The Leaning Cow

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Like riding a bicycle

January 31st, 2015 ·No Comments

Oddly enough, reading through a couple of the Wickham Remembrances, I found myself considering more recent happenings:

I can’t remember the last time I sat down to flip some of the pages in the Wickham Family Reunion Photograph Book. It is bittersweet, the memories of picnics and the people who were there, and who are not here any longer.

That is not to say that the Wickham Clan has diminished; in fact, there are tons of descendents and they still gather to catch up on old times and long-established feuds. And, no, I am not going to even mention the Potato Salad Controversy, let alone put forth an opinion.

However, when you’ve been to a few decades of reunions, you find yourself evolving from the wet behind the ears whipper-snapper listening to probably exaggerated stories to the old geezer telling them, with your own embellishments. And you can almost hear the earlier generation of geezers exclaiming, “No, no, no. You’ve got it wrong. It wasn’t Henry who backed into the Turkey Deep Fryer with a 1953 Chevy pick-up; it was Elias. Henry ran over the giant garden rendition of the American Flag at Aunt Emma’s on July 4th of “73.” Oh, yeah, that’s right. Heaven’s to Betsey, that made a mess – not only to the patriotic flower bed over which Emma had labored, but to Henry’s face, which she slammed in the car door . . . repeatedly until Cousin Stan pulled her off.

But then bittersweet isn’t bad, compared to what’s happening these days when photos are not just in an album to be passed around. No, today there is Facebook, there is Twitter, there is Instagram.

Just minutes after Justin put the kebobs over the fire too long, they flamed up, torching the edge of the canopy tent. Louie tried to put it out immediately by swinging the large lemonade pitcher, launching the liquid upward to wet the cloth. It was a herculean effort and might have retarded the flames if Anna had not liberally spiked her “Lemonade with a Bite” with alcohol. The recipe had been handed down through the years since Prohibition, when it had been especially effective in boosting attendance in that depressed era – and sending home temporarily happier folks.

Justin, to his credit, did manage to use the garden hose to finally put the fire out. Unfortunately, it was right at the beginning of the Reunion and not enough “Lemonade” had been imbibed to put people in a good humor when the blast of water soaked them along with the main buffet table. Justin had known this might happen, being a physics teacher who was well aware of the adage that what goes up must come down. He had felt it best not to let the canopy burn out of control.

Had he taught psychology, he might have let the thing burn and used the water to start a party-sized and industrial strength lemonade drink by partially filling the old washtub with water, while calling for lemons, the “special ingredient” and ice.

But he did not.

I would not say there was rioting, but folks were agitated

You couldn’t hear the sound of cell phone cameras recording the scene, but very shortly thereafter, the exclamations of those watching replays of the action overrode the laments of those looking at the slushy three bean salad, the dripping jell-o sculpture, the soggy hot dog buns, and so on.

That’s just the beginning. For weeks, people couldn’t resist watching the whole thing “one more time” on YouTube – sort of a local Tickle Me Elmo phenomenon that leaves everyone laughing. Almost everyone.

Justin, of course, was not pleased. The Wickhams wouldn’t use the word laughing stock, idiot and bozo aloud, but they did think them and Justin was certain he could see cartoon bubbles above everyone’s heads with those exact words in them.

Poor Louie was punched in the nose by Henry, who was temporarily deranged by the sight of the “lemonade” flying up and away like a Carrie Nation fast ball.

Actually, I have to go now. I feel this urge to put the photo album down and just have a look at YouTube myself.

Tags: Just Me - AmeliaJake · The Peanut Butter Cafe & Roadhouse

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