Our little town has a special group dedicated to the promotion of civility.
It started about a decade ago when concerned folk wanted to squash negative behavior, like bullying, and just plain rudeness, and bring back politeness. You know, reinforce kindness and charm and, heck, just put the true back in True Blue. They dubbed this concept PRIDE, which stands for Purpose, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Effort.
The townfolk wanted to bring to the forefront of our community’s consciousness the concept of pushing these ideals a little harder than those currently being pushed via social media, Hollywood, and Pop Culture.
This year, I went to a meeting of PRIDE. And within a half an hour, I had signed myself on to be in charge of building the PRIDE float for our annual town day, otherwise known as Poolesville Day.
What would the float be???
Every year, PRIDE comes up with a catch phrase. Last year it was “Stand Up,” as in stand up for people, stand up against bullying, stand up to injustice. This year, the phrase is Be The Difference. As in be the difference to someone. Be the difference if someone is getting picked on. Be the difference if you see someone who needs help.
Be the difference and lend someone a hand.
As in, be someone’s rescuer! You never know how much your help might mean to someone!
So we decided the float would be a giant, extended “Let Me Help You” hand. As if someone were reaching down to lift someone else up. Think Sistine Chapel…
It’s a beautiful idea, isn’t it? I thought of it myself. Well, I thought of stealing DaVinci’s idea, anyway… You might say I’m artsy fartsy in a totally plageristic sort of way.
But I’m most emphatically NOT artsy fartsy enough to actually BUILD such a concept. That was where the middle school art teacher, Mr. Gemmell, and his students at John Poole Middle School came into play. In the space of a week, some chicken wire, some scrap wood, and some paper mache, and Bada Bing, Bada Boom, THE HAND was born.
I love it.
And throughout this summer, we, and some student volunteers,
are going to finish the armature, and get the beauty painted.
Our good friends, The Stottlemyers, loaned us the trailer.
And our dear friends The Browns,
in conjunction with the beautiful town of Barnesville,
are loaning us the storage space and work space.
Reverend Ann, from our local Episcopal church, donated the funding.
And My Captain? He got volunteered to be the structural engineer. He’s SO PLEASED with me for signing him up! You should have seen his face when I told him the news! (ahEM.)
We (and by we, I mean THEY) got the claw, er, I mean, THE HAND loaded onto the Stottlemyer’s trailer, and immediately Varmint began to worry that it would fly off the trailer in transit.
She had visions of a giant hand flying off the trailer and hitting a busload of children or something. Or worse yet, the pizza delivery guy. She was seeing mayhem, I tell you!
“Meh!” I exclaimed, “It’ll be FINE!”
Varmint, Critter, Mike, and Grandma Jane had little faith in my assessment.
As did, I’m happy to say, My Captain, who has been around the block a time or two with my over-zealous optimism.
So he got out his trusty-dusty-rusty winch straps, and secured that sucker DOWN.
I offered to give him a hand……
As did Critter.
And finally, The Hand was seen being hauled through Poolesville and Barnesville, to where it will be stored until we can work on it later this summer.
Oh, and we also went through the McDonald’s Drive Thru, and acted all non-chalant, like, “There’s nothing to see here, just a 6′ armless hand.”
No one batted an eye…..Garsh I love this town!!!!
Stay tuned for the rest of the story!
(And pray for My Captain!)