Tuesday, February 17, 2015

View From The Bridge 2/18/15

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
by Muncie

A few months ago the Missouri River Medical Center held a meeting that concerned the remodeling of the present structure. They, (meaning those who were working on the project,) thought that it was well attended.  I did not think so. There were only two Commissioners, two Senior Citizens, two business owners, and the rest were those employed by the hospital.

This should concern every family, every business owner, every member of our City Council and the Mayor, every president of every organization, the VFW and American Legion, every employee of the school system, and anyone else who is left in town.

We are talking about a decision for Fort Benton that will affect us and our taxes for many years. You must come to this meeting to learn why the M.R.M.C. needs the changes.  The present system is over 50 years old and outdated.

This meeting is in conjunction with the City/County Planning Board and Bear Paw Development. I urge everyone to attend this meeting that will be held at the Ag Center on Thursday the 19th at 6:30 p.m. We are talking money here and that should be a concern to all of you.

A Preliminary Architectural Report’s progress will be given and a question and answer period will be held. Written comments should be submitted by 5:00 p.m.

How lucky can I get? This past week I had three encounters with the youngsters of Chouteau County.

Last Sunday the 8th, I was invited as a guest to the Community Bible Activities Building.  The 4-H group, Stir, Stitch,‘N and Stirrup, hosted an appreciation dinner for the supporters of their group. It was very special with the tables set and the youngsters waiting on and serving us. They quietly went in and out of the kitchen and brought us an appetizer first.  They cleared the dishes and then serviced the salads. In the meantime, they were filling water glasses and beverages with the efficiency of well-trained waiters and waitresses.  There was never a spill or hitch in their performance. Salad dishes were removed and our main dish came next and it was gourmet. To top it all off was a yummy dessert.

The youngsters each spoke on the mike and told us their name and their 4-H project. I said to Connie, “There stands the future of America.” She asked where I read that. I said I just made it up. I was so proud of those 20 youngsters or so who are the framers and ranchers of the future. I wish you all could have been there.

My second encounter was at the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs of Fort Benton meeting at noon on Thursday the 12th. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd winners of the G.F.W.C. state wide poetry and short story writing contest were the guests. Patty Paulsen, chairperson of that committee, introduced the students and they read their poem or story.

These were the winners from Fort Benton and would go on to the Montana State contest.  Last year there was a young man from Fort Benton who won in the State and went to National to win 1st place. Woman’s Club has big hopes for a repeat this year.

My question is, “Which one of you will take over the “View from the Bridge,” when I am ready to retire? I have been writing for 15 years now (time flies when you are having fun,) and I wonder about how much longer. My advice is to just keep writing whatever comes into your head. Keep it in a file with the date on it. There may be times that you want a story line and you can go back and expand on what you saved. Go, future writers of America.

The third encounter was Valentine Day evening when I was treated and for the first time, to enjoy the Dinner/Theatre in Geraldine. What an amazing evening.  Randy and I had never been in the building before. The decorations were awesome. I do not know how they ran those streamers from the side wall to the top of the ceiling. It was a happy, pleasing setting. The tables were set with linen tablecloths and decorated beautifully.

Again, as the previous Sunday, the 4-H youngsters, (I was unable to find the name of their group) served us with the same kind of routine. A veggie tray appeared at each table and whisked away when the salad appeared. Salad dishes whisked away and the entrée was served. What I enjoyed the most about it was the way the play began and then there was a break as each food dish was served. That was perfect for me as I eat very slowly and to eat a whole meal at once is too much. With the break in between, you could relax and digest.

I saw many old friends and made some very interesting new ones. Jo Alice wrote a great play and we know that she will be informed of all of our good wishes and we appreciate and love you for all you do. Lila was a super director, (despite her speech and denials while giving praise to everyone else.) The actresses and actors were fantastic and were really into their parts.  (How do you memorize all those lines?) If there were any quiches, ad-libs, or signs of weariness after three performances, it certainly was not apparent.  Sponsors were mentioned and actually are appreciated by the whole community. The entire evening was thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to next year. It made my Valentine’s Day softened for the loss of my Valentine.

Another set of three, “50 Things You Didn’t Know About Montana,” are as follows:

40. Thomas Francis Meagher was an Irish revolutionary convicted of treason and exiled to a penal colony in Tasmania before he served as Montana’s territorial secretary and governor.

41. Nearly 1/4th of Montana’s 22.4 million acres is forested. The most common tree is the Ponderosa pine, which was formally adopted as the state tree in 1949 at the urging of the Montana   Federation of Garden Clubs.

42. In 1867 the United States Congress annulled all legislation passed by the second and third assemblies of the Montana territory; an unprecedented act in United States history.

(As I read these so called facts, it seems as though they get more and more interesting.) We only have 8 more to go.