• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

It was another great weekend in Midway (gee, I wonder how many times I've used that phrase), but it really was a great weekend. The rain gods continue to bless our Midway events, one of which took place Friday night when the Midsummer Nights in Midway had its first event of the summer hosting the Twiggenburys, a Lexington-based band that covers British rock bands - English accents and all - who got the crowd dancing and singing along. To go along with all the music were vendors who lined the sidewalks, along with open downtown stores, and the restaurants were jam-packed. It's a pretty neat sight to look up and see lines of people sitting along the rock wall and taking everything in. The new 2017 Midsummer Nights in Midway t-shirt was another event highlight as a number of attendees bought theirs to add to their collection. The Versailles Police Department made a big impression with the kids who attended. The officers handed out stick-on Junior Police Badges that the children proudly showed off all night. The children really enjoyed it when the officers joined them at the bubble blowing booth. It was a fun night for everyone. If you want to become part of these activities, you can volunteer at one of the next two events (July or August) you can get a free event t-shirt or you can become a Friend of Midsummer Nights in Midway for $25. As a friend, you will be entered into an exclusive Midway Renaissance, Inc. Member Friend of Midsummer drawing for a gift certificate to one of Midway's great restaurants. If you didn't win in June, your name will stay in the drawing for another restaurant gift certificate to be given away during the July and August events. You need not be present to win. The second event of the weekend took place Monday with Sparks in the Park, which is always on July 3, the day before Independence Day, may not have all the fire and brimstone of some of the big city Fourth of July celebrations but it does have a few characteristics of its own. I can't think of one Sparks celebration when there wasn't a great meal served, even when the caterer pulled up stakes and left the park about two hours before the event began. The only thing for anyone to eat was watermelon and the Girl Scouts selling lemonade. That's when then-Mayor Tom Bozarth went into action and enacted "Plan B." The problem was there wasn't actually a "Plan B," so those who were there early made one up as the hour of celebration was drawing closer. Drivers were sent to the Midway Corner Grocery to buy up all the hamburger and hamburger buns in the store. People who had charcoal briquettes were called upon to round up what they had stashed away at home and contribute them to the fast developing "Plan B." I'll have to say that the citizens came to the aid of their city that day as they took turns making hamburger patties, grill-masters flipped away, and working hands from all directions put together a pretty darn good spread. I didn't hear one person complain as the band played on and the sun melted into the horizon. I think the best part of this gathering is the people from Northridge Subdivision, people from Cogartown, the good people from Zion Hill, and the other residents of Midway, actually take time to talk and get to know one another. Josh Naylor, the manager of the Grey Goose and works the old 24/7 routine, found a couple of hours to join in on the fellowship along with his girlfriend, Aimee Johnson, and his 9-month-old son, Liam. This year there were several at the gathering who had just moved to Midway within the last six months and they were introduced to each other between bites of barbecue and baked beans. The children seemed to enjoy the bouncy house and there were a few of the little ones who told their moms that they didn't want to eat they wanted to play. There's one last thing that makes our sparky celebration a little different. When you come to the park and set up your chair or lay out your blanket, you can look around see a creek, watch horses as they graze in the fields, look at patches of wild flowers and the butterflies, bees, and other insects make their way from bloom to bloom, hear the chatter of people discussing old times, talking about the future and of course there's the laughter of all the children. One could just lie back on a blanket and check out the cloud formations. When was the last time you did that? Now that's my idea of being independent. In closing out this week's comments, I would like to remind everyone that this July 4 was the 20th anniversary of Midway's Veterans' Memorial. Twenty years ago, a dedication service was held to unveil the memorial and recognize the people who made it possible. The ceremony featured the 202nd National Guard Band, a 21-gun salute, speeches by then-Mayor Carl Rollins, tributes to veterans by Stephen Lynn, John Steele Davis, Marlin Mitchell, Denny Nunnelley, an invocation and benediction by Jerome Washington and Isaac Darneal, and the ceremony ended with the playing of taps. ... As I have said several times, I am still going through lots of stuff that has been handed down to me by my family members. My find for the month which I found interesting timing-wise is a VCR tape of the ceremony dedicating the Veterans' Memorial. I hope to get the tape transferred to a CD which I should have available by the end of July if anyone is interested in a copy.

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