In addition to our usual full slate of activities in March we also had our Farewell to Friends Weekend from March 20 through March 22. On Friday, the 20 circus-sized tents were erected for “Night Under the Stars.” Live music was provided so we all could cut a rug if so inclined. The serenading, dancing and socializing lasted well into the dark and by night’s end the rug was well tattered.
Saturday morning found a varied selection of merchandise being offered during our silent auction. Bidding was fast and furious with some items being hotly contested over as bidders threw caution to the wind. The day’s festivities continued with a delectable dinner outdoors featuring chicken marsala, sirloin marsala, pasta alfredo, salad and freshly baked French bread. The evening closed out with a rousing comedian tickling our funny bones with his witticism.
Sunday morning began somberly with a non-denominational church service including singing by our LTP choir. At 1 p.m. we began our annual parade throughout the park grounds. This year’s theme was the roaring 20s era. A large contingent of participants were in the parade. Heading the entourage were suave King Gerold and his elegant Queen Betty being chauffeured by a mustached, debonair and extremely handsome but suspicious looking character (yours truly). Fabulous, flirtatious and frisky flappers flaunted fanciful favors of femininity. Machine Gun Kelly toted his trusty Tommy gun while accompanied by his female cohort, ushered the gathering with their ominous and foreboding presence. Bob the Pimp unabashedly displayed his provocatively clad harem of madams for men to ogle. Roaring Ro, a.k.a. the Buckeye Babe, pedaled her cat-like wares for all to savor. Prohibition was again ignored when a float over-flowing with contraband moonshine teased our parched thirsts. Two Feds, reputably associates of the Untouchables, were in fast pursuit of the moonshine runners as a pair of villains from the Pump House Gang escaped out the back door. Lawless Larry was saddled along side his darling but ever-dangerous Darlene while aboard their one-of-a-kind, foam-core touring auto. Bringing up the rear guard was none other than the notorious Mean Gene the Dancing Machine, Godfather of Bonita Springs Swing. Hoards of common vagabonds and sundry outlaws swelled their pregnant ranks. Shady men and loose women with questionable virtue cavorted openly with little regard for law, sensibility or decency. It was obvious our quaint park had come under siege and was being held hostage for the sake of partying.
The mayhem persisted even after this unsavory mass of humanity assembled at their favorite speakeasy’s parking lot hideout. Strict legislation and enhanced law enforcement efforts failed to quell the unruliness. Peace and calm could only be restored with bribery consisting of unlimited free peanuts, pounds of foot-long hotdogs, mounds of ice cream, keg upon keg of ice-cold beer and plentiful chilled drinks were offered and ravenously consumed. Time and time again plates were re-heaped and wolfed down as beer after beer was used as a liquid lubricant. At long last every morsel, scrap and crumb disappeared. With near bursting engorged stomachs, the now self-sedated throng was easily contained and summarily placed under house arrest until this same time next year.
Next came an unscheduled free concert supplied by Cleveland native Rockin’ Roger. The guitar riffs reverberating from his vintage Les Paul nearly brought down the house as he crooned under the star laden night.
It’s this writers understanding a voluptuous vamp by the name of Val and her gang of desperadoes were the notorious individuals responsible for this weekend of merriment like this park has never seen. When can we do it again?