Tuesday, May 19, 2015

View From The Bridge 5/20/15

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Please take advantage of participating in the opening of the Agriculture Museum with Village, the Museum of the Upper Missouri, and Old Fort Benton this coming Friday May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. All are free to the public and not only that, you will be entertained by Dave Parchen with Living History of Fort Benton and Molly and Peter, musicians from neighboring Highwood. What a deal for FREE. Read other details in the River Press.

If all of you history buffs would fill the courtyard, we would make an impression on the many who will participate in the Mullen Road Conference. They come from all over the country, all walks of life, and love Fort Benton and Montana for its historical culture. By count of the audience, you will show them that you realize what a treasure Fort Benton is.  It is one of a kind and let us tell the world that we know it.

I know that I nag you about attendance at events in Fort Benton. My opinion is that in a county of over 5,000 men, women, and children, there should be an overflow audience. I know how much work goes in to preparing for events. It is like having a party and no one shows up. Has that ever happened to you? It shows appreciation and respect if you make the effort to be there.

Since I am going out on a limb, I am also giving my opinion on criticism. If you do not like the way things are going, then spend your energy to help solve the problems. I gave you a quote a while back that said, “Speak less of your plans.” You will get more of them done.” I am going to do my own quote, “Speak less of your criticism.” You will get more of the solutions done.” See you there!

Next Monday is Memorial Day and if you do not have plans, there are many events going on in town. The first of these is the annual “Wreath” throwing off the Old Bridge by the VFW Color Guard at 10:00 a.m. Follow the leader to the Riverside Cemetery where the ceremony takes place at the Veteran’s gravestone area. This visit to the cemetery has always been special to our family because we can take our lilacs (not this year,) to our loved ones resting places.

At 11:30 a.m. there will be a memorial ceremony for the WWII military plane crash in 1943 near Fort Benton. Marshall Fisher will be honored and remembered as the WWII Veteran who was responsible for the planning and paying for the monument.

The memorial has been on the corner of Main and Veterans Way for years. The memorial cerebration has been in the planning for months. There may be members of the airmen’s families in attendance and a crowd would prove Fort Benton’s pledge of “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS.”

I cannot imagine how I would feel and the memories that would flood back, if someone I loved or knew was killed in that plane crash. That is why I would like all of you to make a real effort to get away from your comfort zones and be sure that you and your family are in the audience. This reminder is especially important to those of us who lived through WWII.

I hope to meet you Cullen at the Fort on Friday. I would like to tell you in person, how well done your article was on Jason DeShaw. If I were president, I would have arranged for all of the audience from the Pub Nite you wrote about, to be at the Elementary Auditorium for his talk and songs. Jason shared his story of his struggle and hope with the high school students. He travels all over Montana and his advocacy about bi-polar, depression, and suicide.

For those of you readers, who missed Cullen’s article, go back to the May 6th issue of the River Press, page 7. The story is true reporting and I want to question you, Cullen, about a journalism career.

When Randy Morger moved to Fort Benton in 2007, we jokingly said we were going to write a book about what we would change if we were co-presidents.

1.  Randy’s first suggestion was, “Everyone would have to wear a name tag when going outside their home.” I would like to add to that, “The print has to be large.”

2.  My suggestion was, “No one under 18 could drive and no one over 80.” (Now I know that will make me very unpopular with the young community, (check the stats,) but I shot myself down because now that I am over 80, I need to find a chauffeur or chauffer-ette under 80 years of age.

3.  A city ordinance would be passed that every 2nd Friday of the month be “PIE DAY,” and every voting citizen would have to attend.

We have a few more suggestions but you will have to wait until the book comes out. (That may never happen.) I am going to ask around to see if any of you have suggestions.  (Please, no politics or religious comments, just humorous and in jest.)

On Wednesday, May 15th, Jon Axline did a book signing for his new book, “Taming Big Sky Country; The History of Montana Transportation from Trails to Interstates.” Jon visited the library in 2006 with his first book: “Montana’s Historic Bridges, 1860-1965.”

Jon covered both books stories and with a video presentation. It was a most interesting afternoon with the addition of a pot-luck salad and dessert luncheon. (Have you heard the about town talk that all organizations love to come to Fort Benton because we serve the best lunches. True story and it was fabulous and delicious besides.)

There was a good crowd and we were rewarded with free copies of his book. The book is available at the library and you will really enjoy the pictures.

“Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.”