Folks in rural mid-America used to have a routine down: they'd head into town on Saturdays to sell produce, do some shopping, go to the movie theater, perhaps have a lunch or dinner at the local cafe'. And, as everyone surely knows, folks in rural mid-America all wear bib overalls and clodhopper boots. A straw hat is optional.
That was a traditional coming-together of friends and neighbors.
Today, with the Internet, gaming, television, off-road vehicles, and other elements to occupy people's time, perhaps the old gathering of the clans is not quite as extensive in days of yore.
However, here in Paradise (Southern California), we have a similar event where friends and family gather together . . . to take in the sights, to meet up with family and friends, and perhaps to grab a bite to eat as one strolls up and down the streets. Here in Escondido, it's called 'Cruisin' Grand.'
Grand Avenue is the main thoroughfare in downtown Escondido. A number of years ago a handsome young fella by name of Steve Waldron came up with the idea: "wouldn't it be great to have a Classic Car Show every Friday night in downtown Escondido?" It was, indeed a great idea . . . and it came to pass, thanks mostly to Steve Waldron's vision.
Last night, we decided to take our beloved pooch, Trixie, and saunter up and down Grand Avenue, taking in the sights and sounds of 'Crusin' Grand.' A couple of typical scenes:
Naturally, I had dressed for the occasion in formal attire. Birkenstock sandals, white tennis shorts, black sports shirt and white windbreaker jacket (it was a mite cool). (I had not been able to find my bib overalls nor my clodhopper boots). With Trixie on her leash, we wound or way through the crowded streets, often having to stop as people wanted to pet Trixie and say hello.
Trixie was in seventh heaven. Lots of other people had their pups on a leash and she would whimper and cry to let me know she wanted to go say hello and play with them. Naturally, I allowed this. The pups would meet up, sniff each other for about 45 seconds and then move on to find yet more playmates. Dogs can be fickle at times.
It's a bit noisy at these events. In front of my bank there was a band with three attractive gals on the mike, singing their hearts out. They were very, very good singers. One was tempted to just find a sitting place and enjoy the music. Several folks were dancing, including a six year old gal.
Up the street about two blocks was a dee jay, playing some of the classic hits. I bumped into a friend, Dirk Reschly, and his family, and while chatting in front of the dee jay's location, "In the Mood" was playing. For a moment I was transported back to Peony Park in Omaha, Nebraska, where I grew up (if I ever did). I started to wonder how many times I had danced to that song. It was quite often.
Crossed the street and headed back to our entry point . . . about three blocks back in the direction from which we had just come. The noise troubled Trixie a little bit. Sometimes some car aficionado had to gun his engine to show off his explosive tail pipes . . . and that startled her. Me, too. But, she clearly enjoyed herself, as did I.
We turned the corner back to the parking lot and the band with the three pretty girls began to play and sing a Beatle's song. Nice.
We came home, refreshed. We had heard some good music, met a lot of new puppies, saw a number of friends, and lots of shiny, gleaming, beautiful classic cars.
It's a good way to spend a summer's evening on a Friday.