I’ve watched a lot of Youth Day Parades over the years, but each year, I still find the horses and firetrucks going by amazing. Only in a small town do people line the street to watch a 1950s slide show marching down Main Street, or First Street, depending on where you are siting.
For the past decade or so, I’ve been working on the Rotary Pancake Breakfast. I try to be finished by 10 o’clock so I can make it to the parade and a gin fizz at the Coman house. I then make it back to the Community Center to help clean up. The gin fizzes help keep me awake after starting the breakfast at some un-Godly hour.
Youth Day is mostly for young people, now. I used to see a lot of old friends, but if you go down to the park, or downtown at night, the place is full of young people having fun. A couple of years ago, Butch and I were having a beer and commenting about the lack of people our age at the Buckhorn. A sign of the times, I guess.
Youth Day has become the meeting place for class reunions, mostly the 50 year variety. I like to venture into the DeVilbiss Room at the Buckhorn. This year the class of 1968 will be there, and I’m always surprised at the age of the people at these reunions. A few I haven’t seen in 50 years, and they look more like grandparents than the graduating seniors that I remember. There is a real need for nametags at these events.
Almost every year I hear rumors that this might be the last Youth Day. I don’t think the Chamber of Commerce will let it die, as it is a major fund-raiser for them.
Youth Day has changed over the years, and I’m sure it will morph into something else as the years and volunteers go by. As the volunteers get burned out, there will always be others to take their places, and if not, that part of Youth Day will change or fade away.
I think there will always be someone willing to put on a horseshoe throwing contest, and the beer booth is an easy sell. Talent shows and awards nights are a lot of work, but well-attended, so if nothing else, we can become the next American Idol.
I’m not sure when the five-school, all league, track meet was cancelled, but even in 1969 they were having problems getting enough volunteers to manage all of the different events for a meet that large. Kind of like the Rio Vista Relays. Are they held anymore?
I enjoyed the alumni baseball game until I couldn’t make it to second base without pulling a hamstring. I like watching Byron Randolph pitching, but he was throwing batting practice compared to watching him throw big curve balls in his prime.
If you don’t have the time to make it to the pancake breakfast, parade or fun at the park, change your plans and make the time. It might be the last one.
See you on Saturday.