The grand dames of Appleton gather for the August parade.
They wear fat hydrangea corsages, tip begonia bonnets and wave their gloved hands gracefully at people passing by.
They creak a little from time to time but maintain an enviable and intimidating posture as they bid their neighbors, “Come! Have a cool glass of lemony iced tea and a fresh baked cookie or two.”
The stories they tell!
That one once hosted Edna Ferber, beat reporter for the Daily Crescent. And that one (so impolite to point! I’ll just nod my head in that direction and you’ll know which one I mean) once served tea to Amos Story and his family just after that awkward 1858 mayoral election during which Amos beat Anson Ballard (who also happened to be his son in-law).
We almost lost the one in the corner, but a little love and some good, strong lumber brought her back to life.
These past few years have taught us all to appreciate once again the beauty and functionality of a sound front porch. I’ve written about my affection for them before.
Recently, I’ve become even more entranced with their ability to offer both safety and sociability.
I think they’re lovely in any season.
But, they wear their finest in August, their hibiscus standing sentry, hanging baskets lush with flowers offering an enticing combination of shade and mischief, cushioned swings swaying in a welcome afternoon breeze.
Treat yourself to a stroll through the Appleton City Park Historic District and listen to the stories those cool old porches tell.
They practically burst with lushness and color.