July 4th festivities return, Woodruff-style

Slides from left to right:
Team Woodruff shows off its trophy after earning the gold at the Eastside Games.
Nora Pidgeon and Charlotte Powers in the Fourth of July parade.
Patriotic paraders take part in the Fourth of July festivities.
The Woodruff Place Town Hall served as the parade’s finish line
Wheelbarrow racers prepare for the start of the competition.

Note: The monthly report from the Woodruff Place Civic League came in far too late for incorporation into the neighborhood pages of Urban Times. The material is offered here, instead.

Craig Bowen, Rhys Miller and Jake Miller in the parade.

After the pandemic canceled many annual traditions, Woodruffians were once again able to resume their traditional Fourth of July schedule. The Lawnchair Brigade and the Umbrella Chicks led the parade of decorated buggies, pets, lawn chairs, golf carts, bikes and cars – with the parade wrapping up at Town Hall for the traditional recognition of the nation’s flag, including the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.

The beloved wheelbarrow race also returned, with East Drive winning the gold this year. Neighbors offered poems in honor of the event:

By Sally Cook of East Drive
Sally once had a shiny red wheelbarrow
Treated quite badly, poor fellow.
It became very dusty,
Worse still it was rusty.
So she scrubbed it with grease of the elbow.
Clean again, her wheelbarrow nearly rehabbed
Just a few droplets with sunlight to be dabbed.
She rolled it out to the alley.
Are you ready for the finale?
Turned her back, a scavenger the
wheelbarrow grabbed.

By Missy Ellis of East Drive
so much depends upon
a safe wheelbarrow
careening around the east
drive fountain
breathless occupant huddled
runner panting
revelers catch popsicle drips
and wait to hear who won

By Brent Roberts of East Drive
How doth the little wheelbarrow
Improve a troublesome yard
And ease the bone and marrow
From working overly hard!
How cheerfully one improves their place,
How quickly tames the beast,
And ushering nobly in a race.
But mostly for those on East!

Esplanade urns adorned with generosity

Woodruff Place’s historic urns are planted and cared for by neighborhood volunteers. Urn “owners” gather at Town Hall each May to choose plants and flowers provided by the Woodruff Place Civic League, which is primarily funded by neighborhood fundraisers such as the Flea Market. However, given the lack of a fundraisers in 2020 and a decreased budget from the Civic League, an appeal was made to the neighborhood instead to fund the seasonal esplanade ornamentation.

The following neighbors donated to raise more than $1,000 for the urn plantings: Matt Belsaas, Rob Dickinson, Missy Ellis, Roel Hinojosa, Christopher Ingram, Steve Martz, Debbie Pidgeon, Cynthia Bush Tornquist and Jeff Watt. 

Schlegel Greenhouse generously provided the plants at-cost to the neighborhood. A special thanks to Caleb Schlegal (West Drive) for helping to coordinate the donation.

The Civic League is also grateful to a number of neighborhood urn volunteers who purchased and donated plants for their urns on their own.

Woodruff Place takes first at Eastside Games

Since 2015, Woodruff Place had only ever finished in third place in the Eastside Games. After this long victory drought, Saturday, June 26, marked an especially historic day for the neighborhood as Team Woodruff captured first place and the championship trophy for the 2021 Eastside Games.

Woodruff’s kids and seniors carried the neighborhood to victory with a final score of 75. Englewood took the silver medal with 39 points, and P.R. Mallory the bronze with 28 points.