Tuesday, June 20, 2017

View From The Bridge 6/21/17

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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