Last Friday, 5 students and I went to Mound Bayou to video some of the events for the 125th celebration. When we finished, Deja and Linita stayed to help me with the window decorations for the Mayor's Banquet Saturday night--the grand finale to the weeklong celebration.
One might not think it would take very long to attach tulle swags to 8 panels, but we spent 4 hours getting it all together. There is no way I could have done it without them. They put together a bit of an assembly line, and after Dega attached the tulle with velcro, Linita would pin the edges to fit around the curtain rod. We put the panels on the rods and one would hold the panel while Linita tied the bows on the swag. After that, lay flat on a table so they were ready to be hung once the floor in the great room was dry.
And yes, after spending all morning doing interviews and videos (Linita is great behind the camera, and Deja is a natural at conducting the interview), and working on the panels all afternoon, they were still smiling!
Saturday night, Debra and I went back for the Mayor's banquet. As we drove into town, a rainbow appeared, the arc encompassing the city, and the end right at the community facility! The great room of the facility was transformed--all "gussied up" as were the attendees. Senator Derrick Simmons was the guest speaker, and his twin brother, Errick provided an entertaining introduction. We were joined at our table by the two interns (one public policy and one social work) who have worked in Mound Bayou during the past two months, and humbled at the recognition of our ongoing partnership with this community. Mound Bayou, we love you!