Tuesday, July 14, 2015

View From The Bridge 7/15/15

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Two weeks ago I wrote about Mrs. Sorkness’ 90th birthday and would you please send her a card. She taught in Fort Benton for 37 years and had hundreds of students. Her big day is August 1, 2015 and if you have not yet sent a birthday card, this is a reminder to do so. You have about 10 days to mail a card before her birthday so it gets there a little before the big day.

Send the card to her daughter’s home. The address is: Kristiana Rose, 170 E. Duval St., Philadelphia, PA 19144.

It is not very often that I drive on Front St. during the warm months. I see people making a left turn in both directions, crossing the double yellow line. Perhaps you have forgotten or perhaps you did not know the traffic rules. You are not allowed to do that.

It all began several years ago when a friend of mine, (who no longer lives here,) was parked in front of Lehman’s rue Value. She was backing out looking to her right and a vehicle made a left from the other side of the street intending to park in the empty space next to my friend. She backed into the vehicle as it was turning in.

The point of this story is that she had to pay for her own damages because there were no yellow double lines on Front St. I went to the City Council with her to plead her case and yellow lines were painted on the street.

Please be reminded, remind others, and remind your visitors. The person making the left turn across the yellow double lines will get the ticket and be responsible for an accident. I would not like anyone to go through that situation.

Next, I will talk about STOP signs. A STOP sign means to come to a complete stop. At my corner of Main and 14th, there has been a great neglect of stopping. Vehicles just roll around the corner. I realize that you can see if there is oncoming traffic but that is not the way it is supposed to work. STOP, look both ways and be better safe rather than sorry.

Last Friday I had to make two trips to the Museum of the Upper Missouri.  I made a right turn at 18th and know that there is a YIELD sign near the corner. In both trips there were vehicles traveling south around the circle where there is a STOP sign. Both of them did not stop and I had the right of way. Not only did they ignore the STOP sign but I was on their right side. If you remember, the driver on your right as the right-of-way.

An exception to that traffic rule is at 4-way STOP streets. The first to arrive at the corner has the right-of-way.

There were many visitors at the MUM the two times I was there and so I like to think that they were Visitors and did not know Fort Benton traffic patterns. They were lucky that I am so polite, didn’t give chase although I did blow my horn at them. Lot of good it did.

Bill Widaman wrote last week that he got over 100 calls about his Letter to the Editor. I also received phone calls and personal thank you for writing about Connie Jenkins. It was easy to do since I have this wonderful space in the River Press, sign my name, and have freedom of speech. Connie deserved every word and much more.

The question is now what is she going to do now that she is retired? The only advice that we retired folks can say to her is, “When did you have time to work?”

You must know that I love walking and listening to my Talking Books. Now I love it more that I am walking Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Ag Museum. What a spectacular facility we have in our town. It is by far, the best museum in Montana.

There are countless exhibits and now each day that I walk I stop and read and examine an exhibit. As I enter the first room I turn to the right past the office, the gift shop and enter the large room. There are huge machines on both sides. Next I hear music and in the far corner is a juke box. Do you remember those machines where you put in a nickel to hear your favorite song? There were juke boxes in all restaurants, ice cream shops, and bars.  If there was room in any of those businesses, couples would dance. (Remember, those were the days before TV, computers, and cell phones.)

Last weekend it was cool enough in the early morning for me to walk on the Walking Trail. On Sunday I walked toward the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center.  This morning, Monday, I walked toward the Sunrise Bluffs and I had what was a very exciting experience.

I walked on Front St. because it had shade. At 17th St. in the curb area, I saw a dead rattlesnake. I called 911 and in a few moments Police Chief Turner arrived. He took the rattles off for me, picked up the dead snake, and threw it into the Missouri.

I asked how many rattlers were reported this year so far and he said 5. He asked that I ask the public not to kill bull snakes. They may frighten you, they may hiss at you, they may rise up, but they will not harm you. A bull snake will eat a rattlesnake. Good job.  (Do you know the difference between a rattler and a bull snake?) If you call 911, the bull snake can be relocated so please do not kill them.