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Thursday, June 20, 2013

What goes around…


Twenty odd years ago, when I was thick with Peninsula merchants, we invented Python Days.  Peninsula’s python has a long history, and we helped revive it.  A Cleveland reporter, on a slow news day in the depths of World War II, thought he’d lighten spirits a bit by enhancing on local folklore he overheard, probably at the Peninsula Nite Club. The python became legend, as much as a small town python can become legend.

I remember writing the press releases promoting Peninsula’s python.  Our efforts sputtered and fizzed along for a few years, and almost passed into history, until Harry Potter days arrived in town.  You recall the frenzy around the release of the last book.  Peninsula had, at the time, an independent book store, and the owner, together with the other merchants in the Peninsula Chamber, held a two week-end extravaganza.  If you were a parent or child, what excitement.  If you weren't, detour town.

Town merchants, being in business to make money, reserved that weekend for the revival of Peninsula’s own python, intending to build on the crowds that came for Harry Potter. I doubt the street closing crowds of Harry Potter days have recurred since, but the streets are closed and there is a parade, and games, and contests all over town. Peninsula Python Day!

All that lead up to leaving for the library and work this morning.  I thought Emily was bringing her guitar for this morning’s Kid Wrangler activities.  Instead she brought her brother.



Around the supper table we got the rest of the story.  Hamilton was brought along to be introduced to Sue, the coordinator of kid games for Python Days on July 20th.  On her first day as Kid Wrangler Emily was asked to help with Python Days.  When she realized the scope of the activity she decided a Kid Wrangler assistant would be very useful, and brought Hamilton along to have judgment passed.  Her plan worked out as she intended; Hamilton has been asked to be Kid Wrangler Assistant.

I hope you stopped to read something about the Peninsula Python. Way back when we revived it we asked Honore Guilbeau, a Peninsula artist whose name some may recognize, to design a logo.  You can see it back there on the Python Day website.  Ms. Gilbeau also designed the front of the Peninsula Library, seen in today’s picture.   The façade depicts both the Cuyahoga (Crooked, in original Native American) River and life in the valley.

We made banners featuring the logo, way back when, and participating merchants hung them outside stores.  I’ll find ours and hang it up on Python Day.  It’s one of only two remaining, and I won’t part with it.  The library has the other banner.


13 comments:

  1. To think I almost missed Python Day!

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    1. I thought you'd appreciate a heads up.

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  2. what a fun thing to get summertime kids involved in.

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  3. Summertime reading was always a big thing when I was a kid... looks like your library makes it a big thing there. I think I'd have fun at Python days... I kinda like that big snake at the end of that website.

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  4. If you need a real snake I'll round up some garter snakes, they have been snoozing in the asparagus patch.
    Jane x

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  5. You are a founder of this place. Is Peninsula on a penisula of a lake?

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    1. See the loops in the fresco on the library. The Cuyahoga River actual looks like that, going through the valley. Peninsula is built on one of the "peninsulas".
      When there are only 600 people in a town it doesn't take many to stir things up. I was just one of the original fifteen or so merchants who brainstormed ways to bring people to town to spend money.

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  6. The things you teach me, Python day, did everyone have a good time.
    Merle.....

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  7. Sometimes the thing that rescues a promotion comes along just in the nick of time ... Python Days looks like a lot of fun! Except maybe for the folks with a snake phobia :)

    I really like the sound of the Plein Air Competition. Did you ever enter?

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  8. Python Days sounds a brilliant idea. Do we get to see a photo of your banner?
    And I love the Kid Wranglers idea. Empire building...

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  9. Sounds like a fun place to live and work.

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  10. Dear Joanne, the logo is intriguing. Isn't there something in some mythology about a snake eating its tail and consuming itself? Doesn't that mean something?

    And the python float just made me chortle. So inventive with those eyes. I clicked on the library photo and could see the river winding like a python. I'm a big Harry Potter fan, having read all the books each about five times, viewed the movies many times, and listened to each book on tape at least three times. And that snake that Rowling gave us--which carried within the darkness of Valdemort--was truly terrifying. The movies captured that. Peace.

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    1. I thought I was the consummate Potterite, but Emily has us beat hands down. She can tell you what page number to look up!
      I think I'll do more on the python and Honore's work. I did research the bejammers out of the python all those years ago, to write press releases.

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