Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A View From The Bridge 8-23-17

By Muncie

For those of you who missed out buying a commemorative “SHEP” shirt at Summer Celebration or ordering one afterward, there is still an opportunity. You can make a trip to the Visitor Information Center at the old Fire House. Possibly there will be a shirt in the color and size that you would have liked.

These shirts are savers because 25 years from now, when Sheps 100th anniversary is celebrated, you will have the 75th shirt all ready to wear again.

That is my joke of the week Folks. You can wear your shirt as many times as you want. I am also sure that there will be many shirts that will provide the historical significance of the legendary story of our famous dog.

On my shift at the Visitors Center last week a man came in who used to live here years ago. At one point he said that he needed to go to a gift shop to make a purchase for his 8 year old granddaughter. I suggested that he go to the Pharmacy and look at the Shep earrings. He thanked me and said he was grateful for the idea and that his problem was solved so quickly. Later, when I went to pick up a prescription, I found that he had indeed walked across the street to the Pharmacy and purchased the earrings.

Sales are still going well at the Visitors Center for the “CHARM TRAIL.” Please remind your family and friends about this program and the enjoyment gained when buying a new charm.

As I said about Summer Celebration, no one should have as much fun as I did. The following comments are mine as I experienced them and hope you enjoy reading about them and comparing to your own.

I volunteered for the Lions Club to collect donations for Fair parking from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I always asked where the Fair Goers came from and told those from Big Sandy, Geraldine, and Highwood that the Lions scholarships went to each of those schools. Most of them already knew but it doesn’t hurt to mention about the $3.00 donation again and again. Everyone is so cooperative and were only too happy to contribute. I had a great time and I see so many friends that I have not seen for a while.

I watched a Juggling show, a Magic show, and a Hypnosis show. They were all very entertaining and done by professionals. They were each about an hour long and very scary at times when some of the juggling was done. How many hours did it take to learn how to balance like that? All the shows included those from the audiences to assist. The kiddos loved that. They were assured that they would not be injured or hurt in any manner. What he said was true and a good time was had by all.

I then played a couple of hours of Bingo and sat next to a woman who said that she would love to move to Fort Benton. She said she and her family came here often but because she worked in Great Falls she could not imagine what commuting would be like in the winter.  I also did an OOPS again in last week’s edition by saying that it was sponsored by the VFW. All proceeds from Bingo go for the maintenance of the Swimming Pool. (Sorry Diane and other members of that group. You did a great job.)

I enjoy events when someone I know is participating in it. I recognized several names in this contest but I did know one person who has helped me many times. Now, you would know him as a mild mannered Kent Clark kind of guy. Once a year he becomes a strong Superman and that is Bryan Cartwright. During the day you will find him at the Missouri River Medical Center but evenings are filled with being a husband, a father to three boys, and working on an old car to enter in the Derby. You would never guess, looking at him, that he could be a rough and tough guy. (Hope you don’t mind the teasing Bryan.)

I still cannot believe it, but I did win the Best of Show in the baking department for my Lemon Bars. They actually are not my Lemon Bars because I got the recipe from Judy Hazen. (I am forever grateful for the recipe and also I inherited the Hazens apartment at the Sunset Apartments.) I am sure you all remember Judy, Herb, and Don Hazen. They were owners of the Greenhouse. Judy always baked hundreds of cookies for the Christmas Stroll. I had a Lemon Bar one year and could hardly wait until the next year to experience that delightful treat. Judy had the recipe out on the table and that began my baking Lemon Bars. I changed the recipe slightly and it is the only one I’ve memorized because I make them so often.

I entered three kinds of bars and another item. I made a mistake and learned a lesson. I put three in the freezer and I should have made them fresh like the Lemon Bars. Well, I also told several people that my friend Beverly Grass, who is the world’s best baker, and Valerie Morger had won Best of Show and now it was my turn. Imagine my surprise on Friday afternoon when I found that I had indeed won “Best of Show.” Next to getting Garth Brook’s guitar, this was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. I had another fifteen minutes of fame. A huge thank you to Vicky for filling out my forms for the contest. I could not have done it myself.

I have another event to tell you about and that is my daughter, Jennifer, is on the cover of Lifestyles magazine this month. She is a fisherwoman and caught a 14.1 oz., 33 in. walleye at Tiber Dam. There is a contest for just women at Taber each year and she won in 2015 and 2016 for the biggest fish. However, this year she and her husband, Mike, went early to get a good parking spot for their camper. The contest is on Saturday and they got there on Wednesday. They went fishing in the afternoon and she got this whopper which was almost a record catch. On Saturday Hope Good, who is editor or the Lifestyles was there, heard about Jennifer’s catch.

I thought this would be of special interest for all fisherwomen in the area and for Greg at Ma’s in Loma. We have always had great conversations with Greg about fishing.

I know that this View has turned into an I, I, I, me, me, me kind of column but bear with me because I just had to tell you about these events.

I would love to hear from you readers any exciting events in your lives including stories about your lives, cute ones about your children and your grandchildren.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

View From The Bridge 8/16/17

BY Muncie

They are the cantaloupes from Big Sandy that are so famous in the area. They are delicious, sweet, and fresh picked. What a wonderful addition for breakfast or actually at any time of day for a break. Look for them at the Farmers Market on Thursday that will be back in the usual location between the Grand Union and the Information Center. See you there.

I thought the Fair would never get here and there would be nothing to do after Summer Celebration was over. Well, there were many events going on that will keep me busy. I prepared a few things to enter in the contests and it was enjoyable while I had to stay in the air conditioning during this hot, hot summer.

I am looking forward to volunteering at the gates for parking every day. I am also going to breakfast every day and eating out the whole 3 days.

I also want to explore the grounds and take in every aspect of the Fair. I really enjoy the photo and art work room. You cannot help but love the school room exhibits. They are the cutest ever. Don’t forget to play Bingo put on by the VFW.

The schedule will be in this edition of the River Press. Cut it out and check off the daily events. See you there!

I want to remind you that the $3.00 donation for parking at the Chouteau County Fair is a donation to the Lions Club. This is one of the Lions Clubs fund raisers of which they do not have many. These funds go toward scholarships not only for Fort Benton, but for Geraldine, Highwood, and Big Sandy.

The Lions Club members volunteer their time to cover the gates in all kinds of weather to help their club. Actually, it is a lot of fun for me because I see and, if time permits, visit with friends.

The $3.00 fee covers the 3 days of the fair and begins at 10:00 a.m. until dark. With costs going up every year on everything, the cost of the parking remains at $3.00 a day. That is a cost of $1.00 a day for parking inside the grounds. It is really worth the cost as walk-ins have to pay $1.00 a person. I can understand if you live close by the fairgrounds, that you would walk in instead of driving your vehicle a block or two. You must be in good health to walk any further in the kind of heat we have been having.

So reconsider if you are one of those people to choose to park in the streets around the fair grounds and walk in. You would be doing a favor to those seniors in high school who get those scholarships and the many other groups who benefit from the Lions Club.

Thank you for your cooperation and watch soon for another fund raiser projects that are in the planning stage for October.

Chouteau County Performing Arts patrons will remember the Native American singer and entertainer Jack Gladstone. He has been a friend of our family and friends to many others in Fort Benton.

Last Friday evening he and Patti were married near Browning in the most charming outdoor area. The weather was so cooperative and it was a most pleasant evening. It was a simple, heartwarming ceremony and a good time was had by all.

There must have been over 200 people there and the most wonderful one was Jack’s Mom. She is 85 years old, blessed the food we ate, and told us how she keeps busy. She sews teepees and clothing. What a charmer she was.

Jack was here for Summer Celebration and sang in Fort Park on Sunday afternoon. When the Shep bronze was dedicated, Jack wrote a song about Shep and sang it at the dedication. That was one of the songs he sang in the Old Fort Park.

Jack and Patti are planning to return to Fort Benton during the Charlie Russell event in September. If you see them be sure to congratulate them on their marriage.

I discussed a while back with someone who told me she collected buttons. If you are that person or know who it is, please call me at 622i-3217.

This request if for someone who is into collecting trains. I have a beautiful Christmas train that I bought at a moving sale and it is missing a part. I have hopes that a collector might be able to give me some advice about securing the part I need.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, THOSE WHO PROTECT US, OUR TIREMEN and WOMEN, OUR FARMERS, WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS, and FLY YOUR AMERICAN FLAGS EVERY DAY. (I wanted to add the Farmers this week and at a gathering I attended on Saturday, it was suggested that I add Firefights. Thank you for that suggestion.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

View From The Bridge 8/9/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

A great time was had by all. Most of the folks I talked with had never been to Fort Benton before. I spoke with families from California, Illinois, and Missouri. There were no representatives from Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana. I was disappointed about that.

On Wednesday when the Conference began, there were over 300 people at the Ag Center. The Conference Room was completely filled. I only stayed a couple of hours but for the rest of the day I saw families walking all around town.

The first day of the Conference was Tuesday and my day to volunteer at the Visitors Information Center.  I had three couples from Missouri and most of them were not 4-H’ers. The visitors came at different times and so did not compare their trips to Montana. They were all on vacation and only one couple stayed over. The other two were just passing through. They asked what they could see in an hour or two and the best thing I could suggest was to walk the Levee Trail. The new historic signs would tell them most everything they would want to know about Fort Benton. I always suggest that they come back when they can spend at least two days here to see the Museums, the Village, the Old Fort with its art gallery, and the BLM Interpretive Center.

One couple said that they were on their way to Glacier but would stop back in Fort Benton for the Chouteau County Fair. The people who come into the Visitors Center are so interesting and they all have a story. I truly enjoy volunteering there.

The author who wrote “Rollin’ Down the River” described For Benton as a charming town and said that did not adequately describe it. All of the visitors that I see at the Visitors Center and the 4-H’ers compliment the beauty and layout of our town. One man described cities on the rivers that built structures on the river banks to block the view. Thank goodness our founding fathers (and mothers,) did not let the railroad build along Fort Benton’s levee.

The point of this story is, “Ask not what our city can do for you but what can you do for your city.” Pick an organization, a church group, or any other volunteer group you may hear about, and JOIN. There is so much that can be done with a little help. Get to know your neighbors and let our reputation be known as a close community. I really admire our neighboring cities of Geraldine and Highwood. They are tight knit communities who are true friends and neighbors.

They are the cantaloupes from Big Sandy that are so famous in the area. They are delicious, sweet, and fresh picked. What a wonderful addition for breakfast or actually at any time of day for a break.

Look for them at the Farmers Market on Thursday that will be back in its usual location between the Grand Union and the Information Center. See you there.

Our young college student, Dominic, who has been doing an internship with the River Press, will be leaving Fort Benton this week.

He has been a breath of fresh air for the past six weeks or so and what I will always remember is that he loves Farmers Markets.

He does not know at this time if he will ever be this way again but if he would visit it would be a pleasure to see him again. He reminds me so much of my great grandchildren. Youngsters like Dominic are so bright and I feel safe in the fact that they will someday take care of our country.

So long Dominic and I wish you all the good things in life. Come back soon.

As another of my old friends moved away this past week, I was feeling very nostalgic about how many there have been this past year. If I miss some of you old friends please let me know.

Quite a while ago Mary Doerk moved to Great Falls. More recently Hilda Bonilla, Dottie Meehan, Ellie Stensland, Shirley Linabary , Judy Hazen, and Joan Albers have all moved away to be closer to family. Most of them left quickly and I did not have the opportunity to say so-long. So if they still subscribe to the River Press, (and why not,) I would like to say so-long and I miss all of you very much.

I received a phone call a couple of weeks ago telling me that Arlene Ayers had a birthday coming up. I checked the Senior Center the next day but she was not there. I now wish to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I believe that she is 59 years young. Correct me if I am wrong Arlene. Hope to see you soon.

It is Monday morning and I have just returned from the Wake Cup Coffee Shop where I met Larry Campbell who is the author of “Rollin’ Down The River.” He took a ride on the Missouri and wrote an awesome book, with great pictures. He brought his beautiful wife with him because he wanted her to see some of the special places that he wrote about. He was the one that I mentioned in an above story that called Fort Benton a charming place.

I truly enjoyed chatting with them about his river trip, his book, and his return to Fort Benton, It really amazes me the things that people do to make their lives more exciting. A trip like Larry planned was not an overnight one. It took a lot of organizing and courage.

I wish I had met Larry when he passed through Fort Benton on his trip, but I did not. Usually someone from the Information Center calls me when a person of interest/interesting person visits the Center. Larry just slipped through the lack of information but today made up for it.

They live in Branson, Missouri and now I have an invitation to visit and a place to stay. Pays to go to book signings or am I just in the right place at the right time.

Next Wednesday there will be an Ice Cream Social at the Golden Age Senior Center. It is a fund raiser and one of a few so please supports their efforts. Gather the whole family, all the Kiddos, all your friends and neighbors and get to the Center for some social time.  See you there.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

View From The Bridge 8/2/17

By Muncie

The Full Sturgeon Moon is the name that the fishing tribes gave the August Moon because the sturgeon were in abundance in the Great Lakes and other large bodies of water. Other names were the Green Corn Moon, the Grain Moon, and the Full Red Moon. During this month when the moon rose through a sultry haze it seemed to be red.

The full moon this month will be on Monday the 7th.  Enjoy!

Yes, the Good Earth Orchards will be coming across the mountains to satisfy our need for the freshly picked Bing Cherries. The orchards owned by the Young family are the same orchard that has come for many years to Fort Benton. They are located out of Big Fork and come to Fort Benton because they have relatives living here. They will be joining the other vendors at the Farmers Market in the Old Fort Park.

It will be an exciting Thursday with the Shakespeare in the Park, the Taste of Chouteau County, the Farmers Market, and the 4-H Western Heritage Conference. The best kept secret town of Fort Benton will be in the lime-light again. We did get coverage for Summer Celebration and although there will not be quite the number of Visitors…it will be a busy time.’

Hey Dominic, I am really enjoying your stories about people of Chouteau County. I would like to use the term “People of Interest” but that is a crime phrase. I will call them “Interesting People” and continue to enjoy their stories.  Everyone has a story and I like to hear them.

I happen to know Henry and his beautiful wife Val. Henry likes to keep busy and he joined the Lions Club as soon as he moved to town. He is a tireless worker and has a fresh new approach to everything. He does have an engineer’s eye for all problems. He and Val are valuable additions to our town.

All around town comments are that no one believes that Henry looks anything like a motorcycle rider. Go Henry!

On Wednesday, August 16th at 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., there will be an ICE CREAM SOCIAL. What a nice break in the middle of the week and from the heat we have been experiencing, (but I won’t dwell on it.) Actually, I have heard about snow in August and you never know what Mother Nature has in mind.

So gather together your selves, your children, your grandchildren and come to the Golden Age Senior Center for some socializing. The cost is minimal at $1.00 a scoop, .50 cents for banana slices, and toppings are free. I know what I want to order and I wish it were today.

This event is one of the few fund raisers that the Golden Age holds each year.  Please support them as the members are tireless volunteers and seniors at that. It is more and more difficult to move around quickly as you grow older but somehow these volunteers have side stepped it. I wish I could keep up with them. Go Golden Age. (I will remind you again next week.)

Pie Day is a little over a month away and I am looking forward to it. Also the Tuesday night dinners will begin and those are a great night out for me. The only problem is that I leave at 4:45 p.m. for dinner at 5:00 p.m. and I am home by 6:15 p.m. at the latest. So much for a night out. (Carol, I am teasing you. You do such a great job setting the table with themes and hustling up the entertainment. Thanks and keep up the good work.)

Plans are in full swing and the grounds being tidied up. I know how much work it takes to get prepared and I want those responsible to know how proud I am of the condition of the Fair grounds. “See you in Fort Benton, Benton. See you at the Fair. Don’t tell me the lights are shining anywhere but there.”


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

By Muncie

This organization has saved my reading life for 38 years. Now it has been put in jeopardy because of drastic cuts to the program.

I received a letter this past week dated June, 2017 from the supervisor of the Talking Books program advising me of the cuts in their budget. Two long time employees were let go and I learned from a phone call that there are 4 employees left in the office.

I have always had wonderful service receiving the books I wanted with a day or two since they are located in Helena. At times they have had to obtain the books I requested from Salt Lake City. They give special attention to every request to accommodate their blind and visually impaired callers.

I am appealing to the other people who use Talking Books to make phone calls to their Representatives, Senators, and even the Governor to cease cutting these important programs.

I have known for many years that funding for  libraries were being cut. Even though I do not frequent our Chouteau County Free Library, (since I cannot read books,) I believe that it is the most important building in Fort Benton.

There is no other way I know of to reach other Talking Books persons (because of privacy issues,) and so I ask you to do some phone calling. Phone numbers are in the phone book and the phone is answered in a timely manner. You will not have to wait or begin by pushing dozens of numbers.  Please do it today. I need my Talking Books. If you do not know anyone who enjoys these books then do it for me.

It was better attended in spite of the heat. Miss Rainie Halko was busy at her table putting earrings together. She must have that entrepreneur gene. Susanna was there with her Filipino dinner and egg rolls. The Arnst family had just picked produce and I was told that their grandchildren were providing cool lemonade... (I miss the Girls and their baked goods. I have to get up the energy to bake my own banana and zucchini loafs. They will never be as good.)

Randy Morger was there selling seasons tickets to the Chouteau Count Performing Arts. The Hutterites are always there with their produce and fresh bread. Nancy’s Fancy enticed us with coursings and different flavors of bagels. (Next week she promised Danish.) A lemonade stand and an iced drink seem to be doing a good business. Connie Jenkins was selling canoe raffle tickets for the River and Plains. The person having the best time was Dominic, a River Press reporter, who loves Farmer Markets. Dominic will only be with us this summer. He is such an enthusiastic young man and if you have the opportunity to talk to him, do that. It may want you to get up and go with a project you have put aside to do sometime when you have time. (Will you ever have time?).I hope that I haven’t missed anyone...

This will be a big day in town. Not only will the 4-Hers be filling every room in town but Shakespeare in the Park and the Taste of Chouteau County will be in Old Fort Park.

The presentation of the Shakespeare in the Park will not be Shakespeare this year but George Bernard Shaw’s “You Never Can Tell.” That sounds very interesting and quite a change in their scheduling.

The Farmers Market will also be in the Park instead of the Levee Park. You should not have any trouble enjoying yourself that evening. So put on a happy face and give everyone you meet a Fort Benton welcome.

Last year when 9 puppies were up for adoption at the Dedman Foundation, one of them went to Randy’s house to live. Her real name is Cream but I like to call her Creamy, you know to rhyme with Randy, Muncie, and so on.

To get on with the story, Cream does not like it when Randy has somewhere to go for a short time. He had a beautiful wooden fence built to keep her in the year but she manages to get out and search town for him. She would squeeze herself between the wooden fence and the cyclone fence next door and escape.

Last week Ruth Evans called to tell me that she could not reach Randy and Cream was in her house for safe keeping. Randy retrieved her and when he got home, put her in the yard and stood by the door to see if he could figure out how she was getting out of the yard.

Now this is where the story gets interesting. Cream climbed the cyclone fence, like a bear, into the neighbor’s yard to freedom. She also used a lilac tree to boost herself up the fence. It is no longer there and fell to the mighty ax.

Now you say, “Why doesn’t he leave her in the house?”  Well, he does depending on the weather, but she learned to open the screen door. Now that is one smart dog and forever faithful to her master.

Next Tuesday will be the 1st of August and I will write about the moon for the August 2nd edition
of the River Press.  I was thrilled at the Farmers Market when a lovely woman came up to me and said that she like my telling about the moon names. That has encouraged me because they say that for every one person’s opinion, it counts for 5,000 others opinions.  Wow, I know that 5,000 people read the River Press.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

View From The Bridge 7/17/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

It’s a common phrase that is used to describe news that spreads in a small town like Fort Benton. It maybe about someone who has passed away that day, about a budding romance or a fading one, an exciting event happening to someone or about a person of interest. Since I do not do Facebook or have a Smart Phone, I most often am the last one to get any such news.

The point of my story is to let you know about what I do hear often. That is what a great job Bethany DeBorde is doing with the River Press. This is not to take anything away from the 20 years that Tim Burmeister spent as reporter/editor. It is to realize the importance of the job that Bethany has taken over.

I am proud of her youth and energy to even entertain the thought of taking over a local newspaper. Thank you Bethany and may your tenure at the River Press be long and rewarding.

It began last Thursday with a good crowd for the first event in spite of the 90 plus heat. I didn’t stay long because even in the shade, it was too hot for me. I did however buy my season ticket for the Chouteau County Performing Arts. It again looks like winner performances and a good time will be had by all. See you there.

Chris Halko and daughter Rainie will be at the Farmers Market this Thursday prepared to make earrings out of the Shep Charms. If you missed out at Summer Celebration, this is your opportunity to purchase a pair for yourself or birthday/Christmas presents for your daughters and granddaughters.

They will have a table and will be ready to work on providing your orders on the spot. The Shep Charms are a delightful character of our “Forever Faithful” dog and a truly memorable keepsake. Please take advantage of this activity as I feel responsible for Chris ordering 200 charms. I was so sure they would go “like hotcakes” so to speak. I only feel sad because I do not have any granddaughters to buy earrings for. Oh well!  I have my own pair to treasure .

Can you believe that the spring/summer sales are over and school supplies have appeared on the shelves of retailers? The days are getting noticeably shorter and the next holiday, Labor Day, is about 6 weeks away. If you take a vacation it is probably over. Haying is over, as I understand it, and harvest will soon be upon us. “Funny How Time Slips Away.”

So enjoy every minute of every day. Stop and think about your life and dwell on the things that make you happy. Handle the ups and downs with concern the downers but with joy the uppers.

Gosh, I hate to mention it but I have to. I have heat exhaustion again that keeps me in the apartment with the great air conditioning that I have here. If I need to go to the post office or the grocery store, I can start my truck from inside and get from apartment ac into the truck ac I cannot travel on the GoGo (scooter,) because I cannot be in the sun. If I thought that the winter cabin fever was bad it was nothing like summer cabin fever. I cannot be outside breathing the hot air. I keep the blinds closed from the sun and so cannot see outside. For the first time in my life I can hardly wait until fall. I did not want to confess this situation but found that many others I talk with feel the same way.

I thought about going to Alaska for the summer but found that it gets hot there too. Whoever thought that Montana, with its reputation of being cold, would ever have 100 degree and over temperatures?

Well, enough of that. Whatever will be will be and I could never leave “My Happy Place.”

I have not heard from a single person about a Shep story. I know there must be some out there that Grammas, Grandpas, Great Grammas and Grandpas have passed down Shep stories. They must have been here when Shep was at the depot. Please let me hear from you and if the story is more than I can handle, I will pass it on to Bethany. Everyone loves a dog story.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

View From The Bridge 7/12/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

It isn’t too late to order one of the collectible Shep 75th Diamond Memory shirts. The shirt was so popular that they were sold out in a short time. It is difficult to judge how many shirts would be sold and so the order sheet was filled in a hurry.

You must do it immediately as the order is ready to go. Please call Kathy Bradshaw by Saturday the 15th at 406-490-1180.

JULY 4th
There was a fair crowd for the celebration of the great WWI Doughboy dedication on Tuesday, July 4th. Many people were out of town who told me that they wanted to attend. The hot temperature was another factor. I barely made it myself as I used my GoGo to transport myself because I thought that there would be a lack of parking places. It was very uncomfortable but I was happy to attend.

I was glad to see Ken Robison there when I knew he had another commitment. His WWI stories the two previous weeks in the River Press were so interesting because of the facts about the war that were researched that I had not heard before.

It was a very quiet day and a few fireworks were shot off. I could hear them but could not see them. I always thought that the 4th was a special holiday when I was a child and that still holds a place in my heart today.

I did not take a ride in the evening to count the flags because of the heat. I hope that there were many flying and that you will continue to fly them every day. I am frightened as to what will happen with the world situation today. May God Bless America.

I slept right through it. This was my third experience with a quake. I do not remember when but soon after I moved to Fort Benton, I was upstairs ironing. When I came down Wally asked if I felt the quake. I did not. He said that the two doors to upstairs were swaying. A week or so later when I went upstairs, I found all the pictures were crooked.

My other experience was when I was at Disneyland and there was a 5.6 quake. I must have been on a ride because I did not feel it. I do have a newspaper clipping to prove it.

My friends in Great Falls felt it much stronger. I was told that those who were still awake really felt rocking and rolling. If you draw a line from Lincoln to Great Falls you can see how it did not hit Fort Benton with as much strength.

The weather man gave a report that on average a big quake happens every 240 years. It has been 310 years since a big one and so we are overdue. There isn’t anywhere in the world you can go where there isn’t some sort of weather disaster.

My heart goes out to eastern Montana with the drought. A news report from those affected said they are tough and will get through it.

Here it is again on the 13th of July from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Levee Park. (That is what I call the area between the Grand Union and the Old Fire House. You could also call it Shep Park. I like that better.)

I enjoy the Farmer’s Market just because I get to visit with friends. I also get to feast on my favorite Egg Rolls and other baked goodies. See you there.

A board member from the Chouteau County Performing Arts Program will be at the market selling the series tickets. Be sure to visit with that board member to have your season ticket ready to go. There is a $5.00 discount when you buy early. You can check on the schedule and list of performers on the web at

I can hardly wait for great entertainment. The first performance features twin sisters who are the cutest ever. They were a big hit at consortium. See you there.

Not much going on as far as entertainment for adults. PEAK is keeping the Kiddos busy as well as the City Pool. It is time to prepare for the Chouteau County Fair. On these dog days of summer, keep busy with art work, photography, canning, baking, gardening, and 4H projects. (I am tired just listing all these things.) I promise that the weather will cool down and a good time will be had by all.

The full moon is tonight, the 9th, and I have been watching for it for a week now. There are no clouds in sight and the moon is awesome to see. It is difficult to imagine that astronauts have walked up there. There we go again with all that tech stuff. I won’t try to understand it but just enjoy the sight.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

View From The Bridge 7/5/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Did you wonder why when there were a few minutes of darkness in the display? Someone told us that there was a boat in the river that held up the show. What really happened was that the computer failed and the rest of the show had to be manually done.

Did you know that fireworks were handled by a computer? I am so far behind in all this tech stuff. The only thing I would like to have is the vacuum that runs all by its self. What a blast that would be. Again I wonder if you still have to clean the dirt out of it.

If you readers are tired of or do not read about the moons, please let me know. I have been repeating the same moon names for years now. I still enjoy it because I cannot retain the names and it is new information to me each year. I do enjoy knowing when the full moon will appear and when the finger nail moon first appears.

The July moon is called the Full Buck Moon. The antlers on the bucks begin to grow. It is also called the Thunder Moon which took place today (Sunday the 2nd.) It was 94 degrees according to my weather station. When I came to my computer room to work on the View, I keep the blind closed because the light shines into my screen. An hour later I went to the kitchen and found it very dark and raining. Then there was a loud clap of thunder with lightening to follow. It was raining too hard for me to go out and retrieve my flag.

A short time later the weather station read 86 degrees and the sun came out. I checked the flag and it was perfectly dry. It is no use to predict the weather. If you wait 5 minutes, it will change.

My husband Wally and I used to have a contest about who would see that finger nail moon first. Of course I always won just like I won the best rock-of-the-day when we went hunting. (This was my joke of the week.)

It is that time of year again to watch where you are walking or stepping. A RATTLESNAKE was reported on the vicinity of Front St. and 22nd in the alley. It was run over. (I asked if they saved the rattles and the answer was “no way.”

The second report was given to me by Police Chief John Turner. The snake was on the Levee Walking Trail near the Old Bridge. The spotter did call 911 immediately and help was there within a minute. Always call 911 and call no matter what kind of snake it is.

I met a couple in Lehman’s True Value last week and they were buying a new flag. They were retiring their old flag. I have always given my old flags to Larry Bower at the First Security Bank for retirement. If that is not convenient for you, give it to a Boy Scout, an American Legion member, or VFW member.  They are sure to get it to the right location.

Did you get your flag up on Tuesday? I will have counted them that evening. I know there are people that only fly their flags on holidays but they can be flown year round. At this time in our countries history, a support of our love of country can be shown by flying our awesome American Flag. I am so lucky that I was born, raised, and am still living in the best country in the world. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to abandon my home and this wonderful Fort Benton because some radicals were trying to take it.

I really enjoyed Ken Robison’s WWI stories in the last the 14th and 21st editions of the River Press. He wrote about women who changed the world with their actions like the Red Cross. Nurses are the backbone of any clinic or hospital.

I enjoy watching them put all your information into a computer. It is all at the tip of their fingers and tells all you want to know about yourself. Well, almost everything. (If you have a secret life, you would not tell anyone because once you do tell someone, it is no longer a secret.  (I have been watching too many 48 hour shows on TV.)

I phoned Judy and Herb a couple of weeks ago to ask how they were doing. Many of you readers were asking me if I had heard from them since they moved.

They are doing fine and enjoy their new place as much as I am enjoying living in their apartment at the Sunset Apartments. They live a ways out of town and it is peaceful and quiet. They said to say hello to everyone and they would be back to visit Fort Benton soon.

Well, today, Monday the 3rd, I called them again to ask Herb where the WI-FI box was located. Herb was in a kind of hurry to get to the hospital. Judy was taken there last night to the ER and was being operated on at that very moment for gall stones.

I thought it would be wonderful to send Judy a get-well card. At this moment I cannot put her address in this column but call me if you would like to have it.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, THOSE WHO PROTECT US and WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS. (I’ll only be really happy when I see American Flags handing from every porch and everyone in red on Fridays. You would not disappoint me, would you?)

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?