Tuesday, November 13, 2018

View From The Bridge 11/14/18

By Muncie

No getting away from it. The snow and cold has kept me inside for almost a week now. I did get out one afternoon to play Bingo at the Golden Age Center On the upside is the forecast for this week. It is supposed to be up in the 50’s by the end of the week. I can handle it until then.

The other hardship for most of my older friends is that it begins getting dark by 5:00 p.m. and is completely dark by 5:30. You would think that I would be used to it after all the years I have dealt with it.   However, I make a promise here that I will not mention it again.

There are actually many events going on. Be sure to check out the Community Calendar and keep busy.

In the next couple of weeks there is a fund raiser for Allie Wallace, Turkey Bingo, Pinochle at the Sunrise Bluffs, a City Council meeting to discuss the deer population, Bingo at the Golden Age Senior Center, Adult Education classes, and no school for the Students on the 16th, 21st thru the 23rd in case the Kiddos forgot to tell you. I know that you will not want to miss any of those events. So, keep busy, volunteer if you can, because I am told it keeps you younger.

Talking about Bingo reminds me to mention for a “Grand Return” to those of you who made Thursday afternoons Bingo game at the Senior Center a happening.

There used to be a nice crowd of players and it has now swindled to 4 to 6 people that make it a regular event. Is there more to do in the winter season than there is in the summer? Let me know if you have the solution.

It is a nice break in the week and is not very expensive. Cards are just $1.00 and extra change is thrown into a basket for the black-out game. There always seems to be treats that players bring in but is not necessary to play.

Please come and join a great group of dedicated, interesting players and enjoy a pleasant afternoon.

11-11-18 AT THE 11TH HOUR
I just returned from the Club House where I was treated to a Chili Feed, corn bread, and salad. It was a great turnout because so many people showed up at Veterans Way to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the end of WWI. Yes, it was cold and snowing but all I could think of was about those brave men who withstood even colder and snowier conditions. If you followed the WWI stories by Ken Robison in the River Press it made you realize those men and women who gave their lives for your freedom. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars and just think about what has happened since.

Thank you for a lovely celebration today to the VFW and the American Legion of Fort Benton. Thank you to those who made the monument that has the names of those who gave their lives from Chouteau County in that war to end all wars.

A correction about the monument that is presently being planned. I said that it was to honor the Vietnam Veterans and I should have said that it was for the Warriors of the 21st Century.

When you read this it will be a little over one week until Thanksgiving Day. The days are flying by. We have so much to be thankful for so be happy and spread your happiness all around you.
I will say Happy Thanksgiving now. I don’t know if you will be able to go across the river and through the woods in the snow. It is supposed to warm up by the end of this week and the snow may be gone. Whatever the circumstance, have a happy, wonderful day.

Just two weeks and a couple of days later will be the looked forward to Country Christmas. Plans have been in the works for a long while and it will be a Hallmark Christmas. I look forward to this celebration every year because everyone is enjoying themselves. There is a lot of joy and expressions of love and caring. The children are so excited and it spreads all around.

The schedule will be in the River Press next week and copies in the businesses. Be sure to walk Front Street first and then over to the Ag Center. Those of you in the other towns around Chouteau County know where you have to go. Enjoy yourselves and get all of your shopping finished early. Waiting until the last minute is so frustrating or at least it used to be for me. Somehow shopping seems easier when done close by. Yes, that is the answer. SHOP LOCAL. Yes, the economy is booming but not for the rural areas where people are ordering on line and having it delivered to their homes. So, get out and SHOP LOCAL. Get to know your business on a personal level. I feel completely at home when I go into a local business and am greeted by name and helped through the whole process.

Yes, the days are flying by and before you blink an eye Christmas and New Year will be over. Then the memories will have to sustain us through January, February and March. Let’s make it together with a visit or a phone call. Happy Holidays!

I stopped in to visit the new “Leather Man” on Front Street. That is my name for him. His real name is Layne Schara and his business is leather crafting-. We had a chat and his trade is a lost art. If you are in need of anything made of leather, he is your man. He has customers from all over the world and he must have many stories to tell. I will visit again for that reason.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

View From The Bridge 11/7/18

By Muncie

Well, I guess the beavers did not read the almanac to know that November is the Full Beaver month. They helped themselves to my planted cottonwood last month. We are still trying to figure out how that beaver got the wire wrapped around the trunk off.

This was the time to set beaver traps to insure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

The full moon is the day after Thanksgiving, Friday (otherwise known as Black Friday,) the 23rd of November.

What a great time I had on Halloween. I do not remember what I did the last few years since I moved but I stayed home last week. I thought I was prepared but I did run out of my treats. However, I did have 20 to 25 Kiddos knock on my door.

My special friends showed up first and from then on it was quite steady until about 9:00 p.m. There were such great costumes and every single Kiddo said “thank you.” It was wonderful. I even had 3 Trick or Treaters who gave me a hug. We have terrific Kiddos in Fort Benton who are out for a good time and not bent on vandalism. I remember some unpleasant Halloweens in Michigan where I had a lot of cleaning up to do.

It is quite dark at my end of town and most of the Kiddos were transported by their parents. All of them must have been told not to enter the houses but I had a terrible cold and did not want to hold the door open to let the cold air in. I asked the Kiddos to explain to their parents.

So, I had a great time and look forward to next year. A good time was had by all.

One of the cutest Treat or Treaters that I have ever seen was Montana, her husband Orry and their twin boys who are 9 months old. Orry had fixed their wagon to look like a barn and the Twins were dressed like chicks. One was in yellow feathers and the other in white. Montana had on a pair of overalls. When I saw them they were pulling the wagon down Main Street. Check it out on Facebook and this edition of the River Press.

Be sure to thank a Veteran when you see one all this week and next. We owe them so much. We could never repay them for all they did, have done, and are still doing.

Get your American Flags hanging and if you do not have one, get one and show your love of country. My dream is to have every house in Fort Benton flying an American Flag. I dream that we become the American Flag City of Montana and get written up in newspapers and magazines.

When my friend, Mary Zanto, was still with us she used to drive me up and down our city streets and we would could the number of flags. She has gone now to where I know the Marines are guarding the Gates of Heaven. Since I no longer drive, I miss doing that although it was very discouraging because there are not very man flags flaying.

If you buy a flag and are not able to install it, please call me and I will make arrangements. It will be hanging before Veterans Day.

I was happy to read that preparations are underway to do an addition at Veterans Way. A much needed monument to the Vietnam War is underway and will honor those Veterans who fought in that war without much appreciation.

Please come out to the WWI Centennial Ceremony at Veterans Way on November 11th at 11:00 a.m. I hope there is the largest crowd ever. I lost my Grandfather in that war and the Ceremony will be honoring all of those brave men. See you there and also the Chili Feed from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Club House. Come and meet the Veterans that live in the Chouteau County area. God Bless America.

Don’t forget the big game at the Sunrise Bluffs on the 12th. I have been told that we have some addicted Pinochle players that make the games very interesting.

It begins at 1:00 p.m. and there are prizes and snacks. Come and spend the afternoon with some people who share your love of Pinochle.

Last week new volunteer driver, Jeff, had 3 women who had doctor appointments on Tuesday. Vicky will be driving tomorrow, 11/6, and I will get a report for next week’s River Press.

I told you that I would get a schedule with Jeff and I spoke with him this morning. He said it depended on what time the appointments are for those who call in. Kellie will advise you as to the time the van will be leaving. The schedules are all up to those who call in for a ride. Sounds good to me and hope it works for you.

The riders could call me to let me know your experience with this new bus service. I’m in the book.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

View From The Bridge 10/31/18

By Muncie

I say this because I would like it to be a nice day for the Kiddos who will be Trick or Treating. Looking back there have been Indian Summer evenings, rain, and those terrible snowy evenings. According to Monday’s weather report there may be some rain and hopefully it will wait until about midnight. So, I hope you have a wonderful evening and share some of those goodies with your parents.

Did you see that most beautiful full moon on the 24th of October? It seemed almost like daylight. I could see the hollow tree across the street and although looking kind of spooky, it was wonderful. It shined through my bedroom window most of the night. It makes it a little easier to tolerate the daylight leaving totally by 6:30 p.m.

On Monday, November 5th at the Sunrise Bluffs will by their fun pinochle party. They have prizes and refreshments and everyone is welcome. It all begins at 1:00 p.m. and a good time will be had by all.

If you were not at the Elementary School last Tuesday to enjoy Shades of Buble, you again missed one of the best shows ever. I was of that opinion but it was not only my opinion. I heard it from many others.

Another treat for me was that I attended the school program at 1:00 in the afternoon. One of the members of the Shades of Buble is also a part of Two on Tap that performed in Fort Benton about 5 years ago.

The CCPA Board and the Shades of Buble thought that their program was a little much for the youngsters. The other half of Two on Tap happened to be in Montana and came to Fort Benton to put on a tap -dancing lesson for the students. It was spectacular. I think they all went home and asked their parents if they could take tap lessons, (at least I hope they did.)

Here again comes up the subject of boys learning to dance. It is so important for co-ordination and self- esteem. It is especially important at prom time. O.K. You don’t want to take lessons. Then have your older sister, cousin or even your Mom teach you how to dance. You will not be sorry. I would feel very good if even one of you would let me know that you did what I suggested here and you were happy you did.

I was able to attend the Shonkin party because Connie Jenkins is originally from Shonkin and knows many people that live there. (Of course, Connie knows many people from everywhere.)

You could or did not have to wear a costume. They gave prizes to those who did dress up for the occasion and I ended up with some delicious cinnamon rolls as a prize.

What I love about this event is the auction. The committee had gathered up many new and slightly used items for auction. Renee was the auctioneer and she is a riot. She has a helper and I thought I heard that it was her sister. (I’ll have to check on that.)

I wanted to bid on a set of red, white, and blue kitchen towels. It started at $1.00 and I began bidding. Someone at the back of the room began bidding against me. I was told that it was John Evers when I turned around as asked who it was. I did get the towels. My next purchase was a blender. Before I started bidding I turned around and asked, “Mr. Evers, are you interested in the blender.” It brought a lot of laughs but I want to publicly say I am sorry to Mr. Evers for putting him on the spot. Sometimes I blurt out a statement before I think about what I am saying. So, I am sorry and it will not happen again.  He was so gracious and said we are still friends. Whew! I’m glad I got that over with.

On to other parts of this story. There was quite a crowd this year and although there were ads in the River Press, we thought that word of mouth increased the participants. The lasagna dinner was excellent and a good time was had by all. See you next year and I will report at a later time what they will be doing to improve their community building.

The 2nd and 4th of November is the continuation of fall cleanup.

Recycle day is on the 3rd and I hope I don’t forget because I have quite a few months piled up.

Daylight Savings time is back again on the 4th. Remember to fall back.

Bingo at the Club House by the VFW will be every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. Come to enjoy an evening of fun and bring a friend.

Then on the 6th is the day we have all been waiting for to vote and not have to watch any more of those commercials. We are all tired, tired, tired, of those commercials. However, DO GO OUT AND VOTE.


I cannot imagine in any sense of the word to be married to a man in the service of our country, a police officer, or a fire fighter. They go off to work in the morning and you would never know if they would be back home that evening.

Not only are these persons mentioned above but are you over yet what happened last Saturday. You are not safe no matter where you go even to worship. No one has come up with answers. I know that I am preaching but frankly…I am frightened for my family and everyone’s family’s.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

View From The Bridge 10/24/18

By Muncie

For new Readers of the River Press who moved to the area in the last year or so, I will tell the story of “WHO”. A year ago this month of October a pumpkin appeared in the hollow tree across the street from my apartment. A while later a Snowman appeared and then at Christmas a Santa.

This was at this point that I got involved. “WHO” must have been gone during February, because nothing more was added to the hollow tree. I put in a Valentine heart In March I found a Leprechaun and he guarded the tree that month. In April I found the cutest little bunny that had “Peter Rabbit” on his jacket. By the time I got over to the tree, I found that “WHO” had already been there with a tall wooden rabbit and a tall metal carrot. Oh well! Peter didn’t mind sharing.

Spring came with flower arrangements and later in the summer a harvest theme appeared.

I have begged and pleaded for “WHO” to identify herself but she does not trust me. I stole her idea and she has a right to be upset with me. I would just like to work together and I would be pinkie finger sworn to keep it a secret.

That brings you up to date and now we are into October. I love the “Ghost” that “WHO” put onto the hallow tree. It looks so cute. Today I had a friend put on the Front Street side a Vampire. We also added a decorative pumpkin. It was not a real one like you put there just a year ago. What fun it has been.

The wind did a job on your Ghost and so it is now stapled to the tree so it can be seen better. The scary night is just a week away. I hope that the weather holds so it is just as nice as it has been the past week. No matter the conditions make it the fun night it is supposed to be. Boo to you too.

On my way home from dinner at the Golden Age on Sunday, I met two lovely young women. They were walking the Trail and reading the historic signs.

We chatted about Fort Benton and they thought it was a fabulous little town. One of the women was from PA and the other from CO. They work for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and were assigned to MT. They had never met before and were working together out of Havre. They are working on washed out bridges and roads.

I envy these young women as I never could have done what they are doing, travel and all, when I was there age. It never ceases to amaze me the opportunities young people have today.

I asked them to return someday to vacation when the museums and The Old Fort Benton are open. This is the kind of event that makes lifelong friendships.

The Shonkin Lasagna Dinner and Auction will be next Sunday, October 28th at 5:00 p.m.

If you enjoy a fun time and a lot of laughs be sure to drive out to Shonkin next Sunday. The dinner is excellent and the auction is the most fun I have ever had. Everything is donated and to hear the Lady Auctioneer is the funniest ever. Our Shonkin neighbors support many of Fort Benton and Chouteau County events and so let us support them.

You can wear a costume or come as you are. There are prizes for men, women, and children. A good time will be had by all. See you there. I have attended many times and it is one of my favorite events.

I know that many of the organizations have events but if you do not tell me about it, I cannot know to write about them.

The Lions Club is having their yearly raffle for “CASH.” The tickets are $20.00 and the first prize is $1,000.00. There are other cash prizes also. Winning ticket will be drawn at the Christmas Concert.

There will be more info next week on how to get a ticket. This has been a very popular raffle because of the cash prize just before Christmas.

The official name for the Community Van is now settled. I have been calling it a bus but I like van better. The latest update is that 6 people used the van last Tuesday and 5 are signed up for tomorrow, October 23rd. Another driver has volunteered and will be driving every other week.

Appointments now can be made for more hours when the new driver is driving. I will pass on his hours as soon as I am told what they are. They will be in the View next week. I will also have a schedule for those of you who are already riding or are first timers.

I have suggested that we have one day for residents who do not drive to be able to go to the post office, library, business, clinic appointments, and shopping. If you would also like this please call Kellie at 622-3022 to let her know. Don’t put it off. Just do it now.

I have tried to solve the disappearance of the agent of my Medicare Insurance. To no avail. He has disappeared completely. The sad part about this is that he used to bring a birthday cake to the Golden Age Senior Center for the end of the month celebrations of birthdays. Too bad, so sad.

I called the company and they set me up with an agent named Jill. She will be at the Senior Center next Tuesday, the 30th at 11:00 a.m. You are welcome to visit with her if you have any questions. (We talked about a birthday cake but nothing was set in stone.)

Here we go again with changes. I think the older one gets the harder it is to accept.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

View From The Bridge 10/17/18


It is Saturday afternoon as I begin working on the View. It is the dullest day so far this fall. It was raining most of the night as I can hear the drainpipe emptying outside my bedroom window. It is trying very hard to snow but so far it has not become what you would call a real snow fall. I just checked and it looks as though whatever snow fell has now frozen on the deck.

I spoke with my daughter in Great Falls and she said that they got two inches of snow and it was nasty outside. I know what most of you are thinking. We have about 5 or 6 more months of this weather. However, I would not want to be anyplace else in the world. I am lucky that I can stay put and feel empathy for those of you who have to go out every day to work. Bless you for doing your jobs and especially those who do service to the community. There are Angels among us and you are those Angels.

For those of you who are new to town and Chouteau County, I want you to know that I love trees and birds. For the last few years I have not fed the birds in the summer as I was told they can fend for themselves. I filled my feeder on the first day of Fall and just saw a small flock of wrens at the feeder yesterday. They flew in and flew away. They flew in again and away and I have not seen them since. Usually the birds were at the feeder early in the morning. I went out and checked the feeder thinking that perhaps the birds had been coming and I did not see them. Not so. The feeder was still full. It has never taken so long for them to discover that there is free food in the feeder. I hope that they return soon because it gives me a great deal of pleasure watching the birds come and go.

For four weeks I have watched the trees begin to turn color, change into full color, begin to lose their leaves, and finally give us “a yellow leafed sidewalk, road, and lawn area.” I ride downtown almost every day for one thing or another and so I see the changes day by day. On a day like today I will not be going out but will just watch the world go by my living room window. It makes the time go by and I always enjoy the view before darkness sets in. I look forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Then I will be looking forward to when the days begin getting longer and 3 months to Spring.

The Sunday dinners have been growing slightly larger each week but not quite fast enough. Please…will all of the diners who used to fill the room before the dinners were postponed for a while, come back. It is such a shame that the wonderful special Sunday dinners are not eaten due to the lack of a lot of hungry people.

Spread the word around. Call you family, friends, and neighbors to come on down and not only enjoy dinner but have social time with them. We do not get out as much during the Fall and Winter months, so make an effort to make Sundays the best day of the week.

I appeal to the women who read the View to enjoy their Sundays more when they do not have to cook and do dishes at least 1 day a week. For me that sounds like the best thing ever. It is so nice to be waited on instead of waiting on everyone else. OK. See you there.

The Bus is official a Community Bus. It is available to any organization as long as they have a qualified driver. This is great news for our community. It opens up many possibilities as far as getting participants to and from events that they could not otherwise attend.

I know from personal experience that many Senior Citizens cannot drive at night or not all. This may lead to bad cases of cabin fever. Am I just speaking for myself? I wish there were some way to take a poll to see if our community would participate in this program. There has been a lot of talk about the subject but when it comes to the nitty-gritty is where it ends. Please let your organizations, Churches, and whoever else can use the bus as long as they can drum up a qualified driver.

For any questions or arrangements please call Kellie at 622-3022. She is the woman in the know and you will find that she is a sweetheart to deal with.

Part of the sidewalk between the Old Fort Park’s north-side and the swimming pool was removed when Front St. was straightened. It is now being worked on and will be poured soon. When I Go-Goed past on Friday, Vance was working on it and said that the road will be finalized in 2 weeks. Although traffic has been using the road since the Homecoming Parade a few weeks ago, it will be great to have it finished. I do not know what the next City of Fort Benton project will be but like one day at a time, we have one project at a time. There are lots of leaves to be disposed of and sand to be prepared to use on icy roads. Then there are always, as in your homes, those unexpected problems that show up. Just when you think all is going well along comes Murphy’s Law.

This charming little store had an open house last Friday. When I spoke with Jean today (Sunday,) she said that 50 or more people visited the store.

Jean called me on Saturday morning to tell me that I had won a door prize. I asked what it was and I had a choice between chocolates and a flower arrangement and it wasn’t a difficult decision because I am allergic to chocolate.

Today on my way home from dinner at the Senior Center I stopped in front of the new business. Jean came out immediately with the flower arrangement. I was so thrilled to find that the flower arrangement was in a darling ceramic blue Ford truck. Now I am a Ford person from Michigan. My town was next to Dearborn where not only is the Ford Motor Company plant but the home of the Ford Museum, The Village, and Henry’s home called Fair Lane. My father retired from Fort Motor after 44 years. Two of my brother-in-law’s also retired from the company. I worked in the corporate offices for 5 years.

I have many stories about Ford Motor Company but not for this time and space. If you want to hear more then seek me out because I am out and about much of my time.

I would like to thank Jean for the lovely door prize and wish her the best of luck in her new business. Welcome to Fort Benton.



Tuesday, October 9, 2018

View From The Bridge 10/10/18

By Muncie

Can you believe that we are 1/3 of the days into October? The Full Hunter’s Moon also called the Full Harvest Moon is upon us. Do you remember last month when it was also the Full Harvest Moon? It depended on the equinox as to which month was the Full Harvest Moon and I do not know which is which. Let’s go with the Full Hunter’s Moon, Full Blood Moon, and Full Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from the trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were usually reaped in late September or early October hunters could easily see animals that come out to glean the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded special honor, historically serving as a special feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

The full moon is on Wednesday the 24th.

Last week on Tuesday I was on the bus ride to Great Falls. There was one woman who called Kellie and made a reservation. I was just curious to see how the system worked. The bus driver, volunteer Vicky O’Hara, is the only driver so far. There is still a need for three more drivers. Please consider this volunteer job as it is a much-needed project for our community.

We left town at 8:15 and the bus is very comfortable. The seats are padded and Vicky had the bus warmed up for us. We made several stops in Great Falls for business and then went to the Great Falls Senior Center for lunch. The room was twice the size as I remember it from 30 years ago. The lunch was $4.00 and it was served on trays that two women filled for us. There was also a place in the back where you could buy a lunch of your choice like hamburgers, hot dogs and the like. The room was packed but since lunch started at 11:00 a.m. and we were there about noon, we did not have to wait.Vicky took us right to the door; because it was raining, and went on to park the bus. When we were finished, she again picked us up at the door. It was a great experience.

We learned a lot, and here are some suggestions for all of you who would like to ask for transportation to Great Falls.

1. Call your reservation in a week ahead of time. Kellie will call you on Monday to verify.

2. When you call for your reservation, you will leave your name, phone number, time of your appointment, Doctor’s name and phone number, and his/her address. This is important so Vicky can put the info into her GPS and know exactly where she is going.

3. You must have a cell phone.

4. Appointments should be made between 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

If more volunteers come on board then those hours could be extended but for the present, that is the schedule.

It is just two weeks away for the next Chouteau County Performing Arts program. On Tuesday the 23rd of October, at the Fort Benton Elementary School, will be Shades of Buble’. This three-man tribute will cheer you with swinging standards and pop hits to this high energy concert.

Please check this calendar every week in the River Press. I try to mention some of what I think you would like but there is so much more. All the sports events are listed, goings on at the Interpretive Center, Recycling Day, and meetings. I am always advising that you put this and that on your calendars and I sometimes forget myself. I missed Recycle Day last Saturday. It’s o.k. because I do not accumulate much trash any more. But the point is to, especially our new-comers ln town that you get out and about. So, see you here, there and everywhere. Say hello.

(More news this past week that Police Officers were shot. I cannot imagine the pain of those families. Actually, all of the above are in danger and it seems impossible to end it. God Bless them and their families.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

View From The Bridge 10/3/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

It has been over a week since the Appraisers were here in Fort Benton. I am still coming down from an antique high.  For me it was the most exciting day that I have had since my Go-Go accident when I had to go to the ER by way of an ambulance.

When I first walked into the room at the Ag and saw the set-up, I thought I would have to return home. I would not be able to see or hear with my poor sight and hearing aids. The spectator section was at the back of the room.

I spotted Ken Robison and asked him if I could sit at the appraiser table with him. It was at the table that we met Tim, one of three appraisers. When I told him about my vision problems, I asked if he mined of I sat in front of his table for a while. He said that I could sit beside him if I wanted to.

So, I sat there all day and had the time of my life seeing what most people wanted appraised up close and personal. It was so fascinating to listen to the stories about where the items came from and what they were worth. When one of the appraisers had an interesting item, they would tell about it on the mike. People would gather around to listen.

My scheduled time was at 11:30 and I asked Connie and Randy to sit with me because I was afraid that I would not hear or remember what Tim said about my 3 items. I was not intereste3d in the monetary value but I wanted to know more about the history of my items. I actually got both and was very pleased to learn more about what I owned.

Somehow in the conversation the subject about Garth Brook's guitar came up. Tim said he would like to see it. At the next break Randy took me home and we returned with Garth’s guitar. Tim said that the longer I kept it, the more valuable it would be. I had been told at one time that no one would want Garth’s guitar with my name on it. Not! Collectors don’t care as long as it has the blue seal inside with a G on it. That means he was custom made for Garth.

Tim said the same thing about the mandolin I bought at a garage sale for $5.00. The longer I keep it the more valuable it becomes. Tim also said that I should not clean it up, (it was a bit dusty.) The funny thing was I was going to polish it and run a cloth under the strings before I took it to the Ag. I didn’t have time that morning and for once was happy at the outcome.

There was a terrific turnout for this event as they had to add one extra hour for people who showed up without registering. A 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. was added to the schedule. I talked to many people and they came from all around the countryside. A good time was had by all.

On Sunday the 29th, Marilyn and Bob Benjamin returned to Fort Benton from Oregon for their 50th Wedding Anniversary party. The Ag Center was crowded with friends, neighbors, and well-wishers who wanted advice on how they could remain married for 50 years.

I am over joyed for them and that they returned to Fort Benton for their party.

The Benjamins are old friends of mine as I have known them since I moved here 25 years ago. They were on Wally’s mail route for 41 years starting with the older Benjamins. We knew the Kiddos when they were little and would run out for the mail. Where does the time slip away? I know they will make it to their 75th anniversary.

I checked the internet and found that between the years 2011 and 2015 in 44 states there were 2,245,000 marriages and 827,000 divorces approximately. I tried to find specific numbers for Montana but was not able to come up with anything.

I told someone yesterday that I don’t use the “S” word and so I am to blame for what happened today when I was at dinner at the Senior Center. I had not heard that it was in the forecast and so I immediately had that dread feeling. I was on my Go-Go and was offered several rides home but could not desert my only means of transportation. It stopped by the time dinner was over and now I will probably not leave the apartment until spring. So, stop by for coffee and conversation and to soften up my cabin fever days.

I attended the lecture at the Interpretive Center on last Friday evening and found it most interesting. The Native American speaker talked about how he was trying to save the Blackfeet language. It is dying away with the generations as are many other languages.

I hope that the Native American children learn their beautiful language. For me it is like a song and I am happy that I made it to the Center on Friday.

Check your Community Calendar in the River Press because there must be something you would be interested in. There is so much going on. I see on October 2nd a Triangle Ag Services Open House will be held at the Community Bible Center from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

On October 11th the “Ghosts of the Levee” will be presented at the Interpretive Center at 4:30 p.m. Who doesn’t like ghost stories? Hope to see you there.

There are many football/ volleyball games and a school band concert going on. Take your pick.

There will be Flu Shots at the Sunrise Bluffs on October 10th from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Be sure to get your flu shot early.

Seems as though there is enough to keep a person busy so you don’t concentrate on the weather. Keep warm and I hope to be with you next week.

(Tonight’s news told about 2 more police officers who were shot. There was also a story about civilians helping with boats to save people when that plane crashed in water short of the runway. It just goes on and on with volunteers putting their lives at risk to help others in need. God bless them.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

View From The Bridge 9-26-18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

The bus is off and running on October 2nd and pickup is at the Chouteau County Library. The time is 8:00 AM to 8:l5 AM. and will return to Fort Benton by 3:00 PM.

Make your appointments from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00. Call Kellie at the Court House to make arrangements. Her number is 622-3022.  Have a wonderful trip.

This following article was posted on the internet from a Jessica Wick who is a writer and travel enthusiast.

“The remarkable bridge in Montana that everyone should visit at least once,” is the beginning of the Facebook article.

If you know anything about Montana history, you know that Fort Benton plays a huge role in it. Once the last fur trading post on the Upper Missouri, this little city is a historic gem. While you are there exploring all the landmarks and sights, don’t forget to check out the iconic bridge.

The iconic Benton Bridge spans the Missouri River and is visible the entire riverfront area.

The bridge dates all the way back to 1888. Originally, the structure was used as a toll bridge to connect Judith River Basin trade with the Great Northern Railroad and Missouri River shipping. That is why it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Vehicles have not been allowed on the bridge since 1963 and as you can see, hat is a good thing. Pedestrians however, are welcome, and the views from the bridge are gorgeous. The bridge is only one of the historical landmarks in Fort Benton

It is known as the Bridge to No Where because it ends abruptly. Once you cross it, you’ll be on the other side of the river with no road or path before you.

Every Montana should see Fort Benton at least once, especially this beautiful bridge.

Once you have visited Fort Benton you will want to return again and again. Our Agricultural Museum the old time Village, the Museum of the Upper Missouri, the rebuilt Old Fort Benton with its art gallery, and the fabulous Upper Missouri River Interpretive Center.

Tickets are for two days so come for a minication (a new word I made up). There are wonderful accommodations available. Check out our website and Hope to see you soon before the leaves are gone with the wind.

On Sunday September 30th there will be a ladies afternoon at the Wake Cup Coffee Shop at 3:00 p.m.  A Fall Fashion Show will get you better prepared for fall. It will cheer you up and renew your spirits.

There is nothing better than a new dress, blouse, vest, or jacket to make you want to get out and about.

So, invite a family member or your best friend to come along and enjoy a pleasant afternoon. You will be home before dark and in time for an entire evening relaxed.
Make plans now by putting this date on your calendar. See you there.

At our monthly meeting last week, we were pleasantly surprised by the visit of Verna Love. She will be the head of Lions Clubs next year and is now in Dillion, MT.  She was a delight to listen to and the information she passed on to us was incredible. She praised our Club as the best one that she had ever visited.

Her story about her coming to Montana from CA on business is one I am passing along. She had never been to Montana before and actually did not know where it was. That is usually the case with people from back east. I did the same thing in 1987 when my daughter called and said she was getting married and moving to Great Falls, MT. I said, “Where?”  I had never met anyone from Montana and when I drove across the country from the Detroit area to California, I crossed through Utah.

She arrived in our state and immediately falls in love with it. She called her sister to pick up her car at the airport and she still does not have her car back after six years.

She was very excited about what our Lions and Lionesses were accomplishing. Her praise was that we were the most active club in Montana. We hope that she returns soon.

I am in complete awe of what I listened to at the annual meeting last week. Organizations brought in their grant applications to the C.I.A. Board members. The applications were read aloud with the requests for grants from Lippard Clawiter for projects they were doing. Who knew! There are so many projects going on that no one is aware of but enjoyed by all. I know that they do not want to blow their own horns and so they quietly do small and large projects.

In December when the grants have been approved, there will be an ad in the River Press giving the names of the organizations, their projects and the amount their grant was approved for.

Did you residents in Carter know that there is a committee that is restoring your Community Hall? Give them a hand because there will be some sort of job that you can do.

Did you residents of Loma know that the Earth Science Museum could use volunteers to keep it open for visitors? Give them a few hours a week. Give back to your community.

Fort Benton can always use volunteers and there are always projects going on. At this time there is work being done on the Baker House. It is the oldest home in Montana and it is very old. The porch and sidewalk leading to the porch were replaced this summer by an Eagle Scout. However, the material was supplied by the C.I.A.

The C.I.A. recently had a membership drive and it was not as successful as in previous years. Would you reconsider your donation to the C.I.A.?

If you are disgruntled about something that is going on in town then come to the C.I.A. meeting and let it be known.

This next statement will get me a lot of friends I am sure. “Those that complain the most, do the least.” If you have something to complain about, then try to come up with a solution. As President Lincoln once said, “You can please some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time.”

Unless you put your 2 cents worth of ideas, it will either get done not to your liking or not done at all. Put all this unsolicited nonsense in your hat and think about it. Are you giving back to your community?

The Rustic Mercantile will be opening on Friday, October 12th. It will feature Antiques and  Home D├ęcor. The location is in the, what I call the mini mall, old schoolhouse. That is the former home of the Wake Cup Coffee Shoppe.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

View From The Bridge 9/19/18

By Muncie

Most people I talk to are in total awe of the color of the trees across the Missouri and in Old Fort Park. It has been a gradual change over the last two or three weeks and with the pleasant September weather we are content. However, on every mind is the oncoming winter. What will it be like last winter or the one like the year previous? No one has called me to cast their opinion and so you only have mine. I am opting for a milder temperatures and a little less snow. I think I would be able to handle that while waiting for spring. Right now most of you will be busy raking leaves, turning off watering systems, and looking for winter gear. Not a pleasant forecast, but there is not much we can do about it. Have patience and get yourselves some good books to read other hobbies to keep busy. The way time is flying by, it won’t be long to spring. (I hope.)

This year’s Homecoming Parade came by the Sunrise Bluffs. I didn’t get the word out because I did not think that that could because Front Street was closed. But lo and behold I talked to Skip Ross shortly after 2:00 p.m. and he was taking the barriers down so the Parade could march all the way down. I tried knocking on some doors to let them know the parade was coming but to no avail. The only person that came with me was my neighbor Norma Shaw.

We only waited a few minutes to see see flashing lights and hear the wonderful Fort Benton High School Band. They came on flatbeds and fire engines right down that unpaved street. As they turned the corner the band began playing the school song. I stood and sang my lungs out. Did you hear me?

Then came the football team and I shouted “Go Horns.”  Then all the floats and guess what? They threw us candy. Now, I have been in many parades and I threw candy but this is a first that candy has been thrown to me. Thank you for that because it made my day. I do not think that I have ever missed a homecoming parade. Well once! The parade started early and went by as we walked the block to Front Street. It was exciting as well as the football game. What a beautiful, perfect night for a game. You did your best players and caused a lot of excitement when you made one of your touchdowns. Keep up the good work and winning isn’t as important as the doing of your best.

The September 9th dinner, the first on the menu in several months had 16 diners. This past Sunday’s dinner counted at 24 diners. Hopefully that means the Sunday dinners will continue.
You will have missed the Tuesday evening dinner by the time you receive this information. I checked the sign-up sheet today and there were 25 diners signed up.

I am anxious to hear what the owners of the new Assisted Living Home will have to say. They are coming from Fairfield and Conrad. It should be very interesting and I am sure that Bethany, our River Press editor, will have a report about what it is all about. By Wednesday, it should be all over town by word of mouth. That is actually the best way to get word out. I do not do Facebook and have not connected with e-mail for a long time. So help me out by passing the word along about upcoming events. (I do not know why I am saying this because I am usually the last to know.)

A record 255 people were at the Agricultural Center last Saturday evening to listen to Cold Hard Cash. I met Merle Travis Peterson up close and personal and he even looks like Johnny Cash. He said many people tell him that and he has been singing the Cash songs for so long that he is taking on the appearance.

He also told me that years ago he sang a few of the Cash songs but one evening he decided to do his entire show with them. The audience loved it and he has been doing it ever since.

The second half of the show became interesting when one couple began dancing and soon the entire floor was filled with dancers. They danced the night away much to the enjoyment of those of us who would like to be able to dance like that once more.

The next show is 5 weeks away and will feature Shades of Blue. If you like all styles of singing, this is the show for you. The lead singer does Sinatra, classic, modern, rhythm and blues. It will be held at the Fort Benton Elementary auditorium at the usual 7:00 p.m. (I am sure you will be able to hear better as there is not much talking in the auditorium. Do you get my point here?)

My dream is to fill that auditorium and 255 people would almost reach my goal of 400 attendees. So, get away from your TV for a change in habit. Come and listen to old standards that you know the words to. It will be a fun filled and relaxing evening so see you there.

This Saturday morning (September 22nd) at 9:00 Fort Benton will have three (3) appraisers at the Agricultural Center doing their thing. If you have signed up to have your treasurers appraised please be sure to show up for your appointed time.

If you are just going to watch you can get a ticket at the door. It begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m. It is $5.00 a ticket to watch, which is a whole lot of entertainment for a small price.

There should be a lot of surprises seeing what participants have had hidden in the attics or basements for years. I do not expect my items are valuable but I just want to know some of the history connected with them. I know two (2) of my items are over 100 years old and I hope I will not be disappointed by finding out they are not. See you there.

This update comes directly from the Commissioner’s office as of Monday, September 17th.

Please have community members who are interested in scheduling a ride to Great Falls call Kellie at 622-3022 one (1) to two (2) weeks in advance to add them to our roster. If the Van has room we can continue to add riders if need be until the day before leaving.

This note is from me. It looks as though appointments should be made for morning only from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00. People will have to be picked up before 1:30 p.m. in order to leave Great Falls by then. I can see that the first few trips will be trial runs. Be patient and it will all get worked out to please everyone.

Kellie asks that all riders confirm their ride the day before by calling her.

Our first date to travel to Great Falls will be TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2nd. The plan is to have the Bus running every Tuesday as long as we have community members needing a ride. The Van will load from 8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and will need to leave Great Falls by 1:30 p.m. In the future if the demand is there we will try to add another day in the week to the schedule.

Pick-up and drop-off location is still being determined. Watch the River Press for more information.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

View From The Bridge 9/12/18

By Muncie

The long-waited Pub Night is upon us. Preparations are falling into place and the Chouteau County Performing Arts Board will be ready and waiting.

I was able to travel to Chinook last Thursday and visit with the Chinook newspaper office. Randy Morger (my stepson) made the trip to proof read the performing arts booklet that you receive when you attend a performance. You can keep it to refer to at home or you can just pick up one each show.

It was amazing watching Randy go over the booklet. I always knew what went into the booklet but never would I have guessed the work. I would like all of you show-goers to study the booklet carefully. Note all the sponsors that support C.C.P.A. When you frequent their businesses, be sure to thank them. Without them, there would be no C.C.P.A. They are the backbone of our community. They are so generous whenever called on with donations for every event that goes on. (Only in a small town!)

Last Sunday the Golden Age Senior Center resumed Sunday dinners. It was great news for many Senior’s although there were conflicting events going on. The Center was up against “What-the-Jay,” a Church event, and the Rocky Highfill fund raiser in Great Falls.

So spread the word around about the Sunday dinners and I’ll see you there next Sunday.

A welcome note from Mary Lee reminds everyone about the Tuesday night dinner next week the 18th. She asks that you not forget the date and the time is 5:00 p.m. The HEADS-UP about this dinner is that there will be a presentation by the owners of the new assisted living complex in Fort Benton Young and old should be interested in this subject.

Call in your reservations @ 622-3601 or stop by the Center. The cost is $7.00 for a delicious full meal. See you there.

Actually, there isn’t any news. The Commissioners are still looking for VOLUNTEERS to drive the vehicle. They would like four volunteers to they would drive only once a month.

The newly painted bus is sitting somewhere around the Court House just waiting to be filled with those who need a ride to Great Falls. Being in that position myself, I know how valuable a service like that would be. I have twice a year appointment with my dentist and even more often with my hearing tech. I have friends in nursing homes that I would like to visit. I am sure that there are many more of you readers that have errands that can only be taken care of in Great Falls. I hope we do not have to wait too long.

A small world story happened to me on Sunday. I sat at a table with two couples from Canada and another woman. I asked the women from Canada how they happened to come to Rocky’s fund raiser. One of the husbands knew Rocky from a trail ride that they do every year. The two couples also knew the other woman who told me she was from Big Sandy and told her Canadian friends about the afternoon event. She directed her comments to me saying that she is a good friend of Valerie’s. She also said that she reads the View every week. Now who could not like a person like that? So I would like to say hello to Thelma and the next time she comes to Fort Benton to call me and we can have coffee and conversation.

I have very little news about the hard-topping of Front Street. It has been ready for that process for several weeks. What little I could check on was that the company who was hired to do the work have been very busy. (So what else is new? Everybody is busy.) I have learned I just have to be patient.



Tuesday, September 4, 2018

View From The Bridge 9/5/18

By Muncie

I’ll bet you could have guessed this moon name. I have also written about it for years as you may remember. The Native Americans called it the Full Corn Moon or Harvest Moon. It marked the time when the corn could be harvested. Often the full moon, September Harvest Moon, is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. It occurs two years out of three in September. At the peak of the harvest farmers can work late into the night by the light of the moon. Crops that Indians harvest the most at this time are corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice. (It all sounds so good to me.)

The full moon is on Monday the 24th.

A week ago last Tuesday, my daughter Jennifer made her weekly visit to Fort Benton to help me with whatever I needed help with. When she arrived at 4:45 she had this story for me.

She was on St. Charles near the football field. She saw the team running across the field. They ran through the back gate heading toward the hill. “Now”, she said, “I have stopped on the road for ducks in Great Falls, on highways for deer and antelope but never before for Longhorns to cross the road.” (This is where I misunderstood and I said, “You mean that someone in town has Longhorn cattle.”) “No Mom, it was the Longhorn football team. The first runner held up his hand for me to stop which I was doing anyway, and the coach waved to me.” She thought that you readers would enjoy that story. GO HORNS!

2nd GAME
Randy and I were not able to go Hobson for the first football game but we were at the field on Friday evening for the 2nd game. What a perfect night for a football game. The stands were full, the Cheerleaders were doing their thing and the band was playing to get us in the spirit of excitement. I did not attend Fort Benton High School but having lived here for 25 years I definitely have the Longhorn spirit. I love high school and college football but that is as far as I go. The only thing that would have made it a more perfect evening would have been a full moon. In its place was a period of 20 minutes time when the sun was setting and shined on the bluffs.

On last Saturday I received a call with the news that the Golden Age Senior Center will again be open on Sundays. I believe that I was the one who was most upset when they closed. My Sundays were so special when I’d go there for dinner and visits with my widow friends. I sat at a table where most of my friends no longer cook. God bless those who do and I was grateful for those who do cook.

The price of the Sunday dinner will be $6.00. I would like to pass on that everyone is invited to eat at the Senior Center. You do not have to be a member or be younger than the age of 60. It is a special place for a family reunion and you do not have to do dishes. Hurray! See you there.

As I understand it the Center will not be open on Saturdays. I did mention last week that the Tuesday night dinners will resume on September 18th. Sign up at the Center or call 622-3601, Please support these Tuesday night dinners and the Sunday dinners to keep them on going. If you are 60 years old or older, you can be a most welcome member of the Center. There will be more information about being a member and what the Center is all about at a later date. GO SENIORS

A week from next Saturday, the 15th, will be the first entertainment evening of the 2018/2019season for the Chouteau County Performing Arts program. It is Pub night and will be held at the Montana Agricultural Center. It features Cold Hard Cash with The Tennessee Three singing all your favorite Johnny Cash songs. What a great way to start the new season.

If you do not yet have your season ticket you will find Randy at the Farmers Market every Thursday. Discounted tickets are still available until the first performance.

Please make me happy Folks by filling that Fort Benton Elementary School auditorium’s 400 seats for the following performances. I just cannot believe that there are people who do not like to be entertained especially by musical entertainment. You have it all right here in Fort Benton, MT. These shows have performed in Las Vegas and New York City. You pay big bucks if you attend their shows in big cities. A season’s discounted ticket is $45.00. If you want to attend just one show it will cost you $15.00 so why not buy a season ticket for 8 shows? 

You owe it to yourself to have a night out once a month and what better way than to listen to great music. No matter what your taste is you can always find something you enjoy at the Chouteau County Performing Arts performances. See you there!

Front Street is just about completed and it’s looking great. It is straightened and looks to be two defined lanes. The Swimming Pool parking area is expanded a bit. Front Street was a thorn in everyone’s side and a huge thank you to whoever is responsible because it was most likely the worst of all the bad roads in Fort Benton. With the curb in place it should be easier to drive.

My weekly report finds that there is one volunteer that will drive to Great Falls. Unfortunately, the need is for THREE MORE VOLUNTEER DRIVERS. That would complete a schedule of a once a month day to do the driving. Please call Kelly at 622-3022 at the Court House if you think you might be able to volunteer. Get more facts from her. There are many people who would like a van/bus running especially with the cooler weather coming on.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

View From The Bridge 8/29/18

By Muncie

Where did summer go? We only have a few days left in August before we welcome September. Fall has taken over with the cool evenings and hopefully the 90 and 100 degree days are gone. There are trees in the Old Fort Park are turning yellow or have already done so.

I had “cabin fever” when I could not leave the apartment for two weeks because it was too hot. My air conditioning felt so good after years of being without it.

This brings on thoughts of “what kind of winter are we going to have” Does anyone want to predict. I would just like to say that I hope it is not a repeat of last winter. You all agree I am sure.

Hurray! Tuesday night dinners will return on the third Tuesday the 18th of September. There is a limit of 48 seats and you must call in for a reservation at 622-3601. If you frequent the Center you can sign up at the desk.

There will be an increase in the cost of the dinner this coming season. It will be a $7.00 charge. (You could not get a dinner like Betty’s talents as a cook anywhere in the world for that price.) Pass along to your family and friends about this pleasant evening at the Center. It is a wonderful time to have a get-together that has been put off during the hot summer days and nights. I would like to see all 48 seats being occupied. See you there.

Last Thursday the Levee was pleasantly occupied with fourteen artists. The group chose Fort Benton because of its beautiful scenery (and we certainly do have it.) It was a special time and many enjoyed strolling along the Walking Trail to view and chat. On Friday they headed to Virgelle to spend the day. There was a reception and silent auction at the Grand Union on Saturday evening. Champagne and finger food was served and guests could view and bid on the paintings. A good time was had by all and we look forward to their return next year.
I bid on a painting that meant a lot to me, as an early Christmas present to myself. It was a picture of the Old Fire House, with some of the rip-rap showing on the Levee, and the Missouri River. Those three things hold a special place in my heart and memory. The artist was a woman from Red Lodge and she invited me to visit her there. I am sure this will turn out to be a small world story.

With the Labor Day holiday comes the closing of the Visitor Information Center. The Museums will be open until the last Sunday in September, so you still have time to take visitors and family to see the best Museums in Montana. Take my word for it. Just one of those buildings would be worth a trip to Fort Benton. My favorite is the Scriver bronzes in the Art Gallery in Old Fort Benton. If you love history you will be over whelmed at what you learn.

Checking with the Police department I found that it was a very light year for rattlers. Only three reports were made. Two were found on the Levee and one was in a family yard. No one was bitten. Perhaps it was too hot for the snakes too. They should be returning to their dens soon but still be on the lookout. Please, if you see any snake at all call 911 and do not attempt to do anything yourself. It would not be fun to be treated for a snake bite.

Oh, by the way, since one was found in a back yard, would parents please check your yards before you send Kiddos out to play.

This goes for those of you who walk. Don’t day dream along the Levee Walking Trail. Pay attention to your surroundings. It is too easy to get enthralled by the beauty of the Missouri, the Bluffs, and the other beauties of Fort Benton and miss seeing those crawly creatures.

On October 1st Bingo games will begin at the Club House hosted by the VFW. The days have been changed back to the original 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month.

Another good piece of news is that the Billings VFW is no longer going to sponsor Bingo and have given all of their equipment to Fort Benton. For people with impaired vision, like me, there will be larger print cards available. Those of you who stayed away because they could not read their cards, now is your chance to do a big comeback. Put these dates on your calendar and see you there.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

View From The Bridge 8/22/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie


Only in a small rural town would you witness what happened on Sunday at the Fair. Connie and I were collecting parking money for the Lions Club at the Main Street entrance. A vehicle blew a tire with a very loud bang between Front Street and Main Street but continued to drive for another block. The vehicle stopped and out of it emerged Sandy Bramlette. We could hear her say that she knew those tires needed replacing.

Now, she is parked in the middle of the street and someone yelled to her to put on her hazard lights and she did. Within a few seconds a “flat tire fixer Angel” appeared to help out. Sandy had a jack but it was too large for her small car. Her Dad had given it to her years ago when she had a truck. After the first vehicle left to go look for a smaller jack, a second vehicle stopped to help and then a third and a fourth.

Now the question is? How many men does it take to change a tire? Sandy was soon on her way and the street became very quiet but the memory of it will live for a long time.

Friday Connie and I were at the Front Street entrance during the 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. shift for parking fees. We were fairly busy and were not paying attention to our surroundings. Around noon a very angry wasp stung me on my right arm. Connie immediately put ice on it and it calmed things down. A few minutes later she was again stung on her left arm and her neck.  “That’s it” I said, “I’m out of here.” Henry and Val came to relive us and finished our shift.

Later that afternoon Randy took on his shift at the Front Street entrance and discovered that there was a hornet’s nest in a pipe that was next to the cement entrance pillars. He blocked the holes and the next day sprayed the area with a bug killer.

However, on Sunday there were wasps at the Main Street entrance and they were buzzing around Connie and me. Connie had a sweet drink on the ground and we took great pleasure in seeing several wasps drowning in the liquid.

This is a good place to thank all of the Fair participants for paying their parking fees. The money is a donation for the Lions Club’s scholarship program. It was voted by the Lions Club Board to increase the scholarships this year and thanks to all of you for your help.

There has been one volunteer call the Court House for an interview. More volunteer drivers are still needed. If you are interested please call Kelly at 622-3022. Spread the word as word of mouth is the best way to get info out to the public.

This event went on at the County Fair and was held in the commercial building on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. The Kiddos absolutely loved it as they did last year. Next year the committee would like the word spread about how much fun it was.

A friend of mine participated in the canning exhibition and went home with dill pickles canned for future use. She also did a beautiful scarf. Many of us enjoyed home-made ice cream. It was fun to watch the little kiddos turning the handle on the old fashioned ice cream maker and later enjoy a cup full of the delicious treat.

One of my great grandchildren who is 3 years old made ice cream,  silly putty, and a bird house all by herself. (I wanted to keep her bird house but she would not give it up.)

There were two women who demonstrated weaving. During WWI there were weaving machines that produced wool socks for the soldiers. They were interesting to watch and I learned about these machines that can be found on the internet. If you are looking for something to do as a hobby, we can get you in touch with those women.

Another interesting hobby was basket weaving. That takes a lot of patience but with beautiful results.  Another table was pounding pieces of some kind of soft metal into patterns of animals. They could then be framed.

There were many more things going on but I did not have the time to cover them all. Next year I will do a better job but those wasp bites interfered with my schedule. I am grateful that I am not allergic because one woman told me her story about being bitten 13 times and was taken immediately to the ER for treatment. Everyone has a story and I love to hear them.

This Fair is brought to you by the Montana History Foundation in partnership with the Fort Benton Museums. This is a different organization than the Montana Historical Society.

There will be three (3) appraisers at the Agricultural Center on Saturday, September 22nd from 9:00 pm to2 p.m. These appraisers are from a not to be mentioned popular TV show on PBS.

The purpose of this fair is to offer oral appraisals for up to three (3) items @ $15.00 each. To register to have appraisals please go online @ www.mthistory.org/antiques-appraisal-fair. More information is also available on that web site.

This sounds like a fun day even if you just watch the show. (Spectator tickets will be available at the door.) Several people have already signed up to have appraisals and not for the monetary value of their items but to see if they can find out more about their items. I can hardly wait to see what the people in Fort Benton are going to come up with.       

I wrote what I thought was a funny thank you about my accident. Now another funny story has immerged about our new female police officer. While I was carted off by ambulance to the ER, Erica drove my GoGo (scooter,) back to my apartment. One of her friends saw her and asked if that was her new police car. I wonder if that makes my GoGo and official vehicle. I’ll check it out Monday evening at the farewell for Police Chief John Turner’s retirement.

Another of our longtime residents is being moved to Idaho. Arlene Ayers has lived in Fort Benton since 1956 when she came to Montana from Kansas. She has had over the various jobs and two (2) of those meant a lot to me.

She worked for Joel Overholser cutting out every single article in the River Press. She then filed each family name or other stories in legal size envelopes that are now stored at the River Press office. I referred to them many times when I volunteered at the Research Center at the Ag Center.

Now-a-days all those records are on line and the last I heard, you can check records up to 1978. We seniors have to keep up with the technical world. I am not doing very well because I still haven’t learned Windows 10. It is a slow process but at least I have not had Bethany, the editor at the River Press, over for quite a while now to bail me out of trouble.

Arlene was also an excellent seamstress and did sewing for me when I could not manage those small stitches any longer.

We will miss you Arlene, especially at the Senior Center, but know that you will be receiving the River Press every week to keep track of us. Keep in touch.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

View From The Bridge 8/15/18

By Muncie

“Meet me in Fort Benton, Benton, Meet Me at the Fair.”

Here we are again in time for the Chouteau County Fair and it seems like I write the same thing every year. I have talked to participants who are entering baked goods, flowers, and 4Her’s who have been working for months.

I am signed up to do the entrance gates for parking for the Lions Club. I hope to see you there Friday morning. I love doing this parking thing because everyone is so happy and looking forward to a good time when they come through the gates.

A little background for the parking fee is that it is a fund raiser for the Lions Club. It is a donation for the Lions many projects during the year like scholarships to all high schools in Chouteau County. The funds do not have anything to do with the Fair. So, purchase your parking ticket for three days knowing what a great cause it is donated to. Happy parking!

Another of my favorites is having breakfast every morning. Why does their coffee taste better than mine? I never make pancakes or biscuits and gravy for myself and so that is another great treat. I also eat other food I would never allow myself during the best of the year.

The Fair booklets have been available for several weeks now so you have had a chance to go through it and check the events that you want to see or participate in. Your support for the Fair will keep it going. Our community cannot afford to let these events to disappear. Once gone they never seem to return. See you there.

Be sure and check out Heritage Days at the Fair on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Commercial Building. There will be 7 to 10 demonstrations for young and old alike. This has been a popular event at the Fair the last few years. Be sure not to miss basket weaving and other learning experiences at the Fair.

This phrase is used a lot today especially in Senior Citizens conversation. It is no use to think about the way it used to be. Change is happening constantly and only goes forward and not backward.

Take the Fair for example. You remember it as a child. Remember the carnival with all the whip-around rides. A good carnival is now priced way out of Chouteau County‘s budget. It is the same for entertainment. In fact, it is the same for everything. We Seniors remember too often when bread was 10 cents a loaf. Pass your stories on to your children and grandchildren about the “Good Old Days,” and accept the changes as your parents and grandchildren accepted the changes your generation imposed on them.

Wow!  Talk about hot or I would rather not. I just wish I could package it for next winter. I have not left the apartment, because I have air conditioning, for days now because I cannot breathe in that hot air. I am doing a lot of catching up on my computer so that is a good thing. 

 Why does this hot weather always come at a time when the swimming pool season is over? I know the pool closes so the life guards can go back to college. Why don’t the 100 plus degree days come in July? There must be a good answer somewhere and will always be unknown to us. If I were boss I would arrange the weather so it would be 75 to 80 degrees all the time. So, as you read you might be thinking that if you don’t like it go somewhere else. No, I could not leave my “Happy Place” for better weather. I’ll stop right now complaining about the heat.

Welcome back. I see this morning that you have visited the Hollow Tree again and placed fall flowers there. I am so happy that you have forgiven me for imposing on your idea.

I have not been able to get to the hollow tree to remove the American Flags and hope that soon I will find someone who can do that for me. I cannot walk on that lumpy ground with its up in the front and down in the back. Also, the large pieces of bark make getting to the hollow tree a problem.

I cannot see any pumpkins in the Community Garden so that shoots my theory that “Who” has a plot there. I am inviting you for coffee, lemon bars, and conversation any time. Just walk across the street to the apartment with the American Flag hanging on the porch (except in windy weather.) I pinky finger swear that I will never tell anyone who you are. I just want to get to know you because I need artistic people in my life even if only for conversation.

No news this week about volunteer drivers. There has not been a response so ar. I had heard on the grapevine that someone had responded but I just spoke with the Commissioners and they were not aware of any such person. VOLUNTEER DRIVERS are still needed before any schedules can be put together.

It sounds as if the school system is up and running with the new teachers and schedules. football practice has begun and we have that to look forward to. New freshman have a whole different life to lead and seniors will be looking forward to college. It all sound very exciting to me as I did not have the advantages that students have today. Take advantage of every opportunity and enjoy every day of it.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, POLICE OFFICERS, FIRE FIGHTERS, AND EMT’s.  Make sure you are registered to vote and when the time comes  VOTE.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

View From The Bridge 8/8/18

By Muncie

A person who may have purchased author Sue Grafton books at the Summer Celebrations book sale at the Library. Please call me and I will have a deal for you.

I have had an ad in the River Press for the last two weeks but did not get a response. I hope that this message will get out to the readers especially visitors, former residents, alumni, and those who live out of state.

The report about the cherries was that it was a mad house at last week’s Farmers Market. The pre-orders were not yet filled while the crowd formed a long line. Over 400 lbs. were sold in a short time and some pre-orders did not get their cherries. By the time this paper is published, those people will be eating or will have eaten their cherries. I was also told that the cherries are huge this year. Bon Appetit.

Great Gramma was taking care of great grandson who is just a little over 3 years old. He is putting two small teddy bears into a jar. When Gramma asks why he was doing that, he replied “They have to hibernate you know.”

Are you ready? I have been waiting anxiously since Summer Celebration. I never knew what a County Fair was when I lived in Michigan. I am sure there were some but not in the tri-county area where I lived.

I love all the displays, the programs in the evening, and most of all the food that I only allow myself once a year, beginning with breakfast, then lunch, and later supper. It is another three days that I do not have to cook.

I also love helping the Lions Club collect parking fees because I see friends and neighbors that also are enjoying the fair.

After studying the fair book it looks as though there are going to be many additions to the days and evenings events.

So come on down to the fairgrounds with a smile on your face and have a wonderful time. See you there and be sure you tell me who you are because I am not seeing well these days.

The first performance, which is Pub Night, will be a month after the Fair. That will be September 15th and if you liked Johnny Cash you should be there. Actually you should be there whether or not you liked Johnny Cash. Just listening to the Tennessee Three is worth the evening.

By the way! Do you have your season ticket yet? Randy is at the Farmers Market every week with discounted tickets that have your name on it. Be an early bird and get that hot ticket in your purse or pocket. It is a terrific program.

I encourage you to watch PBS Face the State on Sunday mornings and check your menus because it is repeated at other times and days.

A week ago Sunday, the half hour show was about Montana roadway fatalities. If only everyone would “WEAR SEATBELTS” the fatality rate would be almost zero.

I learned to wear my seat belt because of several fatal accidents I heard about. It was reported that if many of those fatalities had their seat belts on they would still be alive. This is a plea statement, please pay attention. I was happy to learn that some of the new vehicles will not start unless the seat belt or belts are not on. Great idea but it will take a long while before all vehicles have that lifesaving idea.

My Dish satellite is in front of my living room window. Along with a pole that holds a bird feeder. Last year I had a crop of corn growing from seeds that birds knocked out of the feeder.

This year I have beautiful sunflowers growing for the same reason. One day last week my TV did not come on and the message on the screen said that there was an obstruction in front of the satellite connection. I went out to check and found sunflowers growing and covering the dish. I pulled them back and when I returned to the living room the TV had a picture. I hope that I do not have to choose between watching TV and the sunflowers. I know that the flowers would win.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

View From The Bridge 8/1/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

It just seems like yesterday that I wrote about the July Moon. The August Moon is called the Full Sturgeon Moon because of fishing tribes in the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water that had the best fishing catches during this month. Other names are the Full Red Moon because of the reddish hash while rising and the Green Corn Moon or Full Grain Moon. Take your pick and mine would be the Grain Moon.

The full moon is on Sunday the 26th. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

On Thursday August 8th at the Farmers Market there will be Flathead cherries on sale. It would help a great deal if you would call in your order to Connie Jenkins. That insures that your order will be ready and waiting.

The Farmers Market is growing and had several more vendors participating last week. You are more than welcome to come on down to the levee and support those vendors.

The new big tickets are on sale and Randy Morger will be at the Farmers Market selling them. He will be there every week so support this wonderful entertaining program. As Randy puts it, it makes the winter months a little more tolerable.

He will have copies of the programs and the first one is Pub Night on September 15th at the Ag Center with “Cold Hard Cash.” If you enjoyed Johnny Cash and his music this is the show for you. The group is the Tennessee Three and they will keep your toes tapping. See you there.

My request for traffic to slow down on gravel roads has not produced much of a response. Apparently the truck drivers do not read this column.

Please spread the word and see if that brings results. Fortunately we had a bit of rain that dampened the roads and that helped a great deal.

I do not know exactly how to write this mail report. There were 2,200 flyers just mailed for the Chouteau County Performing Arts. It was brought to my attention that when picking up mail at the post office, the waste baskets held about half of those flyers.

I have volunteered many hours as well as other volunteers to fold and attach stickers to the sides of the flyers as the post office requires. It is a full day’s work for each volunteer and that is not counting preparing the flyer and making 2,200 copies to every household in Chouteau County.

The flyer contains the programs for the coming season. My wish is that you would take them home and read them. The discounted price figures out to $5.62 and a half cent per show and what a bargain that is. Tickets are now at a discounted price from now until the first performance on September 15th. If you read the flyer you may see a show or two or three you cannot live without.

Please take the flyer home, open it and read it. Think of all the labor that went into the producing and the mailing of a simple one page flyer.

If working on a mailing is of interest to you please contact me as there is another 2,200 flyer to be mailed in about 3 weeks. It is a sociable day with friends to renew new or old friendships. You also are doing a tremendous bit of volunteer work.

August is filled with exciting entertainment. Taste of Fort Benton goes hand and hand with Shakespeare in the Park. The Chouteau County Fair booklets are all over town. And last but not least school begins. Are you ready for all of this? Fort Benton Elementary will have two kindergarten classes this year and that is encouraging.

There is enough to keep you busy so enjoy some entertainment along the way. (CHECK THE RIVER PRESS COMMUNITY CALENDAR FOR TIMES AND PLACES).

I was able to talk to one of the commissioners this morning (Monday) and they have not had a response to their ad in the River Press. They will continue to search for volunteer drivers. The van is slated to make trips for residents to Great Falls for appointments and other business.

However, I did learn that the Missouri River Medical Center has their new bus. It is parked behind the hospital and it is bright and shiny new. (Perhaps some of you readers knew about this but it was breaking news to me.) Other than that little tidbit I have nothing else to report.

Crews are still working on Front Street between the dump station and the swimming pool. I was told that drainage was being installed. Perhaps that is why the road was so bad because of standing water that caused deep holes and ruts. The crew member did not seem to know when the job will be completed.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS (as many are in dangerous situations at this moment,) POLICE OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS (they too are in danger,) AND EMT’s.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

View From The Bridge 7/18/18

By Muncie

I am so happy that you are back. Your additional July 4th decorations around the hollow tree were such a surprise and now I know that you are alive and well. It takes a great deal of pressure from me because the terrain around that hollow tree is treacherous.

I want to say I am sorry again for horning in on your idea but also have another clue as to who you are. You must have been out of town for February’s Valentine’s Day and In March during St. Patty’s Day. So, from now on the rest is up to you. I will be removing   the red, white, and blue flags at the end of the month and it is now all up to you. I know you will come up with something spectacular for summer. Just a note here, at the end of the month I will put the rabbit and carrot back in the hollow tree. Please take them back home to wait for next Easter.

Last Saturday when I picked up my mail I received a card from Lee Smith of Bremerton, WA, who is the brother of Phyllis Smith of Fort Benton. The note was to let me know that he reads the View from the Bridge every week and likes my view of what is going on.                       

I have found many times that those former residents of our town still subscribe to the River Press.

A while back I mentioned the different states that I hear from and one of them is a family member who checks me carefully as to the creditability of my stories.

I have often said that I would really appreciate calls from local residents about their experiences but those are far and few between.

I try to keep you informed but it is usually after the fact. I still say that I am the last to know anything. I do not do Facebook nor do I hear from those who do. I know that I am missing a lot but I have a difficult time trying to keep up with e-mail. Now that I have the Windows 10 I am completely lost in the tech world. HELP! Just call me please because I am still able to answer the phone.

So those of you in WA, OH, MI, FL, CA, NM, PA, and other towns in MT, I send my gratitude and “love you more.”

The new deck behind the Center is coming along nicely. Last Tuesday during my shift from noon to 2:00 some of the top boards had been installed and stained. It is my hope that you will pack a lunch and some to the Center to sit on the deck and enjoy the Missouri River view while eating your lunch. It is supposed to be in the 90’s all this week but there is a lot of shade in that area. See you there.

It always starts out slow but there were many of the old faithful customers there. Our former elementary school principal Rusty Bower and his wife Hazel will be there soon with their oriental food. Congrats are in order for their Baby Girl born a week ago Monday. I cannot understand why Hazel wasn’t at the Farmers Market on Thursday. My joke of the week. I Hope to see you soon and bring that Baby along. There will be plenty of people who will be happy to hold her.

It looks as though the projected finish by the end of July will be a reality. A problem may occur this coming weekend when the Swim Meet brings many people to town. 

Only a short portion of Front Street is blocked off as of Monday the 16th. The Walking Trail has not been affected. Getting to the trail is difficult for me now because of lawns being watered during the day. I wait until the sprinkler goes in the other direction and then I scurry through. I have not gotten wet yet at the Bluffs but the Park is another story. I will just have to learn to not go to town on the days that they water or else I will not have to take a shower that day. Some of these 90 plus days I would just like to sit in those sprinkler areas with the cold water.

Last week B.J. Conn McIntosh’s ashes were returned to Fort Benton from Oregon to be buried in the Riverside Cemetery. I cannot remember when B.J. left Fort Benton but it was after a long stay during which time she took care of her parents Mary and Charlie Conn.

B.J. was instrumental in keeping great records for the Veterans Photo project. We volunteered at the Ag Center’s Research Center.

After her parents passed, B.J. had a stroke and she underwent physical therapy in the hospital in Great Falls.

She then returned to Oregon but did not return to good health. Since she was born and raised in Fort Benton, she wanted to be buried here. We often talked about her love of Fort Benton and Montana but her business and home called her back to Oregon.

My sympathies and understanding thoughts go out to all of you who have lost loved ones. I read the obituaries and wish I had known all of the people. It was amazing to find the interesting lives they all lived. I’m grateful that my life did cross with B.J’s. and I am grateful for the time I had with her and the many things she taught me about organization.


Parents…check the Community Calendar in the River Press and check out the great summer programs the BLM and the Library have planned.

The free golf lessons for kids are really a bonus and I wish I could go but I am a bit too old. The swimming pool is open every day and that should be a huge draw this coming hot week.

So, Parents check the schedules and remind your kids. I met a couple of youngsters riding their bikes who told me they had nothing to do. Really! That is hard to believe.

To the Kiddos, you only have a little over a month before school starts. Make the most of your vacation so you will have something to talk about when it gets cold and starts snowing. (Now those are ugly words.)


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

View From The Bridge 7/4/18

By Muncie

How quickly these months are rolling around. The Full Buck Moon is usually the month when the antlers of the buck deer push out of foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also called the Full Thunder Moon for the reason that thunder storms are most frequent during this month. Another name is the Full Hay Moon. (I really enjoy the different names of each month and the significance of them. These names are hundreds of years old mostly named by the Native Americans.

This is my favorite holiday. I love what it stands for. I love the flags waving almost everywhere. I love fireworks. It just seems like a most happy birthday party.  I will count my blessings the whole day. I could have been born in another country that was not the home of the brave and the free. I feel I can say what I feel, especially at my age,) and not be concerned about it. Yes, God bless America.

On Saturday, July 7th there will be another exciting event. The Missouri River Breaks will sponsor the event which starts and ends in Fort Benton. It begins at 8:00 a.m. The starting point in Fort Benton is a canoe/kayak 20mile race, then on to a 3.4 run, and a grand finish in Fort Benton with a 20mile bicycle ride. I do not know where the beginning and finish lines are. There is a map on the poster, but I cannot make out the beginning and end with my eyesight. Check it out for yourself.

At 2:00 p.m. there will be outdoor games and the pool will be open. I do not know details on the games but I think that they are for the kiddos. It should be a fun day for them.

At 5:00 p.m. on Front Street there will be a FREE CONCERT called Boats, Brews, and Blues. In my opinion this event is going to attract a crowd so get there early and stay late. Let us have the good weather hold as it did for Summer Celebration

Every Tuesday and Thursday at the Chouteau County Library & the BLM Interpretive Center there will be a Junior Explorers Series.

Please check the River Press for the time and place. It is different every week.

This sounds like another great program to keep kiddos occupied this summer. I wish I was a kid again when I hear about programs like these. (I wonder if I could sneak in?)

For those of you readers who are antique buffs Virgelle will hold an outdoor flea market. The date is Sunday July 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you have never been to Virgelle you will find a very charming area that you will return to many times with visitors. It is worth the trip and take a ride across the Missouri if the ferry is running.

Wear red on Fridays such as a Support Our Troops t-shirt. Again I would like to see those red shirts with the logo “Support out Troops” on it.

Several years ago over 350 of those shirts were sold. Where could all those shirts have disappeared? Please check your closets and let next Friday be a red shirt Support Our Troops day and every Friday. Let it continue through the summer while we are wearing short sleeved shirts.

If you did not get a shirt or it is too small or too large, check out the Sadie’s Resale Chop for one.

Lessons begin on July 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th for different age groups. Check River Press for times.

I really enjoy the Summer Reading program seeing the Kiddos on the lawn of the Library / How I wish we would have had those kinds of programs when I was a kid. I spent a lot of time in the library but it was not outdoors. It was on a main street with nothing but cement in front.

Our Chouteau County Free Library is one of the reasons I love Fort Benton. Because I have poor vision I no longer read. I belong to Talking Books but note that the Library has hundreds of books on tape.

Take advantage of that Folks and listen to great books on vacations or times when you spent long hours driving. May I suggest books about Montana. They are a wealth of information.

Come to the Sunrise Bluffs for Sunday dinner. Since the Senior Center does not serve Saturday or Sunday dinners any longer, the Bluffs would be an alternative for a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

Dinner is served at 1:00 p.m. and it is necessary to make a reservation. Call Karla at 622-5443 during the week.

It is a great social afternoon to meet more of your Fort Benton neighbors. There may be old friends who have moved to the Bluffs and they would like to visit with you. (We are actually at the other end of town and it would be a little further a drive. I am accused of moving out in the country when I moved to the Sunset apartments.)

Hope to see you next Sunday.

I was able to track down some information about the construction on Front Street on the north end of town. Perhaps you did not even know that Front Street jags over a half block after it dead ends into the Sunrise Bluffs. It is s government mandate that sewers be brought up to code. Most rural areas are old and falling apart as most senior citizens are.

I do not know where the construction company began but they worked between 23rd and 22nd for several weeks. They have now moved on to the area between 22nd and 21st.

So where do you go now since your destination is the pump house across from the Old Fort Benton Fort?

The only way to go is diagonally across the Old Fort Park to Front Street. The bad news is that it will be confusion for a while but the good news is that Front Street between the Sunrise Bluffs and the swimming pool will come out of it a well, no bumps, potholes, road traveled. That stretch of road is not well defined between gravel parking area and the road. I am looking forward to the improvement although I no longer drive.