Last weekend we had a tent erected in our back yard so we could celebrate our last child's marriage. I love watching tents go up!
This is the last of our children to marry so I imagine it will be the last time we see a tent go up. Fortunately, with the price of restaurants around here, it offers a nice alternative for a large party and we've enjoyed using the yard for receptions. But the real fun of the whole tent thing is in watching the process of putting them up.
First they haul out a huge canvas bag and empty it in the middle of the yard. This is tougher than it sounds because it's heavy and it takes three men to manage it. Then they roll out the tent canvas one way, then pull it the other - much like the process we see whenever it begins to rain at a major league ballpark. Once its all laid out they start pounding spikes into the ground in various places, then attaching ropes to the 4x4 framing pieces, and one section at a time the canvas is brought up on the supports. The final support is the tall one in the middle which makes the peak of the tent, and that takes some extra help in the form of a huge mallet which they use to hammer the bottom until its nice and vertical.
It's a great, entertaining thing to watch and each time I've sat on my deck doing just that. And as I watch, I can hear the soundtrack from the movie "Dumbo" playing in my head. I see the elephants pulling the canvas up, and the roustabouts hammering the spikes into the dirt, and I hear that music - every time! I really love watching a tent go up...