My husband and I attended Caddo’s Heritage Day this past weekend. The celebration has always been one of my favorites and this year the day was especially satisfying. I had the opportunity to see old friends and visit with residents who aren’t in town very often anymore. I saw some FB friends and spoke with a few history buffs. But the greatest blessing was seeing younger people working and entertaining and participating in the day’s activities.
For several years Gary and I worked on committees and helped with much of the planning and preparation for Heritage Day. However, time and circumstances and health conditions have reduced our participation. There are dozens of Caddo residents who have made the same changes, and there are many who worked alongside us in the past that are no longer alive. Each year when we attend HD I wonder about the faces I photograph. Who won’t be able to attend next year?
My mother loved Heritage Day. It reminded her of the “old days” when most activities- visiting, shopping, church, school, and entertainment- were all local. People saw each other often and neighbors seemed like family. And of course Mom wanted everyone who had moved away to come home and stay home. HD was a chance to show off the attributes of the town and try to convince others to help support it. She wanted people to invest their time and money in making Caddo even better, and perhaps a little bigger…but not much bigger.
Many things have changed since mother’s death, but one thing is still the same- Caddo residents know how to appreciate and celebrate what they have. Mom would have been pleased to see the decorations and hear the happy conversations taking place all over town. She would have enjoyed listening to the school children sing patriotic songs. She would have been so proud of her family and friends for working so hard to make the day a success.
The fact that Heritage Day still exists and was so well attended this year gives me hope that Caddo will continue to be a great little town. Young parents realize the value of living there and are taking responsibility for creating a good community for their children. Small, positive changes are being made and others will follow. There is still a core group of us older folks finishing up some tasks that we started, but I for one am thankful to see that there are young men and women who will continue our projects…and begin their own.