YES, I AM STILL HERE peeking out of the newspaper’s window on Main Street and I am floored, as usual, by the things our community does so well year after year.
Like Saturday’s Stand Up for America Gala and Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.
Chamber of Commerce executive Director Mike Reese told me Monday that the awards were adjusted some because of Covid-19.
Next year we’ll go back to Man of the Year and Woman of the Year awards, he says. This year the chamber just gave Citizen of the Year, and it went to a most deserving person (I’ll let you read the story and see the winner in our pictures.
Some people, including Reese, were in the park from early morning until after the fireworks display. Mike told me he was so exhausted that he went home, flung himself on the couch and slept with his clothes on, much to the dismay of Darlene who had hoped to be able to at least put his socks in the clothes washer.
Mike estimated the crowd at about 800, and that is about 200 or so higher than my own estimate. It took years, but I have recovered from the crowd estimate training I got from the late, great Nobie Ann Hill Williams, chamber manager and Stand Up organizer who would have expected the newspaper to give a glowing crowd count of 1,000.
You just did not say ‘no’ to Nobie Ann. She had the ability to get solemn businessmen and women to do the most outrageous things, all for the chamber’s good.
I was more of a coward than Mike, so I didn’t stay until the bitter end. Therefore my socks didn’t stink so bad.
There have been times when I was there early and stayed late, but not this year.
I got there at about 6:30 so I wouldn’t miss any of the chamber awards, and I left at about 8:30 early in the patriotic program. Sorry, I was just too tired, hot, old and plump to stay longer. I did get to see enough of both shows, however, to be reminded of how much local talent there is.
And, lo and behold, the new site for launching the aerial fireworks put the explosions high enough so that it enabled me to see almost all of them from a comfortable seat in a gentle, cool breeze on my patio. Libation in hand.
I have said this many times before — the bravest people are the one who get up and sing in front of a crowd. Going back many, many years we have had talented individuals and groups who would perform in front of the Stand up crowd. Many of them have been professional quality. Some others? Well they at least tried.
The organizers of the event, behind-the-scene workers, and the mistress of ceremonies are all gold-plated in my mind. Thank you, all.
I was especially glad to see the Pioneer Award presented to Jo N. Howard (I always include her N initial). If not for Jo and the extension homemaker club ladies there would be no Stand Up for America event. She took it over, improved it, and made it last until it could be handed off to another generation.
I hope yet another generation is up to the challenge.
Ahem. I need to mention that the chamber tries to make at least enough money to clear expenses of Stand Up, therefore there was a $5 admission.
If you are one of the many who just went to a high spot in order to watch the fireworks for free, please stuff your $5 ‘donation’ into the front door mail chute at the chamber office. If you don’t, one of these days the chamber will just say it’s not worth the effort and expense to put it on.
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ANIMAL CRACKERS. There has/have been a plethora of bugs invading my house, lately. But mostly spiders. I must have smushed eight or nine. Most of them are harmless or even beneficial, but there are some like the Black Widow or the Brown Recluse that can make you regret that you got bitten.
It takes guts to shove your bare foot into a shoe that has sat on the floor by your bed all night. I always imagine that there was a convention of spiders inside the shoe overnight.
Since I can’t tell the difference between good guys and bad, I smush all spiders.
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THE GOOD EARTH. Just thinking about some of ‘our’ old swimming holes in this hot weather. There was ‘Big Rock’ north of Lake Nichols on Mine Creek. Got its name because there was a good-sized rock (surprise) on the bank of the creek. Big Rock was a 30-minute bicycle ride from town on a gravel road. When you got there you were really hot and dusty. The ‘hole’ was too small for swimming. But you could splash yourself clean and cooloff for the ride back to town.
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MORE THINGS I LEARNED from opening an email: If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends? This reminds me that because of Facebook, ‘friend’ is now a noun AND a verb.
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WORD GAMES. The twins: Live and Learn. Experience teaches, doesn’t it?
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SHE SAID: “How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!” EMILY DICKINSON, poet
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HE SAID: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” WALT DISNEY, entertainment visionary
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby