Wednesday, July 6, 2016

View From The Bridge 7/6/16

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

The most important item on my agenda now is the selling of raffle tickets for the Summer Celebration Quilts. Did you see the Quilt Float in the Parade?

I will be here, there, and everywhere selling the $5.00 tickets. Please be generous as the monies go to support Summer Celebration. If you feel you can sell some tickets please call me at 622-3217.

The winning tickets will be drawn at the Chouteau County Fair.

It has been a month since Memorial Day when Warren Siebenaler and I dropped the Memorial Wreath off the Old Bridge into the Missouri. My hopes had already been dashed and then today came an e-mail telling me that the Wreath had been found.

The best part of the story is that the finders copied the information and then threw the Wreath back into the river. It may still end up in New Orleans.

It really meant a lot to me because that Wreath represented the love we have for our Veterans and loved ones that have gone before us. It is so special that the finding news came to me on this special weekend of our Countries birthday.

“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” It hardly seems possible that there is anything we can do here in Fort Benton about the war in Afghanistan or the murders in Chicago. People who have no regard for life are blowing themselves up. Will one little candle change anything? Does one little wreath floating on the Missouri make you feel any better?

I told you readers that the concert from Washington D.C. would be on Sunday evening the 30th. It was not. It aired the 4th of July evening unlike the Memorial Day concert that was aired the night before the holiday. I hope that my error did not make you miss the show.

Readers, I can only write about what I know or think that I know. I do know about age related Macular Degeneration because I share that with 18 ½ million other Americans.

I think that most of you know that I am hard of hearing and that I am dealing with hearing aids that drive me crazy with background noise.

I am telling you all of this because during summer celebration, many people said hello to me and I did not hear them or see them. Macular Degeneration begins in the middle of the eye. My peripheral vision is very good yet. (I turned my TV diagonal so I can see it better.)
So, if you said hello to me or waved to me from a short distance away and I did not respond, please do not think that I am ignoring you. I just did not hear or see you. If you want to talk to me you have to get right into my face.

I also know Folks who will not admit to this happening to them and continue to struggle along unable to see or hear well. I just acquired a Reading Machine because it because difficult to read the River Press with my special magnifying glasses. I love the machine and it is changing my life. Although I love Talking Books, it would be great to read a book that I cannot get on tape. I have a pile of books waiting to get into that machine.

If you are having problems with your eyes or hearing, I would be happy to share my experiences and the help I get from organizations. Just give me a call at 622-3217.  If I am out and about I will get back to you a.s.a.p.

My oldest son, Johnny and his wife Jane flew into Great Falls just for Summer Celebration. My daughter Jennifer and I talked about it so much they wanted to see for themselves. They were not disappointed. They could not believe that a town the size of ours could put on a celebration such as we have.

They especially marveled at the Parade, the Bag of Books Sale, the BBQ at First Security Bank and the Ice Cream Social at the U.S. Bank. The rain did not spoil any event.

On Sunday we took off at 8:00 in the morning and toured Glacier Park. I was returned home at midnight. On Monday we toured the Little Belt Mountains.

Have you ever heard of “An Ace in the Hole?” I never had. It is a missile site in the Monarch area that President John Kennedy named the site during the Cuban crisis. Then we hunted up a ghost town in the area and I really enjoyed that. It was formerly a silver mining town. Do not ask me where we were because we were in the boon docks.

Cutting across country toward Ulm we got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Jennifer and Mike just purchased this new truck but guess what! There was no jack. It was supposed to be under the back seat but the space was there but no jack. It would have been a long walk to the nearest ranch or Ulm.  After about 10 minutes a truck came into view. Mike was excited because it was a Ford.

It was an old cowboy ranch hand that moved from Billings in January. He was an Angel in Distress and the tire was changed quickly and we were on our way. We ate very late in Ulm but we were all very happy and content. I know that Jane and Johnny saw more of Montana than most people who live here. There was a little better than a 1,000 miles put on the truck. “A good time was had by all.”

By the way do you know what 41 stands for on a t-shirt my daughter bought at The Toggery in Fort Benton? I did not know. (Answer below.)

I heard on the grapevine that the book sale was a success. I gave a little volunteer time on Thursday to set up the books that were donated. Then on Friday my shift was from 9:00 to 10:00. I had a reason to do that shift and I love this story I am about to tell you.

Last year when I did the same time frame shift, I met a couple outside waiting for the Book Sale to begin. They said that they lived in Canada about 500 miles away. They first discovered Fort Benton when the Mounted Police came to Fort Benton. That may have been in 2011 when we celebrated with Canada, “One West, Two Nations.”

They came upon the Book Sale and told me that it was the best book sale that had ever been to. They have returned to Summer Celebration every year since just for the Book Sale. They love our town and I always ask Canadians at the Visitors Center, “When are you going to join the United States?” I have gotten many different replies but the one that is #1 is, “No, when are you going to join us.”

So this year again the same couple were one of the first to the book sale and they stayed awhile to chat about books and our countries. I do not know their names or exactly where they live in Canada but I do know that they will be back next year.

There will be another Bag o’ Book Sale for $1.00 a Bag” at Christmas time. It will be here before you can blink an eye.

One of my friends in the 1800 block of Franklin found a rattle snake in her back yard. She has fence separating the yard from the alley. The rattler was inside the fence. She called neighbors and they took care of the snake.

I asked her if she saved the rattles for me.  She said she did not and if I wanted them they were in the garbage container. I asked if it was in a bag and she said no.  It was just thrown into the garbage container.

Wouldn’t it be funny if we had people, like we did in Michigan, who checked out everyone’s garbage containers? They would be thrilled to death, I am sure, to find the rattler and they might even take the rattles.

I checked with the Police Department this morning and they received 2 calls for snakes. They turned out to be bull snakes. One other call was a rattler by the Grand Union Hotel. That seems to be a favorite place where the snakes come out of the Missouri. If you are using the Walking Trail be on the alert for snakes and if you see one call 911 immediately. Please do not try to deal with it yourself.

Be sure to be on the alert even in your own backyard. It is something we have to deal with in Fort Benton.

It stands for Montana becoming the 41st State in the United States in 1889.

“Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.” (This is the best one yet.)