Mendon May Day— 1998
Mendon City Council Meeting— Janae Jepsen will be chairperson for May Day this year.
Mendon City Council Meeting— Gayle Miller will be over the May pole this year.
Ward Bulletin Announcement: The time for Mendon’s May Day celebration is fast approaching. It will be held Saturday, May 2 on the town square. Practices for the Maypole dance will begin Monday, March 30 off the bus at the church. All girls from Mendon, Petersboro and Cobblestone who are in first through fifth grade are eligible to dance. Practices will be every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and will last until approximately 4:30 p.m. A meeting for all the mothers of Maypole dancers will be Sunday, March 29 at 5:15 p.m. in the Relief Society room at the church. For more information call Gayle Miller.
May Day— This year's Mendon May Day festivities will begin on Friday, May 1, with a dance at the church from 8 to 11:30 p.m. for ages 14 and up, best dress and ties are required. Saturday will see the crowning of our May Queen, Traci Woodbrey, at 10:00 a.m. followed by the maypole dance, program, food and other activities at the town square. For information call 435-753-1077 or see the web site: www. pcu.net/web/mendon.
“May Day” — Ushered in by Mendon City. Festivities begin Friday with a dance at the church from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Ages 14 and up, best dress and ties are required. Saturday the May Queen (Traci Woodbrey) will be crowned at 10:00 a.m. followed by the maypole dance, programs, food and other activities at the town square.
The 54 Maypole Dancers for 1998—
|Cali Wilcox||Katie Spence||Shaundi Neal||Brieanne Cartee|
|Kami Cressall||Alexa Warren||Mara Miller||Sydney Pitcher|
|Angie Velazquez||DeLayne Locke||Cassie Saltern||Cassidy Ellis|
|Alyssa Shelton||Holly Hardman||Adriana Velazquez||Kassie Raftery|
|Heather Hardman||Brooke Luke||Ashley Buck||Mindy Whiting|
|Alana Pollak||McKenzie King||Alexis Maughan||Sadie-Anne Christiansen|
|Heidi Hardman||Krystal Miller||Brittany Morgan||Holly Morgan|
|Michelle Brandley||Kirstin Knowles||Rachel Baker||Jennessa James|
|Ayrowyn Tanner||Megan Zobell||Carrie Hardman||Jessie Saltern|
|Nicole Gordon||Kristine Lindbloom||Kristen Muir||Heidi Brandley|
|Shalissa Hepner||Lindsey Cressall||Anna Baker||Ashley Bird|
|Cathy Spring||Jessica Lang||Lyssa Bevan||Chelsea Jepsen|
|Caitlin Jones||Avenlea Harris||Haley Jones||Nikki Krebs|
|Claire Gibbons||Lindsey Larson|
May Day Speaker— May Day 1998— First of all I would like to thank Janae for aging me another 10 years asking me to speak today. Before her call I didn’t consider myself old enough t be the speaker for May Day. Then Earl and I toyed with the idea that perhaps the May Day committee was afraid that we wouldn’t show up to the celebration this year because Earl is no longer mayor. However I can put their minds at ease, I haven’t missed a May Day in my entire life, even though that lifetime hasn’t been as long as they may think it has been. All kidding aside I am honored with this assignment.
Janae wanted me to share some of my happy May Day memories with you. That is an easy assignment because all of my May Day memories are happy ones. I was quite content planning a talk about memories when my daughter Shara told me that she had been visiting with some newcomers (anyone who hasn’t lived in Mendon at least 20 years). These fine folks hadn’t yet caught the vision of May Day. They didn’t understand why soccer games were canceled, and why they had to buy Maypole dresses for the little girls, and just what all the “fuss” was, about May Day. Well this conversation breathed a new life into my talk because I now realized the solemn obligation I have to teach the newcomers the significance of our town celebration that is over 150 years old. Just the fact that it has endured 150 years tells you something about the quality of celebration we have here. Mendon folks have been welcoming the springtime together for over 150 years.
If we were to go back in time to the beginning of Mendon we would find a courageous lot of early settlers. These fine pioneers left the good life to come west. Many left beautiful homes and family members. They left behind pays, art galleries, cultural events, and all of the finer things of their day and age. I’m proud of those pioneers for establishing a celebration of life, and springtime, and happy times with family and friends. Into this mix they threw a lovely young queen and her court, darling little girls, in matching May Day dresses, dancing the maypole. Fun songs to sing about spring and blossoms. I know I always find myself humming or singing the May Day songs as the blossoms appear and spring arrives. I can only imagine how it must have been for the early settlers who made it through the winter. Cache Valley winters can be long and cold with furnaces to keep our homes warm and cars to take us places, try to imagine winter without those luxuries we can’t survive without. Imagine how their hearts must have swelled with joy when spring finally arrived. Surely they had cause to celebrate!
Now I don’t want to compare Mendon to any of our fine neighboring communities but consider for a moment with me: May Day and Wellsville’s sham battle, Hyrum has to use the countries birthday, poor Logan can’t decide what to celebrate, many of our neighbors celebrate pioneer day, Smithfield was so jealous of May Day that they started celebrating Health Days, and then there is Richmond honoring the cow! I know it takes a great deal of effort to host a celebration and we should be proud that ours is the gem of the entire state of Utah.
My next bit of advice for the newcomers who maybe haven’t yet caught the May Day vision is to get involved! Be part of the celebration.
When I was a little girl I honestly thought for sure that May Day was a religious holiday. At that time Mendon had only one ward and the Sunday school presidency was in charge of planning and carrying out the activities for the celebration.
Everything occurred on the same day. The crowning of the queen, dancing the maypole and the program were in the morning. Then everyone went home for lunch. The afternoon revolved around games and races for the kids. The children’s dance began at 2:0 in the basement of the old church. There was a bandstand in the corner that would bounce to the music of the Mendon Jazz band. My mother would usually give me one dollar for the day. That was enough money to buy lots of goodies at the make shift food stands. The ladies of town would prepare barbecues, salads, cakes, pies, cookies and candies to sell. It was such a fun time. One year we had a parade for May Day. Another novelty that I remember was the year we had a small carnival come to town for May Day. However that was a once in a lifetime experience —too many town folks didn’t like the carnival atmosphere that it brought. It seems that there have always been ball games connected with May Day afternoon. The grand finale of the day was the May Day dance for adults at 9:00 p.m. on May Day night. What a glorious day, so jam-packed that nothing else could possibly fit.
We loved dancing the maypole. For most of us it was our only formal dance training. It was fun to have matching dresses. Back then we usually got May Day dresses and not Easter dresses.
In 1964 it was my groups turn to be the queen’s court. We were freshmen in high school, so some of us taller people towered over their escorts. It was a wise decision to change the age of the queen’s court to juniors in high school, that gives the boys a chance to grow taller than the maids of honor. I would be lying id I told you that I was happy for Mary Jean Willie to be May Queen! Those of you who haven’t been drawn out of that “hat” know exactly what I mean. From the time I was in the first grade I had sung “Vicky, our Vicky is queen of the May” and that was the way it was supposed to be … there had to be some mistake, I was totally crushed. Young teenage girls can come up with some pretty mean lyrics to the May Day songs to sing under their breaths when everyone else is singing “Mary Jean is queen of the May.” At this time it was the custom for the queen’s family to provide a dinner for the queen’s court. If the family didn’t feel that they could provide the dinner then someone else would be chosen queen. Well of course Margene Willie made us a wonderful May Day diner. This was the most elegant meal I had ever attended in the presence of my peers. I was shocked that the boys our age could actually act civilized in a group setting. They didn’t even spill down their fronts, or profane, or be gross or anything like that. Earl and I have had the pleasure of dining with at least 10 other queen’s courts since that time, and all of you mothers will be relieved to know that your young men have behaved them selves in an admirable manner. Of course it goes without saying that your young ladies were always young ladies. We have always taken pride in the fine your in Mendon.
I think that the May Day vision caught hold of Earl when we had three little girls dancing the maypole. It has been my experience that this is often the hook that gets newcomers. The dancers are so adorable, how can anyone go away with anything but happy feelings about this day.
Well with three daughters you would think that the odds were in your favor for having at least one May queen. However this was not to be. I had to revive my long forgotten mean May Day song lyrics. I remember the night that Earl left to draw the queen, out of the hat, for Shara’s group. I tried to bribe him to place only Shara’s name in the hat. He wouldn’t take a bribe, not even from his own wife. In retrospect I know that I was more disappointed than any of my daughters about them not being picked queen. I have six little granddaughters, some of them live here in Mendon. What do you think my odds are for having a May Queen?
For the past sixteen years my “newcomer” caught the May Day vision and more. As mayor we became immersed in May Day. I was so thankful this morning that Earl couldn’t make me lead the procession with him around the maypole.
Mayday is a time of celebration— a time to honor our youth. It is a celebration of all that is good and wholesome in all of us.
— Vicky Kay Sorensen Doolittle