A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2001

Sometimes you really need a good day, a day of fresh air and sunshine, smiling faces, old friends and laughter, tonic for the spirit and balm for the soul.

I really needed one of those days and I along with a lot of other local folks got such a day last Saturday. I'd been looking forward to this year's Oktoberfest for a long time and the event didn't disappoint.

It was great to see all the families with young children out enjoying the beautiful day. Even though I don't have kids I certainly get a kick out of everybody else's. It reminds me of the kid still inside of me. And little Angie came out to play at Oktoberfest.

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You see, they were making all these neat chapeaux at the crafts center. If you know me very well you know I have a weakness for hats. Gerri Castleberry, one of the volunteers, grinned at me and said, "Angie, don't you want to make one of these? You know you need a hat and you'll help us advertise…"

So there I was with sheets of newspaper being shoved down and tightly taped to my head ("It gets LOUD under there," Gerri warned me. She was right).

One of the other helpful volunteers found all these neat little flocked stick-ons-pumpkins, ghosts, bats and black cats-which I proceeded to happily place around the crown of my new headgear. A trim with the scissors and the addition of orange pipe cleaners (allowing me to anchor my creation to my head) and, voila

the newspaper lady sported a newspaper hat.

My head was warmer and people recognized me again. Did I look goofy? I'm sure I did. Did I care? No. In the name of a good cause, I have no shame.

Delightful things kept happening on Saturday. I was enjoying my freshly made hamburger when I heard a familiar voice call out, "Angela!"

I figured either it was someone trying to get fellow Oktoberfest visitor Angela James' attention-or someone harkening back to my old high school days.

(My college roommates dubbed me "Angie" and I've been Angie, or Ang ever since.)

I turned around and who did I see but my fellow year book editor from GHS, the former Roxie Womack. While Roxie's little girl was getting her caricature done, her mom and I had a wonderful time catching up on old times. She's still just as pretty and friendly as ever. It was great to discover she and her family are back in Greenville now.

Now I'll let you in on a little secret. I was one of the judges for the art show at the fair.

There was this charming painting of a whimsical still life in the youth division and my fellow judge and I felt it deserved top honors in its class. Neither of us had any idea of the identity of the artist "MES."

Well, who should turn up with a display of paintings but a certain young lady named Megan Schofield-MES herself.

It so happens I taught elementary art one year during my tenure at Fort Dale and Megan was one of my students. Now 15 (boy, do these kids make me feel OLD), Megan is turning out terrific paintings and selling them like hotcakes.

"I've sold ten today," she confided with a gorgeous tin grin.

"Wow, what are you going to do with all that money?" I queried.

"Gosh, I don't know… guess I'll put it in the bank," she replied.

That girl is definitely going places.

If you missed Oktoberfest, you missed a lot. What a kick watching Jill Stallworth wowing the crowds in a wonderful Cruella DeVille costume ("half Goodwill and half my closet"). And the Humane Society's Ann Daughtry was an adorable kitty cat (till the pink high heels did her in.)

Tom (the Terrific) Braxton was all over the place. Whether judging contests, playing with pinatas or minding "Smoke the Wonder Horse", he did it all with his customary charm and good humor.

I told everybody last week Oktoberfest was going to be great. I'm not Miss Cleo-but sometimes my predictions were right on target. (And I won't charge you $3.99 a minute.) Terrific job, Idland and crew!