Bryson City Seasons — Memorial Day (Part 2)

This is from the thirty-fourth chapter from my best-selling book, Bryson City Seasons, which is the sequel to Bryson City TalesI hope that you’ll enjoy going back to Bryson City with me each week and that if you do, you’ll be sure to invite your friends and family to join us.


I was in shock! Absolute shock!

I began to feel a bit of a chill and got up to walk into the house and pour myself a fresh cup of coffee. Barb came with me.

I had never heard of the Miss Flame contest. I had no idea what it was. But I was certain of two things—one, I didn’t want to know more, and two, I didn’t want to participate.

“Walt, this is going to be community service at its best. The rescue squad and fire department are having their first annual Fireman’s Day on July Fourth. Diana Clampitt and the fire department auxiliary are planning a really big event. And the highlight will be the Miss Flame contest. Best of all, we can do this together.” “Do what together?”

“Everyone is volunteering. The president of the bank, the mayor, several of the doctors and football coaches, the athletic director, and the director of the health department will all be participating. And it’s all to raise money for the fire department and the rescue squad.”

I was speechless as I poured us both a second cup of coffee. “And as a member of the rescue squad, you really do have to participate.”

“Whose idea was this?”

“Well, I think Diana Clampitt heard about it somewhere. All the wives have talked about it, and we think it’s a great idea. Will you do it? Please? Pretty please?”

“Barb, I don’t even know what it is.”

“Oh, it is no big deal.”

“So what is it?”

“Well, it is a beauty contest.”

“A beauty contest! What does that mean? We’re a bunch of men!”

“Not that afternoon.”

“What do you mean ‘not that afternoon’?”

“Well, that afternoon you gentlemen are going to be ladies. We’ll dress you all up like you are beautiful young women. The winner will be declared Miss Flame.”

Now I was in shock and speechless. I almost dropped my coffee cup. I’m sure my jaw had dropped open. “Dress up like ladies!” I could barely squeak out the words.

“Yes,” Barb matter-of-factly explained. “You are each going to dress up as ladies. There will be an evening gown competition, a bathing suit competition, and a brief onstage interview.”

“Ladies!” I groaned.

“Oh, don’t worry. I’m going to be there to take care of you. I’ll show you how to do everything.”

I was nauseous and walked into the dining room to sit down. “There’s no way. Not me! Not in this lifetime!”

“Oh, just think about it a bit. It’s going to be fun,” Barb cried from the kitchen.

As I was continuing to whine, Rick knocked on the kitchen screen door. “Uncle Rick!” yelped Kate, who ran as fast as she could to the door to greet him.

“Hey, Rick,” called Barb. “Come on in.”

Rick came in and picked up Kate. “How you doing, Kate?” Kate gave him a big hug, and he walked through the kitchen into the dining room. “Where’s Walt?” he asked Barb.

“He’s either sitting or lying down in the dining room. I think he’s still in shock.”

“So you must have told him about Miss Flame?”

“This is not funny!” I called out from the dining room.

“Yes. And obviously, he didn’t take it very well,” Barb commented.

“Is he going to do it?” Rick asked.

“It isn’t looking very positive right now.”

“We’ll just give him time. He’ll come around.”

They both laughed. I pretended not to hear them. For now, I knew for sure that Rick had been in on this all along. He still wasn’t even a member of the rescue squad—well, at least he hadn’t gone through the initiation like I had the previous year. Now I even more wanted to be there when he went through it.

“Hey, Barb. Did you hear about who they’ve chosen to carry the Olympic torch in the parade?” asked Rick.

“No. Who is it?”

“Steve Streeter.”

“Who’s that?”

“He’s a kid from Sylva who played defensive back for Sylva. Then he went to play football at the University of North Carolina. He broke his neck playing there and is now a quadriplegic. So Swain County is honoring him today. I think the county is trying to make peace with the folks over in Jackson County—where he’s from.”

“Rick, you’re just too cynical,” Barb commented. “I think it’s a nice gesture.”

I was still lying on the floor, feeling very nauseated. Miss Flame! I thought. That’s not a nice gesture!

  1. The Murder (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. The Arrival (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. The Hemlock Inn (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. The Grand Tour (Part 1)(Part 2)
  5. The Interview (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  6. Settling In (Part 1)(Part 2)
  7. First-Day Jitters (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Emergency (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. The Delivery (Part 1)(Part 2)
  10. The “Expert” (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. The Trial (Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Shiitake Sam (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Wet Behind the Ears (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. Lessons in Daily Practice (Part 1) — Anal Angina(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  15. White Lies
  16. The Epiphany (Part 1)(Part 2)
  17. Becoming Part of the Team (Part 1)(Part 2)
  18. Monuments (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. My First Home Victory (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Fisher of Men (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. Fly-Fishing (Part 1); (Part 2)
  22. Something Fishy (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. A Good Day at the Office
  24. An Evening to Remember
  25. Another New Doc Comes to Town
  26. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Part 1)(Part 2)
  27. A Surprising Gift
  28. The New Year (Part 1)(Part 2)
  29. The Home Birth (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  30. The Showdown (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  31. The Initiation (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  32. Home at Last (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  33. One Big Fish
  34. Memorial Day (Part 1); (Part 2)

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2019. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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