Saturday, July 5, 2014

Celebrations in Small Towns

Thought I'd fill in for the Boss and give him a short (very short) break from the blogging routine.

There's a major US highway that runs through our town doubling as Main Street and with the resurgence in the oil industry in Texas, this highway has become extremely busy.  So busy, in fact, that the Texas Department of Transportation will only allow the City to shut down traffic three times a year.  We use those three times to put on Parades and they are 

  1. The first Friday Night in December for the Lighted Christmas Parade.
  2. The third Friday in August for the County Fair Parade and...
  3. The Fourth of July.
This is the story of the Fourth of July parade. 

It is 0800 Thursday the 3rd of July.  I am stealthily reconnoitering Main St in search of a perfect place to position my Tactical Assault Vehicle in hull defilade. (That's fancy ARRRMMMY talk for look for a shady spot to park my pickup truck.)  I find one, park and exfiltrate on foot.  By 0830, Main Street is full.

It's 1000 Friday the 4th of July, and the Parade begins.  

There's even a flyover. (they also had a flyby from a very shiny C-47, but the camera didn't make it out of the bag in time)
The flight lead in me is saying "C'mon 4 close it up".  The pilot in me is sayin' "Sweet!"
There's some vehicles from the Nimitz Museum with a reenactment this afternoon.  Flamethrowers, M-1s and Thompsons, what's not to like!  Seriously, it's a Smithsonian Class Museum and if you're ever in the vicinity, you need to visit.  If you, or one of your relatives is a WWII vet, make sure they know it when you arrive.  Given the time, someone from the staff will interview the vet and record stories and the like for posterity.  Cool place!  Especially for someone with a BIG interest in history (Hint, Hint).

They had someone playing the bagpipe!  (The parade route is east on Main for a mile a U-turn and west on Main for 2 miles, that's a long time to exhale, in 90 degree heat, wearing a bear on your head, just sayin'.)

They had lot's of flags. Some with warnings.

Our fledgling Naval Officers marched.  Believe they would be Old NFO's great grand kids.
The local NJROTC unit

We even had a Jet!  Pretty sure there's a picture just like this in my Mom's photo album somewhere.
Brazo's Belle.  Unfortunately, didn't make the return trip.
Color Guard still looking sharp about 1.5 miles into the parade.

Did I mention Flamethrowers, M-1s and Thompsons?

There were Beauty Queens.  The one in the Red Dress I held as an infant.  I feel OLD!

The area is now the second most visited wine production area in the nation (behind Napa), so we had stuff from local wineries.

There were classic cars and hot rods.
There were folks on Horses.
 Folks on Tractors.
Some of whom had "issues"

We even had guys on Longhorns.

There was a Vette for Buck.

 And, an organization to which I contributed the better part of $100k and my two children.
For some reason, the photographer and his bride were yelling "Whoop".  Must be a generational thing.

A great time was had.  The parade started at 10 and this vehicle passed our position at 11:36.  We were a mile and a half from the finish.  It is a LONG parade.

I think the sign on the bumper is in Southern German!

Photo's courtesy of my Son.

Update:  Went to the Airport to view Fireworks and lo and behold...The C-47.


  1. That is a great one, and love the little 'town' parades... And re the NJROTC, I'm not THAT old... :-)

  2. I know, but I look at those kids and realize I've been out of the AF longer than they've been alive. It is a relief in this day and age to see kids who still hold traditional values and are willing to step up. That's why I live in a small town.

  3. Small town parades are simply classic Americana, which is to say "wonderful!"

    1. Exactly. Parades like that show us all that the America that we know and love isn't gone yet. Beautiful.

  4. Spent my high school years outside a town of 2,000. The 4th of July Parade was a huge deal. Think the horses enjoyed it as much as the people.

  5. The second picture of the longhorn I cropped a bit to reduce the file size. The Bull actually saw a guy taking its picture and turned to "Pose". So, yeah, I think the animals enjoy the parades also.

  6. Big city parades have a lot of glitz and glamour, but these little ones are true Americana. My little neighborhood in a big city has one and it helps bring a small-town feel to it which I love.

    1. I think it's important for neighborhoods to maintain their identity and glad yours is able to. Helps to keep the riffraff out as well as allow for some socialization. The last big metropolitan area I lived in Sodom on the Potomac wasn't that way. All "what have you done for me lately". Made the time I spent there just that much more painful. Thankfully, that is in the past.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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