May 15, 2010

Black and White Days

Day 196

This weekend was Richmond's annual Black and White Days. And it is a weekend that I look forward to ever since I moved to Richmond years and years ago. We just got back from the parade.

Let me first give you a little history of what Black and White Days are and why it has a special meaning to me.

The very first Holstein (cows for those that don't know) show in Richmond was held in 1912. Local dairymen drove their best Holsteins into town and they were judged by a panel judges and they picked out the best cattle. A short break in 1913-14 was due to a national emergency caused by hoof-and-mouth disease. By 1915, though, the disease had been stopped and the show resumed. Since then, the show has continued uninterrupted.  As the cattle show and sale continued to grow, other events were added to the celebration. Carnival rides, food vendors, footraces, and a parade were incorporated. The Saturday evening horse pull now caps the week-long event.

Every year the parade would go right past my house and I have only missed a few parades in the last 22 years. In fact, I think I only missed a couple when I was living in New York. And the parade itself is not what made it fun. It was fun seeing neighbors and family. And as the years have passed on, seeing those old neighbors and family members make it much more special. Sometimes that might be the only time I get to see them.

The parade usually attracts a lot of older cars. Our neighbor's, the Derr's always have a car to show.

One year my Uncle Kurt was in charge of putting the parade together. He asked for my help and I assisted him in painting lines and numbers at the beginning of the parade route so every float and participant knew where to line up. I had a date that evening and she was in the parade. She was one of Smithfield's (another town close by) Royalty. I saw which spot she was supposed to be in so I painted her a special message.

Uncle Kurt and I chatting at the parade with my sister in the forefront.

And this is why Black and White Days was awesome when I younger. My friend Damond and I would always get dates for that day. We would pick them up and bring them to my house so they could watch the parade and then we would have dinner (BBQ) either at my house or at Damond's house. And then we would go watch the Horse Pulls that evening. Now you may be asking what the heck Horse Pulls are and they are exactly what they sound like. Farmers would bring their strongest horses and they would have a competition to see whose horses were the strongest. They would pull these huge concrete barrels and they would have to pull them a certain distance. Damond and I would take our dates to see this competition. We would bring a blanket to sit on and we would pick a set of horses and see if they would win. Now this may sound boring but Damond and I had ulterior motives for taking a date to the Horse Pulls. The Horse Pulls themselves were actually quite intense. These horses were so big and strong. And they would get pretty psyched to pull weight and sometimes the horses would just go so you had to be careful if they came your way. It seemed interesting to me that these horses themselves were competitive.

But the best part for going to the Horse Pulls was being with a girl on a date. Damond and I would take a girl that we really thought was special. The Horse Pulls went right into the evening and sometimes really late in the evening and it would get a little cool when the sun went down. So we would get a couple of blankets and sit with our date under the blankets. And just maybe you might be able to snuggle a bit with your date.

Yes, THAT is the only reason to go to the Horse Pulls at night. I took a date almost every year and some were better than others. Afterwards, we would head back to my house or to Damond's and have some ice cream and play some games. Some of my favorite dates were these ones.

Our parade even has a representative from the Galactic Empire. I didn't know if I should salute or not.

Here is Logan sharing some candy with his cousin Jessica

After I was married, I still came back to Black and White Days, especially for the parade. And now Kristy's sister comes too. And since we all have small children it is even better. It is so fun to watch the cute little kids go after candy. I trained Logan early on to smile cutely and wave at the girls so he could get some candy.

Like I said, some cute kids.

The month of May is one of my favorite months since we have Black and White Days and usually an Anhder Reunion. It is good to see family and visit with them. I have a great family.


  1. So funny- we were both thinking of our dating lives today! :P Awesome post... wish we were there to celebrate Black and White days with you!

    The Anhder family is awesome!! :)

  2. Thanks for explaining just what the heck "Black And White Days" is all about! I honestly didn't know until just now!

  3. Nice post... mine was boring in comparison!

  4. Aah, I miss Black and White Days. The horse pulls were the best dates ever (I took my husband on our 2nd date there and it has been bliss ever since-well for the most part).

  5. You've never taken me to the horse pulls.

  6. I loved May in Richmond also! Black and White Days was usually around my Birthday! We lived right by where they had everything! That is one thing I miss about living in Richmond! I never got to go on a date at The Horse Pulls. But oh well that is life. Thanks for sharing about Black and White Days!!!