Mason County News
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Bringing in Round Up Reinforcements
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 • Posted July 6, 2011

It's the big weekend in Mason. Round Up is the combination class reunion, cultural celebration and debutante ball that we throw for ourselves once a year. It is our time to "put on the dog," and to show off for the many folks returning to Mason, and for the the many new folks dropping in to visit us for the first time.The fall and winter of 2010 have been tough in Mason County. The ongoing statewide drought has not spared Mason, and those conditions, along with the four-year-old recession, have combined to produce some of the toughest times we've known in years. Around the town, businesses have valiantly struggled to welcome the customers that have spent buckets of money filling up their vehicles to get to town. Once the visitors arrive, we all do our best to make sure they enjoy themselves, that they are made to feel welcome, and that they leave here with fond memories of their visit. With rivers, ponds and streams evaporating, we sometimes have to work even harder to make sure those visitors know that Mason County is a beautiful paradise in good times. We keep our fingers crossed that they will visit us again when the countryside greens up once more and the streams are flowing.During Round Up, our population swells with returning family members, former residents and first-time tourists. One has only to attend Saturday morning's parade to enjoy the sight of large crowds, mingling together, visiting across the sidewalks to understand the importance of this event to our summer-time economy. But, why shouldn't we take advantage of this influx of people to serve our own needs this year? With all the extra people milling about, why shouldn't we enlist them in a project to help the entire community? They won't have to do any manual labor. They won't need to dig in their pockets for extra cash. They won't even have to pull themselves away from their weekend plans for more than a few moments.I propose a "flash mob." In case you're not familiar with the term, it describes a planned event that seems to occur spontaneously during the middle of seemingly innocuous events. There have been flash mobs that sang songs from The Sound of Music in the middle of Grand Central Station. Other flash mobs have performed entire dance routines in St. Mark's square. Part of the joy of a flash mob is that it allows all those around to participate by simply being there.Our "flash mob" won't have to learn any dance steps, and they won't have to memorize any song lyrics. In fact, they can compose their part of this event on the spot.I propose that, as the courthouse clock begins striking the noon hour, everyone on the lawn and around the square come to a stop. As the bell tolls out the count, each person can come to a halt in their activities. As the final, twelfth bell sounds out, each person can, according to their own desire, quietly bow their head.The band can stop its playing. The food vendors can politely explain that they will finish serving in a moment. The store owners can quickly explain to their customers that the entire county is about to join together and raise their voices in silent prayer, and invite their customers to join in.For one minute, from the time of the last bell, we can all send our prayers up to God.We can thank Him for the generosityof his many blessings through the years.We can thank Him for the wealth of family and friends surrounding us on this special weekend.We can ask God to remember the love of his many people, and our devotion to Him.We can ask Him to consider our need for life-giving rain, and to grant us the bliss of rain falling once more.We can tell God that the cowboys and cowgirls, as well as the vendors, musicians and spectators, will not mind altering our plans if it should start to rain.And then, just as suddenly as our silent prayers began, we will lift our heads to the sky and, with the understanding that we are all his children, we will offer up an audible and sincere, "Amen!"It’s all just my opinion.

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