diane, as all those in attendance were able to view the walls.)
I was given the opportunity at the meeting to talk about William Swensgard by reading two articles I had written about him in the River Press. I goofed that up big time because there was not enough light where the podium stood and I needed to use a magnifying glass. I would have been better off to just talk about him. Kayla Mcomber, the new member of the American Legion, called me the next day to point out that I had mixed up the dates in the article. I had printed the wording on his tombstone which of course were the correct dates.. The reason I am mentioning this is because you can still honor William on Saturday 9/21 by thinking about what he did for his country.
Ron Saville e-mailed to me a site that gave me two pictures of William and more information about his service. I want to tell all of you who have provided information about William that I very much appreciate it.
COLLECTIONS and HOBBIES
This week we are off to the Land of the Wizard of Oz and Munchkin Land. It happens to be the 75th anniversary of the movie released in 1938. On October 1st there will be a release of the IMAX digital movie. We’ve come a long way Dorothy and I’m not sure that we are in Kansas any longer.
Back in Fort Benton, MT we have the most devoted fan and family. That would be Valerie Morger, all the Morger kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. Sister Valerie and Gram Val has been a collector of Wizard of Oz items since 1970. Her first recollection of Wizard objects began at Spencer’s Gift Shop in Great Falls. It was a set of porcelain faces of the Oz characters and little did she know then what her collection would grow to be.
She has from A to Z and in-between items. To name them all would take several pages of this newspaper but just to give you an idea I will name a few. I have seen the collection and I would judge that there are 200 to 300 items. Many of those items were gifts from family and friends who would find them for her at gift shops, garage sales or flea markets. Starting with A, we would find an apron, books, cookie jars, dishes, glasses, makeup (no kidding,) magnets, music boxes, napkins cloth and paper, photos, plates, posters, puzzles, and a rug. If you ever see a Wizard of Oz item at a garage sale or flea market, you know where it can find a home.
The most important part of these collections is the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Many of our Chouteau County Performing Arts performers have been asked to perform the song for Valerie. It brings tears to everyone’s eyes and you can usually hear Valerie sobbing. It is a great therapy for the family.
One day we were traveling to Bozeman by way of Helena. I saw a sign with lettering saying there was an Antique Shop in Townsend a couple of blocks over. On the way home we stopped and found the store. There was a Wizard of Oz game with the cellophane wrapping still on it. Back in Fort Benton, Valerie owned this same game but would not let anyone play with it. The game was purchased for her, (very inexpensively,) however, to this day I do not know of anyone playing with the old game.
Next Friday, the 20th is the return of Pie Day at the Golden Age Senior Center. Everyone is invited and it begins at 2:00 p.m. It is truly a very nice break time in mid- afternoon. Join us for a wonderful social hour and bring a friend. If your friend would bring a friend, who would bring a friend, who would bring a friend, we could possibly have everyone in Fort Benton there. What a great thought.
Big night on Tuesday, September 24th, when the first show of the season will commence. Jason Farnham will be entertaining us with his piano music. Please tell me if you know of anyone who does not enjoy listening to someone playing the piano. It will be a delightful evening and see you there. We expect a full house so get there a bit early for a seat. Bring a friend along to enjoy the show with you. We have a whole lot of friendships going on today. Remember, “To have a friend, you have to be a friend.”
LABELS FOR EDUCATION
At the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs meeting last Thursday, a report was given on the Labels for Education collection. They used to be collected in the spring but that has changed. They need to be in by October 1st.
Each child was asked to bring 25 labels and they would get a free ticket to a movie that is going to be shown. Check with your grandchildren or neighbor children if they have enough labels. This collection is of great value to the school. One other thing…check the expiration date. (I do not understand why there has to be an expiration date.) The school also accepts phone books, however the Recycle Committee turns over any phone books that are collected at their collection center. (Be sure to cut the labels to size.)
MT – LOVE it or LEAVE!
No. 9 – We have golf courses. But don’t hit the water hazards, it spooks the fish. (This is the last of the MT – Love it or Leave!)
GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, and WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS. (Yes, your Longhorn shirts count.)