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.