Well, Heritage Day is over and my feet are still killing me. I walked the length of Buffalo Street at least twenty times yesterday and it was worth every step. Heritage Day is my favorite Caddo event- a day of fun, food, and fellowship. I talked with one of my classmates of nearly forty years ago. I didn’t recognize him and I’m sure someone had to point me out to him or he wouldn’t have known me. (Not that I’ve changed all that much since high school. LOL) I talked with a woman I’ve only known before through email. It was such fun to finally meet her in person. I chatted with former residents that I hadn’t seen in a year. I visited with cousins who live right down the road. Hadn’t seen them in months. Spoke with friends who are just like me- so busy we seldom see each other.
Heritage Day is also a day when the whole town strives to make sure our visitors have a good time. The city workers were cleaning and mowing all week. Several organizations worked on booths and floats and contest entries. Townspeople mowed their lawns and put out flowers. Local business owners donated prizes and candy and gifts for contestants. Even some of our newest residents and business owners were involved in yesterday’s celebration. It’s great to see how much can be accomplished when we work together as a community. It gives me even more hope for our future plans.
Yesterday was also a reminder of how enduring our old fashioned family roots are in the chaos of modern life. Many of the families represented in the parade and other events can trace their families back to the earliest days of Caddo’s inception. Our state is 100 years old this year, but Caddo celebrated its 100th birthday in 1972! And many of those who celebrated then were present yesterday. I marveled at Maurine Craighead sitting outside the store that still bears her family name even though she no longer owns it. She was behind the counter of the store when I was a child. Her father had a business before that and was a graduate of the class of 1908. Such continuity is reassuring to me when I read of yet another strip mall being built by anonymous people who will move on down the road if the grass seems greener.
I know our little town has problems. I know that we lack many things that people need and we have to go to bigger towns to get them. But the joy of coming back home afterwards just can’t be matched anywhere else. Someone told me yesterday that Caddo is home, no matter where else they live, and no place will ever feel the same. Well, I agree- and that’s why I work somewhere else, and shop somewhere else (if I must), and often visit somewhere else, but at the end of the day I come home to Caddo. It’s where my roots are and where my friends are.