Monday, August 24, 2015

End of Summer

Summer is officially over! 

Yes, I know the Autumnal Equinox isn't until September 23rd this year.  Yes, it is still hot as blue blazes here in Texas (and will be until late October).  

But...Summer is officially over.  So, Juvat, are you saying it's over because school started today?

No.  Although School DID start today. The kids are in their places with bright shiny faces and brand new computers and other assorted technology.  Now comes the test of how well the forklift of our network really went. 

(Actually, I'm writing this on Sunday as I watch a Powershell script create 3053 student logins (for the second time), so I'm assuming that school WILL start tomorrow.  I'm also betting the first help request regarding Windows 8.1 will arrive in the system prior to the school bell ringing.)   

 Anyhoo..... (To quote a great Rhode Islander.)

Summer is officially over because this weekend was County Fair Weekend!  Gillespie County is home to the oldest, consecutive annual Fair in the State.  There seems to be some bragging rights contention with some other Fair.  Seems theirs started in an earlier year, but they couldn't keep it up every year.  Ours has been going consecutively for 127 years, which means it started in 1888 and always signified the end of Summer.

County Fair weekend is kicked off with one of the three TXDOT allowed parades.  (Main Street is actually a US Highway and they get annoyed if the trucks with the giant windmill blades are interrupted as they barrel through town.  So, we get three parades a year.  Fourth of July, County Fair and the Lighted Christmas Parade, which is held at night when no trucks will be annoyed.)

 Anyhoo..... (To requote a great Rhode Islander.)

This year's parade was held on Friday and was a lot of fun.  Prior planning is a necessity.  Arrival on Main Street on Friday Morning and expecting to find a parking space is foolish.  People park their pickup truck on Thursday Afternoon then walk there for the parade.  

Parade preparation is quite elaborate at times
I loved the Supervisor!

Portable Garage for your Pickup

The Royal Fredericksburg Mounted Police perform their pre-parade sweep in search of water guns, because having fun and squirting people can't be tolerated.

Finally the Parade starts with the Navy leading carrying the colors.
How come the Captain is walking?
While the Chief is riding?
One of the mysteries of life I guess.

Mrs. Juvat watches as the local High School Band Performs
There were Bands.

And Beauty Queens.

and Beauty Queen Hopefuls.

Farm Equipment is always a big hit in the Parade.

Is this the Fire Truck Sarge is always mentioning?
There was support for the First Amendment.

As well as the Second.

There were more Bands.

And Adult Recreational Beverages.
 The parade goes down one side of Main and back on the other side.  When this float came back by on our side, the guy in the dark shirt asked Mrs. Juvat if she wanted a beer.  She said OK, thinking this was a gimmick.  He reaches in to a cooler and hands her a cold one.  Pretty nice Porter actually.
LBJ's Lincoln Continental

Politicians made their appearances.  Our state rep rode.  The guy running against him in the Republican primary walked and shook hands.  Our Congressman was a no show.  The guy running against him walked.  Guess who's getting my vote.  (Not just because of that.  My voting rubric is No Democrat, no Incumbent, no unopposed.)

More Bands.
Mounted Posse's (yep, we still got em.  At least two as there was a second one in the parade, but the pic didn't turn out very well.)
Even a little First and Second support from former Texas Rangers.

Old NFO even put in an appearance, which is appropriate since he was at the first fair in 1888 and is now moving back to the Lone Star State.

There was even a guy riding a longhorn.

There was a very interesting float in the parade.  Interesting enough to warrant a post of its own once I get a bit of time to research.

But as with all good things, it finally came to an end (after 1 hour and 15 minutes of holding up the windmills)  with a Stanley Steamer  as the last sight.


  1. Cool. Great pics. Nothing better than a small town parade. I'd never heard of the monument at Comfort nor the incident. Look forward to your take.

    Your town looks almost like home with all the German influence. Although my name is Norwegian, or maybe Swedish, or possibly Estonian (depending on who wins the annual slugfest at the fambly reonion), I've got so much Strasheim, Burbach, and other Volgakraut genetics that if you cut me I bleed sausages.

    Thanks for the neat glimpse into your world.

    1. Thanks, and I agree. All three parades are a lot of fun. Different in some details, but still a lot of fun.

      When we owned the wine store, our first employee, an older gentleman, didn't speak English until First Grade. He only spoke German. The first year we were here, we sponsored a German Exchange student. He could talk to the old timers in German, although he said their German was Old Fashioned as if they'd been disconnected for 150 years or so. Well...duh!

  2. I envy you the small town life. I remember with great fondness the annual county fair and Forth of July parades. but, now, it's back to work for you! I'm willing to bet that your forklift experience is about to get very interesting. As they say in the Army Corps of Engineers, When you are up to your a$$ in alligators it is hard to remember that your mission is to drain the swamp.

    1. Yeah, I won my bet, the first help request came in 45 minutes before the bell. Running fast and furious right now.

  3. Small town USA, leads me to believe that there is hope for our nation still.

    Love these pieces Juvat, the photos, the story behind them...

    Dang, ya done good with this one.

    1. Thanks. I've got a monthly currency requirement to visit San Antonio or Austin, just to remind me why I live here.

  4. The political appointees have managed to eff up the local fair.
    The dates have been changed such that it starts right after school lets out (even before official summer begins).
    There is no parade.
    But then what can you expect from a District Fair overseen by the State Fair Board.
    It's other big problem is the media call it the county fair, which is why I find anything they tell us suspect.
    OTOH, the official County Fair is up in the mountains and takes place Labor Day weekend.
    They have a parade.

    In answer to your question regarding the Chief and the Captain.
    Because that is as it should be.
    Captains have drivers.
    If their driver doesn't show up, they walk.

    1. Oh yeah, and we know who really runs things in the Navy.

    2. I figured that was going to be the answer. Or maybe "Because NCOs are smarter than Officers". But your first reason was pretty funny.

    3. I stayed away from the Chief and Captain thing one altogether.

      Discretion and all that...

  5. Sounds like quite a parade!

    Couldn't stand LBJ but like his car. Who owns it now? Are you far from the LBJ ranch? If you live near Fredrichsburg you are in a very historic area.

    Is it just me or does it seem the older we get the faster goes the summer?

    1. Since Lady Bird passed away, they've opened up the house as part of the park tour. I believe the car is part of that tour.

      No, we're not far from the Ranch. Drive by it often enough to "salute" his grave. Single finger only.

      As I've said before, "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes."

  6. We started school, it is still hot, and our fair was last week, but no parade. Your parade was pretty darn good. Mostly there are old cars and four wheelers in the parades around here.

    1. Fortunately, Friday was overcast and comparatively cool. ~90. The parade ends up being about 3 miles, which in more normal Augusts is a long way marching carrying a tuba (my two kids played tuba in the band).

  7. Damn, they didn't even get my good side!!! :-) Those hometown parades are always fun for everyone (as long as you're not IN the parade)...

    1. They were a lot more fun a few years ago when there would be on going water fights between the participants and the bystanders, kept alcon cool. But an old Biddy (I don't remember the particular gender of the Biddy) on the UT float got wet and was offended so....

  8. Small town parades are a blast. Powershell sure beats the heck out of vbscript, doesn't it?

    1. Yes, they are and Yes it DOES! Every time I have a problem that I'm having difficulty solving, it's because I'm making it more complicated than required.

    2. I always do that (make things more complicated than needed)! I love that with Powershell, you just load up the right module and issue the cmdlets with the parameters. None of the jacking around trying to reach in through WMI or LDAP and what have you.


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