Tuesday, May 30, 2017

View From The Bridge 5/31/17

By Muncie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full moon is on Friday the 9th.

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

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

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

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