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.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

View From The Bridge

Muncie Morger

You know that it is spring when The Freeze is open. I have not been able to reach Laurie but heard on the grapevine that you can look forward to it happening the first weekend in May. It  is the meeting place of Fort Benton. It is so summer-like when the umbrellas are open and the tables are filled with people cooling off or having lunch. It doesn’t hurt to stop by for an ice cream cone.

Over last weekend I rode my GoGo down the Levee Walking Trail and met many visitors. I also saw two young women with looked like what were double strollers on a walk. I talked to several visitors who chose that beautiful Sunday to spend with their families in historic places. They had just been up to Havre as a destination place that included Fort Benton.

Another Spring-like happening was a crowded playground. I tooted the horn and waved and my wave was returned. It was again another family outing. I love the slide best of all and when I used to take my grandson, Grayson, to the park it was not unusual to see me sliding down.

Last but not least were the happy gardeners that were busy cleaning up the Community Garden. They were having a difficult time because the wind was blowing the leaves as fast as they were trying to rake them up. I really enjoyed the garden last year and look forward to see if different kinds of veggies are planted. Go gardeners.

To the mystery hollow tree decorator I have a message. My Peter Rabbit is going into retirement this coming weekend and spring will be featured. Are you ready for that or will you do as you did for Valentine’s and St. Patty’s day? I am ready and the mystery goes on. I still think that it is a Community Garden person. Remember that I am offering a reward if anyone admits to or knows any information.

On Wednesday May 2nd from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. there will be a community conversation program. It will be about the Upper Missouri River Heritage Area. If you want to put in your two cents worth, please be there to share  your opinion. It will be similar to a Town Hall Meeting. It would be impressive if there was a huge crowd at this event. So come on down to the Ag Museum to enjoy refreshments at 5:30 p.m. and the start of the meeting at 6:00 p.m.

It will be here before you know it and I am going to nag the community again about putting up an American Flag. It is a sign of love of country and is so important at this time to let every one know how Americans feel about their heritage and their country.

I could not fly my flag several times in the last few months because of the wind. It came in and out of the apartment because you do not have to fly the flag in inclement weather. I leave my porch light on all the time so I do not forget to turn it on in the evening. It lights up the porch very well and it makes me proud to see it waving in soft breezes.

So get on down to the hardware store and get yourself a flag. If some of the women cannot put the bracket up, just let me know and I will arrange to it taken care of, and your flag will be up and flying quickly. My flag is a constant reminder of all of those who have died to defend our country. The least we can do is to put up a flag.

We are not getting along very well on this second try to do the View. We are both stubborn and want to do it our way. Of course guess who is the winner. It isn’t me! Therefore there have been many phone calls for help. Thanks to Connie, Sharalee, and Bethany, who are being very patient with me in learning this blanket, blank, computer who will not give in. I may beat it into oblivion by next week.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

View From The Bridge 4/18/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

A very great evening was had by all last Saturday evening at the Ag Center for the Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. The formal dinner and speaker was replaced by a fun evening of choosing food prepared by local restaurants, a live auction, a silent auction, and topped off by a terrific band from Hardin, MT. The dance floor was a popular place and was always full of dancers. It was such fun to watch them. The band played songs, old and new, that were familiar.

I spoke with the female singer while they were setting up. I asked what kind of music they play and she asked me what I liked. I told her that I liked “old country” and later in the evening she dedicated a Patsy Cline song to me.

The evening began at 6:00 p.m. and it was about 10:00 p.m. when I arrived home.

I hope that the Chamber continues with this venue. It was not that I did not enjoy the formal dinner and especially the speaker, but it was down to earth enjoyment.

Today is Monday the 16th and I am on the agenda for the City Council meeting this evening. The reason being two women who live at the Sunrise Bluffs asked me if there was anything I could do about a handicapped fishing site in Fort Benton. A location will be difficult to find as the Levee is steep. The new extension of the Levee Walking Trail would not accommodate a wheelchair. I am sure it will all be worked out and I just wanted all you handicapped fisher persons to know that perhaps it may happen. I did not realize how many fishermen and women there were around town.

Please help support this project by word of mouth or a phone call to our City Hall.

Every Sunday morning on PBS a program called Face the State is featured. I think it should be an ordinance that every household watch it. It covers many subjects about Montana and so far it is not political. Recently it has touched on agriculture, old age problems, and this past Sunday it was about weather. It is a subject talked about here, there, and everywhere. It is the most talked about subject and I like to hear about statistics and records. Our River Press has had great articles about Fort Benton’s weather. I think we all agree that this was a tough winter and wonder what our summer will be like, (if we ever get a spring and summer.”

What a day that was. It began snowing the evening before and when I woke that Friday morning it was snowing beautifully. The large snowflakes were covering everything. I guessed the snowfall was about 3 or 4 inches. Then it stopped snowing and the sun came out. I am sure that spring began at that point. I had 4 appointments that day so I was out and about all over town. I was thrilled to see people with shorts on, no winter coats, light jackets and sweaters, and driving with windows down. It begins getting dark about 8:00 p.m. and I am loving it. Enjoy because time flies when you are having fun.

I am not very observant and I was concerned that when I went to the Elementary School and rang the bell for entry, the buzzer rang immediately to let me in.  Then I was told that there is a camera up in the corner and you can be seen before the buzzer lets you in. It is the same at the High School.

I am very pleased about a Police Officer having an office at the school. God forbid we ever have an incident but it is better to be safe than sorry.

I am doing this article on my new computer. So far I have had about one hour of training in Windows 10 and so far so good. The problem may come when I try to send it but I will test it shortly. I was having a great deal of trouble with spell check with my old computer because it had a blue background with white print. I could not make the print larger and this computer’s spell check is quite different and much easier to manage.

I know this does not interest those of you who do not have a computer but many of you do. At this point in my life I wish I had never started with one. On the other hand I think about the 19 years I have been doing the View and all the wonderful connections I have with family and friends using e-mail. Yes, thinking it over I am happy with my computer because it kept me connected with the world.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

View From The Bridge 4/11/2018

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Opening day of the Signal Point Golf Course was, what I hoped, the last snow covered ground this spring. Last weeks River Press reported that Mark Johnsrud was the new manager and I wanted to chat with him about calling me when events took place at the most beautiful golf course around the area.

The first question asked was “When is tee-off time?” The answer was “about “Mid July.” True story! Will spring ever arrive? As of this moment I really doubt it. I am so tired of seeing snow. It is so beautiful when it starts coming down but so ugly when it gets dirty.

So, back to the Signal Point Golf course story. Mark had some orange golf balls for those addicted players but so far no one had taken him up on it. (I’ll bet that even if Mark had offered a free game, no one would have taken him up on it.)

By the way…who ever put that breakfast together did a great job. Thank you.

Look for any news about Signal Point Golf Course here in the View.  Nothing is planned at this time.

Mother Nature seems to have a thing about giving a break on her winter hold during planned performances. The last three shows have been poorly attended because of cold and snowy conditions. Again last Saturday’s Pub night was a snowy disaster. It kept the crowd down to a little over 100 attendees.

Those that left early because of snowy and icy roads missed a rock and roll time. A conga line started and they circled around the room. Others began dancing at their tables and it soon seemed that everyone was up and dancing. It was a blast and a good time was had by all.

The last C.C.P.A. performance of the season will feature the founder and artistic director of the Piatigorsky Foundation, celebrated cellist Evan Drachman, along with pianist Efi Hackmey. They will perform works by Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, and Grieg. Be at the Grand Union on Thursday, May 10th at 4:30.

Tickets for next season that will begin in September will be on sale. They will also be available through- out this spring and summer. Be an early bird lock in your tickets. (Can you picture the table and a C.C.P.A. board member this summer at the Farmer’s Market?)

Please support the Chouteau County Performing Arts. The Board works so hard to bring this entertainment to our small rural community. Do not let C.C.P.A. fade away as so many other events.

Barb and Joann arrived on Easter Sunday afternoon from Michigan. Neither had ever been to Montana before. It has been 10 years since I last saw them.
When I first heard that they were coming, I had no idea how to entertain them. Well, we were on the go every minute of every day. If you readers ever have that problem, let me know.  I will give you an itinerary schedule that will cover mostly the history of Fort Benton and some of Great Falls.

They said that they loved all the places that we covered and will return soon when it is sunny and warm. The weather was not a problem but then I was not the driver. Barb did all the driving and I provided the directions. I managed to get them lost twice but they insisted that we did not go that far out of the way.

They are both interested in history and Fort Benton certainly was their ticket to history heaven. Even though the museums, the BLM Interpretive Center, and the Fort were not open, Fronts Street’s history was enough to hold them until they return.

They stayed until Thursday late afternoon and I immediately began to miss them. Time flies by so quickly every day but it was twice as fast when they were here. Saying so long is difficult and I will think about how much I enjoyed having them visit.

Joann is a teacher and she wanted to stay at the Ag Museum’s library and archives area to read Bob Doerk’s notebooks about the Blackfeet Native Americans. Since I worked on those notebooks at the Ag Center, I was so happy to see that they have such a beautiful book shelves storage area. I am sure that Bob’s spirit had a lot to do with their preservation.

I have received a new computer with all the trimmings from a Helen Keller Foundation grant to continue writing the View from the Bridge. A program called I Connect is also involved. I relate this to my readers because when it is installed this week I may not have a View next week.

The reason for what may be a delay is because I will have to learn Windows 10. My computer expert son assured me that it will be easy because Windows 10 is in two parts. I only need to pay attention to the first part that is like Windows 7. 

So keep me in your good thoughts and hopefully I will be able to get a View to you the following week. Gee, I hate pressure.

I did get to Loma last Saturday for the Flea Market. I bought the cutest little coffee table although I saw many wonderful collectibles. I am still trying to get rid of much of my “stuff.” The vendor assured me that it was an antique and actually I didn’t care because I thought it was so adorable. I was looking for a table that was small and found it. It has claw-legs that indicate it may be old but then again some clever person may have used the legs from some other piece and put a top on it. It is painted white and I prefer it be darker. I’ll take it to an expert to have it checked if it is the real thing. What fun!

The Flea Market seemed to be somewhat larger with more variety this year. It amazes me who the vendors set up all their wares. It must take hours. They have more patience than I do.

In Michigan a friend of mine lived in a subdivision that had garage sales once a year. Every household would have a table in the driveway. Some energetic families would serve food and since one was there all day, one would get thirsty and hungry. Lemonade and sandwiches tasted mighty good after dragging a wagon around from street to street. It was such fun. Would anyone in Fort Benton like to organize an event like that?

It certainly would be a great way to meet your neighbors. Since there are annual garage sales by organizations and churches, perhaps an idea would be to donate half of what you sell to a charity of your choice.

Maybe I had better forget the whole thing. Sounds like too much work to me.

The Prairie Rose Art Studio will show “The Promise of Art in our Youth” on April 20th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The entire store will be stocked with our Elementary and High Schools students’ art work. It is open to the public and is another highlight of the school year.

I have attended these shows in the past and am awed with the work on display. I actually was employed at Frames Unlimited in Michigan for 10 years. I saw hundreds of pieces of art and worked with college aged artists. I do not know a lot about art but know what pleases my eye. I am looking forward to the 20th and see you there.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

View From The Bridge 4/4/18

By Muncie

Did any of your readers check out the rabbits in the hollow tree? Peter Rabbit is so adorable that I am going to ask him to come and live with me until next Easter. For now he is enjoying the hollow tree although it is a bit cold out there.

In spite of the snow covered Fort Park area, the bunnies showed up with their winter coats and boots on. They cleared the “egg field” in about 5 to 6 minutes. A good time was had by all. By mid-afternoon the sun had peeked up for a few seconds and melted the snow.

Then today, Monday, winter returned with vengeance. It was not going to give up that easily and was not going to give the city workers a rest. Now, I do not like seeing them in their big machines trying to clear the streets for those who must go out to work.

As for myself, I have two nieces visiting that flew here from Michigan and we are just going to hang out and watch some old movies. I didn’t have a plan B about where to take them if the weather was nasty. Please Mother Nature, clear this up by tomorrow. The only consolation is that it is not much nicer where they came from.

Two weeks ago I reported that the next Monday was the last VFW Bingo was the last one of the season. NOT! It is next Monday night, the April 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the Club House. Since this is the last Bingo night of the season, I wish for a large crowd. There is plenty of room and a very happy crowd of regulars. See you there.

It seemed to me that this annual event was here very quickly. Like everything else, it seemed far in the distance when you first heard about it and then suddenly it was time to enjoy the day. See you there too.

Next Saturday evening will also be very entertaining when the annual Pub Night will take place at the Ag Center. So put on your dancing shoes or just come to enjoy the music. I have heard this band before and they are great.

This event is open to the public so every “bunny” is welcome. It will be a busy day on Saturday. See you there.

Kate phoned me and offered a ride to the last Lenten Luncheon at the Methodist Church in Geraldine last week. We sat with Lila Armstrong and she was a wealth of stories about the recent play in Geraldine. Lila is the director.

She said that the recent play was a great success. People told her that the weather would affect the audience but this turned out to be very negative. The ticket sales showed a full house for every performance. Hurray!

The only problem was the thought as to what Jo Alice could come up with next year to top this year’s story line. We wish you the best Jo Alice and are looking forward to next year.  Thank you all in Geraldine for a wonderful entertaining weekend. Fort Benton loves you and I approve this message.

On Thursday April the 19th the Humana birthday cake agent, Bill, will be visiting the Golden Age Senior Center. If you have a problem or would just like to chat with him the time frame is 10:30 a.m. until he feels he is finished.

Thank you for the birthday cakes, Bill, we enjoy the last Sunday of the month. We are getting spoiled but it is about time I say. (Just  kidding!)

I would like to see some new faces at the Golden Age. Just give it a try to see the pass times that they offer. There may be one that you take a fancy to or perhaps you may want to start one of your own. Last week the started playing Scribble. Those of you who are good spellers should show up for those games. Time is flying by too quickly to not want to enjoy every minute of every day

I am so sorry that I missed honoring all of you last week at the Sunrise Bluffs. I truly appreciate everything that you did during those trying times. You made the ultimate sacrifices and I am very proud of all of you.

I hope that you checked out the new Veterans Photo Walls at the Bluffs while you were there. If your picture is not there please let me know. May you enjoy the best things in life and know that you are heroes.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

View From The Bridge 3/28/18

By Muncie

It looks as though most of the snow will be gone by Sunday. At least everyone hopes so especially the Lions Club who will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. Check the River Press for time and exact locations for each age group.

That frees up Sunday for Church going, dinner time, and travel time if you are going out of town. (Drive carefully…I know that you would do that regardless of my reminding you.)

Have a great, happy, and fun day. Usually Easter is spring break time so enjoy that too. Take your time traveling, leave early and do not be in a hurry.

(I wrote most of the View on Saturday, and Sunday’s weather report does not look like we would want. We will have several days of 50’s and even 60’s and then it will turn chilly again with rain. Woe is me!)

All of the Chouteau County Performing Arts programs are truly the greatest but Pub Night is the most favorite. Can you believe that it will be a week from Saturday, the 7th of April?

Please invite your family and friends to join you at a table either to dance or just to listen to the music. I it will be like a music New Year’s Eve.

If you attended the consortium in Great Falls a year ago January, you heard the John Roberts y Pan Blanco band perform. They are good and I know that you will truly have a wonderful time. See you there.

The next and last show for this season will be the Piatigorsky Foundation on Thursday, May 10th at 4:30 in the afternoon. This is held at the Grand Union where the setting is a classical one. Cheryl’s grand piano once belonged to her Mom. It has been enjoyed for years in its new home. See you there.

These days it seems as though people classify themselves as “this kind of person” or “that kind of person.” An example is “I am not a dessert kind of person.” (That is wishful thinking on my part.)

So this reminder is for pinochle player’s kind of people. There seem to be many of them in Fort Benton because the Sunrise Bluffs are again having one of their special pinochle parties. It takes place next Monday, April 2 at 1:00, in the Bluffs dining room.

There will be prizes, snacks, beverages, and lots of hospitality. A good time will be had by all and for those addicted players a great fix until the next time.

I still am not able to report on who the person is who is entertaining us at the hollow tree at the corner of Front St. and 22nd. I hope that you are enjoying this story as it continues because you have not been able to see it. Bear with me as I am having a ball with it. I am playing detective and not being very successful. I am not able to take fingerprints or molds of boot/shoe tracks in the show. Just wild guesses are all I have to work with. I was hoping for a “snitch” but “the who?” must have faithful family and friends. With spring and Memorial Day being the next decorating days, I will have to do all night vigils and then perhaps I may see someone at the hollow tree.

Now, why would “the who?” want to put me through losing all that sleep? So please spare me that agony and let me know who you are. I will promise my next great grandchild that I will not reveal your secret. Well, after thinking that over, perhaps it is a little too much. I’ll just promise “pinkie finger” or if you do not know what that is, just a good old fashioned Fort Benton handshake.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

View From The Bridge 3/21/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

Just when I sang her praises last week she turns around and gives us another winter blast. Snow and cold are no longer in my vocabulary and if all this snow and cold is not gone by Easter, I am never going to have anything to do with her again. There I said it and now I feel better. Are you all behind me?

This fun holiday is only a week and a half away. Have you got your Easter bonnets ready? Back when I was young, the Easter outfit was a very big thing. We had to wear hats to Church then and it was a blast to see the hats.  The colors were pinks, purples, yellows, and greens.  Dyed hard boiled eggs have now been replaced with plastic. Hats are no longer needed and jeans have replaced dresses. We seniors long for the old traditions but have to go along with the changes. Only our memories remain and perhaps an old hat or two remain in a closet.

Easter parades are also a thing of the past. If you lived in a big city (which I did not,) you and your whole family would walk up and down an area that was judged for the most attractive outfits.

The real meaning of Easter has been lost as Christmas.  It is all commercial now and has become a mania of shopping for gifts and candy.  Only the dentists benefit. Amen for now.

I hope that I am not boring you with this story but I must say that it has kept me amused during this dreary winter days.

I must be watching too many “Garage Sale Mysteries.” I am working on the elimination process to track down the person who is decorating the hollow tree at the corner of 22nd and Front St.  Since no one will own up to decorating the tree, I have several clues as to who it might be.

The first clue is that it must be a woman who loves to decorate and is very artistic. Secondly she used the community garden (because of the pumpkin,) and third must live in the neighborhood of the hollow tree. From the direction of the footprints, she and her helper came in from Front

I thought this person had given up the project because of the snow and drifts and there were no decorations for Valentine’s Day or St. Patty’s Day. I put a Valentine Heart in the tree but it blew away. I had a friend staple the leprechaun to the tree for St. Patty’s Day.

This afternoon, Sunday the 18th, I used my walker for support to get to the tree. As I stepped on the drift I would sink into my knees. Lo and behold, there was a welcoming wooden rabbit.

I would really like to know who you are so we can work together. I promise that I will never reveal who you are.  Please give me a call and we can discuss further holidays over coffee. I also am offering a reward of 2 dozen Lemon Bars to anyone who will give me information. (That is not a joke!)

The jolly Leprechaun has left his position on the hollow treed. (I think he went south.) In his place is taken by no other than my Peter Rabbit. I know that because his vest has his name on it. It is appropriate that he has taken up residence next to the community garden even though there is nothing there for him and Farmer Brown is not around. Perhaps Peter is just going to wait until summer. He joins the Welcome Rabbit to wish you a very happy Easter.

I hope you were able to visit with the Leprechaun but Front St. and 22nd were so terrible ruddy, it was almost impossible to drive much less walk. I will just have to be content with his picture in the River Press.

Just a reminder that Loma Days will be held on April 7th, the Saturday after Easter. See you there.

The last VFW Bingo will be on March 28th at the Club House at 7:00 p.m.

The VFW has been plagued with sickness and snow which cancelled man of their scheduled games this winter. Perhaps spring will be a little kinder and this last Bingo night of the season will take place. See you there.

On Saturday, the 31st of March and the day before Easter, will be the annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Lions Club of Fort Benton. Check the River Press for the times and locations for each age group. If you have never watched this hunt or had kiddos hunting, then you should go to the park for a fun few minutes. I love watching the infant to3 year olds and the 4 to5 year olds. It warms your heart to see the loving parents trying to help their little egg hunters. A good time is had by all.

The ever popular PUB NIGHT will be on Saturday April 7th at the Ag Center. The Pan Blanco band from Bozeman sounds very exciting. The word SALSA is a dance that I hope fills the dance floor. If you do not dance then just come and enjoy the music and people watching. See you there.

Some of my faithful following have contacted me by way of word of mouth or cards. I want them to know that I thank them for their concern and they would be Jeff in Great Falls, Marilyn in WA. and Ginger in AZ.

I am supposed to get a new computer in the next few weeks and will contact you with a letter. Just know that you are in my thoughts too.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

By Muncie

Spring is on the way. By the time you read this weeks edition, spring will only be a few days away. The weather is already looking up, the Missouri is clear of ice, and people have been spotting robins.

Next Tuesday, the 20th, will be the welcomed arrival of one of the most looked forward to seasons. In about a month from that day, the trees will be budding out and the grass will be a lovely green.

So get out and enjoy the wonderful gift that Mother Nature will be giving us. I am so cheered up that I am ready to walk along the levee trail singing. It would not be a pretty sight so I hope none of you see me. I am not flipping out but just released from the cabin fever I have had for months now. Enjoy every minute of every day and pass along those smiles to every one you meet.

Can you tell that I am quite happy? It is 6:15 on Sunday evening and it is still light out. The sun has not yet set and I am enjoying gazing out my living room window to see the beautiful sparkling diamonds on the snow. It will soon be just another memory and topic of conversations well into spring and summer.

On Saturday when I drove on Main St., I saw several people digging the snow to search for the drains. The melting snow has made huge puddles of water that has nowhere to go. The street I live on is not paved and has not melted as quickly as those that are paved. I am wondering where the water will go. I just have to wait and see. Well, enough about the weather.

There will be a Tuesday night dinner at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 20th. At the Golden Age Center. Get signed up today by calling 622-3601. The last two months the dinner was cancelled and you do not have to guess as to why? It will be good to see old friends again and share winter experiences. I wish that you would share some of those stories with me. I only had one, and that was the one whole week I did not leave the apartment and entertained the worse cabin fever ever.

I know two friends who live out of town and they were held hostage by the storms for two whole weeks. Actually, we should not be complaining. Those poor folks in the eastern side of the country have lost electricity for days at a time. That means no heat, no way to cook unless they had a grill, and no way to purchase food. The grocery stores emptied out very quickly and the frozen food was the first to go.

Have you noticed that Fort Benton has not lost electricity in a long time? That new power station must be doing its job. Thank you to whoever is responsible. I just dreaded resetting all my clocks every time that happened.

On March 20th, there will be a program on “You’re Heart” at the Chouteau County public library. You Senior Citizens can go from the Golden Age Senior Center dinner to the library to learn from this very important program about your heart and how it functions.
It is especially import for women because most often they do not know that they are experiencing a heart attack. Symptoms are different then men’s in most cases. Make an effort to be there to learn. It may save your life.

About once a year, a band from Great Falls entertains at the Sunrise Bluffs. They usually come in March, but because of the uncertainty of the weather, they have set their schedule for April. I will let you know as soon as I hear when that will be.

I am mentioning it now to encourage everyone who loves old time music to plan on being at the Bluffs. There is also dancing but you do not have to dance. Just come and enjoy the music.

It is a labor of love for these people to entertain almost every Sunday at Senior Centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and churches. Another of my dreams is to have the dining room at the Bluffs filled with people dancing, singing along, and just enjoying the music. I would like them to know that Fort Benton appreciates their efforts by making an effort to be there.

I did not think that there was life after basketball but find that my schedule is filling up quickly. There are many events to look forward to.  Next month is Pub Night for the CCPA, Loma Days on the 7th of April (thank you Pat for that information,), a final Bingo game at the VFW for the season, and multiple meetings and events.  There is always something going on in Fort Benton. Our snowbirds will be returning to enjoy spring in Montana and a get-a-way from the heat in the south. I would like to hear from them. I have to live world travel through their adventures and I enjoy that. (Thank you to Kelly in AZ for remembering that March is a difficult month for me.)

Easter approaches so quickly and it will be here after 3 more Lenten Luncheons. Before you read this, there will have been a luncheon at the Community Bible Church. The next two weeks the participants will travel to Geraldine to share the soup and bread lunch. I am so envious of those wonderful women who make such a variety of soup receipts.

More than anything, I enjoy the company of these devoted souls who are the kindest people I know. Fort Benton is blessed to have them.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

View From The Bridge 2/21/18

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

It is late Saturday afternoon and I just got the word that the Longhorn Girls Basketball Team won the district championship over Box Elder 52 to 51. It is not good luck but hard determination on the part of the team.  I am upset that I wasn’t there and blame it on the weather. I know there were fans that drove to Havre for three days, but when I heard on the news to stay off the roads unless it was an emergency, I stayed home.

I can picture in my mind over and over, that hard fought game and that very last basket that won the game. Actually, I do not know how I could have handled those few moments at my age. I have seen many basketball games over the years and many were thrilling. However, that final game last Saturday takes all.

Congratulations Fort Benton Longhorn Girls and we love you for what you have done for our town. You made the possible happen and it has inspired all of your fans. Now on to Divisional this coming week in Great Falls. There is no more snow forecast and it will just be extremely cold. See you there.

The sad part about last Tuesdays Chouteau County Performing Arts program was that more people could not be there because of the snow storm. It was, without a doubt, the best show that has ever been presented. The Phat Pack, pronounced Fat Pack, a name I will explain later, was a Las Vegas show. You would have paid big bucks to see them there. If you had a CCPA seasons ticket the cost was just a tad over $5.00.

The pianist, Philip Fortenberry, has appeared in Fort Benton several times. One appearance was just his piano playing. In Vegas, he teamed up with the three singers and the group was formed. Every song they sang and every story they told made you feel that you wanted them to go on and on. They were awesome.

Because the name of their Las Vegas show is “Phantom: Las Vegas Spectacular,” they chose the Ph and at to mimic Frank Sinatra’s gang the Rat Pack. Do you remember that group?

They sang Broadway tunes and a favorite song from the Phantom of the Opera. Since I get a ride to the Elementary School early, I was sitting in my seat 45 minutes early. Philip was practicing and I asked him to play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for me. He did and it was a tear jerker. It will always be a treasured memory.

I was also able to attend the students show at 1:30 p.m. The Phat Pack sang a song about “Dreams” and told about their dreams and how they became what they are today. They all came from small rural towns and ended up in big cities like Vegas and New York because they followed their dreams. They encouraged the audience to follow their dreams no matter what. Most of the show was questions and answers about the dreams of the students.

I hope that the Phat Pack return someday when our town is not covered with snow. I would love them to see the Missouri flowing quietly, green grass, leaves on the trees, our beautiful park, our historic buildings open, and our wonderful walking trail. (I think we would all like to see that right now. Oh well, just think, winter is half over.)

Isn’t it amazing to watch the weather patterns? I have been here for 25 years and have never see this much snow in Fort Benton. The most I remember is about 8 in. Randy tells me that on the 24th of this month, we will not have seen ground for 2 months. It began snowing on December 24th and has not stopped since.  What I feel bad about is that I am missing the basketball district tournaments in Havre.  I know some brave souls have gone the last couple of days but we were asked on TV to stay off the roads.

Many of the old timers who have lived there all of their lives can tell some very interesting stories about weather here when they were kids.  One that Wally, (my late husband,) told me was when the temperature dropped 80 degrees in a few hours. The Missouri drove so smooth that they could ice skate on it. What fun that must have been.

I wonder what ever happened to the ice skating rink that was here when I moved to town. If there is a rink, would someone let me know?

By popular demand there will be another Pinhole card party at the Sunrise Bluffs. On Monday the 5th of March at 1:00 p.m. the festivities will begin. This card party has grown into a very popular event. The organizers are inviting you a couple of weeks ahead of time so put it on your calendars. The weather should have broken by then and it will be wonderful to get out doing a little socializing. I have heard from many that they are tired of being cooped up and have cabin fever.

On Friday, the 23rd, the Humana Insurance man, Bill Thompson, will be there to bring a birthday cake for the Senior Citizens to celebrate their birthdays and anniversaries on Sunday the 25th. His company is giving the Golden Age the cake.

He also will answer any of your questions and will listen to your comments or concerns.

Try to make it on Friday and return on Sunday to enjoy February birthdays and anniversaries. Our Golden Age Senior Center is so special. It is the only one in the area that serves dinner every day of the week. If you are not a member and new in town, please join us. You will be most welcome. (Just mention my name because the more members I get the better chance I have to win the trip to Hawaii.  (just kidding!)

There is always an event going on and you can relax and enjoy yourself. There is always a puzzle being worked on, a card game often, a great dinner at a reasonable price, coffee in the morning, mostly breakfast at noon on Saturdays with fresh baked cinnamon rolls once a month, a piano you can play, and a TV you can watch. What more can you ask?


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

By Muncie

Happy Valentine’s Day. What a happy day it is with all that love being spread around. Cards are everywhere and back in my day some of them were not signed. Kids didn’t want you to know that they liked you. Today it is quite different especially those who do not like you. They want you to know.

So this is my opportunity to let all of you know that I like you. You are a very caring and loving community and I would not want to be anywhere else in the world. Well maybe I have thought about being someplace warmer and with less snow. It is just a thought. I would not miss the basketball season for anything. I’ll just keep thinking about how hot our summers have become. I’ll also think about how exciting it is to watch the Missouri and the huge ice chunks along both sides. Everything looks so white and clean. I am not to the point of making “ice angels” yet, but I have been tempted when I see them in a movie on TV. I forget about it when I realize that they are not making those “angels in real snow. Brrrrr!

Next Saturday, the 17th, is “RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY.’ It is probably not on your calendar but it is a good start for the rest of the year and beyond.

Years ago I read a: Chicken Soup for the Soul” book that had a story about “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.” Someone saw it written on a wall like graffiti and took it to heart. It spread all over the world.     

Here are some suggestions.
1.  Be Kind
2.  Be thoughtful
3.  Use your manners as a form of kindness
4.  Give compliments generously
5.  Think about people who quietly make a difference in your community. Thank them. 

If everyone would practice one act of kindness and one act of beauty each day, what a wonderful world this would be.

Of course, you cannot tell anyone what you have done. So, give it a try and see what happens. Just start small and let it grow. You will feel better just knowing that you are trying.

How exciting that this week brings on the district tournaments. They are in Havre and hopefully the roads are clear by then so the fans will be able to get there.

After the last two weeks of games, the Boys and Girls teams are in good position for the games. They need good hearty support with loud cheering and loud singing of the school song.

What about those Cheerleaders!  Did you see their performance in preparation for the tournaments? Did you ever hear of the Radio City Rockettes? Well, our Cheerleaders are even better than those dancers. Go Cheerleaders!

I am looking forward to the schedule in the River Press and watching some great basketball games. See you there.

Our biggest supporter for this program passed away last Friday. It was Madeline Ragland whose granddaughter gave me a $500.00 grant for the program.

Madeline worked with me and I accounted to her where I spent the money. Most of it went for picture frames and finally for the picture rails. The photos are a bright spot in the hallway at Sunrise Bluffs and if you have not seen the new arrangement…you should.  With Memorial Day coming up in May, it would be a good time to check it out. You young people might have grandfathers and great grandfathers whose pictures are hanging there. They are in alphabetical order and should be easy to locate. Be sure to sign the guest book and thank Karla, the manager of the Bluffs, for the space to put the photos.

I would love to visit this creative little town more often but once a year for the Geraldine’s Action Committee Dinner Theatre is a once a year must.

Last Saturday 7 friends and I enjoyed a splendid afternoon feasting on a great dinner and being amazed at the actors, actresses, costumes, and the storyline of the play. Jo Alice is outstanding in her writing. All the twists and turns in the story line had us all guessing as to” who done it.”

I like the way the program is set up with a break in the play to feed the hungry crowd. It was a wonderful time and I hope that you were one of the theatre goers. Thank you to Jo Alice, Lila, the actors and actresses, the behind the scenes workers, the chefs, and the server for making the play a success. I am sorry if I missed anyone. I am looking forward to next year for another great dinner theatre.