Tuesday, June 20, 2017

View From The Bridge 6/21/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

The day of the year I always feel sad is Wednesday the 21st when the days start getting shorter. It will be an hour approximately each month to lose light. I do not have to remind you but just thought I would share my thoughts about it. I love these long evenings watching the birds visiting the “Red Dot Dinner bird feeder” hanging in front of the living room window. I’ll enjoy the next couple of months when the days remain longer and then adjust for fall and winter. Hang in there with me.

Folks, I know that I have been nagging about hanging an American Flag on your front porch. I am going to tell you a story that I saw on the world news a week ago Friday. It was the Steve Hartman show “On the Road” what plays every Friday at the end of the program.

Two years ago 11 year old Preston Sharp who lives in Redding, CA visited his grandfather’s grave. He came home to tell his mother that there was not an American Flag on grandfather’s grave.

His mother was of the mind “Well, do something about it.” Preston went to work doing odd jobs to raise money to buy a flag. As the story went on, he bought flags for all the Veterans graves in that cemetery. He then did another cemetery, another cemetery and then another. As of today, Preston has put 23,000 flags on Veterans graves.)

So here I am in Fort Benton, MT asking that every home fly an American Flag. That is one flag for you to honor our United States of America and those who have died for our freedom. Is that too much to ask? Please do it because you love your country and want to show respect for the flag. Flags are reasonably priced at Lehman’s True Value and if you are not able to put it up I can arrange that for you. No excuses, no “I don’t have time, or “I’m just too busy,” or “I do not want to hear that.” There is too much at stake especially at this stage of our lives. I’ll ride around town again on the 4th of July and I am hopeful to see at least 300 homes with Flags flying. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making an effort.

Another reason I am high and mighty about the American Flag is because last Friday my grandson, Joshua who is 19 years old, became a Marine at Parris Island, South Carolina. I was not able to attend but that did not make me less proud. (I have been to a ceremony like this before and every American should witness one.) Joshua and 499 other young men volunteered to join the service of our country. They are putting up their lives for our freedom. They are our protectors and loved ones. Think of them when you put your flag out every day.

My dear husband, Wally gone over 3 years now, has 4 grandsons, my step grandsons, still in the Army. I am so proud of them and all the Servicemen and women. For those of you in Chouteau County who have your husbands, sons, or grandsons, in the service, I thank you and them every day. I tried to find their addresses at one time but they are not given out any longer. (Years ago I used to write to them.) I can understand why and want them to know that they are remembered every day.

It is here at last so enjoy every minute of it. Pick up a schedule and keep busy all three days going from one place to another. The weather looks fine without rain but perhaps high temperatures. Remember your sun screen and drink lots of water.

Fort Benton has been fortunate that enterprising persons have purchased old buildings and homes to restore them. The Grand Union, the State Bank Building, the Culberson House, the McGraw Building, the Tire Store remodeled into the Ambulance Barn, and the Old Fire House to mention a few. Businesses being purchased are the River Market, the Lumber Yard, the L & R Meats building, and the Bowling Alley.  

There are old homes for sale and some being remodeled like one of the T.C. Power houses on 17th St. (open house this weekend,) Jim Cummings house, and the Muesel home. These are great improvements for our city and it is so interesting to watch the progress. I am so grateful that some persons want to invest in Fort Benton.

I have lost a great many friends who had to move for one reason or another but have found new friends who have such great stories to share. It opens up a whole new world that I no longer can explore.

One of my favorite events of Summer Celebration is the Book Sale at the Chouteau County Free Library starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. What a bargain! A bog of books for $1.00 is awesome and is a fund raiser for Friends of the Library. (They meet once a month during the season and I have been fortunate to get the chosen book of the month from the Talking Books Library in Helena.)

A few years ago I met a couple from Canada and enjoyed their story. About 7 years ago they happened to come to Fort Benton during Summer Celebration. They found the Library and the Book Sale and said it was the best sale they had ever found. They travel over 500 miles each year just to enjoy the book sale. They are the first in line waiting for the library to open its doors. I have spoken with them the last couple of years and look forward to seeing them again. See all of you there.

On July 4th there will be a dedication of the old WWI Memorial at the Veterans Park at 10:00 a.m. The Memorial has been repaired and I am hopeful that there are more attendees then there were on Memorial Day.

I am sure the low attendance was because of the repair of the Old Bridge. Next year we will be on track. However, the WWI Memorial will only be this year so mark your calendars. The ceremony will only last a short time and it will be a good way to start the 4th of July holiday.

On the evening of July 3rd there is a program on PBS TV from Washington, D.C. It features the United States Army Band, popular entertainers singing patriotic songs and stories about Veterans. It is 1 ½ hrs. Long and is repeating immediately after the 1st program. Don’t miss it. It is inspiring. (It will make you so happy to have your flag hanging.)

There are some rules and regulations about your hanging of the flag. The directions will be inside the package if you purchase a new one. If it is an older flag some of the rules are to take the flag down in inclement weather and if strong winds are blowing. I’ll be reading my instructions over again because I learn something new every day.

(Especially today our citizens need all the support we can get and give.  (“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

View From The Bridge 6/14/17

By Muncie

How I love to read in the River Press the accomplishments of our Sports Teams bringing 1st place honors to Fort Benton, Geraldine, and Highwood. I am in wonder how some of them with small enrollment who must have every student involved.

Not only are the students involved with sports but they excel in academics. The scholarship awards, the Dean’s list, and other honors are so important to our community. Those students are our future.

Did you read the essays that received awards from the American Legion? The essays were about the American Flag and they said it so well.  It brought tears to my eyes. Would any of you take over the View from the Bridge?

I have been writing about buying and flying our American Flag for weeks now. Reading the essays that tell about honoring the flag shows love of country. You still have a few weeks to fly a flag before the 4th of July. Please make an effort and #1 on your list of things to do. Just do it!

It is here again next week. Look for the schedules on businesses counters and in the River Press. I like to carry one in my pocket with check marks on those I especially want to see.

There will be a few major changes this year so check carefully. The t-shirts, hoodies, and sleeveless shirts will be here soon if not already. Invite your family and friends now so they plan on it.

It will be a very exciting time for our Forever Faithful Dog Shep. There will be many stories about him and I am sure that you have not heard some of the ones that have been discovered lately. See you there!

Donation letters will go out this week for the fireworks display. For me it is the high point of the celebration. You have always been very generous with your contributions.

This story came to light while a committee was working on the mailing. A woman said that he father had received a donation letter. She sent in a donation even though her father had passed away three years before. The reason was because he loved the fireworks. God bless!

I am writing this story for you newcomers to Fort Benton. Six years ago my husband Wally and son Randy took me to Las Vegas for my birthday. Wally had purchased a package at the Toys for Tots auction.

I wanted to go to the Garth Brooks concert and Randy went with me. He was responsible for shouting Garth’s name when Garth had the house lights turned up for requests and questions. Garth pointed at him and Randy proceeded to tell him that it was my birthday; I was from Montana, and his best fan there.
Garth began strumming Happy Birthday and 2,000 sang to me. Then Garth said he should give me a present and took his guitar from his neck and wrote on it. “Muncie, God Bless, Love Garth, 9/10/11.” The security guards brought the guitar to me after the show.

I had my 15 minutes of fame and still own the guitar. Now we come to this past weekend. Garth returned to Montana, after a 20 year absence, appearing at the Rimrock arena in Billings. I was lucky enough to get four tickets.

In the meantime the Billings Gazette called me and interviewed me for a half an hour. The Gazette put out a supplement last Wednesday with a lengthy article and a picture of me with the guitar that was taken by Tim Burmeister. Bethany Monroe DeBorde sent the picture to the Gazette.

The purpose of my interview was that I hoped to meet Garth but he had to catch his place to return to Oklahoma.  Well, my best laid plans did not work out even though people from the Rimrock Arena and the Billings Gazette tried to make it happen. I did not get to meet Garth. I am a little disappointed but I have many happy memories.

We were on the second level and too far away for Garth to see the great sign my daughter Jennifer made.

Here are a couple of stories about signs that I heard from people who went to one of the other four concerts. At one of the concerts Garth sang “Mom” to an older lady that he called up on the stage and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. At another show a man’s sign said, “Garth, because of you I learned to play the guitar.” Garth gave him his guitar. Another sign held up by a man read “Help me to propose.” On the large screens it showed him giving her a ring and missing her. (They were an older couple.)

Another thing that amazed me was the many teenagers at the show. Four of them sat in front of us and they stood the entire time clapping, swaying with the music, and knowing every word of every song. Garth still has “It” and the audience loved him and he obviously loved the audience.

It was a completely different show than the one I saw in Las Vegas. The Vegas show was more sophisticated and only 2,000 people. Sundays show was very loud and it was not surprising with about 10,000 people were there. It was a great weekend and a good time was had by all.

You will see me around town with my Garth Brooks t-shirts now. If you want to make me happy sing “The Dance” for me. “I could have missed the pain but I’d have missed the dance. “That’s all for now about Garth and me.

I just got home tonight, Monday, at 5:00 p.m. and I am a tired puppy. I am getting a little too old for all this excitement of jumping up and down, clapping, screaming, and shouting. Once every 20 years is enough.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

View From The Bridge 6/7/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Have you ordered your Shep t-shirts yet? Please call Connie Jenkins at 750-2918 a.s.a.p. She can put
aside the color and size that you want from the order when it comes in. I have seen the colors and they are beautiful. It will be a keeper shirt of our beloved famous dog. You will wear it proudly.

Do you remember the Charm Trail that started a few years ago? You can find Charms at businesses and the Visitors Information Center. Stop by the Center for a brochure.

Benton Pharmacy sells the Shep Charms. My suggestion is to have earrings made from the Charms. If you purchase the Charms for that reason, you can take them to the Info Center to have them made into earrings. If Ruth is not there, you can take them to the Prairie Rose and Nancy will accommodate you. (It seems strange to refer to downtown in Fort Benton.)

I have had Fort Benton and American Flag earrings made from the charms and wear them more than any of my others. I have another suggestion. If any of the Charms are of special meaning to you, have earrings made. Perhaps you may work in one of the historic buildings. There are all sorts of possibilities. Be creative and let us see what you can come up with. Let me know.

On Monday June 5th, the Shonkin Woman’s Club visited Fort Benton and the home of Terry Baker on Front Street. Terry has completely remodeled the old River Press building that she purchased in 2008. One side of the two part building is her home and the other side is her Framing Shop and Antique Shop.

I was invited to join the Shonkin women and jumped at the chance to visit with friends and see what Terry had accomplished. She had invited me several times but I was not able to follow through.

Terry is very creative and has found a career that she enjoys and loves. I am very proud of her as she also serves as a Councilwoman. Her committee is Streets and Alleys and she aids on several others. She is also a gracious hostess and is a great addition to Fort Benton.

The Shonkin Woman’s Club has approximately 20 members and is very active in Shonkin as is Fort Benton’s General Federation of Woman’s Clubs. Thank goodness for our very active organizations.  Where would we be without them? They do not blow their own horn so we could not possibly know everything they do. Just the scholarships and food baskets during the holidays would be enough but there is much more. Thank you Clubs for your efforts.

I worked on the Memorial Day View from the Bridge last week with a lot of doubt. It was about how upset I was and how to write about it. I know that I was harsh with my criticism. I expected that I would hear about it from somewhere but it did not happen. I did have several readers thank me for telling it as it was.

One reader said that she wrote a letter to the editor a few years ago because she was upset that parade goers did not stand up and put their hand on their hearts when the Color Guard went by at the Summer Celebration Parade. Remember that at the end of this month when we watch the Summer Celebration Parade.

Please sing whenever you hear the National Anthem, God Bless America, and Montana. You do not sing well?  It is o.k., because neither do I but I feel in my heart that I need to sing it out loud.

Margie is retiring after 33 years of teaching. She was teaching the children of children she taught in Kindergarten.  That is amazing. I could not tell you what I was doing 33 years ago but Margie can. She loved her students very much and they loved her. They will always remember her as I can remember the name of my Kindergarten teacher and that was like 100 years ago or so it seems.

If you have no way to say so long to her, send her a card. She would treasure those as you will the memories you or your kiddos have of her.

On Thursday June 8th, Chris Halko will have a celebration of Jimmy Buffett days at the Pharmacy. It is such a fun time with lots of humor. It begins at 11:00 a.m.

Chris has, in past years, had the celebration right after Income Tax day. Because of a heavy work load involved in the purchase of the Governor’s Keep, he had to postpone Jimmy Buffett day.

It was a good thing because with all events and meetings having ended last month, there is not much going on socially. So come on down to the Pharmacy and enjoy a snacks and cake. Dress Hawaiian if you can. See you there. Thanks Chris and Teri.

The Central Montana Tourism Board will be in Fort Benton on Thursday. They will have a meeting around noon. They will then tour town and the businesses. What fun will be had by all. If you see them on the street or in a business, give them your well known Fort Benton welcome.

Connie Jenkins came to my apartment last Thursday to do some computer work. When leaving, she somehow managed to fall on the driveway. Of course I could not pick her up and she did not want me to call 911.

She managed to call Craig Ferris and he was here in 1 minute with of all people, an EMT, David Hasler, who took such good care of Connie. He convinced her into going to the ER. An x-ray found that she had broken a bone in her shoulder. She went home with pain pills and her arm in a sling.

As of today, Sunday, she is out and about as usual. I am trying to think of a way to tie her down so that she gets some much needed rest. That will be difficult because this is her busiest time of year with the upcoming Summer Celebration.
Send her a card with your sentiments on it and although she is cheery as the morning sun or a full moon, it will let her know how much she is loved.

A heads up notice for the October Garage Sale fund raiser for the Lions Club. They skipped a year and plans are now in progress to schedule it at the Fair Ground. It will be held in one of the buildings.

The reason for this early notice is that when you are doing some house cleaning, you can put aside the useable items suitable for a garage sale. More details after the Chouteau County Fair.

There will be no more Pie Days or Tuesday night dinners until next September. I am happy that the members are taking a break from baking and cooking during the hot summer months. They will be missed.

Pie Day is one of my favorite activities. There are a few others who share my love of homemade pie and visiting with friends that I do not see often. Perhaps Summer Celebration and the Chouteau County Fair will help take the place of senior events. It will not be long before we are enjoying the hustle and bustle of Summer Celebration and the Fair. See you there.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

View From The Bridge 5/31/17

By Muncie

D Day
D Day stands for my Disappointment Day at the small crowd that showed up at the Veterans Park for the Memorial Day ceremony.

I heard excuses like, “It is my only chance to sleep in on a holiday.” Another was, “I don’t have anyone that was in the service.” The best one was, “I forgot.” Well really!  What if those Veterans would have said that in the midst of a battle? “Oh gee, do I have to get up and go out there with a gun and shoot at the enemy” or “Oops, I forgot that was going on today.”

No, I am sure that was not on their minds. They were there protecting our freedom and not thinking about their sacrifices.’

Then we get to the invitation extended in the River Press last week and today at the Riverside Cemetery to come to the Sunrise Bluffs to view the new arrangements of the Vets photos. I saw two lone people in the hallways. I am so sure that most of you have a father, grandfather, or great grandfather who served in the almost constant wars we have had since WWI. Don’t you feel any kind of feelings toward them? Do you ever go to the cemetery perhaps on their memory day? Oh right! ”I am just too busy.”

I am upset and I just don’t get it. Fort Benton does not seem to have the Patriotic Spirit as I see in other towns.

I also was taken for a ride around town to check out the American Flags. We rode up and down every street and including businesses and other buildings, there were 54 flags displayed. Out of a possible 600 plus homes in Fort Benton plus businesses, only 54 Flags were flying.

I now give up and will never again mention anything to do with Veterans and programs for Veterans. It is way over my head to understand any of it.  

Can you believe that May is over? It did bring May flowers but also showers. It was the windiest month that I remember and a bit scary with that wind storm last week. I am sure that the word spread quickly about the tree branch slamming into Keith Ballantyne’s truck. The line of vehicles driving by on Front St. was a steady one to view the damage.

Another large branch was in front of the Morger house and laid on 14th St. It was only 10 minutes before the City Crew was there to clean it up. So many of the trees in our city are very old and we can expect them to go away as everything has an end.

I have had planted 4 cottonwoods on the Levee between the Grand Union and the Visitors Center and it will be 20 years before they are of are any size. When I was on the Tree Board years ago I sponsored an ordinance that only cottonwoods should be planted on the Levee. That was not a good plan and since then information was found that not the same kind of trees should be planted because of disease. If it attacked a certain species all the trees would be destroyed. Hopefully that ordinance was over ruled and we retain our “Tree City” title.

All that talk about tree brings up the subject of Tree Memorials. There are several other Memorial Trees on the Levee. It is a wonderful way to remember your loved one. If there is not a charity to be donated to and you do not want to send flowers, think about a tree. You can work with the City Crew as to its placement. It is better than making a trip to the cemetery. If your loved one is cremated, then all the more reason to plant a tree.

Another way to remember someone is to buy a brick around the Shep Courtyard. Doesn’t the Shep area look fabulous since it was re-done. Shep is actually a high-point for our Visitors. Volunteering at the Visitors Center makes one realize that Visitors actually come to Fort Benton to see the Shep bronze and the burial place. More Shep brochures are taken, more Shep books sold, and more Shep charms are purchased. Keep this in mind the next time you may want a brick not only for a loved one, but a birthday, anniversary or other special celebration.

It was called the Full Strawberry Moon by the Algonquin Native Americans. However no reason was given for them being interested in strawberries. In Europe the June moon was called the Rose Moon and no reason for that either. The Almanac did say that the strawberry season was short in June but why The Europeans called it the Rose Moon instead of the Strawberry Moon is unknown. I like Strawberry Moon because for many years I picked strawberries and froze them.  Yummy!

The full moon is on Friday the 9th.

There was a good turnout for the proposed extension of the Levee Trail. It was just the first meeting to inform residents of plans being started and a reaction as to how they felt about it.

It was very interesting listening to the different speakers. I am sure that Bethany will be writing a complete story.

What I learned was that a 10 minute walk every day would cut your chances of heart problems by a great percentage.

I am walking again at the High School. Now that school is out I can walk my half hour any time between 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. every weekday. I am listening to a great Talking Book titled “My Life as an Indian” by Schultz. It has many references to Fort Benton in the late 1800’s. Come and join me around 10:00 a.m. and get in your 10 minutes. I walk in the school because I cannot be in the sun. I miss walking the Levee Trail more than I can possibly explain but it is what it is. Just enjoy the moment.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

View From The Bridge 5/24/17

By Muncie

Because the Old Bridge will not be finished by the holiday, the Memorial Day services will be held at the Veterans Park at 10:00 a.m. From there we will proceed to the Riverside Cemetery for a brief ceremony. Those of you who make that trip to the Cemetery are then invited to the Sunrise Bluffs for refreshments.

When you arrive at the Cemetery, take note of all the American Flags on Veteran graves. There are many and each holds a loved one who was in the service of our country. That Veteran was willing to die for our country. They deserve the honor we can give them. God bless them and God bless America. See you there.

Two weeks ago Diane Jones reported on the American Legion’s scholarship award. The essay contest winner was Layton Bahnmiller from Big Sandy and was based on the American Flag. What a writer that young man is. His thoughts, about our American Flag and the importance of it, said it all.

Diane and I are on the same page concerning our Flag and the reasons for flying one on our homes. I urged all of your readers to buy a flag, if you do not already fly one. With Memorial Day upon us next Monday, we honor those who gave their lives for that Flag. Would you have done what they did to defend your country? Think about that long and hard.

Working with the Vets Photo Program in the last few weeks I came close and personal with each photo.  You study their faces and wonder what life would have been for them had they not close to defend their country. Those that died never had the chance to have a family. Perhaps they already had one but never were able to see any of their children grow up.

That is what Memorial Day is all about and as I said many times before, show up at the Veterans Park.

At the Riverside Cemetery note the American Flags on all the graves of men and women who served. It only happens once a year and you surly can find a few minutes to remember the Veterans. Is it too much to ask?

Another good reason to come to the Sunrise Bluffs after the ceremony at the Cemetery is to check out the new arrangements for the Veterans photos. They are now in alphabetical order that makes it easier to find your loved one. Children and Grandchildren may have to be lifted to find their Dad or Grandpa. It is a great opportunity to teach them about what the pictures are all about. It is a reality that we all have to deal with.

Another year has rolled around and we see those Kiddos we knew in Kindergarten are now on their way to college. They are our hope for the future and I know they can do it.  They have many hopes and dreams and I know that we in Chouteau County that hold the same hopes and dreams for them.

I would like to talk to you when you come home for breaks, as to how college is different from high school. I would like to hear about your new friends and what classes you are taking. I never had the opportunity so I can live in your hopes and dreams for a little while.

At the Bomb Shelter every Saturday from 12:40 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. there are Good Neighbor Volunteers. They are working at a “Food Distributing Program.” This is food that grocery stores in the area donate and it is available to everyone. Make a trip to the Bomb Shelter and pick up a grocery bag full of food, fresh or canned, that you can use.

I just found out about this program a couple of weeks ago. It has been in existence for a long while but was only known about by word of mouth. Please note again that it is available to everyone. Give it a try next Saturday.

(I’ll bet I know your next question. where is the Bomb Shelter?  Take Main Street straight north and up the hill. It is off to the left with lots of parking.)

The week has finally arrived when at the end of it we will no longer have to tolerate those political commercials. Between those and all the depressing world news reports, I have discovered PBS. They have a world news program on for 1 hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with NO COMMERCIALS. There is still very sad news about accidents, floods, and tornadoes, but somehow it seems softened. Give them a try to see if seems a bit easier to digest. (Too bed I didn’t discover this many months ago.)

“Why is it so difficult to say you are sorry when you know that you are wrong?” (This is my own ponderism.)


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

View From The Bridge 5/17/17

By Muncie

This is kind of a Mother’s Day story. Several weeks ago I went to Market on the Thursday of Ted’s open house for the River Market. I walked in behind three women who asked the cashier if Ted was available. He was at lunch but the cashier told the ladies to browse around until he returned.

I made my rounds around the market and when I reached the registers the three women were up front and Ted was hugging one of them. I could not resist speaking to them. I asked if they had come all the way from Stanford to see the River Market. One of the women was Ted’s Mom and she was beaming with pride. Ted introduced me as a columnist for the River Press, (he remembered my name.) One of the other ladies said I should write in the View that two blondes came from Stanford to see Ted. Where else but in Fort Benton would this happen? They were very receptive to my favorite blond joke. Welcome again Ted to Fort Benton.

Please try to attend the meeting at the Wake Cup on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the extension of the Levee Walking Trail. I have always felt that the trail should be extended but my thinking was in the direction to the left and around town ending up possibly at the Fair Grounds.

The new suggestion sounds very possible and I have driven that direction on the tracks. It is very beautiful along the Missouri and would be a great extension. Come to the meeting and give your opinion and I hope that the representative from the GNSF shows up. Without their cooperation we would just be spinning our wheels. See you there.

What a journey back in time is the Antique store that was opened by Bob Milford in the McGraw building. It is the next best thing to a museum. Plan on spending at least a few hours, when you drop in. You will say to yourself, if not out loud, that “Oh, I used to have one of those.” or “Oh, my grandparents had one of those.”

One of the most fascinating items is the huge, and I mean huge, windmill hanging on the wall.  Bob is an historian from Great Falls who knew when the McGraw building went up for sale that it was the building he was looking for. He recognized the history of the building.

As you might know, he removed the front of the building to expose the original front. He uncovered the glass blocks in front of the buildings front windows that allowed light into the basement.

The inside of the store is so neat, tidy, and organized to perfection. Bob’s store is now open on Friday and Saturday only but will change this summer. It is so worth the trip and be sure to take your family and guests there for a visit. Bob does not expect you to buy anything but just to enjoy the nostalgia. It is a great place to find gifts for young and old and especially the old.  Perhaps you would see marbles, a small truck you used to have or a tea set. Grammas love to have tea with their granddaughters. Just enjoy going back in time for a little while. It is worth the trip.

As it always has been, it was a tremendous success. Every seat was taken, the turkey dinner was fabulous, and the 6th Graders were the peak of professionalism. They greeted us at the door, found our name tags, escorted us to our seats, helped those who could not handle getting their meal, and were constantly around with water, lemonade, and coffee. They also served us our dessert that consisted this year of pudding and an Oreo cookie. It was the end of a perfect meal.

We again had place mats made by the students and I will be keeping mine to use every day. I eat alone most of the time and it will cheer up my meal.

Then came the show and it was awesome. Each class did their part and we enjoyed songs from the Wizard of Oz. They had costumes of all the characters. I could not see well because of people in front of me but I believe that the Scarecrow sang, “If I Only Had a Brain.”  Other songs were from “Mary Pippins” with chimney sweep costumes, songs from the musical “Annie”, and “The Sound of Music”. The finale was everyone singing Edelweiss. Do you remember the words?

“Edelweiss, Edelweiss,
Every morning you greet me.
Small and white, clean and bright,
You look happy to meet me. Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow,
Bloom and forever grow.
Edelweiss, Edelweiss,
Bless my homeland forever.”

The Chamber of Commerce and Sheryl Gagnon hosted a Farwell party for Tim Burmeister last Friday evening.  About 30 people enjoyed a couple of houses chatted with Tim and Connie.

There were many humorous stories about Connie Jacobs and Connie Jenkins.  Several people at one time thought that Connie Jenkins was married to Tim.  Another story was that when Connie Jenkins had her cancer fund raiser, Connie Jocobs got a check instead of Connie Jenkins. (I am happy that I am the only Muncie in town.)

We know that Tim will be back to visit because his Mom lives at the Sunrise Bluffs. I got the word from her personally that she does not want to leave. With all now said and done we wish the Burmeister’s the best of luck and want them to know that they will be missed.

What a HOOT we did have on Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Ag Center for the Fund Raiser for Hoot. I watched a dozen or more artists do their thing.  It was awesome and I do not think it is fair that some people have so much talent.

At 6:00 the live auction began and in-between silent auction items, 50/50 raffle, and jar raffles would be called. There was a wide table of delicious snacks that took care of supper.

All in all a good time was had by all. The proceeds are for the music festival planned for August. If you could not make it to the Ag Center on Saturday and would like to donate toward the Music Festival, contact Jamie at the Wake Cup Coffee Shop.

“Why is it that you are IN movies and On television?”

It is a little over two weeks away and you have enough time to get those flags up. (I am having difficulty keeping mine out because of the rain and wind. It seems that I put it out and in several times a day. The weather reports no warmer weather in the near future. Let’s hope they are wrong.)


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

View From The Bridge 5/10/17

By Muncie

May all you Mothers have the best day ever.

1. Moms don’t do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she spends all day paying tills.

I reported a couple of weeks ago that the Veterans Photo project was almost completed. Oops! At that time I did not know that there wee-wee pictures across the hall. The last few work days have been spent arranging and rearranging the walls.

The next work day will complete the project and I am so proud of the way it turned out. I am also so proud of those volunteers who made it happen.

Memorial Day is about three weeks away and you have an invitation to attend the Wreath Ceremony at the Fort Benton Old Bridge and then to proceed to the cemetery.

My dream is to see the Levee so crowded that you might find it difficult to find a place to stand. I would like to see as many people as attend the Summer Celebration parade. That definitely includes children.

I am quite sure that every family in Fort Benton has a loved one buried in the cemetery.  Attending the Memorial Day ceremonies will not only honor all the Veterans buried there but your own family members. See you there.

I have had a bit of stress the last couple of weeks so that is my excuse for not writing about the month of May. I will make up for it today because May is one of the most beautiful months of the year.

As I was out and about this past week I saw that the flowering trees are in full bloom and other trees are showing green buds. The grass is green and this year we have a super crop of dandelions. I wish I knew the reason for this bumper crop.

It is called the FULL FLOWER MOON and in most areas, flowers are abundant at this time. Other names are the Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon with no explanation in the Almanac. The full moon is on Wednesday the 10th,

“If corn oil is made from corn, vegetable oil from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?”


God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home
(Please read this over several times and realize how lucky you are.)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

View From The Bridge 5/3/17

By Muncie

Several old timers asked me to ask Ted, the new owner of the River Market, if there was going to be delivery service.

I did ask and Ted said that he would continue delivering on Tuesdays. However, if you have an emergency, he would be able to make a delivery. I believe that will be good news to all of us old folks. (I do not know if they would consider it an emergency if you are in the middle of baking a cake and find that you do not have enough eggs.)

I think that I said welcome to Ted but in case it skipped my attention, welcome to Fort Benton Ted. I am especially thankful because he purchased a home and now lives here.

I just wanted you to know Shannon and Rob, that you will be sorely missed. You will be remembered for your very generous contributions to the community and just the helpfulness you spread around town. I am happy that you are remaining in Fort Benton and making it your permanent home. See you around town.

On Thursday it will be the 4th of May and it is supposed to be in the 70 degree range. I will be able to ride my go-go on the trail to the new bridge to see the new landscaping work. The junipers were removed and new landscaping will replace it.

I was told that the junipers were probably over 20 years old and had seen their hay-day. Many others in town have aged like the rest of us and owners of property are removing them. This is another case of the young taking over the old. There is no stopping it so enjoy every minute of every day.

You have 2 weeks left to prepare for Mother’s Day. Make it really special for her. Even a phone call, if you live far away, will make her day.

My Mom passed away 48 years ago and I still want to call her when something wonderful happens in my life. Actually, that would be almost every day. If it were today it would have the benefit of unlimited phone calls, answering machines, and Caller I.D. So just do it!  It will make her day.

You now have a whole month to purchase an American Flag and install it. Please do this to show your love of country. We do not know from day to day what will happen. The most important thing to remember is President Kennedy’s saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

Yes, I had another scan phone call last week. It was from foreign speaking men posing as DISH employees. They wanted to install a new box and set up an appointment for the following Friday.  I asked what the cost would be and they said it was free. DISH just wanted to upgrade the service.

As we were about to hang up the one man said that I would not be charged for the installation but there would be a $95.00 charge for the box. I began yelling that I didn’t want a new box and to cancel the appointment on Friday. He hung up on me.

I called DISH immediately and I am passing this information on to you. DISH WILL NEVER CALL YOU. The only way they talk to you is if you call them.

If you get any phone call from a company that calls with a deal like I told you about, hang up. If you have Caller I.D. and the number is there, report it to the company they say they represent or your phone company.

1.  My Dad makes the best spaghetti sauce in the world.  My Mom eats a lot.
2.  She got too old to do anything else with him.
3.  My Gramma said that she didn’t have her thinking cap on.

“Why does the Alphabet song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star have the same melody?”

Those of you who own scooters may be interested in this subject. In conversation with other scooter owners, I was told that you should not charge the battery every time you use it.

This is a debatable subject because one man said that the information booklet said that he should with his model. Another woman said that she only charges when it gets low. I do not have a booklet and I charge when the lines are down halfway. (I do not want to run out of power when I am 2 miles from home.)

I called one company that sells them but did not get much information. They said to consult the booklet and that each brand had different directions.

So what did I learn this week? Actually nothing but perhaps one of you could answer the question as to how often to charge a scooter battery.

A certain waitress in a local eatery needed a fence built. A certain group of coffee drinkers heard the story. It wasn’t long before her fence was up right down to the gate. The group was not asked but just did it as good neighbors. We truly do have a wonderful town.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

View From The Bridge 4/26/17

By Muncie

What enjoyment I get riding my Go-Go around town and seeing the improvements up close and personal.

The Shep statue is looking as though Shep himself is heading the project. (I wonder where they stored all the bricks.) It is a tremendously huge job and many thanks to the Community Improvement Association who are doing all the work.

Sometime in the past week a crew cut down all those trees and bushes behind the Lewis and Clark statue. (I am not supposed to mention the name of the person who spearheaded this project, but her name starts with a K.)

In my memory that project has been done 2 or 3 times in the last 20 years. They keep growing back and nothing can be done to destroy them because of the Missouri River. Any product strong enough would enter the river and that is a definite no-no. It will be a couple of years before they start growing tall enough to blocking the view of the Missouri. In the meanwhile ENJOY the VIEW from the Lewis and Clark statue.

A Good Neighbor project is one that is done without asking and is strictly volunteered.

The Veterans Photo project is almost complete thanks to Diane, Karla, Jim, Roman, and Ken. They, of course, did not want their names mentioned, but I am because I am so thankful that it is finally at the finish line.

As of today, (Sunday) all but one wall is completed with photo shelves. Perhaps this week the photos will be back in place and ready for Memorial Day.

It was a lot of work as the photos had to be taken down and stored. The walls had to be patched and painted. The shelves had to be built, painted, and installed. Now the enjoyment part begins by putting the photos up in alphabetical order.

Doris, who lives at the Bluffs, has missed seeing her husband’s picture every day. I know how happy she will be when the pictures are returned to the walls.

I have three (3) “Good Neighbor” stories that I will tell you in the next couple of weeks. If you have a story would you please let me give me a call?

I enjoyed watching Face the Nation today. The Governor of Ohio wrote a book about politics of course but that was not the point. The point was about getting along with family, friends and neighbors. Instead of spending time pulling apart, how much more good would happen if everyone worked together.

I remember and still have cards with this saying printed on them. It was from a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Awesome! What a wonderful world this would be if only? Do one kind deed every day and watch the results.

I watch the weather channel every day because I enjoy the stories they tell. Can you guess how much the average white cloud weights? Would you believe 1.1 million pounds? I didn’t believe it either so I checked it out. It is a fact.

I love the big white fluffy clouds and often can see things in them. I could spend hours just watching them float by. I would wonder where they would end up by evening or the next day. It was a great pass time when I was a child.

Do you have any idea what keeps those clouds up in the sky since they are so heavy?  It is gravity. I hope that you can watch the weather channel and see that program. I will then have something to talk to you about the next time we meet.

If you learn something new this week, would you let me know?

Next Sunday is the last day of May. I will pass this on to the River Press because the 4th is the day after the Press comes out. MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU.

What did Moms need to know about your Dad before she married him?
1.  His last name.
2.  His background, like was he a crook?
3.  Did he make at least $800.00 a year?
4.  Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

“If you go to heaven and get wings, would you be afraid of heights?”


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

View From The Bridge 4/19/17

By Muncie

Even though the wind was showing off on last Saturday morning, there was a good turnout. I got to the little Kiddos area in the triangle just before noon. What fun watching those little ones head out to hunt for eggs. They really didn’t know what was going on and their parents had to assist them. It took all of about 5 minutes to fill their baskets. A whole lot of fun was stuffed into those 5 minutes.

Thanks to the Lions Club for the many hours they spent stuffing the eggs. The Easter Bunny was very thankful for making his job a bit easier. He is much like Santa Claus who has the whole world to cover in a short amount of time.

Hope you had a great day and enjoyed the sunshine. Now we look forward to the next holiday that is Memorial Day.

Talking Memorial Day, I have a reminder for you. You have 6 or 7 weeks to purchase your American Flag and get it hanging. It is a strong showing of your love of country.  It is especially so in this time when our county needs all the love and support it can get. If you read this column, please purchase your flag and get it up. Memorial Day is all about remembering those brave men and women who gave their lives to keep our country free.

Another show of love of country is to attend the ceremony at the Old Fort Benton Bridge on that morning and then make your way to the cemetery for the ceremony there. I am pleased to report that each year there is an increase in the number of participants. Bring your children and teach them a lesson of history as to why we have the holiday. See you there!

Another show of strength is to get out and vote. It isn’t that difficult and especially if you request a mail in vote. I have used the mail in vote for quite a few years. It gives you the opportunity to read over the balled at your leisure. You are not as rushed as you are when you go to a poll. By way of the grape vine I heard that Chouteau County voter numbers were not very high.                                                
Talk to your voter friends and neighbors and encourage them to vote. Let us in Chouteau County show our strength in the system. You do not get that privilege in many other countries.

There is still a Bingo game going on at the Golden Age Senior Center every Thursday during April. I will check out the month of May for you and let you know next week.

If you read the River Press regularly, you will see that we are losing more of our population than we are gaining.  We do not have enough people moving in or babies born to cover the losses. I do not have a solution but I just wanted to mention it in case you had not noticed.

If you have family or friends who are looking for a new place to live encourage them to come to Fort Benton. It is all about family and although you may not want family living close to you there is others who would see it as an advantage. It is especially important to older folks who may need care but not enough for them to go to a care facility.

While at the Grand Union for the Piatigorsky Concert a week ago Sunday, I met Jim Gagnon who was at home in Fort Benton for a short visit. Jim is in Hong Kong and said the he looks forward to and reads the View from the Bridge every week on the internet. He said he really enjoys reading about what is going on in Fort Benton.

I have also heard from PA, MI, AZ, FL, OH, and some on my blog that do not sign their names. I mention this because I would like to hear more of what is going on in town from the different organizations. I would like you to know that I cannot put anything in the View if you have not taken an ad. It would be great if I could hear a couple of weeks ahead of time. Please remember to do this. I really would appreciate it. It does no hurt to have two reminders in the paper.

“Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you but when you take him for a ride in the car, he sticks his head out the window?”

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don’t know but my guess would be that she was pretty busy


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

View From The Bridge 4/12/17

By Muncie

Can you believe that next Sunday is Easter Sunday? There will be a lot of moving about town with shopping for your Easter dinner or making plans to eat out. Check the River Press to see what eateries will be open.

The Lions Club will hold their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday and what fun it is to watch those Kiddos fill their baskets. Check the River Press schedules for time and place

As has always happened, a lovely afternoon was spent last Sunday. Katie, as she wanted to be called, a mezzo soprano and Nicholas the pianist treated the classical music lovers to a most pleasant program.

Nicholas played several selections himself and accompanied Katie with her songs. All of the Piatigorsky artists have degrees in music and I love the history they give to us about each selection.

At the end of the program Katie sang show tunes and impressed on me the wide range of her ability. What a happy person she is and spread it to all of us.

Another treat was a young man from Great Falls who is a music student and played a selection for us.  (I was not able to find his name before this article had to go in.) He is a 4.0 student and he really seemed to enjoy playing for us. I hope Fort Benton has him back again soon. (Like the Stensland’s, taking piano lessons was not an option for him.)

I know that you will all be happy for me that birds are back at my feeders. They had not visited me all winter. I went on the deck about two weeks ago and saw that the feeders were empty. I took each one inside and cleaned it. A couple of them have windows that I don’t think I had ever washed and didn’t even know they were there.

I filled each one with fresh bird see and lo and behold, in a couple of days it was all gone. I began seeing birds at the feeders every day. They are sparrows and are so busy. They must have nests nearby or perhaps they are the species who stay all winter. Whatever, I am happy just watching them when I am at my kitchen window.

Sunrise Bluffs is having another Pinochle Game on Monday the 17th at 1:00 p.m. There will be prizes, snacks and beverages for you to enjoyment. Please call in your reservation if you are planning to join in. The last games they had were very successful and a good time was had by all.

Good Friday is also Pie Day. I am really looking forward to that now that Mother Nature has turned a bit kinder to us. Several days of leaving windows open for fresh air was lovely and most welcome.  

The Golden Age Senior Center could not only use a few more PIE BAKERS but also a few more PIE EATERS. You all must be tired of me always telling about the great bargain Pie Day. Why don’t you come on down to the Center and find out for yourself. If every person who frequents that day would bring 1 more person we could have quite a wonderful social hour.

I know that you must not have seen many friends and neighbors during the winter, so get out and about. Take a walk along the Levee Walking Trail and see the great job the trimming of the trees.  See you there.

I swear this year I am going to do my tax records month by month instead of trying to get it all done at once. I am ready to scream as I am frantically trying to finish it today. I really know though that it is never going to happen. It compares to New Year’s resolutions. You may do well for a couple of months and then all of a sudden it falls by the wayside. Here I go again acting like a human being.

Why did God give you your mother instead of some other mother?
1.  Because we are related.
2.  God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s mom like me.

“If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can’t he fix a hold in a boat?


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

View From The Bridge 3/5/17

BY Muncie

I have been writing about the names of the moons for several years. I hope that you don’t mind and feel about them as I do. I cannot remember the descriptions from year to year and enjoy reading what they are. Let me know your opinion if you see me on the street or in one of our great stores.

The April moon is called the Pink Moon. This name came from the herb moss pink or wild phlox which are the earliest wild flowers of the season. (Did you remember that?)

There are several other names but I am going to stick with just the Pink Moon. (If you want to know the rest, check with the Almanac.)
The full moon is on Tuesday the 11th. The bright light from the moon will help you check out the Pink Moss.

I have not heard from anyone outside of town about the arrival of the first meadowlarks. I did get a report from Chris Taylor, on the street, that there were Meadowlarks on their farm about 3 weeks ago.

Now I feel it is official that SPRING is here. Still there is that feeling that winter is not going to give up easily. It did go out like a lamb having come in like a lion but perhaps it is too good to be true.

The Freeze is open. When I rode by last Friday there was music playing and it was coming from the Freeze building. I knocked on the window and Mr. Freeze himself came to the window. He and Mrs. Freeze had planned on opening April 1st, (that is no joke,) but one of the machines broke down and had to be repaired. So the big day will be Thursday the 6th if all goes well. Stop by and say hello.

The other good news is that the Hulbert’s will be making Fort Benton their permanent home. That again depends if all goes well. They have been living here for the past 5 or 6 years during “The Freeze” season. They will be most welcome as permanent residents. Every day seems to bring new and wonderful surprises. So greet each day with a smile and enjoy every minutes of every day. 

The Veterans photos at the Sunrise Bluffs are being rearranged in the next few weeks. We hope to have it completed by Memorial Day.

Picture shelves are being built and the photos will be arranged in alphabetically order. This will make it easier to find your loved one. It will also prevent photos from falling off the wall, having to be repaired, broken glass replaced, and will just give a better look to the wall.

We have started with the WWII photos. There are 127 photos. It is an interesting project as we will be able to reminisce about each Veteran again.  

It is over for the season at the VFW. I have not been able to attend the last few weeks because of another program on the same night. I just want to say, “See you in October,” to friends I have known for a long while and to those new friends. I truly enjoy your company and thank you for the many laughs.

How time flies! Easter is a week from next Sunday. It is a religious day for many but it is an exciting day for Kiddos.

I miss having little ones around to do the usual Easter things. My most vivid memory of Easter was checking every morning after to see if the Easter Bunny had returned. You can guess that it never happened. I got over it at about age 8 when I caught on to what it was all about. The memories linger and make Easter Sunday a special day still.

So many friends have gone away these past few weeks. I send condolences for the families of Dave, Chris, Verda, and Lillian. I did not know the others who were in the River Press obits but know the feeling of loss. I will miss you.

1. God makes Moms out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world with 1 can of mean.
2. They had to get her start from men’s bones. Then they used string I think.

If you go to heaven and get wings, what if you are afraid of heights?”


These words mean more to me than ever today. A few weeks ago my 19 year old grandson joined the United States Marine Corps and is at Parris Island training. I also have 4 grandsons on the Morger side of the family who are still in the service of our country. They have all been deployed over-seas at least once and several twice. (The best part is they have given me 2 more great grandchildren.)

I have asked before and gotten no response to be informed of the men and women who are in the service. There are programs that are held that they and their parents could be invited too. 

I know that you cannot send their addresses but just their names, ranks, and what service they are in would be enough. Your name and phone number would be appreciated. I had some of this information but it was a long time ago and I no longer have it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

View From The Bridge 3/29/17

By Muncie

I never dreamed that this would happen but Tim Burmeister is leaving Fort Benton to follow Connie, his wife, to Elko, Nevada. I would guess that after he tried to steal the View from the Bridge from me and becoming Mayor of Squire Butte, he has to get out of town. To be Mayor of Squire Butte is a tough job and requires many hours of work.  

There will be a farewell get together in April at the River Press office when he returns after packing up and moving.

You will be sorely missed Tim and Connie. I am pleased however that his Mom, who resides at the Sunrise Bluffs, is remaining in Fort Benton.

If you missed the piano concert on the 20th of March, you missed a miracle.  To watch Thomas Pandolfi’s fingers was absolutely breath taking. How can he memorize all music from Chopin to songs from Broadway Shows and movies like the Sting? The Rhapsody in Blue was a show stopper. I wanted him to play on and one. He can play for hours and never look at a sheet of music. The miracle also was in the fact that he began playing piano at age 5 and was doing concerts by the age of 10. That is genius in my opinion.

Another part of the program that I enjoyed was the history of music that he shared. I happened to talk to several other people who are history buffs and that was what they enjoyed about the program.

How we can solve the problem of several events going on in town at the same time? The Monday night Bingo game at the VFW and the City Council meeting also drew potential CCPA enthusiasts from the show. Is there someone out there smarter than a 5th grader who can come up with an answer?

Thomas did perform for the Nursing Home and the Kiddos at the Elementary School. That is the best way to introduce classical and modern music to the youngsters.

There were more of his CD’s sold than for any artist that has performed here in Fort Benton. Besides his brilliant performance he is also a real nice guy.

Don’t miss this delightful show of the Fitzgerald family on next Monday the 3rd.  The Fitzgerald family is so enjoyable because they sign and dance. It makes for a happy evening of entertainment. They were here in Fort Benton in 2009 and the children were very young. Now they are grown and just as delightful.  Hope to see you there.

Last Thursday’s showing of the Smithsonian's The Last Buffalo was again a history lesson. It was very depressing to watch the reenactment of the buffalo being slaughtered. It took one man, Hornaday, with the guts to do something about building the herds back from extinction.

It told the story of how The Last Buffalo changed the lives of the Native Americans. We, personally, have changes in our lives because of wars and natural disasters but in my opinion, never as horrific as The Last Buffalo.

I did learn something that I am passing on because the few people I spoke with had no idea about it. Did you, especially womenfolk, know that bone china was made from animal bones? It never occurred to me the match up bone china with animal bones. That is what I love about each day is that I learn something new.

“Why is it people take elevators to the top of tall buildings and then pay money for binoculars to look at buildings on the ground?”

Since this holiday is about 7 weeks away, these answers were sent to me via e-mail and I thought it may prepare you for the big day. It may also give you a few laughs.

The following answers were by 2nd graders. “Why did God make Moms?”
1. She is the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we are born.  (You may have to read #3 again.)


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

View From The Bridge 3/22/17

By Muncie

Last Thursday I picked up my River Press at the Post Office. As soon as I came through the door the phone was ringing. “Muncie, aren’t you going to write the View from the Bridge anymore?” Well that took the feeling of joy out of me thinking that I could no longer call myself a columnist. I had the paper in my hand and when I looked it said, View from the Bridge by Tim Burmeister.

It was too late to call Tim and I stewed over it all evening. (I actually knew it had to be an error.) I called him first thing on Friday morning and he answered the phone. “Am I fired Tim?” Of course it was an error but it was a good chance to rag Tim about it. I guess you are stuck with me for a while.

A most beautiful theme for Summer Celebration has been decided on by the committee. It is “FROM LOYALTY TO ROYALTY.” That is so meaningful that it makes my heart beat a little faster.

With only 8 days of March, 2 months of April and May, and 22 days of June to ponder through until the big day, we can think about the meaning. All dog lovers should have a great deal of meaning to the theme.

Talking about Summer Celebration reminds me to remind you that there will be a “Look-a-like Shep Contest.” A search all over the area is on for look-a-likes and the one chosen will be the Grand Marshall of the parade. Plan on bringing your look alike and it will be a hoot to choose the one you think looks most alike.

If you would like to know more about Shep and have a computer go to Dateline and view the documentary about Shep by Randy Morger. (It almost makes me want to get a dog.)

Spring was sprung on Monday and so far it looks as though March will go out like a lamb. It came in like a lion. Of course we cannot depend on Mother Nature. She changes her mind almost every day. (It is Sunday noon and my weather stations read 71 degrees. I’m out for a ride along the Missouri to chase the geese. I’ll bet they really miss Mickey.)
I enjoy Loma Days and I called Ma’s Cafe to check on the date. It will be on April 1st. Put it on your calendar and see you there.

There are only two more performances on the schedule for CCPA, Everything Fitz on April 3rd and the Piatigorsky Foundation Concert on May.

I have a story about the Fitz family. My daughter, Jennifer, was returning from a job in Minneapolis. She sat next to the daughter of the family who were coming for Consortium and they chatted. The young lady said that they were going to Great Falls and then to a small city nearby for a showcase. It was Fort Benton she was headed for and Jennifer said they she would most likely meet her mother Muncie. She gave the Fitz girl a picture of me for her cell phone.  Sure enough as I was coming in the front door the Fitz girl was walking by. She immediately called out to me. I knew nothing of this and when she told me how it happened I had another “Small World” for my story book.

I very often heard “Small World” stories at the Visitors Information Center and loved them. My favorite was the one Joan Albers told me. A man from England came to Great Falls to look for his father that he had never seen.  His mother remained in England after WWII. He found his father for a grand reunion after so many years. The father then brought his son to Fort Benton because he loved our little town. How great is that!

“Why is it that people say they sleep like a baby when babies wake up every 2 hours?”


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

View From The Bridge 3/15/17

By Muncie

I think that everyone in town turned out for Wyatt’s Fund Raiser on Tuesday the 7th. The food line was long but passed quickly. It was an excellent dinner and there was the most delicious cheesecake for sale for dessert. (I would like that receipt.)

The auditorium was a wonderful mad house of activity. The old fashioned games were run by the Fort Benton High School students and a good time was had by all.

I found a quiet place in one of the classrooms to play bingo. Students and their parents went in and out and I saw a few regulars. My friend won once and she got a little green St. Patrick’s notebook and a wooden snake. She would give the snake to her great grandson. (I wonder if it will show up in her bed. Don’t read this to him to give him any ideas.)

It was a wonderful community effort and I hope to hear how Wyatt is doing.

Today is the day, the Ides of March. I just put Ides as a Latin word in my internet search and it came up as Ides is just a day of the month. If you remember when I wrote of it, there are 4 months that is on the 15th and the rest of the year it is o the 13th. I realize now that to beware on of Ides of March was because that was the day that Julius Caesar was killed. (He should have “bewared” of the Ides of March but how could he have possibly known.)

Since I learned of the Idles of March many years ago I have not been killed so I think that I am quite safe. However, I would like someone to watch my back.

I didn’t have to reset any clocks last night or this morning except my microwave.  My cell phone, land phone, weather stations, and computer reset themselves. (I love this part of technology.)  I have two clocks that remain on daylight savings time year round because they are too heavy to work with. Since we have about 8 months of savings and 4 months of regular time II know they are 1 hour off and I live with it

Did you know that it is in the Montana legislature at this moment to become the 3rd state in the union to do away with Daylight Savings time? Whatever is your preference, contact your legislator to let him know.

I mention this only so voters will get more involved with what is going on. I only hear things from the grapevine. I watch the local news but have never seen anything about what is going on in Helena. My main concern is that you to let Helena know how you feel about issues. (I approve this message.) (My joke of the day.)

Next Tuesday is CCPA night at the Fort Benton Elementary auditorium at 7:00 p.m. If you like an artist playing the piano and show tune music you will really enjoy Thomas  Pandolfi. He does magic on the piano. I will see you there.

Learning to play the piano is the first step to learning everything you want to know about music.

I admire all musicians but especially pianists. They are entertainment all by themselves. They can sit down at a piano anywhere and take you into LaLa Land.

Last year, or perhaps it was the year before, at the Tuesday night once a month dinner, the entertainment was the Stensland family from Great Falls. The children all played the piano and when I spoke with their Mom afterward, she said that leaning the piano was not an option. I thought that was the most positive thing I have ever heard. (We miss you Ellie. Come visit soon.)

To take lessons and practice at least an hour every day is not something that most kiddos want to do. It is only a little later in life when they can entertain that they will appreciate it. GO PIANO STUDENTS!

At out meeting last Wednesday we discussed Caleb’s Crossing and chose Cutting for Stone by Abraham Vorghsz for next month.

I am encouraging all members to attend the April meeting. We have new officers to elect and have several very important decisions to make. You will be hearing from our secretary, Judy. I would just urge you to put the dates on your calendar and plan to be there at noon on the second Wednesday that will be the 12th of April.  See you there.

This morning I saw a commercial for Talking Books. I have written about that terrific organization many times and I have been with them for 38 years now.

I know people in Fort Benton who could use this service but I do not know why they are not taking advantage of it. Is it because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? (Another of my jokes of the week.)

Just give them a call at 406-444-2064. They will set you up with a machine, a catalog for tapes, and mail it to you. This is a free service even when you send the tape back.

I have some brochures about this program at the Golden Age Senior Center. If you would like to talk to me about the ins and outs please call me. I love to talk about Talking Books.

“How is that that we could put a man on the moon before we would figure out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?”


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

I met Lyle McKeever in the Price Rite this past week and he told me that White Doves were in his farmyard all winter long. He said that this was the first time he had ever seen White Doves. Google information tells me that they are actually pigeons.

I did hear from the man, who called to report a robin, he left me a message on the answering machine. The connection was not good and I didn’t get his name or phone number. He may have seen a robin earlier than was previously reported. It is not too late to call me if you get this message.

The deer are still visiting town. I saw their tracks in the snow in the empty lots behind my apartment. One late evening last week I had a phone call. I stepped into my laundry room that faces north so I could hear well. I had the TV on in the living room and the micro in the kitchen. As I looked out the window I saw two deer running across the field and disappear across the street. Since I am not out and about much in this winter weather, I have not heard any reports about deer. I would like to hear from you readers about your sightings of deer.

The River Press has hired a new reporter. I look forward to meeting him and I want to say welcome him to Fort Benton. Another plus is that he and his wife have three school age children.  

I invite him to Pie Day on Friday. You will meet the faithful “pie eater’s association group.” We are forever faithful and devoted to the second Friday of the month.

Yes, it has rolled around again and on Friday at 1:00 we will gather for coffee, a piece of homemade pie, and conversation. Come and join us and bring a friend. I have not seen many of my friends all winter and so I would like to see them this Friday at Pie Day. JUST BE THERE!

If I waited until next week to wish you a happy day you might not get the message on time as it is two days after the River Press comes out.

Even though I am not Irish I always enjoyed the celebration that those who are Irish enjoyed on St. Patty’s Day. (Isn’t everyone Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?) They are so proud of their heritage.  However, the thing I am most proud of is being an American.

The Churches in Fort Benton are sponsoring Lenten Lunches. I attended the first one last Wednesday the first one at the Methodist Church. The menu consisted of three kinds of soup, big hunks of bread, and white and dark cookies for dessert. It was a perfect kind of lunch.

What was more important was the gathering of women that attended. There were women from all denominations and they were as one group. I can only describe them as sisters in faith.

There will be a luncheon every Wednesday during Lent at a different church. There was a schedule in last week’s River Press.

In discussions about that day a very humorous story came up that I will relate so you do not have to put up with my “joke of the day.

A little Catholic boy just went through his first Confession before making his First Communion.  When he was asked how he felt about it he said that he was confused. He said that the priest told him to say two (2) Our Fathers for his penance. The child said that he only knew one. (Now that is funny!)

The party held a couple of weeks ago at the Sunrise Bluffs were a great success. Many asked when it would happen again and the date has been set for April 17th. All you Pinochle players put that date on your calendars.

I do not know much about darts and you would not want me to try it with my double vision. I did speak with someone this afternoon (Sunday) that participated. She said that there were 25 couples signed up and the proceeds would go to the Cancer Support Group. It sounds like lots of fun and if you are interested you can start practicing for the next tournament. Good luck!

The Committee for Summer Celebration met last week and set the dates of June 23rd, 24th, and 25th. It is the diamond anniversary of Ships being killed by a train that he so faithfully met every day while waiting for his master. It is such a beautiful story about being forever faithful. Those of you who owns a dog understands this. Most pets give unconditional love and are forever faithful.

I read an article not long ago that said having a pet helps you to live longer. I can understand why.

“What disease did a cured ham actually have?”


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

View From The Bridge 3/1/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

I always remember as a child in school to ‘Beware of the Ides of March.” I was always afraid of March 15th and I did not learn until later what it was all about.  Although nothing horrendous has happened to me on the 15th, it did to Julius Caesar.  He actually set up the Julian calendar and the 15th as the Ides not knowing that he would be killed on that day in 1798.

I checked the dictionary for the meaning of Ides and only found that Caesar made the 15th of March, May, July and October the Ides. The other months are on the 13th. BUT, what are Ides? I did some research and asked a few people who are smarter than a 5th grader and no one knows. It is like our Fort Benton High School song that says we will profit by your creed. Who remembers what the creed is?

For me, it cannot possibly mean anything, or should it? I am not superstitious but all I know is that on the 15th I am extra careful in everything I do as the ides might get me. (That is my joke of the week.)

As the temperature warms and the ground begins to thaw, earth worm’s casts begin to appear heralding the return of the robin. (Our robin appearance in the middle of February here in Fort Benton hopefully means an early spring.) The name of the Full Crow Moon comes from the sawing of the crows signaling the end of winter. (Now as I wait to hear from the readers of the View about the return of the meadowlark, I also would like to hear about the first sounds of the cawing of a crow.)

It is also called the Full Crust Moon because snow melt crusts during the day and freezes at night.

Another name is the Full Tapping Moon and is the time to tap maple trees for syrup. The final name alerted the settlers to the last full moon of winter and was called the Full Lenten Moon. (Take your pick but I like the Full Tapping Moon best and I am sure those pancakes do too.)

The full moon this month is on Sunday the 12th. Enjoy the Full Lenten Moon as it is the last full moon of winter.

I am backing up to the time I wrote about the first robin sighting. I also received a call about a sighting but the connection of phones was not good and I could not hear the name or phone number. Would that person, if they read this, please call me again? I would like to give you some credit too for what it is worth in the View.

Hey Jackie Campbell!  Did you see your name in the Great Falls Tribune on  Tuesday the 21st, in the Montana section “Across the Big Sky. They, whoever they is, referred to me as a journalist for the River Press. I have been called by that title several times and I am kind of getting used to it. It is better than a lot of other things I have been called. (This is my second joke of the week.)

The Regional Basketball Tournaments last week were nail biting, blood pressure upheaval, and nerve racking events. Talk about excitement and down to the last few seconds of play and it will keep us enjoying the memories  for weeks.

Our Girls did a fantastic job of it especially the win over Box Elder on Thursday afternoon. I really should not single out that game because all their games were AWESOME. I have been watching the Longhorns and Lady Longhorns for 23 years now and the excitement grows. I also hear from “Old Timers” about games years ago that have never been forgotten.

Just a little private side note that I want to mention. My grandson, Grayson Bonilla, moved to Helena when he was in the 2nd grade. There are 5 freshman girls on the team and 4 of those were his classmates when he went to Fort Benton Elementary.  I cannot believe that they are 15 years old now. Another shocker is they they are or already have started DRIVING LESSONS.

Another shocker for me is the fact that when Grayson turns 16, he will own a car.  Some of you will remember that story but for those of you who do not, here it is.

A fund raiser was held for his Mom, Audra Bonilla, and Grandpa Bonilla donated his ’53 Buick that Grayson called “The Watermelon.” It went from a raffle ticket to a man who was visiting from Germany. He gave it to the friend he was visiting to put in his Antique Car Shop in Rudyard for restoring and safe keeping until Grayson turned 16.  It will be too late for this year’s Summer Celebration Parade but  I expect it to be in next year. (He should be a really good driver by then.  I may even want to ride with him. (That is my 3rd joke of the week.)

I attended the last Cancer Support Group meeting at the Club House a couple of weeks ago. I was told that there would be lots of laughter because one of the members was going to entertain us with jokes. Not only did she tell us man jokes but she gave each of us a joke to read. It was great fun and spending an evening with all of these cancer survivors was a blessing for me. They are the bravest men and woman I have ever known. They are always smiling, laughing, and appreciate everything around them and their lives. If you are down, depressed, and unhappy you should spend a day with one of them. I know that you will never complain again.

Please support your Chouteau County Cancer Support Group. It is an organization that does everything for cancer patients. They are non-profit and raise all their own funds.  ll of the new patients are given a handmade quilt made by the busy fingers of the Quilting Guild or women who just make them because they love to do it. Thank goodness we have people like that in our community.

“Why does a round pizza come in a square box?”

Now you only have 3 months left to get your American Flag and hang it. Just do it!

I know that I am a nag about this subject but I feel strongly about it. A friend took me to lunch last week on a beautiful day that was warm and the sun was shining.  We cruised all the streets of Fort Benton and I saw only 1 GREEN LIGHT BULB in a porch light. The green bulbs are a show of support for our Troops. It is also a sign of your patriotism which is a sign of love of your country. I am absolutely positive that you all love our county so display it. Just do it!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

View From The Bridge 2/22/17

By Muncie

The first robin was spotted last week and I received another interesting phone call about sighting of two Mourning Doves on the 13th of the month. Harvey Hollandsworth of the Knees Community called and reported spotting the doves. The interesting thing about this sighting was that it was early for these doves to be back in town, (so to speak.) Thanks for the call Harvey and our conversation about your knowledge of birds. You seemed to have a schedule of bird arrivals in the area. I obviously love birds and any information about them makes my day.

Next Tuesday evening will be the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner at the Wake Cup Coffee Shop. An invitation was extended to all in last week’s River Press, and if you have not yet called in your reservation please do it immediately. The number is on the invitation so see you there.

Yes it does when you are having fun. That is what it is all about. Smiling, laughing, and enjoying good family and friends make for happy times.

There will be six (6) days left in February on Wednesday. On its way is the dreaded month of March days that cannot make up its mind if it is winter or spring. I am hoping for an early spring and that the summer is not in the 90 and 100 degrees temperatures.

I really enjoyed this past week’s weather. The temperatures were in the upper 50’s and someone reported to me that the day I went to Great Falls it was 70 degrees here in Fort Benton. I rode my GoGo downtown every day and completed quite a few errands. I was allowed a lot of freedom from the long period of time when many people including me did not want to stick their nose outside the door. It is usually called “Cabin Fever” and I had a really bad case of it.

Many all over the state were sick with the flu. I just had a head cold for a week and a half but it did not make me sick. I did have my flu shot but it was late. To those of you who did have the flu go my sympathy and get lots of rest with the goal of getting back to normal.

Randy and I were able to drive up to Havre on Friday evening for the Girls Championship game. We sat next to the Fort Benton High School Band and the Cheerleaders were right in front of us. That made the evening more enjoyable.

I won’t mention any names but a friend of mine I saw on Saturday, said that she took video of me from across the court “boggy-in” to Sweet Caroline.” I wonder what she is going to do with that piece of video. You don’t suppose that she is going to blackmail me? Maybe she will send it to the Funniest Video contest. I could be titled “This old lady” and she has nothing better to do.

I may win and have to go to Hollywood to star in a commercial or perhaps a bit part in a movie.   Then you all can say, “I knew her way back when.”

I remember a long time ago there was a woman who didn’t look like your usual cheerleading type became a cheerleader for a professional football team because it was her dream. I wonder what ever happened to her. Well back to basketball! Even though the both teams lost we can look forward to the Divisional Tournaments next weekend in Great Falls.

Make a great effort to attend the fund raiser for Wyatt Burney. It is being organized by the Fort Benton Schools and is being called “The Winter Carnival.” The date is March 7th and begins at 5:00 p.m. Until 6:30 p.m. with a Filipino dinner at the Elementary School. The Carnival games will be from 5:30p.m. to 8:00.p.m. (I hope I got that all right,)

As one grows older and older, one can expect some sort of something to change their lives.  No so when you are a child.

Let us show Wyatt the Fort Benton spirit that you care enough to give the very best you can to support him. Everyone loves you Wyatt, and you are a very special young man so just remember that. I am looking forward to meeting and talking with you.

I had a phone call this morning inquiring about Meals on Wheels. She had just moved into town and wanted to know about the program. I could accommodate her because I have used the Golden Age Senior Center meals for quite a while.

First of all I want to tell you that our Senior Center is the only one in the area that is open 7 days a week. Even Great Falls does not have that kind of schedule.

At noon a meal is served that is very adequate. Some days a sandwich and soup is served but you have salads and dessert. You can have second helpings.

Meals on Wheels are usually delivered to me by 11:30 a.m. and they are still warm. Volunteers do the delivering. Thank goodness for volunteers. (By the way, if there is anyone interesting in that job, contact the Center at 622-3601.) The cost is so reasonable I don’t know how they manage.

On Sundays the dinner is at 1:00 p.m. If you have guests and want to take them for dinner, please call the Center to notify. A menu is provided for you to take home to check out the days you want meals. I return mine to the Center and it is taken care of.

Unfortunately, they are not open on the big holidays although they do have a Pot Luck on New Year’s Day. Most Saturday’s breakfast is served at noon. Usually on the last Saturday of the month homemade cinnamon rolls are served. (What a great treat.)

This is such a great program for Senior Citizens although the Center is open to the public. I have even seen visitors and working people drop in for lunch.

If you are new in town I will tell you about the Tuesday night dinners at 5:00 p.m. They are real special meals and the tables are set for you. I call it “My Night Out” and if Chouteau County Performing Arts has a program that evening I call it “the Dinner Theatre.” There is always an interesting program. You will miss it this month because it was last night but try to catch it in March. There are no Pie Day or Tuesday night dinners during the summer.

That also brings us to Pie Day and that is the second Friday of the month at 1:00 p.m. You can’t top a deal that offers homemade pies, coffee, and mad conversation. A bake sale is also on that day. It has been a real treat this winter to cure cabin fever.  Please come and join us and support the Center.

“Can you cry under water?”


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

My phone jingled with excitement last Friday morning when I received a call from Jackie Campbell. She and her husband were walking their dogs on the Levee Trail and they spotted a ROBIN.  When they were on their return walk the robin was still there. I would guess that she was building a next nearby. Now is that early or what? I never kept a record of the robin spotting but perhaps someone out there did.

Now I will be waiting for country folks to call with the first Meadowlark sighting.

How did the season go so quickly? The games with Chinook were exciting especially with the boy’s game when Fort Benton did a catch-up again from behind to even the scores with quite a few 3 pointers. The last 2 minutes were crucial and they lost by 3 points. Being Senior Night it must have been difficult for the 2 seniors. Now the team is on to districts and that should generate some exciting moments in that wonderful game of basketball.

On Tuesday the 21st the “Take Five” group will be performing for us at the Fort Benton Elementary School. Rob Verdi, who is a great friend of Fort Benton, has put together a terrific group of missions that will keep your toes tapping.

There are only three more performances left in the season. It is a long wait until the end of September when we have the great entertainment again set up by our Chouteau Count Performing Arts committee. So enjoy these next performances and see you there.

You deserve to be proud Big Sandy. The article’s in the River Press about your ten year struggle was very interesting. What I was most impressed about was the way the community raised the funds. It seems as though every single person in their town donated including the last graduating class. They realize how important a library is to a town. Now it will become the history of Big Sandy.

My memory was jogged with this story. When I was a young girl our library was in a store building. I loved to go there and read because it was quiet. (I always loved quiet.) You had to whisper and never, never talk out loud. It was a wonderful world for me as I loved reading. One summer I won a contest for reading 149 books during the summer. (I’m a little hazy on the number of books that I read but I am sure it was close.) Most of those were read at the library although a few were read under my covers with a flashlight.

Have you been to Big Sandy to visit the library?  We looked for and found it last fall on our way home from Havre. The exterior did not look as it does in the photo on the front page of the River Press last week.  It is a fascinating looking structure and will be a valuable asset to their community.

My truck is 20 years old this year. Many have asked why I do not park it in the garage now that I have one. My reply is that the Mail Truck has been outside in even worse weather for 19 years and I am afraid the change would be too much for it. At the Morger house, it would sometimes not start. If I forgot to plug it in I was in trouble. This winter there wasn’t a problem. It started up and the plug was not in most of the time.

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever have a vehicle 20 years old.  Time flies when you are having fun and those 20 years slipped by me in record time.

However, read below about a vehicle that I have ridden in many times in the last few months.

“My name is Galloping Gertie and I am 50 years old,
My owner inherited me says that I will never be sold.
I have almost 25,000 miles on my speedometer and it has never been messed with,
Some people will say that it was changed but that is just a myth,
She looks really good with not a scratch, bump and brand new tires to boot,
Now she is good for another 50 years and another 25,000 miles to around town toot,
She will be cruising up and down Front Stet just like the youngster model years,
I know, when Gertie gives up at the end, I won’t be around to shed any tears.”

Who do you think this owner is and have you see her driving around town?  (I’ll let you know next week. There are no gift certificates if you know the answer.)

There is a lot going on around town but as the President says, “I know a lot of things that no one else knows because I am President.” I still have that thing hanging over my head. If I tell, they will have to kill me. You will all know soon.  My excuse about this information is that I am not a reporter. I have been dubbed a columnist and all my news is after the fact.  My wish is that people would call me like Jackie Campbell with happy stories about robins.

“Why is it that you put in your 2 cents worth in and yet you only get a penny for your thoughts?”
(Found on the internet.)