Tuesday, July 19, 2016

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

The committee is running at a fast pace now to sell all the raffle tickets for the Summer Celebration Quilts. The winning tickets will be drawn at the Chouteau County Fair which is just a few weeks away.

You will find the committee at the Farmer’s Market every week. Last Friday we were outside the Price Rite from 3:00 p.m. until about 4:00 p.m. when it threatened rain.

If you enjoyed the Summer Celebration, your appreciation can be shown by purchasing tickets for the quilts. All proceeds go toward that goal. Please be as generous as you were for the Fireworks show.

Did you miss buying your 40th Summer Celebration T-Shirt? You still have the opportunity to get one, or two, or more collector shirts. Stop by the Visitors Information Center and do some shopping. It is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. (I think that Sunday hours are a little different.) You will be able to find the size and color of your choice. Wear it proudly and for the rest of the summer, (between washings I hope.)

I received a report of someone from Fort Benton wearing their shirt the day they went to Great Falls. A man spoke to them telling about the wonderful time he and his family had on Saturday of the celebration.

Next year will be the 75th anniversary of Shep and the story will be rekindled over and over again. It will also be the 41st Summer Celebration and Montana was the 41st state to be a star on the United States Flag.

The Senior Center held elections this past week and congratulations to the new officers. They are President Mary Lee Bakker, Vice President Marlene Doll, and Secretary/treasurer Carol Larson. The Board Members are Roger Castel, Sue Lepley, Larry McGravy, and Phyllis Smith.

We also bid Farewell to Laurie Tacke who is moving to Fairfield. She has been a long time resident of Chouteau County and Fort Benton. She has been president of the Center for two years. She will be the fourth Senior Citizen that has left Fort Benton in the last two months. Some move to be closer to family and some for medical reasons.

I just want to say that they are sorely missed. I do not like to think about if I have to make that kind of decision. I have only lived in Montana for 23 years and in Fort Benton 22 years. I cannot imagine living anywhere else. We do not know what the next turn in the road will be.

If you are interested in having a birthday party or family reunion, consider the Golden Age Senior Center. You can rent reasonably a large room with many tables and chairs.  There is also a family room area with sofas and lounge chairs. There is a piano, a sound system, and TV for your DVD’s of family photos. If you want dinner, snacks, or cake and coffee, it can be arranged.

The Zanto family held a birthday party for their Mom, Gramma, and Great Gramma  Mary last Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00. The whole family also had the Sunday Chicken dinner which was very special.
Arrangements like those above make it easy for everyone. Mary did not have to travel and it was easier on the younger folks to do that. The ad in the River Press was quickly taken care of, the ordering of the birthday cake from the Price Rite, and the cleanup was not a problem.Think about it the next time you need to have a get-together.

I appreciate Jill Highfill for the information about recycling plastic bottles at Pacific in Great Falls. The only problem is how do we get them to Great Falls? Many of us seniors no longer drive out of town.
I was totally upset when last week I threw my garbage bag full of plastic bottles into my trash can. The only thing I did do was to not buy any more plastic water bottles. I filled my water bottle that I found in the back of a cupboard and used it all week. Even though it comes out of a 5 gallon bottle of the same water, it doesn’t taste quite the same. It must be my imagination. It is like skim milk does not taste like 2% (Now you know another of my secrets.)

As an end to this environmental problem, I will just say do the best you can at your end of the line. Perhaps a few bottles less will make a difference.

I have said many times that the program will be closing although Joellyn Clark said that she would continue it. At this time, everything is up to par as far as those we were checking on for bios.
In the meanwhile, I have had about six phone calls or meeting up with people who said that they found pictures and could they go on the wall at the Sunrise Bluffs. I have not heard from them since.

If you are one of those people and want to turn in photos and bios, please take them to the Joel Overholser Research Center at the Ag Center on Tuesdays. It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please do not take them to the Sunrise Bluffs.

I believe that all the corrections have been made but if you find that your particular photo or bio needs a correction, please notify Joellyn through the Research Center.

I enjoy going to the Bluffs and looking over all the photos of our Veterans. Someone, last year put poppies on those Veterans who have gone to guard the streets of heaven. That was very much appreciated.  It was a “Poppy Angel.”

A few days ago I was scooting along Front Street on my Go-Go and the door to the Culbertson House was open. I called in and Amanda came to the front door. She invited me in and gave me a grand tour. It is going to be just as charming as the present Wake Cup. We went all the way through to the kitchen. There is still much work to be done but they are still heading for a September 1 opening.

What a wonderful boost to the Front Street economy. Not only their building but the three businesses next door will do their thing to increase business. The Governor’s Keep and the Gift and Clothing store that have been rearranged, add to the shopping potential.  (Sorry Terri and Chris but I will never get used to that name. I am going to call it GK’s if you don’t mind.)

To top it all off there is the Antique Store next door to GK’s and it opened on the first day of Summer Celebration. It is also a very interesting and unique place and you will find treasures there collected over a lifetime. The owner, Bob, is an enthusiastic collector and historian who choose Fort Benton to be his home.

All of these stores will have regular hours posted on their front doors. That is a plus for them. I often find it difficult when I am on shift at the Visitors Information Center; to send visitors to places I am not sure will be open. Things are looking up in Fort Benton.

Have you noticed or been to the Center since the front windows are boarded up? Townspeople and visitors have asked what is going on. This is information that I have learned over the years and do not take my view as official.

Many years ago the original window’s glass was being broken. They were replaced with plastic. After many years they began to show their age by falling apart. It was decided to replace them with the original historic type windows.

It should be, as far as I could find out, about another two weeks before the work is completed. (I can hardly wait as it is dark inside. Volunteers also cannot see people walking by.)

The outside brick is being patched as some, especially the corners, were crumbling. It looks very well done and will certainly preserve the building.

“Make peace with the past so it won’t spoil the present.”


Do you have a protector in your family or among friends and neighbors?  I just had a great nephew become a police officer and he is in my thoughts every day.  I cannot imagine what their families are going through.  They leave to go to their jobs and never return home.

A few weeks ago one young female was just sworn in the day before.  Today, (Sunday,) an officer that was killed had a 4 month old baby.  God bless all of those families as well.