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Right There – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday early evening (Montreal time, anyway).  It is time for Friday Fictioneers.  I fear I have once again gone down memory lane.  It was that or bring in Tannille‘s muse for a repartee over here.  I chose the former.  Thank you, always, to Rochelle for holding the door for us and inviting us in to play week after week.  This week, thanks go to Ronda Del Boccio for the use of her photo. Should you want to play along, click on the frog below and add your link.

©Ronda Del Boccio

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Right There

Dad loved gathering his family for barbecues in the summer, serving his “world-famous ribs” (to us), his mother’s Minute Rice salad, baked sweet potatoes and other delicious goodies.  I often brought dessert.

Every August, the International Balloon Festival of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where Dad lived, was held.  If we were lucky, and the winds were acquiescent, they flew directly over his house.  Why pay an entrance fee, with no guarantee they would fly, when you could watch for free?

I’ll never forget the time we heard a loud “PSSSSSSSHHHHHTTT” that made us jump out of our skin.

There was one RIGHT THERE.


Sadly, I cannot find a picture I took of one that was right there because it must be in another hard drive.  Oh well. Trust me.. It looked as close (almost) as this one!

148 thoughts on “Right There – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Fun piece. We have the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October every year. I’m curious if it will get cancelled this year because of Covid. It’s big with up to 500 balloons and more than double the population of the metro area streaming in for the event.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Dale,

    I thoroughly enjoyed the flight over Memory Lane. And I would read while hungry. Alas ribs are not on our menu this evening. Well written in true Dalectable style.

    Shalom and lotsa airy hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Glad you enjoyed my trip. Dad’s ribs were the best. And now I have a hankering for that rice salad, too. Hmmm….

      Shalom and lotsa lofty love,


      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love memory lane. Your piece reminded me of the time we were sitting outside and a parachute jumper landed in our backyard. There were no surprises on our end as we pointed and watched as he gracefully glided down. Apparently, he missed his mark which makes sense due to the fact that it was 50 miles south of us. Poor guy. We loaded him and his chute up and drove him back to the annual jumpers contest. Needless to say, he did not win.

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  4. Q

    So you mean to tell me you guys paid wholesale for this retail event? I love it when that happens! Seriously, it’s like living in back of a drive in or a ball yard and never having to pay the entrance fee! That’s what bonus round is all about bebe, and no matter that you didn’t have the applicable pic to go along with this challenge. Your hundred words more than painted the scene up for us.


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  5. Very important question … were your dad’s ribs well-sauced?

    The reason I ask is that over the last couple of years, I’ve went on a search of good BBQ. And the BBQ I had when I was kids was well-sauced. Whether it was chicken or ribs, my dad put them on the grill and sauced them while they cooked. Brushing sauce on them each time he turned them, so that when the meat came to the table it was … sauced, dammit. But I go to all of these local BBQ joints and the meat comes to the table dry and, to me, that just isn’t BBQ because of the way I was raised.

    What say you?

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  6. Your Dad did things right. I understand the pleasure, simple , delicious and all right characters needed -his children.,

    Have you ever been in a balloon? There grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat.

    Getting in and taking position laying flat on your back in a tipped over basket awaiting for the pilot to pull the cord, is well nerve wrecking an a huge adrenaline rush. Once in the air, you go by the wind, stealth until the balloon needs a blast of heat. Oh the landing, nothing more than a controlled crash landing in a field, God only knows where.

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    • He did. Nothing made him happier than to have his girls, sons-in-law and grandkids all together.

      No, darn it. Was supposed to when he opened his Re/Max office and then something happened and well… we didn’t.

      I would love to one day. Especially now that I read your description.


  7. Good memories. The balloons used to land in the school playing field at the back of my parents. Always fun to watch. But when they let out that air to descend… and you didn’t realise they were there… right out of the skin… 🙂

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  8. What a fun memory, Dale! I would definitely have jumped at that sound. I thought at first you meant it was going to crash. I’m sure the memories of those family barbecues are all wonderful, but this one is extra memorable. (And how do you have a memory for every photo?) 😀

    Here’ s a fun fact for you. Did you know the first hot air balloon flight in America took place in 1793, leaving from Philadelphia and crashing in a farmer’s field not too far from where I live?

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  9. What amazes me always is how Americans and Canadians have re-used so very often names of famous places from their former homes maybe. Just look at your father’s place. Could have been anywhere in France or whatever. Sometimes I read an American novel and thought for the longest time the ‘act’ was playing in ‘my’ London, Birmingham, Berlin or whatnot…. In CH there is also a very famous balloon festival in Château-d’Oex in the Vaudois Alps. It’s held in January and I’ve yet to be able to see one in real time. Love the balloons…. another one of my Bucket List. A friend in the UK did her first (and last) flight with 88 or so years….. I’ve yet some time! 🙂


    • It makes sense when you think of it. They emigrate from France or Great Britain and so, we end up with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Namur (my grandmother lived in Namur, Québec and I know there is one in Brussels…)
      In August, just going to St-Jean, you see the sky dotted with them. So pretty. I was hoping to go up one, one day…

      Liked by 2 people

  10. We had a balloon land in our road once, right outside our house! It was enormous, and the half-collapsed balloon took up the entire road. Fortunately they got it airborne again. Thanks for reminding me of that.

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  11. This brings back wonderful memories. I went to a Balloon Festival in Greenwood Mississippi, my old hometown, while visiting my parents. I loved the evening after dark when they fired up the flames that give the balloon its lift off.

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  12. What a fun read…and I know this story as we live in the Balloon Capital of the World (Albuquerque, New Mexico)…almost every day, balloons fly literally overhead…so many balloons and so often, that sadly, most people don’t even look up. But I always do – love to see the magic. 🙂

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  13. Yes. there is a hot air balloon company nearby that offer trips. Often the balloon comes down in a local field and the farmer gets gifted a bottle of whisky for the trouble. If it was me I would charge a landing fee and put on coffee and cakes for the passenger.

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  14. Lovely story, Dale. I so enjoy the photos of delectable plates of food you post on Facebook. If I lived next door to you I’d probably weigh 500 lbs. I bet that was freaky having a balloon exhale above your house.

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  15. Golly Dale! Things were very idyllic. So when I heard “PSSSSSSSHHHHHTTT” I though it was losing its air, and landed on you all!
    Whew! You had me shivering in my slippers.
    Memory lane works out well for you!

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  16. Those memories are precious. Some of my favorite memories are of backyard barbecues accompanied by yard games, croquet, badminton, Wiffle Ball…

    I’d never seen a hot-air balloon until I moved here. Every August, there’s a weekend where they fly en masse. There are some really cool designs. The best I’ve seen was a Darth Vader head.

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    • They really are. I miss our BBQs at my dad’s.

      Every August (obviously, not this one) the festival has hundreds of them and yes, they have the coolest designs!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I swear, Linda… there are days 😉

      It was surprising because while we were hoping to see some close, we didn’t see this one arrive! We did jump out of our skin!

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