My blog dress and header has changed! As a newlywed, I am excited to present a whole new theme.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bean Days 2009...Got Gas?

Last weekend, I went back for a visit to my hometown, Montpelier, Ohio, for their annual Bean Days. Back in World War II, merchants wanted to bring the town together into the downtown area, and since meat was being rationed at the time, wanted to make it affordable, so they decided to serve big pots of baked beans! Yes! The beans that are good for your heart (makes you laugh and makes you fart)! To this day, merchants come outside onto the sidewalk and serve baked beans on Friday night, then there is a contest to see who has the best beans.

You thought I was kidding, huh? Nope!

One of the merchants decided to get festive and add little umbrellas to their bean samples. The beans were very good, by the way. Most people served baked beans, but there were also soup beans, and a couple merchants served green beans with ham. Yummy!

There are always some activities during Bean Days as well. One of the new ones this year was a Battle of the Bands. My friend Stacy's fiance is in one of the bands that played, and since they were the first band, I hurried up to watch them. Cool gazebo, isn't it? My dad helped build this years ago.

Here is her sweetie Brian on drums.

The gazebo is right next to our town hall.

While there, I ran into this handsome man in uniform. It's my brother Rich, the oldest of my two brothers (13 months younger than me). He served as a reserve sherrif's officer for the event. He is pictured with his neighbor Paul. I was going to take a picture of my beautiful sister in law, but she had already gone home.

My son Jared also came to Bean Days, but split from me to find friends. Look who he found though, my younger brother Dave!

I also ran into my very good friend Sandy and her hubby Kevin. It was fun running into people I knew, since I haven't lived there for 2 1/2 years now.

A few years ago, my brother Rich was part of an effort to earn a grant for the town's beautification efforts. One of the projects was to create three cute parks for vacated alleys between our downtown buildings. Here is the first park, featuring murals of vintage cars.

Another park featured a train theme, since Montpelier was built as a major train stop in years past.

This last park had a flower theme, and also a fountain.

This stone monument is very old and lists the names of the first of the village's councilmen from 1895.

The village also has a couple bumpouts with benches and pots of flowers. So pretty!

These olden style lamps were part of the project as well.

There is also a park on the corner at the edge of town. There used to be a huge beautiful pine tree there too, but kids would hide behind it to misbehave, so the village cut it down. No, I'm not kidding.

As part of the Bean Days activities, there was this play area for kids.

And one of the local churches was having their annual sausage sandwich sales. They were delicious! I get one every year.

One of the most fun events is the bucket brigade at the firehouse. I always get a little twinge when I see the firehouse because this is where we had my father's funeral, but I can't stay sad for long when I watch teams hoist buckets up to the big barrel on the top. The team that has the quickest time filling the big barrel with water wins!

Kid surround the bottom of the tower...because they get a nice spray of water when they let the water out! I remember my own kids loving this part and they would be soaked to the gills! So refreshing on a hot summer day!

There was also a bucket brigade event for kids. Here they are standing around the big water container.

Their contest involved grabbing their little buckets of water and tossing the water on the little roof. When they fill the gutter, they win!

One of my favorite features in my old hometown is the village flower garden in the town hall's grounds. I love its archway and beautiful flowers. We have an awesome village gardener. She also cares for the parks.

Hrre is a look down the Main Street at Montpelier. It's not a big town, only about 4300 people.

I like the old buildings, built in the late 1800s. This is the former National Bank top.

The insurance building is one of the best kept in downtown. I love those big windows on the second floor.

They put this new door in a couple years ago. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Here is another building that I always thought was cool.

It's because I love the painting at the top.

Here is another view of Main Street from the west end of town.

The village is bordered on the west by the Saint Joseph River. It's really not very big at all.

The far bank borders the cemetery, appropriately named Riverside Cemetery.

My dad used to live in this apartment building, the last one on the left. It was on the near bank of the St. Joe. He said he liked living there because he could look across the river and see the next place he was going to reside. Did I ever tell you my dad had a very wry sense of humor?

Walking back into town, I passed this flower bed in front of the Chamber of Commerce building.

I especially loved this. Not sure what it is, but it looks like some sort of cabbage.

I ran across another flower bed in front of a flower and craft shop.

How much is that doggy kitty in the window?

These pretty craft items were in the lot next to the flowershop. Wish I had some big bucks and places to put them! I especially love that big bench.

It was really fun visiting my old hometown. Afterward, I went to visit my friend Stacy and her fiance. His band didn't win, but they got a gig from it anyhow, so all was good.

I went back the next day to watch the parade, but they changed the time and I missed all but the tail end! Oh well, I still met up with some old friends and visited my brother.

And the question everyone wants to know...were there farts from all those beans? Let's just say be glad that the wind didn't blow in your direction!

May all that gas put a smile on your face.


SmilingSally said...

What a wonderful trip, and I thank you for posting about it. I'm glad I could visit without having to breathe the air! Have a wonderful Sunday.

Heather said...

what a fun day! i would love all those events- except the beans & gas, lol!

Justine said...

Wow Kady, what a gorgeous place to be able to call home. It's so quaint and well preserved! I love the alley gardens and murals. That was just a fabulous idea.

Glad you enjoyed all your beans you farting queen!

And how fun that you kept bumping into brothers and friends!

Justine :o )

bj said... THIS was a gas..uh, I mean blast!! Hahah...probably a good thing no one lit a match there on that main Bean Street!! lol
What a fun thing for a town to do. I know everyone had fun.
Really cute little town..thanks for taking us along.
hugs, bj

Jill said...

So did they hand out gas masks at the event.. lol!
Looks like a lot of fun.
I loved looking at all the pictures!

Lori said...

What a wonderful ole town! Do you miss not being there? I sorta wish I lived in one, mine isn't at all. The redone ally ways are adorable, I've seen some similar in some Michigan town.. Personally living in Indiana all my life I don't think the people are very friendly. Better then Arizona where my son lives, but seriously Michigan people to me are the total best of any state I've visited! Can't say of Ohio case I just always breeze through it. Sorry! I'll stop for you one day! Lori

Melissa Miller said...

Hello Kady,
It's so nice to meet you! I really appreciate the sweet B-day wishes and your kind visit to my blog.
Thank you for following along as well. I'll do the same. Your blog is just wonderful and I know I will visit with you again soon.

What a beautiful town and a great event with the "beans". Too funny!

Have a blessed evening my friend.
~Warmly, Melissa :)

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Bean day...who knew? We have garlic festivals here! Celebrating beans and garlic...ONLY in America! haha! Your home town looks like Americana at it's best!!!

nikkicrumpet said...

Very cool...I'm so glad you got to go home and enjoy family and old friends. This totally reminds me of my small home town celebration..."onion days". It is always so cool to go back and just enjoy the small town activities and see people you grew up with. I also love the idea of fixing up the alley ways with parks and murals...that is brilliant and they all turned out so pretty!

Jean Tuthill said...

What a beautiful place. I love the murals and the beautiful buildings. What a fun time with the beans. Next time, Beano, anyone?

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What a fun post this was! I enjoyed seeing all of this pretty town and the pretty alley parks, and Your handsome brothers and son. It sounds like you had a great time. I'm glad the wind wasn't blowing in our direction! LOL! laurie

bj said...

Hi, Kady...i hope you didn't eat so many beans that you blew your sweet self up!! :>)

Lori said...

Kady, Would you believe your the first who has said like I do how weird it feels to have both parents gone? My siblings are too and aunts, uncles and grandparents. I sometimes feel like a orphan! Oh, I have a new set up on my computer and can't get in your email, could you email me at, I have a question to ask you. Later,Lori

blushing rose said...

That looks like a real fun event ... interesting town. Glad you had a nice time. TTFN ~Marydon

Lori said...

Stella still didn't have anything in the purse, but I will put a shell from Myrtle Beach...

The town looks like where I live....

santamaker said...

Loved your little quaint hometown. Looks like a fun time was had. GReat new blog and love your header!