Tuesday, February 2, 2016

View From The Bridge 2/3/16

By Muncie

Set aside time next Sunday to attend the program at the Community Bible Center to honor the Four Chaplains. The Committee especially welcomes Veterans.

It is a WWII story of the Chaplains who gave up their lives to save others. The program begins at 4:00 PM and I have their promise that you will be home by the beginning of the Super Bowl game.

This is a nationwide program and it is open to the public. The program is being held in Fort Benton this year. It has previously been held in Great Falls. I hope that a large crowd is in attendance. It is an inspiring story and tells of true love of life and love of thy neighbor. That is what it is all about.

The February Moon is called the Full Snow Moon as rationally there is more snow in this month than any other. Sadly, it is also called the Full Hunger Moon since weather conditions made hunting difficult.

On a happy note, I would like to call it the Valentine’s Moon. In this day and age it is the romantic moon filled with love. So remember your Valentine with a special project instead of candy, which they should not be eating anyway, or flowers that die after a few days. Instead consider a basket of fruit (that is healthy) or a plant that will thrive for years. I have a Lipstick plant and it is blooming now with the prettiest red flowers.

For your male valentine, do a chore for him that he does not particularly like to do. That will go a long way to make it a Happy Valentine’s Day.

The full moon will be on the 22nd this month. That happens to be George Washington’s Birthday. Perhaps it should be called the Cherry Moon in honor of him. You must all know that story and I am telling the truth.

4. Sleeping without a pillow, reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.

That is an inspiring story in the January 13th edition of the River Press. It is a good feeling when things turn out to be fair. You deserve everything that is coming to you Serenity and it proves that you are being rewarded for hard work.

It is difficult these days to find a hard working person. At least that is what I hear around town. When my Kids went to school in the 60’s and 70’s, they had to put in 2 hours volunteer work a week in order to graduate. It was compulsory. One was a Go-pher in a hospital and one read to Kiddos at a Nursery school. Of course, I understand that there were many more opportunities in a big city. No matter where you are, if you want to volunteer, there will be a spot for you.

I also am thrilled with the Lego Robotics program as you know if you read last weeks River Press. There are those who are doers and those who do not. Someday the do nots will be working for the doers. (That is not my piece of wisdom. I heard it from someone else.)

My Performing Arts experience began last Thursday when I was taken to the Great Falls Community Concert that evening at the Civic Center. The show was the California Dreamin’. The group consisted of two Gals and two Guys who all had great singing abilities.

The program included songs of the 50’s and 60’s with the likes of the Beatles, Peter, Paul and Mary, Jim Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, and many others. It was a time when you could understand every word of the song. It was the good old days of music at least for that generation of music lovers. I am hoping that our Chouteau County Performing Arts Committee is able to book them into Fort Benton.

On Friday afternoon, the attendees of the 2016 Consortium began arriving in town. They came from all over Montana and by now I have accumulated many acquaintances. Dinner began at 7:00 at the Ag and by that time all friendships had been renewed. Our “most in demand caterer", Chandee, did her magic and dinner was truly enjoyed by all. Chandee is also featured in this month’s Signature magazine. There are copies all over town so pick one up to enjoy the story.

On Saturday morning it was a quick start with breakfast made and served by Fort Benton’s Woman’s Club at 7:45 AM. I have never seen so many different kinds of muffins, cinnamon rolls, and other breakfast treats.

The showcase began at 8:30 PM. They were all very good and I expressed my opinion that I wanted all of them to return to Fort Benton. Of course, that is not possible and it is up the Performing Arts Board to decide after extensive negotiations as to where, when, and how the acts are chosen.

I did witness one event that I have never seen before. A piano player got a standing ovation by the audience. It was thrilling. He gave the grand piano a great workout.

I have to tell you this story about that piano showcase. On a personal note…I have had no tears for almost two years. When he began to play, the tears poured from my eyes.  It was the most beautiful performance of music from The Phantom of the Opera. Awesome!

There was a good crowd in the audience of local residents along with other Performing Arts Committees from various cities around Montana.  

Next on the agenda, was a trip to the Ag Center for lunch. I just knew Chandee would have Indian Tacos and she did. We also had time to walk around the exhibits of the artists.  After lunch, it was back to the Elementary School. There was a bus available to transport people back and forth.

The second showcase began at 12:30. The third showcase began at 3:45 and there was an hour and a half between them. I just remained at the school rather than go back and forth.

I have a “Small World Story,” to tell at this point but I do not have space this week. I’ll save it for another time.

After the last showcase there was free time before dinner at 7:00 PM. Most went back to the Ag Center for conversations with the artists. Others went to their rooms to rest while others busied themselves with piles of paperwork.

Dinner was served on time and was extraordinary as usual and afterward there were just a few announcements and awards given for retirees. One of those was Arnie Fishbaugh who resides and works in Helena. Arnie is a Fort Benton woman who is the head of the Arts Council. She, Connie Jenkins, and Tracy Ross Taylor started the Chouteau County Performing Arts in 1992. What a wonderful deal that was.

What little I know about the Arts Council is that they work with the Legislature to provide the Arts with funds. It is a tough job. To extract monies anywhere today is a tough job.

So support our Chouteau County Performing Arts even if you do not like some of the acts. A season ticket for 8 shows cost you $40.00 this year’s season. You cannot find a better buy anywhere. If you do not have a season ticket and just want to see one show, it would cost you $15.00. In Great Falls, it would cost you $30.00. If you set aside $1.00 a week from now to September you would almost have enough for a season’s ticket. Put the money in your tea-pot and join us next season for great musical and other entertainment evenings.