Tuesday, December 9, 2014

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

What an awesome weekend. The Chouteau County Old Fashioned Christmas was the most fun day as the weather permitted my daughter, (from Great Falls) and me to walk around town. The “goodies” added a few pounds that will be mighty hard to lose. The weather denies me from walking it off but I will wear my coat everywhere anyway.

From Front St. we proceeded onward to drop off recycling. The next stop was the Ag Center and if you did not have the Christmas Spirit after being there, you never will.  We walked through first just checking out what we “we could not live without.” Next in line was Tonya’s famous Taco soup that was a very generous portion. Yummy! It really hit the spot.

Then we returned to the aisles and aisles of very different kinds of homemade and crafty gift items. They were much different than Summer Celebration vendors and I am sure it was because of Christmas. It was definitely geared toward gifts for others rather than for yourself. Reports were much the same from the vendors. They all did well. What I enjoyed the most was seeing so many friends and they were enjoying themselves.

We returned to Front St. to check out a couple of businesses that we missed the first time around. We concluded our day by a visit to the Grand Union where we turned in our colored circles that we collected from the businesses for a purchase and that would be entered in a prize drawing.

The only thing I really would like to have done was visit all the other communities that were involved. There just isn’t enough time in the day. If there is anyone of you readers who was able to do that, I would love to hear from you.

To top off this wonderful Chouteau Country Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration weekend, the weather cooperated, I just returned home from the Christmas Concert (Sunday) at the Fort Benton Elementary School. AWESOME!  I think I mentioned before that all events get better every year. If you were not amongst the over 400 concert goers, you missed the best ever.
I hardly know where to start. I think the beginning would be a good place and that was with Peter and Molly and friends. I did not retain all the names but I am sure that Bethany will have them in her article about the concert.

I would love to live next door to Peter and Molly so I could hear them practicing every day. Their lives are filled with music and they so effortlessly share it with their family, friends, and students.

(I have a story to share with you readers. I had a couple sitting in the row in front of me and they had three children. The two children were keeping time to the music when the first two Christmas songs were jazzed up. I asked the woman what their names were and found out that they were Peter and Molly’s children. Toby is 5 and Hosanna is 4 years old. It makes me wonder if music is hereditary. Peter and Molly…you have it all…talent, great kids, Highwood, and each other.)

Next on their program was a song that Molly wrote and sang. It was called the “Christmas Box” and it was special. There followed a couple of Charlie Brown songs that I know the kids recognized and enjoyed.

Next on the program was Michelle Danreuther who not only played the piano but ended her performance with the harp. Have you ever heard Christmas music on a harp?  It was like what heaven must be like. It was a tear jerker for me.

On stage next were the “Dancing Darlings” under instructor Wendy Bird. You are amazing Wendy because your girls looked like the Rockettes. (If you young people do not know who they are…check the internet.) What about those costumes? They were just adorable. Can you purchase them or do you mothers have to sew? I had friends who had kids ice skating and roller skating in competition. They spent hours sewing sequence on.

The audience could see how they have improved since last year. It is apparent Wendy that you have taught them love of dancing because they all seemed to be having a great time.

What about that Fort Benton High School band? Weren’t they a professional looking group with music teacher Eric Lenington as the director and again I thought I was in Radio City Music Hall? You are #1 on my list and I am looking forward to your Christmas Concert.

Thank you to Jim Taylor Motors for their sponsorship and to the Price Rite for the treats at intermission. Please let them know that you appreciate their efforts.

I just have to tell you this story. It is about the cash prizes given out by the Chamber of Commerce for shopping the participating businesses. For purchases at a business, you were given a colored ring like they made years ago made from paper to decorate the Christmas tree. (It was like the Creepy Crawl at Halloween when you collected spider legs except the rings were given if you made a purchase.)

I collected three rings and my daughter collected five. We turned them in on Saturday evening and the winners of the cash prizes were to be announced by Cheryl Gagnon at the concert.

After intermission, Cheryl gave her talk thanking everyone who participated in what I will call the “Shop‘til You Drop Walk.” She said, “You know you live in a small town when you put your first name on a slip of paper and everyone in town knows who it is.”  I won the third prize of $40.00. What fun! I rarely win anything except a couple of 50/50’s at Woman’s Club in 20 years. The Creepy Crawl and the Shop‘til You Drop Walk were fun and so well organized.

16. The Montana constitution mandates that all students must learn Native American history, culture, and history.

17. A cowboy once insisted on riding his horse to his room in the Grand Union Hotel, in Fort Benton, Montana. When the manager objected, the two exchanged gunfire. The cowboy was killed before he and his horse made it to the top of the stairs. Fourteen slugs were later removed from his body.

18. A Gideon bible was first placed in a hotel in Montana.

Do you remember when Ruth Arent was visited Fort Benton a few months ago? She did a reading of a few of her poems at the Golden Age Senior Center. The name of the book was “I Am Older than Most of You.” It was geared for us older seniors but perhaps if younger people read it, they would understand us a little better.

I have taken a few copies of the book to the Senior Center and they are $6.00. It would be great stocking stuffers for your wife, husband, parents and grandparents. Make a trip to the Center to pick up a copy and have lunch. The menus are in the River Press weekly and you cannot beat the price. I especially love the days that they serve soup and a sandwich. You also get salads, vegetables, coffee, tea, and dessert to go with your meal. The meal is served at 12:00 noon on weekdays and 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.

A summary of the Recycle Effort Program was handed to me when I drove up last Saturday morning. What a gigantic effort the committee took on. This year of 2014, they have collected 94,360 lbs. that equates to 48,180 tons of recyclables. How much of that was yours? Are you making an effort to recycle? Is it too much of a bother? Do you not believe that there are 50 billion plastic bags being used each year and billions of plastic bottles floating in the oceans? It is impacting our population today but can you imagine, if it goes on, what it will mean to our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren? I hope this means something to you and with a small amount of research, you will start recycling today.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, (every day but especially at this holiday time of year,) and WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS