Ghosts, Old Cars, and Chicken Poop Gambling… Buncom Day

Everybody loves a parade, especially ones that feature old cars, marching bands and wild animals.

Everybody loves a parade, especially parades that feature old cars, marching bands and wild animals.

Peggy and I live out in the country. As kids we would have referred to our area as the boonies or sticks. Given that we have a million acres of trees in our backyard, “sticks” seems particularly appropriate. Needless to say, things move more slowly here than they do in the city.

This bumper sticker says it all for country living.

This bumper sticker says it all for country living.

Yesterday we went to one of our areas major annual events, Buncom Day. As one might expect, there was food, old cars, musicians, a parade and ghost hunters. So what if the parade was only a half block long and was repeated four times. As for the ghost hunters, Buncom is an Old West ghost town, so naturally it has ghosts. What else would you expect? I was even privileged to listen to the voice of a ghost that had been recorded in one of the town’s three remaining buildings. He was upset that someone would want to kill him. Peggy went hunting for the ghost.

Buncom Day Parade in Southern Oregon

You are witnessing the beginning and the ending of the Buncom Day Parade. Entrants would reach the stop sign on the right and turn around to begin all over.

The parade featured old cars (6 of them)...

The parade featured old cars (6 of them)…

Fiddlers at the Buncom Day Parade in Southern Oregon

A marching band of fiddlers…

A ferocious cougar (mascot for Ruch Elementary School)...

A ferocious cougar (mascot for Ruch Elementary School)…

Buncom Day Parade

And a friendly mule. Check out the eyelashes!

Ghost hunting in Buncom, Oregon

Ghost hunting has become a popular activity world-wide. It seems like every community has at least one. Since Buncom is a ghost town, we had two separate groups competing to find ghosts. This shot reflects some of the paraphernalia modern ghost hunters with the Oregon Society of the Paranormal use.

Ghost hunting in Buncom Oregon

Peggy listens carefully for ghosts in the old building that once was a store. Earlier I had listened to a ghost one of the groups had recorded in the store.

Everyone who was anyone was present, including the editor of my upcoming book and the editor of Southern Oregon’s major newspaper, The Tribune. He rode on a tractor in the parade and had a hand painted sign announcing who he was.

I found my editor, Margaret, who teaches graduate English and writing courses at Southern Oregon University, at Buncom Day. "Why aren't you at home editing?" Why aren't you at home writing?"

Margaret, who teaches graduate English and writing courses at Southern Oregon University and is editing my upcoming book on my Peace Corps experience, was also at Buncom Day. “Why aren’t you at home editing?” Why aren’t you at home writing?”

Bob Hunter, Editor of the Medford Triune at the Buncom Day Parade.

Bob Hunter, editor of the Medford Tribune, was also in the parade riding a tractor and carrying his own hand printed sign.

Plus there was gambling, serious gambling. Everybody bet on the numbers, even the kids. You might want to try this in your community. First line a large sheet of paper and put numbers on the squares created. Second, place the paper in the bottom of a chicken pen. Third, have people bet on their favorite numbered square. Fourth, place a well-fed chicken in the pen. Whichever square the chicken poops on is the winner.

Chicken splat gambling at Buncom, Oregon

The rules to Buncom’s world-famous gambling game of Chicken Splat. Watch out Las Vegas!

Chicken Splat gambling at Buncom, Oregon

Our neighbor carefully places his bets.

Chicken participant in Chicken Splat gambling at Buncom, Oregon

The well-fed chicken prepares to do her part…

Chicken Splat Gambling at Buncom

And leaves her mark on square number 18. Neither our neighbor nor Peggy won.

You might say we are easily entertained out in the sticks. When we returned home, one of our neighbors plopped down at the edge of our back porch to hear all about the day. She was all ears.

One of the 16 or so deer that consider our yard part of our home territory. This young doe plopped down in our back yard about 10 feet away from me and appeared to be listening to what I had to tell her about Buncom.

One of the 16 or so deer that consider our yard part of our home territory. This young doe plopped down in our back yard about 10 feet away from me and listened to what I had to tell her about Buncom Day.

NEXT BLOG: Honoring Memorial Day by returning to the Revolutionary War. After that I will return to Barcelona.

11 comments on “Ghosts, Old Cars, and Chicken Poop Gambling… Buncom Day

  1. This sounds like so much fun. Reminds of me when I used to live in the tiny town of Atlin (far NW BC) – Canada Day Parade and party each summer. Our parade was better than yours ha ha 🙂

  2. I don’t know about the chicken poop but I know a couple of ladies that would love those lashes on the horse… 🙂 Fun post!!!

    ps I hope Peggy doesn’t get too obsessed and hires a psychic.

  3. Well I loved the marching fiddlers.. it’s not easy to walk and play fiddle at the same time.. These small town events are so much more fun than big hooplas..As for that chicken, never heard of poop square before..tee-hee!
    That doe is precious..

    • I think the chicken had a record. (grin) As soon as they put her in the pen, she let go. I think she wanted to get back to eating. As for the yearling doe, her mom brought her around as a fawn and she has been hanging around off and on since. She likes to sleep on our porch and in one of Peggy’s flower beds.

  4. Never seen the chicken bingo, but cow patty bingo? Oh, yeh. The principle’s the same, of course, but the cows require a bigger “card”, which means more fence for folks to lean on/sit on while they’re waiting for something to happen.

    My personal favorites are antique farm implement parades, but if there’s a kazoo and a snocone, I’m there!

    • Ack… Cow patty bingo… a 2000 pound grass eating machine letting go. Back up folks. There was one old tractor in our parade… So you might say that 15 % of the parade was composed of antique farm implements… 🙂

  5. Absolutely Wonderful! We would feel right at home there….And I have a chicken that could make sure there are LOTS of winners.

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