While I think the Memorial Day weekend festivities went pretty well, I have to admit they did not go off without a hitch. The weather caused some problems, but what else is new around here? Weather-wise this has been the most bizarre spring I can remember. I knew we were in trouble when the annual Memorial Day visitors from Minnesota had on their fleece-type gear and still were complaining of the cold on Saturday.
Overcast skies, occasional drizzle, and cool temperatures played havoc with the parade entries and the crowds were smaller than usual. I am not sure the veterans had much fun riding the trams and most of us envied the layered uniforms of the high school band. The highly publicized by-plane flyover was cancelled because of a “low ceiling” and we all learned something new about aviation.
But the “Siege on Peabody” drew a good-size crowd, several businesses reported excellent sales, the meals all were well-attended, and the To-Die-For Dessert Auction scored an all-time high total thanks to the cooks who turned in a wonderful array of desserts.
By Sunday, the temperature was in the upper 80s with high humidity, and the wind blowing a gale. At the ice cream social/band concert the ice cream turned soupy as soon as we began serving it and the icing was sliding off the final cake when we scooped it into the bowls. But it all was still good and the concert was stellar. I had a pretty good time this weekend and I hope you did too.
I always love these reunion weekends because I get to meet the people who factor large in the stories of the antics and high jinks of past classes. The locals have lots and lots of stories about who did what back in the day. Most of the really dastardly stuff seems to have been done by the folks who have moved away, according to the resident storytellers. So when those people come back it is fun for those of us who only know them by reputation to see if they really look like Black Bart, Dan Daring, or Kamikaze Karen!
I know this will bring all kinds of fallout on my head, but I have to say that the trains running through Peabody this past weekend were more obnoxious than usual. I think it must be the sight of the striped tents, the flags, the crowds, and the number of parked cars that just sends that bunch over the edge. I was not alone in my assessment of this phenomenon. The topic came up again and again. Sunday evening, after the ice cream social and concert, the crowds had dispersed and there wasn’t much action at the south end of Walnut Street. The length and volume of those horrible blasts was shorter and lower.
Again, thank you to all the service men and women who answered this country’s call and did their best to be sure that the rest of us can enjoy parades and ice cream socials, complain about our government or the horn-blowers for big business, vote as we choose, and write editorials about a plethora of issues. I am not sure I would have what it takes to answer the call as you did. I hope I would, but thanks to you I never had to lay it on the line and choose. They say freedom isn’t free. The rest of us appreciate the price you paid.
— Susan Marshall