Written by Kelly Baker; Cove Humor
Guess what? I got to spend a whole entire weekend with… cue the suspenseful music… antique farm machinery. Yes, I AM a lucky girl! Please don’t be jealous of my fabulously glamorous life.
The Southern Cove Power Reunion is an annual event held every September, where people of all ages congregate at one place to celebrate rusty old tractors, hit and miss engines, threshing machines and anything belt driven or remotely dangerous. There are steam engines, corn pickers, corn binders, rock crushers, wringer washing machines, and people making apple cider. There is camping available, a small flea market, vendors, food and it’s free admission to all. I go because my husband likes it and I owe him for all the family events that he has to endure throughout the year. But more truthfully, I go because of the deep fried Oreos, cotton candy, funnel cakes, and taco salads. I can be lured just about anywhere with the promise of food. If I ever disappear it’s probably food related.
Where did you last see Kelly?
Well, there was this dodgy character handing out cheese Danish and she was sitting beside him eating some. Then he threw a deep fried Snickers into the back of his Scooby Doo Mystery van and she hopped right in.
I once proposed to a fellow because he gave me a hamburger and… I’m already married and… it wasn’t my husband. It would seem I have a serious food problem. My motto is “If someone offers you food, camel up.” But I digest (ha ha, get it?), back to the Power Reunion.
The very best part about the Power Reunion is the food. Oh, wait, did I say that already? My bad. But it’s true. On Friday night, every year, George Dell makes a big kettle of chili that he shares with mankind. My entire day revolves around that little gold nugget. I wake up and think Mmmm, chili tonight! Then at lunch time I think about the future chili again. Afternoon comes and we all drive over to the Power Reunion to start setting things up. I walk past where the chili will be later and try not to slobber on myself. Dusk sets and people are milling about as I pace around the chili pot trying to not be completely obvious. When the chili is ready, my predatory senses tell me that it’s time to go in for the kill. I casually saunter over, chat with friends and then, Chili Time baby.
On Saturday morning my best friend Amy & I cook breakfast over the campfire. But the crème de la crème is on Saturday night when we feast on chicken rice soup and mountain pies, also cooked over the fire. We bring enough to share with family, friends, and anyone walking past. Sometimes sharing the food is difficult. The problem is, strangers aren’t sure about us and seem to have trouble grasping the fact that we just want them to enjoy some good free food.
We’ll see a family walking past, looking at the displays in the woods, and I’ll hop out from behind a tree, where I’ve been stirring my cauldron of soup, and say “HEY! Are you hungry? Do you want some soup? There’s lots! Come have soup!” And maybe it’s my crazy camouflage ball hat or the fact that I’m wearing a hunting knife on my belt, but they always look at me kind of scared, emphatically shaking their head no. Then they briskly walk away with a firm grasp on their kid’s hands (Mike Miller.)
Our campfire is always the site located in the woods behind the swing set. I know that makes us sound like creepers but the swing set is in the woods as well and we’re not there to kidnap any children, we’ve got plenty of our own, thanks. This year we decided to expand the Saturday night fun and tried our luck at making popcorn over the fire. It was a success. But then, once again we tried to pawn it off on everyone around us. I went zipping down in the dark to ask all the little kids swinging on the swings if they’d like some popcorn. They mostly said no. Some went screaming to find their parents. Now I know how the strange guy with the Scooby van probably feels.
Aside from the food, I’ve been to the Power Reunion so many years that it’s getting hard to entertain myself. If you ever go there and observe, you will see a large number of bored looking wives/girlfriends or you will see just men walking around by themselves because their wives/girlfriends were smart and stayed home. Between meals, I have to find SOMETHING to do. After much thought, I decided that I would do some photo journaling and show the world another side to the Power Reunion. I like to call this “Creative Napping.” If you’re looking for a new hobby, this might be it. It’s absolutely free unless you find yourself unwittingly napping in a No Loitering zone, in which case some fines and penalties may apply.
Napping is part of my DNA, I’m genetically inclined to do it. My dad is an expert and my mother, when we were small, invented Hide & Sleep. She’d say “You go hide, I’ll sleep.” I don’t know if she ever really slept or not, I was busy hiding. As an adult I got good at sleeping with my eyes open in my cubicle. Later in my tar & chipping years, I found that the back of the chipper was a good spot to catch some Z’s while waiting on trucks. Following are some suggestions for Power Reunion Napping. Feel free to take these ideas and run with them.
Picture One: An elite napper, such as myself, can nap just about anywhere and anytime. Immediately after my coffee is usually a good time to start. Sometimes, I don’t even get the coffee finished first.
Picture Two: Freshly baled straw is a FANTASTIC place to catch forty winks. At the Power Reunion there are loads and loads of straw, a byproduct of the threshing machine. All you have to do is climb up onto it. It’s sort of pokey, so take along a blanket or sweatshirt to put down first.
Picture Three: This corn has been run through the corn binder and put into neat little shocks. Then someone else with more energy than me picked up all the shocks and threw them on this wagon. The next step is to take a nap on it before more people come along and throw the corn into the ensilage cutter. This stuff is better than the straw because it has more give and can thereby form around your body to suit your comfort needs. It’s like a home grown Tempur-Pedic. Also, on a cold day, it offers a bit more heat.
Picture Four: If a firmer surface is more up your alley, this old Jeep was pretty comfortable.
Picture Five: Every now and then I’d try to look busy but it didn’t seem to pan out. I ended up just taking another snooze.
Picture Six: I did rouse myself long enough to finally catch up on some back issues of the Herald. So that was relaxing.
Picture Seven: Extreme Napping is when one can nap on a picnic table bench while their kid pokes them with a stick. “Mommy, why you sleeping?” Mommy is in a food coma. She’ll wake up after her lunch digests. If you really need her, wave a funnel cake under her nose.