One of the big advantages of a small camera is the ability to annoy people by sneaking up and photographing them when they otherwise would be enjoying meals. You can achieve the same effect with most cell phones, although resolution sometimes is lacking.
I was standing in the buffet line at Tuesday evening's annual meeting of Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street when I struck unexpectedly at Mary Stierwalt's table. Just a few minutes earlier, Mary had received the organization's Lifetime Achievement award.
Mary, in business at Family Shoe on the square for more than 50 years, a majority of them with her late husband, Berns, is Chariton's senior businessperson. It's hard to find an organization, committee or commission Mary hasn't served on. She capped a career on City Council with eight years as mayor. And she continues to be a mainstay of the 4th of July Committee and certainly of the town square business community.
A few minutes later, I sat down at Bonnie Stone's table while she was in mid-dessert. Bonnie was awarded the Chamber/Main Street Humanitarian Award Tuesday night, lured to a meeting she ordinarily wouldn't have attended with an invitation lead grace before supper began. It was a terrible shock when Bonnie retired, somewhere in her 80s, from the Chariton Free Public Library after many years of service to catch up on her reading. But she has continued her open-handed and ecumenical ministry in many ways, especially with an endless stream of greeting cards, notes and letters in this new age of e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and text messages.
Many other awards were presented Tuesday night, but there were others there armed with howitzer-like cameras (compared to my digital BB-gun) to take those photographs, so I just had fun sneaking around.
Tuesday began with an historical society board meeting, with considerable attention devoted to plans for next week's Peanut Day Quilt Expo. We used to try to call our June event something other than "Peanut Day," then gave up since everyone kept calling it that whether we did or not. The name is taken from the long-time tradition of firing up the vintage peanut roaster originally at Piper's and serving free fresh-roasted peanuts. We'll do that again this year, too.
The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. next Tuesday, June 17, and continue until 8 p.m. All buildings on the museum campus will be staffed and open for tours. Scattered around campus will be a display of fantastic quilts, modern and vintage. Most of the contemporary quilts will be displayed by members of the Chariton Valley Piece Makers and most of the vintage ones will come from the historical society's collection.
At 7 p.m., we'll cut a ribbon at Puckerbrush School to signal near completion of a three-year restoration project, then Margaret Coons will perform live in the school until about 7:30 p.m. There will be free cookies, in addition to peanuts --- and admission to the museum will be, as always, free of charge.
I had to drop something off yesterday at Chariton Abstract & Title, located on the second floor of the U.S. Bank Building, so took the red elevator up --- just because I could --- then ran into Ray Meyer when the door opened. He, of course, had taken the stairs.
But we got to talking about how many elevators there are in Chariton. This is an issue because we have no red lights to run, but it might be possible to add to bucket lists trips up or down on every elevator in town. But how many elevators are there --- freight lifts and chair lifts don't count?
I've ridden the U.S. Bank elevator, the Charitone elevator, the Fielding Funeral Home elevator, the Courthouse elevator and the Lucas County Health Center elevator. Is there a new elevator at the high school school? If so, I'll have to figure out some way to utilize it. And are there more?
Or is it safe to say we're a no-traffic-light, six-elevator town?