Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | September 17, 2007

The Shin-Dig



The anniversary party has come and gone & it was a fantastic day!  For those that don’t already know, here is a bit about our family history. 

When we were young our family ran concessions.  We worked in popcorn wagons, concession vans, and concession stands much of our teen years.  Most of our summer weekends were spent at the racetrack where we sold popcorn, Pepsi, lemonade, cotton candy, snow cones, nachos, and etc. 

I think that it is safe to say that most of us did not enjoy the work, but that doesn’t mean that it was bad …  as a teenager who can honestly say that they liked to work  … the nature of the work didn’t matter I don’t think,  whatever you are told to do as a teenager you will more then likely complain about.  I for one never looked forward to working on another Saturday serving my neighbors and peers in a hot popcorn wagon or stand.  I was shy and waiting on people was very much out of my comfort zone.  But looking back I have to admit that I am grateful for the experience.  As a result of my days popping popcorn, making cotton candy, scooping up ice for snow cones and serving a wide variety of people … I know how to work, I can communicate with strangers, and I know the value of a dollar, a dollar earned by working for it.  And honestly, it wasn’t that bad …  most of the time, unless it was a really busy weekend we were not overworked.  We did get paid, and as I remember, it was a fair wage.  

The reason behind working the concessions was the idea that there was something for us to do.  Raising 6 kids in town left little for us to learn or work on … we didn’t have a big garden to work, or animals to tend to … we cleaned the house and worked on the yard, but there was not enough for all of us to keep busy.  When the older boys grew old enough to work my parents knew they had to come up with something to keep them busy … something to pass the time in a productive way.  Both of my parents were raised knowing how to work and knew the value that it held.  Dad was just a little guy when he started cleaning his father’s movie theatre late at night after the shows were shown.  Mom was the oldest of 10 children and they moved to Minnesota when she was 15 and suddenly had animals to feed, a garden to tend to, and siblings to help with. 

Mom and Dad both knew how to work and Dad knew popcorn … so that is where they began.  The wagons were built in the backyard.  Dad would build and mom would paint.  Red and Gold were the colors of choice.  The wagons were small enough to haul behind  a truck but large enough to hold all that we needed. A popcorn machine, some storage space for boxes, tubs, un-popped popcorn, coconut oil, salt, butter flavoring, lemonade, and a jet spray all fit inside a box on wheels.  As time went on we added to the business with a large concession van that held the cotton candy, snow cones, & nachos.  We worked at the 4th of July parades and fireworks, at Arts in the Park, and a few other smaller events though the years in addition to the track.  Eventually we ended up with a popcorn store in the local mall where we made caramel corn, cheese corn, and several other fruit flavors.  At the store we had the opportunity to work with friends and Mom managed many teenagers who sometimes felt like working some sometimes didn’t.   When we were mostly grown and on our own the store was sold and we were all working on different goals; mostly college and some new young families were starting to be formed.     

So when my parents began talking about having a 40th anniversary party we started to brainstorm.  Different ideas of traditional anniversary parties were kicked around, but we settled on a simple gathering with concessions.  It seemed fitting since that is what we all knew.  It has been many years since the popcorn machines were popping fresh corn and the cotton candy machine was whirling away but it is a familiar sound and smell that we knew others would enjoy.   So together we set up a small concession stand of sorts with soda pop, fresh popcorn, cotton candy, and nacho’s.  We added cookies and coffee as well.  The turn out was great … we served 75 people at our celebration and all had a terrific time.  Friends and family traveled from near and far to celebrate the anniversary of two special people and to celebrate the life that they have led and the family that they created.  The weather was perfect, the company was great and at the end of the day I realized again how blessed I am to have my family.  Being farther away from them makes me miss them more then before but I am grateful for the memories of life and love and yes, even the popcorn. 

 Some pictured of our day …












  1. Once again, I’m first. Must be the birth order thing. Nice job, Steph of summing it all up. THANK YOU. I appreciate all everyone did for our party-kind-of-like-a-circus.

  2. You are very welcome! :)

  3. I’m laughing at ‘kind of like a circus’…isn’t that what life is kind of like?? Wish I could have been there, thanks for sharing this Stephanie. :) I think my hair is longer than Dan’s now, almost the same style…if I had a goatee I might look just like him! :O

  4. Jeri … I am glad t that you don’t have a goatee. Of course I would like you anyway, but still … that would be creepy. Ummm … did you ever think that you would be comparing the length of your hair with your oldest nephew? Ha.

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