Tuesday, November 26, 2013

View From The Bridge 11/27/13

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

I am wishing you the happiest day ever.  I believe that Thanksgiving is the greatest family holiday.  Christmas is mostly about shopping, Christmas cards, presents, and Santa Claus.  Those things get in the way of just being together with family.  Enjoy every minute of the day.

In Mondays Tribune there is an article from Miss Manners.  She wrote about conversation at the dinner table.  I thought it should be passed on in case you missed it.  “First, do not talk about how stuffed you are and secondly, do not talk about healthy foods.”  Since you may not read the River Press until after the big day, you may get a laugh about what conversation went on at your table.

This big day will arrive in a week and a half.  Schedules are all around town so check them out carefully to plan your day.  Most of the businesses around town will have treats and prizes.  Bridgeport Station will be crammed full of excitement.  Besides the crafts people with fantastic gift ideas, there will be entertainment, breakfast and lunch choices.  What a fun time for our town.  Break open your piggy banks and come on down.  There is something for everyone.  See you there.

Also, plan on being at the Christmas Concert.  I do not know anyone who does not love a Christmas Concert.  We all know the songs and can sing along, (to ourselves as some of us sing off-key.) 

I’ll tell you a secret.  There will be a special visitor and I have a feeling that he will have written another of his famous poems.  I really look forward to that.  What a guy!  With all he has to do, he finds time to write poetry.  Now that is dedication.  Love that Santa.

I agonized all last week as to how I was going tell those of you who are interested, that the Vietnam Wall, the Committee had scheduled for July, has been cancelled.  The Committee is very disappointed but what we learned on Saturday the 16th helped make our decision.

An e-mail that day, informed us that Great Falls had booked a Vietnam Wall for the week after ours.  They also received $5,000.00 as a deposit to the company they were working with.  This is about half the monies needed to bring the wall to Great Falls and that puts them way ahead of us.

Our “Bring the Vietnam Wall to Fort Benton Committee,” cannot compete with that fund raising.  We planned to raise the monies by support of, to name a few, VFW’s, American Legions, Marine Corps League of Great Falls, and Malstrom Air Force Base.  We had planned to reach VFW and American Legions within a 200 mile radius of Fort Benton. 

We needed 20 volunteers to set the Wall up, 20 volunteers to tear down, and 2 volunteers for 4 hours shifts, 24hrs a day for 4 days.  That is another 48 volunteers.  We determined that we would not have enough support a week before the Wall was in Great Falls.

Another unexplained question is why there are 11 Vietnam Walls traveling the United States.  They are private enterprises.  One company has 6 Walls, another 4 Walls, and another 1 Wall.  There is no contact between them.  Our Committee booked the Wall in early September and Great Falls was notified of that.  They booked in late October.  Conversations with Great Falls were of no avail.  They would not change their date.

One of our plans, when the Wall was here, was to honor William Swensgard with a memorial marker in Veterans Way as the only soldier from Fort Benton killed in Vietnam.  Diane Jones obtained an American Flag flown over the capital in Washington D.C. on Veterans Day for Montana Veterans. She planned a raffle and had ordered raffle tickets.  She thought she would have to return the Flag but Jon Tester’s office said that we could keep it to raise money for the Swensgard memorial marker.  A beautiful quilt will also be on the ticket.  The American Legion representatives will be at Bridgeport so please stop by and help support this project.

I know that you cannot be any more disappointed than the Committee about this situation.  I am sorry to those of you who are members of the Swensgard family, VFW members, and American Legion members.  Many hours went into planning and many hours of decision making to cancel.  We just cannot compete with Great Falls

Even though I did not receive any phone calls to “Rent-a-Beard” from the Griz, Carroll College, and Geraldine/Highwood Rivals, they were all winners due to Randy’s beard.  He is quite sure about that.  Well, I certainly am convinced.  The Griz are off to the playoffs and Carroll has two more playoff games.  How exciting is that! 

We are so proud of you Geraldine/Highwood Rivals.  You bring honor and glory to our part of the country.  Football fans really enjoyed your progress this season and knew the whole time that you would do it.  Congratulations.

This week we are back to Science and Nature.  I have wondered about this subject as I did last week about the highest mountain.  Q.  How many grizzles are estimated to live in the Rocky Mountain region between Yellowstone Park and Waterton Park in Alberta, Canada?  A.  Below.


A.  About 950, as compared to an estimated 30.000 in Alaska.