Profound Pride is mine to keep since Melinda asked me, Aunt Josie, to be a GUEST BLOGGER. I do not really believe that I am worthy of this honor since she out blogs me handily.....but I am going to do my damnedest to impress.
Two weeks ago, the Riley Avenue Elementary School in Baiting Hollow held their annual dance. This year, the theme was the Wild West. I was enlisted by my sister Mary, who is the self-appointed Queen of Riley, as a PTA Mom and volunteer class helper for her twin sons' teachers. (She literally wears a tiara when she goes there) So we went on a mission for inexpensive cowboy hats, bandannas, and some bales of hay to convert the halls of Riley School into Riley Ranch.
Last year, the theme was SAFARI, and we crossed a few lines by creating a scene outside the front entrance of the school by parking a Safari-looking jeep and other supplies up on the grass, alongside the entrance. We didn't ask, we just did it, because everyone knows it is better to beg for forgiveness later, than ask for permission before, particularly when you are pretty sure the permission will not be granted! Soooo this year, Mr. Enos, the principal, was mildly concerned about what we had up our sleeves. This was an anxiety that could not go unexploited, and as I met him, randomly, walking in to the boys' Christmas concert, I told him I was looking forward to the dance this year. He knows me as "Aunt Josie" since I attend a lot of events at the school. I told him, "we'll be sure not to park on the grass, but how do you feel about livestock?" Well, this launched a 4 month long string of emails and conversational allusions to "ranch like" animals of all kinds and even the suggestion of borrowing the mechanical bull owned by a local country-western bar. As the day got closer, he got more and more nervous, fearing the worst.
The week before the dance, I emailed my sister and CC'd the principal, some off handed questions about how many water buckets we had, and that we probably needed more. He asked her over and over, "Are you really going to have animals here?" And each time, we answered with a question, such as "Are there animals on a ranch?" or... "Don't you know how much kids love animals?" When the big night arrived, we enlisted the help of 2 local police officers who just happened to be there because they are parents of kids who were attending the dance. As the unsuspecting principal approached the entrance upon his arrival, we made sure that he came in just in time to "catch us" mid-sentence with the officers about how "it's good that goats have small teeth or else more stitches would have been required." As if there had been a goat mishap only moments ago. And then we greeted him with "Listen, don't worry, it was only a few first graders who didn't read the sign about not hugging the goats!" By this time he knew we were full of it, and luckily he appreciated our decorating job, saying that he thought the safari was the best dance ever but this was even better.
Mary and her husband, my brother-in-law John
So the kids enjoyed the line dancing, cowboy hats, bandannas, cowboy tattoos, and taking pictures of themselves in the "jail," and we enjoyed it all right along with them. My nephews are "graduating" from Riley this year, and I just want to send a HUGE and heartfelt THANK YOU to all of their teachers, who were all fabulous in their own individual ways, and also to Mr Enos and Ms. Grimm, the principal and assistant principal, who have created such a positive atmosphere for students, teachers and parents (and AUNTS) at Riley Avenue Elementary.
And THANK YOU Melinda, for allowing me to be a GUEST BLOGGER!!!!!! :-)
Mary and Mr. Enos