It's what a small town celebration should be.
As I was taking the historical wagon tour given by Linda Douglas during the Arlington Summer Sizzle/150th Celebration on Saturday, I leaned over to Bev Cent and said how cool I thought it would be to hop on a train and go to Fremont and Omaha for the day.
That thought crossed my mind as Douglas, who joined Sara Hasenauer in giving the tours as part of the three-day celebration, talked about the old train depot and how people used to travel by trains to nearby towns.
That tidbit of information sparked memories for me as I remembered the time I rode a train while visiting my aunt and grandmother in Washington state.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking back to their childhood and the memories they created. While I didn't grow up in Arlington and frankly didn't even know about the community until I first came to work in Washington County in 2012, I felt as if I could relate to what others on that ride were remembering — riding their bikes around town, playing baseball or other games with friends and making sure they were home in time for supper.
Though I grew up in Council Bluffs, we had a pretty tight-knit neighborhood that felt like a small town. There were plenty of kids to play with and memories to create, just like there were for people in Arlington. It was great to grow up experiencing the feeling of a small town.
That small town feeling was on full display during last week's Summer Sizzle/150th Celebration and I bet there were plenty of kids and adults alike who were creating new memories as a result of the fun they were having.
In our sometimes fast-paced lives, many of us sometimes forget that simple things, like a wagon tour, a friendly tug-of-war competition, a softball game or a trip down a water slide are just what the doctor ordered and will likely be what many who attended the event will remember for years to come.
As I made my way from activity to activity, I saw smiles, heard laughter and cheering and even witnessed a short, but friendly wrestling match courtesy of two of the Wilkins siblings. The laughter was contagious and the friendly faces welcoming.
I'm sure I join many in saying I won't soon forget the sight of the "Arlington Village People" dancing to the YMCA song during the talent show or adults giving in to peer pressure to compete in the belly flop contest.
I also hope I'm joined by others in thanking the volunteers who made the celebration possible. We owe the Summer Sizzle/150th Committee a big thanks for all the hours they put into planning the event. Kudos also goes out to the organizations and others who contributed to the event's success.
Giving younger and older generations the opportunity to come together for some good old-fashioned fun and to learn more about their community was a great way to celebrate Arlington's 150th birthday and to continue the annual Summer Sizzle celebration.
Here's hoping the youngsters who enjoyed themselves this year took notes because 2069 — Arlington's 200th birthday — will be here before we know it.
Who knows, maybe I'll be blessed to still be on this earth (I'll be 98) and taking what I'm sure will be an old-fashioned car tour, thinking how cool it would be to hop in a car to go to Fremont or Omaha, instead of riding in a space craft or whatever form of transportation exits in the future.