• By John McDaniel Midway Correspondent

The Week At Midway

Personals and Comments

In the Aug. 2 issue of The Woodford Sun, there was a picture of Jessie, “The Wonder Elephant.” The paper was looking for readers who may have some information on the picture. I scanned the photo to see if I recognized anyone or if the photo might have been taken in Midway. In the 50s and 60s it seemed that Midway either had a circus or a bunch of donkeys brought into town for a donkey softball game. All these activities usually took place at the Midway ball park.

When the circus came to town, all the kids would make their way to the ball park to watch the trucks unload the horses, monkeys, and, of course, an elephant or two. The elephant served two very important missions with the circus. They were the main attractions, with kids and parents riding the giants, and during the show they would perform and at the end of the show, the elephant trainer would lie down and the elephant would stand beside the trainer and raise its huge foot just inches above the trainer’s head. Before the elephants went into the show ring, they were used to help set up the main tent for the big show. The big top tent was spread out all over the ground with a very tall pole in the middle of the whole layout. One end of a large rope was connected to the pole and the other end to the elephant. The elephant would back up a little at a time to bring the middle pole to an upright position. While the pole was being pulled into position, the sides of the tent would rise into position and the workers would be pulling ropes tight and tying them tightly to stakes driven into the ground. That was a show unto itself, and it was free.

Now I also mentioned that in the off-year when the circus was scheduled elsewhere, donkey softball came to town. I believe the Midway Lion’s Club sponsored these events each year. Rules that applied to a regular softball game were the same in donkey ball, with the exception that in donkey softball, the pitcher and catcher assume their usual positions without a donkey. The batter also is donkey-free until he gets a hit. Then he must mount the donkey and ride it around the bases. Fielders must ride their donkey to the ball, dismount to pick up the ball, then get back on the donkey to throw the ball. The two teams were made up of local ball players. Needless to say, the final scores of these games were very low, if in fact, there was any scoring at all.

Midway residents always know when Midway University is about to begin classes. All they have to do is look out their windows to see groups of students running around and about the town. These students are members of the University’s athletic program getting in shape.

Here’s wishing them all the best in their Midway endeavors.

Everyone is invited to the Community Ice Cream Social Saturday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Community Garden behind Midway Presbyterian Church. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments and join in the jam session!

It’s been 40 years to the month since Midway had its own police department. Learn more about the history of the Midway police department when the latest Versailles Police Department Citizen Police Academy begins on Tuesday, Aug. 28. These classes will last eight weeks and will start at 6:30 p.m.and end at 8 p.m. They are open to anyone who lives or works in Woodford County, and will be held at the Midway Branch Library. There are still a few more spaces available for these classes.

If you want to participate, you can pick up your application at Midway City Hall. If you have any questions about this program, you can contact Versailles Asst. Police Chief (soon to be Chief) Mike Murray at (859) 509-1272.

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