You know how you know it’s the week before VBS? When your shopping list includes 6000 pony beads and a 50 pack of giant Pixy Stix. And, in case you were wondering, one of these pixy stix exceeds my recommended daily allowance of sugar. ONE STICK. As in, there are over 50 days worth of sugar in this package. Like 2 months worth of sugar. How ridiculous is that?! And I’m buying these for children. I’ll go ahead and bury my head in the sand and assume they are not going to consume all of this at once. Right?
I get asked/volunteered to do a lot of things. I think I just have that face, where people look at me and think, we could talk her into doing that. Write it off as fulfilling my civic duty: I was asked to judge the beauty pageant at our annual town celebration. I’m not quite sure who decided I’d be qualified for this, but I was told to show up at 9:30 in the morning and we’d start with the tiny tots.
I assume everyone reading this knows me. And if you do, you know that my standard outfit is athletic shorts, tshirts (shocker, I know), and sandals. I wear my hair in a ponytail with a headband and 92% of the time, I don’t wear any makeup. So, beauty is not really my scene. But, for Maysville Day, anything goes. (To be completely honest, I judged the kids more by what they said their favorite foods were than by how they looked. One kid said mole’. Bonus points from me!)
Our town is really more of a community. The population is 130 people. It’s small town America at its smallest. Just to give you a better idea of what it’s like here: I dropped a tote of packages off at the post office and left my credit card with them to process the payment when they were done then forgot about it and went back two days later to retrieve my card. So basically what I’m saying is I’m irresponsible and forgetful, but it’s okay because I can trust the post master not to run away on a shopping spree.
When I was born, we lived in the house on the corner (if you’re from here, you’d know exactly what house I’m talking about because there are only 4 corners and only one of them has a house on it), which was built in 1899 and used to be the doctor’s house. I think it’s the oldest building still standing, along with our church which was built in 1905. Maysville has been there to see a Civil War battle fought on its doorstep and to see the Cherokee Trail of Tears make it’s final entrance into Oklahoma. It even survived through Prohibition, selling bootleg liquor out of the back of one of the stores on old main street because the front of the store opened into Arkansas and the backdoor opened into Oklahoma. We have a rich history and it is one of the binding threads of this little community.
Maysville Day is the event of the year and it is an event, let me tell you. It’s country. There’s southern culture, then there’s country culture and it overlaps in a lot of places, but it differs too. We have the best (or worst, depending on how you want to look at it) of both worlds. I’ll just highlight some of the events of Maysville Day for you. There is live music all day (country, bluegrass, and gospel, of course) and the stage consists of pallets laid out together and the seating? You guessed it: hay bales. There’s a horse shoe contest, pancake breakfast, car cutting by the fire department, all the typical things. Then, there’s cow patty bingo and a pig chasing. Because this is Maysville and pig chasing is apparently part of our heritage.
I showed up (civic duty check-off) at 9:30 (let’s be real: it was more like 9:38) to find 35 beautiful little people ready to be judged by yours truly. Last year, they had 8 contestants. This year, 35, in a room with no air conditioning, on the hottest day we’ve had here so far. It’s useless trying to be beautiful in this heat, trust me. We crowned our winners. Just in time for them to saddle up their horses and get in the parade.
We were just wrapping up and getting ready to leave when a man came in all in an uproar because someone unloaded “a black pig in a black cage” behind his truck and asked him to watch it and hadn’t been back for it. He also informed us that his wife scared the pig (at which point the wife chimes in with an overlapping story about how the pig actually scared her) and they weren’t going to try to move it again but that the pig needed watered because the man had left it sitting out in the sun. Why was he coming to the beauty pageant room to air these grievances? I don’t know. But as I was walking to my car, I saw a guy moving the pig and dumping a bucket of water on it. Looks like he’ll be nice and rested by the time they let him loose to be chased.