Saturday, October 2, 2010

Small Town

I have spent a large portion of my life in a small town.......or rural community near a small town.
Don't get me wrong, I love big cities. I love the energy, the fast pace, all the things you can do twenty four hours a day. But today, I experienced small town life at its best.

Five years ago, I was fortunate to be on a planning committee in Sumiton Al for the first Annual Frog Festival........and it was an extremely successful event. After the second year, I had some health issues and had to step down, but every year for the past five years Rick and I have performed on the main stage with our friend, Steve Norris.( well last year, Steve couldn't make it so Rick and I did a duo)

I have watched this small town festival grow from around 3,000 to 7,ooo or 8,000. And it is small town at its best in every way. There is no admission charge, so no matter your economic status,
you are admitted. All the entertainment is free. The food vendors have done a great job at keeping their prices contained, so have all the vendors who sell everything from books, to
reptiles. It is family, from grandpa and grandma to babies. Kids roam around, not afraid, because there is always someone there who knows them and their families.

It is unique because for the most part, everyone you see is smiling. Neighbors, politicians, football fans, folks from other small towns, they walk the main street caught up in the spirit
of small town life. Rich and poor, black and white, it doesn't matter, at the Frog Festival you're just glad to be there. Enjoying BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried cat fish, candy apples, funnel cakes, home made pies and cakes, lemonade, and cold sweet tea. Face are painted, hair is painted, balloons sail into the sunset. You can't walk ten feet without seeing someone hug or shake hands.
It is like a family reunion, only just with the family members you want to see. I can assure you all if you came to the Frog Festival, you would want to live here. Five years, and we have never had rain, the skies were so blue and clear today you could see forever.

So tonight, I am very proud to be a part of something so good. I am proud of the little town where I spent a good part of my childhood. This one day every year, you see the best in people.
You see and hear amazing talent, eat food that would make you slap your momma it's so good,
see people who work hard, who really are middle America.
I am just about Frogged out, we spent most of the day there, we performed, Rick signed books and took hundreds of photos. Tomorrow, if you would like a glimpse of what today was all about,
go to all the photos that Rick took will be on the site tomorrow afternoon.
He is currently watching Alabama football and photos are not a priority.

When I was growing up, I could not wait to leave. And I did leave for a few years, but when Rick and I married, he wanted to live in the area. He had grown up in Dora, a small town across the
state highway from Sumiton. I admit, through the years the call of distant more exotic places has tempted me, but days like today, I am glad we are here. No, I do not eat frog legs.