Thursday, September 15, 2011
Greeting our visitors
It was all positive for this golf cart driver Saturday at the Hummingbird Migration Celebration.
It was my second year to help during the event at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center. In 2010, I was directing traffic. This time around I was driving guests from their vehicles parked in the fields to admissions.
Saturday, many of the volunteers were members of the Holly Springs Rotary Club, of which I have the honor of serving as president this year.
I told Bubba Hubbard, fellow Rotarian and director of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, that I wanted “presidential privileges,” which meant a fun job this year.
He picked the right one. I had a blast, but I was also worn out when finished with my duties about 5:30 p.m.
First up, compliments go to Bubba and his excellent staff for their hard work.
I had many visitors remark about how well organized the event was; they particularly liked the parking lot designations Redbird, Goldfinch and Bluebird.
“Remember which parking lot you’re in,” we told guests upon their arrival.
And as usual, when leaving some couldn’t remember where their cars were parked. I had to drive a few from Bluebird to Redbird and visa versa. But, as I told them, it was no big deal. It has happened before, and it will happen again.
I enjoyed talking to the guests and asking them where they were from. I had a pen and small notebook, but was too busy to write down every location.
I think Pontotoc won the award for most visitors, at least on my golf cart.
The farthest away for my cart was Montana. She was visiting someone in Memphis, Tenn., and had heard about the hummingbird festival.
I saw several Alabama Crimson Tide caps.
I had a long talk with some good folks from Decatur, Ala.
Others came from Myrtle, Hickory Flat, Jackson, Tenn., Florida, Ohio, many other locations in neighboring Tennessee, plus lots from nearby DeSoto County.
Some ladies from Columbia, Tenn., were familiar with my cousin, Ted, who onced preached at a church there.
Lots of tourists asked how to get to downtown Holly Springs when leaving Strawberry Plains. Some had never been to our city.
A couple of ladies asked about a Mexican restaurant.
Others asked where they could get a steak.
Some wanted directions to Graceland Too.
Then there were guests to Holly Springs who had read about Phillips Grocery and wanted to eat a late lunch there if possible.
Many of the visitors to this year’s Hummingbird Migration Celebration had been before – some three or four times and more.
“It’s wonderful,” I heard time and time again.
Many others said, “I’ve been wanting to come every year but couldn’t. We’re really looking forward to it.”
And guess what? As the folks were leaving, I did not hear a single negative comment. They loved it.
“Thanks for coming,” I told everyone. “And come back next year.”
Lots of people said they would indeed be back.
We filled all three parking lots at one point Saturday. It was wonderful – the thousands of visitors coming to Holly Springs and Marshall County.
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