Tuesday, September 17, 2019

View From The Bridge 9/18/19

By Muncie

Unbelievable! There were thousands of donated items that have been collected or delivered in the last few weeks. Understandably I did not work for the set-up all week long but those special Lions did a miraculous job of setting up dozens of tables and organizing each table. The whole building was filled to capacity and if you could not find a treasure somewhere there, then you did not get to the Fairgrounds last Saturday.

This every other year event was first called a yard sale obviously because it was outside. The last few years it took place inside because of the fear it may rain.

The shoppers were constant and what they liked most of all is that whatever treasure they found was paid for by donation. The Lions did not price anything and only asked that the shopper give what they thought it was worth.

It was a wonderful day seeing family, friends, and neighbors. Everyone had to time to reminisce and chat about how their summer went.

There were shoppers from Great Falls who were the first to arrive. Treasure hunters came from Havre, Big Sandy, Loma, Geraldine, Highwood, and others who were complete strangers. Several said that they looked forward to this particular sale every other year.

So, the biggest of KUDOS go to those hard working Lions who not only set up but who are there again today (Sunday) breaking it down. You are so devoted and have more energy I envy. My only job was to sit there and collect the money. I was there at 8:3o a.m. and had to beg off at 4:00 p.m. The rest of the crew had to stay until 5:30 p.m.

Actually, a good time was had by all. Hope to see you in two years from now.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about being stung while collecting for parking tickets at the Chouteau County Fair and then again while walking on the Trail. I gave you a hint that was given to me to put sanitizer on the sting and the pain would go away. I did not hear about that until 2 days after my sting but it worked.

A young woman reported to me at the sale. She had 2 children with here and she said that her little boy was strung and she remembered reading about my “household hint”. She was excited to tell me that it worked.

There were a lot of bees around us at the sale but fortunately no one was stung. I was told many years ago that bees were too busy preparing for winter to bother stinging anyone. (Ha Ha!) I was very happy because I did not have my spray bottle with me. I am wondering how many people and children get stung each year?

Yes, the Crew was here Saturday morning to start filming. Two men from Backroads were at Tracy and Olivia Larson’s house at 7:30 in the morning to film Olivia getting ready for school. They then tagged along while Tracy walked Olivia to the Fort Benton Elementary School. They filmed at the school, at the Library, and somewhat along Front St.

They wanted to interview me but I resisted. Grandma Theresa Sparks talked me into it and said they would be at my apartment at 3:30 p.m. They were not able to meet that schedule.

Tracy called me that evening and said that they would be here at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. I could not accommodate that time because of volunteering for the Lions sale. When Randy went to pick up our lunch, he saw them on the street. He suggested they come to the Fair Grounds but that never happened. Oh well! They never got the cookies I had for them.

They will let Tracy know when the show will be aired. It will be several months but wouldn’t it be nice to see it in the middle of winter?

When I got home Saturday afternoon, I watched Backroads. They aired the story about Wayne Hampton. What a great story that was. It makes me sad to know that Mary Ann is gone and Wayne is living in Chester. Those friends and neighbors who were given Wayne’s hand crafted instruments have such great treasurers. They will be passed down for generations with the story of Wayne.

These delicious rolls made by Betty are something you do not want to miss on the 27th of this month. It is always on the last Friday of the month…for your calendars. The turnout has grown the last few months since I mentioned it here in the View.

It is a breakfast luncheon with two kinds of eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and toast with the cinnamon rolls. Oops! I forgot to mention good hot coffee with a bottomless pot. It is also a great social hour so come on and join those of us who are regulars. See you there and I’ll remind you again next week.

On Friday the 27th, Jill will be visiting at the Senior Center. She will be there from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and doing a presentation about Medicare. This is the time to ask all those questions you never seem to get answers for. I will remind you again next week.

I know this is well in advance but I would like you to put the date on your calendar.

Shonkin Town has a lasagna dinner party and auction every year around the end of October to raise money to make improvements on their Community Building.         

So, Friday, October 27th is the date to put on your calendar. That is close to Halloween so put on a costume and I’ll see you there. There are prizes for that effort.

There will be more info about reminders and time so keep checking because you do not want to miss out.

One other reminder from Shonkin is that their Woman’s Club meeting will be held Sunday, October 13th at 5:00 p.m. in the Community Hall.

I would like to thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday. I did not know that Bethany was going to announce it to the world. But, as I scootered downtown on Thursday and Friday I had friends shouting Happy Birthday. It also happened on Saturday at the Yard Sale.

The best part was that none of you believe that I am 90 years old. (What an ego boost that is.) You are all just too kind. My Boys came from back east along with my daughter from Great Falls, in June to celebrate. My Morger family made last weekend really special.

I did not want a party because I do not see well nor do I hear well. Most of you know that when you say hello to me you must tell me who you are as my central vision is the problem. You all have been very kind to me and I want you to know how much I love each and every one of you. You are all so special and I am in my happy place. (I have a t-shirt with that written on it.)  So again, thank for giving me another year here in Fort Benton where I want to be.




Wednesday, September 11, 2019

View From The Bridge 9/11/19

By Muncie

Come on down to the Chouteau County Fair Grounds next Saturday, the 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for biggest, best-est yard sale in the area. It is held every other year so there has been a great accumulation of goodies waiting to be taken to a loving home.

It looks as though the weather will be holding at “nice” so you can shop in comfort inside the building.

The Lions Club does so much good in the community thanks to the generosity of all of you. Our heartfelt thanks go out to you. Come on down to the sale so we can thank you one on one. See you there.

On Friday the 20th, Backroads of Montana will be filming in Fort Benton. Do you remember a few years ago when they did the “Wayne Hampton” story?

Backroads is returning to do the Fort Benton Rocks story. The Crew plans on being here on Friday and Saturday. Of course, I know that you will give them a Fort Benton welcome.

What I know at this time is that they will be at the Chouteau County   Library where there was a class for painting rocks. They will also be covering Front St. and other places where rocks were hidden. I just hope for good weather for a successful shot. (I think that is what they call it.)

There is on the internet a site called Montana Rocks. There are several other towns that are painting and hiding rocks. The purpose is to spread “KINDNESS”. It must be spreading all over the United States.

The program came to Fort Benton trough Tracy Larson and her 5-year-old Olivia. (I call her Princess Olivia.)

They were alerted to the program from the state of Virginia where they came from 7 years ago. What a bonus for us.

I’ll keep you informed as soon as I can but in the meanwhile the excitement grows.

For those of you who are new in town, there is a Hallow Tree across the street from me next to the Community Garden on 22nd St. A year ago in October there appeared a pumpkin in the tree, in November a snow man, and in December a Santa. I cannot recall what happened in January but in February for Valentine’s Day there was nothing and so I took up job of decorating. I also decorated for St. Patrick’s Day. For the Easter holiday the tree was decorated but no one would admit to doing it. I began to call this person “Who” like in who done it. To this day I still do not know who “WHO” is. End of story.

As of today, the Hollow Tree is looking very sad after I removed the red, white, and blue decorations. They have adorned the tree since Memorial Day. They remained for the 4th of July and Labor Day but now it is time for fall decorations.

Will you be around soon “Who” in the dark of night to decorate the tree? You have always done such a wonderful job and you must be a very great decorator. I will be looking forward to waking in the morning to see the tree in all its fall glory. Please do not disappoint me and everyone else who will enjoy seeing it decorated. GO WHOEVER YOU ARE!

If any of your readers have a clue, would you please let me know? I am actually willing to offer a reward. Thank you very much.

I was stung by a bee again while on my walk last week. I was in the vicinity near the swimming pool on the walking trail. Ouch! I saw it fly away and I think it was a bee. I tried every remedy I had in my medicine cabinet but nothing worked.

After a couple of days, I got a suggestion from a dear one of the family that she got from her neighbor. It was to use the disinfectant that is all over town to use on your hands to kill germs. It works. (Just thought I would pass it on in case the bees have found someone else to pick on or rather sting on.)
And, where were you Joann Streit when I needed you? Of course, it is a good distance from where you live to come spray the whole Walking Trail. I forgive you but next time I walk you will have to follow me and or stay in front of me. What do you think of that plan? I know! Just forget the whole thing.

If you remember I was stung 3 times while collecting parking tickets at the Chouteau County Fair last year. This year at Fair time, the Lions Club bought me a clip-on repellant for my safety. Also, Randy had the pipe removed that the wasps had their next in. The third caring person was Joann Streit who sprayed the area around the Front St. entrance to the Fair grounds. I am repeating this in case you missed the story a few weeks ago. Thanks again to all.

The area at that location looks dismal these days. The Freeze is closed and the pine trees in the circle have been cut down. It was been expected for a long time because the trees were dead. I know that they will be replaced but it will be a long while before they are of any size. In the meanwhile, try to remember how beautiful they were. Be grateful that they didn’t fall of their own accord and injure someone.

I love trees so much and losing those pines was like losing a friend.



Tuesday, September 3, 2019

View From The Bridge 9/4/19

By Muncie

This beautiful month’s moon is called the Full Harvest Moon or the Full Corn Moon. Its name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the Full Moon closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the harvest moon comes in September, but in some years it is in October. At the peak of the harvest farmers can work late into the night by the light of this moon. Usually the full moon rises 50 minutes each night, but for a few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night. It is 25 to 30 minutes later across the United States and only 10 to 20 minutes for much of Canada and Europe.

Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice, Staples for the Indians and are now ready for gathering.

The Full Moon is on Saturday the 14th. Wasn’t the Full Moon in August gorgeous? The sky was clear that night and the moon lit up the landscape. This month should be even more beautiful.

The latest count on Facebook is 202 Rockers. They did “paint and hide” a lot this past week and several people told me that they found rocks and decided to keep them. I would hide them if I found any but I am really happy with the two
I have on my porch. GO OLIVIA.

A couple of weeks ago as I was on my way to the Farmers Market, I met up with an old friend.  It was Mike Skogen who was our Police Chief when I moved here 26 years ago. He has been retired for many years and we had a nice visit.

He told me the story of just having seen a rattlesnake in the middle of Main St. and 11th St. Of course, he knew how to handle the situation but I wanted to again warn readers, and especially new residents, to immediately call 911 and let the Police Officers handle what needs to be done. DO NOT try to handle the situation yourself. Also teach children to call 911.

I usually do a report on snake sightings toward the end of summer but I decided, because of this incident, to check it out now.

I checked with the Police Department on Labor Day (sorry about disturbing you on the holiday,) and there were about five sightings reported so far this year. Be on the lookout and watch where you are walking.

Pinochle games are still being held at the Sunrise Bluffs. So, when these long, cold, and dreary days come around, spend a pleasant afternoon with friends who enjoy the same things that you do.

It is terrific exercise and offers the opportunity of enjoying an evening with friends. (We need all the friends we can get.)

On Monday the 9th Bowling will start at B Social. At a recent gathering the conversation came up about the Bowling Alley in the old days. Do you remember the days when pins were set up by boys who wanted the job? It was a fun place to be for young and old.

I bowled for many years but I know that today I could not even lift a ball much less throw it down an alley. However, the memories remain.

The Market continues on Thursday September 5th. Come on down and enjoy those harvest products and heavenly baked goods.

RECYCLE DAY         
Recycle day is Saturday, September 7th. It is a great time to recycle all that stuff you accumulated all summer. It is such a great program and especially these days when we are burying ourselves in garbage.

The Club is still collecting donated articles for their Huge Yard Sale at the Chouteau County Fair Grounds. It is September 14th and that is a week from Saturday. See the ad in the River Press for phone numbers to call for pickup.

An insider told me that they have already collected great donations and I love seeing who goes off with those treasures.

You must know what a great deal garage sales and flea markets are for young married couples and those who move into a new house. Those treasurers make it a home with items that were a part of someone’s life. They are collectables that meant so much to someone who perhaps no longer has a place to keep them. So, be sure to donate and then to come to the Fair Grounds to see what treasures you can use.

WEAR RED ON FRIDAYS to show support for our Troops.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

View From The Bridge 8/28/19

By Muncie

Hi Readers. I am asking you to please call me with bits of news that is happening around town. I do not do Facebook or texting. I usually report on events after the fact. I learn a lot from the articles in the River Press.

I would like organizations to let me know two weeks in advance of events they are planning. It does not hurt to have the info in two places.

My phone number is in the phone book. I do not put phone numbers in the View any longer because the person, who does the Fort Benton website with the View, doesn’t think it is wise to list phone numbers. Since the View goes international, phone numbers won’t be listed. (I think it protects your privacy but I am not sure about that.)

I would like news about family reunions, your interesting vacation trip, and any other Fort Benton stories.

I do hear from folks who used to live here but had to move for one reason or another. They like to hear about Fort Benton happenings and so let us, (you and me,) make their day when they receive the River Press or view it on the web.

I found another rock in my yard this past weekend and it says “Be Kind”. That is the whole purpose of starting Fort Benton Rocks.  Remember, “Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty”.

The latest count of participants on Facebook now numbers 193 as of Monday the 26th. It is going by leaps and bounds. “Are you in good hands, or rocks, or paint?” Hiding rocks sure sounds like lots of fun. A lot of that was done last weekend.

The one who has the most fun hiding the rocks that she painted is 5- year- old Olivia who started this whole project. GO OLIVIA!

On Tuesday last week about 10 or 12 volunteers spent several hours doing a mailing for CCPA (Chouteau County Performing Arts).  The mailing was a flyer listing all the programs for the 2018 & 2019 year. Please put it near your calendar to remind you not to miss a single performance.

It is going to be another great year so thank the board members who have worked long and hard on bringing you the best shows possible. You do not want to miss a single one.  If you do not think that you would like one of the programs then loan your ticket to a family member, a friend, or neighbor. You will them have a friend for life. It is a very good way to spread the joy of music to everyone.

Randy will still be at the Farmer’s Market each week to sell seasons tickets. He still thinks that the one who sells the most tickets is going to win a trip to Hawaii. Please do not tell him that is not a true story. He may not work so hard selling tickets and he is the best at it. GO RANDY!

It is Sunday the 25th and I just returned from the Sunrise Bluffs. The Accordion Band is a group of musicians who volunteer their time and talent to entertain retirement homes, nursing homes, churches, and any other groups that contacts them. They come to the Bluffs a couple of times a year.
The notice they were going to be here was received too late to announce it in the River Press or the View however about 20 music lovers were in attendance. There were also 3 couples who took advantage of the dance floor.

It poured rain and was still raining when the music ended. I always have my “Mary Poppins” umbrella and it actually was enjoyable to ride home in the rain.

The bank said they hoped to give us notice earlier next time they plan a trip to Fort Benton. I would like to see twice as many folks there especially dancers. They are such fun to watch and make it a more enjoyable event. GO DANCERS.

Can you believe that school begins this week and the first football game is Friday. Oh, where did the summer go? I know. We actually had a very late summer. Perhaps it will stay warmer for a while longer before you know what happens.

Have you gathered up all your good “I don’t need anymore” stuff for this upcoming sale. They began last week to picking up your donations.

As the time gets closer there will be more ads in the River Press so watch for time and place. This event for the Lions Club is another successful project for their many projects to benefit the community. Only you can make this a bigger success by your donations.

You all were so generous for the Fair Ground parking project making it a huge success. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I love being a Lioness. I love being with those hardworking volunteers. They are a strong influence on all they come in contact with. Come join us.

There have been times lately when I think that I will have to give up writing the View. Just about the time I have made up my mind, I have people come up to me and tell me that they read the View every week. That was so true this past week at the Farmers Market when a Hutterite man told me that he reads the View first every week. I do not think that I thanked me enough but he will read it this week and that it made my day. All of you readers are so kind. You all deserve Fort Benton Rocks.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

View From The Bridge 8-21-19

View from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

As it was with Summer Celebration, I had such a great time. On Friday morning from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM I volunteered for the Lions Club parking project at the Front St. gate with Connie. We both showed up with our winter coats on. Smart move! (We removed them around noon.)

It wasn’t too busy but there was a steady flow of Fair Goers mostly 4Her’s. I would like to comment here what a wonderful bunch of Kiddos they are. I also had breakfast at the 4H building and they and their parents are amongst the hardest working people I have ever come in contact with. I envy all of you for the life-training you receive being in 4H. You are the greatest.

On Saturday morning Connie and I did the same routine without winter coats. It was a tad bit busier but was a much nicer day. The time just flew by and it turned up that I stayed on for the 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. shift because Harold was going to manage it himself. I really enjoyed the afternoon listening to his stories about the “old days”.

On Sunday my shift was from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and it went very quickly. Many people already had their parking tickets and were returning to either have lunch, check on their ribbons, or waiting for the Demolition Derby to begin.

All in all and as always it was wonderful to connect with old friends and neighbors. It should happen more often.

The 1st funny story was watching Connie chasing a $1.00 bill down Front St. The wind was blowing a bit strong and the money flew out of her hand. Off she went chasing it until I could no longer she her. (I can only see for about a half a block.) She returned with money in hand and you can be sure she hung on tightly after that incident.

Story No. 2 was about my being stung by a wasp last year at the Front St. entrance. The pipe where the wasps had a nest was removed. The Lions Club purchased a clip-on to repel yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps, and nary a one of those pests ever entered the area.

Joann Streit told me that she sprayed around the area that morning because she remembered that I had gotten stung last year. What a beautiful act of kindness and senseless act of beauty. Thank you, my friend.

And last but not least was Story #3. Two boys about 5 and 7 years old rode up on their bikes with each one holding a $1.00 bill. The insisted on paying the walk-in cost. That also shows the character of the younger generation.

Friends and I had discussions about how when at a retail store and either entering or exiting there is a Mom there with a young child. She is either teaching them or they already have learned to open the door “for the older lady”. We say thank you and they say you are welcome. What a wonderful world.


Randy will be at the Farmers Market to sell seasons tickets for the upcoming concert series.

The first performance will be Tuesday, October 8th with Abbacadabra. You do not want to miss that one as it is a tribute to the Abba Singing group. They were a special group in our hearts during the 60’s and 70’s. See you there.

This event is coming up in September but this is a reminder to call the numbers in their ad for pickup. They have room to store it now that the Fair is over.     

The Lions are asking for items from the entire area of Chouteau County since our proceeds are spread in the entire area.

This organization would like to have you come and join us. It is a fun, hard working group and not too much is asked of you.

The meetings are listed in the Community Calendar. Check it out and we hope to see you next meeting.

Two weeks ago when I first heard of Fort Benton Rocks, I checked on them and found that they had about 50 to 60 members on Facebook. It was checked for me again last Saturday and there were 158 and 2 more came in before we disconnected.

By leaps and bounds this popular program is growing. It spreads kindness. Keep up the good work!

I was able to attend the dedication on Sunday at 11 o’clock for the Daughters of the American Revolution. I was very impressed with all the members that came from all over Montana. I sat next to a woman and we talked about history. I mentioned that I knew an Indian saying, “If you don’t know where you came from, you can’t know where you’re going.” She said, “I have that hanging in my office.”

Be sure to read Ken Robison’s story about the history of the blockhouse. It is an exceptional piece of history.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

View From The Bridge 8/14/19

By Muncie

I missed the Farmers Market, Taste of Fort Benton, and Shakespeare in the Park because company arrived at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday for a happy reunion.

I hear that it was a great success and a good time was had by all. Finally, I would have eaten supper in Old Fort Park. I also missed getting any cherries from the Young’s orchard. I now have to be satisfied with the hundreds of Sweet 100 tomatoes that I have been picking for two weeks from my plants.

The very hot weather helped ripen the tomatoes and I will still have hundreds more when it warms up again.

If you want to know why my tomatoes did so well, I have a secret. If you stop by and visit, I will tell you what it is. It really is quite simple.

Two weeks ago, I was able to go to the Farmer’s Market. I can take the Walking Trail from my apartment to the Market. I always enjoy seeing families picnicking on the Memorial Tables. I passed two such families and at the third one a man sat talking to a woman. I stopped to chat and the man said he was from Denver. The woman also said she was from Denver and then she continued her walk. I asked if they were together and he said no. She was just walking by and stopped to chat with him. What a happening that two strangers who were from the same city, would stop and talk to each other. Strange!

I told him that I would love to chat with him a while longer but I was already late for the market.

I parked myself by Randy’s table and very soon the man from Denver showed up. He came right over to the table and I was told that he had met Randy the day before at the Visitor’s Center.

I do not know the man’s name but I want to pass on what he said about Fort Benton. He loved our town and had purchased a pass to the museums and Old Fort Benton. He covered them thoroughly. His comments about them were that they were in a class with the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

This man is very well traveled according to the conversations Randy had with him the day before. He is 80 years old, travels in his SUV, stays in hotels/motels and of course eats out all the time. His goal is to visit as many places as he can. I envy his lifestyle but have reached the point that “there is no place like home”.

I asked him when he was going to move to Fort Benton and he said that was not a far-fetched idea. As I parted, he said he would be back soon. (Can you imagine that he compared our museums to the Smithsonian? Awesome!) 

Here we are in the middle of August and it is Chouteau County Fair time. I love the fair as much as Summer Celebration because it is a little more confined and you see more friends and neighbors. Be sure to have lunch or dinner with them.

I love the Fair because I can eat all the good junk food without feeling guilty. Yes, hamburgers, hot dogs, French tries, and fry bread are soooo good. Now I do not mean to demean these foods because there is a lot of protein and veggies to make it worthwhile. It is just that those foods are not always available so I take advantage of the time and place.

Be sure to check out all the buildings to see the great items put together by your friends, neighbors and family. Many hours are put into these projects and they deserve to be checked out and even voted on in many places. Just do it! It will be a year before it comes around again. See you there and be sure to say hello.


A reminder that the Catholic Booth at the Fair will be open at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. It offers an opportunity for persons entering items for the Fair that also begins on Thursday. Bon Appetite.

I did not get out much last week because of the hot weather. However, I did find the most beautiful rock on my driveway between my tomato plants. It is gold with the word “SMILE” on it. What a great way to start the day.

I had my nephew, David, and his wife, Karon, visit me on Thursday and Friday. I mention this because they walked all over town looking for a Fort Benton Rock. I had hoped that they would find one to take back to Florida. They did collect some rocks and intend to paint and hide them when they get back home. What fun!

Thank you little 5 -year old Olivia for starting this awesome project. It is amazing what comes from the mouths and minds of children.

The other purpose of this project is to spread “KINDNESS”. It is so much easier to be kind than to be mean. It is so much easier to love than to hate. So, join up with the Fort Benton Rocks and get frustrations out by painting and hiding. It will do wonders for you and for the one finding your rock.

A reminder that Randy Morger will be at the Farmers Market every Thursday at 5:00 p.m. He will be selling season tickets.

So, drop by his table to hot only to purchase your ticket but to support the CCPA. The program his year is outstanding and you won’t want to miss out. See you there!

The Lions Club would like the View to remind you again about their September the 15th (from 9:0 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) huge Garage Sale. I am sure that you have been saving up all your good stuff. After the Fair this coming weekend it will be a good time to do pickups.

Those Lions who do pick-ups are Don Foreman, Henry Shnackerberg, and Brian Evans.

Please check out the Lions ad in the River Press this week for all the proceeds are distributed. GO LIONS because you do so much for our community.

To those who could or should do something about whatever the subject. PLEASE…JUST DO IT.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

View From The Bridge 8-7-19

By Muncie

The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of the month of August moon. Since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because as, the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon. (I like the Full Red Moon best and I hope that we get to see that.) The full moon this month is on Thursday the 15th.

 On Thursday the 8th you can see Shakespeare in Old Fort Park at 6:00 p.m. After you have visited the Farmers Market in the same location and gotten food to eat, you can enjoy The Merry Wives of Windsor.

This combination event is a very popular one. It follows the pattern of there is always something to do in Fort Benton. So, get to Old Fort Park tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., bring your lawn chairs along, and enjoy a picnic in the Park with entertainment. This is a free event that we get to enjoy every year and it is much looked forward to.

This event is in September and now is the time to call to have your contributions picked up and stored. The Lions Club hopes that you have been storing “great stuff” to donate. Please call Don Foreman for pickup.
This convenience covers all of Chouteau County.

Everyone has always been so generous and the Lions Club is so grateful. There is nothing like small towns for big deals. We are more like family no matter the event. Thank you all for your kindness.

The article in last week’s River Press really got my attention. I am a former rock collector and I also have been writing about kindness lately.

I am not on Facebook but I did manage to get to talk to Stacy Hanson.

There are about 75 “rockers” who check in to Facebook for Fort Benton Rocks. Some of these people paint rocks and hide them. Several people have found rocks and report it on Facebook. What an exciting project. Keep up the good work “rockers”.

Would “rockers” who find a rock please let me know? My number is in the book. It would make my day and well as Clint’s.

I have talked about “Random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” several times in the last few weeks. It does not take any effort to be kind. All people that I know are kind. That means, to me, to try to make the world a happier place. There is so much tragedy today around us that a little kindness softens the blows.

This is what your “Fort Benton Rocks” program means to me and thank you for moving to our community and making it a better place to live in. (Now that I written all these kind things about your organization, will you give me a clue as to where I can find a rock?)

Time has rolled the CC Fair around for us to enjoy again next week. I am sure that there will be news about it in this week’s River Press so check it out. Please try to participate in the many events that you can enter into or enjoy entertainment.
What this event has always meant to me is that school will start soon afterward. Summer is over basically and most of harvest. Labor Day will be the last summer event and holiday. The City Pool will be closed, leaves will begin to turn and fall as we prepare for the beautiful fall season. So, enjoy every minute of every day and whatever the weather hands us. Sorry about reminding you but it is going to be if we like it or not

I met a couple from Two Dot last Wednesday evening at the Grand Union Hotel when I went for the Crossing Choir performance. I sat next to them on the sofa and we chatted about “where are you from?”

What was so interesting about their story was that they had a ranch in Two Dot that belonged to her family for 5 generations. They live in CA but return to MT often to visit and check on the ranch.

I cannot remember why they were in Fort Benton but they were staying overnight.

They said that they would send me an e-nail so that we could keep in touch. She was also going to read the View on the internet.

I wanted to tell her that I have not yet received an e-mail. That could be because my computer is all messed up right now, so would she please try again. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Randy Morger will be at the Farmers Market every week from now on to sell season tickets.

Do you remember the singing group called Abba? The first performance on October 8th is Abbacadabra it is an ultimate tribute to Abba. You do not want to miss this one.

Help support CCPA by buying a seasons ticket. If you cannot attend one of the shows, please consider lending your ticket to someone else. You will make a forever friend. See you there.


 I am absolutely sure that everyone in this reading area feels the pain of Dayton and El Paso. God bless them.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

View From The Bridge 7/31/19

By Muncie

Two-time Grammy Award winning Choir “The Crossing Choir” from Philadelphia, PA will be performing in the lobby of the Grand Union Hotel on Wednesday July 31, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. You won’t want to miss this fantastic performance.

It is here at last with huge heat waves. Are you finding that “the livin’ is easy”? Several folks said to me that they would like to bottle up the heat for next winter. (I’ll buy some stock in that if you come up with the solution.) There is not much moving around in town. Readers must be holed up with their air conditioning, if you are lucky enough to have it.

For several weeks I could not figure out why my Weather Stations were reading the same temperature outside as inside. I finally realized that the outside gadgets were inside because I brought them in to install new batteries and hadn’t taken them back outside. They were immediately up to par when I returned them outside and they now read the same as the weather on the Fort Benton web site. I have a difficult time keeping up with this modern day tech stuff. (I enjoyed my new computer until we came to odds about spell check. Did we older folks spell words differently than today? I always end up in my old dictionary. I also have trouble with words like apps and, download, and help. I can never find the help that I need. Oh well, I am so fortunate that I have Bethany, Conlee, Zack, and Sharalee who edit for me. (Keep up the good work with my sincere gratitude. 

Last Friday was the best turnout for Cinnamon Rolls at the Golden Age Senior Center ever. Betty baked 3 huge baking sheets of the rolls and there was only one left. You are Queen of the Cinnamon Rolls Betty and we all love you. I am not taking any credit but several people did tell me that they were there because I wrote about it the week before. Thank you Bill for showing up because of the View. I will remind you readers next month

I have five bird feeders but I only fill one of them.  It is located in the front of my living room window. The others four are off the deck in the back of the apartment. I stopped filling those a long time ago because large black birds would come to feed and chase the little birds away. For several months this past spring I did not have any birds at all. Then all of a sudden they began visiting the feeder every day.

Again the same problem arose where the big black birds would chase the little ones away. I finally realized what was happening. I was filling the feeder with a pint of sunflower seeds and a pint of regular bird seed. One day I forgot to put in the sunflower seeds and no big birds came to feed.  The little finches, sparrows, and barn swallows fed easily. I really enjoy watching them fly in and out. I just wish that I was able to hear their songs like I used to hear the meadowlarks while on the mail route.

This yearly entertainment in the Fort Benton Park is on its way. On Thursday August 8th at 6:00 p.m. the performance will begin. At 5:00 p.m. Farmer’s Market and a Taste of Chouteau County, with lots of food to enjoy, will also be in the park. You can enjoy all the great food while you enjoy the actors and actresses do their thing.
So, come on along with your lawn chairs and a good appetite. If I remember correctly there are wonderful pieces of pie available amongst other good food to please everyone’s menu choice.
Do you realize how fortunate we are here in the small town of Fort Benton to have events going on all the time?  I hope that you are taking advantage of the work that goes into getting these events together. It is all volunteer work and many hours are put into the planning. A huge thanks  to all those events planners because without you no events would be happening.

I checked with one of the regular volunteers at the Visitors Center and he seemed to think that Visitors (some call them tourists,) have increased this year. If you did not know, the Visitors come from all over the world. I miss my time at the Center because of that reason. (I retired this season.) I miss their stories and adventures. I still have the pleasure of talking to Visitors when I am downtown. If they have the museum tags on I engage them in conversation. I spoke to a lovely young woman, now from California, but born and raised in Shelby, Mt.
She had a Montana Map and said she plans to visit every little city in Montana. She had always wanted to visit Fort Benton but had never had the opportunity. She was so interesting and I wish we had a longer time to visit.
She like so many people went by us on Highway 87 but never dropped down to the best kept secret in Montana, that being Fort Benton. I hope that our new signs on the highway interest Visitors to drove down a few miles to see how beautiful the “Birthplace of Montana” offers. However, the best way to get the word out is by word of mouth so talk it up readers…loud and clear.


Thursday, July 25, 2019

View From The Bridge 7/24/19

By Muncie

On last Saturday the Lions Club had their first annual Golf Partee at the Signal Point Golf Course. (It has been reported that it is the most beautiful course in the area.) It was a weather perfect day and the excitement rose among the Lions as participants began to arrive about 9:00 a.m. (Where else could you get a massage, dinner, great prizes, and fellowship with other golfers.) 

I learned so much that day as I have never taken up the sport of golf. The neat thing for me was that arrangements were made to give me a ride around the course. I have seen the course only along the road between the course and the airport, on the way to the cemetery, and a short view at the cemetery. It is what everyone said about the course and more. The trees are awesome and my conversation with Skip came up with the fact that the course was open in 1968. Many trees were planted in 1967amd many more have been planted in the 50 years since.

When the shotgun went off the contest began. It takes about 6 hours for the teams to finish the course and no one was able to manage a Hole In One. Oh well, maybe next year. A good time was had by all as proclaimed by one contestant who thanked the Lions Club for putting on the Partee. He said he never had such a good time in his life.

So, the Lions look forward to next year and a huge thank you to the sponsors and volunteers who without it never would have happened. Oh, by the way the proceeds went to the Diabetes Organization. 

This was another blue ribbon annual event that went off without a hitch on Saturday evening. Here again a good time was had by all. People of all ages came to Front Street to listen to the music and dance.  It also helps that the weather held until between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. A very strong wind came up to break up the evening of fun. The band played on until10:00 p.m.

The program was put on by ChoCo Fun under the CIA (Community Improvement Association.) As the name says these events are put on just for fun. ChoCo will be back again soon for more fun events.

One person reported that the neatest thing about that evening was the many people who walked the length of the Old Fort Benton Bridge. The Old Bridge is my favorite structure in town. Bob Doerk questioned me once as to why the Old Fort was not my favorite. I just happened to love bridges.

A reminder that the Market is on the Levee on every Thursday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the season. Nothing will be sold before 5:00 p.m. but the Vendors can stay as long as they want. (Time for you, Connie, to get your little bell out for duty.)

More Vendors are always welcome. Prepared food is always welcome but you must have a commercial kitchen to qualify. Since I and several of my friends no long cook, we appreciate something for supper. I do make a lot of soup but who really wants hot soup in the summer?

So, write it on your calendar and see you there.

Friday of this week will be Cinnamon Roll Day at the Senior Center. They are served with a breakfast menu at noon and it is a great social get together for you, family, and friends.

Betty Daniels gets to the Center early Friday morning to get the cinnamon rolls ready to rise. They are a special treat and it is a great social gathering. Come and join us and I know that you will be at the Senior Center every last Friday of the month to enjoy the very special rolls. Bring family, friends, and neighbors. See you there too.

Have nothing to do? Check the Community Calendar and you will not have a bit of trouble finding something that will interest you. Just do it!

Wow sixty years together! I do not know any other couple that has reached that point in their lives.

Last Sunday there was a lovely party in Old Fort Park to celebrate. It was a perfect day weather wise and the well-wishers enjoyed a welcomed luncheon and visits with family and friends.

To Bert and Ruth…you are a very special couple and Fort Benton is so lucky to have you in our community.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

View From The Bridge 7/17/19

By Muncie

How I wish I had written the thank you from Laurie Reddig to the City Crew. Laurie hit on every subject. I have so many times thought about how to thank them for the things they have done for me but I never got around to it.

Just recently I found a problem that needed attention immediately. On the Wednesday before Summer Celebration I was visiting my newly planted tree when I looked over the Levee. It was covered with weeds, so much so that the sandstone was completely covered. I was advised not to call Skip because he was so busy with preparations for the Celebration.

I fretted over it for a day because I knew that many people would be sitting on the Levee for the fireworks. I decided to call Skip on Thursday. It was not a matter of spraying because it was too late for that. On Friday when I checked the Levee every weed was gone. They must have been pulled out. How thankful I was but did not verbally express it or write about it.

Another example was when I and my other “scooter-ists” found it difficult to travel the circle by the Lewis and Clark statue. At either end there was about a 2 in. space with no sidewalk. I called and the next time I went downtown I found that the spaces on both ends had been filled with gravel making it easy to go across.

I could go on and on of stories about the City Crew that have kept out City of Fort Benton clean and tidy over the years I have been here. So, thanks to Laurie I now have my opportunity to say THANK YOU CITY CREW. You are my heroes. Now…I do not want to leave anyone out of the loop. I have so much to be thankful for from every organization, all of our volunteer Firemen, EMT’s, family, neighbors and friends. You are all responsible for making the second part of my life a happy and contented one.

How I wish….I could have made it to the Geraldine celebration as written by Robyn Scribner. I will make an effort to be there next year. I know I missed a great time.

I congratulate our sister town of Geraldine for what they get accomplished for a small town. I personally know how much volunteer work goes into Fort Benton’s Summer Celebration. You are a fabulous small town who came up with fabulous ideas to make your celebration special. Thank you for your efforts.

There is always something to do in Fort Benton. If you cannot find something to suit your time and energy then lay back and enjoy the lazy days of summer. If you feel the need to get out and mingle then get up to the Golf Course on Saturday morning and not only have a fun day with other golfers but to support the Lions Club who are raising funds for diabetes.

The Lions expect participants from all over the State of Montana but most of all can expect support from the generous residents of Fort Benton. See you there!

After the Golf Fund Raiser is over, come on downtown for an enjoyable evening of music, music, music. Read the River Press of last week for the details of the time and place. It was a great success last year and I am sure that many people have looked forward to the event being repeated.

This is the event to enjoy jazz and blues music. You do not have to make a trip to New Orleans and especially not at this time of storm problems. (I feel so much empathy for those people who are affected as I know personally what they are going through. My home in Michigan was hit by a tornado on March 20, 1976. It is devastating to the family and neighbors.)

I know that for years the Hutterites have come to town on Thursdays to sell their veggies, eggs, and bread door to door. That may keep you from frequenting the Farmers Market but it offers more than just veggies, eggs, and bread. There were 4 vendors last Thursday who offered sour dough bread, and cinnamon rolls. These are all fresh baked items by local residents. They were all sold out. The baked goods sold out quickly and so I hope that those who bake them double their recipes.

More Vendors are welcome. Just give Connie and Chandee a call. Their numbers were in last week’s River Press. See you there.

This program comes on every Sunday morning. It is all about Montana and what is going on. It is not political, (At least I have not yet found it to be so.)  A few weeks ago, it was about trafficking. Do you think it doesn’t happen in Montana? If you think it does not, then you are wrong! It does. You would have found out some statistics and what is going on.

I think that everyone in Montana should watch Face The State and learn. Perhaps it may change or save some young girl or boy’s life. Please try to listen although it comes on at 6:30 a.m. Sometimes it is repeated at 9:00 a.m. Give it a try and learn. If that is too early for you, record it and watch it at another time.

Last week I wrote to be kind. That came from old material I was going through. I came across a story that appeared in “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” It told about some graffiti that read “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.” What a beautiful story it was, as were all the stories in the Chicken Soup books. I try to be kind and do a good deed a day. It is difficult as we all seem to be busy doing what? The good thing is to keep on trying and perhaps someday you may touch someone who needs a hug.

Perhaps I am watching too many Hallmark movies or thinking about “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Life seems so easy going, about family, kind, and perfect. I know that it is not real but still continue to wish for things to be better.

Have a wonderful week and when you see me around town remember to let me know who you are.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

View From The Bridge 7/3/2019

By Muncie

Because of the article that follows, that had to appear in the 7/3/19 River Press, I will report on Summer Celebration next week.

On July 7th, 1999 the first “View from the Bridge” appeared in the pages of the River Press. I was coordinating the Visitors Center and thought it would be interesting for you readers to hear some of their stories. I found them very interesting since visitors came from all over the world.

I just wrote from Memorial Day until Labor Day and it wasn’t until 10 years later that the View became once a week.

I am going to repeat that first article and hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did reading it 20 years later. By the way, the View was named by my beautiful step-daughter Audra Morger Bonilla. I am forever grateful Audra and think of you every day and especially when I type the article each week.

“A View from the Bridge”
By Muncie Kacso

We will attempt here to bring you some interesting goings on at the Information Center. The volunteers would like to share stories and would also like some information from you.

For instance, on Sunday a Mrs. Elaine Rosman visited from Havre. Her husband, David deceased three months ago, was born in Fort Benton on June 6, 1928, He had two older brothers, His father, Albert, owned a Creamery) that was the only description) and sold Raleigh products (spices etc. similar to Watkins products.) They only lived here four years but Albert remembered going down the banks of the Missouri with their wagons. They lived in a small house but when the boys returned to Fort Benton they could never find the house that they had lived in. Can anyone remember any information for Mrs. Rosman?

A few weeks ago, a Mr. Wood came in and said that he was a descendant of Maria Wood, the cousin of Merriweather Lewis. On Monday, the 6th, a relative of   William Clark was here. He is still tracking how he was related and said that he would let us know when he knew more of his genealogy.

Since we opened on May 28th, we have had l, 999 visitors. Next week we will give you a breakdown of all of the foreign countries that have come thousands of miles just to see Montana. Also, we are curious as to what state visits us the most especially those from the East.

If there is anyone who is experienced with a video camera and have a little spare time, you are needed for a 10 minute video of the Information Center. We received a grant from the Lippard/Clawiter Foundation and now that the Center is running so smoothly, we are ready to start this project. We must cover the entire area of Chouteau County. You don’t need to be an expert because it will be edited into 10 second time frames. Hope to hear from someone.

The Center is running very smoothly not only do the volunteers have a good time but the tourists are very complimentary about the volunteers. They are also very impressed with the Center and with what Fort Benton has accomplished these last few years.  They all think we are fortunate to be living here in such a beautiful setting and we assure them that we agree. More substitutes are very welcome and we can always use more. If it is something you have been meaning to do and you just haven’t gotten around to it, please go to the phone now and call 622-3217.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

View From The Bridge 6-19-19

View From The Bridge
By Muncie

The Summer Celebration shirts are fabulous. I have mine hanging in the living room so that I can admire it all day long. The shirts are in colors of blue, red, and charcoal. They are all beautiful. I know the celebration is a week plus two days away but you can purchase your shirt at the Missouri River Lumber Co. If you purchase it early you would have a better choice of colors and you would be able to wear it the starting day on Friday the 28th.

Every detail of the celebration is in order and a good time will be had by all.

A new addition to the Shonkin reunion has been added. There will be a Shonkin Shopping Store added to the schedule. I’ll provide more info next week. Be sure to check it out and shop until you drop. (Not really! Just enjoy the whole time with family and friends.

Postcards asking for donations for the fireworks display at Summer Celebration were mailed recently. It is sponsored by the Lions Club and they would like to thank you for your generosity of donations to this event. It is the highlight of the celebration. I believe that there is not one single older or younger person who does not love the fireworks show. Yes, I know. The dogs do not like it but after all it is only once a year. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Did you remember to tell your family and friends about the “TRICK RIDERS” who will be performing at the rodeo. I saw them on a smart phone and it took my breath away. (I wonder how many hours they put in practicing.)

My three sons came to visit me last Friday. Perhaps you saw us around town in their look alike t-shirts. My oldest son Johnny and his wife Jane came from Ohio near Cleveland. My second son Jeff and his wife Barbara came from Suwanee, GA near Atlanta. I think you all know my daughter Jennifer and her fiancĂ© Mike live in Great Falls. Last but not least was Jerry who traveled alone because wife Sherry could not make the trip. He came from Redford, MI. near Detroit. They all met at the Denver airport and arrived in Great Falls around noon on Friday. 

We had a very special weekend together. Johnny, Jane, and Jerry left on Monday morning. Jeff and Barbara stayed until Wednesday. They both love history and checked Fort Benton out to every last detail. They loved our museums and Old Fort Benton. They returned several times on their two day pass. Barbara had never been to Montana before and Jeff was here before but for a very short time. He did not do any sight-seeing at that time.

So again, a good time was had by all I’ll have more to add to this story at another time.



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

View From The Bridge 6/12/19

View From The Bridge
By Muncie

Summer Celebration begins wo weeks from this Friday. It usually brings in 5,000 to 7,000 visitors. It is the most fun time of the summer. All of the volunteers, craft vendors, food vendors, parade participants, and the fireworks company, are in place. The schedule will be in next week’s River Press. You can also pick up a copy at all of the businesses. Check it over carefully so that you do not miss anything. The t-shirts are on their way and you are going to love them. See you there!

Last week Wednesday two of my friends came from Great Falls to visit me. I talk to Sue often and had told her that I needed a bigger flower pot for my tomatoes. She is planning to move and said that she had a pot about the size that I wanted and she would bring it with her from Great Falls.

She did that and we placed it in front of the garage door that faces the street, with the other two pots of tomatoes. The other friend had never seen Decision Point and so we took a ride to Loma. We also stopped into Ma’s because it was pizza day.

When we returned to the apartment the pot was gone. So now I have a situation that says, “Who took the flower pot?” I have “WHO” was decorates the hollow tree and now I have “WHO” took the pot?

If anyone has a clue or saw the pot being removed, please let me know. My number is in the book.

I do not know how many of you knew Hal Webster. There were not very many people who knew about falconry. Wally and I were good friends of his because he visited us often. He and Wally had long discussions about WWII. Hal was in the U.S. Navy and Wall was a Marine. I enjoyed his visits and the conversations.         

Hal lived out on the Romain place that was our last stop when we did the rural mail route. He fell and broke his hip and he then moved into the Sunrise Bluffs. He was pretty much a loner but really loved Fort Benton.

To those of you who have lost loved ones I would like it if I knew them. I can only write about those that I know. Even at that, do I really know all about them. I didn’t know them as children or when they married and started a family. I only know people briefly and then they are gone. I really only know them when I read their obituaries. Please tell me about your loved ones that have passed. I would love to listen.

What a great time you “Shonkinites” will be having on June 30th for your reunion. The time is 2:00 p.m. until whenever you are ready to call it a day. There is a more detailed article in the River Press this Wednesday. Everyone is invited and there will be great reunions for all but especially for those who are returning home. Memories will be the main discussion all around. You may find yourself in the pictures on display. So, come on over and make more memories. See you there!

Have you walked along the Walking Trail yet this year? What a beautiful sight. The Missouri is calm and a beautiful color. The trees are all in bloom. The swimming pool is open and you can hear the screams of delight. The park is the most beautiful in the area. Take a lunch soon to the park and enjoy the peace and quiet. What you can hear are the birds chirping. There is nothing like a small town and don’t you love living here? I have lived here for 26 years this month. I envy those of you who were born and raised in this area. I love “farm talk,” and I learn so much from those talks.

I was a city girl and what do I know about pinching growth on tomato plants? I used to plant marigolds behind my house. I had never been to a greenhouse to behold the variety and colors. I had never seen wildflowers as I have here. I can’t imagine living in a big city ever again. I am so happy that I got was granted a second chance at this peaceful live.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

View From The Bridge 6/5/19

View from the Bridge
By Muncie

This moon was universal to the Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also, because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes every year during the month of June . . . so the Full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry.

The full moon this month is on Monday the 17th.

You can sign up for the Summer Celebration Fun Run now. Go to www.fortbenton.com/sumcel. I have been told that it is very simple to do. However . . . there are many seniors that do not have a computer. Please try to have someone help you. It saves a lot of time on the day of the Fun Run because they have to put it into a computer at that time.

There are also forms all over town for you to sign up but there again it has to be typed up into the computer when you get to the sign up location.

I hope that you are spreading the word about Summer Celebration to all of your family, friends, and neighbors. I know that the t-shirts are awesome this year.

I saw some video this past week of the trick riders that will be at the rodeo. I know that the fireworks will be the best ever. Everything has been planned for your entertainment from Friday evening to Sunday at closing time.

Another attraction is the talent show on Sunday afternoon. It was a huge success last year and will be even better this year. I promise so see you there.


I would like to send my very best wishes to the 22 graduates from Fort Benton High School and those from Geraldine and Highwood. I have not forgotten the 1 graduation from Loma. I hope that all of you are going to college and then the whole world opens up for you. One of you may be President of the United States, or go to the moon, or find a cure for cancer. Make the most of what you learn to make the world a better place to live in.

What a year Fort Benton has had for setting records and taking 1st place in many events. I didn’t have the advantage of sports when back when. The boys had football and basketball but the girls had none. How I would have loved basketball and track and field events. I think that your strength and stamina will carry you into a life a lot longer than we seniors have today. So, keep up your active lives and enjoy every minute of every day.

As it has always been, the performances last Friday night were special. There is so much talent that it is breathtaking to watch. I cannot imagine how many hours it took to put on a show like that. It was all perfection in every movement. To those who manage the dance studio . . . you are the best. You must have the patience of the dancing Angels. Thank You.

I could not stay long because of the 85 temperature but I did have a great time for the time I was there. I had lunch and the hot dogs were well roasted and hot. The whole set-up was so organized and I hope it went very well for the Shiners. I know that the work you do is one that the country cannot get along without it. Volunteering is difficult to find but is much appreciated. See you next year.

One more gardener signed up this past week and that leaves two high planters and two low ones. It isn’t too late to get plants planted for early picking. Starting from seed takes longer but I think more fun. To see a plant grow from a seed is so rewarding but no matter how you do it....just do it.

The community bus/van trips around Fort Benton will continue through June. Participation has been slow and so the decision has to be made to discontinue during the summer months. Perhaps it is the warm weather and people can get around more. Perhaps the trips to Great Falls could be once or twice a month.

The two drivers for the trips to Great Falls and the one driver for the Fort Benton trips are volunteers.  The Tuesday trips consist of seven hours travel time and the Friday trips are four hours. This does not include getting to the bus/van and checking, like gas, to see if all is in order.

We have a lot to be thankful for these volunteers. They are driver Angels. Let them know how much you appreciate them.

Get together items you would like to donate to the Lions Garage Sale in September.

Three weeks from Friday will be Summer Celebration. A good time will be had by all.

Buy an American Flag to hang by the 4th of July. JUST DO IT.

Put on your smiley faces for the Visitors that come to visit Fort Benton. Many of them are from out of state and foreign countries. If they look as though they are looking for something do not be bashful. Ask if you can help them in any way. Your attention to them means a lot.

Pick up a copy of the Fort Benton Visitors Guide. Read it through. You can always learn something new about your town. If you did not get a copy in the mail you can find them in most businesses.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

View From The Bridge 5/29/19

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

It is now late Saturday evening and I have just watched the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS. It was the 30th year and was 1 ½ hours long. I think I have watched it all of those 30 years. It really makes Memorial Day a special time.

I hope that you were able to watch it and feel the pain as each war was honored. There were millions of our young men and women who gave their lives for our country.

Did you thank a Veteran today? In fact, you can do that every day of the year. Actually, if you did that a hundred times a day it would never be enough. They are the reason you are comfy, dozy, warm, and able to sit and watch your TV every might. God Bless America.

This day is so meaningful here in Fort Benton. I am sure it is because it is a small rural community. I never had any connection when I lived in another state because it was a huge metropolitan area and I did not know any Veterans.

The ceremony at the Old Fort Benton Bridge is so beautiful with the throwing of the wreath into the Missouri. It is a time to remember all Veterans, and those who gave up their lives for our country.

It is also an awesome sight to follow the crowd to the Riverside Cemetery. To see all the American flags on all the Veterans graves. It makes me feel so grateful that we had these brave men and women who loved their country as much as I do.

I am so proud to be an American and show it by flying an American Flag every day that there is not inclement weather. Please wear red on Fridays and the shirt that says Support Our Troops. I started with a green light on my porch but had to give it up because it did not give enough light.

I am merely giving a reminder to show love of your country in small ways. It takes such a little effort and in today’s world we need all the support we can get or give. JUST DO IT.

It is now Monday afternoon and I have returned from the Memorial ceremonies at the Old Fort Benton Bridge and the Riverside Cemetery. I noted that there was a good turn-out, with many children, considering the chilly weather.

What I enjoyed the most was the singing of GOD BLESS AMERICA. Everyone joined in with their hands on their hearts. I had the strong feeling that our Veterans loved ones were there with us.

I asked Randy to take me for a ride to count the American Flags that were hanging on porches. We did not cover the entire town as Mary Zanto and I had always done but we did cover perhaps half the streets. Randy counted 63 Flags up with one yard that had 9 small ones along his entrance sidewalk. That averages out to be on the generous side about 20% of the homes.

I know that I am hung up on this subject but please make an effort to purchase a flag and get it installed before the 4th of July. Even better would be if they were up by Summer Celebration. JUST DO IT please.

I have a personal story about Vietnam that I would like to share with you. I tried to find out more information to verify my story on the internet but could not find any.

There was a contest for painters to send in pictures of the Vietnam wall. My Uncle Charlie’s next door neighbor was an artist and sent in her picture. It won first place and $50,000.00. I found the picture on the internet but nothing more. I cannot remember her name but I do remember meeting her in Livonia, MI. She invited me into her home to show me other work she had painted.

The strange part of this story is that she was not encouraged to spend time on the talent she loved so much. Much support came after she won that national contest.

So, you artists out there, live your dream. You live in a world of scenes, colors, and how you see the world. I saw a program on PBS not long ago that told how the Art World is disappearing. This includes music, literature, and painting. The arts in Montana are experiencing cuts in appropriations every year. I learned this from attending the Performing Arts Consortiums each year.
So, artists of all kinds hang in there and continue to bring your beautiful talents into the world.

I checked with Rita this morning and she said that last weeks mention in the View with her phone number brought in 2 more gardeners. That leaves 2 more high planting boxes and 3 more low ones that are not filled.

Good show you hard working gardeners. I love seeing you across the street every day working on your gardens.

I got my tomatoes planted this past week. Connie found some rolling things to put my pots on. I attached a bungee cord to pull them in and out of the garage in the morning and at night. It saves wear and tear on the back. Now I just have to wait a couple of months before I can sit on my front porch steps and eat Sweet One Hundreds right off the vine. Yummy!

I am enjoying watching the many birds that have at last discovered my one feeder. It is located in front of my living room window. I have four feeders off the deck in the back but I no longer fill them. It is because the larger birds seemed to have taken them over and chase the small birds away. I suppose they have to eat too but I do not enjoy watching them as much as the wrens and sparrows.

I have no idea where their nests are as they always seem to fly away to the east and there is only one tree nearby. To the west there are many trees so because I do not see well, I cannot follow them to their nests. Well whatever. It doesn’t really matter as long as they hang out nearby so I can enjoy them.

Since you had not shown up and it is Memorial Day, I took it upon myself to decorate the hollow tree. Nancy was working in the Community Garden and I asked her if she would help me decorate. I really wasn’t much help but I did provide the decorations. At a silent auction I got a Red, White, and Blue basket filled with patriotic decorations.

I hope that you don’t mind. You must be away and I wish there were a way we could communicate. I would actually leave the hollow tree as it is until Labor Day. By time you should be ready to do fall decorations. Please contact in some matter so I will still not know who you are.

Nancy is storing you summer decorations. Let her know when you want them back.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

View From The Bridge 5/22/19

By Muncie

Every other year the Lions Club has a garage sale. It will be sometime in September and the Club requests that you start saving your “great stuff” now.  If you have “stuff” and you may be gone when the collection begins, please give me a call, (I’m in the book.) I will make arrangements to have it picked up.

I am a Lioness and this fund raiser is the most fun of those we do along with Fair Parking. I love to check out what people know are treasurers. Although I am trying to downsize, I always manage to find something I cannot live without. So, check out your basements, garages, sheds, and barns to see what you can live without. Get it out of you way now if it is large and put it into a special corner if it is small.

All the proceeds from this sale and from the parking collections go for scholarships. That includes high schools in Geraldine, Highwood, and Fort Benton. The amounts on those scholarships were raised because of the success of the garage sale and fair parking. See you there.

It is that time of year when the Lions Club is also thinking about raising money for the Summer Celebration Fire Works Display. It is just about six weeks away. You will be receiving soon a request for a donation for the fireworks. You have always been so generous and the Lions thank you for that.  This year the theme for the Summer Celebration is “All one under the light of the stars and stripes”. When you see the t-shirts you will agree they are the best ever and awesome. They will be keepers for many years.

It is soon time for me to start wearing a year by year Summer Celebration shirt every day. I have shirts from 1994 as I gave up 1993 for the quilts we raffled a few years ago. By my calculations I have 25 shirts and will begin wearing them on the 2nd of June.

When you see me out and about let us talk about the celebration of the year I have the shirt on. Is there anyone else out there who has all the shirts? Let’s meet sometime for lunch. Call me. My number is in the book.

I am so sorry that I missed the torch run that came through Fort Benton. Mondays are usually busy for me as I work on the View from the Bridge and have it to the River Press by 3::00 p.m.

If I had known (or if I did, I forgot) I would love to have been at my favorite Old Fort Benton Bridge. I have a special interest in the Special Olympics as my daughter, Jennifer, coaches the women’s swim team for quite a few years. I mention this because I want to thank the many volunteers that take part in the program.

To watch those special people, trying so hard at their sport is an inspiration. They are such positive people and they do their best. Do I? Do you?

Isn’t it wonderful to see green everywhere and leaves on the trees. The only sad thing is that we won’t have any lilacs this year. That one night that it went below 30 degrees did them in. I will miss them and the smell of their blossoms that reached all over town.

I just think about the year that my son-in-law, Mark Pyrec, took me for an airplane ride on Mother’s Day. All you could see from up there was white and all shades of purple lilacs covering Fort Benton. It was a Mother’s Day gift I will never forget. Thanks Mark for a beautiful memory.

For many years Bob Hankins has volunteered to put up the flags at the Lewis and Clark Memorial bronze. The flags have to be replaced often because they are not taken down each day. They have a spotlight on them and can be flying all the time.

I never knew until this past week that Bob replaced the flags. He is one of many unknown volunteers around town who volunteer their time and are not known. You are volunteer Angels and you are the ones who keep Fort Benton looking like the beautiful place that it is.

The Community Garden has always been a popular spot in town. This year because of the cooler weather there are several beds that need a garden. If you are interested please call Rita Braun and she will be happy to give you a prime spot. (Actually they are all prime spots.) The cost is $10.00 and you get $5.00 back in the fall if you clean up your garden. What a deal. You also have the advantage of water and a fenced in area to protect from rabbits and deer.

I have to drag my pots of tomatoes into the garage at night and out to the driveway in the morning. I only have tomatoes but the deer like to nibble on those. My neighbor, Norma, has an array of flowers and they are also very attractive to the deer.

The question is, “Why don’t we use the community garden?” I cannot answer that question but perhaps after this year I may consider that option since it is across the street from me.

I watch those gardens all summer long and they are something to behold. It is also interesting to watch those devoted gardeners going about their work. I know they love every minute because there is something about playing in the dirt, or should we call it soil?

Come on over and I’ll give you lemonade, iced tea, or just water for a little break as we watch your garden grow.

On Friday May 30th there will be a celebration of Arlene’s life. She was a longtime resident of Fort Benton and a wonderful friend to everyone. She did a lot of sewing for me and I so enjoyed my visits with her. She had wonderful stories and how I wish I had written all of them down.

I called Arlene at Christmas to see how she was doing. She said that she was coming back to Fort Benton in April. Little did she know how that would play out.

So long dear friend and you are very much missed. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

View From The Bridge 5/15/19

By Muncie

I didn’t have time last week to report on the annual Elementary School luncheon. I was enjoying the yearly appreciation luncheon at the Mountain View location when two women who sat across from us mentioned that the Elementary School Senior luncheon was at 1:00. There was no way I would miss this event so I got on my go-go and headed for the school. Since I did not call in a reservation, I found that I did not have a name tag. I was seated to wait for a cancelation that came very quickly. I choose a seat at a front table so I could hear and enjoy the program.

Lunch was the usual wonderful turkey dinner and dessert was ice cream or strawberries. I choose the strawberries and they were yummy. I really enjoy the way the youngsters were around the room constantly to fill water, lemonade, and coffee cups. They are so serious and grown-up.

I love this Senior Luncheon because of the entertainment. Each grade does their own thing and they were the greatest lead by Eric Lenington. (This is when I found out that Eric will be leaving Fort Benton. He will be sorely missed but we sent the best of everything for him. I am sure he will be back often to visit because he is a Fort Benton boy.)

So, on with the show. In other years the students went in the audience to find their grandparents. The final item on the agenda is for them to dance. This year it was the best ever because they played YMCA. Karen Lippert and her grandson were standing in front of me and by observing them I finally learned how to do YMCA. I previously had to think about each letter. From now on I am a devoted YMCA advocate.

Thank you to everyone at the Elementary School for this appreciation day. I know that all the Seniors and Grandparents look forward to this special day. You all put so much effort into the food and the decorations. Only in a small town do you find this kind of event. Thanks again from the bottom of our hearts.

It is so hard to believe that May is half over. Memorial Day is less than 2 weeks away. That means that I am on my mission to ask everyone to fly an American Flag on their front porch. I know that you are all proud to be Americans so show it by flying a flag. You readers have plenty of time to purchase a flag and get it up. My dream is that every residence in Fort Benton flies our precious flag. Please help my dream come true and make Fort Benton the Flag City of Montana.     

I am working on this article on Sunday, Mother’s Day. It is 3:00 in the afternoon and the temperature on my weather station is 84 degrees. On the Fort Benton web the temperature is 85 degrees. What a beautiful day and I am sure that this will help the trees bud out. I know that the cottonwoods are a bit slower but all others should now have a good start.

I believe that son Randy said two years ago he took pictures of the lilac trees in full bloom on April 15th. Are any of your lilac trees in bloom? There are not any lilac trees along the walking trail for me to check them out.

A lovely 80th birthday party was held last Saturday at the Club House for Pat Wutschke. It was a great party and I was able to GoGo to the Club House because of the early time of the party, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Pat agreed with me when we talked about how the older you get the faster the time goes. I also thanked her again for always providing me with the date of the Loma Flea Market. I do not have many people who call me with stories. The only other person who would often call me was Joan Albers. There have also been several callers who let me know the arrival of robins and meadowlarks. I really appreciate those calls.

The question about why perms are called permanents when they are not was not my observation. It belonged to son Randy so I am sorry to tell him that no one called me with a better name. I came up with swirl curl and temp curl but I did not get any support to the several people I talked to. (I wish that were all I had to spend time on or rather waste time on. I do it because it is fun.)

You know it is spring when The Freeze opens. Most years when the scholarship program day is on the calendar we go to the Freeze afterward to celebrate. Not this year as the Freeze opened on Friday. We did however make a trip on Friday for one of their great pork chop sandwiches, tater tots and hot fudge sundae’s. It was a bit chilly so we sat inside. It was so good to see Lauri and Murray again with their friendly smiles and greetings. I have to add that all of our business owners do the same. They are always happy to see you and that you shop locally. I do hope that you do that because this shopping on line and have it delivered to your home is proving to be very difficult for small business owners. (I heard this on the TV news.)

Now that we do not have to wear heavy winter coats or jackets, please wear your “Support Our Troops” t-shirt on Friday. Any red shirt is acceptable - just do it. Our Troops need lots of support. Our Troops do the job because they love our country and are willing to give their lives for it. Would you be willing to do that? Thank you to those of you who did do that in the last century. We love you and will be honoring you in a couple of weeks when Memorial Day will be upon us. See you there!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

View From The Bridge 5/8/19

By Muncie

This is the FULL FLOWER MOON. In most areas there are abundant everywhere during this time. Other names are the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Full Milk Moon.

The full moon this moon is Saturday the 18th. Enjoy!

Dear Readers, I am almost back to normal. I feel as though I can type today but only time will tell how much. I was out and about this week and it was so good to get outside with all the fresh air.

Tuesday evening, son Randy took me to the Ag Center for the program about the mid-wife Mary Kassmeier. Who knew about her and her most interesting life? Many of her descendants were in attendance and there was a grand reunion amongst the families of today.

The biggest attraction was the scrape book that Mary put together. She did not accept any money for her services and asked only for a picture of the baby.

Randy had known ahead of time that his dad, Wally Morger, had his picture in the book.  He was born in 1923 and was in the hospital at the same time with Lorene Stranahan and Kenny Morrow. Randy also found a picture of Wally’s first cousin Ernie Good. Ernie was about 3 years old and he was holding a basketball. He turned out to be one of the best basketball players in Fort Benton sports history. This is a personal story of our family and those other close friends. The attendance was very crowded and many learned much about their genealogy.

Because many of the baby pictures were unidentified, Women’s Reproductive History Alliance would like to hear from you if you had grandparents or great grandparents born from 1915 through the 1920’s.

For more on this story read Connlee Gray’s article in last week’s River Press. If you need to get in touch with Professor Jennifer Hill go to her website to see if you can identify any baby pictures and add stories. If you do not do the computer thing, then contact Ken Robison at the Museums Library and Archives located in the Montana Agricultural Center on Tuesdays.

I really enjoyed this program and all the historic information it brought to light. These wonderful women not only delivered the babies but they stayed around the family for several weeks doing “the woman thing” like caring for the baby and other children, cooking cleaning, laundry and in general everything that needed to be done. God bless these women because I never could have done what they did. 

In this day and age I would like to commend the Army of Nurses and everyone who works at the hospital. In my one day stay there, I received the best of care from these devoted women who knew exactly what they were doing. I met many women I had never met before and many I had not seen for a long time. I did see one man, Stan, who came to check on me. Otherwise, it was all women and I consider them the Mary Kassmeier’s of today. God bless them too.

I had an appointment to get what is called a perm or permanent. All you ladies know what that is. The question is, if it is a permanent, why doesn’t it last longer?

So I ask you to rename this procedure. I will have a prize for the best name. I know that many of you have very clever minds and will come up with great suggestions. Call me. I expect that my phone will be ringing constantly.

I think I have had enough for now. I start P.T. on Tuesday. Things are looking up and it is supposed to be in the 70’s this coming weekend. I can hardly wait.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

View From The Bridge 5/1/19

View from the Bridge
By Muncie

Dear Readers,

I think it will be a couple of weeks before my wrist will be strong enough to type and of course Bethany is helping me again, typing my dictation. Actually, I didn’t go anywhere all week long until Sunday when I went to the Piatigorsky Concert at the Grand Union, which was absolutely out of this world.

I’m feeling much better. My wrist is healing. I’m going to the Ag Center tonight (Tuesday) to listen to the presentation by Dr. Jennifer Hill about the midwife, Mary Kassmeier.

Take care of yourselves. Walk – try not to fall, because once you start going down, you can’t stop it!


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

View From The Bridge 4/17/19

By Muncie

I hope that you all have family and friends to spend Easter Sunday with. I am so fortunate to have several of my extended family living in Fort Benton. An Easter egg hunt and dinner are planned.

I have a story about an Easter Egg hunt at the old house years ago. Val bought a bunny suit and Wally, wearing the suit, hid in the shed until the little ones came into the yard.

When Wally came out of the shed the little ones began to scream and cry. They were so frightened. We still talk about that Easter often.

Thursday is the regular monthly meeting in the basement of the First Bank of Montana at noon. For those who have not been able to attend a meeting in a while bring your lunch.

It is going to be a fun afternoon because that is when we stuff the eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt being held on Saturday at the Old Fort Benton Park. (You can have all the candy you want to munch on.) Check the River Press Community Calendar for times.

The more that come to help the more quickly the job is done. The Easter Egg Hunt has always been a very successful project for the Lions and I am sure that the Kiddos love it. So, set aside Thursday afternoon and join the Lions to get the job done quickly. You do not have to bring anything. Eggs and candy are waiting.

AH SPRING!       
April showers bring May flowers. It has been a dreary month when the sun is hiding out somewhere but just think about May. I have gotten reports that tulips and crocus are poking through the ground.

April is half over and Easter is upon us. It seems to me that time is going faster and faster. If I could only do one thing a day to catch up I would be happier. I get started on a forgotten project when something else comes up to distract me. Are you having the same problem?

I am looking forward to May when the flowers are in bloom and there are leaves on the trees. Fort Benton is so beautiful in the spring and summer. Enjoy every minute of every day.

Since the Wake Cup Coffee Shop is no longer at the Mini-Mall, you may not know that the waterfall/cascade has been repaired. It is running full speed ahead and I saw it for the first-time last Friday. I knew it was being repaired because for several weeks the center rocks were removed. Parts had to be ordered and all of this is due to Steve Johnson who is the husband of Jean, his wife, who opened her shop, the Rustic Mercantile, in the Mini-Mall last year.

Steve and Roger were  also responsible for Christmas decorating the Mini-Mall. They also had a lot of help from what Jean called the Girls. They won first place for decorations of a business.

Thank you Steve and Jean for choosing Fort Benton as your home town.

The waterfall/cascade was always a huge attraction for visitors as well as locals. Additionally Steve also put a fire pit behind the waterfall/cascade with chairs around it. It will be a great place to meet friends for coffee and conversation on warm summer evenings. See you there.

Do you like my name for the complex across from the Lewis and Clark bronze? I have always called it the Mini-Mall and pointed it out by   that name when I was at the Information Center.

Have all of you Upper and Lower Shonkin folks put June 30th on your calendars for the reunion? It will be held at the Shonkin Community Center. Come early, 3:00 p.m., and stay late, 8:00 p.m. That will give you lots of time to visit and renew friendships.

If you have any questions please contact Joan Koethoff Burrey. She is a longtime resident and can give you all the answers.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

View From The Bridge 4/10/19

By Muncie

Hello “Who”. You did a terrific job decorating the hollow tree for Easter. Now, if you are the same “Who”, who was the “Who” last year who decorated the hollow tree last year, than I want to tell you I put your rabbit and metal carrot in the tree. When it is time to decorate for Memorial Day, please take your rabbit and carrot back to your home. I have been storing it but can no longer do that. It is so adorable and I enjoyed looking at it for a year. Thank you “Who” for all you do with that hollow tree. I am the one who enjoys it the most because I am just across the street from it. Happy Easter to you and I am all “who-ed” out.

Kind Kate called and offered me a ride so I could attend the luncheon in Geraldine. We had a wonderful time and it saddens me to realize that there is only one more luncheon left and if you did not remember it was on Wednesday the 10th, then you missed it.

We had a delicious salad luncheon that complimented the arrival of spring. These luncheons are very inspiring and thank you to all who put together the luncheons and to those who attended. I believe that we have the best cooks in the world.

My daughter, Jennifer, and I had an absolute great time at the Flea Market. We found too many, treasures that we just could not live without.

Many friends came up to tell me who they were and to say hello. The vendors were anxious to show off their wares and handiwork. They come from far and near and just to set up seems like an impossible chore. I know that they work all year for the flea markets and I am looking forward to next year.

This annual event is just around the corner and as I am a member of the Lions Club I know they have been working on it for several months.

Look for all details in the River Press and let us hope for good weather. We would like to order sunshine, warmth, and a  possible rainbow without rain. Wouldn’t that make Easter special?

So, Happy Easter egg hunt and see you there.

“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” There is such a beautiful story that the above phrase came from. It was in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book many years ago.

I have mentioned it many times in the years gone by because it brings to mind the many kind things that have been given or said on me. Just a smile and a cherry good morning is what makes my day. Try it…one good deed a day is all you need to feel fantastic.

Susanna Solomon arrived in Fort Benton on Sunday morning after having a book reading at Barnes and Noble on Saturday. Her book is about Fort Benton and the Missouri River.

We had dinner at the Sunrise Bluffs on Sunday to hear the Accordion Band. (More on the Band  below.)

Susanna is from CA so she enjoyed the small town approach to entertainment. Afterward we took a ride to Loma and she climbed the hill at Decision Point in the wind. Then we checked out the Buffalo field. We also took the short ride to check out the Blue Heron nesting place. Susanna counted about 10 nests but did not see any birds. They were probably deep in the nests with their eggs.

On Monday we had lunch at noon and then a hop, skip, and few jumps to the Elementary School for the outreach program of the O Sole Trio. Then a bit later to the Library for her first book reading at 4:30 p.m. and then I was off to the CCPA performance at 7:00 p.m.

I had a great weekend and the weather cooperated very nicely. It is so wonderful to be able to get out and about and especially without a heavy jacket, coat, hat, and gloves.

This was the best turnout ever to spend a delightful couple of hours listening to old time songs. There were over 20 people there and 6 couples dancing. Also dancing was the Danrather Gramma with three of her grandchildren. The girls kept us entertained with their dancing. The leader of the Band asked for requests and I raised my hand. I asked for “God Bless American” and everyone stood and sang. It was the most heartwarming few minutes of the whole day. Thank you to the Accordion Band and thank you to all of you who showed up.

On my way home last Friday on my GoGo I was just in front of the Little Museum on the new River Road that was recently redone. (It is so nice and smooth with no gravel or rocks to give me a bumpy ride.)
I talked to a man who had just come from walking his dogs up on the hill and he mentioned he saw a Meadowlark. My limited knowledge of these birds is that they do not hang out in town. It was not actually in town but close enough. I cannot remember the man’s name but I want to say hello to his wife, Agnes, who reads the View and told him about me wanting to know who spots the first Meadowlark. Thanks a millon!