Clydesdale and hot air ballon memories from the county fair
When I was a director on the Del Norte County District Fair Board, about 25 years ago, Jordan Kekry still ran the local Budweiser distributing company. My husband, Ted, and I had always admired the beautiful teams of Clydesdale horses that pulled the Budweiser wagons.
I started asking Jordan if it would be possible to get the horses up here for our fair. I asked him about it every chance I got as I thought it would be a wonderful addition the the fair to have them here. He was willing, if it could be done. I feel like I got the ball rolling for that to happen, but I am sure that the fellows on the board had a lot to do with it, as they had a lot more pull than I had.
One year, Jordan told us that the Clydesdales would be at our fair, and I was thrilled, and I assume the rest of the board was also.
What a surprise. Not only did the Clydesdales show up in all their finery, but also the Budweiser hot air balloon. I could hear it blowing fire from just about anywhere on the fairgrounds. Finally at the end of the last day of the fair, I got enough nerve to walk up to the balloon and ask if the fellow had taken very many people for rides. He asked me if I would like to go up, and of course I said yes. But, I said, it is awfully windy. He said that we would just go up a little ways. So I got my nerve up, and got in the balloon.
We went up into the air, and looked around. We could see Rowlands Restaurant, across the street, and I saw two men coming out of the door. Of course it was my husband, and my son. I told the balloon man, “You see those two people coming out of the restaurant?” He said yes. I said, “They are my husband and son, and they are saying ‘who is that stupid person up there in the balloon?’”
When I got home I told Ted and Bob I had seen them as they left Rowlands, and they confirmed that they had wondered who was stupid enough to go up in the balloon in that wind.
I applaud Councilman Charles Slert’s concept of giving public acknowledgement to citizens of Crescent City for maintaining properties in a manner that says “We’re proud of our city and we love it here!”
I own a second property with an extreme fixer-upper on it and am slowly working it into decent shape on a shoestring budget. I would venture to say, I’ll bet many homeowners in these difficult times would love to doll up their homes, and further that I’ve seen examples of the many who are actually finding creative ways to use small dollars to do simple but striking things that improve the look of their properties.
New paint is a major help, but on the expensive side relative to the incomes of many people who call Crescent City home. Gardening is hugely popular and can be a very inexpensive way for beautification, and is good for the soul.
That being said, I would hope this idea of Mr. Slert’s wouldn’t turn ugly some day, such as imposing one standard for all homeowners. I think some people honestly would rather not “put on the dog” for show, and these folks should be left alone to have their property the way they want, too. Those that want to do all they can to enhance the appeal of their home and property; that is good, too.
As for landscaping with an eye to ecological appropriateness and sustainability, I applaud Mr. Slert for not watering his lawn this summer. A brown lawn isn’t blight, it is intelligent and requires no addition of fertilizer or weed killers, which likely can add to the pollution load, by so easily winding up in the bay or ocean here.
Recently an old but very good barn was razed by the Elk Valley Rancheria near the site of its upcoming resort.
I was surprised and saddened the structure was not given the opportunity to be reclaimed and recycled. I’m sure there would have been small companies or individuals who would have loved the opportunity to give this structure new and varied purposes.
Anymore, it really behooves us to think ahead and to think green. I am saddened that a “Native” undertaking once again will be seen in the same old light and not in the proper role as protectors of Mother Earth.
Member of Wyndotte Nation