It was a day for golf, fly-fishing in a nearby stream, planning a marriage, luxuriating under a brilliant sun, celebrating life.
The continuing standoff at Mount Carmel was left in the hands of the authorities, the Branch Davidians and the media. The rest of Waco had other things to do.
At a local skating rink, Laverne Daly of Mexia devoted her morning to spending quality time with her 3-year-old granddaughter, Alysha Donaho.
“She just had her very first skating lesson,” Daly beamed. “We’ve been planning this for about a month. She skated a full hour. I’m so proud of her.”
Because of Alysha’s age, Daly was initially a bit concerned.
“After I saw her on the floor – smiling and everything – I felt fine,” she said. “I think I had as much fun watching her as she had skating. Anything that pleases her, pleases me.”
Jenny Cox of McGregor spent the early part of her Saturday at Silk ‘N Satin Bridal Creations. The soon-to-be bride was having her wedding dress altered.
“Let me have you walk,” the shop owner instructed Cox, who wore a white short-sleeved, heavily beaded gown, complete with a V-neck in the front and back.
Cox, whose marriage is set for May 15, said she hasn’t had time to think about much other than the wedding preparations.
“There’s just so much to do. You don’t think about other stuff,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m excited, but I’m overwhelmed by all I have to do.”
The groom, Dennis Le Boeuf, is a student at McLennan Community College. Cox attends a court reporting school in Austin. Her mother, Becky Cox, joked that: “She may be taking (cult leader) Vernon Howell’s statement in court one day.”
At Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, Alice Green, 21, of Waco recuperated after the birth of a son on Thursday night. D.R. Green, her second child, weighed in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce.
“I feel great,” the new mother said Saturday evening. “I have him here with me right now. He’s sleeping.
“When everything else seems so bad, I look at him and I see what I’ve done. I know I’ve made a miracle.”
Even though Green’s son was born during the Mount Carmel standoff, she said it’s not one of the things she’ll remember years from now.
“It won’t affect our lives unless we let it,” she said. “We may joke about it happening during the time of his birth, but I don’t see it as anything major.”
Green and her family were not the only ones celebrating Saturday.
At Peter Pipers Pizza, 7-year-old Cody Stires and his soon-to-be 8-year-old brother, Christopher, played games and ate pizza in honor of their birthdays.
“They’re having a blast,” said Belynda Stires, their mother. “I’m going to take them to Toys R Us after this and let them each pick out a birthday gift.”
Also Saturday, several hundred people flowed in and out of the Convention Center, where the first Central Texas African American Expo was held. The exposition featured African American clothes, portraits, books, arts and crafts and a host of other products.
A number of people at the expo said they were impressed by the number of exhibitors and quality of the goods.
“I think this is great because we’ve never have anything like this in Waco, and most major cities have,” said Tammie Jackson, 26. “There’s a wide variety of very nice things. I hope they continue to have it every year.”
There were a lot of things to like in Waco on Saturday. The golf courses were swinging, traffic surged and stopped, then surged and stopped some more in the shopping areas and for five hours a man and his fished with flies in a chilly stream.
“We didn’t see a fish the whole time,” he confided. “But it was a good time.”