Tuesday, September 13, 2016

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

I am so proud of the way our Chouteau County community came together last Saturday to honor Connie in her battle with cancer. The donations that came into the Library and then into the Ag Center were overwhelming.  The silent auction items covered at least 20 tables. Smaller items were in a ticket collection can and the numbers were chosen from the can. That was great fun for the little kids and the big kids too.  The live auction, by Scottie Peters, was very lively and moved right along with the schedule.

There were delicious snacks and beverages. Supporters poured through the doors of the Ag Center and it was standing room only. I did not have the opportunity to look outside to see where they were all parked.

The entertainers were excellent.  I was able to meet John Anderson -personally. He lives in Missoula but said that his wife was from Shonkin originally and they have known Connie for a long time. He sang old and new songs and played the guitar and the ukulele. I hope that we have him back in Fort Benton soon.

Jack Gladstone is from Kalispell and is a long-time friend of Connie’s through the Chouteau County Performing Arts. Randy and I recently visited Jack and his lady friend Patti at lower St. Mary Lake. He lives there during the summer months.

I would hope that all of you knew Peter and Molly from Highwood. They have entertained us many times and always at the Christmas Concert. They are welcome to Fort Benton at any time.

The time frame for the fund raiser was held quite well with the schedule. No one seemed to mind the little overage. I hung out until almost everyone was gone. I could hardly wait to get the View started to thank each and every donation giver and to all those who attended. Chouteau County has the greatest and the most generous people in the world. I could never live anywhere else and have never been happier than living here in Fort Benton. I count my blessings every day for that change in my life.

Make it a point to stop in at the River Press office on Thursday the 15th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to say “So Long” to Lindsey. She will be sorely missed and it is not likely that she will visit often as she is moving to Kansas City, Missouri.

Come on down and have a bit of sweets to help soothe the bitterness of our loss. See you there.

Longtime residents of Fort Benton are Judy and Herb Hazen and they are moving to Helena to be near their daughter. The moving van arrives on Wednesday the 14th and they will be off to another adventure.

I am sure that everyone in Fort Benton knows the Hazen’s. They were long time owners of the Riverview Greenhouse. Judy worked at the store right up to the time it was sold.
You also knew their son, Don, who planted many trees around town and did a lot of landscaping. He left us a while back to move to Minnesota to be closer to his Kids and Grandchildren.  Fort Benton never seemed quite the same after his departure.

It won’t be the same with Judy and Herb gone. I know this message comes too late for you to say so long but I will get their address and pass it on to you.

I got a call from Karla Ayers at the Sunrise Bluffs last week to let me know that the Accordion Band would be playing on Sunday afternoon.

I talked with the woman who plays the piano and asked how long the group had been together. She said it was difficult to remember but she thought it was in the late 90’s. That would make it about 20 years.  

They began playing at 1:30 with all the old favorite waltzes, sing-a-longs and best of all polkas. There was a request for “God Bless America” on this 9/11 day. The last song was “Montana” and everyone sang loud and clear.

There was a good gathering of folks who mostly were toe tapping or clapping. The best part was watching a 2 year old dancing like one foot to the other but in rhythm.  His sister was about 6 or 7 and she thrilled and whirled until I was dizzy. I would have liked to know who they were but they left shortly before the concert ended.

The group comes to the Sunrise Bluffs once a year and I wish it were more often. I should not expect them to because one man is 94 years young, one lives in Fort Shaw and the others in Great Falls. There are 3 who play the accordion, one plays the guitar, and the other the piano. They travel the area playing at nursing and retirement homes. Now that is a terrific way to make people smile.

Thank you for the write ups about the games. I really enjoy those articles. I get to know the players’ names and numbers. Keep up the good work on writing…. and to the players…GO LONGHORNS.

Be sure to check the Community Calendar that Tim puts together each week in the River Press. It is the first thing that I look at so I can write important dates on my calendar. The only problem is that I still have to remind and be reminded of goings-on. I forget to look at my calendar. I keep trying to remind myself to look at it first thing in the morning and I am doing a little better. There are dates though that I never forget and those are Pie Day and Bingo.

The Bingo games at the Golden Age Senior Center started a couple of weeks ago. There are about 8 to 10 players. There is a new caller and I am home by 3:15 p.m. The games start at 1:00 p.m. It is an inexpensive way to spend an afternoon when the cold weather takes over and the snow flies. The cards are $1.00 apiece and .20 cents for the blackout game winner. The more participants there are, the larger the winnings. But then again, you are not going to win enough for a trip to Vegas.  

Come and join in a pleasant afternoon and bring along your family and friends.

You say that you do not like to play Bingo. I never dreamed I would like it but I find it very relaxing and it keeps my brain moving watching those numbers. It is also getting out of the house where there is always work to do. I like to be out and about.

I like to travel down Front St. and check out the Missouri. I like to see the geese come and go. I like to hear their noisiness. I like to see people sitting at the tables eating lunch or a snack or see them sitting on the benches and just looking at the river. I like to see boats, canoes, and rafts on the river.

In the Fall I like to see the colors across the river. In the Winter I like to see the ice start forming and later the freeze over. That is all available for me here in Fort Benton.

Enough of what I like. I hope that you like all these things too. I think that I would like to do “On the Street Interviews” to see what you like.

Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.