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.