October 6, 2018
Versailles, MO. Apple Festival Parade Day
It was a typical day that one would want to enter a parade; Not! It was 55 degrees here in Kansas City with storm clouds and rain coming in. Weather forecasts state we were in for over 2 inches of rain. I had 150 miles to drive SE and hope it would not rain there. My thoughts are will they cancel the parade?
Upon reaching Sedalia, MO. for our standard refreshment stop, we found ourselves out of the rain. It was clear sailing to the staging area in Versailles by Walmart at 8:15 AM. The Topeka-Jefferson City (TJC) Base float was in the parade position and had already being outfitted by the ladies and crew. I should note that our Float transporter, Sam Spayde, had just purchased his bright 2018 Red Ford 250 truck. You know he was proud of it.
It was now parade time, 10:00 AM, with the clouds building up to our West. All twenty-four of us, ladies included, sat waiting for the first jolt of the float as we were pulled ahead. We held tight to the rain gear, umbrellas and candy to be thrown out just in case.
Versailles’s Apple Festival Parade is well participated by the community. This two- mile parade is lined by children holding bags to receive the candies thrown from the different floats. I heard one parent say, “Billy don’t eat all that candy all at one time.” As we passed a kettle cooked popcorn vendor ran out to James, sitting next to me, a large bag for fresh candy popcorn. Candy was going fast by the time we made to the end of the parade when a guest of wind hit us.” Plastic bags, papers, hats took flight and vendor stands shook as those inside ran to grab the stand pole from moving. All of us knew the rain was coming.
During the fifteen minutes to get back, we had wind guests with rain drops, mist and flying bags. It is amazing how fast a float can be taken down and items stored away. Great work everyone. Our next port of call was the Ken Mar Café just down the road. Less than five minutes later the rain came and lasted for ten minutes.
Upon reaching the Ken Mar Café we passed the home of Shipmate David Hutchison. Seeing his home, you knew you were in the farm country.
Next door was the Ken Mar Café. Ken Mar Café has the feel of walking into your Mom’s dining room next to the kitchen. You are welcomed at the door by smiling family faces. Dining places are set with china plates as if special guest will be sitting at them.
All twenty-four of us piled in and sat down after our Base Chaplin, Ed Irwin, said grace. That started the big family styled meal of salad, roasted beef, pot roast style, ham, cheese shredded potatoes, baked beans, homemade bread along with assorted drinks. Those who had been there before knew what was coming next. Desert of homemade apple crisp and vanilla ice cream.
After a great meal, we men rested on Ken Mar Café front porch letting the food settle while our ladies walked across the street to the local farmers market.
As the ladies walked into the market, they stepped back in time. Fresh vegetables, bulked flour of all types, bulk seasonings and homemade jams, salsa, and pickles. Mud on their shoes, their smiling faces and hands fully told their story. They had a great time. A good parade, good food, and great fellowship was had by all as we all parted ways.
It was now 1:30 PM heading home from Versailles, MO. where outside temperature was 75 degrees. By 2:54 PM James and I had reached Centerville, MO. it was still 75 degrees with sun. The next 20 miles on route 50 NW bound, the outside temperature dropped to 55 degrees and we were driving in a cloud of fog until we got home a 4 PM.
In summation, it was a great day to experience life. Come join our Base activities whenever you can. Need a ride call us. Oh! If you noticed, there were no pictures of the ladies. They wave us off from taking pictures. It must have been one of those hair days.
Reporting on the TJC Base parade trip,
George H Arnold TJC BC
P.S. New movie coming out on Oct. 26/2018 — (Hunter Killer) Check the trailer.