Life in the Burg: “Burg Bliss” Vol. 1 Art. 1

/ / Leifeld's Blog, Life in the Burg

Summer in Petersburg is the sound of lawn mowers, birds chirping at 4:30 in the morning, and the tsk, tsk, tsk of a pivots’ end gun. Kids run home for lunch when they hear the noon whistle from the fire hall, and you can hear kids laughing and playing outside until the last orange sliver of sunlight vanishes behind the hills.

It’s a strange peacefulness. Mixed with a certain sense of isolation. But how can anyone feel alone when everyone knows what time you left the house this morning? And what you did last weekend, who you were with… Ah, these are the yins and yangs of living in Petersburg.

Our first summer here I kept hearing about carnival days. It’s a big to-do here, but I couldn’t grasp the significance of it. It could be that I hate rides, but more so that I wasn’t buying it. I had visions of parents standing behind cardboard and duct-taped booths with hand-me-down toys as prizes. The church ladies selling homemade pie and scoops out of buckets of ice cream. There was no way a town of this size would have anything grander. I was sure of it…And I was even more wrong.

As the D.C. Lynch trucks rolled into town, blocking main street and a few side streets with their gigantic rides and games lit up like overly decorated Christmas trees, I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped open a few inches. This was my first lesson in regards to Petersburg’s Carnival Days. It was without a doubt, the real deal. And walking up later that night with our kids, I also remember holding my daughter’s hand tight and telling her to stay by my side. This was an actual carnival after all.

Lesson 2: A family-friendly community is another way of saying “we’ve all got your back”. By the second night, we were handing our six-year-old son several tickets and telling him to come find us when he needed more. By then, we understood that everyone looks out for everyone else’s kids. The first time someone brought my daughter to me, I was mortified. The second time, I was over it. I had done the same favor for others. In a world where no one is safe, the kids of Petersburg have an entire community looking out for them.

The carnival is long gone; so is the county fair. Now summer nights more often than not include taking walks and visiting with neighbors along the way. Group cookouts. Impromptu baseball games. Summer is a reminder that there’s still a piece of tradition in America. And it exists right here in Boone county.