The best weekend ever (part 1)
For some reason, this past weekend was probably one of the best weekends I've had in a very, very long time. Just about everything that could go right did, and there were hardly any blemishes on three straight days. All in all, it was the best weekend ever.
This is part 1 of an Annales trilogy. Part 2 is available here. Stay tuned for part 3.
Katharyn and I left Birmingham early on Friday morning to travel home. Our goal was to make it to Rogersville in time for the kick-off event of Heritage Days, the Children's Parade.
My mom had been working very hard to get the Parade put together, and I wanted to be there to encourage her and cheer her on.
Basically, the Children's Parade is an excuse for the parents of Rogersville's children to dress them up in "cute," historical costumes to (1) show off their kids; (2) make their neighbors jealous; and (3) celebrate Rogersville's heritage.
Though we made good time through Alabama and most of Tennessee, when we hit I-75, the traffic was as thick as some Hawkins County applebutter, and we got behind schedule.
Despite the setback, we kept going -- we ended up only being 30 minutes late. When we got to downtown, the Heritage Days Car Show was in full swing, with a "cruise-in."
Basically, this means that all of these old, souped-up cars were driving, parade-style, down Main Street with tons of people lining the streets (who had just witnessed the Children's Parade, led by the RCS Warrior Marching Band).
We called my mom's cell phone, trying to get in touch with her. Since there were so many people downtown, it would have been impossible to try to find her, so when we couldn't get her to answer her phone, we headed for the most logical place: the end of the Children's Parade, where mom would have been helping send kids and parents here and there after the parade was over.
We walked through all the people lining the streets, and when we finally got to where the Children's Parade was supposed to end, on the corner of Brownlow & East Main, mom was no where to be found.
There were, however, other folks. As Kat and I looked sheepishly around the parking lot, I heard someone yell my name.
It turned out to be Tia Thames and Marla Gibson, two of my good friends from home. It was great to see both of them: I hadn't caught up with them in so long. In fact, it had been so long, that Marla had gotten married, and I hadn't even heard about it. I was very happy for her, and I was glad to hear that she and Tia had been doing well, teaching school in and around Rogersville.
Tia and Marla pointed us in the right direction, and told us that they had seen mom head west, back toward the Town Square. So Kat and I said our good byes and made our way back down Main Street, this time on the south side of the street.
The whole time, of course, cars are driving by and people were trying to see. It was quite a scene as Katharyn and I -- both rather over-dressed for the occasion -- elbowed our way through the thickening crowd.
Eventually we made it back to Town Square. When we got there, we saw Annette, Ron, and Whitney Beach, who all indicated that my mom had been spotted directing traffic (of all things) at the intersection of West Main & Hasson Streets. With newfound purpose, Katharyn and I continued to trudge through layers of Big Arnge and Mobuck Red toward Joseph Rogers' Second Tavern on the intersection previously reported.
Finally, as approached the intersection, we saw my mom, bedecked in Heritage Days paraphernalia and officialdom, directing old cars down the blockaded Main Street, whilst holding at bay the increasingly frustrated thru-traffic. And she looked to be having the time of her life.
After meeting up with mom, and helping her take care of traffic, we moved back toward the festival and into the food court. There, already setting up for the big day, were tons of booths full of food and other delights. After grabbing some dinner (from Rogersville's own barbeque restaurant Pig 'n Chick), we headed over to a pinic area to eat, talk, and catch up.
Mom was very excited about the changes that had been made in downtown, and Kat and I were equally excited once we realized the hard work that had gone into making downtown look so impressive. Throughout the downtown Historic District, the sidewalks had been bricked; brass plaque Historic Markers had been enlaid in the sidewalks; new taller, brighter lamps had been installed; and new street furniture (benches, trash cans, and flower boxes) were strategically placed throughout downtown).
All of us were proud of what the town had accomplished, and we enjoyed our dinner despite the increasingly cold weather.
After dinner, Kat and I bade mom farewell while we walked back to my car to get ready for the evening's penultimate activity: Cherokee Football in Big Red Valley.
Kat and I made the drive from downtown out to the intersection of Tennessee 66 and Tennessee 70, where Hawkins County's western high school, Cherokee Comprehensive High School, is the home of the Cherokee Chiefs.
There, in the five-thousand person seat stadium known as "Big Red Valley" (remember, Rogersville's population is 5,100), the Chiefs were engaged in mortal struggle against the evil Hurricanes of Morristown East (which, of course, always begs the question: what sort of Hurricanes make it to Tennessee's river and valley area).
It was supposed to be a good game, since the Chiefs had only lost 2, and the 'Canes had lost 3; but by the time Kat and I left (after seeing Daniel McMillan, Robert Galvez, Jessica Lee, Katie Lawson, Amy Bailey McMillan, and Lindsey Collier), the score was 7-50, East. Yikes.
After the game, Kat and I were exhausted and ready to head home. When we got there, we found my dog, Titan, waiting to welcome us, and my parents had my bed ready for Kat and the guest bed ready for me.
LISTENING TO: Air 1 on iTunes