• By John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

THIS WEEK IN MIDWAY: Personals and Comments

I would like to congratulate Johnny Wilson, Midway’s newest council member. He was selected from a list of nine great applicants. Wilson definitely wasn’t a new face at the council meeting Monday night. He has attended almost every council meeting since the beginning of last year, when this group of council members began their two-year terms. You could say that he was an alternate council member waiting to happen. He has observed every important decision that the council has had to make since last year and has come before the council to comment on various issues he’s observed. He even took time to map out all the available parking places on Main and Winter Street after overhearing a discussion about parking in Midway. The map has been very useful on several occasions.

Johnny Wilson and I go back a long way. We played Little League Baseball together. Back in those days, baseball was our passion. He was a pitcher with a fastball that would burn a hole in a catcher’s mitt. He had a curve ball that, in the words of Bruce Springsteen, would “Make you look like a fool, boy.” I was the guy squatting behind the batter trying to catch what he was throwing. We didn’t lose too many games when Johnny was pitching. We graduated together in 1967. Johnny is also an Air Force veteran and served from 1968 to 1972. Not only has he been out of high school for 51 years, but he’s also been married to his wife Beverley for 50 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren. Johnny and Beverley live in Midway’s oldest original building, which was originally built in 1835 as a doctor’s office by Dr. Thomas Iles, Midway’s first physician.

When Wilson sent in his application he stated that he would not be running for a council seat in the fall. He added this statement, “I love Midway and I know I’ll never take Libby’s place, but I want to do a good job for the citizens of Midway in the short term.”

When one of the St. Paddy’s Day in Midway organizers made his report to the last Midway Business Association meeting, he cautioned everyone not to expect too much for the inaugural event. After all, this was a brand new event, and the group only had about 45 days to plan and put everything together. On top of that, in the past St. Patrick’s Day events were for other towns, and downtown Midway had very little activity, if any, during that time of year. So the organizers weren’t even sure if anyone would come to Midway for St. Patrick’s Day.

Fortunately, the right group of people came together and it was absolutely amazing how everything fell into place. That’s what happens when you have Steve Morgan gathering the right people and laying out a timeline (no matter how short the time period) and boy o boy didn’t Julie Morgan put together a parade. The parade was an afterthought as the planning stages began. Steve Simoff went out and hustled some funding to go along with money from the Midway Business Association (A big thank you to Coolmore Farm for their support). Amy Bowman coordinated the independent vendors who added a little something extra to the event. A big shot of Gaelic energy fired the planners up when Joe and Cynthia Campbell brought fire trucks and lots of other Gaelic touches to the event. Not enough can be said for everyone who participated in the parade. Midway University thrilled the younger bystanders with two of their horses and riders and other students from their equine department heading up the parade. The Grand Marshall was none other than Dr. John P. Marsden, the tenth president of Midway University. There were all kinds of scouts participating -- Brownies, Daisies, Boy, Cubs, and Girl Scouts -- along with decorated wagons and bicycles. The Midway Community Garden and the Midway Giant Pumpkin Project was represented. The kids were amazed when the two of the world’s tallest Leprechauns made their way along the parade route. (FYI……these two are engaged to be married soon…..can you picture the world’s tallest baby leprechaun?) Parents and kids lined up on both sides of the street as green carnations, green necklaces, and other Irish mementos were handed out. Winnie the Pooh and his little Leprechaun buddy handed out honey sticks from the Kentucky Honey Farms. Thanks to all the drivers of cars and floats. Thanks to the Versailles Police Department for keeping everyone safe. All in all, I think everyone would agree that it was a grand parade.

The parade was just part of the day’s activities. All the restaurants had specials on Irish drinks, green beer, shepherd’s pie, mulligan stew, corn beef and cabbage, and other things Irish. All the waiters and waitresses slept well when they got home Saturday night. There was even green popcorn to be had. Talking about going green -- another hit was the collection of electric cars on display throughout the day that had been in the parade, too. There was even a display of electric bicycles at City Hall.

Another factor that made St. Paddy’s Day in Midway even grander was the beautiful weather.

My Irish grandmother would have said, “Our day was touched by a bit of Irish luck, the day was brightened by a song in our hearts and warmed by the smiles of all those around us.”

The last of the Winter into Spring Concert series took place Sunday at The Homeplace. The night featured Nathaniel Wyatt and Bruce Skeeter. Thanks to Blake Jones for making this project a hit.

FYI: there’s talk about a Cool Summer’s Night Concert Series, the first of which will be at Walter Bradley Park on Sunday, July. Things happen so fast in Midway my FYI’s turn into “done deals.”

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