I went to a county carnival tonight. Cotton candy. Pretzels. Bratwurst. Pork rinds. Barbecue. Loaded fries. Tacos. Heartburn.

I saw hospital employees. Security. ER. Education. Registration. EMS. Service Excellence. Orthopedics. ICU.

I watched parents dance with kids. I petted a Dalmatian. There was an old white man with a cane. There was a young black girl in a dress. There was harmony in the air.

The librarian chatted with the chamber director. A firefighter called me by name. I shook hands with an employee from my bank who used to deliver orders from my printer.

I spoke with a former hospice employee who now works at a funeral home, and I wondered to myself where he’ll work next.

I wore my John Emerald hat while drinking a beer from Red Clay while listening to music at Resting Pulse. I spoke with friends on the sidewalk separating Smith T Hardware from the bricks of North Railroad Avenue. I listened as the train conductor blew his whistle while speeding westward just a pint away from Whistle Stop Brewing.

Six college girls walked by. Four college boys followed. There wore short shorts and long sweaters. There were bell bottoms and midriffs. A teen boy wore a sweatshirt reading “I LOVE Hot Moms.”

The weather was delightful. The crowd was enthusiastic. The vendors wished the night would never end. 

This was Food Truck Friday in Opelika. This was America at its finest.