Wednesday, November 19, 2014

View From The Bridge 11/19/14

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Although it is not a very happy day for the turkeys, I wish you all a very happy day with family and friends. If you are traveling, please be as cautious as possible, (as if you wouldn’t,) and make more memories at your destination.

The phase “create memories” has come to my attention often lately. Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to create memories when everyone is together to share. It is like creating “memoir’s,” vocally instead of writing. Everyone will remember a different way and to share those memories is precious. Enjoy every minute of that day.

The dedication of Billy Swensgard Memorial was a very special time on Veteran’s Day. The ceremony at the Old Bridge at 11:00 a.m. was attended by about a dozen brave souls. It was the first time I remember being able to see the wreath float down the river. The water was the calmest I have ever seen it as I watched it float away.

One of the Honor Guard said that they had forgotten one thing. They had meant to put a name and phone number on the wreath to perhaps learn where it floated to. Perhaps someone will remember next Memorial Day to attach identification to the wreath. I do remember one year, someone from Loma found it. The Honor Guard would like it if it floated all the way to New Orleans.

Because of the bitter cold, the Dedication was held at the Golden Age Senior Center at 2:00 p.m. There was a sign at the park and someone in a vehicle to notify participants of the change. Mostly the notification was by word of mouth.  I tried to take a count of the individuals who attended at the Center, but lost count each time. We judged there were between 30 and 40 people.

The Color Guard did their thing inside but the 21 gun salute took place across Front Street. We told the audience that they did not have to go outside but most of them did step outdoors in the cold. They all returned for refreshments that were a Vietnam menu type of food.

We then had a reading of Billy’s Army service, a reading of the plaques that will be placed on the memorial tables, a story by Larry Krumwiede of Carter of how Billy saved his life from drowning, a humorous story from teacher Joanna Sorkness from PA about Billy in the 5th grade, and then a surprise.

Diane asked me if I knew anyone with a guitar. It seems that Butch Hankins said that he knew a song he had heard in Vietnam. (Now, who knew that Butch was in Vietnam, that he could sing and play the guitar?) I volunteered the guitar that was given to me by Garth Brooks. Randy was sent to get it. It was an awesome song titled “Soldiers Last Letter.”

The annual Veterans Day dinner at the Sunrise Bluffs hosted by the V.F.W. time frame was close to 5:00. A program that included the introduction of Billy’s family, the reading of several documents, Larry and Joanna’s stories, and Butch singing the song was repeated. It was the first time for those who did not make it to the Senior Center.  After the program was concluded, over 100 Vets, their families, and guests were served a fantastic dinner. Nothing the Committee could have done would have made the day more perfect.

One last note; Diane Jones did not get the credit she deserved. She was the Mistress of Ceremonies and gave credit due to everyone except herself. She gave me way too much credit and I actually did nothing compared to what she did. Fort Benton is fortunate to have her living back here. I envy her because she was raised in Fort Benton and graduated from Fort Benton High School. I am an import of 21 years, love this small town, and feel so lucky to have been planted here.

Two weeks from Saturday, December 6th, will be the Chouteau County Christmas.  I have a copy of the schedule and it is fabulous. It is beyond me how the Committee can pack so much to do into one day. Actually, there are events scheduled for the 5th and 7th.  Schedules will be in most businesses so pick up a copy and plan your days so you do not miss anything.

On Sunday, take time off to relax and enjoy the Christmas Concert. The regulars will be there including Peter, Molly, and friends, Michelle Danruther on the harp and piano, the Powerhouse Dancers (remember how cute they were,) the Fort Benton High School Band and soloist, a Sing-a-Long, and the very special visit from Santa and his latest poem. I do not care if it is the worst blizzard possible; I am going to be there. If there is a blizzard, I may have to run a rope from my house to the Fort Benton Elementary School so I am not lost in some snow drift. (I learned that from watching old movies about farmers and ranchers.) I am not sure that all of you readers know that I live within a block of the school.  It’s a piece of cake. Now, getting to the Ag Center may be another story but I am wishing for good travel weather. (The above is just a lot of joshing about the weather.)

I want to apologize to Mother Nature for blaming her for the sudden change in temperature. It was not her at all. It was Ol’ Man Winter that caused the change. He is a tough customer to deal with and he hung on with vengeance. Things warmed up last night after being 14 degrees in Helena at the Carroll Saint’s game. When I went to bed at midnight Saturday and it was 28 degrees here in Fort Benton. The sun was out today, Sunday, and the roads were slushy and the temp is now 27 at 4:30 p.m. My regards to Mother Nature. (I would not want to upset her.)

No, I did not freeze to death as all of my friends worried about me. I had on 4 layers of clothing, 2 pair of socks with boots, my long down coat with hood, and a pair of gloves inside a pair of mittens. I also had hand warmers in each mitten.  It was Parents Day and we had to walk out onto the field, be introduced, and our picture taken. When up in the stands, our feet were a little cold because we were sitting in a snow bank as the stands had not been cleared of snow. We had to keep our toes juggling to keep them warm as there was no room for warmers in the boots.

Carroll is #1 in the standings but a coach who gave a short speech, said we are not to pay attention to that. The Saints are in the playoffs next Saturday and they are treating it as one game at a time. I am NOT planning on Nationals like I did last year. The championship game was held in Rome, Georgia and Carroll lost out in the semi-final.  Rome had a contract for 5 years and this year the National Championship is being held in Daytona Beach, Florida. I would like Carroll to win as it is my grandson Bryan’s senior year. (I know I have told everyone that he is going to be a nurse.) I am not planning or committing for the trip. On the other hand, who would not want to be in Florida on December 19th?

(Note that I put them in alphabetical order.) Their big game comes up next Saturday also. It will be the game to watch for all of Montana. They fought hard for their positions. I will not tell you which team I favor, just as I will not talk about if I am a Democrat or Republican, (in alphabetical order.) I hope that you never tire of my own made up jokes.  Please tell me you laugh.

Did you know that Bingo has started again at the Club House? It is held every first and third Monday. However, it was not held on the 17th but a Turkey Bingo on Saturday the 22nd at 6:00 p.m. Try to make that fun evening. Put it on your calendar now.

I did not have enough room last week for the Montana facts. I did however check about a wife committing a felony if she opened her husband’s mail. I consulted a lawyer who said that he thought it never did exist. This makes me wonder if any of the so called facts are true about Montana. If you remember, I received the e-mail but have no idea where it came from. I think they are kind of interesting but if anyone disputes them, please let me know.

7.  When Great Falls High School was built in 1886, a band of sheep was used to compact the earth around the foundation.

8.  Jordan, Montana, the county seat for Garfield County, is 175 miles for the nearest airport, 85 miles from the nearest bus line, and 115 miles from the nearest train.

9.  It is perfectly legal to ride your house home if you have had too much to drink. (Is that known as a designated horse? That is my stuff folks.)