I have to ‘hand it’ to my neighbors. They are always thinking of ways to add spice to the community. Did I tell you there was a time when the neighbors didn’t even talk to each other? (It’s here, Neighbors.) It’s what I call ‘the good old days’.
Last summer we had our first annual Chili Cook Off. For some reason, all of the contestants assumed chili had to be spicy. And it was funny as heck watching the judges sampling the fiery chili offerings on one of the hottest days of the year. (Okay, my neighbors may not be very smart but they’re creative.)
Last year also marked our first annual Pie Eating contest. In addition to ‘busy body’ and card shark, Moe is known – at least three counties over – for his spectacular peach cobbler. Now, being the non-cook that I am, I had no idea a cobbler was a pie but it must be one because Moe’s cobbler won in every division and he walked away with several trophies and blue ribbons.
Still keeping us busy, this spring, the neighborhood committees announced our first annual Scavenger Hunt. I was surprised. (Who knew they’d think-up a scavenger hunt?) But what was most surprising was item number seven on their long list of items. Item number seven was…The oldest living man. (I didn’t know you could put a human being on a scavenger list. But I also didn’t know a cobbler was a pie.) When I read that, I thought about Moe. (At the age of eighty six or seven, Moe is ‘hands down’ the oldest living man in our community.) All of the ‘found’ items were to be gathered and ‘checked’ at the neighborhood clubhouse. I wondered if Moe had received the list. I couldn’t ask him, at that moment, because I knew he was at the village hall rehearsing for this year’s first annual Talent Show. (I told you – they’re creative.)
The day of the Scavenger Hunt arrived and even though it was raining ‘cats and dogs’, everyone was happily scurrying about amidst the downpour. Moe wasn’t home. In fact, I hadn’t seen him that whole day and for two days prior. It was late in the evening when everyone gathered in the community clubhouse where appetizers and beverages were served. I spotted Moe in the crowd but he was too far away for me to speak to him. He was with his wife (Nezzie) and another man whom no one seemed to know.
Everyone’s lot was being tallied. All of the neighborhood children had collected one or both of their grandparents to fulfill item #7 on their lists.
Number 5 on the list was described as ‘assorted pipes’. I was amazed at all of the different interpretations of pipes that appeared on a table. There were long and narrow aluminum, brass and vinly pipes. There were big and bulky stove pipes. And an enormous variety of smoking pipes – from corn cob pipes to the calabash pipe of Sherlock Holmes. (I didn’t make that up. The sign read, “Sherlock’s Personal Smoking Piece”.) There was also a faucet on the table but I guess you can call that a pipe.
A 1st place winner was announced. It was Moe. When I heard his name called as the winner, I couldn’t believe it and seemingly neither could most of the people in the room. Moe won because he and Nezzie had gone to Arizona to collect Nezzie’s ninety nine year old brother. The brother was included in the game as item #7 – the ‘oldest living man’. Moe, Nezzie and their brother were winners and they all wore blue ribbons. As the 1st place winner, Moe received a brand new Schwinn bicycle which he presented to the 2nd place winner – one of the neighborhood kids. A lively party ensued and the entire community had a really good time.
There’s talk of a theater group forming. Volunteers are being sought to present a play in next year’s first annual Theatrical Production. Whatever happened to the good old days?
Copyright © (2010) Diana (Diane) Maria