Two weeks ago on Sunday, May 5, I posted these words on Facebook:
“Cedar Falls Friends: Noah said the city should celebrate Monday by hosting a celebration. He said it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Why? Monday's date is CF's zip code: 50613. You heard it here first.”
Early Monday morning (5/06/13) I dropped Noah off at school because he had a band concert rehearsal. As he lifted his trombone out of the van, I heard Mrs. Nelson shout as she walked into school, “Hi Noah! Happy Cedar Falls Day!”
“You know about this already?” he asked.
One of the sixth grade teachers must have spread the word. It made me smile.
When I attended a graduation for my brother-in-law years ago, Noah’s Great Aunt Kerri said, “I graduated on my zip code: 52577.” That was the first time I had ever thought about zip codes in this way, and I never gave it much thought again. Apparently Noah did.
We emailed Mayor Jon Crews to tell him about Cedar Falls Day. I wasn’t sure what he could do in such a short amount of time. I pictured a parade with a marching band and convertibles. I envisioned people on Main Street, waving flags and supporting their local businesses. I imagined citizens slapping "I love Cedar Falls!" bumper stickers on their cars. I thought about the fireworks that were sure to light up the sky that evening.
The mayor replied by email. (He was first elected in 1971 and is now seeking his 15th term.) The email said, “Thank Noah for his observation. I will do at least one or two things to celebrate!”
The email was vague. What would he do to celebrate? Did he buy new socks? Treat himself to lunch? Go home and mow his lawn? I guess Noah wasn’t getting a key to the city, nor would the mayor proclaim 5/06/13 to be
recognized and celebrated as Cedar Falls Day. The opportunity was lost.
The word continued to spread, however, on Main Street. Pablo’s Mexican Grill (home of delicious quesadillas, salads, tacos, and burritos) wished everyone on Facebook a happy Cedar Falls Day. Main Street Sweets (they
sell candy and yummy cookies) posted this news: “A sixth grade student at Lincoln Elementary has so brilliantly pointed out Cedar Falls Day is ... 5-06-13!! The perfect day to announce a HUGE CF event that we will be hosting this Thursday May 9th at the store! Stay tuned for details!” Far Reach (my husband's company) celebrated the day with a potluck, complete with edible maracas and a pinata. Was this a post-Cinco de Mayo celebration, or a twist on Cedar Falls Day? We may never know.
Mr. Mackey will be deeply missed and is one of the reasons Cedar Falls is a great place. Besides being a fabulous teacher, I will never forget him sitting down with me and telling me about his personal experience with autism, allowing me to voice my concerns about Noah being in band, and hearing him tell me that he would do everything in his power to allow Noah to be successful. He certainly held up his end of the bargain. People of all ages waited in line to talk to Mr. Mackey after the concert -- to tell him thank you, to wish him well. We decided to get a picture a few days later when the crowds had cleared.
Cedar Grove, WI (53013) -- hurry!
Atwood, IL (61913)
Brussels, IL (62013)
Baton Rouge, LA (70813)
Bee Branch, AR (72013)
Englewood, CO (80113)
Glendo, WY (82213)
Long Beach, CA (90813)
Tuesday, May 7 we visited the Cedar Falls Public Library and noticed a car in the parking lot that should have been in the Cedar Falls Day parade.
“Maybe that belongs to the President? He could have been in town for Cedar Falls Day,”Noah said. “Maybe he’s still here?” He smiled.
I said, "The President is tall. I'm not sure that's his car, but you never know. Would there be room for the Secret Service agents? Maybe he's inside the library reading a book?"
Henry said what we all knew but didn’t want to believe. “The car probably belongs to an ordinary guy."