Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rockin' the Town

A major event in my life as a child was Jesup Farmers Day.  As a farm girl growing up in the 50's and 60's,  I led a fairly sheltered existence.  Dad, with the help of my 8 brothers, milked dairy cows during those years.  My 'vacation' each summer consisted of 3 excursions.  A trip to the Temeyer farm in LaPorte City, Iowa, a Sunday family picnic at Backbone State Park and Farmers Day!  Many weeds lost their lives as I earned precious dimes to spend at the annual town celebration and carnival.  The 3 day festivities were the highlight of my summers. It was a time when the world came to me.  My brothers and I lined the curb at the edge of my grandparent's lawn in eager anticipation of the parade to pass by.  We scrambled for candy thrown from local businesses, saluted the flag as the proud American Legion members marched and feasted our eyes at the sight of the amazing floats overstuffed with napkins that were part of the procession.

Since I began my business in 1994, I have entered a float or two in this annual gala for my hometown.  I have never felt satisfied with my endeavors, but enjoyed the excitement the parade produced once again. I was now on the opposite side of the candy tossing ritual to small children who shouted and waved in the hopes of receiving an extra dose of sweet treats. The joy on their faces as they bolted to scoop up the hard confections I launched in their direction was the only reward I enjoyed for my entries.  I decided to watch the parade instead of putting myself through the stress of participation.

Each year the Farmers Day Committee chooses a theme.  This year's affair was named "Rockin' the Town".  I knew Mona's Originals had to make an appearance one more time.

I enlisted the help of my right hand partner in crime, my husband.  Rick is my favorite fan, always encouraging me with his support of sweat and labor.  And this year was no different.  During our daily breakfast date on Friday, the morning before the parade, we planned our attack.  When the meal was finished he began constructing devices to work with items we had on hand and by noon I had finished my jobs for the week. I could now put my machinery to work for me.  We spent the afternoon consulting each other and making sure all systems were go for Saturday morning.

By 7:30 a.m. we headed for Jesup and assembled our creation in my mother's driveway, near the parade route.  My brother, Fritz, kindly offered his expertise and we dressed the trailer, normally used to transport our lawn mower from farm to farm, into a replica of the 50's diner in our basement.  Vinyl lettering announced "Mona's Originals Rockin' The Town With Embroidery and Print" to the crowd assembled along the streets of Jesup. We put on the finishing touches and secured our place in the parade line up.

I have Coca Cola bottles, glasses and plates securely fastened on the diner table along with a small juke box.  The black and white border along the side is left over tiles from our basement floor.

Finally, it was our turn.  The music from the boom box was lost in commotion from the clusters of people who watched as we passed along the roadways of this small town in Iowa.  The music played in my head instead I danced my way along the route.  I couldn't lob candy due to a new rule implemented this year by the Farmers Day Board of Directors, so I expressed my appreciation to loyal patrons with my waves and smiles.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time as I rode the float and took many spectators with me on the trip down memory lane.

My brother-in-law, Bob, did a great job pulling the float using my father-in-law's 1950 something diesel tractor.
The back.  The pink poodle skirt is Trela's skirt from our 130 year celebration party held 6 years ago.
I am so grateful to the assistance given me from Rick and Fritz, whose labor was invaluable in the construction, and brothers-in-law, Dennis and Bob, and great nephews, Nathan and Justin.  Many hands made light work as we dismantled my diner in motion when the parade was completed for the year 2011.

Later that day I attended the Domestic Art Show at the town library to witness the judging of the arts, crafts and culinary talents of the community.  I entered a few of my efforts from the past year in the professional division.  I am so pleased with the results of Jesup Farmers Day 2011. My parade entry received 2nd place in the business floats division, my 'Green Designer Purse took Grand Champion, Cavanaugh's Christmas dress, my University Bath hooded bath towels, along with my caps and t-shirts all returned to my shop display with blue ribbons. I am extremely grateful for the gifts I received from my creator, and hope you will join me in praise of His name for a successful weekend.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading this post Mona. I laughed when you said that your brainstorming became reality the day before the parade. How would you live if you had things done a few days in advance ;)

Mona said...

Hannah, you know me so well! If it wasn't for the last minute I would never get anything done. Now - I hear a project calling my name.