Wednesday, November 12, 2014

View From The Bridge 11/12/14

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

We cannot complain Folks. It has been a beautiful fall. Do you ever remember a Halloween when the temperature was 71 degrees? I hope that you had your winter coats, hats, gloves and boots all ready to go.

The only thing that bothers me somewhat is the fact that we have about 13 hours of darkness these days. We can expect to have more dark time in the next six weeks. I look forward to December 21st when winter officially sets in and the days began to get longer. The backside of that is that there are actually 3½ months of dark ahead of us.

All advice givers say to catch up with unfinished projects during those long winter days. Have you ever done so? I do not believe it but will try again this cold season.

For me, it is easier to put on more warm clothing and turn up the heat when it is cold. Unless you have a swimming pool, it is difficult to cool off in the summer. Just try to remember those two months of 90 degree weather we had last summer. Wish we could bottle it.

By the time you get this edition of the River Press, Veterans Day will be over. The year or more of the planning by the committee, of the dedication of the Billy Swensgard’s memorial will be just a memory. As of today, the plaques for the two memorial tables are not in place because installation cannot be done in this kind of weather. It will have to wait until next spring. When that time comes be sure to take a walk around Veterans Way Memorial Park and read Billy’s story on the plaques. He gave his life to protect us during an unpopular war. I do not know exactly what that means…unpopular? Do you know of any war that was popular?

The response, in the last week, about the soldier from Big Sandy was awesome. When I was in Big Sandy a couple of weeks ago, I asked about the Haagensen family and was told that there was no one from the family left. I did not realize that meant there was just no one left in Big Sandy.

Daughter Valerie contacted me about the Haagensen being her neighbors when she lived in Big Sandy. She said that David had a brother and a sister. Val said she had the sister’s phone number at home and would call me with the number.

Shortly afterward I received a phone call from Jay Worrall telling me that David Haagensen has a brother in Texas and a sister in Helena. He gave me her name, Ruda Marshall, and phone number. When I called her, she said that she would come to Fort Benton on Tuesday. We are also going to honor David that afternoon and evening with stories about his life. As Bethany reported last week, David was the most decorated soldier killed in Vietnam from Montana. Ruda said that she has most of the medals and would bring them with her. I hope that Ruda can make it from Helena but if not we will arrange for her to come another time.

Today, Sunday late afternoon, the forecast does not look very promising for the outside dedication. I know that there are family members who are invited as guests and will be unable to attend. One of Billy’s brothers is driving from Oregon. We cannot expect Mother Nature to cooperate with our plans for events.

I remember one year when I coordinated the Summer Celebration Day Parade. On Saturday morning it was pouring rain and did not look as though it would let up. Within an hour the committee had to decide whether to cancel. We did and it was the first time the parade was ever cancelled in its history. Do you remember that day?

Yes, it is time again for Pie Day. The ordering of pies ahead of time for those who want a whole pie, is working well. The neat part of that program is that you can order whatever kind of pie you want.

On Tuesday, the 18th is the once a month 5:00 p.m. dinner at the Golden Age Senior Center. It is limited to 48 people so get your name on the list a.s.a.p. Call the Center at 622-360l.

Did you know that our Golden Age Senior Center has lunch, (more like dinner,) seven days a week? This also includes Meals on Wheels.  Everyone is welcome; the meals are excellent, and reasonably priced. I get Meals on Wheels and I cannot make my own meals for what I spend a month. I found that there are others who do not cook for themselves. I found it difficult to make meals for two and even more difficult to plan for one. I really appreciate that Fort Benton has such a great program. Check the River Press each week for the menus.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If I have my dates correct, the Chouteau County Christmas is only 3 weeks away. The Christmas Concert will be on Sunday of that weekend. For our women readers…where could you spend a great day of breakfast, lunch, entertainment, and shop-till-you-drop? It is warm and cozy. You can hang your coat and be comfortable. You cannot do that anywhere else and shop. I am looking forward to it and see you there.

Next Tuesday, the 18th, is the next concert. If it is comforting to you to listen to a piano playing, then be sure to be at the Elementary School at 7:00 p.m.

The refreshments are free but I would like to see the donation jar a little fuller. This is my observance and because none of the Performing Arts Committee would ever say anything. I can. A donation lets them know that you appreciate a cup of coffee or tea and a choice of the best cookies ever.  

I checked out the new upholstering a couple of weeks ago. Most of the seats were ready to go except those where the frames were broken or pulled away from the cement floor.  I am quite sure they will all be in place by next Tuesday. They are so beautiful and those of you, who adopted a chair, will enjoy sitting in it. It is not too late to buy a chair in memory of someone or just because you are an alumni. See you there.