Sometimes I think Stephanie stays up at night thinking of unusual assignments for me. A few long time readers may remember way back to October of 2010 when I was assigned to help man a booth at the …
I had the pleasure of listening to a day of lectures on growing alfalfa and hay and keeping your cattle healthy. I was actually there to get ranchers to sign up for a grant that would help them eliminate feral hogs on their ranches and farms.
The real bonus that day was attending the hay show, and being able to see the Texas state blue ribbon hay bale! Not easy to forget an experience like that! I was also given a nice rain gage and a poster showing the different breeds of cattle. What more can I say?
So I had high hopes for today. My assignment was to be at a booth at the Civic Center in Beaumont to talk about the refuge. That’s like asking a bear to eat honey! The reason for the gathering was the kick off of the Celebrating Seniors, Mardi Gras Style activities for the weekend. It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would.
To begin with, I was denied entry at the vendor’s door because Anahuac NWR wasn’t on the list. What?? Eventually that was straightened out, and I had a bare table all to myself. All the other tables were decorated for Mardi Gras, and all I had was a stuffed Cooper’s hawk and some maps of McFadden and Anahuac refuges. That table in the bottom middle picture above is where I was supposed to be, but there was no room.
The seniors arrived by the busloads and swooped down upon us. It appeared they were there for one reason, and that was to gather as much free stuff as they could. Many brought their own bags, and some even had suitcase like bags on wheels to fill with free handouts. I was not prepared for that. I had no candy, or pencils, or pens, or beads, or anything. One thousand seniors were expected, and I perhaps spoke to six of them.
It reminded me of the raucous Mardi Gras parade I was in in Mississippi a few years back. Parade watchers clamored at the sides of the float screaming for handouts. While these folks didn’t get as nasty as the parade watchers, it was obvious that they didn’t have time to talk to someone who only had information rather than junk to hand out.
Many of the attendees, and vendors, dressed for the occasion. (Notice the bag the gentleman brought with him.) And the other booths at this affair? I was flanked by a Hospice table and an Alzheimer's table! Other vendors were from health care units, assisted living, cemeteries, and a heart hospital. Now there’s a real celebration of life!
Since I didn’t have much of a crowd at my table, I decided to take a walk around to find the ladies room, and view the other tables. First, I packed away the bird books and binoculars that I had on display. I was afraid someone would take them if I left them out. I did miss my big chance though, while I was walking around. I decided not to put my name in for a free drawing of a $650 headstone! Uff-dah! This was so bizarre to me that I’ve just been chuckling all evening.
While on my little walk about, I went outside to the senior petting zoo. It had been announced that seniors could go outside to see a couple of horses. This provided hands on activities. You could pet or curry the horses, or even help with the horse apple pick up. I must admit that I enjoyed the horses more than the cemetery, extended care, or hospice booths.
I’m thinking the refuge probably won’t participate in this Mardi Gras thing next year. I’m also thinking that I’d rather attend a Beef Symposium.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy