The Claude Rains Quilt Show

Arian Knops

The Claude Rains Quilt Show

3 mins
October 20, 2021

Okay, unless you are up there in years, like me, you have no idea who Claude Rains was or what he had, some fifty-four years after his demise, to do with a quilt show. Claude Rains was a movie actor in the first half of the twentieth century.

One of his most famous rolls was that he was the lead actor in a 1933 movie entitled The Invisible Man. Are you totally confused yet? Good.

Saturday August 7th, 2021, there was a quilt show scheduled for the Curtiss Community Center. It’s the gospel truth that there was going to be a quilt show since it was prominently advertised as such in a high-quality publication named The Sentinel and Rural News of July 27th, 2021. If you have not already lined your birdcage or started a fire with that edition you can plainly read on page 3, 2021 Summer Events Calendar, middle column, CORNERS QUIT SHOW CURTISS. It’s as clear as black ink on white paper. Only problem for my wife and I was that it wasn’t happening.

This became apparent to us when we arrived in the fine community of Curtiss, Wisconsin, a little after the 9:00 a.m. starting time and there were no, or a whole bunch of invisible, cars parked at the Curtiss Community Center.  The smarter (the female half) of this group of two weary travelers made a call to the organizer of the advertised but unhappening quilt show and she told us that the quilt show had not been scheduled for this year, but last year’s ad not removed, obviously, from the county website.  Travis, Editor of the afore-mentioned newspaper did a boo-boo, him bad. But not everything was bad. 

[Editor’s Note: It should be said, I have never really liked Arian. ~Travis]

We stopped at the Curtiss Travel Center to use the facilities and purchased four peanut butter, Salted Nut Roll, candy bars. These are a diabetic’s nightmare, but a wonderful treat for those of us who are lovers of overly sweet things.

We also did a quick tour of Curtiss, which, not being a large city, is a difficult place to get lost in. We toured some of the surrounding environs before we headed back toward home. Did I mention that the skies were emptying themselves of water during this little foray into the near hinterlands of northern Wisconsin? Bruce, our home is the true hinterlands. The deluge had started a few miles north of Cadott and we were taking it easy and in the heavy rains our van was being relieved of its coating of Rusk County dust. We outraced the storm to Curtiss, but it caught up with us while we were in the travel center.

I’m quite sure we were not the only people in the county unhappy about the rainfall. The community of Owen was having a shindig that was also being interrupted by the storm, so we were in pretty good company as far as being disappointed by the weather goes.

A former friend left his pregnant girlfriend at the altar on the morning of their scheduled wedding day because of a rainstorm. It seems the inundation on that day was severe enough to wash out the main bridge between him and his bride to be that day. The man really wanted to marry the girl since he drove nearly ninety miles, one way, along the Mississippi River before he found an intact bridge. In those days before cell phones and other instant communications he, by driving like a maniac, arrived four hours late for the nuptials. 

In the meantime, the girlfriend’s father decided that the food he had paid for was to be eaten at the appointed noon hour. If the bum who had become the invisible man left his little girl crying at the altar arrived, the meal meant to be for the wedding would be converted instantly into a meal at said bum’s funeral.

With the guests fed and happy the wedding, more than four hours late, went off okay and the only person who got to eat cake at the beginning of his meal was the groom. The rest of his meal was whatever was left over from the noon repast. 

 The next time we drive the distance we did, especially in a rainstorm, for some event we’ll, or more accurately my wife, call to make sure the event is happening. No more invisible events for us.

This article was orginally reported by
Arian Knops

Arian is a short story contributor to the Sentinel & Rural News. Arian has written two full-length thrillers which have received critical and popular acclaim. Arian lives in Bruce, WI, with his charming wife, Arlene.