Is it over yet? I’m talking about the Independence Day Holiday. I literally was all over Cleburne County on Saturday, celebrating Independence Day. I started out in Concord for their community wide celebration, including a parade. I must say the parade in and of itself was pretty awesome - especially when you consider the population of Concord! I was totally impressed. Then they had a cool water slide (I was so tempted to slide on), along with vendors selling cookies, drinks and other assorted items. It was a great turnout from what I could see and I was only about an hour and a half. Grand Marshal of the parade was Ms. Esther Thomas, who I got to visit with for a few minutes. Thomas is well known around Concord for planting trees. Her son, Larry, spoke about all the trees she had planted over the years, pointing out several in the City Park that she had planted many years ago. I am a person who loves trees and I found it pretty awesome that this lady loved trees too and took it upon herself to plant them in her town. Talk about a living legacy! If anyone has a Sugar Maple tree sapling please contact me. Thomas has been trying to find one to plant in her yard and I am trying to help her find one.
I left Concord headed to Greers Ferry where the Greers Ferry Ambulance Service was holding a Volunteer Recruitment Drive at the City Park. They were serving hamburgers and hot dogs and I would say there were at least 35 or 40 people there when I was. Many of the area First Responders were present including two helicopter crews from White River Health Systems and Air Evac. Greers Ferry is a totally volunteer and free service to not only residents, but visitors as well. They are funded strictly on donations and told me that when they are called out you will never receive a bill from them.That’s pretty amazing.
The next leg of my journey was to head to Rose Bud, where they were having Summerfest. I arrived just in time to ride on top of one of their fire trucks so I could video the parade from up there. Always wanted to do that, thanks Shawn Gorham for making it happen and thanks to Shawn (the fire truck driver whose last name I didn’t get) for not making me fall off! A parade has a whole different view from up there! The parade ended at the ball fields of the school where there were vendors, food vendors, carnival games, bounce houses and even a dunking booth. They had live entertainment scheduled throughout the day and Cowboy Chevrolet even donated several vehicles to be used in the parade and a passenger van to shuttle event goers so they didn’t have to walk far to the events. I wasn’t able to stick around for the fireworks that were to be set off that evening, I had more events to cover.
City of Quitman, had I known about Quitmanfest I would have attended but no one let me know. Maybe next year.
Now here is where I said, whew it is time for a break. So, I called my friends Jeff and Brenda Fudge and we met at the Rambler for a midday lunch/dinner, then went back to their place for a short dip in the pool. I couldn’t stay long but it was so nice to just cool off in the pool for a little bit!
Then I was off to the William Carl Garner Visitor Center to see The Shade Tree Jammers. One of the members is the editor of our sister paper, The Van Buren County Democrat, Alex Kienlen. Kienlen is a pretty good banjo player too! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the whole performance because I still had one event to attend. Rock the Dock at Dam Site Marina where, Steve Hopper and his band were “Rocking the Dock”. I saw them the first time last year at Rock the Dock and got to visit with his wife Sherry. I got to see her again this year and it was a pleasure. As expected, Hopper kept everyone up and dancing (see the picture in today’s paper of the couple who were certainly having a blast dancing).
I ended my day having dinner at Brothers BBQ with Ron Williams and Chris Stafiej. First time I had been to Brothers and must say it was pretty good!
So there you have it, a day in the life of a small town editor/reporter/photographer. When you are a one woman operation, you do what you have to in an effort to report the news. While I can’t be everywhere, you see that I sure try to!
Have a great Independence Day celebration and yes, this girl will be running around the County again on the 3rd for the Fireworks Extravaganza and on the 4th in Greers Ferry for the same. Never forget the reason for this holiday is to celebrate the freedoms we have in our great nation.
Until next time...