Two ideas for the younger ones

If you missed the Trunk-or-Treat event downtown on Halloween, you missed having a smile on your face! It really was a terrific evening for those taking part.

The kids, of course, loved it. The parents seemed to enjoy wandering along with their offspring, happy at the giggles and good times, and visiting with other adults they knew. The weather was great and everyone had a spectacular evening. The hands-down winners of the event were the adults who decorated car trunks and pickup beds and seemed to be having a better time than the youngsters. I expect they went to more trouble getting their costumes and scenery together for Trunk or Treat than they ever did when they were passing out candy at home.

The firefighters had a truck at one end of the block and they passed out glow-stick necklaces as the kids came through. One told me that they had 200 necklaces and came close to giving them all away. Great turn out!

If you are on Facebook, you can see pictures of the evening (and maybe your spooky child) at the City of Peabody Facebook page. My son-in-law, old “What’s His Name,” was covering the street as Alfred E. Newman with a camera. Check it out. Oh, and Tracy Kemper and Frankie Davis won the $100 prize for best decorated trunk.

We should ask for this again next year and all of you can join in the fun. Just think outside the box. Pam Lamborn pulled an antique trunk out of her bookstore and passed out treats she had stashed inside. Get it? Trunk or Treat? Ha, ha, ha …

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Several weeks ago I mentioned a project that Marci Penner of Kansas Sampler Foundation was putting together to encourage Kansas young people between the ages of 21 and 39 to step up and begin taking the reins in our rural communities. She was encouraging them to stay “rural by choice” and go ahead and raise their families, open businesses, and be public servants in small and mid-sized Kansas towns. And she had a plan to implement that philosophy.

I thought she had a stellar idea and said in this column that I would pay the registration for four young people from our area to attend the conference for the eastern part of Kansas which just happened to be at Camp Wood in Elmdale.

Well, I had no takers and eventually had to go begging amongst the people I know in that age group. Paige Barnes, the Youngest Daughter, the New Guy, and old What’s His Name were Peabody’s contribution to the event. I wondered how they would do with a whole group of youthful shakers and movers.

They did fine. And Saturday night, the very first “Rural By Choice” event was an open mic party at the Coneburg Inn with members from the Elmdale conference in attendance to celebrate and renew their networking contacts. There was not as much singing as I had hoped to enjoy, but the show stopper was a girl named Julie from Pottawatomie County who, with a shout-out to her high school Spanish teacher, sang the “Oscar Meyer Weiner” advertising song in Spanish. Yes, it did happen here!

Oh, I know — all you grouches out there wonder what that has to do with saving rural communities, but you know what? That bunch has energy and they like one another. They still were sharing ideas and projects from their towns. They plan to continue net-working and being connected with one another. And who knows? Just maybe they will be able to do what you and I have not. I hope they do!

— SUSAN MARSHALL

 

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