took in my first 4th of July on the Platte City square and color me impressed and sweaty. Excellent turnout and the mood of the volunteers, vendors and participants was off the charts friendly and fun. Honestly, I know you people are nice and all, but it feels like the pandemic made our little part of the world a little better than it used to be. While crowds may be inciting anger at airports and cities and such, it seems like crowds are a little more accommodating and friendly in our part of the world, post pandemic.
I’ve always said you don’t know what a good day is if you haven’t had a bad day and maybe that applies in this situation. A steaming hot gathering of neighbors on the town square sure is a lot better than sitting at home and watching the news tell us how bad things are.
Speaking of “hot,” I teamed up with a loyal Landmark reader to put Foley down in the dunk tank. The reader introduced herself as she finished a bomb pop on her “rascal” type scooter. I assumed her to fall into the category of septuagenarian, but I don’t ask women their age. She mentioned that she wished “Foley” had worn his Speedo which means her libido is apparently working, but maybe not her eyesight. I did not ask a follow-up question.
While we waited in line to get our shot at Foley, we agreed that I would take the three throws and if I missed, she would simply drive that “rascal” up to the dunk tank and press the target and we all get what we want. She gets to see Foley all wet, I get to say I was successful in my dunk tank toss and we all go home happy. I missed all three shots high. She must have not had much faith in my arm because she was moving the scooter toward Foley before I was done with the third and last throw, pushing the target and dumping her favorite columnist in some ice-cold water.
I arrived to see the mayor of Platte City, Tony Paolillo take his stint in the tank. I don’t want to throw shade at the Landmark participants of Foley and columnist Chris Kamler, but Paolillo appeared to be a professional dunk tank guy. I have no idea if he’s a good mayor, but he’s damn good at the dunk tank. He’s like in shape and stuff and bounced right back up time and time again. Kid after kid after kid would send him into the tank and he methodically just came back for more. It was impressive, he should take that tank talent on the road.
I lied a bit. I actually did get a brief review of the mayor, albeit probably not without some bias. I had the opportunity to speak with City Administrator DJ Gehrt and his wife and DJ waxed poetically about the Platte City elected officials. DJ has seen some places that are a mess politically and he said this was the opposite, a mayor and board that made sure they were working for the betterment of the community. DJ doesn’t speak hyperbole, so I’m betting it’s an accurate summation.
July 4th is jumping off day for most people’s summers. Lots of ball leagues are done and families are taking to the road and trying to get a little “me” time over the next 30-45 days. I hope you all get where you want to be safely and get ready for one of the best “fall seasons” ever. The Missouri Tigers may be good at football, the Chiefs will be good at football and high schools will welcome back full stadiums and less restrictions that dampened the enthusiasm for the game last year. Get your rest, it’s going to be an epic fall!
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or working on getting his dunk tank fastball down in the zone)