Every year in August, a huge party is held in our hometown called the Decatur Celebration. This year the Decatur Celebration is August 2-4. It is a street fair with lots of entertainment and food, and everyone looks forward to the wonderful weekend.
Well, everyone except our stepmother Beatrice would look forward to the Celebration. She always said when asked if she would be attending the Decatur Celebration:
Do you have a team of wild horses?
meaning that unless she were dragged by a team of wild horses she was not going. Dad always loved the prime rib sandwiches and the lemonade shake-ups which are a family favorite with all of us, but of course, with his health problems, he could not attend the Decatur Celebration in the later years of his life. There was just too much walking for someone in his condition.
One year after our stepmother had made her usual proclamation of not going under any circumstances, our sibling Kevin asked me to go with him. I think he knew I would enjoy the party atmosphere. I think he also knew I was tired of being stuck in the house with the Queen of Negativity. Kevin often arranged for us to do things while I was spending the summer in Decatur taking care of Dad.
Off we went into the night. We walked by some marvelous sights. The streets were filled with people all having fun. Kevin and I decided we wanted to try some of the wonderful food, and we purchased sandwiches and drinks. Of course, there was no where to sit down. But wait–suddenly we both spied an empty table in an excellent spot. Oh my gosh! We hurried over to the great table and sat down. We couldn’t imagine why this table had not been snatched up earlier by some of the hungry folks milling around. Kevin and I congratulated ourselves on locating such a perfect table. We were on top of the world.
As we ate we heard an announcement that the cockroach races were about to begin. Guess which table they were located next to? That’s right, my brother and I were eating less than a foot from the cockroaches (who were all residing in a large glass container). It was pretty gruesome since some of them were rather large, and most people wouldn’t have stayed one minute more. But Kevin and I managed to finish our sandwiches and throw everything away before the actual races began.
Now we knew why no one was sitting at the table!
On our way home, we stopped and got Dad that prime rib sandwich he had been wanting and a big glass of lemonade. While he enjoyed both of his food items, I think he enjoyed the cockroach story even more. If you go to the Decatur Celebration this year, please have a prime rib sandwich and a couple of lemonade shake-ups in honor of Dad, but watch out for the cockroach races!