Tuesday, January 22, 2019

View From The Bridge 1/23/18

By Muncie

This Saturday the annual Montana Performing Arts Consortium showcase will be at the Civic Center in Great Falls. The showcases begin at 9:00 a.m. and last all day. It is an amazing time of music and the best part is that it is FREE.

You will see acts that may be chosen to appear at the CCPA here in Fort Benton.  So, take the day off, enjoy the showcases, have lunch at the many choices you can find there, and go home humming many of your favorite songs. See you there!

On the 30th of January, The Sound Exchange, will be at the Elementary School. Please make an effort to be there. You will love this group and their performance. They are dazzling. When they were here in Fort Benton for Consortium in 2018 our local audiences gave them rave reviews. They insisted the CCPA Board invite them back.

Well, they will be here a week from Wednesday. See you there!

Last Friday’s basketball game with Big Sandy was a flurry of pink shirts. It was a fund raiser for the Cancer Support Group. That was the reason for the pink.

The same fun time was on at the Fort Benton vs. Big Sandy at Big Sandy a few weeks ago. Next year’s plans are to spread the word about the pink.

There are pink shirts for sale every other year and this was not the year. Hopefully the shirts are for sale a few weeks ahead so they can be worn to the “PINK” game.

You know the saying, “Location, location, location,” is important In real estate. Well, “Advertising, advertising, advertising,” is important in the every-day world. We will try to work a little harder to get information to get the word to you. However, you the readers must cooperate with the events that you are planning. It is more fun when many people are in on the project. I had one of the pink shirts but in my moving to the Sunset apartments, I cannot find it. I found an old Michigan pink shirt and so I turned it inside out. (No one even noticed.

Next Thursday the 24th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Community Bible Center will be another fundraiser.  Allie Wallace excels in the Track program and is raising money to go to compete in Australia

She and her Mom, Kellie, found a recipe for Sconcos and with many volunteers will work for hours to prepare these treats. They are delicious and you can either eat them at the Center or take a bag full home. They reheat very well, ask for direction, and enjoy. Also have Allie tell you her story. She is a delightful young woman and we are so proud of her and have a right to brag about her accomplishments. We wish her good luck and look forward to seeing how well she does competing with “Trackers” from all over the world.

On Saturday, the 19th, the Salvation Nation Band from Havre, was at Sunrise Bluffs to entertain everyone in Fort Benton. I wish more people, other than just the people who live at the Bluffs, had enjoyed their performance. I realize that the weather was not as pleasant as it has been. These bands that come to Fort Benton from Havre and Great Falls make an effort to visit us once a year. It is a great effort to pack up all their equipment and drive the 70 miles from Havre. But then again, you know how I feel about filling the auditorium for CCPA.

The Salvation Nation played songs that we could recognize and the “Leader of the Band” played a game with us. He gave us clues, with a free trip to Chester, if we could guess what the group would play next. Most songs were from movies and no one got the free trip to Chester. It was a fun afternoon and perhaps the next time they are here in Fort Benton, with a little more advertising, we will have a larger crowd.

Tuesday evenings, during the summer, in Havre, the Salvation Nation plays at the local park. We were invited to attend if we are in Havre next summer. What a wonderful idea. Do you suppose that Fort Benton could come up with a program like that?

I asked the leader of the band where they got their name. His answer was just what I thought it would be. Our Nation needs salvation especially today. It all ends up with the same old, same old, “Love Thy Neighbor.” Think about that. I have thought long and hard about what I can do to light one little candle. Can you do one small act of kindness every day? It may be the answer.

As a young boy said to me when I had to ask for a ride home from the Bluffs. When I got out of the vehicle, he said, “It sure makes you feel good when you can do something to help someone.”

Since some of us in Fort Benton have been shuffled around with insurance companies in the last several years, it is difficult to know in which direction to go. As far as I could find out the reason, it was because we are rural communities and we did not give them enough business. During this time my auto insurance company also cancelled me for the same reason.     

All this leads to an invitation from a young woman, named Jill, who will be at the Golden Age Senior Center on on Friday February 15th from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to answer your questions. She will have treats and again begin bringing a birthday/anniversary cake for the Golden Age Senior Center the last Sunday of the month.

You are all invited so come on over ad enjoy a little time relaxing and visiting with friends and neighbors who may have the same questions that you have.

I will remind you again as the time gets closer but in the meanwhile put the date on your calendar.

I did not know Diane Walker as a personal friend but as one of the women I visited at the MRMC during all the holidays.

I loved visiting with her as she took me all over the world with her stories about her travels. I have done a little traveling myself but nothing as exciting as hers.

She said that she enjoyed my visits ad would call me often to ask how I was doing. I did not visit her for Thanksgiving or Christmas because it was a little too chilly to “GoGo” to the hospital. I did however get there the day before Diane passed away. She was in a very sound sleep and did not hear me. I knew it was not long for her. I was happy about the time I spent with her and wish she could tell me about her final journey.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

View From The Bridge 1/16/19

By Muncie

I know that I promised not to talk about the weather again, but who can help not doing it?       
We have been so fortunate to have beautiful weather this winter. Great Falls and other locations have had snow and Fort Benton was not in the pattern.

I am wondering what is in forecast for the next few weeks until spring? Is Mother Nature being kind to us after what happened last winter? Only time will tell but talk about it is a safe subject to discuss these days.

Do you have any plans for next Saturday afternoon? Well there is a nice party planned for you at the Sunrise Bluffs. The Salvation Nation Band will be entertaining at 2:00 p.m. Put on your singing voice and your dancing shoes ad come to Sunrise Bluffs for some entertainment and socializing to pass these dreary days winter days. I hope to see you there.

I had several conversations this past week with Senior Citizens. The conversation was about attending functions or events in the evening hours. They do not participate because they do not like to go when it is dark.

A solution might be for you readers who can drive at night to offer those family, friends, and neighbors a ride. For instance to the Chouteau County Performing Arts programs. There are not a lot of parking areas around the Elementary School so that eliminates the problem of parking. You can let your passengers off at the door. There is a space by the sidewalk that parking is not allowed.

Please see what you can manage about giving rides to those who do not want to go out at night. I am not asking this for myself. I am fortunate to always have a ride. (There are Angels among us.)   

At the Senior Center Sunday dinners I used to sit close to Joyce Cassutt.  She ate slowly as I did and we were usually the last ones left at the table. That was the only way I knew her as a friend. We talked about not wanting to cook and having to give up driving. They were subjects that both of us had a lot of interest in.

Finally it got to the point that she stopped coming to dinners because she had no way to get there. I called her and asked if she would come if she had a ride. I found a completely kind and selfless member of the Senior Center who lived near Joyce who from then on picked her up the few Sundays she had left. I miss her very much.

I attended her Memorial Service and met her family. What a lovely family they are and several of them sat with me at a table after the service while we had coffee and dessert.

The service was at the Methodist Church and they have wonderful bakers in their congregation.

I was told by one of Joyce’s sons that a grandson’s wife worked for a newspaper in Jackson Hole, WY. Melissa Cassutt joined the table. She has title of Deputy Editor and doesn’t actually write. She oversees the Art section of the paper but has a degree in journalism.

I was so happy that I was able to attend the service that gave me closure for my loss of this Senior Center friend. I hope we meet again some sunny day.

Since I spent 17 days in the Nursing Home when I had my knee replacement almost 5 years ago, I know how lonely it gets to be. I go to the MRMC often to visit. I wish more of you would do this. Please do not wait until you have to go to visit a loved one or are there yourself. Just do it!

GOD BLESS AMERICA, OUT TROOPS, POLICE OFFICERS, VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTERS, AND EMT’s. (So often these days, in fact almost every day, police officers are being killed. They are just doing their job going to work and not thinking they might not be going home to their families that day.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

View From The Bridge 1/9/19

By Muncie

I wonder how long it will be before I remember to write 2019. It has always been a problem with me. Perhaps it will be different this year because I rarely write checks any more. Do we share this problem or if you solved it, please let me know?

Fort Benton did not wait a long time for the Assisted Living facility to be built. When the announcement was made that it would be ready in December, a few shook their heads and said that it could not be possible. Well, it did take a month longer but on January 15th, which is next week, it will be open.

Another date to put on your calendar is Sunday, February 3rd from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. There will be an open house. It is open for all to see and meet those who will be taking care of those assisted living folks.

Another interesting tidbit comes from a discussion with Lindsey McWilliams a couple of days ago. The first plans for the facility were to hire a manager. Since then Lindsey has decided to handle it herself and has moved to Fort Benton. She purchased a home on the 800 block of Washington. Please show her a neighborly Welcome to Fort Benton”.

It really pleases me when people move to Fort Benton. When I went to welcome a new neighbor, I met the father-in-law who was visiting the new couple. He told me that he and his wife were moving to Fort Benton this coming summer from another state. He walked every day all around town. He knew exactly where I lived by my description of streets and structures. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

Every Thursday afternoon at the Golden Age Senior Center there is a Bingo game going on. The few of us that participate and those who run it would like it very much if more people would join us. If you would like a few hours off quiet time and just concentrating on those numbers that are called…that is the place to be.

I never thought that I would ever play Bingo but there I am most weeks and enjoy it very much. When I am concentrating on the game, I do not think about anything else going on. I would like you to try it and perhaps you will become as addicted as I did. It also helps to get your thoughts off these long winter days.

I would also like to tell you that they have large cards that are easier to see. It helps a lot as I can play 3 cards easily (it is only $1.00 a card). I love to watch those players who have six cards in front of them. I have to confess that I do not play to win. I just enjoy the company of others who like to play Bingo.

There is also a cute goings on that gets you a prize if you participate. Wear something “PURPLE” on the Thursday the17th. We have already gone through orange and red clothing. It is a monthly event on Bingo day.

There will be a Tuesday night dinner this month. It is the 3rd Tuesday, the 15th.  Call in (622-3601) to get your reservation in or drop by the Center to sign up.

How time flies. That dinner will actually be next Tuesday so just do it. I will be there if there isn’t a blizzard but otherwise let’s enjoy a fun evening together.

We Basketball Fans have a lot to talk about these days. There were 2 nights of games last week and they were thrillers. Even though the Varsity Girls lost to Box Elder, (we love you anyway,) they are 7 and 1. The Longhorn boys are 8 and 0, and as well as the Lady Longhorns, are looking sooooooooooooooo good. We would love to win State but for sure the Longhorns will be there playing their little hearts out.

Thank you to the teams for giving us very exciting weekends. We Fans wouldn’t have it any other way…win or lose. You keep us very happy no matter what.

Just want to mention the Fort Benton High School Band. You are the greatest and I hope that you can hear me clapping even though I am in the opposite corner. I do not have any trouble hearing you. I even have to take my hearing aids out.  GO BAND!


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

View From The Bridge 1/2/19

By Muncie 

I just cannot believe that we are into another year. Twenty years have gone by since the whole world was worried about what would happen to computers when 2000 rolled around. Do you remember the turmoil about that? It all worked out with no problem at all for us unlike those tech people who worked on getting it all together.

Even though I am not in love with my computer, I am grateful that it gets the View from the Bridge to those at the River Press who know what they are doing. I have lost track of the times that Bethany had to come to my apartment to help me with Windows 10. It could not be done with the little Apple I began with years ago in 1993 when I moved to Montana.

I was very disappointed again on New Year’s Eve when I watched the “Time Ball” on TV come down. There was so much smoke that I could not see the Ball on its way down. Perhaps I was watching the wrong channel.

I remember not too many years ago when all eyes were on the “Time Ball” 5 minutes ahead of time. About a minute before midnight the Ball would begin its journey and there was a count down. It was very exciting and you really felt like you watched the New Year come in. What happened to all of that excitement? I wonder if other readers had the same impression. Perhaps most of you did not even stay up to watch as it actually is just like any other night.

My Christmas Eves, for years, have been spent watching this wonderful movie. I have a copy of the movie on VCR and a DVD but it was more enjoyable to watch it on TV. In my memory bank it seems to me that last year the station that showed the movie said that they were giving us a Christmas gift. The gift was to show the movie without commercials. This year there were commercials and that was a disappointment for me. 

Do readers remember from last year? If you see me here, there, and everywhere, could we discuss it?

I did not pick up on any particular Christmas miracle stories except on TV news. If you have a special story, would you let me know? I am asking about stories in Fort Benton and Chouteau County and other surrounding areas. There must be some as the Christmas Spirit would not forget about us.

There were several names for this moon and the first of these was the Full Wolf Moon because the wolves howled hungrily outside the Indian villages.

Several other names were the Cold Moon and the Moon after the Yule. Those names explain them-selves. The final name was the Full Snow Moon but the Tribes applied it to the next t month.

The next full moon is on Monday the 21st.

A week ago, the Saturday before Christmas, I sat eating my breakfast in front of my living room window. Dozens of little birds were also eating their breakfast from my feeder. I enjoyed this sight because I have not had any birds visit since I started filling the feeder when the weather turned a little chilly. I did have many doves but they feed on the ground.

I have not seen a bird since. One of my friends said that perhaps the birds came to the feeders before I began moving around in the morning. I do not think that is true since the feeder has remained full. So, get the word out to the birds that my feeder is ready and waiting. What is wrong with my feeder? Don’t you like the feed that I lovingly fill for you? It is a labor of love because I have to reach up high to fill it. I want you back again as it is such fun to watch you flying in and out to where ever you take the feed. Perhaps the birdwatchers that read the River Press may have some suggestions. Please let me know. I’m in the phone book.

Basketball games are at the head of the list in the next few weeks. It is the talk of the town and every conversation is about the 6 and 0 record. It certainly is small town event and bigtime excitement. You had better get to the game early because it is going to be crowded. Enjoy the best hamburger in town and support whatever group is working to serve you. See you there although I sit downstairs now. It takes me too long to get up the stairs.


(So many people need help financially so pick your charity and just do it. The TV ads say that 10,000 people in Montana do not have enough to eat. Do what you can because very little bit helps.)