Tuesday, June 28, 2016

View From The Bridge 6/29/16

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

We have so much to be thankful for in our wonderful United States of America. On Memorial Day we remember our Veterans and members of our families that have passed on. However, on the 4th of July we celebrate our beautiful countries birthday.

Be sure to fly your flags and if you do not have one…get one today and hang it proudly on your front porch. It isn’t just another day. It is our countries birthday.

Be sure to watch PBS on Sunday evening for a 4th of July show. Sing along with the patriotic songs and be proud you are an American.

You know that my favorite descriptive word is awesome. It covers very best, #1, the greatest, the most, wonderful, favorite, and many other words.

Well, this 40th Summer Celebration was awesome. I am sure that Bethany will cover it thoroughly and I would just like to comment on a couple of things like the Parade and the Fireworks. Awesome, awesome, and more awesome.

My dear friend, neighbor, and Ms. Fort Benton herself, Connie Jenkins was the Grand Marshall. I was going to give her candy and she was throwing candy.

The Parade was super awesome and the Kiddos around us were having the best time ever as each float or vehicle passed by. They squealed with delight and gathered candy, many with the help of their parents. My big kids, ages 63 and 58, were collecting candy and giving it to the Kiddos around us. (Actually, they kept the Tootsie Rolls.)

The Marine Corps Detachment from Great Falls Color Guard led the Parade as usual and the City Band was awesome. (You did an awesome job Marie.)

The crowd was large and they clapped and yelled especially as the Reunion Classes went by. It was just so much fun and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Now I fast forward to the Fireworks. It was again of short duration…about 10 to 15 minutes but there is a reason for that.

In previous years the fireworks were shot up one at a time which extended the show to over a half an hour.  The new company that was hired a few years ago fires two or three fireworks at a time so of course the show is not as long. BUT…it is more spectacular lighting the sky with wonderful colors.

I was also concerned about the “Waterfall” display. Last year it kind of dribbled and began the show instead of being at the end. Connie took care of that problem and the show could not have been more awesome.  Much appreciation goes to the Lions Club for collecting monies for the Fireworks show. The Lions Club appreciates all those who sent in their checks from the letter that was sent out and to those who donated during the Parade.

I know that there are dozens of other people who are involved with Summer Celebration and here is a general thank you for all you do behind the scenes. Years ago I co-coordinated the Parade for 6 years but I have not been involved for a long time until this year. I worked on the “Quilt” committee and attended Summer Celebration meetings. It is a tremendous amount of work and organization. Perhaps for next year’s Celebration, that begins planning now, you would like to volunteer for one of the committees. JUST DO IT.

My Morger son, Shane, had his 40th Class Reunion. He flew in from CA and had a wonderful time connecting with many of his classmates.

I asked Shane what he remembered about the 1st Summer Celebration in 1976 and this was his response.

“Having graduated just a month earlier, we were looking forward to the Bicentennial festivities that were planned that included the dedication of the Lewis and Clark Memorial and all the pageantry that it represented. I remember the great activity in the town, the long parade, and celebrating after. Now remember, looking back it was not called the Summer Celebration then and in talking with classmates like Dennis McSweeney, Kevin Shaw and Kirby Granger we all so glad that it has become such a wonderful tradition for our hometown” Shane went on and added, “it really doesn’t matter if you moved 5 blocks, 500 miles or 5,000 miles away, knowing that the last weekend in June is always our special time to gather with family and friends has a special place in my heart, and we look forward to our next class reunion.”

(That about says it all Folks.  How I wish that I had been a graduate of Fort Benton High School and had my picture in those hallways.)

From now to the Chouteau County Fair there will be raffle tickets on sale for the Summer Celebration quilts and a gun raffle for the Lions Club. I’ll let you know more about how to get tickets next week.

I finally got a ticket this year by yelling to the float going by that I wanted to buy a ticket. A 4-Her jumped off the cute decorated with large ducks, float and sold me a ticket. Again I missed the race starting off the Old Bridge. (I guess I didn’t win because I haven’t heard from them. Oh well, there is always next year.)

“Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.  Forgive them for everything.” (I would like to add to that by saying I need a lot of forgiving too.)