2010-01-07 / Letters to the Editor

Island scarecrow competition?

I need your help – not just yours, but all the people in Jamestown who want to get involved in the next crazy project. It should be a lot of fun, but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. It all began several years ago when I went to visit my sister, Mary, in a small village in the south of England. In our conversation, she mentioned Mrs. Tiggywinkle, her entry in the village scarecrow competition. Mrs. Tiggywinkle, of Beatrix Potter fame, was, in fact, a chair that she had dressed up, including a long skirt and apron to cover her chair legs.

The “scarecrow “competition was part of the annual Village fete and, as such, was as hotly contested as the “best rose” or “biggest tomato” competitions. It was judged by a non-local dignitary, who, as such, would not be biased and whose choice would not be disputed. That, of course, was not true.

Every year, there would be mutterings and village gossip about the judge’s eyesight, for how could he or she not see that Mabel Cartwright’s entry or John Smith’s amazing “Toad of Toad Hall” was much better than the winner’s entry? There would always be a chance for retribution next year!

I was very much amused and on the journey home, thought how much fun it would be to have something like that in Jamestown – a bit like a land-based, tiny version of the Fool’s Rules Regatta. We know how much fun that is.

As usual, when I got home, I did nothing about it. I think I get an “Aplus” for procrastination. However, this fall, I kept thinking about all of those people in R.I. who have been struggling to make ends meet. I’m not much good at raising money, but I thought that if it was something that was fun, other people would help. So that’s when the scarecrows popped up again.

We could have a competition during the first week of October. In order to take part, you would have to pay an entry fee (not huge, say $20 to $25) and all of that money would go to the food bank or even better, the community farm.

So why am I telling you about this now? Well, it just kept growing in my mind. There are such amazing people in Jamestown and we could do all sorts of things with scarecrows. Winter is a great time to quilt, sew, knit, paint, make wooden or clay sculptures or whatever. I think it could be tremendous fun starting right now in the depth of winter.

What do you think? Shall we do it? I can hardly wait to get started. In fact, I am going upstairs right now to make a quilt with a scarecrow right in the middle. Maybe we could even have a raffle, or a tee shirt design competition or…

Let me know if you’re interested by emailing me at wknight30@ cox.net.
Judy Knight

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