Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Fourth of July

Here we are, the Fourth of July. I don't need to be in town until the forenoon, though perhaps I'd better head in a little earlier if I want to find parking. In the meanwhile, I'm taking the morning easy.

Things went well at our Lions Fourth of July Family Fun Fest yesterday. In preparation I smeared myself thoroughly with sun screen— a prerequisite for one as fair skinned as I, if I don't want to get burned to a crisp. Then in to town mid afternoon. Some of the flea market booths were already open; I bought from one of them a 1958 Houston County atlas. Houston County, Minnesota: some folks hereabouts still pronounce that "Hoosston," instead of "Hyoosston."

By a stroke of synchronicity, Harley showed up right at that point in his pickup, with the new inflatable bouncy houses. We went down and set them up, down beyond food stand #2, down by the tennis courts. I'd brought a heavy hammer with me, handy for pounding endless stakes into the ground. We scared up some extension cords, and sure enough, the bouncy houses (one large and two small) inflated. I deflated & unplugged them, wouldn't need them until the evening, but now they were set up.

Bummed around the rest of the afternoon. One fellow comes to the flea market every year with a big trailer thing that opens up into a shop from which he sells all sorts of doodads. I buy a knife from him every year, different styles but all made in Pakistan, and all with wooden handles dyed multicolored layers of red and green. This year I got a very nice locking folding knife from him, for only $3.50.

Ate up at food stand #1. Came down and ate some more at food stand #2. People kept greeting me, "Congratulations, Mr. President!" (Yeah, I'm the new President of our local Lions Club; I'm not sure if congratulations or sympathies are in order ;-) Two kids from our Youth Fellowship showed up to supervise the bouncy houses around five. I plugged the air compressor motors in and threw the switch. Oddly enough, hardly any kids showed up there until going on 6:30.

At 6:00 I began a three-hour shift as a "floater" at food stand #2. "Floater" meaning "gopher, and doer of any odd jobs that need doing." They had several more people working at the food stand than they needed, so some of us were spending much of our time twiddling our thumbs. I did however see that our customers were kept supplied with (1) napkins and (2) onions for their hamburgers, pork burgers, hot dogs, etc.

A bit past seven the tractor pull got underway. Yes, I was right, that's NTPA sanctioned, as in "National Tractor Pull Association." People stood at attention for the national anthem, hey this is flyover country, and not some jaded cynical blue state. Immediately afterward the sound system returned to, guess what, country music of some sort, as the tractors went BRRRRRAAAAP, BRRRRAAAAAAAPPP! Vast clouds of black smoke belching into the clear blue sky, tractor pulling down the dirt track...

At nine I finished up at the food stand, went down and deflated the bouncy houses, stored the air compressor motors inside the food stand just in case it should rain overnight.

And home. And collapsed into bed. And slept soundly.

Now this morning in town they've got a breakfast at the Community Center. Softball tournament continues. Volleyball tournament begins. Chicken dinner at the Community Center. Fourth of July Parade at noon, old cars, floats, tractors, horses, marching band, it'll probably run purner an hour and a half.

Early afternoon, demolition derby, cars roaring back and forth, vrrrooom, roarrrrr, CRASH!!!

Karaoke contest. Sawdust pile with coins in it for the kids. Into the evening, a combine, pickup, & minivan demolition derby. I supervise food stand #1 from 8 to 10 PM. Then comes the fireworks show, szzzissst, flash! ka-boom! spark showers of stars, blooming burst like celestial chysanthemums, pop pop pop pop as they twinkle scatter toward the earth, BOOM!, screeech, flash across the sky, and everyone goes ooooooooohhh


Post a Comment

<< Home