The Fargo extravaganza was everything I hoped it would be. Started off with the Fargo marching band, all wearing the little furry caps with the fold down ears and big star on front, just like Marge's. They played God Bless America, and something else that seemed right, but I don't remember what it was. Then the mayor spoke a bit, and the abducted wife, Ruth I-can't-remember-her-last-name. They unveiled a statue donated by MGM to the city, a wood chip carving of Marge in all her pregnant glory. After the ceremony they played the movie for free in this wonderful old theater, the Fargo theater to be exact.
But the best part of the whole thing was the Arby's sandwich eating contest. 10 big burly North Dakota men, all scrambling like mad to eat as much as they could from a plate of 25 roast beef sandwiches in front of them. The sauce was flying. After the 5 minutes passed, and everyone started cleaning up, there was one guy that just sat there with a glazed expression on his face and a small trickle of juice running from one side of his mouth. I don't think he even knew it was there. The winner, by the way, ate 5 1/2 sandwiches in 5 minutes. I really think I could have done better.
After that, it was adios Fargo. I actually felt pretty down about leaving. I like Fargo. Good people. Maybe not the best weather (29 degrees my last night in town - I had to scrape ice off my windshield for the first time ever), but a nice city. Once you know your way around. I felt like there was a lot there that I never found.
Just down the road was Valley City, another big railroad town, with a loooong bridge called the Hi-Line. This town made me realize what I liked so much about the Dakota small (and medium) towns. They are chock full of beautiful old houses and buildings, and not too much else. In California the growth has been so outrageous, it's pretty hard to find anything that might be considered historical. They've all been pulled down to make way for duplexes and condos. So - loved Valley City.
Also visited Strassburg, Lawrence Welk's hometown. Wunnerful, wunnerful. Not terribly exciting, his house was closed for the season, but the town seems like it's much the same as when he was born there. Just a little German community. There was an amazing cemetary just outside of town, filled with elaborate iron crosses, some with flowers and flares, some with hearts, all dating from about 1900 to 1910, and all the inscriptions that you could read were in German. Ruhn en Gutt, or something like that, my German and my memory is rusty. Caught it just as the sun was about to set. Can't wait to see how those photos turn out!
On to the big giant heads!
PS - Parking my car in front of the library here in Gettysburg turned out to have a bonus to it. I had a front row seat for the Homecoming Parade! The Battlers are going to demolish the Chargers! It was led by the elementary school, the kids all wearing red and white with paper hearts on their chests. After they went by, they ran back to pick up the candy thrown from the cars of every single citizen that has a cool car. I think that was the only pre-requisite. There were shriners, constantly spitting the tassles out of their mouths due to the wind, and toilet paper floats, and surly teens chucking candy at their friends. There were also quite a few tractors, and cars (signifying the chargers) that had been used in a demolition derby, and were being towed (by the battlers, of course). The band sat right behind me, and played various patriotic, fight, and other songs, including "You give love a bad name".
I'm sorry, I'm not used to this, I never went to a single football game in high school, let alone homecoming. I am sure you all have seen this a million times. I, new to the whole thing, had a big grin on my face and took about a million pictures.