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.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018


By Muncie

It is all about Summer Celebration and my view of the three (3 days. I had a wonderful time starting with the Pig Roast on Friday. The weather was perfect for the whole three days. Rain had been forecast for Friday and Saturday but never happened. One person described it as “going around us.”

First Security Bank served 720 people and that is about average. It was delicious as usual. The entertainment was great and I became a City Band groupie. I then traveled down Front Street to the U.S. Bank for an ice cream treat. Next, I made a skip and a jump to the Golden Age Senior Center where the City Band performed again. Those attending were treated to ice cream sundaes along with the Band and I was able to express my thanks for their time. Several of those I spoke with were from Great Falls. (I wish that more people would stand and sing “Montana.”)

Up and out and about on Saturday morning to the breakfast sponsored by the Pool Committee after checking in for the Fun Run. These days I can just ride my Go-Go around the 1 mile.

There was much excitement at the City Hall where line up for the Parade began at 10:00 a.m. I was chosen to be the Grand Marshall although I have no idea why. I was never told and I only accepted if my daughter, Jennifer, could ride with me. I need her help these days. I also loved having three great grandchildren with me to throw candy. Garrett was on my right and Olivia on my left. Molly sat up on the back holding the sign. It was such fun to throw the candy rather than pick it up. It was an experience that those Kiddos and I will never forget. I forgot to mention Cody, who is Chris Halko’s cousin, the driver of Chris’s gold Cadillac convertible. It took us 45 minutes to get around and when we returned to the City Hall the parade was still in progress. What a blast!

One other thing that was precious to me was that my sons in Michigan, Ohio, and Georgia were able to watch the parade on Fort Benton’s web cam. Thank you to Roger Hankins.

The next stop was the Old Fort Park where I talked to all the vendors. I also spoke to shoppers and they all loved the Fort Benton Summer Celebration. After lunch Jennifer and Mike strolled down Front Street and I Go-Goed it. We wanted to watch the “Shoot-em-Up” show which we thought was at Grand Union Square. (Read your schedules.) We quickly had to return to the Old Fort Park and arrived just in time for the show. There was a great crowd and I suggested to one of the actors that the show should be repeated several times instead of once. Perhaps next year it might be.

Home for rest time at that point and to prepare for the Fireworks Show. The last few years I have sat with my Bonilla family Greg, Hilda, young Greg, and Grayson where the Walking Trail begins at the Sunrise Bluffs. There are two covered tables there. We did have it quite to ourselves until last Saturday. The Levee was covered with on lookers. A friend walked the entire length of the trail and said it was crowded all the way. The show was spectacular and the best we have ever had although we did not have a waterfall.

It seems that the fireworks were targeted over the Missouri instead of straight up. It was a beautiful sight to see the reflection all along the river.

On Sunday morning I overslept and missed breakfast by an hour. It was a fund raiser for the EMT’s. I will make it up to you wonderful people. I cannot express enough thank you to your volunteer organization and the volunteer firemen.

I went to the area where the “Fort Benton has Talent” would take place. I got there about 12:30 p.m. and the stands were quite empty. When the show began at 1:00 the stands were crowded.

Wow! It took a lot of courage to perform for a crowd, especially when it was your first time, but all the contestants pulled it off professionally. I wish I could have taped it because I would love to watch it again. I am looking forward to next year.’

Rob Verdi was back in Fort Benton. He lives in CA but had performed at Whitefish and he was invited to come here. He loves Montana and Fort Benton and has been here many times with his sax. He played a few songs for us.

So now it is over for another year. The time went so quickly but that is always the way when you are having fun. Thank you to Connie and all that helped to put on the best ever Summer Celebration.

On July 11, 12, 18, and 19 there will be FREE GOLF LESSONS for Kids. Youngsters from 7 to 12 years old will be taught by Bill Larson who is a PGA pro at 10:00 a.m. The 13 to 17 year old will have their turn at 11:00 a.m.

Look for sign up and other instructions in next week’s River Press.

We checked out the Rectory house on Sunday and found that the support beams had been removed. The house now sits on its foundation. It should be up and running soon and I will check with Roger sometime this week. It seems like it was a long journey but in the realm of time it was not.
The house on the corner of Main and 21st is being worked on and looks so attractive. That is not my usual route to downtown but I have used it to go to the Eye Clinic and MRMC. I wanted to tell whoever is doing the work on that house a huge thank you. It has been in disrepair for the 24 years I have lived here.

The work on Front Street and 22nd has been completed. The construction company has now moved on toward 21st street.

Our area had several days of closed off streets and noise that shook the apartment. I thought that we were having an earthquake.

I do not know where the construction company is headed because I have gotten two different stories. I’ll check that out this week too.


Please help to make quick decisions about what to do with children separated from their Moms and Dads.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

View From The Bridge 6/20/18

By Muncie

I think that by now everyone knows that the Golden Age Senior Center has recently made changes. They no longer will be open on Saturdays and Sundays.

Meals on Wheels will continue with this change. If you want Meals on W heels on Saturday and Sunday you must made arrangements ahead of time and fill out an application and return to the Center. Frozen meals will be delivered to you on Friday.

There will still be Tuesday night dinners starting again in September. Cinnamon rolls will still be served on the last Wednesday of each month.  Menus for the month will be available close to the end of each month at the Center for the next month and in the River Press weekly. There is information about the Center on the back of the menus. It is very informative to read the back of the menus.

There are 578 residents over the age of 60 who vote. This is an approximate figure. All of these people could be a member of the Golden Age. It would help to support the Center. The dues are $10.00 a year due in January. Support is lacking in so many of our organizations. Please feel an obligation to join the Senior Center. You may not use it now but you never know when you may need a place to have lunch that is geared toward seniors or Meals on Wheels.

I hope this story will inspire you to support the Center by becoming a member this coming fall. The seniors that participate find the Center a home away from home. You are able to play cards or work on a puzzle. There is always a large, difficult puzzle in the works. There is also a game day once a month.

Are as excited about Summer Celebration as I am? The schedule is awesome and I intend to cover as many events as I can. I know that what I like most is seeing friends that I have not seen for a long time. Please come up to me to say hello.

My step-daughter, Audra, has been gone for 7 years but her memory lives on in the Fun Run that is named after her. If you do not know the story, ask any of the volunteers that are helping to promote the race.

I have ridden my Go-Go the last couple of years. Will those of you who have scooters join me as the last ones in line?

I was on my way to White  Sulphur Springs Thursday morning when I heard about the passing of Ruth Sykes. She was one of the kindest, sweetest, most helpful people I have ever known. I will miss her at the Senior Center where she was a faithful hostess once a week. She always had my dinner pre-paid card out and punched when she saw me coming through the door.

I attended her 90th birthday party last February at the Golden Age and we had a wonderful visit.  She will be missed and long remembered.

Of course, I know, that you all have your American Flags already hanging on your front porches for the 4th of July. Do you remember what I said that flying the flag showed your love of country. I know you all love your country

If you are not able to put up the bracket for your flag, call me and I will arrange to get it done. So, have a wonderful 4th and count your blessings.

Fort Benton has Talent will take place on Sunday June 24th at 1:00 p.m. at the Old Fort Park. Be sure to sign up quickly as you only have a few days to prepare.

The Missouri River Breaks Triathlon is scheduled for Saturday July 7th to finish in Fort Benton. Look for registration information in the River Press.

There will be an Antique Flea Market in Virgelle on Sunday July 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Boats, Blues, and Brews on Saturday, July 7th from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. will feature a free concert that will be held on Front St. by the Old Walking Bridge. Come on down

The Chouteau County Free Library and the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center will liven Tuesdays up by hosting “Wild Trivia” every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. For more information read the posters around town.

A Class Reunion is trying to get into the dress that you wore for graduation.
A Class Reunion is seeing your principal and still being nervous.
A Class Reunion is “bring homemade cookies” that you bought at the bakery.
A Class Reunion is showing photos of your children….again, again, again, and again….and again.
A Class Reunion is dancing with your school beau and trying to remember what you ever saw in him.
A Class Reunion is finding it hard to believe that the balding man with the pot belly was the captain of the football team.
A Class Reunion is introducing your husband to everyone except the classmate who you almost became your husband.
(McCall’s magazine October 1986,)

On June 21st summer will begin. It is always a sad day for me because now the days will be getting shorter. It always seems to me that we do not have enough pleasant evenings that we can sit outside before the sun sets. I will try to enjoy the next three (3) months before it really gets dark early. I will not even think about what kind of winter we might have next in line. It is just rolling around too quickly to think about.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

View From The Bridge 6/13/18

By Muncie

On a chance meeting with Mark Johnsrud I asked him to give me a “heads up” with what was going on up the hill.

He did that just last week and take advantage of these “America’s Favorite Sport” events coming up.

On July 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th, there will be free lessons for Kids by PGA Pro Bill Larson. At 10:00 a.m. ages 7 thru 12 years old. At 11:00 a.m. the 13 to 17 years old will have their turn.

How exciting is that? What an opportunity to not only learn a great sport and be out in a beautiful nature setting. There will be more later as the date draws closer. Watch for it here in the View.

On July 16th there will be a married couple’s scramble. (I wonder if playing golf together is the same as cooking, doing gardening, and taking a trip with a map. More details later but put the date on your calendar.

I have heard too many times lately that “I forgot to attend this event or another.” Folks…get organized. First you have to have a calendar that is big enough to write on. Then check the Community Calendar as soon as YOU pick up your River Press. Then write on your calendar the events you want to attend. Then check your calendar every day to be sure you do not miss anything.

I know that there is a problem with events on the same day and at the same time. I do not know how to solve that problem except to choose the one you feel you cannot miss.

Just wanted to tell you that this subject is mostly for myself. I always forget to check the calendar. So perhaps we can help each other so we do not miss important events.

What an inspiration this picnic is. People who help and people who are helped are such a pleasure to be with.

There is not a person in the world that is not touched by cancer. Families seem to have not only one member of their family but several or many.

I support the Chouteau County Cancer Support Group and you should too. Their work cannot be replaced and someday, if you have not been helped by them you may be.

Cancer has come out into the open in the last few years. There are still some people who will not talk about their cancer. The group was of the opinion that it really helps to talk about it especially when those people have gone through it. Take advantage of this wonderful group of people and yes there are many men in the group.

You will receive a beautiful handmade quilt and monetary help with your expenses. On the other side of the coin you can help by supporting the Chouteau County Cancer Support Group with your contributions. They are forever grateful and you will be too.

When I arrived home after the picnic it was 7:00 p.m. I turned on the PBS program Nature. It was about the history of cancer. It was most informative.

First record of cancer was 4,000 years ago on Egyptian writings. The segment about children’s leukemia was so heart rendering. Have your box of tissue ready if it is aired again. You would not complain ever again after watching those children.

This show was a good reason to support the Chouteau County Support Group. Remember them for memorials. It is a great organization and worthy of whatever you can help them with. If you quilt or sew…offer your services. If you can help with donations, do what you can. Attend their fund raisers and thank them for their efforts.

I called my councilman last Sunday to discuss three items. One of them was the condition of Front St. between the swimming pool and the Sunrise Bluffs.

There was a council meeting on Monday night and on Tuesday the pot holes were patched. Thank you Mr. Mayor and City Council.

I am not writing this so that everyone calls to have their roads repaired. We all know what bad shape our roads are in. I know repairs are expensive and every city in the United States lack enough funds to fix roads and infrastructure. Be patient and eventually everything will come out smelling like roses. We have not had to deal with floods, fires, damaging rain storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanos. So count your blessings and enjoy your wonderful life in Fort Benton, MT.

Schedules of celebration have been posted all over town. It will also be printed in the River Press next week. Cut it out and check off the “must” activities you want to attend. You will also be received a letter about a donation to the Lions Club Fireworks show. I truly love Summer Celebration and am looking forward to a week from Friday. Help make this celebration the best ever.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

View From The Bridge 6/6/18

By Muncie

Go through your closet and find your “Support Our Troops” red shirt. Now that we have been blessed with warmer weather, you can wear your short sleeved shirt that is red on Fridays. I know that the shirts are out there somewhere because we sold over 300 of them a few years ago. Next Friday on Jimmy Buffet Day I expect to see a sea of red Support shirts. Please make an effort to find and wear them. It is so important, especially today when we are unsure from day to day what is going to happen. God bless America.

It has rolled around again. Chris and Teri Halko invite each and every one of you to help socialate Jimmy Buffet Day. It is a very sociable event. Come and enjoy the mock drinks and the Mexican snacks. Perhaps there will even be some dancing to the song “Margaritaville.” Wouldn’t that be fun to watch? So come on down and meet your friends and neighbors that you may not have seen all that long, cold winter and most of spring. See you there.

It is Saturday and I just checked on Mama Killdeer and her nest in my driveway. She is gone. It was very entertaining since Memorial Day watching her. I did not check on her for the rainy days on Thursday and Friday. I wonder if she took her eggs to a drier area. If anyone knows about bird’s habits, please let me know. I’m in the phone book.

Yes, I am wondering about several goings on. There are others of you that also ask me questions and believe me I am the last to know anything.

However, I did check on the Old Rectory and it is on its foundation but the supports have not been removed. It is a waiting game, like everything else, as to when the contractors will return to finish the job.

Construction work at 22nd and Front St. was started about 6 weeks ago and continued for 2 days. I got two stories about what is being done but I could never explain what they are. I did find out that the job should be finished next week. It does not affect me at all but the families living on Front St. have to take a different route home.

The Old Depot was noticed by all who went to the cemetery on Memorial Day. I had at least a half dozen calls as to what the orange snow fence was doing around the Old Depot. All I could find out was that it was placed there by the railroad. I started a petition about a year and a half ago to have the Old Depot torn down. I was then advised that there was a group who wanted to restore it. (I really did not know where I was going to raise the money for the project.) This was a relief to me because I have been trying for 5 years to get some assistance in doing something with the property. The property is unslightly, dangerous, contaminated and it is not the original depot. The original depot burned. Due to the complications in dealing with “those in the know” nothing has progressed.

The Full Strawberry Moon is named because of the short month of the harvesting of strawberries. It is also known as the Full Red Moon because as the Moon rises it appears reddish. Watch for that this month.

Another name is the Full Green Moon but there was no explanation. Perhaps it was because everything such as leaves and grass are all a beautiful green.

The full moon is on Wednesday the 28th.

To all our Fort Benton Sport Teams who came in on top or close, we are so proud of you. But not only the top teams but all of the youngsters who participate in sports be honored. You put in a lot of effort and time doing something you love and it is obvious that you are also #1 to all of us seniors. You bring back so many memories of winnings and losings in past years. Now our grandchildren and great grandchildren are playing all the sports games. Always remember to keep up the good work and the best thing is that you try. We love all of you.

Yes, it is a go on the new second floor balcony that will extend almost to the street. It seems that it was not done correctly when the building was renovated and will now be updated to code. It will be a beautiful addition to Front St. It will take time as the plans are just in the beginning stages. GO Wake Cup Coffee Shoppe.

It is only about 2 weeks until the fun days begin. I have only heard a couple of events that will take (or not take) place. There will not be a Pot-Luck on Friday evening. However, there will be food venders in the Park before the Pie Auction. No one will go hungry.

A new event this year will be “Fort Benton Has Talent.” It will be held in the Old Fort Park at 1:00 in the afternoon. I am sure you are all going to be first in line to sign up for this exciting program. I know that there are some very talented youngsters and oldsters that will fill our afternoon with song and dance. So sign up and get over to the Old Fort Park at 1:00 p.m. to make your choice. See you there.

I have to tell you that I am visually and hearing impaired. When you see me and say hello, I am not ignoring you. I just did not hear you nor see you. Please understand and know that I appreciate your patience and consideration. . Up close and personal is the only way I can identify who you are. I feel that I have not been able to be as observant as I once was. But then nothing is like it once was.

I share my problem with 20 million other Americans. I am very fortunate that I have so many loving and caring family and friends. Perhaps I should not say “I’ll see you there” any more. I’ll be there but I do not know if I will see you.  Love all of you so much.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

View From The Bridge 5/30/18

By Muncie

A week ago Tuesday evening Randy took me to Loma for the BLM program on Grizzly Bears.

There were about 36 people in attendance and was most informative. There were several new suggestions of what to do in case of a grizzly encounter. It was a program that I wish everyone could see.

The meeting was held at Ma’s in Loma because of the location. There are three (3) drainage areas within sight of Loma and these are places grizzlies may head for. It was once their area and they are returning without any hope of reclaiming it. I’ll check with the BLM to see if the program will be repeated. Thank you to the BLM for putting on this program and to Ma’s for sponsoring. (There have been bear sightings near and about Loma.)

On Saturday afternoon the Shriners held their annual fund day at and around the Pour House. It was a lovely day but a little too warm to sit in the sun. The dining areas were covered and my friends and I sat for a couple of hours just people watching. There were many games for children as well as a ride with the clowns. On my way home they passed me on Front St. several times. I wanted to ride with them but the heat was getting to me. This will be my fourth (4th) summer for heat exhaustion. I was told that it affects many people. Be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and rest when you need it which is often. It will be the lazy, hazy days of summer again.

The Accordion Band showed up at the Bluffs on last Sunday and entertained about 225 of us seniors. A relative of one of the musicians came with two (2) youngsters and they seemed to enjoy the old time music. We did have some dancers and enjoyed watching them. The band calls out for requests and come up with the melody. I can’t believe that it has been a year since they were here last. What a pleasant way to spend a lovely afternoon. Thank you to all involved.

Last week I told you about the robin and dove demanding that each other leave the nest. Well the dove won as the robin disappeared. Tonight I will check the colors of the eggs, but my friend who reported it to me said she would not be surprised if the eggs turned out to be “rob-ova". We’ll just have to wait and see.

There are two Killdeer bird nests in my neighbors and my driveways.  I had company after the ceremonies for Memorial Day and they discovered the nests when they parked in the front driveway. It is all stones and the eggs are the same color as the stones.  Mama bird was doing her usual thing to keep us from her nest. A large rock was put in front of her next so no one would park there. I used to see these birds on the mail route but never in town before. I want to assure her that we will provide her with the care and caution to protect her and the nest. 

I placed a couple of American Flags in the hollow tree this past week. The rabbit and carrot are still there. Please, “WHO”, come and pick them up because they are so precious. I do not have room to store them and I am sure you do not want them to end up in a resale shop.

Not last year, but the two years before, on Memorial Day I put a note with the River Press phone number on the wreath. With the help of the VFW, who sealed the letter in plastic, the note was attached to the wreath and thrown into the Missouri.

The first year the wreath was found about 6 miles downriver. I cannot remember where it was found the second year as when it was found it was thrown back into the river. Last year I did not make the arrangements to attach a note.

Yesterday I was told that a wreath was found in Nebraska with my note on it. The wreath ended up at the BLM office and a letter went to the VFW Montana Commandant that no plastic flowers or wreaths were to be thrown into the river.

At the Shiner’s fund raiser on Saturday I was told for the first time that the wreath was found in Nebraska. The River Press does not remember being called but the BLM became the recipient of the wreath.

I tried to track down the story but did not get very far. The announcement that was made at the last VFW meeting mentioned about not throwing plastic into the river but did not mention that the wreath was found in Nebraska. I’ll keep on it because I would actually like to know what happened. Will it be another mystery that I will never know what actually happened?  (That drives me crazy.)  I’ll keep checking tomorrow when everyone is back to work. If you have any information, please call me.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUR TROOPS, POLICE OFFICERS, FIREMEN/WOMEN, AND EMT’S. With another school shooting this past week it is beginning to be the norm. Thank goodness for those brave individuals who are risking their lives to stop the shooters. I would rather see it not happen again but only time will tell.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

View From The Bridge 5/16/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
Muncie Morger

I’m making excuses about forgetfulness. I completely forgot about Mother’s Day. I sincerely wish that you all had a wonderful day. You Mothers are all so special and deserve all the love coming to you.

I have been totally spaced out the last few weeks and things are looking up now. The trees are all budded out and I actually already received a bouquet of lilacs. My apartment smells like spring. Our grass was cut this week and that smells so fresh. It is also a beautiful color of green.

 As I rode through the park this week one day, I was amazed that the trees had budded out. It seems they did that overnight. With the warm days we had and a couple of rainy days it is for sure spring is here.

I also forgot to wish you a “May the forth be with you” on May 4th.

I am looking forward, someday soon, watching those movies from the beginning to the latest release. Anyone want to join me?

Last Thursday afternoon at the Grand Union Hotel the sweet sounds of the Cello entertained 50 plus people. The program was Chopin’s music and his history was so enlightening. Chopin died at 39 years of age and we cannot possibly image what music he would have created if he had lived longer.

On May 27th, the Accordion Band from Great Falls will be entertaining at the Sunrise Bluffs. They are a volunteer band that comes to Fort Benton once a year. They play all kinds of music. There is also dancing although not very many couples take advantage of that.

I hope that there will be a large crowd that will come even though they do not dance.  Dancing is encouraged and there is a gentleman who is always looking for a partner. Just to listen to the music is worth the trip.

There will be a dinner at the Bluffs at 1:00. Please call Karla at 622- 5443 for a reservation. They need a head count to know how many there will be for dinner. The music begins at about 1:30 p.m. They take requests and can accommodate your request for almost anything you can request. (But please do not ask for Beethoven’s 5th. That would be a little much.)

Please make an effort to enjoy this delightful afternoon. These musicians are all volunteers and give a great deal of their time practicing, driving here there and everywhere, and performing. Show them that you appreciate their efforts by making an effort to attend. See you there.

Plan on making a trip to Benton Pharmacy on Friday June 8th. The annual party is loads of fun and lots of food. Our Chris Halko is Jimmy’s best fan in Montana much like I am with Garth Brooks.

There will be lots of conversation, music, and just in general a fun party. See you there.

Please check the community calendar in the River Press for upcoming events.  There are events going on every day or so it seems.  Put the dates on your calendar now before you forget.

There are many school events including several concerts.  Don’t forget the plant exchange and sale and the Shriner’s fund raiser at the Pour House in the next few weeks.

Even though I mark my calendar I like reminders. So call your family and friends to remind them and perhaps there will come a day when your will get a call for an event you forgot about. (I hear a lot about “I forgot.”)

One lovely day last week I was returning home along Main Street. There on the street were a group of youngsters painting the Buffalo Tracks that lead from the Museum of the Upper Missouri to the Agricultural Center. These tracks are such a great way for volunteers are the museums and visitors center to guide visitors from one museum to the other.

I inquired as to who was doing the painting and found that it was “THE HONOR SOCIETY” of Fort Benton High School. What a tremendously great project that is and is much appreciated by our community. We thank you very much as well as the Longhorns cleanup for making our city the nicest it can be. (How I wish I had your energy.)

This announcement is difficult for me because I am emotionally involved. I have had conversations with both sides and can understand both.

I heard a rumor last week that the Center will not be open on Saturday and Sunday beginning in June. The most urgent reason is finances. I do not believe that there are any of us who are not having problems with our budgets. Everything keeps costing more and more.

The Center is and has been hit hard with inflation especially the cost of food. There is also the cost of maintenance and hiring extra help for Sundays, Tuesday, and cinnamon roll days.

I have wondered over the past few years, how the Center manages to know how much to prepare. For some reason they always seemed to manage. It has now become a problem for several reasons. For example, the food that was prepared for Mother’s Day for 5o people had an attendance was 15 for dinner.

Another problem was reservations for the once -a- month dinners on Tuesday late afternoon. Reservations were required with a limit of 48 people. Reservations were made but the reservists did not show. What do you do with all those special dinners?

One excuse for those Tuesday dinners was the weather. If I remember correctly 2 of the dinners were cancelled because of snow storms.

This cancellation of the Saturday and Sunday meals is only temporary. I would like the members to give suggestions to the members of the board. This Senior Center has been in existence for years. I have seen, here in Fort Benton that things change temporarily and never return to the way they were.

So, Members of the Golden Age Senior Center put on your thinking caps and come up with some solutions to SAVE the CENTER.

Would you accept a rise in price? (You cannot get a dinner for $4.00 anywhere.) Would you like a raise in the yearly membership cost? Would you like just a lunch menu instead of a dinner?

The reason I am emotional about this happening is because I so enjoyed my Sundays with dinner at the Center. Most of the women at my table are widows and do not cook any longer. It was such a wonderful social time and a fresh start of the week. What is going to happen to the puzzle people and the card players? Will they just continue during the week? It seems to me that it would not be as fun because people have things to do during the week.

So, there it is and whatever happens is up to you. Come up with some great ideas to keep things like they used to be. Let the Board know your ideas and feelings about the situation.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

View From The Bridge 5/9/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
BY Muncie

It just gets better and better every year. Let’s start from the beginning. We were met at the door by a line of students who were waiting to escort us to our places. The personalized name tags were ready and waiting. The backdrop was decorated with large paper flowers with a huge yellow flower depicting the sun. This flower was actually made make from the hand prints of the students….awesome.  There were beautiful signed place mats made by the students. There were yellow paper flowers on each table and I was told they were made by the 2nd graders. (I hope I got that right.) All that participated, to organize this luncheon together, were recognized.

The turkey dinner with all the trimmings were served by the most wonderful cooks. How lucky the school kids are to have such a crew. I especially loved the bread pudding.

My favorite part of this program is the entertainment. Each class did a spectacular job and what a job it was. (How long did you have to practice to learn all those songs?)

I went home with two of the flower arrangements and they now decorate the hollow tree. I hope that the rain does not ruin them. I love looking at them across the street. Yellow flowers are my favorites and they are like a burst of sunshine.

Thank you, Fort Benton Elementary School, from the bottom of my heart and from all of the other grandparents and seniors that enjoyed the afternoon.

This evening the T.C. Dance and Co. presented their recital at the Elementary School. Just as I saw the how the youngsters at the luncheon have grown taller each year, it holds true for the dancers. It truly was like a Broadway show with much of the music that I remember from my lifetime. You all brought back many memories and I loved every minute of your show.

Just a little observation for boys and young men. It is very important for you to know now to dance. Females like it when a partner can lead. It is said that if a gal has a good leader, she can follow any dance. So think about taking lessons and it does not make you a sissy. Be proud of your dancing skills and just enjoy it.

This advice also goes for taking music lessons. Anyone who can entertain with a musical instrument is the life of the party. You may end up being a John Denver or Garth Brooks. Then I can say I knew you when.

Just a reminder that I have been dubbed a columnist for the River Press. I am not a reporter. I do not go searching for stories. They have to come to me.

I depend upon events planners to let me know a couple of weeks ahead of time what the details are planned. I do have a couple of planners that call me regularly and for that I am grateful. I do not get around town as much as I did before I moved what is called “out in the country.”

Some folks tell me that they read the View for info about what is going on in town. Unfortunately they miss a lot of ads for various reasons including eyesight.

If you would like your event to be in the View from the Bridge, please call me. It doesn’t hurt to have it in 2 places but remember that I can only put it in the view if you have an ad in the paper.

It seems as though the other columnists do get phone calls although they write a different venue. I do not write about engagements, weddings, anniversaries, or baby’s arrivals. I would like to know about long time anniversaries and babies who have a long history of generations. I would also like to know about birthdays of 80 and over.

 So I hope that I will get some phone calls because since I don’t get around much anymore, it becomes difficult to find interesting stories. It seems that I write about my adventurers, that I have, but I would like to hear about yours. Will my phone now ring off the wall? I certainly will welcome that.

Thank you Longhorns. You did a tremendous job cleaning up many areas in town that needed it. You deserve so much and whatever they are paying you, it isn’t enough. (That is my joke of the week.)
Residents of Fort Benton, take note of some of the accomplishments that brightened up our town. All the bronze statues were polished. That included Shep, Lewis and Clark, the Cowboy, and Governor Meagher. That is a huge job that has to be done every year.

Take note of the triangle by the boat launch. Much work was done there with trimming out bushes and removing weeds. It looks fantastic.

Another job that does not show is the removal of the old shed behind the Baker House. It is now completely gone. It was all due to the Longhorns. They were brave to tackle what someone called mouse and black widow heaven.

Not only did these youngsters work hard, they learned life lessons. Volunteering is a lot of work but it is a lot of fun and the satisfaction of knowing that you helped is so fuzzy warm.

I would like to express my sympathy to the 5 families of Fort Benton residents that have passed on in the last few weeks. They will be sorely missed and remembered as the dear souls they were.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

View From The Bridge 5/2/18

View From The Bridge
By Muncie Morger

Last week Mother Nature gave us a beautiful spring week. I go-go-ed around town without a jacket or a sweater. It was glorious! I like spring best because it’s not too cold and it’s not too warm. Enjoy! Son Randy took me for a ride on Saturday on a road on the west side of the airport to listen to the symphony of the meadowlarks. Many people have told me they have seen robins and meadowlarks, but no one had a specific date.

On the second Monday of May (May 14) is the pinochle party at the Sunrise Bluffs at 1 p.m. There will be many prizes and refreshments. Put it on your calendar.

I discovered over the weekend that the other rabbit and his big carrot were gone. I was hoping that something about spring would be in the hollow tree. I talked to a man who said he knew who it was, but was afraid to disclose it. He actually said he did not know her name, but knew her by her face. So, it goes on and on.

Another job that needs to be done is there are large chunks of bark near the tree. Perhaps you will get there and clean that up before I do.
Perhaps a nice plant or a bunch of violets could also appear. I won’t see you there because you come in the dark of night.

I hope that you got your RSVP in. Please note the bus will pick you up at the Bluffs at 12:30 and will pick up at the Golden Age Senior Center at 12:45. You will be returned after the program is over.
It’s worth going to this program just for the entertainment by the elementary school kids. See you there!

The day after next week’s River Press comes out will be the Piatigorsky Foundation event at the Grand Union at 4:30 in the afternoon. I know that I will see all of you classical buffs there. I hope that there is a good turnout for this open to the public, free concert.

Longhorn Day, the Senior Luncheon and the TC Dance recital are all on this day. Check the River Press Community Calendar for times.

The full moon was on Sunday the 29th, but was not visible because of overcast skies. May’s full moon will also be on the 29th.

The May moon is called the Flower Moon. In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.