IT IS THE LATTER PART OF OCTOBER IN INDIANA. The trees are at their peak of Autumnal color. The leaves I saw this morning were red, yellow, gold, and blue. Blue? That turned out to be a plastic bag stuck on a branch.
People come from all over to look at the trees and go “Ooh” and “Ahhh.” After that they eat lunch and drive away. They never stay to help clean up the leaves as they fall to earth.
Every year this part of Indiana has the “Covered Bridge Festival” that draws somewhere in the order of two million people who come from around the country to look at the leaves, walk across the covered bridges that are scattered about the area, spend money on Arts and Crafts, eat a funnel cake or two and then go home. This year it didn’t rain during the two weeks of the festivities. If it does rain, the festival turns into the world’s largest mud bath.
It’s getting harder and harder to do the Covered Bridge Festival with each passing year. It has become an unfortunate target for disaffected youths strung out on Meth who think that torching an antique wooden covered bridge is a proof of manhood. As the bridges go up in smoke it gets more difficult to advertise the festival as “Covered Bridge.” Some of the local communities have allocated city funds and rebuilt new antique covered bridges. I know that is an oxymoron, but it has become necessary because of some other young morons. The pubescent arsonists are always caught because they like to brag to their friends (other disaffected youths who have a collective IQ of room temperature). However, a few years in the slammer and a huge fine, don’t undo the damage. You can’t really replace what has been burned and the firebug doesn’t have two nickels to rub together to pay his fine. It’s a “Lose – Lose Situation.”
I will now descend from my soapbox of curmudgeon-osity. Thank you.
Back to the beautiful leaves – all six billion of them that need to be raked and piled up for the City to come around with their huge, mobile, vacuum trucks to suck them up like confetti after a very large and colorful party.
That’s the downside of all this Fall Beauty business. Somebody has to clean up the mess. You did know that the leaves continue to change color after they fall? In time, they all turn brown – a wet, slimy, slippery brown. The tourist throngs don’t come back for the “Messy Brown Leaf Festival.” There ain’t no funnel cakes to be found.
If I was in charge of things around here, but I’m not, and there’s not much chance that I ever will be, I would have the Covered Bridge Festival in the summertime. The weather is better. The Meth-head knuckledraggers are more likely to have OD’d while staring at the sun, and the leaves are still green and on the trees, not on the roads and sidewalks causing people and cars to skid into one another.
There’s your solution. No charge. You’re welcome.
Now, go and get me some funnel cake.
I so love reading your stories. Now about those bridges, leaves and dopey kids. At least the leaves and bridges are a delight to see.