• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

The beginning of last week started off pretty good as shoppers and people looking for good places to eat decided to see what was going on in Midway. It was the end of the week just after Thanksgiving that made downtown a little special. We now have our Railroad Street/downtown area lit up for Christmas. It started last Friday night when light pole runners (imagine the Olympic torch bearers) turned on the Christmas lights one pole after another, and when the last pole was lit, this year’s Christmas tree lights were turned on. This year’s tree lighting crowd was probably the biggest one on record. It’s kind of nice when you can start Christmas with fantastic weather and a great group of Midwegians hanging out in the evening and singing Christmas carols.

After going to bed Saturday night (a little earlier than usual), it was soon time to get up and get ready to head back downtown for the arrival of Santa Clause. Hey folks, this is a big day in Midway and it was also “Small Business Saturday.” Visitors to town started coming in early. Children were making their way up and down the railroad track trying to see how far they could walk on top of a rail before falling off.

Other kids were picking up the rocks that surrounded the railroad ties, trying to see how far they could throw them before their parents saw them, too late to stop the first heave but in time to empty their child’s pockets of the other missiles that had been collected for future targets. However, there is one other experience that takes place on this day that the parents like as much as the children. You haven’t completed your visit to Midway until you have put a penny on the track and waited for a train to come along and flatten it out.

My studies have taught me that the practice of placing pennies on the railroad track has a history almost as long as there have been trains and pennies. The small U.S. cent and the train through Midway originated about the same time in 1856. I sometimes wonder who was the first person to put a penny on the track in Midway. My guess is that it didn’t happen until the mid-1900s. In those days, a person could take a penny and buy a sack of cornmeal, shot of bourbon, and get a new set of shoes for their horse.

I’ll return to the subject at hand. There were plenty of pennies, nickels and quarters placed on the tracks last weekend and a lot of them just disappeared. They shoot out between the wheel and the rail never to be seen again. The practice keeps the father and the children busy for hours looking for their flattened coins. Meanwhile, mom is visiting the shops and checking out all the good stuff that would make great Christmas presents.

The mini Choo Choo was a hit as lines of parents and children waited in line to ride the through town. Of course, the biggest line of the day was the line of parents and kids that followed Santa from the train to the Eat, Drink & Breathe building. I gave up the count at 150 after the first hour and the line was still filling the street. Poor Santa…

Let’s give a big thanks to Eat, Drink & Breathe for hosting Santa and the Northside Elementary students for all the art work they had on display in the Santa Area.

How do you make 25 gallons of Burgoo disappear in two hours? You convince Rick Caudle, “The Burgoo Master,” to make 25 gallons of his special secret receipe burgoo and invite the community to come over and have a bite.

That’s what they did for community dinner Monday night. To sweeten the deal the menu also included Ouita Michel’s sweet potato casserole and her famous Wallace Station coleslaw, Weisenberger Mill cornbread, Wilda Willis Caudle’s pumpkin pecan bread pudding, Ouita’s apple crisp, Mike McColl’s potato and leek soup, Jim and Jan Nance’s famous bread and several choices of beverages.

Can you imagine all of this food to eat just four days after Thanksgiving? The dinner had a great turnout and as usual everyone enjoyed the food and the fellowship.

Now that Thanksgiving is over Midwegians are starting to think about Christmas. I’ve noticed that Christmas decorations are starting to go up. As you create your Christmas Wonderland keep in mind that your creation will automatically be entered in this year’s Annual Christmas Home Outdoor Decorating Contest! This event is sponsored each year by the Midway Woman’s Club. These ladies drive up and down every street in Midway and look for the most eye-catching Christmas decorations in town.

Here are a few of the categories: Most Creative Lights, Best Daytime Display, Best Christmas Spirit, Best Business Decorations, Best Yard, Best Spirit of Woodford County, Most Whimsical Lights, and Most Animated Lights. Now if you have a very special, unusual, or eye-catching display that doesn’t fit into one of these categories, they will create a new category right on the spot and hang an award certificate right on your front door.

So remember to put a little extra effort into decorating this year and I promise you that you will not go unnoticed. So, make sure you have all your lights turned on and shining brightly Friday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

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