Tuesday, December 16, 2014

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

I’m in big trouble with Santa and he put me at the top of his “Naughty List.” I received a phone call from the North Pole advertising department saying that I had not mentioned Santa taking time out of his busy schedule to make a visit to the Fort Benton Christmas Concert. I was told that I mentioned everyone else but not a word about Santa and his specially written poem for Fort Benton.

Actually, I had made arrangements for the River Press to print his poem on another page because it was too long for the View. It was supposed to be a surprise. As it turned out, there wasn’t space for it last week but check out the River Press this week and see if you can find it.  So Santa, take note, when you read your Press this week you will find what I had planned as a little surprise for your Christmas present. I would also like to tell you that many concert goers come to the concert just to see you and listen to your poem. You certainly did not disappoint us. Your hardy laughter and ho, ho, ho’s, (as Clint Eastwood would say,) “Made My (Our) Day.” Merry Christmas to you, and to all of my readers. You are all special.

Am I back on your “Nice” list?

Every year the Chouteau County Library has an ornament day. You can make a Christmas ornament, a wonderful keepsake, to put on your tree. They supply all the makings and give helpful directions. This year’s ornament was a paper clip Angel. You had your choice of various color ribbons that were the hangers.  The ribbon went through a hole in the Angel’s wooden head. The Angel also had her head attached to the paper clip with a crown all held together with the ribbon.

It was such fun and I have to confess that the Liberians actually made my Angel. I could not manage getting the ribbon through the wooden head and crown. Then it had to be tied and I am about as clumsy as one can get. I have my Angel hanging in my kitchen window so wave to her when you go by on Main St. It is the same window that I can look out to see the Christmas lights on Front St. There is just something special about Angels at Christmas time. Perhaps it is because we are all trying to be as good as an Angel.

I just spoke with the Library and they said that they will leave all the fixings out on the table until Friday. It isn’t too late to make this year’s ornament and make sure you do not miss out next year.

While you are at the library to make your ornament, take out books, or return books, you can check out the collections of Nativity sets brought in for the display. There are 57 different and unusual sets on display and they are beautiful. Your children will love them. (I do not think that those on the Naughty list are like Angels.)

I do not know of any other way to get this suggestion to organizations short of going to all the meetings I could attend. I think that you know that would be an impossible activity especially in this unpredictable weather.

Something I would like to see accomplished is a report from all the organizations, the Hospital, the Library, the VFW, the American Legion, Woman’s Club, the Lions, River and Plains, and anyone else who has meetings and does volunteer work.  I would like to see monthly reports in the River Press on what your projects are, what is going on with your group, and any other interesting and informative information.

It is not that you will be blowing your own horn. It would be letting the River Press readers be informed as to what is going on in the community. I know this would be another job, probably the secretary’s, but I really enjoy those that keep us informed. I know that Bethany keeps us up to date with City Council and Commissioner meetings, and other events out and about. The Extension Service from Tyler Lane, school news from Fort Benton, Geraldine, and Highwood, Nancy Lachapell from the Garden Club, the Senior Citizen news, the Weather Reports and more are what I find interesting and informative. (I hope I didn’t leave anyone out.)

Remember that readers ask me what is going on as if I know. Trust me, I do not. The fact is that I am usually the last one to know. It is a small town but sometimes I find out something I have done before I do it.

If you agree with this idea, please let your organizations know.

I learned this past week that these 50 Things came from the book, “50 Things You Didn’t Know About Montana.” I’ll have to check my library because I am quite sure that I have that book. If memory serves me correctly, I put these facts into the View once before a long time ago. I originally found the book on every table in a restaurant somewhere in Montana. When I recently began these facts, I did not know where they came from.  I took them from an e-mail that someone sent to me.

19. The bed of bison bones at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park in Montana is 13 feet deep.

20. Fort Peck Dam is the largest earth filled dam in the world and the photo of it was the first to grace the cover of Life magazine in November 23, 1936.

21. It is illegal to operate a vehicle with ice picks attached to the wheels within the city limits of Whitehall, Montana.

I did get to the Riverside Cemetery on Saturday morning for the Wreaths Across America ceremony but I did not last long. It was very chilly for me and it began to sprinkle. By the time I reach the truck, I had to turn on the windshield wipers.

I did want to tell you about the ceremony because I have always purchased wreaths but had never attended the ceremony. It was a tear jerker as the VFW Color Guard presented the Flag. The National Anthem was played and some of us sang. The Boy Scout Troop put wreaths for each United States Service on memorial stones as the name was called out.

Diane Jones read the history of the Wreaths program. She then called upon Mrs. McDonald’s 6th grade students to read Veteran’s stories that were gathered at a program at the high school last week. After several readings, I had to wimp out because it was too cold for me. I wish that those letters could be printed, (perhaps one a week,) in the River Press.  Please check it out Bethany. I would love to read them and check out if they are in the Veterans Photo program.

On the TV news that evening, they showed Wreaths Across America in Great Falls and Washington, D.C. Last year Great Falls had a total of 12 wreaths and this year it increased to 50. Your small town of Fort Benton sold or placed in memory over 200 wreaths. What a remarkable feat.

I also saw that the Governor made an appearance at the Veterans Hospital in Columbia Falls, Montana. I would like to see him come to Fort Benton because of this strong Veterans program. The committee sold more wreaths per capita than any other in Montana.

I am going to check out this week how many men and women Chouteau County are in the service of our country at the present time.  I was on top of that when the Veterans Photo project began, but have no idea of its status today. I’ll try to let you know next week.

In the last few weeks I have received about a half dozen photos for the Hallway of Veterans Photos at the Sunrise Bluffs. I am way behind in this project as I lost time at the Research Center this year. I have corrections to make on the gold labels, photos to be scanned and framed, and bios to type up. I will get to this project as soon as possible. Please be patient with me if you have asked me to do something and it is not yet completed.

Last Friday I did not realize it was Friday. I had on a Christmas sweatshirt and it wasn’t even red. On the way to my truck at the Mini Mall I met two friends who were so proud to show me that they were wearing red. It was only the second time in all the years since we started the program in Fort Benton that I forgot. I cannot see the shirts that are printed with Support Our Troops because most everyone has a coat on. I am happy that my friends could not see that I didn’t have red on. Do you remember that about 300 shirts were sold?

Do you thank Veterans and those you see in uniform for their service? They need to know.