Archive for Thursday, December 18, 2003

All on a snowy Tonganoxie day

December 18, 2003

Saturday morning, Bernadine Daniels, who lives on Parallel Road, called me at home to tell me about her neighbor's good deed. Richard Erickson, who is superintendent of Tonganoxie schools, could have a second career -- as a snow plower.

"He just drove up here in his John Deere tractor and cleaned the snow off," Daniels said. "I just thought that some mention of it needed to be made in the paper."

In four years of working at The Mirror, this was the first time I had received such a call.

Then, that afternoon, Carolyn Day called from the Tonganoxie Christian Church where parents, students and teachers had been wading through the 5-inch snow to get inside to prepare for the second night's performance of the high school's Madrigal Feaste.

"You should come up and take a picture of all the volunteers who showed up to clean the snow off the sidewalks and parking lot," Day said.

And, she mentioned one of those volunteers by name. Larry Meadows, she said, had spent about three hours up there, clearing snow.

To thank him, the sponsors and cast presented Meadows with a "key to the kingdom," which he wore around his neck, and a large golden crown. Day said it was quite a sight to see him shoveling snow while wearing the oversized key and crown.

As I was preparing to go into town and take that picture, two of our sons got their pickup truck stuck in the snow in our driveway at home. I went outside and two of us pushed the truck out of the snow. The boys had barely driven another 20 feet before they were stuck again.

In the process of trying to push it out that time, one of the boys thought he sprained an ankle. By then, they were just about ready to come inside and settle down for the proverbial long winter's nap.

That's when we heard the snow blade scraping at the end of the driveway. We watched in surprise as Jim Owens' truck made its way up the winding lane, pushing the snow off the pavement as it went. He had dropped by to see my husband, who was at work. And so while there, Jim cleared all of the driveway, and even helped the boys push their truck out of the snow.

Needless to say, I failed to make it to town to take the picture of Larry Meadows. But, I hope our readers will be able to capture a mental image of him commandeering a snowplow, decked out with a golden key and crown.

Across the area, it seems, good Samaritans were everywhere.

That evening, I did make it to the church -- to attend the Madrigal Feaste. For those who did not attend, this was a combination vocal music and dramatic performance, as well as a sit-down Renaissance-style dinner.

Because of the high quality of the entire production -- from the costumes, the stage set, part of which was loaned by the Renaissance Festival, and the singing, I would highly recommend that area residents put the Madrigal Feaste on their 2004 calendars.

Two of the performers -- Joel Nido and Michael Stephenson -- demonstrated tremendous talent at acting. The music was so well performed that some of the songs brought tears to those of us in the audience.

What a fitting way for students to wrap up a semester. And, what a fitting way for area residents to soak up a bit more of the holiday season.

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