“I was born and raised in New York City, I’m just getting used to Colorado…” – Joni Mitchell.
That song came out right as I moved out here. For a while I thought Joni was stalking me.
I grew up in the heart of Manhattan. New York, New York, so nice they named it twice! The only parades I ever witnessed were massive holiday celebrations like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade which was an excuse for people to behave badly, litter atrociously, and vomit profusely on the street. Growing up as an introvert, I generally avoided masses of people.
After the Color Guard came the Veterans. Veterans are guaranteed to make me cry.
And then there’s this …mascot? I told my husband he’d missed out on a job opportunity. He was disappointed. Or at least he pretended to be disappointed.
My son is in marching band (he won’t be pictured in this series.) We were teasing him about the majorettes and the possibility of getting “hit with a stray baton” (see: Wild Hogs). As it turns out his school does not have majorettes, as they spent their time getting stoned instead of practicing and found themselves fired.
I kinda love the diversity in this cheer-leading squad. That’s eventful for a small town in middle America.
This is a pizza place near the high school. The hubster and I thought we’d try it out after school was done, so it wasn’t so crazy. It was pretty terrible. The pizzas were NOT fresh. The salad bar was not fresh. Everything was frozen and/or bagged. Not yummy. So when we saw this … um… entry in the parade the hubby let our a grunt of derision.
“I’m gonna shove that chicken right off that van.”
“Yes, dear.” (Saying yes dear always calms the savage beast.)
There were many other small town moments. Around this part of Colorado, we are apparently fond of “racing” rubber ducks down any stream or river we may have in the area. I swear I am not exaggerating when I say this is a very popular event. No one floats rubber duckies down the East River unless they were very naughty rubber duckies and double-crossed Guido. That’s never a good idea. Then you get rubber duckies with cement shoes. It’s difficult to win a race that way.
Lots of people come to these rural harvest parades. The people in the floats toss prizes out to the crowd … candy, toys, rubber bracelets, pamphlets to guilt you into voting for personhood (anti-choice) laws, Bible verses disguised as lovely Corn Festival programs, the usual. (If you are camouflaging your Bible verses, you know people don’t want them. How about you stop trying to force them on people? They just go right in the trash AND people view you and your religion as deceptive and dishonest.)
I also managed to get both the high school football team schedule so I know when my kid has marching band events, and the music program calendar for school concerts. These things are like gold in my house. It is ridiculously difficult to get scheduling information out of teenagers in advance of a performance. Normally, one finds out the kid has to be at school, dressed properly and with an instrument about 15 minutes before the bus is set to leave, or in the middle of dinner with 2 minutes to spare. I can cram an entire plate of pasta into my face and be in the car with my camera and tripod in under 45 seconds at this point.
In the city, we just got ourselves to events on the subway. I always felt bad for the kid who played bassoon. Then one day I was prop master and had to drag a coat rack from our apartment to the school on the 2nd Avenue bus. That was the day I realized anything goes in NYC and most of the time people won’t give you a second look even if you a wearing a taxidermied cat on your head. They just don’t want to know what your problem is…they’ve got enough of their own.
In rural America, you wave across the parade and call out the names of people you know. You stop and chat. People definitely get in your business, they do want to know what your problem is. I’m not always sure that’s a good thing. Casseroles are good things. Gossip, not so much.
At any rate, the kid marched. A good time was had by all. I have a year to talk the hubby into creating a float for his company to enter in next years parade. Pretty sure it won’t include a chicken.