Tuesday, April 5, 2016

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Since April began on Friday the 1st, Pie Day will be next Friday the 8th at 1:00 p.m. and a Bake Sale. It is supposed to warm up again by the weekend so come on down and enjoy a homemade piece of pie and a cup of coffee or tea. It is my sweet treat of the month and as well as visits with my friends. Make the second Friday of the month a routine part of your life to slow down and relax. (See Observations below.)

(This is a long story but it will connect the dots.) Having a performance by Tom Rigney & Flambeau at 3:00 p.m. was a great success. One of the many things that happen as we grow older is some of us do not go out after dark. Many comments were directed at the Chouteau County Performing Arts (C.C.P.A.,) Board thanking them for arrange a special performance for seniors and families.

As for the performance at 7:00 p.m., it was a toe tappin’, hand clappin’ evening. It was my favorite word, awesome. I had a great time enjoying all the different kinds of music that was played.

And how about those dancers! That is part of the fun evening is those dancing couples who got out on the dance floor and that they did all evening. I was tired just watching. I wish I had just 1/10th of their energy. I counted 7 couples dancing most of the time and there were a few more when waltzes were played. The last song had the dance floor crowded. Thank you to those couples who made Pub Night more fun.

The sponsors were Cindy of the Club House and Chris and Teri of the Benton Pharmacy. Be sure to thank them when you are in their businesses. A very welcome buffet was donated by Shannon and Rod of the Price Rite. It hit the spot as I didn’t have supper. The snacks were great and I really enjoyed those thin pretzels. I’ll look for you Shannon to point them out to me.

All in all it was a really fun evening and I hope we do not have to wait 7 years for Tom and Flambeau to return to Fort Benton.

I first heard the Ballantyne Boys play their violins at the March Tuesday night dinner at the Golden Age Senior Center. The oldest brother, Andrew, played Ashokan Farewell and I was not able to talk to him because he left immediately for basketball practice. I wanted him to know that his performance was the best that I have ever heard.

I first heard Ashokan Farewell in Florida when I visited my Sis and her husband who were snow-birds from Michigan. Her neighbor came over to offer us 2 tickets to see the Calgary Fiddlers that evening. There were 600 people at the concert just from that mobile home park. One of the young women played Ashokan Farewell as a solo and it became a favorite of mine.

Several years later Connie Jenkins and I arranged to have the Fiddlers come to Fort Benton during Summer Celebration. They are based in Calgary and they arrived on a bus just as the Pot Luck was beginning. I billeted (English word for housed,) 8 young ladies ages 13 to 18 years old. Ann Kuehn billeted the 8 young men. (Do any of you remember the Calgary Fiddlers?)

One of the young women played Ashokan Farewell and knew it was a favorite of mine. Every time she saw me she would start to play it.

When the Ballantyne Boys were to be entertaining before Tom Rigby, I finally was able to tell Andrew before the performance how much I enjoyed his playing at the Senior Center. So then what happened! He dedicated the song to me and it was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

I learned a bit more about the Boys that evening. They have been taking lessons for 4 years. They were very enthused about Tom Rigby and his violin. I have never heard a band before that the leader played the violin. It is a beautiful instrument and the Boys deserve a lot of credit for their stick-to-it attitude. You are on the way up in the music world Boys.

I knew that the Ashokan Farewell was the background music from the Ken Burn’s PBS presentation of the Civil War. I checked out the Internet this morning and found that the music was written in 1982. It was written by Jay Ungar and served as a goodnight or farewell waltz at the annual Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp in the Cascades Mountains of New York. It was then titled Waltz of the Wind. It is a song of lament or longing and that is why Burn’s was moved by it when he heard it. He thought of the Civil War that way and used that beautiful music.
I just thought perhaps Andrew and you readers would like to know some of the history or the song and perhaps if the Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp is still going on, he may like to go someday.

Karen and Jerry Brooke live near the Ballantyne home. They were outside one day picking raspberries in their garden, when young Callum was practicing.  Jerry said to Karen, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” (I wish I lived near the Ballantynes.)

I know this is not a Fort Benton story but I just have to tell it. Last week on the World News there was a story about Rosie the Riveter. It brings back so many memories about WWII. That was my era of being a teenager.

It was the time that women left the home and went out to take on jobs that were needed when the men went to war. They mentioned the song, “Rosie the Riveter,” and they showed photos of women at work in Ypsilanti, Michigan at the Willow Run Aircraft Plant located about 25 miles from our home. The Plant manufactured 1 airplane an hour.

My Mom worked there. My Mom, who had worn house dresses up to that point, bought her first pair of slacks. She had that Rosie bandana around her head. She was in a car pool that picked her up at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. She loved her job and I am sorry that she never told me what she did. She made “Forever Friends.” Her employment lasted 9 months and the war ended.

The women made $1.10 an hour for a paycheck of $44.00 a week. One woman, (a farmer’s wife,) who was interviewed said it helped to pay off their mortgage.

So my Mom worked days and my Dad worked afternoons. He was at the Ford Motor Company, Dearborn MI, located 3 miles from our house. Ford Motor produced armored tanks. I do not know how much he made an hour. When he was hired in 1934 or 1935, he made $5.00 a day which was unheard of at that time.  (These are my memories which may or may not be accurate.)

Last year’s Summer Celebration t-shirt had the picture of Rosie on it.  The story behind that was not to honor Rosie but to honor the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in MT. We’ve come a long way Baby but still have a long way to go.  Thank you for taking the time to read this. Everyone has a story and I know that out there are more. Please let me in on some of them.

It was very crowded this year and it seemed like many more vendors. My daughter and I had a great time. I saw and visited with many friends. I saw Colleen on her way out and she excitedly showed me a print she bought of “Rosie the Riveter.”  She said she really didn’t know what she was going to do with it but just had to buy it. That is what a Flea Market is all about. You see something that brings back memories or the old days. I wish there were more Flea Markets around. I do realize that that is a whole lot of packin’ and unpackin’.

This was known as the Full Pink Moon. This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest wild flowers of the spring. (Does Montana have her moss pink or wild ground phlox? Am I missing something?)

Other names of the April Moon are Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Full Fish Moon. Take your choice. The full moon is on Friday the 22nd this month. Enjoy!

Only one more shirt to go and it may be an impossible one.  It is from 1990 and the theme was “Wild, Wild West.” A 2015 was donated last week. That puts us on schedule to start selling raffle tickets about a month before Summer Celebration. I can hardly wait to see the finished quilt. It will be such a treasure.

Be sure to check the Community Calendar each week for current events but I will remind you here of this months’ other dates to put on your calendar.

There is Bingo at the Golden Age Senior Center on Thursdays at 1:00. There is also Bingo at the Sunrise Fluffs on Friday evenings. Check the time with them.

The Prom is next Saturday, April 9th. I have not been able to attend the Crowning Ceremony for several years but I hope to do it next Saturday. I really enjoy watching the whole event. (It brings back memories of my Prom days. The Girls were escorted to the Nuns house, next door to the high school, for dress inspections. You could not have strapless dresses or you were sent home. Of course, we always found a way around that by having jackets we could remove except the Nuns chaperoned the whole dance by sitting in the balcony. This is a funny memory. I’ll bet you are wondering if I was ever sent home. Of course not!  Do I ever have stories to tell about high school? If you see me out and about, ask me about the time my friends skipped school to see Frank Sinatra. You won’t believe it. Of course, I never skipped school.)

The annual Piatigorsky Concert at the Grand Union will be this coming Sunday the 10th at 3:30 p.m. The last C.C.P.A. performance for this season will be Wednesday the 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the Elementary School. It will be a great finale for the season. See you there!

People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who do not.