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City celebration will be missed

While the Harrisonville Area Chamber of Commerce’s decision to cancel the Log Cabin Festival is not a surprise, it is a disappointment none the less. Even though I am traditionally not a big fan of festivals, it would have been nice to see the city be able to gather together and enjoy the annual traditions like the festival food, parade and carnival. But unfortunately, like so many other events of the year, it will fall by the wayside this year.

COVID-19 has not forced an end to everything, but it certainly has had a negative influence. Remember, all of this started about two days before St. Patrick’s Day when the plug was pulled on Kansas City’s Irish celebrations. It has lingered where endless shows, concerts, Fourth of July events and city festivals have been cancelled. Things that haven’t been cancelled have been bastardized almost beyond recognition. Watching professional baseball games with cutout fans sitting in the stands and recorded cheering is used like a sitcom laugh track is disturbing.

Even high school football is different with limited numbers of fans allowed and teams having to take medical precautions for every practice and game. Home schooling has taken on a whole new meaning and many people who never thought they would embrace technology are now being forced to use the Internet for meetings and appointments.

The quick change in weather has me concerned as we head quickly into fall. I remember three years ago attending the Freeman Homecoming event the Saturday after Labor Day. It was hot and we all sat around bemoaning the heat and the discomfort it was causing. A cold front moved through a couple of days later and the remainder of the festivals were cold and rainy. Winter started about the second week of October and ran until about mid-June of the following year. So while a reprieve from the heat might be nice in the short term, I hope we can still get some summer-type days in before we face the wrath of winter.

Remember when the big thing on Labor Day was Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular Dystrophy? It in many ways was a throwback to old-time type television programing with singers and dancers and jugglers and comedians and surprise guests on parade while Lewis spent the night pleading for cash. It was more than TV, there were special
collection sites where kids would go to deposit their piggy banks. Virtually every city had a collection spot, usually handled by firefighters with boot and love it or hate it, everyone was talking about how much money the program raised.

It was cancelled several years ago without much fanfare. I must admit I don’t miss the collection spots which mostly disrupted traffic, but there was an optimism that the fundraising could help accomplish great things and it was fun to see a marathon of assorted characters rather than cable channels running marathons of TV shows to be binge watched.

Not everything is negative. Getting late in the year means the arrival of a whole new set of fresh fruits and veggies. Now the local apples are ripe as are melons and soon it will be pumpkin harvesting time. Although much has been made of my passion for gooseberry pie, if the truth be known, pumpkin pie is actually my favorite. Now with food storage and mass production, you can now get a pumpkin pie about any time you like. But once upon a time, it was a treat limited to the fall and winter months. I remember as a youngster, my family stopped at a restaurant while at the Lake of the Ozarks. When the meal was completed, the waitress asked if anyone wanted pie. I immediately said I would take a slice of pumpkin. I was disappointed to learn it was not on the menu in July. However, a lady at a nearby table said it was a shame because she would order a slice also. I was always a guy with ideas ahead of my time.

One last reminder, please wear a mask.

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