Monday, October 18, 2010
Defeat of Jesse James
About this time every year, there is this big celebration in a little town not too far from us and the kids get all dressed up to fit in with the festivities. (Crock shoes are optional)
Most small towns have things to celebrate and call it something like "Apple Festival" or "Swiss Heritage Days".
What does Northfield, Minnesota celebrate? They are still high five-ing each other 134 years after they killed two members of the Jesse James gang while they tried robbing the bank and what would be the demise of the Jesse James gang.
Each year they have a re-enactment where these bad looking dudes (who are just unshaven college students) ride into town on horses and rob the bank with six-shooters. Then the townspeople come out and shoot back and kill a couple of them and the bad guys ride off.
Makes a nice story and, more importantly, gives the town a reason to have three days of parties, bike marathons and parades. I confess, who really wants to attend Hog Days or The Great Potato Festival when you can go see two gang members get shot while eating a funnel cake?
The only downside is you have to feel a tad guilty for celebrating the death of two fellas who not only had to die on that fateful day in 1876, but who have their deaths celebrated each year over and over by throngs of people who won't let it go and are still giddy they are molding in some grave.