On Dad's final trip through Vincent, being hauled in the back of a hearse, the procession stopped for a train.
Trains rarely stop traffic in Vincent.
"It's fitting," Mom said. "He loved this ... little town."
Yes. Yes, he did. I do too. Most of my best childhood memories flow through Vincent. Watching Francis the talking mule strut around the side of a building while those who came to see the outdoor movie laid on blankets in the grass. I watched beside Kathleen Hoffman, now Kathleen Dencklau, but can't remember if my sisters ever made it to this grand show. I felt special having a friend to be with instead of huddled with my family.
My first Fourth of July celebration in Vincent gave me sweet memories. Well, maybe not the excess popcorn. Eating too much popcorn never ends well, but sweet memories nonetheless.
Vincent's fire department, EMTs included, cover a huge area and are called on often. The department's annual fundraiser is a few weeks past, but you can always send donations. You never know whose life you might save by helping finance this department of volunteers.
Most of what gets done in Vincent gets done because the people care. And it shows.
On Saturday, the ball field at the now-defunct elementary school will be alive with action because people care. At least eight teams paid $100 each to enter a slow-pitch softball tournament, with all proceeds going to the family of Kathlynn Shephard. I've been told that money will be funneled into the fight to keep sexual offenders from getting out of prison early. I can't promise that's where the money will go because I couldn't make that final connection in time to tell you about it.
Inept that I am on a computer, I can't even find the Facebook information about Saturday's ball tournament. Jaci Anderson promised me it was there; even looked it up to make sure. I should have brought her home with me to look it up on my computer.
She said the tournament was the brain child of April Mickelson, daughter of former Webster County Sheriff Brian Mickelson and his wife Deb. April is married, I think, but I don't know her last name.
Retirement hurts the precision of a reporter, let me tell you. But I do know for sure we're not related. Brian's grandma and mine were best of friends, and our parents were friends, but I got my name in Wisconsin when I went up there to work. Which is totally beside the point.
And the point it, if you've got some free time Saturday, head out to Vincent and watch some slow-pitch softball. Games start at 8 a.m. and likely won't wind up until 10 p.m., give or take. There is no admission to the field, but you can buy raffle tickets for great prizes donated by area businesses and find a bunch of good stuff at an auction. There will be food and soft drinks available all day.
It's going to be another fun day in the little community.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.