Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2004 > Museum Days 2004 Edition

Museum Days 2004 Edition

Museum Days

Yesterday is the big day of the three-day Museum Days festival.


At 8:45am I went out to the Methodist Church, which has a pancake breakfast for US$6.00 per person. They serve pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy. This year they added scrambled eggs to the menu. I had the eggs, sausage and pancakes with orange juice.

I walked through the south end of downtown on my way back home. I had expected some kind of a crowd even this early, but not this year. Some of the vendors were still preparing to open for business.

first tour

At noon I went out again. I walked up to the old school, where there was a tent selling mementos. If the remodeling were on schedule, you'd think there would be tours to show everyone how much progress there were. Anyway, past the school I walked to Tina's. All the cats were indoors, fearful of the crowds, except Baby (the old cat) and Isis (hiding in the neighbors' yard).

The Blackburn dogs were also hiding. I noticed Mrs. Blackburn had put up a higher fence along its street segment. It was inevitable, given how big Angel and Daisy had grown.

The park was dense with people, either there to look at the antique cars or there to milk money out of the people looking at the antique cars. The cars themselves often were painted in funky colors, or had engines that were heavily modified for speed and power. Between the people and the cars, it was tough walking across without running into someone or getting run over by something.

Candy Clark is a Texan model and actress best known for her role in American Graffiti, The Big Sleep, and The Man Who Fell To Earth with David Bowie. American Graffiti is most popular among the collector car/hot rod folk, which is why she is a regular at the car show. Evidently she's been down here every year so many times that this year she was made one of the Grand Marshals. (Bo Hopkins, another American Graffiti actor and frequent visitor, is the other.) I mention this because I saw her at an autograph table as I walked by.

I also mention this because she is sometimes confused with Caitlin Clarke, even though she looks nothing like Ms. Clarke. Well, there is no danger of that anymore. (sigh.)

Anyhow, I walked out of the park and towards Main Street. There I saw fragments of the upcoming parade in the forms of the Miss Indiana Teen, a gorgeous tan-skinned black-haired girl, and a Conestoga wagon pulled by a riding mover. I walked around the downtown and entered it from the north. It had the usual stuff for the festival: carnival rides like the Ferris Wheel and Rocket Whip; carnival barkers; stalls selling cheap trinkets like T-shirts, plaques and "Austrian crystals"; food of all kinds, usually grilled; and, at last, the stall that sells "elephant ears". I bought one, walked home, and ate it on the swing in the back yard while watching a squirrel hand upside-down to eat the suet out of the cage hung from a tower hook.

grand parade

The parade started at two o'clock. I was on the porch with my folks, my sisters, Chris (a friend of my sisters), and some of Erin's cousins, one of whom brought a really chubby chihuahua named Cheech.

The parade starts with two policemen on horseback followed by a honor guard of Marine veterans. Then come the police cars, sheriff cars and fire trucks, their sirens at full volume. Painful. After that comes a humvee with a guy in full combat uniform waving from the top. Everyone cheered; anyone who can make it back after the brutal fighting in Iraq deserves a hearty welcome. He was followed by two military trucks come from the 163rd Signal Battalion of the National Guard, where Vernon Draper (my old project leader from my BSU system analysis classes at BSU) served. Next were Ms. Clarke and Mr. Hopkins as Grand Marshals, followed by a sample of collector cars. The Shriners on their motorcycles did some acrobatic tricks. Miss Indiana Teen, that dark haired teenager I mentioned, drove by. Some other teenage "queens" did, too, with the habit of looking too much to their left.

Then came the congressional, state and local candidates: Well, their campaign minions at least, passing out candy and the occasional pamphlet. As this is an election year, you would think the more important candidates would show up at this festival. But only the state reps, David Ford and Eric Turner, and the local folks appeared. Even the Libertarian candidate for governor made an appearance this year.

After them came the M-G Jazz Band playing an old popular tune the way that high-school bands play such tunes. Then came a menage of floats: Several local churches, a troupe of clowns, a gymnastics and dance academy, a landscaping company (with a tiny garden on a flatbed truck), and an obedience school for dogs (which drove Cheech nuts) were among the floats. Finally a steam-powered calliope ended the parade.

Absent from the parade were the ladies of the venerable Emily Flynn Home: It closed its door for good months ago because it had the misfortune of being a ministry of the Disciples of Christ. The Disciples are one of those mainline Protestant denominations which watered down its faith to make more acceptable to our regnant elites. However, when you do something like that, you became no different from the surrounding society, against whose livelier elements you simply can't compete. So the Disciples could neither retain their youth nor attract new members. Their current members grow older and, when they retire, contribute less money. This loss of membership and money meant the Disciples had too few resources left to support the Home. That's really too bad.

second tour

Shortly after the parade I took another walk to the park. This time Angel and Daisy were out and about, but it was a little hard to pet them through the new high fence. The park was more crowded this time. It's sort of amazing how many people and machines can fit inside that plot of land. I glimpsed Candy Clark, this time eating a green apple and with a crowd around her table. I went downtown, got another elephant ear, and went home.


Today nothing of note happened except Sunday lunch and the brass band that plays popular tunes in front of the Museum around noon.


There will be a memorial service for Caitlin Clarke in her home town of Sewickley on the evening of the thirtieth. Regrettably, I will not be there. My rebuilt 1997 Ford Aspire will probably not survive the round trip there and back.

Copyright © 2004 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 26 September 2004.