Community

October 16, 2009 at 5:01 PM | Posted in Notes on Society | Leave a comment
This is October 11th…
  So we took a break Sunday afternoon and went to the Fall Festival.  Held in Olde Towne, they close off a street and fill it with vendors and miscreants.  We parked two blocks away and added to the crowd.  It was a nice fall day:  The sun was out, and it was about 50 degrees.  Bunny said there was lots of food available, and I wanted lunch.  But there were other attractions as well.
  Where we walked up was close to the middle.  I could hear live music.  When we got there, we saw that it was just one man singing with a karaoke machine.  And he was dressed like Elvis.  He worked the crowd, baby.  We went to the right first and walked down, then down the other way.  Lots of little booths set up, everyone selling their little arts and crafts and crap.  Some of them were fundraisers for various organizations, and some were just misguided get-rich quick dreams.  Do you really need a cell-phone cozy?
  One guy had framed photos of St Louis from the past.  The Arch being built, 1965.  The turn of the century, the World’s Fair, the all-St Louis World Series in 1944.  I brought a limited amount of cash with me for this very reason, otherwise I would have bought something.
  Further down, we saw a guy playing bagpipes.  We stood and watched, and then Detroit talked to him and got his card.  He was in the outfit, kilt and everything.  Man, I want a kilt.
  We continued.  We got some food and kept walking.  Lots of interesting things to see, as well as people.  Occasionally we would chat with someone.  We saw several different bands on the route, a blues band, some guy playing a keyboard by himself, a polka band, and another miscellaneous band. 
  I saw a display that Detroit waited patiently for me while I checked it all out.  It was antique military vehicles.  Jeeps, a small tank, and a couple of 6-by trucks.  Also some uniforms, memorabilia, and a rack full of old military weapons.
  We finally found Bunny, in a booth from her church.  They were doing face painting for kids.  It was right then that I had the idea, and I want to do this next year.  I want a booth in the next fall festival.  It’ll just be me, in a chair, with a table.  With a sign that says, "Free Sarcasm Samples."  I’ll also have a jar that says, "tips."
  Next to Bunny was a couple of tables with literature upon it.  They were the North County Republican Club.  I chatted with them for a bit, and picked up a few items.  I just may join this group, and maybe some others.  I wanted to get involved, and this might be a good way to start small.
  We continued.  We got down to the end of the street, and the brand new fire house was having an open house,  We walked around it and looked at everything.  Cool.  There was a special vehicle that we couldn’t identify, and we asked one of the fire chiefs about it.  He said it was one of five in the metro area for disaster response.  Every firehouse has some people trained for it that respond and go when this truck is sent in.  It’s for floods or earthquakes or terrorist attacks and the like.
  That was the end of the row, and we headed back up the gentle incline, this time taking in the opposite side of the street.  People were walking with their dogs, stopping and chatting with neighbors and with strangers.  A guy on stilts made balloon animals.  We walked again past the area where there was a concrete retaining wall covered with chalk.  Being on this side I could see that they had chalk out for people (mostly kids) to write on the wall and the sidewalk and the street right there.  I picked up a piece of chalk off the ground and found an open spot on the wall.  I wrote "Bryan + Kim" and drew  heart around it.
  An older couple walked by and smiled when they saw that.  I thought, aw, that’s sweet, that they think that this is sweet.  Then they started to give me shit.  Hecklers.  Detroit agreed with them.  "You could have carved it in a tree where it would be permanent."  Right then I was thinking *not so much.*
  I’m surrounded by assholes.  We made it back to the car, and then lay on the couch when we got home.  Lotta walking.  Tired.  But a good time.  We enjoyed it, and experienced a sense of community.

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