Herndon Ox Roast 2010

As many who happen onto this page know, the Herndon Ox Roast happens once in a while. The previous one was held in 2004 and you can look at my report on it. As in 2004, the Herndon High School Reunion was held on the Friday before.

Of course, all these activities require a lot of preplanning and getting things together, and I'd like to thank those who contributed a lot of time and energy to making the two events a success. One of the more important activities is preparing the feast and getting the things done associated with that. So, on Thursday morning, J.D. and I looked in on some of the preparations. Of course, if an "ox" (OK, it wasn't an ox, it was the better part of three beeves) is to be roasted, first a fire pit has to be prepared and fired, and it has to be made sure that the pot roast pan will have a place to be put while the food is given its final preparation. Well, OK, before that someone had to get together a few cords of wood. After looking in on this procedure, J.D. and I went to have a look around town, and found this tractor nest. Later that day, the pit had a lot greater depth of hot coals.

Mid-morning on Friday, the bed of coals was suitably deep and hot, but not all of the wood pile had been burned. Sometime later that morning, the pot (with beeves, veggies, and other secret ingredients) was lowered into the pit, and the pit covered with tin and dirt. Then it was over to St. Marys auditorium to finish preparing for the alumni banquet. In the afternoon, some classes (usually with anniversary a multiple of 5 years) met at various places around town. I had arranged to use the VFW bar, but only myself and Dale and Hank, and Jeanette were able to get there. That evening after the feast, class pictures were taken. So, that's me, Dale, Margaret, Marlene, Myrna, Madonna, Hank,and Theresa (front). Don't know where all those old people came from, but just to show I didn't change a bit, here's our Senior picture (Hmmm, where did all that hair come from? Go to?).

Finally, the big day arrives. Although it is cloudy and cool, and possibly threatening rain, it only drizzled very lightly before the parade, until evening when it did rain. I'm all registered for the parade, and get my placecard (no. 41) and line up. Just to make sure you see my sign, here it is. I took a number of pictures from the car along the route. Here's one I especially like, and I hope Walter and Olive do, too. Here's one of Jeannette taking one of me and Hank in the parade.Some people might recognize a few relatives in this one. Here's one that Bonnie took of Hank (barely) and me. There were a few more, some of which are posted in the recent People Pictures from Kansas page. After finishing the parade route, I parked and went back to watch the rest of the parade. There were a few tractors:

  • John Deere B
  • Farmall H
  • John Deere 830
  • John Deere D
  • John Deere (?)D, but I don't think so. If someone knows for sure, let me know and I'll put it here. Might be a GP?
  • John Deere B
  • John Deere D (I think, an early one)
  • Massey-Harris 50
  • John Deere (?)D, ditto the above.
  • There were a couple more interesting parade entries. Here's the Class of 80's entry in the Outhouse Race (more on that later), and some people never give up.

    Proceeding over to the park, where the "Ox" was about to be unveiled, we discovered it was out of the pit and resting on its platform. After a little time, it was uncovered. Now, tell me that's not a pot roast! And notice all those vegetables, and not one identifiable as the usual Kansas vegetable (that is, chicken). The cooks got to work forking it over into the lid (now serving as a pan), where it was shredded. Even before noon the crowds lined up, Emily, Tamela, and Ashley coming from as far away as South Dakota (of course, I came from Oregon). A few people were lucky enough to line up quickly and get served after a short wait, like this happy crew, but see the long line in the background. Here's some of the same folks with another one of the three lines waiting to be served in the background. One estimate of the number of people being served was around 3000. Pretty good in a town of about 150 people. Heading back to the main street (Quincy Avenue), it could be noted that the parking regulations might not have been enforced. Along the way I got this picture of the mud volleyball competition. Anyway, while waiting for the premier athletic event of the day, Hank and I portrait taken. Finally, the street is almost cleared for the outhouse races, with crowds to the right (and note a Herndon landmark, of sorts, the Last Horsethief), and to the left. At last! They're off. One twist: at the half-way point, it's necessary to change "drivers" during a Chinese Fire Drill. Well, the Class of 80 finished last (but on the other, not too bad since they were second). As they pulled the vehicle (facility?) back to the start line to try to line up some other competitors, I finally made sense of the Ox Roast motto What happens in Herndon, stays in Herndon. That pretty much wrapped up things for me, except for this final picture of Hank and Jeannette.