Saturday, September 06, 2008

Possum Trot Daze Parade, Walnut Grove, MO

As Karen tells it, back in the olden days, critters were running rampant all over Walnut Grove. The town fathers decided to offer a bounty on each possum to the citizen who delivered to the city hall by a certain time on a certain night the largest number of possums. Possum hunters, not wanting to give away information on their catch, hid out and stalled until the last minute, after which they made a mad dash to city hall carrying their possums, thus the POSSUM TROT celebration. Thanks to Karen for her bountiful knowledge of Ozark's lore. (She said she got this information from a co-worker who grew up in Walnut Grove. Thanks to Eldon Locke for allowing us to park the Bus Plunge at his house last night. Good thing Jim, Trey, Austin and I made the trip last night for we ran out of gas in the bus near the Bullseye in Willard. It doesn't get as good as gas mileage as we thought. And of course, seeing as it is a 54 year old vehicle, the gas gauge doesn't work so we use a mileage system and keep track of fuel purchases. At 76,632 miles I filled the bus up with fuel. The date was 12/31/2007. We ran out of gas at 76743 miles.

Jim and Trey drove up to the Bullseye and came back with a gallon container of fuel. We put it in the tank, a little splash in the carburetor and a change of fuel filters and we were running down the road again. At the Bullseye I put 14.3 gallons in the bus. Now, add the gallon we put in back on the road, and add two miles to get to the Bullseye, and that is 15.3 gallons. According to my ciphering, that's about 7 1/2 miles per gallon. What is even more of an eye opener is that we drove the bus only 113 miles since New Year's Eve. Dang, I gotta get this thing tuned up by the private mechanic. (Just as some of us have a private RN, son Jim and I have a crackerjack private mechanic who works hard, works honest and doesn't try to kid anybody and can fix dang near anything!)Anyhow, we got up to Walnut Grove this morning and met the Horsefarmer and the Barngoddess and their kid and grandkid. We all proceeded to hook up the four horses to the stagecoach. We also met some of the nicest people in Walnut Grove. Then it started raining, but we didn't care, we were there for a parade and by golly, we paraded! And we had fun!

See the little bitty lettering underneath the door on this Camaro drop head coupe (I borrowed that fancy language from "By The Numbers"--- This Vehicle Was Seized From A Drug Dealer ---
Son Jim holds the halter rope on one horse, Barngoddess (Viola) hooks up a bridle on the lead horse, Kristin, Jim's wife holds another halter rope on another horse, Horsefarmer (Tom) is doing something with a horse and Tom and Vi's daughter, Steph is holding another halter rope. That guy in the white shirt and cowboy hat and his hands in his jeans? He's got miniature mules.
The Haven Lee Farm truck: Wagons HO! See that shadow on the left front fender? Look closer at it. If you have to, click on the picture to make it bigger. Now you see it, don't you? Yep, it's what you think it is: One night coyotes were after the horsefarmer's cows and he got out of bed and jumped in his truck and commenced driving out in his field shooting coyotes. Just like in the cop movies, one hand one the steering wheel, leaning out the window shooting with his left hand. Then the truck hit a bump just as he pulled the trigger. Yep, he shot his truck. We don't talk about that night too much around here.
Awesome Austin and Just Jaycee in the bus playing games on their dads' cell phones.
More hooking up horses in the rain. There's that guy with the cowboy hat again.
This picture is out of sequence, only got two horses hooked up here. Look at Kristin's face, she appears determined to get that thing on that horse.
Kristin and Jim share a moment in the rain in Walnut Grove on a Saturday morning in September.
Trey must have took these pictures-- Nice shot of the stagecoach and the Jim Lee for circuit clerk sign.
Austin inside the bus. Look through the window, see the Model A pickup? I did a post on these awhile ago. See the 1952 Ford? That car was in the Springfield Labor Day Parade and car show, it is a beautiful car! That's Karen's head barely visible to Austin's left.
Another shot of the stagecoach with the bus barely visible also. That's Stephanie holding the horses. One thing I learned today, barking dogs, running loose dogs, loud motorcycles and sudden noises can spook horses, leading to a runaway....remember those runaway stagecoaches in the Gene Autry movies? What is exciting in a movie is terrifying in real life. The box in the trunk comparment of the stagecoach? That's to put the stuff I scoop up off the streets with the big shovel into to.
The bicycle brigade! That's a nice H model tricycle Farmall over there also. Those four wheelers were loud. The bicycle kids were cute.<
Tom sitting on his stagecoach. Sort reminds me of that John Ford movie, "Stagecoach". Ok, maybe it doesn't. The sign looks nice.
The Private RN gazes out the window of the bus in deep reflection while Trey holds Sophie. A quiet moment for all. This was before the rain started.<
The parade begins and it isn't raining! Where am I? I took the picture. The barngoddess keeps a close eye on her award winning miniature horses.
Mike Ramon---the next sheriff of Greene County waves to the crowds.
This buggy was finished in a light oak and was pulled by a matching team. It was pleasing to look at. They were taking pictures of us as we were taking pictures of them!
Tom, getting mentally prepared to lead this 4hp stagecoach through the streets of Walnut Grove!
Some of the group was assigned a horse to keep them calm until the parade started (the horse, not the some). How do you keep a horse calm? I don't know, I wasn't given a horse. I think it involves butting your hips into their sides and saying stuff like, "calm down" and "whoa, girl" and "easy, big fellow" although that last comment didn't seem to work too well with these horses. Maybe one should have said, "easy little horse!"<
The bus in parade livery, a beautiful sight, especially if you like old buses.
This is a photo of me, Jim Lee, candidate for Greene County Circuit Clerk, the reason we are all in this parade, in parade livery. I walk behind the horses and clean up their messes. I can spot the difference between horse and bull pretty dang quick. I'm pretty good at that and I am pretty dang good at cleaning up messes, too.
Look closely now, see me, behind the barngoddess? I got a shovel full and I am about to deposit it in the afore mentioned cardboard box in back of the stagecoach. The only thing little about these horses is their size.
Once more, the bus. Notice the new hood ornament, a guy told me it was from a 1938 Pontiac car. Someday, I will tell you all the story about how I traded two volkwagens for the bus, tried to trade it to Kanakuk for an army ambulance, sold it to Lowell Davis of Red Oak, who sold it to Sam Bucher of Precious Moments, who turned it into the Precious Moments mascot's bus, who sold it back to me. It's an interesting tale.


d5thouta5 said...

sounds like a very exciting day that was prefaced by an exciting road trip..
what's a road trip without an adventure...or as has been said by you...make sure you have a chase vehicle...sounds like it's time to support your local fix-it-guy...oh that guy that keeps showing up with the cowboy hat...looks like he had something there...he had the only dry head in the group... days like the one you had make me miss the Ozarks and the charm that is only available in that part of the country...but then it gets cold in the winter and I realize why I live in Fla...good luck and WHERES THE JEEP????????????

Jack said...

He shot his own truck. Dang, that's funny.

Jim A said...

Makes a Dad proud to know that after investing in her higher education and numerous certifications the kid does know about the origin of Possum Trot.

Seeing the mini-horse prep, I thought that if you had someone holding every halter I might be able to drive the Budweiser hitch. (Just kidding Tom, they do look nice.)

Sharksangel said...

Rain rain go away come agian when we are not in a parade. We had alot of fun Saturday with you and yours. Next time lets plan it for a sunny day though :) Even Just Jaycee has the sniffles today as a reminder of all the fun ;)
BTW the trucks hole is the best told secret, as long is its not told to Dad!
Love bunches,

Steph and Just Jaycee