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.)


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

The 14th of February always seemed to be the happiest holiday. It’s all about love and chocolates. When I was young we made our own cards. (Today it is a Hallmark holiday.) We always had to make a card for everyone in the class. The card for Mom and Gramma always was made first. (Is it a female holiday?) If you got a card with a heart drawn on it from a girl or a boy, it meant that he or she liked you.

Neighborhood cards had to be delivered and you tried to get it into their mailbox without anyone seeing you. What fun! I would count those cards a dozen times to be sure that I got one from everyone in the class. (There I go again into the past for pleasant memories.)

Found out that Valentine card sales are down and have been replaced by Texting. I don’t suppose my older generation know how to Text. So I will use this article to tell you all that I love you and have a wonderful day no matter what takes place. I promised no more weather talk but just wanted to say that this coming weekend is supposed to be in the 40’s. Hurray!

Last Tuesday evening at the Chouteau County Performing Arts program, “It’s too marvelous for Words” the 3 man group from California, were given a standing ovation.  I have seen a few ovations in Fort Benton and this one was well deserved.  The narration about Nat King Cole was a history lesson about his life. His life story is a lesson of attitudes toward African Americans in the 30’s and 40’s.

Cole died at an early age, 46, from lung cancer. He was known for having 2 cigarettes in his mouth at a time and he thought that smoking helped his singing voice (NOT). Let this be a WARNING to young people never to start smoking because it is one of the most difficult habits to rid yourself of.

So a wonderful talent was lost and one wonders what would have come to the music world if he had not gone away. What he did leave will never be forgotten as shows like we saw last Tuesday go on.

The T C Power School of Dance production fund raiser on Thursday evening was so delightful. It was a packed house with standing room only and a good time was had by all.

How about those dancing “Dads”? It was a complete surprise for many but that is probably the reason for the audience attendance. They wanted to see the Dad’s act silly which they do not often do. I hope they dance again at the recital in May.

The program was so enjoyable in the way the story line went, the costumes, the acting, and the sound system. I wonder how many hours went into that production.  We saw a little of the Frozen production at the Christmas Concert so we know that they have been practicing long before that.

So a huge thank you to all involved for your precious time and patience. I especially love d watching that little girl for three years now who watches the others to know what to do next. She is just adorable and I’ll bet she will turn out to be a special star someday.

On Saturday morning, I had a reservation for Geraldine’s dinner theater production. However, the matinee was held at 10:00 a.m. and it was called a Breakfast Brunch.

As soon as we were seated coffee, orange juice, and Mimosa’s were served. The play began and after about 15 minutes there was a break.

We were then served a bowl of fruit and on to the next part. Coffee and water were constantly being served. Along came another break, and a very adequate plate of ham, a baked egg serving, and hash browns was placed before us.

In the next time frame the play was ended and bows were taken. There were many thank you to sponsors, actors, actresses, chefs Willing Workers 4H, stage hands, and I hope I didn’t forget anyone.

I have to comment on the stage setting. The entire room looked like the inside of a circus tent.  I would not want to be the one who had to hang the tent to the ceiling in that room. It was a perfect set up and with the sound system playing circus music and sounds of circus animals it was hard not to believe you were not at a circus.

The director, Lila Armstrong, gave the audience a great picture of background stories. We learned firsthand how these Dinner Theatre program are written by Jo Alice Juedeman with each of the actors and actresses in mind. She knew what they were capable of doing.

All in all it was a most enjoyable time. I commend the Geraldine Action Committee. You make your city proud.

 Yes, it has rolled around again. We had a really great selection of homemade pies last month and have no reason to believe it will not be the same this month.  I got my piece of rhubarb pie and it was the last piece left on the plate. I saw the really great cherry/cranberry, pumpkin, lemon margarine, apple, and too many to name.  See you there.

Do you play Pinochle? There is going to be a Pinnacle Party next Monday the 13th at 1:00 p.m. There will be treats and prizes and a good time will be had by all.

If you plan to attend please call Karla at 622-5443 so she can know how many to plan for.

The Scam people are on the move again. I saw a report on the evening news last week. It starts with a phone call and then goes to the computer. They want your credit card number. NEVER, NEVER GIVE YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER TO ANYONE OVER THE PHONE. The report said that you should call your provider to report the incident. If they get into your computer with that information, they get all your personal information. (I’m glad my computer hates me. If anyone got into my computer they would be so confused they would get out a.s.a.p.)

Hey Folks, why isn’t the roof of the auditorium coming off from loud singing of the National Anthem? If no one is singing with the band, then the audience should be singing. You don’t know the words? You don’t think you have a good enough voice? You just don’t sing because no one else does? What possible reason is good enough for you not to be proud to sing your countries National song?

This brings me to another subject that I have mentioned before. “CLAP FOR THE BAND.” You clap for the team, and the cheerleaders. I would like to hear it for the band. They work just as hard and put in as many hours as everyone else. They deserve some applause. Let’s hear it at the next game.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

View From The Bridge 2/1/17

By Muncie

It is called the Full Snow Moon and we will just have to wait and see if that name holds true this year. Native Americans named it for obvious reasons and they must have kept their own weather records.

It was also the Full Hunger Moon as hunting for food was more difficult with the cold and snow.  How fortunate we are that we are comfy and cozy warm and we do not have to hunt for food. (We are just plain spoiled.)

The full moon is on Friday the 10th. It should be like last month with that icy silvery look. I am looking for the “finger nail” slit of the moon to show up. I just checked Fort Benton’s weather report and the moon rise today (Monday) was at 9:16 a.m. and sets at 8; 41 p.m. No wonder I am missing it. Who checks during the day? I check the Fort Benton weather report almost every day but didn’t check that moon rising and setting until this morning.

It is now 10:30 a.m. and I went outside to see if I could see the “finger nail moon.” The sun is so bright I could not see it although I know it is there. One of my weather stations shows the moon and the “finger nail moon” is very clearly there. I’ll check later this afternoon and also early evening. It will be too late to report as the View is sent by 3:00 p.m.

Oh, by the way, it reports snow every day this week. After that melt the last couple of days there will be ice under that snow. Be especially careful if you go out and about. (I think I am going to have an ice skating area behind my apartment. There is a good section covered with water. I wonder what ever happened to my ice skates.)

I would like to call this month the Romantic Moon because of Valentine’s Day. So remember your special Valentine in the best way you can be it a box of candy, a dinner, or a card…JUST DO IT. (That goes both ways.)

WOW! What a game last Thursday evening. It should do down in the books as the greatest win ever.

The Lady Longhorns won easily and then on came the Longhorns. They played very hard, never led in the game, and at times the score was twice in favor of North Star.

Now we are down to the last few seconds of the game and the Longhorns slowly brought the score up to finally make it 35 to 35. North Star then scored to make it 37 to 35. Fort Benton has the ball, it is given to Andy Giles who shoots it, and while it was in the air the clock read 0 seconds left. Then pandemonium broke out as a 3 pointer was scored making the Longhorns the winners by 1 point.

It has been a long while since I have seen the ending of a game with a 3 pointer. Thanks to the whole Team for a most exciting game and talk about it was all over town on Friday. There is never a dull moment in Fort Benton.

I know that the Coach will write up a more descriptive article about the game but I just had to give a spectator’s view. Wish we had instant replay.

On Friday afternoon Randy and I arrived at the Civic Center in Great Falls for the opening of the 2017 Consortium. All Performing Arts Board Members from cities and towns across Montana were assembled for an exciting weekend.

For several hours we visited the tables of the participating Performing Arts groups and I was able to visit each table. I also checked over the tables of Silent Auction items. Each Performing Arts groups and others donated items or baskets for the auction. They were all wonderful donations and included original paintings, framed photos, baskets filled with goodies, and the cutest were Candied Apples from Disneyland.

We were up and back at the Civic Center at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and the 1st showcase began at 9:00 a.m. Each artist is allowed 12 minutes to do a presentation of their act. There are 6 performances in Showcase and the last is at 10:25.

We break to visit the artists who now are set up where the Performing Arts cities and towns were the night before. We chat with most everyone and our P.A. Board is collecting as much info as possible for Connie Jenkins.

Lunch by Chandee is at 11:45 and we are back in the auditorium at 12:30 for Showcase II. The first performer is our own Native American singer, Jack Gladstone, with his Glacier Park show.  (For those of you who know Jack and his fiancĂ©e, Patty, I think I have breaking news. They are engaged and will tie the knot on August 11th. Patty told me the most romantic story of how Jack presented the ring to her. It went something like this…she was given a beverage with a candy cane in it on Christmas Day. The ring was on the candy cane and she did not notice it until several hours later when it was brought to her attention.

Randy and I are invited and we have that date on our calendars already. A good time will be had by all in the outdoors of their valley.

After the 6 performances, we again broke until 3:30 when Showcase III began. There were 5 more performances that ended the showcases. We broke again to visit the artists until dinner at 6:15. After dinner there were awards and the winners of the silent auction, and other wrap-ups. There were not enough ways to say thank you to the stage crew members who do all that important work to make everything go so smoothly and in as little time as possible. Next year when the Consortium is here in Fort Benton, take note of what they do. There would be no Consortium without them.

Now the real work begins for our Fort Benton C.C.P.A. Board. They must decide what acts to have for the next season, try to match up with close towns or cities for better prices, and comply with the needs that the chosen groups have in their contracts. This must all be done before April 1st.

The next project for the Board is to get the tickets printed and the beginning of selling those tickets. I would like it to be a banner years for selling tickets. Whether you like a particular show or not should not stop you from buying a season ticket. Go anywhere in the state of Montana and see if you can get a cheaper price for 8 terrific shows. Another plus is we can reciprocate with towns nearby for $5.00 a ticket if they are presenting a group that you really enjoyed. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Perhaps this article will make you aware of the work that goes into C.C.P.A. It is not something you can sit down at the computer and put together in an evening. Oh no! All other organizations that you are asked to support are much more for memberships or dues and you are asked to work.  For the C.C.P.A. you are going to be entertained by your support. SO JUST DO IT for next season.

We had an outstanding dinner catered by our own Chandee from Loma with her husband, sister, sister-in-law, and daughters helping with everything.

It was announced sometime during the evening that a renovation is planned for the Civic Center Building to the tune of $8 to $10 million dollars in the next few years. (Hope they work on the kitchen first.)

Fort Benton’s next Chouteau County Perforating Arts performance will be Tuesday February 21st and will feature a group called “Take 5.” They were a group who show cased at Consortium and they are good. There will be a surprise with that performance and you have to be there to witness it.  I know what it is but if I tell they will have to kill me. See you in three weeks.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Nest Monday evening there will be a Chouteau County Performing Arts program.  I think I have written enough about it and if you are in doubt check your River Press. It is going to be a special one if you enjoy Nat King Cole songs. I will see you there.

They will spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the yearly Consortium in Great Falls. The public is invited on Saturday to spend the day at the Civic Center. There will be show casing all day with musical artists and other acts that would like to come to your town to perform. There are many programs that are equal to Broadway shows.

I know several people from Fort Benton who attend these showcase performances in Great Falls. Jot the dates in your calendar. Don’t miss it.

I have had a pain in my neck this past week and I heard on the grapevine that there is a virus going around town. I do not know if this is true because I do not know of any way to check it out.

However, I have just discovered why I have it again tonight. I had gotten rid of it after suffering excruciating pain for several days. (Just kidding folks, I exaggerate a lot.)

It is this computer that hates me. I have an armoire to keep my computer housed.  There is no room to stretch my legs because there is a board across the bottom. I have to bend forward to read my work and immediately my neck knew it. I’ll have to keep this short and sweet which may please some and not please my family or friends. That is my joke of the week.

The last two Sundays I went to the Sunrise Bluffs for dinner. I was seated with a lovely lady whose name is Elizabeth Friesz. She told me the most wonderful stories. The first week she talked about how she rode her horse 5 miles to a one room schoolhouse and 5 miles back home. I could have listened to her historic recollections all day.

The second week she talked about the garden that her folks raised that was 1 acre in size. (That is a whole lot of garden to weed and maintain.) It was filled with vegetables that were canned for winter. What was left over was open to friends and neighbors to completely deplete

Her parents also canned beef, pork, and fish. There was a lot of canning going on.

Elizabeth had all this windfall food during the depression. I was a city girl and had none of those advantages. We received food from the government that consisted of flour, cheese, oranges, and I really do not remember if there was any kind of meat.

I have always envied farm kids. They always seemed so healthy, strong, and very well able to take care of themselves.

If any readers want to tell me their stories of the “good old days” please get my attention somehow.

Does that seem possible to you? There are only two more months until spring.  About everyone I talk with says they are sick of cold and snow already. I agree. We have had enough and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it.

Actually, let us be grateful that we have not had the weather that some states have had. Some of them have never had snow before and are not prepared for the cleanup.

I think that you are tired of hearing my views on the weather and so from now on I am not going to say a word about it.

Finally made it to our first game of the season last Friday and both the boys and girls winning was such a bonus. I don’t know who that 8th grader was who scored with five (5) 3 pointers. It was very exciting. I am so proud of our teams and all the other sports.  Even though I do not write about them often, it isn’t that I do not read everything about their accomplishments every week in the River Press. Just keep on doing your best and know that we are all behind you now and we will always profit by your creed. (Does anyone remember what the creed is? We went through this one year a long while ago about what is our creed. I would have to do a lot of research to remember so if any of you know please let me know.)

I was able to attend the Speech and Drama program at the Elementary school last Tuesday evening. There are only 6 participants. I would like to see more in this wonderful program because of what it can do for you in your future.

I know that you do not realize that someday you will be called upon to give a speech. Speech and Drama gives you the tools to do that without hesitation and you would do a tremendous job of it.

I never had the opportunity to take a speech class. I have tried for years to stop saying “yeah” and saying “yes.” I also want to cut out “so” and “ah”.

At one time when I moved to Montana I entered a displaced homemakers class in Great Falls. The class was for job placement. A video was taken of me applying for a job. I said “ah” a hundred times. What a good speech class would have done for me then.

So you students who are in that program keep up the good work. Someday you will be so grateful that you took it.

I have a friend who has an American Flag but has no way of installing the holder.  Is there a member of the military, the VFW, or the American Legion who can do that for her? Just call me at 622-3217 and volunteer.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

View From The Bridge 1/18/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

I received a t-shirt for Christmas that says on the front, “My Happy Place”, in the middle of Montana outline. How I love that shirt and I feel that it was made just for me. A nice addition would have been Fort Benton but then, nothing is perfect.

I certainly am in my happy place and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I have been in every state except one. I never lived in any other state except Michigan but I did visit. I enjoyed some other states like New Mexico and Indiana but would never want to live there. Too hot and too cold and I love the four seasons.

I fell in love with Montana the first time I came here in 1988. I made the move in December of 1993. In May of the following year, I fell in love with the Mail Route and joined my Sweetheart Wally, for the greatest adventures ever.

The thing that I loved best was artifact and rock hunting. We played a game called, “Rock of the Day,” and I usually won for finding the neatest rock.

I did two days of rock hunting in Michigan when I found Petoskey Stones in a lake we were visiting. These stones are fossils and are Michigan’s state rock. I walked down 90 steps to the lake and saw these stones so clearly in the water. I spent the whole day collecting them and I had a bushel basket full. I visited there a second time and collected another basket full. Today I have very few left because I gave them away but still enjoy a huge bottle full of stones in water so I can clearly see the fossils.

I am relating this story because truthfully there isn’t much to write about today. It is Sunday and 10:30 in the morning. When I awoke it was 10 degrees and is now 38 degrees. We actually had a heat wave. My driveway is clear and dry. There are still lots of snow piles and I only went out one day this past week to do some errands.

Do you remember Dottie Meehan? She lived here in Fort Benton for about 10 years on the corner of 18th and Franklin. She moved to Great Falls to live next door to her daughter.

Dottie was a very active member of the Chouteau County Performing Arts Board. Last Friday night the C.C.A.B. gave her a farewell party at her home in Great Falls. There were 10 of us there plus a couple of husbands. A great time was had by all. It was a pot luck party and I really enjoy those. I love all those different kinds of dips and finger foods.

Stories were being told that I had never heard before. It ended up with GHOST STORIES and they should be put into a book.

We miss you Dottie, Dorothy, Debbie, Ashley, Sonia, Lori, Judy and Herb, Don, and all those that I do not know but you readers do.

If you ever hear from anyone who has moved and they want to share their experience, please get their story and let me know.

Dottie loves living next door to her daughter but doesn’t like living in Great Falls.  It is not like Fort Benton where you can almost walk anywhere. Great Falls is too confining. In most places you are too far from any services to walk to them like the grocery, drug store, post office, and library. Let us count our blessings.

She came to visit Fort Benton for a week and her sister-in-law Lorna had River Press personnel over for coffee and to visit with Lindsay.  It was wonderful to see her and listen to her stories about the move and how she has adapted.

At Lorna’s home I sat at the dining room table looking out a large window to the back yard. I have told you that I do not have any birds at my four feeders since I moved. I watched dozens of birds going on and off Lorna’s bird feeder. I am so jealous and want those birds to come and dine at my feeders.

When I heard that Lindsay was leaving I called Bethany to ask her if she was planning on moving. She assured me that she wasn’t because her husband is a farmer.

Now, every time I see Bethany, I ask her if she is planning on moving. It has gotten to be a regular question between us and we get a big laugh out of it. I just wanted that promise down on paper so she can’t back out.

I had also told her that I had expected her and Lindsay to build up out elementary school figures. (Now you get a good laugh out of this and it is my joke of the week.)

Congratulations to the Recycling Committee for the Montana State award for being the best city in Montana for recycling. Karen and Committee, you well deserved it.

I make almost every 1st Saturday morning and am amazed at the efficient way the whole thing is set up. The Freshman Class is to be royally commended for their volunteer community service. What a proud moment for Fort Benton.

Another nice thing was that our own newly elected Representative Jim O’Hara presented the award. A good time was had by all and our editor, Tim Burmeister, was able to tag along to get the story and the picture which appeared on the front of last weeks River Press.

Actually there is a big event coming up on Friday January 27th, Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th. It is being held in Great Falls this year. (Remember that Fort Benton held it last year and it is an every other year event.)

If you would like to attend the entire 3 days, call Connie Jenkins at 750-2918 for a reservation. There is a charge for this that includes your fantastic Chandee meals and other like meeting the artists. A member of the C.C.P.A. board has a vote which you would not have. However, I think that many of you will just want to enjoy an entire day of music on Saturday. This day is free to the public and you have to find your own lunch.

Impact/Consortium brings Performing Arts programs from cities and towns all across Montana. The purpose is for the artists to showcase their act. The Performing Arts groups then choose the acts that will perform in their town or city the following season.  

It is a great break in the winter routine so put it on your calendar and I’ll see you there.

“A wise person knows everything, a shrewd one know everyone.”  Anonymous

I saw a great commercial this past weekend that talked about patriotism. It said that you show your love of your country by being patriotic. How do you do that? I have written about the subject of putting up an American flag and to support the Troops by putting a green bulb in your porch light. Are you patriotic? I will see how many American flags are installed between now and Memorial Day. Come on folks!  What is the problem? The cost is about what you would spend on going out to dinner, a six pack of beer, or a bottle of wine. Just do it!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

View From The Bridge 1/11/17

By Muncie

How did you survive last week? I left the comfort of my warm cozy place only once. It is kind of lonely here in the country. I did see five people who stopped over.

I was busy with reorganizing my files into a 2 drawer cabinet instead of a 4 drawer. I sure have a lot of office paper to recycle. Karen Giles came over to pick up my recycling. She is such a devoted recycler. She was in doubt if there would be recycling because of the dropping temperatures. I’ll chick with her tomorrow, Monday, as it is Sunday today.

I am happy these days because they are getting longer. Of course it is just the weather patterns but the sun comes out about 10:00 a.m. and then in the afternoon it clouds over. On the few days that didn’t happen, it was 5:00 p.m. and I could still see the house across the street. All there is to do is to hang in there and be grateful that we have not gotten the weather that some areas have. I watch the National Weather station every day and even the Deep South is getting snow and they do not know how to drive in it.

The very best result of our snow in the mountains is that we will have water in the spring. It was sad to hear that passengers, whose flights were canceled and were trapped in the terminal, had no water. I could not exist 2 or 3 hours without water. Let’s count our blessings and enjoy this New Year.

It is Pie Day at the Golden Age Center on Friday and please remember that they also have a Bake Sale. It is one of their fund raisers and your support is needed. Those members who bake are such excellent bakers and wouldn’t you love to take home some banana bread, cookies, a pie and many other goodies. See you there on Friday at 1:00 p.m. I would prefer that you could stay awhile to visit but if you have to hurry away, at least, you did make an effort to support them.

It is three weeks away and if you loved Nat King Cole you will love this show. In fact the name of it is “Too Marvelous for Words” which was one of his best songs. Actually all of his songs were “best” songs in my opinion.

Put it on your calendar now and plan on being there at 7:00 p.m. at the Fort Benton Elementary School. It is such a beautiful setting for the C.C.A.P. performances. Also enjoy the coffee, tea, and cookies that the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs has prepared for you for every show.  Remember too, that jar that sits on the table for donations. Every little bit helps. See you there.

I actually have no idea what is going on around town. I still get Meals on Wheels occasionally or eat at the Sunrise Bluffs. I do have a few friends at the Bluffs who will sit and chat over coffee and dessert but most of the residents scatter to their rooms. I meet friends at the Price Rite or Benton Pharmacy but most are too busy to have a cup of coffee and conversation. Therefore I do not hear about what is going on around town out here in the country. (If you readers do not remember or have not read our River Press for a while, the reason I keep referring to out here in the country is because son Randy tells people that I moved to the country.)

The other columnists from Highwood and Geraldine always seem to have something to write about like school news, new babies, showers, weddings, people’s travels and other town news. I reason the lack of that here is because our town is quite a bit larger than theirs. They ask for people to call in stores and I have never had that happen for me.

I am looking forward to the game this coming Friday. I missed all others so far because of the cold. It looks as though wrestling has a good start. I know all of you readers are just as proud of our teams as I am.

I just checked the Fort Benton Weather site and it says sleet today (Monday.)  On Tuesday and Wednesday it forecasts snow and it looks as though it will be 20 on Saturday.  Perhaps this cold will snap for a while. However, the scenery outside is gorgeous. The bluffs are covered with snow and no one disturbs them. Sometimes there are outstanding works of winter art that we can appreciate.

There was a bingo game at the VFW on January 2nd which was a holiday but the first Monday of the month. I didn’t check on it because it was a holiday and I could not remember when they announced the next game would be.

There will be a game next Monday the 16th.  See you there.

The Lions Club has raffle tickets on sale. It is one of their fund raisers. The prizes are Visa Gift Cards that can be used anywhere. The 1st prize is $1,000.00, 2nd is $500.00, 3rd is $300.00 and 4th is $200.00.

Tickets are available from any Lions Club Member or contact Miriam at the 1st Security Bank, 622-2015 or stop in and visit with her. I love gift cards because you can choose what you like and not a present that someone else likes for you. (Now you know another of my secrets but don’t run out and get me a gift card because there isn’t a thing that I need. That is my joke of the week.)

Would you please call me with info on events going on whether it about entertainment, education, or fund raising? I cannot keep track of all of them but would like to promote what I can. It seems I hear about events after the fact. Of course I would like to be first to announce things, wouldn’t you in my position? Ah! Such is the life when you view from the bridge.

“Ability is of little account without opportunity.” by Napoleon

GOD BLESS AMERICA (We need all the blessing we can at this time when most of us are scared to death.)

GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS (We have no idea what is going to happen to the battle with Isis.)

GOD BLESS OUR PROTECTORS (Have you been hearing on the news programs how many police officers are been killed?)


MEMORIAL DAY is 4 ½ months away.  That gives you plenty of time to buy and install an American flag.  Just do it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

View From The Bridge 1/4/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

If there is something else to talk about besides the weather, please let me know. It is shortly about noon on Monday and I just checked the Fort Benton site for the weather forecast. It reported that the temperature was 9.1 degrees. I have a weather station that is controlled by the satellite and it reads 13 degrees. So in serious discussion...what does it matter if it is 9 or 13 degrees?

The Fort Benton site also predicted that there would be snow for the next four days. We will have to wait and see on that one but what I do know is that I am not going outside until spring comes. If the VIEW shows up here and in the River Press you will know that I am surviving. Thank goodness for Meals on Wheels. My only regret is that I will miss basketball games and feeling sorry for the youngsters having to return to school on Tuesday. The only thing to look forward to is that perhaps after this cold spell is over, it will warm up a bit. Actually I don’t want to talk about it.

I love a parade and today’s was really special. There was a lot of description about the entries and an explanation about why the parade was held today instead of yesterday. My opinion was that the “BIG” football games were first in line. No, that was not the answer. I am relating this because I talked to several people who also did not know the correct answer.

I didn’t quite understand if it has always been this way or if it just started this year. Because New Year’s Day was on Sunday, the Rose Bowl Parade did not want in interfere with Church going folks. I have watched the parade for years and I just do not remember. If I had a Smart phone I could check it out. Perhaps one of you will remember or check your phones. Let me know as I always have to know the reason for everything I do not understand.

I hope your New Year starts off with a bang and stays that way. There is a lot to look forward to in our town. Life is what you make of it and may you have more ups than downs.

Please make one of your priorities to volunteer. Even an hour a week would make a difference.  If you need a volunteer let me know and I will try to find someone for you. Maybe I am biting off more than I can chew but I see the need. For instance, did you clean some ones snow that cannot do it themselves? It has to be done quickly because if it is walked on it freezes like ice.  Then it is hard to remove.

There is a Snow Blower Angel in the block where I used to live and no one knows who it is. They used a snow blower on the sidewalks around the whole block. The identity of the Angel, who wasn’t seen, remains a mystery. Whoever you are there are a lot of good wishes for you and to let you know how helpful that was for several who could not do it themselves.

Here is a good place to mention that there were 80,000 volunteer hours for the Rose Bowl Parade. I wonder if all of our organizations added up the hours for work done in the Chouteau County area, what would the total be? It would be an interesting story to work on.

What a wonderful program Pat Goldhahn brought to the Fort Benton students. I want you to know Pat that since that fateful day in August, I have put my seatbelt on even if I am going around the corner. I have not driven out of Fort Benton for 2 ½ years and I always wore my seat belt. However, I did not wear it in town. My grandson, Grayson, used to remind me whenever we were in a vehicle but he moved away a long while ago.

When I heard about your daughter’s accident, from her great aunt Mary, I immediately began making it a habit to put it on. The problem is that it is always that one time that you forget that a tragedy occurs.

Thank you Pat for coming to Fort Benton with your message. I hope that it made a lasting impression on all the students.

If you cannot make it to Highwood this coming Saturday for the fund raiser for Caleb Oriet, please send a donation. The rehab part of the insurance, as I have heard, is not covering it well enough. This young boy’s life changed drastically in a short period of time and he deserves to have it back again. Do what you can for him and what goes around comes around. You will get it back a hundred fold in satisfaction. All our best wish and prayers are going out to you Caleb.

Hello 8th grader Abigail Clark. What a great job you did with your essay. You touched on subjects that I have thought about but never could put into words.  Now you go on to state and then national levels to let the U. S. of A. know what an 8th grader from Montana loves about her country.

The best part of this whole thing is the fact that you, Gracelyn, and Emerson entered this contest. It showed courage and determinism that are the character shaping of future leaders. Keep up the writing and write about everything that comes into your mind. I will look forward to keeping track of your future.

“We judge ourselves of what we are capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” Longfellow