Thursday, May 02, 2013

Cleaning with Faith, Alex and Taylor

Have I complained yet about the fact it's 36 degrees here this morning? Or that a rain-snow mix is in the forecast for today with snow tonight? How about tonight's predicted low, 33 degrees, and that big bruise labeled "freeze watch" angling across the weather map from southwest to northeast?

On the other hand, six or more inches of snow have fallen in northwest Iowa --- and none here (yet).

Besides, we had great weather Wednesday for city-wide clean-up day. That was not the case last year, when most activities were cancelled because of rain (practically the last significant rainfall before autumn).

That seemed to have resulted in a backlog of junk --- Bill M. sat in line for more than an hour yesterday morning while hauling a load of museum trash to the armory, where big dumpsters, an appliance recycling operation and lots of hands to process it all were located.

No, we weren't throwing away museum artifacts. But two obsolete televisions once used in programming had to go ($20 fee to dispose of the one that was big as a refrigerator; $10 for the smaller version). Plus carpet ends, paint buckets, a dead (fake) Christmas tree and other stuff.

The best part of clean-up day at the museum always is the crew of Chariton High School seniors that gives a morning of time to help us out (similar crews, many quite a bit larger, fan out across the city). Our crew consisted of (from left) Faith Stuffflebeem, Alex Brennan and Taylor Sherrick.

Over the course of the morning, they policed the area at the foot of the big hill where trash had blown in from Court Avenue and down from the Shopko parking lot, helped spring clean the barn and Swanson Gallery (where farm-related equipment is displayed and every bug in west Chariton comes to die during the winter), hauled a load bound for the dumpsters out of the Stephens House basement and moved a variety of clumsy and in some cases heavy items from place to place on the campus. Board members Bill Marner and Frank Mitchell were on hand to help out, too.

What we didn't tell Faith, Alex and Taylor was that part of their morning job description was to tour the museum and spend time with displays that caught their fancy. I had to pry them out of the galleries at 11:30 a.m. so we could head to the Armory for lunch. We appreciated their work, but just maybe their interest in the museum more.

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