Tuesday, May 10, 2016

View From The Bridge 5/11/16

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

As I look out my computer room window I see snow. No, wait a minute. It’s not snow, its cotton filling the air. I sure feel bad for those with allergies. The cotton has continued to float around for several hours. It is hard to remember years gone by of the time schedule of the length of the cotton storm. I do remember one year when the cotton storm was so bad it made sidewalks and streets slippery. It looks as though we are spared that situation this year.

My daughter, Jennifer, came to visit this morning and said Highway 87 up from Great Falls was heavy with smoke. Let’s count our blessings that are all we have to endure is cotton. This gorgeous day makes it all worthwhile.

Hope you had as wonderful a Mother’s Day as I did.

On Monday, at the Library at noon, the Friends enjoyed Russell Rowland and his book “Fifty-Six Counties. He said when asked that it took between 6 months and 1 year to visit all the counties. The actual writing of the books took 2 years. How I would have loved making that trip and must now enjoy just reading about it.

Russell read the Introduction and it made me so proud to be a Montanan. Montana was placed #1 on the list of the happiest people in the United States. I am not an original but a transplant. It was the best thing I ever did with my life.

Russell had us laughing most of the time with stories about what people thought about Montana. You will have to read the book and I know you will laugh most of the way through it.

Judy Hazen just came back from an extended trip. When they were at a restaurant in Oklahoma, the waitress asked where they were from. When Judy said Montana, the waitress asked where that was in Texas. I am sure that all of you readers have stories like that.

On Thursday May 12th at 7:00 pm will be the Spring Concert at the High School. You are all invited to enjoy the music that the students have practiced for hours on end. I would like to see more community involvement in addition to the parents and grandparents. See you there and see below for the Art and Craft show the same evening in the same location.

In the May 4th issue of the River Press I wrote about Patriotism. The winners of the Art Contest that was held for high school students, winners were announced. I said that I would like to see the work of Marissa, Emma, Ryan, and actually all the others that were entered in the contest.

I now have learned that I will be able to see all of the art work on Thursday, May 112th at the Pop Concert at 7:00 pm in the Fort Benton High School gym. Keep your Thursday evening open so you can attend this school event. I can assure you that you will enjoy the concert and see what great talent Fort Benton has produced.

It is a double treat for your time and support.

On Friday, May 13th at 5:30 there will be a pot luck supper and fireside activities at the Chouteau County Campgrounds. I reminded you readers last week and this is a reminder again to join in this community get-together,

I cannot remember the last time I sat around a campfire. It probably was when I was a Girl Scout and spent a week at camp. We went into the woods and gathered branches and small logs for the campfire. It was such fun. Our clothing smelled like smoke but we sat in its trail to ward off the mosquitoes. You have to take the good with the bad when you spend time outdoors.  

Please come and join friends and neighbors for a fun time. (I wonder if we will be told ghost stories around the campfire.)

The older I get the better the luncheons get. Last Thursdays “Remember the 50’s” was certainly the best and was fully attended by 150 seniors.

As usual, each grade from Kindergarten to the 5th grade did their Shake, Rattle, and Roll songs. Puddle shirts were in abundance and some actually had puddles on them. They were sewn especially for the program. The 3rd graders sang Jailhouse Rock and they had t-shirts that were black and white like prisoner clothing.

The dinner, the decorations on the tables, the handmade placemats, and the backdrop must have taken hours of planning and implementing.

I know that this program is put on to thank the seniors for their support of the school system by voting yes to increased taxes. Trust me students, when I say that all of us are happy to do that. In our wisdom of old age, we know the importance of education. We are so proud of all of you and your accomplishments. The accelerated reading program and the art contests in the River Press, Sports, and every other activity you are involved in makes us more and more happy to say that we live in Fort Benton.

I was told another story this week about a young lady who could hardly wait to graduate and “get out of town.” Now she is back in town and couldn’t get here fast enough after witnessing the “outside world.” Small town living is the way to go to raise a family these days. To those of you seniors who have returned, I say welcome back and enjoy every minute of every day. A new saying is YOLO. That stands for “You Only Live Once.

The Joel Overholser Research Center is on the lookout for old photos. (They will not keep your photos. They will scan them and return them to you.) They would like early local family photos, photos of street scenes, businesses, the Fort, and etc. Also, photos around Chouteau County and towns like Big Sandy, Highwood, Geraldine, other homestead and ranching scenes, and of women and children would be a most welcome addition. Any photos before 1900 would be most welcome but also any into the modern era.

I have asked many times before for family photos and any information about your family to be put into its own folder. If you do not do this project, who will? When stories are passed down they are called memories. They are what each individual remembers and it is the case often that two people do not remember the event the same. What you know as fact is the true memory.

So I will ask again for you to build your family history at the Research Center. Keep the volunteers Ken, Hank, Donna, Mary M., Kathy, Mary Z., and Marge busy. (I hope I haven’t missed anyone.) If I go missing, you will know that they had something to do with it. You readers make sure that “Nightline” or “20/20” investigates. I haven’t been on TV yet.

One of the women at the Library today asked me to relate this story. She saw a couple riding their bikes and they had their dog with them. The dog needed to do his thing and the couple picked it up to dispose of it. Our reporting woman told them thank you. She did not know if they were Visitors or Locals.
We all agreed at the Library that Visitors were very good with the doggy bags and our local people are not. So take heed and clean up after your animals. Try to train them for the riverside of the Walking Trail because those dark green spots on the grass are not very attractive. Consider yourselves scolded for the rest of the spring and summer.

Take a 10 to 30 minute walk every day and while you walk SMILE. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

Judy H. also brought this back from her trip. She though that I would like it for the View.  I not only liked it, I love it and hope that I keep it in mind between my ears.

“It is better to have things go in one ear and out the other, than to go in one ear, get all mixed up, and slip out the mouth.”

I received a U-tube presentation on my computer about the transporting of WWII Veterans to New Orleans to see the newly opened WWII Museum European Theatre. They were treated like the Hero’s they are. There were many smiles and tears. You could not watch it without tearing up.

Wally and I were able by chance to visit the first phase of the Museum in 2004. They had just begun to build the 2nd phase across the street which was to be completed in 2008. Then along came the hurricane Katrina and halted building. As close as I could find the European part of the Museum became a reality in December of 2014. It was however much too late for the 1,100 Veterans from WWII who pass on every single day. There are approximately 692,806 Veterans still alive today. Do thank our Veterans every day for the sacrifices they have made for each and every one of us.