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Cool event

The strangest thing happened to us Sunday evening. The Mister and I were enjoying the Timber Creek Bluegrass Band at Santa Fe Park, tapping our feet to good old-time music, when we each got a case of the chills. I glanced around at our fellow concert-goers and noticed quite a few in sweaters, hoodies, and jackets.

August in Kansas? Not the August or the Kansas that I know! I took a break from the festivities and hustled off to the homestead for jackets for both of us.

The evening reminded me of being in northern Illinois or Iowa when I was growing up. Since coming to Peabody 39 years ago, I can’t remember too many trips to the Florence Labor Day Celebration when the temperatures were not hovering near triple digits. This time of year is traditionally hot, hot, hot. To wake up on the last day of August to a frigid 45 degrees is almost unheard of around here. If the pumpkins or milo had been ready for harvest I’d have gone out to check for frost.

I expect it will warm up again before the first freeze. However, it was nostalgic to feel that touch of a northern summer. (I might remind Mother Nature here, that none of us are nostalgic about northern winters!)

Peabody Main Street and Partners of Peabody Parks co-sponsored the Timber Creek Bluegrass Band as part of the Sleepy Creek concert series to raise money for equipment, improvements, and landscaping at Santa Fe Park and the city park. Even with the chilly weather, a good-sized crowd was on hand and everyone seemed to enjoy the meal and concert. There were even several young families with children in attendance — good for them! They are the younger generation who will be making use of the parks in the future so it was nice to see them supporting the effort to keep our parks attractive and user friendly.

The concert series also is a good chance to introduce youngsters to different kinds of music. During the past two years the Sleepy Creek series has featured contemporary, big band, jazz, swing, bluegrass, folk, and country music groups. Sunday evening, behind the rock wall in the park, a boy and girl who looked to be about three or four tried to figure out traditional slow dancing as the Timber Creek group played a gospel number out in front. Those of us watching from the food-serving line enjoyed their Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers attempts as the lead changed according to whichever child was giving instructions.

And that is how we learn the art of the arts. We go (or our parents take us) and we try it. We tap our feet, dance, and enjoy. The next time we go for a different lesson — we sing, read, leap, write poetry, or paint. Lucky are the children whose parents know this.

There is one more concert this season. A group called Jammin’ Biscuits will be at Santa Fe Park for the finale on Sept. 27. Bring your kids, bring your folks, and bring your lawn chairs. Dance lessons might be available behind the rock wall (or not—who were those kids, anyway?) The weather might be unpredictable. For certain, a good time and sense of community will be available at every table and we look forward to seeing you there.

And don’t forget your jacket.

— susan marshall

Last modified Sept. 2, 2009

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