The Johnson Family has been having fun, fun, fun here in Omaha, and we didn’t even need to get a Thunderbird. On Tuesdays for the last month or two, Hannah (now 18 months) has been having fun participating in “Mud Pies” at the Fontenelle Nature Center. It’s a program for small children where they can explore the outdoors, paint pictures, and yes, even make mud pies. It’s been a fun weekly activity for her and a chance to spend quality time with Grammy.
On Thursday last week, Friendship Program had its Senior Prom. Vivian was able to recruit me to come and take pictures of staff and participants in front of an archway of balloons she’d made up with her co-workers. They also had a singing, dancing DJ to help get everyone up on their feet. Everyone dressed up and had a great time, including Vivian and me. I have to admit it’s great to be involved with such a fun organization!
On Saturday, Vivian and I were bored, and she happened to discover that the Beach Boys were going to be in town performing a free concert to a crowd of 17,000 at the new River Edge Park in Council Bluffs, an area that had literally been underwater not more than two years ago. They also had a special guest performing — John Stamos! Yes, Uncle Jesse from Full House made an appearance to a crowd of squealing women of the eighties. There were people of all ages in the crowd, but the baby boomers seemed to be the liveliest, kicking up their heels and starting conga lines at random during different songs.
Mulberry Lane, a local girl group, was also on hand for the opening and closing acts. Then the Beach Boys managed to play every song from the their extensive catalog —Kokomo, Barbara Ann, I Get Around, Surfer Girl, California Girls, Be True to Your School, and of course Fun, Fun, Fun. John Stamos even sang Forever, the song his character sang to Becky during their wedding on Full House. He also made a point of thanking veterans in the crowd in recognition of Memorial Day, bringing one soldier up on stage to have a brief jam session in front of the crowd. It was a very thorough performance to say the least. All it needed were a few original beach boys other than Mike Love (but that’s another story).
Oh yes, it was also Memorial Day weekend, so we had a few picnics to attend as well. Jenny and a few of her friends went on their annual bike ride to Silver City and back, and then they crashed at Jon Paper’s house afterward for a makeshift barbecue. Vivian and I dropped by with Hannah and got another picture of her sitting on the stump we propped her on a year ago, making for a cute comparison. There was plenty of football tossing and food to go around, and after we were done, Richard had to get weighed in to see how big that watermelon was that we never even touched.
The next day, Vivian had a big reunion picnic with the gang from her old bible study at BCC. One stray member, Jenn, had moved to North Carolina, but was visiting long enough for a reunion of sorts. It was the first time the “gang” had gotten together in quite a while. Some members such as Kevin and Bob had gone off to have enormous families of their own, so we had plenty of kiddos on hand for Hannah to play with (she mostly just wanted to play on the slide). Others such as Tim and Amy had moved away briefly but had somehow moved back, and others such as Matthew, Venche, and Vivian had never really left —they just needed a catalyst such as Jenn to bring everyone back together. It was a fun evening of playing games and catching up before the sun went down.