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Intersection Celebration

Intersection Celebration
Intersection Celebration
Major Bob Stem gives Laconia 'mayor' Joe Kingsley some help with a walk-talkie before the Celebrate Laconia parade Saturday morning. (Photos by Randy West)

For the second year in a row, a wedding cut down on the crowd ‘ and the help ‘ at the annual Celebrate Laconia festival. It seems that Saturday, Oct. 8 was the only day that Todd Woertz, Allison Crosier, the priest and ‘ most crucial of all ‘ the wedding photographer, could all get together. Last year, Katie Butt and Brian Beckort chose the same day as the Celebrate Laconia for their nuptials.
Otherwise, everything was hunky-dory at the seventh annual small-town get-together at the main spot in town, the intersection of S.R. 337 and North Tobacco Landing Road. Well, not everything ran smoothly. There was a communication problem between the parade announcers and the 36-unit parade itself, which was delayed about half an hour.
But nobody seemed to mind. It gave several hundred people more time to talk, enjoy chili and steakburgers, and bask in bracing autumn weather, which alternated between cold, windy and overcast and sunshiny and brisk.
Peg Miller estimated that 500 people would be there through the day for all the events, which included an auction, horseshoe contest, three-on-three basketball, and something new, street dancing. ‘We’ll think big,’ she said, although the town’s population is a mere 50. Or 63, depending on whom you talk to.
Business was brisk at the Kingsley Restaurant tent, where the Kingsley girls ‘ Debbie Dones and Jimmie King of Laconia and Lena Ferree and Beverly Eisenmenger of Elizabeth ‘ were having a homecoming of sorts and selling hundreds of hamburgers, chili, vegetable soup and homemade pies. The other two sisters, Katherine Knear of Elizabeth and Linda Birdwell of New Albany, couldn’t be there, but brothers Rex Kingsley and Joe Kingsley, the 30-year ‘mayor’ of Laconia, were very much in evidence. Their mother, Myrtle Kingsley, ran a popular caf’ at that corner from 1962 to 1984. Lena and her husband, James, had it for several years before that.
Not far away from the intersection, beneath some shade trees, near the old school, there were several booths where all kinds of things were for sale. Herald Bailey of Payneville, Ky., had a table where you could buy framed prints of roosters, model cars, shovels and axes. He had a lot of old tools, too. Lamar Smith, 72, Laconia, was interested in the metal vegetable slicer, the corn sheller, the fence stretcher and the cow kicker. The last item is misnamed because it’s a chain with a couple of clamp-like things on each end that attach to a milk cow’s ankles and prevents her from kicking the milker. Smith declared the cow kicker ‘very rare.’ It was selling for $15.
Next to Bailey was Kevin Carman of Hardinsburg, who said he specialized in huge ‘Bad to the Bone’ pocket knives, DVDs, Hot Wheels and NASCAR.