Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Love A Parade! Really?

I actually think I do love a parade.  I watch and enjoy just about every one that happens around here.  But if you ask my regular companions you'll quickly learn that I often ask, "Why do we do this?"  I mean we fight crowds, bake in the sun, wait and wait; all to be deafened by sirens and jet engines.  We watch a bunch of half baked floats and every politician from here to Heber.  The vendors who drag their coaster wagons behind four-wheelers don't ever vend anything that appeals to me.  I always bring money just in case, but the last time I bought anything was 1994.  I quite often get angry when people don't stand for the flag or show respect for the Veterans. And then I worry about the American Legion.  They're all getting way old and no body my age, AKA Vietnam Vets, seems to be picking up the baton. Who will present flags from a grateful nation to these guy's widows?

I was in a parade once.  Sweetie and I were headed for Blanding and found ourselves driving down Main Street in Moab.  We hadn't gone far when we discovered the street lined with spectators, even some crowded bleachers.  Then we began to notice a number of hot rods in the traffic.  At a stop light we found ourselves next to a particularly obnoxious rod with a giant air scoop on the hood and flames painted on it side.  He was lettin' her rumble.  There was a baby asleep in his back seat.  How'd he do that?  We couldn't even run the dishwasher without waking ours up.  Sweetie rolled down the window, risking permanent ear damage and asked the fellow what was going on.

"You're in a parade lady." was his answer.

We found out later that there'd been a big car show in town and at it's conclusion everyone would drag main in their show cars for one last hoorah!  It had become such a tradition that the whole town showed up for the spectacle.

Sweetie began to enjoy the parade from this perspective and got out the video camera to record the crowd as we passed by.  Back home when we were viewing the video the scene passed a fellow standing on the back row of a grand stand holding a sign which read, "Show us your boobs."  Sweetie gasped and asked why I hadn't warned her about it.

"Well, why would I?  I didn't want you to show him your boobs?"  Fortunately, I was out of swat range for that one.

We both remarked that being in the parade was every bit as fascinating as watching one.  There's the whole town on display, sitting in lawn chairs, marinating in their own sweat and reacting in various ways to the spectacle parading by.

So it was today, as I pulled the Ward float in the Pioneer Day Parade.  They'd asked for a volunteer driver during Priesthood Meeting on Sunday and I had gladly raised my hand.  Had I known how pathetic our float was, I'd have realized why the Bishop, a truck driver, had opted to delegate this one to someone else.  Our float's theme, of provident living, featured a huge pink piggy bank.  It so scarcely resembled a pig though, that it's creators had put a sign on it's side indicating what it was supposed to be.  At it's best it couldn't have been too impressive, but shortly after its creation it suffered a cloud burst in the church parking lot that did something to the crepe paper that resembling a Mary Kay Cosmetics factory after a hurricane.

My son-in-law, whose daughter rode on the float, refused to accompany me.  He has a reputation to uphold I guess.  Hey, aside from the pig and scribbled poster paper signs along the edge, with nothing else to doll it up, the float was adorned with gorgeous children and a beautiful newly-wed couple and it turned out to be a masterpiece in a barn wood frame.  It definitely looked like it was built on a shoe string.  Even the trailer was homemade and rusty.  We should have posted a sign to read the old adage of thrift:   Use it up. Wear it out.  Make it do.  Or do without.  In that light we nailed it.

This year marks 100 years of Scouting in America.  The Scouts turned out en mass to march in their uniforms.  My grandson, a Cub Scout rode his bike.  He circled our rig the whole length of the parade.  What a kick to see him showing of his newly developed tricks.

Once again I loved watching the crowd as we made our leisurely way down Main Street.  Still, I missed the Drill Team on unicycles, the Model T carrying the Grand Marshall and the herds of little red faced dancers following Miss Barbara's Dance Class' promo float.  I missed standing for the Stars and Stripes and I missed applauding those resolute old Veterans who defeated Germany and Japan.  I missed the candy tossers and the squirt gun squirters.  Though, there was a new feature this year.  Someone had wheeled a huge trash can full of water to their viewing location and, with their own squirt guns, fought back.

On the way, it dawned on me why I love this business so much.  Our main street is also US Highway 40.  It is busy with lots of truck and tourist travel this time of year.  I relish the fact that five or six times a year we claim Main Street as our own.  Traffic is diverted somewhere else for a moment and we get our little piece of Heaven to ourselves.  And then we take a little time to celebrate who we are.  To show appreciation for the cops, firemen, National Guard, Vets, Representatives and distinguished citizens.  We take a little time to celebrate our children, their talents and beauty.  We pause in the middle of life's rat race and declare.  "This is us, such as we are!  And it tickles us to death to flaunt it in broad day light!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...