by Fran Edstrom
Best Steamboat Days
This was just about the best Steamboat Days ever. I had no
trouble finding a parking place downtown, thanks to the city
being a little more lenient about what constitutes a parking
space. I got my annual Ambassador bratwurst fix. Twelve pretty
girls ran for Miss Winona. Miss America came for a visit. There
was lots of band music in the Grande Parade. The fireworks were
spectacular. I am enjoying this hiatus from riding the ferris
wheel between having to go with my own children and waiting for
grandchildren. And, there are only 57 calories in a cotton candy.
You'd have to really dig to find any fault in the festival, and
then you could come up with about four kids who suffered from
heat exhaustion (why do they put them in such heavy uniforms??)
and a clown who reportedly needs a sense of humor.
On Sunday morning, I joined seven other breast cancer survivors
at the Miss America brunch, to which we were invited by Winona
Health. We got to meet Miss America, Katie Harmon, whose platform,
or speaking topic as she travels around the country, is early
detection of breast cancer.
Katie debunked my long-held theory about beauty queens (did you
notice we're on first-name basis?). She is very pretty, but not
in a big hair-falsies kind of way. She is genuinely friendly
and if she gets a little tired of appearing in parades in places
she has never heard of, she doesn't show it; she made it seem
a privilege. She is remarkably well-spoken and self-assured for
a twenty-one-year-old, and a good spokesperson for breast cancer
detection and treatment.
It was refreshing to talk to someone under thirty who doesn't
say "like ya know what I'm sayin'?" or "whatever"
or "me and him are going" Come to think of it, it would
be nice to have a governor who didn't talk like that.
Our kids came home Saturday. Morgan and Dan from Chicago, Cassidy
and a friend, each toting a dog along, from the Cities. We went
out to the river cabin and let the dogs run until they were exhausted.
The dogs and I hit the hay early, and some of the kids went out
to see what was happening at the tent formerly known as the beer
On Sunday night, we took the runabout out on the river to watch
the fireworks. There were other people with dogs in their boats,
and I thought I should have brought you-know-who, who loves the
When the rockets shot into the air, lighting up the sky, and
the booming echoed off the bluffs in two states, I was glad I
hadn't brought him. There were some uncomfortable dogs out there
On Monday morning, I got to work, and the bumble-bee ride that
had been across the street from my office was already packed
up and ready for the next stop on the itinerary.
I hope that when the Steamboat Days volunteer committee gets
together for a postmortem on this year's events, they pat each
other on the back and say, "Good job!"
Now I can't wait until next year.