My little adopted hometown of Lamar turns 150-years old this year, and we’re celebrating! The town is planning a full slate of events over the next nine months, kicking off with the return of the famous Egg Scramble Jamboree and a community worship service the first weekend in April. The Egg Scramble usually lasts the entire weekend, but as it’s the first since The Age of The Virus, the committee behind the event is doing a one-day event, dubbed “The Egg Scramble: Over Easy.”
That cracks me up every time.
Nothing is official yet, but my buddy John and I might be playing at the Egg Scramble (I should probably tell him that—ha!). The last time we played for a Lamar town event was the Christmas on Main event, and we won over two enthusiastic fans with our rendition of MouseRat’s “5000 Candles in the Wind“:
It’s an amazing song. What I loved about that moment was that first our administrative officer for the police department came running over. He’s a young black guy. Then a little old white lady came dashing over. Talk about bringing ages, sexes, and races together through music (and Parks and Recreation references).
Before that, we played for National Night Out, the “organic festival” my neighbor brainstormed as a decentralized, grassroots efforts. I wonder if my local music career would be as notable if I weren’t on Town Council—ha!
Regardless, it’s an exciting time to live in Lamar. The town was identified as a town in 1872, and was officially charted in 1890 under its present name, Lamar. At one point in the distant past, it was called “Mims Crossroads.” Mims is a fairly common name in the Pee Dee, so there must have been a few of them around here.
The town was later known as Lisbon, which I rather like. I think the name “Lamar” is perfectly fine, but imagine the fun of telling people I live in Lisbon—then their confusion when they realize it’s not Portugal. Oh, well. There’s more to life than harmlessly confusing people.
Lamar is home to quite a few notable Americans, including former South Carolina Governor David Beasley. Beasley was best known as the governor who lost his reelection bid to Democrat Jim Hodges over the issue of allowing the lottery in South Carolina (Beasley was right!). His reputation is considerably more enhanced these days: he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the United Nations’ World Food Programme, which he ran very well (at least, as well as any arm of the United Nations can be run). I attended a talk he gave in the wake of accepting the Nobel Prize on behalf of the organization, and the work he has done is quite remarkable—the subject of a future blog post, perhaps.
We also have a lot of NFL players. The Lamar High School Silver Foxes are (historically) a powerhouse in high school football, and we produce some real talent—particularly linebackers. It must be all the good eating at Tina’s Café.
But back to the festivities: before all of these great events, we’re getting the town spruced up. This weekend the town is participating in The Great American Cleanup, which I need to wake up and actually attend this year (in my defense, I think I was out of town last year). I’ve been waiting a couple of weeks for my yardman to come and cut back my grapevines, which I ignorantly did not realize had to be done every year (so much for my pose as a country squire; I also recently ate farm-fresh eggs without washing them first, but I survived with everything but my dignity—my neighbor had a good laugh at my foolishness), and my flowerbeds look atrocious, so maybe I can hit those this weekend, too.
Anyway, it’s an exciting time to be a Lamartian (seriously, that’s what we’re called—pretty far out, eh?). Here’s to another 150 years!