Make new friends Downtown on Dec. 10

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : November 23, 2011

By Loretta Humble

I’m sorry I skipped last week. Actually, I didn’t skip – I wrote my column. It just didn’t make it to The News. I was having Internet trouble, and when it came on for just a minute, I shot my column to Michael. Trouble was, it wasn’t my column. It was my shopping list. OK, it wasn’t really my shopping list, exactly. It was a list of things I thought we could do on the day of Malakoff’s Christmas Parade to make it a big occasion. The list had basically the same information on it as my column, but it might have been hard to interpret. So here I go, trying one more time, because I really want you to know about this, so maybe you’ll want to get involved.
It’s all happening Saturday, Dec. 10. I hope you will mark your calendar and come make a day of it. The parade starts at 10 a.m. but I’ll bet something will be going on earlier than that.

This year the starting point will be downtown rather than at the school. We think this will work out a lot better. More details on this next week.

This year both my Cedar Lakes are going to participate. The nursing home’s offering may be put together better. They have more men, and two of them are builder/handyman types. We – I identify more with the home health and hospice, since that is where I mostly work now – only have one man, Mark Sulak, PTA, who keeps pretty busy since we even share him with the nursing home rehab department. I guess I could ask him, but I don’t think there is much chance we are going to get Mark to build us a float.

Anyhow, we’ll have something. Last year we won second place with something we threw together at the last minute when our original plans fell apart. Who knows what we can do if we take time to think about it. Who knows what YOU can do it you give it a try.
I think we are going to have a big day Dec. 10. My companies are doing what we can to help. Since our home care business is located right in the midst of the downtown shops, we are making a serious effort to figure out some more fun things that will keep folks around longer, visiting and shopping. Ricky Armstrong, Pat Isaacson, Pat Hustead, Donna Rinn are some of the folks that have grabbed hold of the project now, so I know it is going to be done right. We’ve got several good things going for the day, but we’d love for you to get involved and maybe bring us some more ideas.

These are the things we know for sure: All the antique stores will be having big specials, and many will be serving Christmas refreshments. The Historical Museum is going all out. They will be showing off the newly acquired Malakoff Heads, and Matsy Walker is setting up a huge miniature Christmas town in one room, and in the HO Gauge Train Room, even more huge and more miniature, Jerry Lindamood and Pat Isaacson are turning it festive with tiny Christmas trees and snowmen and who knows what else. Plus, Pat is determined to place a decorated Christmas tree in every room of the Flagg House. She could still use a few good trees. Our two antiques malls are going to participate. Nancy Jackson at Antiques on Royall is giving a “crisp fifty dollar bill” to one of the visitors to her store. At 2 p.m. on Parade Day Janet Brown has scheduled a music and art program at Lindy Mall. Cedar Lake will be serving wassail and checking the blood pressure of anybody who’s interested, and some of our staff will probably be selling crafts and stuff. Santa will be at Brookshire’s, where you can get your picture made with him free. I don’t know how he manages it, but he is also going to be riding in the parade and moseying around downtown visiting with folks on the streets and in the shops.

I heard that back in the thirties, Malakoff’s merchants had “Penny Days,” where they showered pennies off the roof to the crowds below. I don’t think that would work now, and I don’t think we can afford quarters. Another thing they used to do was have drawings. We can do that.

Cedar Lake is going to furnish a bicycle, and we expect there will be a lot more prizes that you can sign up for in the different businesses.

It would be great if we could make it a whole day of fun. Maybe a lot of town folks might want to have garage sales that day, but I’m not sure who’d watch their stuff while they watch the parade. If that could be worked out, we could make maps showing all the sales. Maybe there could be some Christmas Carolers, maybe different ones at different times. Maybe we could have a clown. Maybe Chester Chicken could come back. Maybe there could be bake sales. Maybe even some church or other group would want to serve barbeque or hot dogs or something like that. They would have a ready-made crowd after the parade, and if those folks had a bite to eat, maybe they would stay in town and keep shopping.

Can you think of some more ideas?

I hope you’ll get involved in helping figure out how to make a big occasion of this. There are lots of reasons for us to make this happen. It will bring shoppers to our little downtown shops, and heaven knows, in this economy they need them. It will be great fun, which is a good enough reason all by itself. And working together on things like this lets us get to know and trust people we don’t usually have a chance to associate with.

We may surprise ourselves with some of the friends we make.