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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

The experience of Colorama

Jess Shut Up


I have vivid memories of our local festival. The week-long wait as a child drove all the kids crazy. Watching day by day as carnival rides showed up and slowly erected themselves into something magical and astounding. Seeing trucks pulling horse trailers arriving to Coulee Country, ending their long journey in Delano, where we would all go to see the cowboys and cowgirls ride the beasts. Then there were the bands, floats and princesses from around the state that would crowd our little streets and delight us on a Saturday morning. That is when we knew for sure that, yes, Colorama is here.

It is here again. It takes a different tone as an adult. When you have younger children, Colorama is something fresh and new for them. But we soon realize as adults that, man, Colorama can be spendy. And as those kids grow into teens we become “The Bank of Mom and Dad,” and this time we are not even allowed to be within a football field of their location. But we do steal a moment with them from time to time over the weekend, and we cherish it.

Then soon, without any warning, our kids have kids. The excitement of Colorama blooms again as we spoil the young ones, but this time as grandparents (I am not one yet by the way) and we find that joy again that we felt as children ourselves. We see the smiles, the cotton-candy cherub cheeks. We see the astonishment at the size of a bucking bull. We see them cover their ears as the marching band goes by, playing loud and strong. We find ourselves remembering and smiling with them.

But we cannot forget the mothers, sometimes forgotten on a Colorama weekend. Mothers who usually put their foot down on Sunday and say, “Today is mine.” Although they deserve 364 more days to be recognized, most will give them their morning breakfast, their bouquet of flowers and their homemade gift from school. They will receive the hugs and the mushy cards that make our allergies kick in (it must be the dust). Phone calls will be made; love will be poured out upon them.

Thank you, mothers everywhere. From Wild Rose, North Dakota to Electric City, Washington; from a suburb in Maryland to Coulee Dam; from a small village in Africa to a military base in Japan. Happy Mother’s Day. We will never know all you did or do, but we thank you from our hearts.

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