Quite literally. Steph went to Cincinnati with a friend for the day (my guess is that they’re en route back to Columbus as I type), so Susie and I had a Dad ‘n’ Daughter Day. We went to the library in the morning, came home and had lunch, and then went to the Maynard Festival, which I had seen advertised for the past 3-4 weeks.
As you may have guessed, the Maynard Festival was on E. Maynard Ave. To be more specific, it was a block party hosted by the Maynard Ave. United Methodist Church. The church is a few blocks south of us, so we had a nice walk. It was set up in the church’s parking lot, and there wasn’t a huge amount of foot traffic, but there were booths with art, jewelry, and clothing for sale. I was happy for the free lemonade and the $.50 hot dogs.
Susie was truly in her element at a table where a woman labored over a Hermes 8 manual typewriter. They offered a challenge–write three random words on a piece of paper, and they’ll make a poem out of it. One person would write it in longhand, and the woman with the typewriter would type it out and put it in a "Finished Poems" basket.
For example, Susie jotted down princess, frog, and sparkles, handed them the page, and the process went into action. A little later, she was rewarded with:
The princess turned into
a frog with blue sparkles
who met a blue sparkly
mermaid and became best
I had heard about cakewalks for years, usually in the expression, "This job was no cakewalk." After hearing the word for a long time, I looked it up in the dictionary, and saw that it meant a dance contest where cakes were given as prizes. In front of the church, they had a cakewalk. There were cardboard color squares on the sidewalk, and people walked around them, and, when the music stopped, whoever was on a designated color won the cake. Susie tried twice, and didn’t make it, although she enjoyed the water balloon toss afterwards. (I’ve seen the same thing done with eggs–throw the balloon or egg back and forth, stepping back a little each time. The last one to have an intact missile wins.)
The most bizarre thing about the cakewalk was the choice of music. On the parking lot, there was a modest sound system playing different Christian rock music, as well as "Day by Day," from Godspell. The two cakewalks I witnessed used Golden Earring’s "Twilight Zone," a song I liked (although I thought the video was quite creepy), and the J. Geils Band’s "Centerfold," which was one of my favorite songs. Both of them seemed a little out of place for a church picnic.
Since I’ve begun typing, Steph has returned from Cincinnati. I emerged from my dungeon
like basement with the laptop under my arm so I could see her. Susie told her all about her work as a poet on demand, about the magician she watched, and the cakes that got away.
I had to move to Columbus to experience anything close to a small-town Saturday in the summer.