Where can a family bond on a smoke filled sidewalk, shoulder to shoulder with drunks, glass eyed dopers, unwashed heathens, and carnival workers who look like they have not seen a tub or a shower since Bush 1? Where can revelers stand in public with open containers of beer? Where can you get culture listening and watching a drunk band marching through the town's streets, invading a bar, and emerging only to invade the next bar, and still be "playing" and marching without falling down?
Where can you watch a ball be thrown into a creek which was once so polluted that the locals affectionately called it ' Lead Creek" and follow it down the stream all the while whooping and drinking, and having a jolly good time?
Where else can a family all gather at the river, except maybe an old fashioned baptismal service, watch and wait with a pulsating excitement rivaled only on Christmas morning, for the big colorful ball to make an appearance in Wallace, And at last, there it is, bouncing and swirling as it makes it way to the finish line. The crowd lets out a collective, orgasmic like yell of pleasure, and just like that, it's over.
The next day the streets in Wallace look like they hosted a drunken orgy. There are just a few stirrings as those who work for the carnival begin to dismantle the rides that brought so much pleasure and illness to the children of the Valley. By nightfall, the last vestiges of the three-day celebration have been packed up, swept up, loaded on trucks, and are off to the next town and its unique celebration.
I have lived in numerous cities and towns since I graduated from Wallace High, and I have enjoyed the local events and celebrations like Seafair in Seattle, the Timber Carnival in Albany, Oregon, the Orgon State Fair in Salem, the County Fair in Spokane, 4ht of July in New York City and New Years Eve in Las Vegas, but there is no other event that comes close to this one. '
Lead Creek Derby and that what it was and is like Growing up Wallace,