The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sub Terra Vita: Chronicle #13—Eternal Summers

Sub Terra Vita
By Tim Krenz

Chronicle #13—Eternal Summers

In the days of growing up, summer in Osceola wound its way, all too sudden, to the bleak cold of Wisconsin's winter. Too fast, the events of living around the village ran kids ragged—running, biking, boating, and for a lucky few Air Explorer Scouts, flying—to memories of our youth always wasted on the young.

We did: swimming lessons at Sand Lake; youth T-ball at the top of the eighth street hill, or youth baseball inside the old track field north of the much smaller airport; spent days at beaches on Little Round Lake or the river landing; field trips with the summer youth program; scurried the glen, by concrete steps or hand-on-trees, under and around the Cascade Falls; weekday, weekend, or week-long canoe and boat trips between Interstate Park as far as Stillwater; fished for trout in the Upper Mill Pond along Second Avenue; played the woods, swamps and streams between Cascade Street and Schillberg's farm.

At some point, summer would end, but not before the hot days of late August, when the heaviness of breeze-less night air trumbled as the Soo Line train rolled through the village, blaring its horn at the intersection. Yes, the busy days of summer turned into the drudgery of school, until next summer vacation. Once school began, I remember well the last reprieve from the coming un-reprieved rain, cold, snow (lots of it) and ice. Early in our school year, early September, on the anticipated Friday, the teachers of the elementary school led their young classes by columns and hands in a mass exodus, like ancient tribes following wizened prophets, to the “land of cotton candy and sno-cones.”

We gathered in the very large playground, walked the paved trail out the gate leading onto Chieftain Street, and down to the fair grounds behind the grandstand of the venerable Oakey Park. At the Osceola Community Fair, we met parents or others waiting for us, in this temple flat of our of summer ritual. The trinkets, the food, the rides—most of all the rides-- thrilled us as they do most young people today at the larger, mega-amusement parks. Simpler, perhaps, in technology; but awesomely exciting in our “nostalgeries” remembered.

Even pre-car, -crafts, and -airport show, the fair offered the wonder. Its Friday night highlight took place in the outfield of Oakey Park, when the dynasty-era varsity football teams still played on that hallowed gridiron. Saturday morning, the ribbon judging done in the tin building—of foods and wares, etc—the tractor pull, wherever it would fit, brought the crowd. The afternoon kid's costume contest meant some lucky bunch would ride the flatbed truck in the Sunday parade up Cascade Street. The fair recovered a little summer, but the crowning of the royalty Sunday night on the stage in the infield, officially ended summer in Osceola, as the crowd thinned and the Midway lights glowed low in a dusk coming toward the autumnal equinox. It meant bedtime at some point, for Monday, the real school year started its grind.

Community fairs, festivals, shows, the ones steeped in experience, add much of the meaning of why we live where we do, and brings us to the root of some important things for life. The Osceola fair does have its memories for many, and as things rightfully change, we expect and hope others, young and old, make memories the same way. To meet, to show; to celebrate, to see. The challenge of youth means growing into and with the meanings of their times and places. The challenge of the older, means sharing values among us that help set the perspective aright when ships tilt in the storms of change, in the sense of root and purpose, strong and growing. All moments belong to the living. For young and old, we can live eternal summers in Osceola, together and in parts, but unending in meaning nonetheless, as long as we live it, true.


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