Saturday, May 17, 2008
Did Somebody Say Asparagus?
Kelly had read in the paper of an Asparagus Festival, being had in West Brookfield. We're both huge fans of the tasty vegetable, so off we went to celebrate, with an entire town...
The festival was being held on the town green in West Brookfield; a good sized, triangular shaped common.
Yes, that's a Maypole dance you see in the distance. When was the last time you've seen that happen?
There was also pony rides nearby, if Maypoling wasn't your thing.
We had just missed the Asparagus Parade...Doh! The long common was bustling though, and lined completely on two sides with vendor's tents.
Everything from home made pesto, to dog treats, to collages, to wool blankets. A big variety of things to look at or buy; all local hand made stuff, from what I could tell. Come to think of it, about the only type of thing we didn't see anybody selling in all those vendor tents, was asparagus!
These guys were with the Trustees Of Reservations. They're a Massachusetts conservation group, funded solely by support from it's members, and dedicated to maintaining the beautiful places of our state. There are a lot of Trustee Reservations throughout Massachusetts, like the Dinosaur Tracks on rte. 5 in Holyoke. Here, they were promoting a nearby reservation on Route 9, called The Rock House Reservation.
They were telling me all about it, but were preaching to the choir, because we had already noticed it on the way up and had every intention of checking it out on the way back. (More on that coming up in another post...)
This lady represented the Association For Gravestone Studies, a group dedicated to the study of symbolism in the carvings on old gavestones. Her particular art group, The Gravestone Girls, had the interesting idea of making casts of those carvings.
We discussed the way the main symbols on the stones had changed; From skulls with wings of the 17th and early 18th centuries, to angelic looking faces, to more the more neutral trees and flowers by the 19th century, as the populace became more educated and acquired different outlooks about death and it's meanings.
We also discussed the birth of the 'modern' cemetery, the park-like type we see today, with big trees and roads through them. She said that type of cemetery had begun to gain popularity around the 1820's. This lady was into her work...
It was time for the Frog Competitions. Kids of all ages gathered around a ring, where unsuspecting frogs were pulled out of buckets by their juvenile owners, and set to compete against each other in the arena, for their master's amusement and fortune.
They had colorful names like Slimy, and Bob. They would be set on a bucket cover, and induced to leap as far as they could by screaming or jumping people. Referees used golf tees to mark their progress from leap to leap, and measured the distances to judge the winners.
The mob cheered and waved banners for their favorites.
Some had come long distances for the event.
One frog saw his chance had finally arrived to make good his escape plans, and went for it:
Maybe next time, and let that be a lesson to any of you other frogs, with big ideas...
It was time to eat. But first, this had to be done:
It was officially an event.
We went over to the food tents, where they were serving up chicken/asparagus wraps and clam chowder...
Nearby was the music tent, where a great band was playing some bluegrass, and regular blues. Bear witness....to the Asparagus Blues:
Good time in West Brookfield...
Topics: State Of Mass (East)