Yesterday was the opening ceremony for the Scappoose Summerfest aka Sauerkraut Festival aka Scappoose Pow Wow. I add all those “aka’s” to give you a bit of history for the event from its beginnings. The entire time I was growing up, for those village events I remember, it was the Scappoose Pow Wow Parade. The reference, of course, was to the Scappoose heritage that has a distinct Native American association. Our High School mascot was always an Indian caricature fondly called Ichabod. With all the bru ha ha going on about offending Native Americans, the focus changed from that heritage to another one of Scappoose’s finest exports, sauerkraut. The exports were from the Steinfeld’s Pickle plant which was located conveniently across Highway 30 from the Scappoose Elementary School making it an easy target for school field trips. Seinfeld’s did well in Scappoose and I remember seeing their products for sale at many Navy commissaries during my Navy career. Most notably was on the island of Guam.
Anyway, Steinfeld also made sauerkraut so that became the theme for a while but the company was sold, the pickle plant was torn down, and big homes were erected ending the era of Steinfeld forever. Now it’s just another neighborhood that older residents point out to new comers with the caveat “that’s where the old Steinfeld pickle plant used to be.” An interesting point is that even during Summerfest events you can still find Sauerkraut Ice Cream for sale. Not something I’d buy unless I happened to spend a considerable amount of time at the ever-present beer garden first.
Last year I marched with 9 other old guys at the front of the opening parade down 1st Street, all of us wearing our VFW and American Legion hats, and each of us bearing one of the following flags – American, Oregon State, POW/MIA, VFW, American Legion, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The prime requirement for flag bearers was that they had to be able to walk half a mile. Those who couldn’t, rode in a flag bedecked trailer pulled by a beautifully restored Bronco owned and driven by one of my golf partners, Junior. We did OK during that parade, even though we didn’t do well keeping in step, but we got it done.
We did the same thing again this year and were blessed by the presence of a Marine recruiter, SSgt Copeland, who knows everyone in the county. Having an active duty Marine with us was great because he wore his uniform and made us look especially good as we marched smartly down the street. While lining up, I made sure I got next to SSgt Copeland for the trip because I was pretty sure he was well-trained in CPR and could toss me in following trailer should the need arise. It didn’t, but it’s good to be safe.
I’m happy to report that everyone made it through the parade in fine fashion and we did a respectable job of remaining in step thanks to the efforts of a young Afghanistan survivor who called cadence for the entire trip. He was the left man in the back row so, unfortunately, some of those in the front ranks couldn’t hear well enough to appreciate his efforts. Our back row did an exceptional job, making up for those who were audibly challenged this day.
After the parade we disbanded and went to the Scappoose Veteran’s Park where numerous vendors were plying their wares. The American Legion group was there to sell raffle tickets in an attempt to make a little money for us to assist veterans, our primary purpose. One of the items is a Mossberg 500 Tactical Shotgun. We had a discussion about where to get the raffle tickets printed at one of our meetings and me, not having learned raising one’s hand during such discussions sometimes results in situations involving a lot of work. Consequently, I created the tickets, printed them, perforated the tear off portion, and cut them all up. There were 500 of them that are being sold for $5 each. The raffle drawing will happen on Veteran’s Day, 11/11, at 11:11 am. If you want one, let me know. The raffle will continue until all 500 tickets are sold, or the drawing date arrives. Second prize is $200 and third prize is $100.
My ticket format, which I plagiarized from the quilt raffle tickets I made for Diane, allowed me to get 10 to a sheet. Perforating the stubs, and cutting out each of the tickets required 15 trips to the paper-cutter for a total of 750 manual evolutions. It took a while. This is what the progression looked like during one of my mandatory rest periods …
One of the fun things that happened in the vendor line was when I encountered Terry & Jen in their Yo Place Frozen Yogurt Wagon. You can check out their ‘real’ Yogurt Shop here. They coached Lydia’s softball team for a number of years so we got to know them well. This wagon is unique to the West Coast and was designed by Jen. She is truly an entrepreneurial pioneer. It was good to visit with them and enjoy their product on this 100 degree day.