The Prairie Arts Festival’s 2009 edition may have been the best one ever. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have to work, only enjoy. But we spent much of the day visiting with old friends and the people who “brung us to the party to start with..”
Our friend, Wilma Hooker (center), was released from the hospital yesterday and we made tracks to her home located just off the festival site. If we turned out badly, you can
blame a little of it on Wilma, but if we turned out well, you can credit her. She is the mother of our classmate, Beth – who we lovingly remember as the only Hooker in our class. Wilma is 87, but has the heart and soul of a teenager.
Then we moved across the street to the home of Dr. T. N Braddock, who I still call “daddy.”
Marie confided to me on the way to the Point that she was having some “strange symptoms.”
“Emily, I think I have crickets in my head,” she said with a straight face. I spit my coffee all over the car trying not to laugh.
Seriously though, she has been hearing crickets for a few days. She even got up in the night to look for them. Finally, she realized they were coming from inside her head. We took her to Dr. B to diagnose the condition.
He got out his doctor bag which has been in mothballs for 11 months and began to probe. Stay with me now. We are on our way to the festival.
“I think I see something in there,” he said. (Oh my gosh, maybe there WAS a cricket in there.) He irrigated the offending ear and low and behold the crickets must have blown out the other side. She was “cricket free”, but only for a little while.
They came back. If anyone else has experienced such a phenomenon, please let us know. I think I began hearing them on the way home.
A highlight of the day was the performance by Rocky McGarity who does the best Elvis impersonation I’ve seen. He performed on the main stage which is located on what was once the baby swimming pool in our city park.
Rocky may not look like The King, but you can’t hear him sing Love me Tender without believing Elvis is still alive and just had plastic surgery to fool us. His specialty is Elvis’ Gospel numbers and we could have listened to him all day.
He performed with a group of old timers, four of whom once played backup with Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and the King himself. What a remarkable showcase of talent.
The vendors were exceptional and more creative than I can remember. I fell in love the Gourd man, and was tempted to bring him home. The basket lady has found a way to produce beautiful baskets out of kudzu bark. I could go on for hours…
We send out congratulations to Ruthie Weathers who claims this is her last year to run the show. She has been working with the festival for 30 years since her brother, Lee Stafford and a few others, came up with the idea of holding a crafts festival in North Mississippi. It is always held on the weekend prior to Labor Day. It is penciled into my calendar perpetually.
I hated to miss the Mississippi State season opener – especially since they won. But sometimes you just want to spend time with the folks who brought you to the party.