Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Festival Fun

Caroline Letts and all the other incredible Parent Association ladies (and probably some men too) have staged another fantastic Fall Festival. I hope you were able to attend this past Saturday (October 4). The weather was spectacular--a bright blue sky and a hint of fall in the air with temperatures in the high 60s. There were probably thirty to forty booths, stations, and rides for kids of all ages. 

Let me tell you what I did and didn't do. I started at the basketball court and, for a little while, I had the record for most buckets hit (seven) in a 30 second period. Davis Spencer came up to me and told me that he had tied me after about thirty minutes. Then Leslie Coffey hit eight shots and unseated Davis and me from the lead. It didn't surprise me because Leslie is a really good basketball player. Leslie and I both attend the same church, and she sat only one row behind me yesterday. I passed her a note during the service that said, "I hear you beat me in the basketball shooting contest yesterday." Her big smile as she read my note made me happy. I consider it an honor to be beaten by Leslie.

I slid down the power slide on a burlap blanket, which was very exciting, but not too scary. Most of the other sliders were lower schoolers. Then came my moment of triumph. Coleman Efird dared me to get on the mechanical surf board. If you have never seen one, it is the surf board version of a mechanical bull. What was the worst that could happen? There was plenty of thick padding to receive my tumble. So off came my shoes. The hardest part was getting up on the board, and I did have a moment of terror as I contemplated the humiliation of not being able to even get on the surf board!! Relax--I made it. Here we go!! Let the gyrations begin!! I simply let my body go limp and my hips swing free. Amazingly, they couldn't throw me off. (Don't believe Coleman Efird when she tells you that the operator went easy on me.) After what seemed like five minutes, but in reality was probably 30 seconds, the operator told me to dismount because I was invincible! (Well, actually he said, "You're through" without much emotion or feeling. But deep inside, behind his feigned apathy, I am sure he was thinking, "That old guy has still got it!") Better yet, Dr. Dustin Letts video taped the whole thing!! How do you get video footage on YouTube?

After the mechanical surf board, I figured any involvement in challenging physical pursuits would be anti-climatic. Again, Coleman Efird in her role as agent provocateur tried to get me to scale the climbing wall. No way! I don't care that they have you harnessed in. I had nightmarish visions of falling and having those safety ropes snap like thin fishing line. Then some middle schoolers tried to get me to paint a dolphin on my face or dye my hair purple--"Don't worry Dr. Rankin! It washes out easily." Again, better judgment prevailed.

What a glorious day!! Watching little children ride ponies is the best! Another one of the ride/torture devices tethered young children into a harness seat with springy ropes, and then they tried to spring themselves into somersaults. There was a lot of happy squealing coming from that contraption.

And there was food galore. FLIK had hamburgers and hot dogs. Parents Ben and Tangela Hinton volunteered to sell drinks. Volunteers were everywhere! Happy kids were everywhere!  It really was a great day to be a Spartan!! Thank you, Parents Association, for another joyful Fall Fest!! This is one of the reasons why we love Gaston Day School!!