The 53rd Annual Black Walnut Festival is now underway in the city park in Stockton, Missouri — just a few miles down the road from God’s Country.
Longtime readers of The REPORT know that I have spent a long time trying to get someone back home to build a RROY REPORT float to cruise down South Street as part of the Walnut Festival parade. The parade is the highlight and centerpiece of the four-day event.
Every year I would put together a committee and send out suggestions and schematics, then sit back and wait. There’s only so much I can do from 250 miles away.
And every year I would make the long trek to Stockton, find a nice grassy spot along the road, and wait. My wife and son will be so proud when they see my float rolling down the street. My life has not been one big long failure.
And every year, nothing. Was it too much to ask? Really? The FFA have a float. The Christian Church has a float. Why can’t I have a float? It’s not like I was asking them to use rose petals. Chicken wire and tissue paper would’ve been fine.
Some people blame my float committee chairmen — Debbie and Clark. I do, too, but I couldn’t get rid of them. They were the only ones who answered the ad on Craigslist.
So I gave up my dream of having a float in the Walnut Festival parade. I moved on. And then, two months ago I received an e-mail from 2013 RROY REPORT Idol Aaron Brauer:
Ronnie Roy the Stockton High School Class of 1983 has taken a vote and we want you to ride on our float in the Walnut Festival Parade Sep. 28. We know that you have never been able to get your own float headed north on South Street. We feel that despite your numerous failures in the float building department you should still have the opportunity to ride on a real one. Please RSVP to secure your place in Stockton history.
I’m man enough to admit that I teared up when I received that message. Good old Class of ’83. They were a good bunch of kids, aside from Morrison. I was Class of ’80 so they were freshmen when I was a mighty senior ruling the halls of Stockton High School along with my posse.
Clearly I left an impression that has lasted 30 years. That or they feel sorry for me. Either way is fine. I’ll take a pity ride on someone else’s float.
The Black Walnut Festival Parade begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in Stockton, Missouri. http://www.stocktonmochamber.com/events/2013-stockton-black-walnut-festival