Tuesday, November 14, 2017

View From The Bridge 11/15/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Who put the pumpkin in the hollow tree? This was the neatest thing for a lot of laughs in the neighborhood of the Sunrise Bluffs.

Next to the Community Garden is a hallow tree and several weeks before Halloween there appeared a carved pumpkin. Who done it? If you know anything about it would you please call me. If you do not want anyone to know I promise that I will not tell. I would like to know who is so clever and into the excitement of the season. It gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people and I would like it very much if you would do the same next year.

The same old crowd showed up for the Memorial service on the Old Bridge. There were some with walkers and some who could barely walk. They were there to honor their Veterans. It was the most beautiful day that we have ever had for the Veterans Day ceremony. The sun was bright, Montana blue sky, white fluffy clouds, and best of all…no wind.

The little 2nd grade O’Hara girl sang the National Anthem and it was so precious…from the mouths of babes.

Did you say thank you to a Veteran that day? It was also the Marine Corps birthday on the 10th and I am a Marine by marriage. I am still invited by the Marine Corps League 688 in Great Falls to their birthday ball. I can only think best wishes to them as I can no longer attend.

The big Turkey Bingo will be on Friday the 17th at 7:00 p.m. at the Club House. The VFW is all ready to give away those turkeys. So come on down for a fun time. You may get hooked on Bingo as I did 2 years ago when I attended my first Turkey Bingo and actually my first Bingo game.

I never dreamed that I would like playing Bingo but I truly enjoy it. Why? I do not think about anything else because I concentrate on those numbers. I get a charge out of those other addicted people who play 6 cards at a time. I am still a beginner and only play 2 cards. See you there.

Last Thursday there were only 5 of us so I played an extra card for a total of 3. However, the cards at the Center are large number cards and I was able to keep up.

During these long winter days, I encourage you to come to the Senior Center on Thursday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. for some relaxation time to play Bingo. Better yet…have lunch at noon. Just get moving and shut that TV off for a while. I think that you will find that you will be more motivated to get your chores finished if you are relaxed.
I ask those that used to play to return a.s.a.p. I realize that some of you work or have other commitments but we miss you. Hurry back.

This is a reminder that you have an invitation to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Sunrise Bluffs. The cost is minimal for a wonderful dinner with all the trimmings.

Please call in your reservation by Friday the 17th. The phone number is 622-5443. See you there.

It is 1 ½ weeks away and I have seen a schedule. It is fun filled and will keep you very busy for 3 days. Invite all your family and friends to come and enjoy with you.

On Saturday at the Ag Center, Jamie will be singing and the Barber Shoppe Quartet will also be back. You could not ask for better entertainment. Have lunch and sit and relax listening to the folks who know how to put on a great show. Take a little break from shopping.

There will also be that special store where the Kiddos can shop for their parents, grandparents and siblings. If you need some excitement in your life, you should check out those Kiddos shopping. It is hysterical and yet brings tears to your eyes. See you there.

The Christmas Concert on Sunday will be so special as always. Bring those Kiddos as it is especially for them. I was able to get through to the North Pole this past week and I can assure the youngsters that he will be there and everywhere that weekend.

The Shonkin Chouteau County Country Christmas at the Shonkin Community Hall ON Saturday, December 2nd, will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. instead of 5:00 p.m. 

The wagon rides will be held, weather permitting, by the Lacey Creek Clydesdales from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (My thought is what a wonderful pictures that would make for next year’s Christmas card.)

The odds of you winning a cash prize on December 3rd are great because only 200 tickets will be sold. To win cash at this time of year is such a great bonus. Be sure to buy a ticket. A member of the Lions Club will be at the Ag Center on Saturday selling tickets. Check them out and good luck to all of you. The drawing will be on Sunday at the Christmas Concert. See you there.

To cheer me up this week I was told  the following. “Just think…in a little over a month the days will be getting longer.” Yes! I feel a whole lot better.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, POLICE OFFICERS, FIREMEN, AND EMT’s. (Count your blessings for what these men and women do for us. Dwell your thoughts on our Troops who will not be home for Christmas. Pray for them and their families while you are comfortable in a warm home, good food, good night’s sleep and with your family and friends during the holidays. We are so blessed.)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

View From The Bridge 11/1/17

By Muncie

This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

So… get into those closets and drag out those winter coats, jackets, gloves and hats. Be sure and cover your heads as that will keep you warmer.

The full moon is on Saturday the 5th this month. I hope that we are able to see it. On that same Saturday night set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed. You can either go to bed an hour later or get an extra hour of sleep. Don’t forget because you don’t want to be late for Church.

I decided a few years ago that I have some clocks with batteries and are too difficult to change. I just do not change them any longer and have grown use to knowing that are an hour off. My electric weather stations, computer, and land/cell phones are changed for me…thank goodness. They are way too smart for me.

I received an early morning phone call a week ago Monday to tell me that there was some activity at the end of the Rectory Trail. (Remember there has been no activity for 3 weeks.) When I drove to the site I asked for the Boss Man and was directed to one of the brothers of the company who own the moving company. He was very co-operative in talking with me and was very proud of the job they had accomplished.

On Tuesday morning I again received a call that the building was being moved over the excavation. I did not get there in time to see the final phase. I regret not seeing it as that was what it was all about for the final end of the trail. It was explained to me earlier just how that step would be done and an exciting time for my friend Judy who watched the whole show.

The Boss said that they would be moving the building into position and a local company would be doing the foundation. His job would be finished and they would be out of town on Friday.

They were a very pleasant crew and frequented our eating establishment every day.

So the Rectory sits up high again and I have no knowledge of when the foundation will be done. It is a waiting game for me and I check around the block from where I live on any further activity. I have a feeling that old house will be happy to be settled and having someone living in it.

And so the Rectory Trail has come to an end much more quickly than any other. I would like to think that my rendition of the move was some sort of a journal. Perhaps there is someone who has a better record and kept a journal. If so, I would like to read it. Let me know.

Thanks again to Rodger Fultz for saving an old building. On my wish list is that all of our old buildings can be saved. There isn’t much I can do about it, but I can still “Wish Upon A Star.”

I have wanted to write and share about this subject since Summer Celebration. I went to the Golden Age Senior Center one day and when I found that there were no parking space on that side of Front St. I made a U-turn and parked right in front of Shep. I walked around the courtyard and I am still in awe of what I saw. I knew that the whole statue area had been redone because of cracks in the cement.

I was totally taken back when I examined the site. The Community Improvement Association did a fabulous job. I am not sure about materials but it looks as though those new kinds of boards that are used on porches and decks replaced the cement work. All the bricks were replaced in order and for some reason Shep looks larger to me. It is a magnificent structure and it is one of the most looked at since the anniversary year was celebrated this year. If you have not yet seen the Courtyard, stop by and enjoy.

Thank you C.I.A. for a most precious job ever about Shep. 

Remember “Spaghetti with Mark and Betty “fund raiser on Friday the 3rd from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Mark your December calendar about Chouteau County Country Christmas. It will take place on December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The Loma Hall will have their dance on Friday evening, craft vendors, entertainment, and food on Saturday at the Montana Agricultural Center and the Christmas Concert on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at the Fort Benton Elementary School. There is so much more going on so check your River Press for the schedules. 

I love Country Christmas because everyone is in such a happy mood.  Holidays always are. I wish it would last from one Christmas to another. That spirit is such a lovely one. It’s all about family and friends.

Then we have New Year’s to deal with. The wonderings about what will happen in 2018 will be on our minds. I will follow good advice given me to “just go from day to day.” I have a framed counted cross stitch that says. “I wonder what it was that I worried about a year ago.” Do you remember?

I had another OOPS when I reported about the premier showing of this film. I said that it was produced by Ken Burns and this was the oops. (Ken Robison, our local historian, was the one who caught this error.) PBS produced it and it is going to be shown on November 13th, 14th, and 15th. It is a 3 part film. Check your TV schedules for times. Don’t miss it.

I would like to tell you about the three fund raisers that I attended last week but I am running late with this View and also have enough words for this week.

I am running late because I spent all day yesterday (Monday) with the CCPA show. That is on the agenda for next week too. Hope that I saw you at all of these events.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

View From The Bridge 10/25/17

By Muncie

On Friday, the 3rd of November from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., a spaghetti dinner fund raiser is being planned for Betty and Mark Daniel in honor of their son Mark Estelle. It will be held at the Golden Age Senior Center on Front St. next to the River Press headquarters. Check the November 1st edition of The River Press for further details.

Betty is a long time cook at the Senior Center and is loved by one and all. She recently lost her son, Mark, and her friends are putting together this fund raiser as a helping hand.

Put the date on your calendar and plan to attend. So join us and “Enjoy some spaghetti with Mark and Betty.”

Next Sunday afternoon there will be an Art Show at the Ag Center from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Then travel to Shonkin for their Lasagna dinner fund raiser. (Don’t forget to put on your costumes.) Sing the following to the tune of Montana. S H O N K I N, Shonkin I love you. See you at both places.

Since I was involved in this story I thought I would tell the rest of it. Perhaps the newcomers in town had never heard about it or even new that one of the four urns was missing.

I do not know how the urn was broken from the Viquesney "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue but it was about 40 years ago. My husband, Wally, found the urn in the dump and brought it home to add to the garden. It is not true that he broke the urn off the monument. My joke of the week. I planted geraniums in it each year after I came to live in the Morger house. They did not do well because there was no drainage.

To get on with the story Wally, Randy, and I, attended a membership meeting of the American Legion. Ron Saville gave a report about plans to replace the urns. It seemed like a lot of money to me.

I went up to Ron after the meeting and told him that the missing urn was in our yard. He was thrilled and asked if he could have it and would pick it up the next day. He did just that and then proceeded to repair it for placement back on the monument. Later on he explained how he formed a cover that could be attached to the monument.  Now I cannot ask him as he passed away in early September. (God bless our Veterans.)

Wally was very happy that the urn had finally found its resting place and said that it was an honor to have saved it from the dump. End of story.

Next Monday October 30th will be the second of the series on your season’s ticket. If you do not have a season’s ticket, it is not too late to get one, but do not miss this show. Trent Arterberry, is an award winning artist, performs physical comedy, storytelling, mime, music and puppetry. This man will give you enough laughs to last a life time. Everyone loved him at consortium and the CCPA Board signed him up quickly.

So we will see you at the Fort Benton Elementary School at 7:00 p.m. next Monday evening. Come on down and let’s fill that auditorium. Remember that your children are free and since this act will not have a performance for the kiddos during the school day, bring them with you for a great family night out.

This is a suggestion from me and was not prompted by the CCPA or the General Federation of Fort Benton’s Woman’s Clubs. In fact, I will probably be in the dog house for suggested it. There is a donation jar on the cookie table. Just drop a dollar in it for the coffee and cookies. I just know that the people of Fort Benton are the most generous ever and so I thank you. See you there.

When the leaves began to fall it was a delight to walk or drove on many streets but especially around the Fort Benton Park. The sidewalks and streets were covered with yellow leaves. I called it the “Yellow Leaf Road.”

Then the rain came and the road turned brown. After the leaves dried up there was a second round of yellow leaves with the addition of several Indian summer days. It made it a bit easier when it is getting dark earlier and earlier. We only have a week and a half until Daylight Savings Time.

Everyone is talking about how time is flying by for them. Will winter go as quickly as the summer did? What will Mother Nature hand out this coming season? I hope she is kind to us and everyone in the world. I do not know about other countries but our United States has been hit quite hard. The floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and violent winds seemed endless. However, there is nothing we can do about it. Talking doesn’t do a thing. Just help when you can by donating to a cause and think about how lucky you are at the moment.

Did you see the cottonwood on the Levee that broke off a huge branch? By the time I saw it, the remains had been taken away. I only viewed it from the street but I was told that it was rotten.  The cottonwoods on the levee are well over their life expectancy. They live 90 to 100 years and they are over 100 years old. We only have a few cotton woods left in what I call Levee Park.  Some people call it the Shep Block.

This is a good time to remind people who have lost loved ones to plant a tree in their memory. Talk to the Greenhouse or Skip Ross about doing a memorial tree.

If you have been following the Rectory Trail and would like to know more, well…you know as much as Rodger and I know. That is nothing. The company that was doing the moving packed up on Thursday after they got the Rectory in some sort of position and they left. They have not returned.

My question to Rodger was, “Surely they are not going to leave their equipment there all winter?”  Well…they did the same last winter when the Rectory was next to the Catholic Church.

I guess it is like trying to talk to the Social Security office, an Insurance office, or Government office…you get nowhere quickly. They cannot answer your questions, they transfer you from one department to another, or they are out of the office. Some other excuses are that they are on another line, or busy with another customer.

So Rodger, just give it up. It isn’t hurting anything and is something to show visitors when they come to visit. It’s a great conversation subject and even better than, “Who are you going to vote for?”


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

View From The Bridge 10/18/17

BY Muncie

A new group has formed in the last few months and we are a Book Club. At our 10-11-17 meeting we named our group. We meet at the Chouteau County Free Library at 12:00 noon on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

We would love you to join us for an enjoyable time choosing a book, reading it, and discussing it. We now have 10 to 12 members and would enjoy having more. They say the more the merrier and the more opinions about the book. It is amazing to me how different the members view the stories.

Much of our discussion today was about people who do not read as they did years ago. It must be the advent of TV and computers that supply you with knowledge we never dreamed of.  In my day all we had was the radio and libraries. I know that I mentioned this before but my library was quiet. No one spoke out loud but in whispers. There were no people running in and out to use computers. It was where I went often for peace and quiet. We did not even have a telephone until I was in high school. This was not because they were not available but because we could not afford it. I purchased my first TV about 1955 and there was really not a show to watch but wrestling and goofy programs. It is truly unbelievable for me to comprehend how far the world has advanced to today. I must admit I actually liked the old way better but that is my opinion. I would like to hear yours.

We would like to have more men’s participation. At present we have only one male who attends regularly. We did have one new member this moth and she was more than welcome.

The leader of our Benton Bookies will have the chosen book (most likely by the time you read this,) and if you would like to join us you can call Rita Braun at 622-3323 to let her know that you will be picking up a book at the Library.

Our next meeting will be the second Wednesday of November the 8th. See you there.

Sunday the 29th will be a busy day. Something new will take place at the Ag Center. A Fall Art Fest will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Put the date on your calendar and come on over to enjoy some fine Art.

Then at about 6:30 p.m. make your way to Shonkin for their Lasagna Dinner Fund Raiser. I have attended this event for many years and it is a fun time. There is a silent auction and the live auction is a hoot. One of the female members is the auctioneer and it is a barrel of laughs.

To make it more interesting, wear a Halloween costume. We do not get to do that very often as seniors.  JUST DO IT. See you there.

Next Monday the 23rd at 7:00 p.m. will be the start of the VFW's Bingo games. See you there.

If you missed Susanna’s Philippine Dinners at the Farmer’s Market, put this date on your calendar, November 5th from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. It will be held at the Catholic Church and the donation is $10.00 per person or $25.00 per family.  I’ll remind you again next week.

 I am not aware of any. How I wish that the different organizations, Churches, schools, and organizations would call me about their activities.

I received a phone call last week to tell me that I had made an error in reporting that Blue Cross Blue Shield had cancelled our insurance. I read my View over again and what I said was that SOME OF US WERE CANCELLED. My BCBS Advantage program was cancelled and those of us who have this insurance will know in the next few weeks how we will be covered if at all. I also had a sentence that said “I had my Medicare insurance cancelled for the same reason,” and that reason being we are a rural community. It should have said my auto insurance.

So let me begin again.  This will be the 3rd time many of us have been cancelled.  I cannot remember the name of the first supplement we had and the second was New West and when they cancelled us BCBS offered us the Advantage program.

The point I am trying to make here is to attend the agents programs that are being held in the next few years around town. It is important that you take an interest in what is going on. I spoke to several people who do not know what kind of health insurance they have. SO JUST DO IT and get out and about to learn what is going on.

OOPS No. 2
One other OOPS was that the Boat Race was in 1937 instead of 1936. The quote was “There hasn’t been this much excitement in Fort Benton since the Boat Race of 1936.” (The excitement was the Rectory Trail two weeks ago.)

I have had perhaps a dozen OOPS in the 18 years I have been writing. I did receive 1 criticism from a man who said that the View from the Bridge was too long. Sometimes I feel that way too when I am trying to think of things to write about.

My excuses are that I have a very old computer with the Vista program. It is no longer in existence and nothing can be done to update. The second excuse is reading all the e-mails and mail that I receive. It takes a long time to sort out the junk mail because a great deal of my e-mail goes to junk mail. If there is one word that does not comply with Microsoft it is then sent to junk mail. What else can go wrong to annoy me?

On Sunday afternoon, I attended the yearly meeting of the Friends of the Clack Museum annual celebration in our sister city of Havre. They had a dinner at the Duck Inn and both of my Morger boys, Randy and Brian, were quest speakers. It was all about Shep and as always I learned something new. Randy gave his Shep talk and Brian brought along all his Shep pictures.

Would you believe here were 60 people in attendance and that fact held us in awe. Randy and Brian met many new people there. A lovely young woman came up to me after the program and said she was Kathy Buckingham’s sister. I could have guessed that as she looks just like Kathy.

It was a joy to see how the Havre people support their Museum.

The museum project also includes the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump. John and Anna Brumley were honored for the dedication of 23 years at the Jump. They retired after their passion showed a profit. They will be sorely missed as they are or already have moved to Utah.

Fort Benton’s Visitor Information Center Volunteer’s field trip last year was to visit the Buffalo Jump, the Under Ground Businesses, and the Old Post Office that is now converted into a home.  John and Anna were there as our guides.

One of the first things I was taken to see when I moved to Fort Benton was the Buffalo Jump. The work on improvements in 23 years was remarkable. John and Anna were two people who “JUST DID IT.” I wish that I had known them. I know that I would have gained inspiration from them. Another old saying is, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” Happiness is living your dream.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

View From The Bridge 10/11/17

By Muncie

Fort Benton boasts the Lewis & Clark Trail, the Whoop-Up-Trail and now the Rectory Trail. It may not seem like an adventure to you fur it was for me. I followed the Catholic Church Rectory on its journal to its new resting place. As you know the Rectory has been sitting up on the moving apparatus for about 2 years and its moving date in a lot of doubt. I had my spies watching for any kind of activity. I finally got a call from a screaming voice that said “the Rectory is on the move. Get here right away.”

Wouldn’t you know that that call came on a morning when I had not slept well during that night? The phone woke me and I scrambled to get ready after I had made a phone call for a ride. With my coffee in hand and a box of Krispy Kreme donuts we were in plenty of time for the action to begin.

The Rectory was, at this time, in the middle of 16th St. and the move was being held up because Northwest Enter had to remove the light bulbs from the poles.  Someday I will count how many they had to remove. (The next day I saw N.W. Energy replacing the bibs.)

I checked in at almost every street by parking next to St. Charles. It was a slow process and when I had gone home for lunch, I missed the most interesting part of the trail. That was when the street splits by the Fort Benton High School football field. When I picked up the trail again it was at 21st St. the other side of the football field.

The designated point was 22nd St. and Franklin but 22nd St. was by-passed and the Rectory took a rest on 24th St. for the evening. There are no street lights on 24th and that is why it was chosen for the night’s rest and the ability the next day for a straight shot to Franklin St.

I was told that work would begin again at 9:00 a.m. and there I was near the site but nothing was happening. I did some errands and returned at 10:00 a.m. Still nothing. I returned home and before I left for Bingo at the Golden Age Senior Center, I checked the site again. Nothing!

After Bingo and a stop at the River Market, I checked again. The Rectory had been moved and was now sitting on the property.

A friend, Judy who lives a couple of houses down, joined me and we watched for over an hour while they pushed the Rectory into some sort of preparation to get it onto the property.

Roger Fultz explained the procedure to us but it was way too complicated for me to understand.  By the way, I would like to thank Roger for saving that building. It is an historical structure and would otherwise have been torn down. We lost the Conrad mansion that could have been saved according to old-timers in town. All these things are should ’av, could ’av, or would ‘av when it was too late.

It was late in the afternoon and so they closed down for the evening I had appointments in Great Falls on Friday and when I returned to the site on Saturday morning they did not work. The Rectory seemed to be in the same place.

A quote from my son Randy, “There hasn’t been this much excitement in Fort Benton since the Boat Race of l936.”

Several weeks ago I reported on the 25 Desserts fund raiser held at the Murphy Neel Building. I forgot to mention that the Balantyne Boys entertained us with the violins. I was so pleased when I asked if they would play Ashokan Farwell fir me and they did. Do you know or remember that melody was played as background music for the Ken Burn’s Civil War series on PBS?

Many kudos to you boys because you made the evening so pleasant.

Speaking about Charlie Russell, the series will be on PBS in the next few weeks. Watch for it. It will be on 3 evenings. It is a great show and was produced by Ken Burns. That makes it so special because he really does his research and it is documented. Russell was a one of a kind artist the world’s more famous cowboy artist. It is so worth a trip to the museum in Great Falls to examine his works more closely. Take your out of town guests as a treat. Then take them to the Fort Benton Ag Center with its Village, the Museum of the Upper Missouri, The Old Fort Benton and the Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center for a full day’s enjoyment. However remember that you will have to wait until next year when they open again on Memorial Day weekend.

Well, they did it again. Blue Cross and Blue Shield have cancelled those of us that hold their Medicare Advantage supplement insurance. This is about the 3rd time we have been cancelled.  The reason…because we are rural and they will only be covering large cities in Montana. (I had my care insurance cancelled a few years ago because of the same reason.)

What I am suggesting is call your Senators and Representatives and scream at them. JUST DO IT. I do not know if there is anything they can do but where else can you turn. Only you can make an effort to change things but you have to take the time to do it. You need your opinion heard.

I do not get a newspaper so I do not have access to letters to the editor. That is another place to vent your frustrations.

Also call your agent to see where he or she will take you to the next provider who will cancel in 2 years. Then the price goes up along with the not knowing what will be the next happening. It is all up to you. Yes, I know that you do not like to make phone calls and talk on the phone. I do not like it either but it is a must for me now. We seniors do not get a raise in Social Security benefits and yet everything keeps going up and up in price. Will someone please give us a break?

The next Chouteau Count Performing Arts program will be on Monday October 30th at the same place and same town. Trent Arterbarry will make us laugh and for a few hours make us forget the horrors of the world. I do not know about you but I have had nothing for weeks now but a lot of pain and suffering for all these people who have been hurt starting with the hurricane that hit Houston, Florida, Porter Rico, and then the Las Vegas tragedy. I cannot help feeling what is next?

The VFW Bingo evenings begin on the 23rd at the Club House at 7:00 p.m.

I put the schedule in the River Press a couple of weeks ago and I hope that you cut it out and saved it. If you need it again, let me know and I will have it reprinted. See you there.

The Shonkin Community Center Lasagna dinner fund raiser is coming up. I have gone to this event for many years. The fund raiser is for repairs to their Community Center and it is a very pleasant place with their wood burning stove. The lasagna dinners are varied kinds and I recommend any or all of them. They have a silent auction and a live auction. It is such fun to have the women try to mimic an auctioneer. It is a wonderful way to spend an evening and get away from the TV. See you there.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

View From The Bridge 10/4/17

By Muncie

What is it? It is becoming the owner and editor of the local newspaper called the River Press. Now I have to call Bethany “Boss” as I called Tim. This happening could not have happened to a nicer, more intelligent, enthusiastic, energetic, and just plain nice person. Everyone is so happy for you and thank you for your wonderful work with the paper. May you be the longest owner of the River Press and may you be the oldest ever. That is a huge order to fill but I am certain you will do it.

A standing ovation told the story of how everyone, last Wednesday evening, enjoyed the Chouteau County Performing Arts presentation by the Twin Kennedy’s.

They performed all kinds of music and I especially enjoyed the classical. They have BA’s degrees in Classical Presentation. Twin Julie was the winner of the year for her violin playing. Did our ever see anyone play so fast?

They are originally from Canada but now live in Nashville, Tennessee. (That is where all the action is for music as if you didn’t already know that.) Come back soon Julie and Karla.

I want to share this story with you because it made me laugh and happy. On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. the Twin Kennedy’s did a performance for the school kids. I had the pleasure of meeting the Twins on Tuesday and told Karla, the guitar player, that I had Garth Brook’s guitar. She asked to see it and so around noon on Wednesday I headed to the Elementary School to meet her.

I had to park on 14th St. and as I lugged that heavy guitar and case across the playground, a very little girl ran over to me. (I think that she thought I was one of the performers.) She said something to me but with my hearing problem, I could not hear her. I bent down and she whispered in my ear that she played the piano. She was so proud and wanted me to know.

I met with the Twins and watched them set up for the show. (That is a whole lot of work and I tired just watching.) I thought about that little girl and decided to write about her. I went to the Kindergarten room #2 and knocked on the door. I asked if the girl was there who talked to me on the playground. No luck! I went to #1 and when I asked she raised her hand. I told her that I needed her name and phone number to ask her mother’s permission to put her name in the River Press. She again whispered in my ear that, “I only play the piano at my Gramm’s house.” Now how adorable is that.

Ava, is doesn’t matter where you play the piano. Just the fact that you try is the important part. I hope that someday you become famous and I can say that I knew you when.

I belong to the Lions Club and so that makes me a Lioness…I guess. Last Thursday evening, Friday morning, and a few hours on Saturday, I tried to help as much as I could. I helped set up and was the cashier for a while. It was also the most fun I have had this year so far. I really enjoyed Summer Celebration, the Chouteau County Fair that included being a parking ticket collector, and now this yard sale.

I have never seen so much “stuff.” It all came from the Chouteau County communities and they were so generous. The Commercial building was filled to capacity. There was table after table filled and boxes underneath to replenish when they became empty. There were two couples that were there for two hours and went away with a truck load of treasures.

On the big sale day on Saturday the generosity was overwhelming as person after person gave donations far above what they were taking.

I had never been to a sale quite like this one. Nothing except large items were priced and when they checked out, they were asked what they wanted to give as a donation for the Lions Club. They would ask how much we wanted and if we said $1.00, we received a $5 and told to keep the change. If we said $5 we would be given a $5 or $10. 

I personally want to thank all of you who came to the Yard Sale because the Lions use all of their donations for community projects in Chouteau County. I know you all had a great time finding wonderful treasures. See you next year, hopefully same time and same place.

The trip planned for the volunteers at the Visitors Information Center was cancelled. The reason is not known as yet. It could have been that it was a Friday, it could have been the site chosen, or it could have just been other commitments. Whatever the reason, the trip will be postponed until perhaps next spring.

I know that Stacy appreciates all the hours put in by the volunteers. Next spring sounds good to me after winter is over and we have longer days. May all my fellow volunteers have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


It is the first of the month and I said that I would only mention this subject occasionally. I would like to ask that you all put American Flags out every day on your front porch except in inclement weather. We especially today need to show our respect and love for our Flag. Think about the thousands of men and women who have died for our Flag.

I was a teen-ager during WWII but lived through all the others since with fear and sorrow. I only knew a lot about only Iwo Jima as my husband, Wally, was a survivor of that conflict. Over 7,000 men died, in that famous picture, to get the American Flag up on top of Mt. Suribachi. 

I hope that war does not happen again and those that are going on all over the world would end. We all want peace. May it happen soon and in my lifetime?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

View From The Bridge 9/27/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie


Rise up early on this coming Saturday morning to get to the Lions “Biggest Yard Sale" of the year. If you are a seasoned “Yard Sale’err” you know that the early bird gets the worm. You will find the Lions waiting to greet you at 9:30 a.m. at the Commercial building (inside) at the Chouteau County Fair Grounds. They will be there until 5:30 p.m.

The Lions have been working toward this sale for several months and there are many great treasurers awaiting the right buyer. These sales are such fun when family/ friends are looking at the same interesting items. How far does friendship go when that treasure is spotted? I say, “Hold your ground and no matter what, always remain friends.” You could also split the cost and then each keeps it for a month at a time. That may work or it may not. Whatever! Have a great time.

The really important thing is to support the Lions Club because all of their funds go to the good of the community. See you there.

On the first day of fall last week, there were children in the playground. Today again there were children
Here. I wonder if they were the same Kiddos. Whatever, they seemed to be having a grand time.

I always think of the General Federation of Woman’s Club of Fort Benton that was responsible for sponsoring that playground. While at the Visitors Information Center, I talked to families passing by Fort Benton. They would stop by just to let their children play at the playground. Do you remember playing at a playground? It is a treasured memory.

Another happening was that so many of the trees have turned completely yellow or had yellow in them.

It is getting dark by 7:00 p.m. and is completely dark by 7:30 p.m. That is the part that I do not like. I know that it is going to be earlier until in December it will be dark by 4:30 p.m. and actually that is about 3 months away. Since time flies when you are having fun, that should be here in no time.

Another fact is that the “Snow Birds” are beginning to leave town. I have had the opportunity to be a Snow Bird but never took advantage of that. I came from a state that had 4 seasons and it is true that I love the 4 seasons in Montana. I think it would be boring to live where it was warm all the time but that is just me. Besides, there are always events going on like football, basketball, all other sports, and Chouteau County Performing Arts to keep me here.

I know that you readers here in town and in Montana know all of the above info. I mention it for the River Press readers out of state who like to read about news at home. Hello to all of you and come to visit soon.

The schedule for Bingo to begin at the Club House will be Monday, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. Only the Turkey Bingo will be on a different day and that will be on Friday, November 17th.

If you would like to mark your calendars the games will always on the 1sst and 3rd Monday of the month with the exception of Turkey Bingo. Here are the dates starting will October 23rd, November 13th and 27th with Turkey Bingo on Friday the 17th, December  11th only, January 8th and 22nd, February 12th and 36th, March 12th and 26th, and the last game of the season on April 9th.

All devoted Bingo players will be happy to get back into the routine during the cold and dark evenings of winter. If you are not an addicted player or have never played, come and join us for a jovial evening with family and friends. See you there.


Just as I urged you to fly an American Flag, support our Veterans by wearing red on Fridays, and other things that show your love of your country, I am now asking you to use your right to speak your opinion. I urge you to call your senators and representatives often to let them know how you feel about issues.

I have never studied politics and only know what I read and observe. I like to hear the “other side of the story.”  The only way that I know of to have my voice heard is to call those who have the power to make changes.

When an issue comes up that you and I know nothing about, is the time to call and find out what is going on. I do not particularly like to discuss issues on the phone but it is the only way. Town Hall meetings no longer seem to be happening nor do voters want anyone else know which party they belong to. That has split many a family and friends.

All of the above is not what I am trying to get across here. My point is to let those in the know, know how you what your opinions are. Thank you for your efforts. JUST DO IT!

This coming Friday is the field trip for the volunteers. We are off at 8:00 a.m. to the Ulm Buffalo Jump and Interpretive Center. The day is planned for us and from what I see on the weather reports it is going to be a great day.

The last time I went to Ulm was 1993 and I know that it has changed quite a bit. I’ll let you know next week how it went.

I should also have some info on how many visitors Info Center had as compared with the Museum’s and the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center. Those figures always have interested me as to if tourism is up or down this year.

I am going to do some research to find how many years the Information Center has been in existence. It has to be nearing the 20th anniversary. I began writing the View from the Bridge in 1999 and that is 18 years ago. I cannot, however, remember where the Center was located at the time. I’ll let you know that fact also next week if you are interested.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

A View From The Bridge 9/20/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Driving down Main St. the last hot day of summer, (we hope,) everything seemed normal. The very next day many trees had started turning yellow. There were leaves all over the Old Fort Park ground. The leaves were old dead ones that blew off the trees. It was chilly and many people said that they turned on their heat.

Many gardeners came to pick their crops in the community garden. No cars are parked in front of the swimming pool any longer. The geese were flying in their V formation and taking off for the south. The parking lot across from the Old Fort Benton was filled to capacity every day. Some were fishermen and women while others were on the Missouri in their canoes. The Visitors Information Center looks very dark and the flags are not flying.

The sure sign of fall is the closing of the Freeze on Sunday the 24th. It was a busy gathering place this summer with the temperatures the way they were. One thing for sure is that they will be back in about six months. Will we then have to face another terribly hot summer after what may be a very cold and snowy winter? Only time will tell.

Hopefully the farmers planted their crops before the rain. We sure waited a long time for that blessing. I just went outside to check my rain gauge and somehow it was tipped over. I am disappointed because I was always able to know how much rain fell. I’ll have to wait now until the River Press comes out with that information.

Do you have nothing to do? Do you want to get out of the house for some good entertainment? Well, Chouteau County Performing Arts is about to start their season next Wednesday the 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the Fort Benton Elementary School’s beautiful auditorium.

The Twin Kennedy’s will knock your socks off. As I have said before, these twin sisters are so special. At Consortium in Great Falls last January, they were the hit of the whole show. All performing arts programs were trying to sign them up. Fort Benton’s performing arts board jumped right in and signed them up for the first show of the season.

It still isn’t too late to get your ticket at the discounted price from Randy Morger. He will be so willing to accommodate you. He thinks he is going to win the trip to Aruba for selling the most tickets. NOT! THIS IS JUST MY JOKE OF THE WEEK. All of the board members, as in every organization, are volunteers and give hours and hours of their time to serve the community. We have no way to thank them for what they do except to thank them when you see them. Also supporting them is a great way to let them know that you appreciate what they do.  Just be thankful that we have volunteers like that.

Most of the organizations in town have started their monthly meetings that get them on their way to raise money for their many projects. If you do not belong to a least one non-profit organization, please volunteer today. Talk to your friends and neighbors to see what they like to do. With all that goes on in our small community, you ought to find something that would interest you. Most organizations run ads in the River Press so give them a call to see if you would fit into their projects.

Surely you have seen commercials on TV that further volunteerism. It is especially true today with what has happened to Texas and Florida in the last few weeks. Everyone pitched in to help in one way or other. It brought our country together in a “Love they Neighbor” way.

Our family was touched by the floods in Houston. Our granddaughter’s home filled with 4 ft. of water very quickly. She, her husband, and their 3 year old were rescued by a neighbor’s boat and taken to safety. Pictures were sent to me by their grandpa of their trip in the boat and their home. It was very scary and of course our concern goes out to all of those victims.

The tiny little birds that visit my feeder come and go but not on any sort of schedule. They come in the early morning and other times in the last afternoon. For about a week this summer when temperatures reached 100 plus, they did not feed.  I usually do not feed them during the summer but this year I did so to get them used to the new location. I expect that this winter they will be at the feeder all day long. I love watching them. They seem so carefree and content.

The stray cats cannot reach them where I live now as they could at the old place. The cats would get on the deck railing and jump into the lilacs to catch the birds. That was hard to handle but now there is no way the cats can reach the feeder.

I would like to hear from some other bird lovers to hear their stories. Everyone has a story.

I know that I gained 10 pounds on Saturday evening after attending the 25 Desserts fund raiser. There was a very interesting story in the River Press last week about the purpose of this event. It was for a very interesting cause that Nancy L. holds dear to her heart. I gained more from this fund raiser than I contributed. I came home with a box of 25 desserts that I will very carefully monitor as to how many I eat a day. The problem is that it is difficult when they are all so tempting. I am saved a little by the fact that I am allergic to chocolate. (I do cheat once in a while when I simple cannot resist.)

Did you see that huge tent in the Old Fort Park on Friday and Saturday? When we drove by on Friday evening we asked a woman going to her car, “What is going on?” A couple from Great Falls was to be married on the Old Bridge on Saturday with the reception in the park.

Those who saw the tent and talked about it at dinner today said that it was the biggest tent they had ever seen. On Saturday evening I could heard the band as the music floated along the river.  It was wonderful that the weather cleared on Saturday afternoon and the sun came out.

If anyone here in Fort Benton knows them, would you please give them our congratulations?


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

View From The Bridge 9/13/17

By Muncie

The full moon was due on Wednesday, September 6th but was not visible because of the overcast sky. However, I did see it last night about 9:00 p.m. on the way home from Great Falls. Now if it was the harvest moon or just orange because of the smoke from the fires is a puzzle. I was not able to find on the weather channel this morning if it was a September Harvest Moon. Whatever the case, it was gorgeous and it was the end of a great day.

I was fortunate enough to attend the premier showing of the PBS film of his life. It was a great event by PBS broadcasting and the work they did to produce this informative show was exceptional.

I knew very little about the life of Charlie Russell and I now know everything you would want to know about him. His artistic ability far exceeded those of any of his time (or any time) and he will always be known as the best Cowboy Artist of the West. His fame extends all over the world and this area is proud that Charlie chose to live in Great Falls for most of his life.

Many of Charlie’s paintings were shown that I have never seen. You can look forward to October when this production will be seen on PBS.

Yesterday, Saturday, and today the smoke is the strongest it has been so far in Fort Benton. I just went out for a moment this morning to water plants on my deck and my eyes are still burning. I feel so sorry for all those who have asthma or breathing problems.

In spite of the smoke I will ride along the Levee Walking Trail from the Bluffs to the Golden Age Senior Center. This week the geese and ducks cover the water by the Bluffs Island and it is good to hear them once again. (By the way, does anyone know the name of that island?) I also saw the geese take off one day to go out to feed. That was a beautiful sight.

Yes, Friday is Pie Day and I would really enjoy seeing you there. UNFORTUNATELY IT IS THE LAST PIE DAY. Yes, it is true and I just learned about it today when I had dinner at the Center. I picked up a menu for September several days ago but did not read the back page. It was announced there that because of the lack of bakers Pie Day would be discontinued. How bad news is that and it is the saddest news I have ever written about events that are going on?

I thought that it was a tradition in Fort Benton. Randy and I thought about asking the Mayor and Council to make it an ordinance that everyone had to go to Pie Day. This is my joke of the week but it is now not very funny. What we should have done was recruited more pie bakers and pay them big bucks for their service. This decision was not made because lack of participants. It was just a lack of pie bakers and I can understand that. I have often written about how the members of the Senior Center managed to bake pies every month. I feel so guilty because I never baked for this fund raising project. I just enjoyed the fruits of those gracious women’s labor.

So goodbye to Pie Day and the biggest thank you in the world to those pie bakers. You brought many happy pie eaters pleasure once a month for many years. I’ll remember you as long as I live.

The third Tuesday of each month from now until next May, the Tuesday night dinners begin. If you have never been to one of these affairs now is the time to start.

Chef Betty and her assistant Brenda put on a special treat dinner. Tables are set and special decorations are coordinated with the theme of the month.

There is a limit of 48 diners and you have to R.S.V.P. for a reservation.

Call 622-3601 and someone will put your name or names on the list. (If you find that you cannot attend and you have signed up, please call and cancel.) You will enjoy a great dinner for just $5.00.

Games where scheduled to start at the Golden Age Senior Center on Thursday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Last Thursday I showed up at the appointed time but we were not able to play as there were only 5 of Bingo junkies. That included the caller and the person who doles out the prizes.

So all of you who frequented the games at the Center previously, please show up on Thursday. Take the afternoon off and come for the games and the social hours.

The games at the VFW do not start until late October. Those of you who are addicted to playing can get your fix on Thursdays. It is about the only fund raiser the Center now has. The word is “support, support and more support.” See you there!

There will be a fund raiser at the Murphy Neal building Saturday, September 16th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Proceeds go to the Messages from Afghanistan school building. Call Nancy at 868-6210 for tickets or more information.

This information was sent to me by a friend and I thought I would share. By the time you are 80 years old you will have slept for 2223,600 hours. That is the equivalent of 26.67 years. (Does that make me 26 years younger?) I do not know what the figures are for those of you who do not sleep well.

Another trivia item is that your brain never turns off or rests your entire life. (I’m sleepy just reading about that.)

Pam Lambott went out to her front lawn water faucet last Wednesday and saw a rattler curled up near the faucet. She recruited several helpful neighbors and the snake was dispatched with a shovel.  (Pam lives on Front Street. I reported that a while back my neighbors, the Balls, ran over a rattler in the alley. We live at the other end of town or what my son Randy calls “Out in the country.”

I called Police Chief John Turner for a report on snake sightings since then but since he was “on the road” he did not know the exact number. He did know that there were several more since the last time I checked.  He also said that he just saw a rattler 5 minutes before that had been run over on St. Charles.

So watch your step and if you see one, call 911.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

View From The Bridge 9/6/17

By Muncie

Not only is September my favorite month but the September moon is too. It always seems brighter, silvery, and as the Kiddos say today…COOL.

Its name is the Full Corn Moon or the Full Harvest Moon which also accounts for why it is my favorite. Actually all of the Moon names come from the Native Americans. They found the Full Corn Moon the time to harvest. Two out of three years The Full Harvest Moon comes in September. Because it is closes to the Equinox, farmers can work for into the night as the moon rises earlier and set sets later than any other moon. So enjoy!

The full moon is on Wednesday the 6th this month. You may not get this information by the 6th but I am sure you will know it by the bright “Shine on, shine on Harvest Moon.”

Another of their great Pinochle Parties will be held on Monday, September 11th at 11:00 p.m. As Usual there will be great prizes and refreshments. Please call Joan P. at 622-4212to let them know that you will be attending. These games have grown in popularity and a good way to get to know those who love the game. Have a wonderful time Folks. Everyone is welcome and it is open to all.

It is time for the season to begin again and what a beginning it will be. On Wednesday, September 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the Fort Benton Elementary School auditorium will appear the Twin Kennedy’s. At Consortium in January, the Twins were a smashing success. They are identical twins and the only way you can tell them apart is that one plays the fiddle and the other the guitar. They both sing and their music consists of country, jazz, and classical.

You will be completely captivated and trying to tell them apart is nearly impossible. They are so entertaining that you will want them back again in Fort Benton. It is not too late to buy your seasons ticket at the discounted price. Call Randy Morger at 622-5405 for your season’s tickets. Look over the flyer you received in the mail to see what you have in store for you. If there is something that would not interest you…give you ticket to someone else. Please support the Chouteau County Performing Arts if you go or do not go to the shows. Every organization in town needs support one way or another. Let us support one another as much as possible. See you there.

This will be the biggest garage sale of all time. This “biggie” of the year will be held on Saturday, September 30th from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It will be in the Commercial Building at the Chouteau County Fair Grounds. It will be inside and not outside like previous years. That will be great change weather wise. We might have some rain by then.” One person’s throw away is another person’s treasure.” I know you will find a special treasure there that you can’t live without.

What I am asking here is for your donations. The best part of this sale is that the Lions will gladly pick up your donations NOW in preparation for the sale. Please call Don F. at 622- 5274, Henry S. at 622-4204, or Brian E. at 570-1399 and they will be Johnny-on-the-spot with picking up whatever you have to offer.

This sale is in coordination with the City of Fort Benton’s fall cleanup. Please use that cleanup program to get rid of junk. I know it is going from one end of town to the other but after our entire town is only 2 miles long and 4 blocks wide. (We no longer even have a blinking light. Now that is rural Montana. This is how I describe my town to outsiders.)

Please support the Lions Club because of the good works they do. The scholarships alone are a big deal and every penny of your donations goes toward good works. They have no administrative costs.  See you there.

I would like to say hello to some special friends that read the View regularly. Dr. Jeff who lives in Great Falls checks on me weekly and tells friends of mine here in Fort Benton to say hello to me. That’s made my day several times lately and I appreciate the concern.

On Friday the 15h we pie eaters welcome back for the season the once a month PIE DAY. This month it will not be on the 2nd Friday of the month but on the 3rd because of schedule conflicts. I do not bake pies any longer although I loved doing that at one time. I do not think I ever baked a pie for PIE DAY but have enjoyed them since they began years ago. (I tend to concentrate on Lemon Bars and that is my joke of the week.)

So to support the Golden Age Senior Center and support their efforts, please be there on Friday the 15th at 1:00 p.m. Bring your friends and neighbors and enjoy a great cup of coffee and a piece of lovingly baked pie.

I know that there are many new people in town and I invite them to come to the Golden Age Senior Center. There may be some activity that would interest you or perhaps would you like to have lunch at the reasonably priced meal at 12:00 p.m. on weekdays and 1:00 on Sundays. There is also the option of Meal-on-Wheels delivered right to your home. (Check the River Press for the weekly menu schedules.) There is also a Tuesday night dinner every 3rd Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. These are fun fabulous dinners that Chef Betty with her aid Brenda labor over. Added to that are games, puzzles, and musical entertainment. Several times the C.C.P.A. concert is the same evening at 7:00 p.m. and I call it the dinner/theatre evening. Please come and join us and made some new friends.


Due to popular demand, I was talked into breaking my promise put in last week’s edition of the River Press. I said that I would not mention again about the wearing red on Fridays, putting a green bulb in your porch light and most important to fly the American flag. I had become discouraged about not seeing the results that I would have liked to see and so I decided never to urge people to do as I do. However, I had several very patriotic persons ask me to keep reminding readers that to fly a flag is showing love of your country. I do promise though that I will not mention it every week.

As to the “Support Our Troops” shirts I am asking if anyone has an L size that they will sell to me. I wash mine every week and it is getting worn out. Thanks for your time and trouble.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A View From The Bridge 8/30/17

By Muncie

Did your summer go too quickly as mine? Was it too hot for you? Are you looking forward to fall? I get the same answer from everyone I talk to. “Yes, yes, and yes!”

Looking around I see the Kiddos back in school and the pool closed. These are sure answers to why the summer passed so quickly. The days go by and there is nothing we can do but enjoy…not or cold.

We in Fort Benton have a lot to look forward to; Farmers Market, Labor Day, Bingo, Chouteau County Performing Arts, Halloween, Country Christmas, to mention a few. In your families there will be birthday and anniversary celebrations. Make each and every one count.

I would just like to see happy and content people with smiling faces. There are so many of you with the most wonderful talents. Put them to work for your community and remember I love you no matter what.

What does it mean? I only knew that back in Michigan there was a huge parade in the morning and picnics everywhere in the afternoon. So, as I am curious I checked the internet and found the following…Labor Day, the first Monday of September, is the creation of the labor Movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker.

It constitutes a national yearly tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and the well-being of our country. The first state to pass legislation was Oregon and that began a series of states to do the same. Finally on June 28th of 1894 Congress passed legislation making it a national holiday. (So while you are enjoying your picnic or other kind of celebration that day, remember how it started, what it means, and give thanks for what we have in our country.)

I am really thrilled with the restoring of the old buildings in town. My gratitude goes out to those brave, hard- working individuals who are so willing to save our heritage.

I watch HGTV (Home and Garden TV) often and it is amazing to watch restorers tear a building apart and put it back together again.

I would mention names but I am afraid that I would miss someone. I can count at least 8 and that does not include homes that have been remodeled.

Volunteering at the Visitors Center, I have talked to families that have come to Fort Benton to look for a home. They drive up and down the streets checking out the condition of upkeep. It means a lot when you are investing in purchasing a home.

Our town was called charming recently by an author. It is that and let’s keep it that way with a little work on lawns and landscapes.

I made a phone call to Fish, Wildlife, and Parks in Helena this morning. I wanted to know how many men and women purchased fishing licenses. I was given the figures for 2016 and was amazed. An awesome figure for women was 71,559 and 181,654 men paid for licenses. That is a whopping 253.213 that equates to a quarter of the state’s population. (These figures do not include out of state numbers.)

My next question would be, “How many fish were caught?” I do not think there is an answer to that question but it would be interesting to know.

I also wonder, per capita, how Montana relates to other states. I think I have had enough researching for today. Happy fishing to all and to all happy eating.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, POLICE OFFICERS, EMT’s AND FIRE FIGHTERS. (I am giving up on suggesting that you wear red on Fridays, put a green bulb in your porch light, and fly the American Flag. It doesn’t seem to be making any influence, as a committee sold approximately 350 Support Our Troops shirts and I rarely see one being worn on Fridays. What happened to all of them? I can understand that it would be too much of an effort to put a green bulb in your porch light. However, I cannot understand why you would not fly an American Flag especially after what happened a few weeks ago. I won’t mention those three items again. I promise

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.