Summer Fair in West Seattle

One of the traditions in the Seattle area is Seafair.  Seafair is not one event, but an entire series of events and festivals in various neighborhoods that stretch over a month in the summer, culminating in the hydroplane races on Lake Washington and the Boeing Airshow.  And while the big events like the Torchlight Parade are held in downtown, most communities host their own celebrations on one of the weekends of July.  Tour de Terrace in Mountlake Terrace was the weekend of July 25th, and White Center Jubilee Days was the weekend of July 18.

West Seattle held its Summer Fair on the weekend of July 18th this year as well.  It featured a parade, a street fair on California Avenue, a middle eastern bazaar at the community center, and foot race down California called the Float Dodger 5K.

Honestly, what middle-aged foot-racing fan of Animal House could resist signing up for that race; certainly not Dad.  When Kimi heard Dad was running in the float dodger, Kimi turned to Mom-mom and whispered conspiratorially, “Watch that he doesn’t make a move for the marching band baton when they come through.  The parade scene in Animal house is one of his favorite parts.”  She winked and smiled at Dad.  Of course Dad did consider dressing as a Belushi Pirate for the race, as costumes are encouraged, but he wasn’t sure how the plastic sword would affect his time.

Also, it had been atypically hot in Seattle for most of July, so in addition to not dressing in costume, Dad did not make plans to take Mongo with him on this race.  Mr. M would have to wait for the heat wave to break before he gets to log any more miles.

So at 9:30 in the morning Dad took off on the 5K run through downtown West Seattle, while Mom-mom held onto Spork’s and Mongo’s leashes.  It was very hot, and Dad ran well, but not his best time ever.  Afterwards, the family enjoyed lunch at the PCC market, and watched the parade from the market’s porch.

Mongo was particularly hungry that morning and kept edging away to other tables to mooch from kindly strangers.  Dad had to keep reeling him back in.  After the parade, which included the Vancouver BC Motorcycle Police Drill Team, Mom-mom and Dad crossed the street to the community center to walk back to the car.  This put them on a course directly through the middle eastern bazaar.  Fortunately, the food vendors were not in the middle of the bazaar, so Dad did not worry about Mongo mooching off of the bazaar patrons, at least not until Mongo’s leach pulled Dad’s arm backwards like it was ties to a steel anchor.

The tug from the leash was so sudden and immovable that Dad almost lost his balance, and as he was spinning and trying to catch his balance, he caught a glimpse of what had anchored him to the spot; Mongo.

Mongo had plopped down in the middle of family picnic and had dug his feet in like a mule.  He was so dug in that Dad could not move him, and no amount of cajoling could get him to move on his own.  Dad tugged at the leash, but it was futile.  Mongo would not move.  He was staring intently at one poor young lady, who finally turned to Dad with a perplexed look on her face and said, “All I have is carrots?!?”

“He loves carrots”, Dad replied, which was true, since the only vegetable Mongo has ever been known to refuse is celerey.  Everything else is fair game.  Mom-mom get embarrased by Mr. M’s behavior and moved quietly away from the pcinic with Spork.

“Can I give him one?”

“Sure”, Dad answered.  “But feed it to him with an open hand like a horse.”  The woman laughed, but did what Dad said, and Mongo scarfed up the carrot from her hand.  The entire gathering began to laugh.  She fed him another one.  The all laughed again.  Mongo was still focused on the bag of carrots like a laser.  He made no effort to move.  The woman was starting to wonder what it would take to get this giant white moocher to move along.

She made to feed him again.  “Only one more buddy.  Let’s not overstay our welcome.”  Mongo looked at Dad, and then looked longingly at the carrots, and reluctantly got up off the picnic blanket.  The woman tossed him one last carrot.

“Really buddy, all that for carrots?”  Dad scratched Mongo’s ears.   “Come on buddy.  Dad will give you a nice treat at home.  You are something else…”  As Dad and Mongo left the picnic, the family joined up and continued their walk to the car.


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