The 50th Anniversary Walnut Festival will take place Sept. 22-25 in Stockton, Missouri. Not to be confused with the Testicle Festival, which takes place in Montana. I’m not kidding. I saw a billboard.
Longtime readers of the Report, and those of you who’ve read the ABOUT page, will know where I’m headed with this. But I’ll explain it again anyway.
Every year in late September the people of Stockton pause in their daily affairs and pay honor and tribute to the State Nut of Missouri — the Black Walnut. They mark the occasion with carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, country and western music, a queen contest and pork burgers.
And a parade.
You see, I have a dream. A dream that one day I will be sitting on Kim Chism Jasper’s front yard and there — between the high school band and the horses — coming down Main Street (which we call South Street) will be THE RROY REPORT FLOAT. Children will cheer. Old men will weep. Young women will swoon. And I will walk away with the $100 prize for Best Float. Or whatever the prize for Best Float is.
It’s a dream I have held onto for 10 long years. Ten long, unfulfilled years. Every year since I first had this dream I have appointed some lucky reader with the chairmanship of the RROY REPORT FLOAT COMMITTEE and let them at it. And every year I make the long drive from St. Charles to Stockton, find a spot on the sidewalk and wait. And wait. And wait. Then I go have a pork burger.
To be fair, one year I put Debbie Haines in charge of the float and she came to me after the parade with tears in her eyes telling me how they had built a float and it was awesome but it caught fire overnight and all they could salvage was a sign from the back of the float which she gave me as proof (see right).
Now a cynical person might think Debbie was lying to me, but Debbie was my classmate and would never lie to me. So close, but no cigar. Say, I wonder if a cigar started the fire?
I gave up on my dream a couple years ago but I’m reviving it this year because I have faith that this — the 50th Anniversary Year of the Festival of the Walnut– will also be the Year of the RROY REPORT FLOAT.
You know why I’m confident that this year the job will get done? Because we’re no longer just relying on the old e-mail crowd. Now we’re on the World Wide Web. Everyone in Stockton I’m sure is reading this, and everyone I’m sure will want to do their part. I was just kidding when I said those things about the school board.
Now, I don’t want to tell the design subcommittee how to do its job, but as I see it there should be 5 essential elements to the RRRF.
1. A former Miss Walnut Festival. Sherice will do.
2. A former Miss Stockton. Cheryl is dying for the opportunity.
3. A clown to hand out candy to the kids. Clark, I’m looking at you.
4. A dinosaur. Preferably a Triceratops, but a T-Rex will do. It doesn’t have to be animatronic, but if we want to beat the Stockton Christian Church for first prize, it probably should be.
5. Batman. In the event Batman is busy — Spider-Man.
Now somebody needs to run things, so I’m putting Debbie Haines in charge of the 2010 RROY REPORT FLOAT COMMITTEE (because she came the closest to coming through before and I know she won’t let it catch fire this time), along with the following subcommittee chairpersons: Aaron Brauer (construction), Clark Montgomery (clowns), Cheryl Smith (queens), Guy Shreck and Lisa Hobson (design), Darren Morrison (legal), and Allison Clayton (promotion).
If you would like to volunteer, feel free to contact any of the committee members or sign up at the BUILD THE RROY REPORT FLOAT page on Facebook — as soon as Allison sets it up.
No doubt some of you are asking “Why should I do this for you?” I say, “Why ask why?”
See you in September.