To The Market We did Go!
To Market We Did Go

A Saturday in the City
24th July 2010

At 6:15am on a Saturday morning, while most are sound asleep, enjoying the respite from their workaday world, there are some who are already busily at work erecting tents and awnings. Firing up practically every imaginable form of outdoor cooking device, and hauling vegetables, canned goods, hundreds of bushels of apples, peaches, sweetcorn, and truckloads of cantelope and watermelon onto the streets of downtown Des Moines. Where, every Saturday morning from early May to mid-October a four-blocks long stretch of Court Avenue transforms itself into the “Downtown Farmer's Market”.

This past Saturday, amidst the wrought-iron lawn ornaments, Asian ladies cooking magnificent Indian, Thai, and Chinese dishes; and, sandwiched into a shady area on the lawn of the Old Des Moines Central Post Office (now a County office building), and next to the nurses from a Des Moines Hospital's Neurological Unit passing out information of the effects of strokes, five erstwhile Guardsmen and two of our ladies, from the The Governor's Own 49th Iowa set up a twelve-foot square fly and display tables to put on a “Meet and Greet” and promote awareness of the approaching Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Over the course of the next six hours, we would welcome several hundred visitors to our display of period weaponry, musical instrument, photographs and equipment while enduring the mid-80 degree day dressed in our “woolies”. A fickle little breeze that always seemed to be blowing about twenty feet away would sometimes make the wearing of wool seem less of an insane choice as we passed out new Sesquicentennial Pennies (bearing the “Union Shield” in-place-of the Lincoln Memorial on the Reverse) and posed for photograph with shoppers from such diverse locations as Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Lithuania, Malaysia, Germany, Norway, and China!

Two visitors from Montana would ask if they might handle RCS Krock's beautiful field drum and fife, and promptly entertained all with renditions of “Golden Slippers”, “Dixie”, and the Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Turns out that these delightful gentlemen (brothers) were visiting from Montana and had spent the better parts of their lives playing in a 19th century family band headed by their father! Were they local, they'd have been recruited into the Regiment as musicians on the spot!

As it was, dozens of business cards, recruiting flyers, and Monuments Project brochures were given out to all and sundry passers-by before the noon hours brought the street back to vehicle traffic as the entire market folded up and disappeared into memory within about a ten minute period of time. It made one think of the 1930's motion-picture “Brigaddoon” where an entire Scottish Village in the Highlands comes to life for one-day only, once every one-hundred years and then disappears into the mists of time.

Within minutes, gone were the nurses, mimes, stump-preachers ringing out the Gospel mixed this fire and brimstone, the jugglers, musicians, tourists, sweetcorn vendors, lawn ornament artists, and refugees from the 1860's. Just another day at Farmer's Market.

Respectfully Submitted,

1/Sgt. David M. Lamb
The Governor 's Own

Posted by CS Stahr on Monday 26 July 2010 - 07:57:21 | LAN_THEME_20

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