When a town has a birthday, every single soul becomes a candle, glowing with a type
of happy pride.
This has been a summer of commemoration, as the village my family has long called home celebrated 200 years, a birthday worthy of a party. With music and merriment, Jeromesville hosted a party that managed to draw lots of happy souls back home from all over the globe.
A parade that traveled through the town and circled back again played out to hundreds of onlookers. It was led by a lovely team of four Hines family Belgians hitched to a wagon carrying parade grand marshals Kenny and Phyllis Wise, a wonderful couple I’ve known all my life, and who have proven to be the very best source of clarification on anything Jeromesville.
The great-great-great-great granddaughters of town founder John Baptiste Jerome attended the weekend-long celebration, one from Liverpool, New York, and her sister from Biloxi, Mississippi, tossing beads out of a 1964 Oldsmobile to the crowd gathered for the joyous bicentennial.
Vintage tractors, cars and trucks, even an old hearse, all mixed in with draft horses and every size of four wheelers, giving a true glimpse of olden day and modern day transportation.
There was a whole lot of flying of red, white and blue in celebration of a nation that was born in small villages like this one. After the weekend-long festivities under gorgeous sunny skies, I couldn’t help but wonder just how much the lay of the land has changed in this village and its outlying farmland over the 200 years of existence.
Imagine the pristine waters that once flowed through it, where many families once fished for their supper.
Over the past two centuries, the mainly agricultural neighbors to the village relied on the businesses thriving there. Still a beautiful area, it is interesting to try to imagine the days when working a farm field meant clearing it the hard way, truly relying on horse power from sun-up to sun-down.
Not long ago, I went through old financial log books kept by my grandmother. Often, in her jottings, I noticed she spelled Jeromeville as it was first known, without the ‘s’ in the middle.
Attention to detail
For this celebration, attention was paid to that detail in signs commemorating this landmark. Every single one of my oldest relatives when I was a child would have said they hailed from Jeromeville, and that they knew the ‘proper’ pronunciation.
It is an area that has known joyous times as well as far too many sorrows.
It was wonderful to gather in celebratory fashion, seeing once-familiar faces returning for the big party, shouts of happiness and laughter a part of the backdrop to it all.
The roses seemed to open just for us that day as the band played, happy children gathered candies being tossed from parade participants, flags were a-flying as the parade marched through our town.
When people have a birthday, there are candles on a cake. When a town has a birthday, every single soul becomes a candle, glowing with a type of happy pride that simply cannot be described in words.
As the sun set over the happy weekend of events, one thought ran through the mind without hesitation. There really is no place like home.
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