Cherry Pickin's

A love story in Barton: Team effort pulls Harvest Moon Celebration together

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Members of the Historic Barton Business Association sat in the back room at Sandy’s Barton Cafe checking off to-do items as the weeks clipped quickly by for the Harvest Moon Celebration.
Essie was hunched over her yellow tablet, No. 2 pencil in hand, trying to pay attention as she kept a watchful eye on grandma.
The meetings were early Wednesday mornings and Essie thought it good grandma stay in the mix; the conversation would keep her mind active and involved…. even though she did little and probably got even less out of what was going on.
Essie got slightly distracted as grandma rummaged through her purse looking for a cough drop. With multi-tasking ease Essie gently took the purse, gave grandma a grin and quickly fished out a small box of licorice cough drops.
Essie also managed to find a random piece of Wrigley’s spearmint. She quietly unwrapped the gum and folded it into her mouth. She could taste the gritty purse sand right away…  and the spearmint flavor was a bit overshadowed by a hint of grandma’s perfume.
Essie unrolled the silver wrapper and got rid of the gum.
“Well Hank and Essie came and picked up the banner for St. Mary’s Parish Center so that’s done,” said Jackie from The Sign Shop of West Bend. She drew a big dark line through that item on her tablet.
The Harvest Moon Celebration was all falling into place but behind the scenes there was a lot of work yet to be done.
Deb from Over the Moon seemed to take great pleasure in volunteering Essie as the errand runner. “Oh I’ll let Essie off early today so she can pick up the hay bales at West Bend Elevator,” said Deb.  “She and Hank can also run to Toucan for the custard and I’m sure she’ll be able to zip across the road to Maverick Tattoo and grab the artwork from Mandy.”
Essie kept her head down and scribbled out her schedule. She was used to taking direction from Deb at the store but didn’t know quite how she’d fit in the errands as well.
Hank walked in and Jackie gave him the business right away. “Got a watch there young man? Do you know how to read it,” she said.
Hank grinned. He took a thumb and pushed up the brim of his cap. Leaning against the door frame to the back kitchen he sipped coffee.
“Now where are we getting these pies?” said Jackie.
Boy there was a lot to do, thought Essie. She put another reminder down as she’d have grandma contribute one of her homemade pies.
Essie looked up and there was Hank, grinning and staring in her direction.
“Hank you can start to pull your weight in this event too,” said Jackie with some directness. “You and Essie can pick up the hay bales from the Elevator and the custard from Toucans…. and then we need….”
The marching orders made Hank pay attention. Essie watched as he charmed Jackie using his rugged good looks and easy-going country boy manner.
“You don’t need to worry about a thing,” he said. “Matter of fact Essie and I were headed out now…”
“That boy is a get-it-done kinda guy,” said Deb as the pair slipped out the back door.
Just then Essie swooped back in. “Oh Deb, do you mind walking grandma home after the meeting? She’ll be fine once you get her upstairs. Her radio show is on and she wouldn’t miss it, ” said Essie.
Hank’s pickup backfired as it rolled out of the driveway and up Barton Avenue.
Jackie at Toucan Custard eagerly supplied a donation of frozen dairy for the Harvest Moon Celebration.
“Pie ain’t pie without a bit of custard on the side,” she said.
Turning up onto Highway D, Hank spun his tires a bit as he hit the gravel parking lot at the Elevator. Doug Gonring waved them over to the trailer which was loaded with hay bales.  Hank pulled on some thick work gloves and started moving.
“Are those skinny jeans,” said Doug.
Hank looked up his hands still threaded through the twine on the hay bale.  Doug was talking to Essie ….
“How many bales you able to contribute,” yelled Hank in Doug’s direction.  He walked to the pickup and got uncomfortably close.
Doug was making time-killing conversation with Essie and it appeared Hank did have a jealous bone in his body.
Essie waved off both the he men and started to load a couple bales herself. “I don’t have time for all this chatter,” she said. “I gotta get back to work.”
Doug reached over and put his hand on Hank’s shoulder. “You got your hands full my friend. Good luck.”
Back in the pickup Essie lit into Hank. “What was that all about?” she said sharply.
Hank had a long piece of straw stuck in the corner of his mouth. He looked at Essie with wide eyes. “Nothing,” he said unassuming.  “What, Doug? That’s ….. there’s nothing.”image2-56
Hank puttered up the road and thought quietly to himself. Doug was right – he did have his work cut out for himself, Essie was spirited and self confident. That’s one of the things he really liked about her.
“You can let me out here,” said Essie interrupting Hank’s daydreaming.
“I’ll get the half moon from Mandy myself.”
Hank pulled up to the curb and reached across the passenger seat to let Essie out.
Essie jumped out and slammed the door. Hank leaned over and called out the window. “Hey Ess…?” he said.
“Can you be my girl for the Harvest Moon Celebration? I hear there’ll be dancing?”
Essie turned slowly and walked back to the pickup. She looked at Hank and said two words.



Build. Boost & Buy in Barton  – – Shop these local businesses

          Wisconsin House Woodworks

          Albiero Plumbing 

          Master Electric
           Lake Lenwood Beach and Campground

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