There is a case to be made that I am a service junkie. There is also a case to be made that people are not falling all over themselves to volunteer for activities in which the Oakley Chamber of Commerce gets involved, so the chamber directors find themselves doing a lot of it. Whichever way you look at it, Stefan and I found ourselves spending two hours supervising “Boo Bowling” and “Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin” at the Oakley Harvest Festival on Sunday.
The games were free for the children to play; the prize for winning was a piece of candy and a picture of a pumpkin to color in, with the Chamber of Commerce logo discreetly in one corner. (I’m not sure how many people actually knew who we represented. Our banner was half-hidden and we were far too busy to talk, though we had some brochures out. Doesn’t matter, though–we were getting involved in the community, and the people we met will remember us.)
“Boo Bowling,” by far the most popular activity, involves the kids knocking down at least one of a stack of toilet rolls with a lightweight plastic pumpkin. Naturally the real object of this game is to make the adult scramble around chasing toilet rolls and rolling pumpkins, in order to put them all back together in time for the next munchkin to knock them over. (Some of the munchkins must have been in their early teens. The game appeared to have universal appeal.)
One thing that struck me (other than what rotten shape I’m in) was the diversity of the crowd. Networking and business events I attend tend to be predominantly though not exclusively white. That’s true both here in East County and elsewhere throughout the Bay Area. We had all kinds of racial and ethnic groups represented at the Harvest Festival, though. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, mixed-race, you name it. It’s good to see that at least some of our community events really do include the whole community.
P.S. The costume I’m wearing is called a chiton. It’s the sort of dress women wore in Greece 2500 years ago…though without the black mesh gloves.