Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birthday Town

It is somewhat unfortunate that Columbia’s forty fifth birthday celebration had to fall on the weekend after LakeFest. The temptation to unfavorably compare the two events is almost too great.

It would also be unfair.

Columbia’s birthday party is more hyper loco than the regionally marketed LakeFest. This was bought home to me almost as soon as I arrived. Passing by the Columbia Villages booth, Joan Lancos started to hand me a Columbia Villages reusable shopping bag but then pulled back explaining “You don’t live in Columbia do you?”

I’m a Columbia expat. No yellow shopping bag for me.

Despite the shopping bag stiff I lingered for awhile talking loco politico stuff with Joan long enough to eventually elicit an audible sigh from Peanut. We moved on, without a yellow shopping bag.

Passing in front of Clyde’s I showed Peanut the brick I bought her. I don’t think it made that great of an impression with her. Perhaps she’ll grow more comfortable with the whole brick thing over time. 

As we were inspecting the decorated umbrellas lined up along the dock, a couple came by with a young golden retriever, named Dakota. The owner (I believe her name was Claire) asked me if I was a blogger. I pleaded guilty and she proceeded to tell me that she is a regular reader. “I’m a lurker though,” she said, “not a commenter.”

I immediately liked her. The fact that she and husband had a sweet golden retriever only made it better.  I thanked her for recognizing me and being a reader. That is one the best parts of hyper loco blogging for me, random encounters with HoCo locos that I otherwise may have never met.

After taking our aforementioned paddle boat ride, we headed up to the main stage area when a Tae Kwon Do demonstration was about to take place. “This is something that really interests me,” Peanut informs me.

Who knew?

As we settled in to watch I noticed a young couple had found themselves a private perch to watch the show. I wondered how long it would be before someone told them to get down. It was approximately fifteen minutes. Still, for the moment they were getting away with it, it made a perfect summer picture.
As we left, I grabbed one of the available Sharpies and penned my birthday greetings to Columbia on the birthday cake replica set up for this purpose. I may no longer qualify for a free yellow shopping bag but I still love my old hometown all the same. Happy 45th!
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