Tuesday, August 26, 2014

View From The Bridge 8/27/14

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Hello again. I have had enough time off and it is time to keep busy other than P.T., (physical therapy) and having pity parties to which most of you were not invited. Honestly, I did not have much time for that and each day becomes easier.  

My knee is back to normal with just a little swelling and the best thing is that I am walking every day.  That is where “Walking the Halls,” enters the picture. The four weeks of 90 to 95 degree temps were devastating for walking on the levee.  When I first arrived permanently in Fort Benton in 1993, it was November. By way of the grapevine, I heard that one could walk in the Elementary School at 7:00 a.m. In those days I was always up at 6:00 a.m. and I did walk in the school most of the winter. It was only that one winter.

When my P.T. was over and the hot weather set in, I called the Elementary School but was not able to reach someone that I could discuss walking. I then called the High School and was told that I could walk anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

That began a great adventure for me. I have to share with you how fortunate you are to have a middle school and high school such as you have. The lockers on the high school side are painted Longhorn color. The middle school was painted blue, (second part of Walking the Halls…see below.) All the alumni pictures were removed, walls painted, and rehung.  (I do not know how they arrange the pictures so the bottoms are all even.)

The floors were scrubbed and polished, (third part of Walking the Halls below.) The gym just sparkles. It is your school folks, you pay taxes, and you should visit and take a look at what you pay for. I am so impressed and proud. I unfortunately did not attend Fort Benton High School but walking those halls brought back many memories of my high school days. Way back then we had to line up to pass classes, never spoke in line, never wore jeans or shorts to school, and started the semester the Thursday after Labor Day and ended the Friday before Memorial Day. No one ever spoke to us about college. I am not positive but my memory tells me that only two of my classmates (of a class of 45,) went to college. Most of us were married by the time we were 20 years old. I truly envy you young people today. Your opportunities are endless and as I have spoken to many of you…you will be the future who will change the world.

You students may have known or heard this story but I had not. The middle school sports name was the Shorthorns and their color was the blue of the lockers. If any of you remember, (or your parents,) I would appreciate the answer because I did not delve into the research any further. All I can think of at the moment is fans shouting, “Go Shorthorns.”

The floors in the hallways are, to me, a very interesting story. I noted that the days that I walked in the high school, another section of the hallway was cleaned and polished. One day I met Larry coming out of classroom and I commented on the spectacular flooring  I asked if it was granite or marble. He said that it was poured like cement during the construction period of the High School in 1957 and ’58. He had worked at other places that had asphalt flooring that had to be replaced often. He said that our school flooring would never wear out. Be sure to take note of it the next time you are visiting the school.

Some research done by Pam at the Ag Center said that the High School was dedicated in 1958 and the first class was in September. That class graduated in 1959. If my math is correct that was 55 years ago. Class of ’59…where did the years go?

In last week’s River Press the news about the varsity football team taking a year off was news that their fans were shocked to hear. My opinion is that small towns such as ours, sports events are the main entertainment for many of us. Support for the J.V. games is important so may the stands be filled to capacity as the varsity games were. (I wonder if they have a song to be sung with every touchdown.)

Since I have written the View only a couple of times since the end of March, I am happy to be back and my appreciation to those who let me know that the “View” was missed. I cannot believe that a really know nothing article was missed. Most of the stories were after-the-fact but one woman told me that it was the only way she knew what was going on. I do not understand that because Tim, Bethany, and Lindsey do such a tremendous job with a small town newspaper. I try to read every article and check it off with a red pen.  It is great entertainment.

I have many stories to write about and will try to do “catch up” in the next few weeks. I was able to volunteer at the Visitors Center this summer and loved every minute of it. Although I did not have many Visitors at the beginning of the season, (Tuesdays from 2:30 to 5:00,) the last month and a half was filled with interesting people mostly from Canada. I’ll tell you their stories at a later time.

The Center will remain open until the end of September as will the Museums, Fort, and etc. The Chamber grant dictates the time schedule. Please Volunteers, check with the Chamber if this works for your schedule to continue through September. Continue to encourage family and friends to visit Fort Benton and become immersed in all of its wonderful history.

The first performance will not be until November but that is a good thing as it gives more time to get the newly upholstered seats back in place. The auditorium is so beautiful and the new seats will add to its beauty. Have you purchased your newly upholstered seat for $150.00? Your name will be on a plaque in the entry hallway. Former residents of Fort Benton, who have heard about the program, have purchased seats in their parent’s names. One man purchased an entire row of seats. It is an exciting program and many kudos to the C.C.P.A. committee members for their tireless energy to that program.

Also, seasons tickets are on sale for a discount. You just received a brochure in the mail about the programs and the board members phone numbers are listed.  Contact any of them for your season ticket.

Three weeks from Friday will be the first Pie Day. The Golden Age Senior Center bakers are gearing up for the big event. Remember…if you want a special pie baked to take home…call the Center a week ahead or by Monday of that week.

Next week I will give you an update on the “Billy Swensgard” memorial and the “Support the Troops” shirts. There still are raffle tickets available for Billy’s program and t-shirts for the Support the Troops program. Details next week.