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Down on the farm

Down on the farm
Out of the woods.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th of July Old Style

In our little town the 4th of July was a very big deal. The Parade formed behind Court House Square, looped around, and proceeded past our house, past the church, and marched the entire length of Pleasant Ave. to where the street dead ended at the park. The Mayor lead the way in a convertible borrowed from whichever dealership had the biggest, brightest and shiniest car to loan. A big hand painted sign hung on the car door told which entrepreneur lent his best. Next came the Homecoming Queen and her court, in another borrowed vehicle, followed closely by the High School Marching Band. The Sheriff rode his big black horse, his son was mounted on a prancing pony and behind them followed the boys from the farms and ranches surrounding the town. All tossed hard candies and suckers from bags hanging from the pommel of the saddles. Nest the 4 H winners lead their prize winning calves, goat kids, lambs, or carried the hen, bunny or goose that had taken the fair by storm. The clowns followed with pooper scoopers and silly antics. The Shriners rode bicycles in intricate patterns they practiced all year, weaving in, out, round and back, making the crowds gasp at the near misses.  Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts rode hay wagons, waving and singing camp songs.  A local Barbershop Quartet sat in the back of a pick-up truck singing SWEET ADELINE.
That was the official parade and after that anyone and everyone could join in. Tots on trikes, boys bashing garbage can lids, majorette wannabees, all proudly strutted those 10 blocks. Families watching from their front porches would fall in behind pulling Radio Flyer wagons carrying picnic baskets, blankets and babies, ready for the speeches, the games, music and the booths selling cookies, pies, home made ice cream, and sweet tea, all for sweet charity. Darkness brought the fireworks, OOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhh! AAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhh. Then the long trudge home, hot, sweaty, sunburnt, tired, proud and happy.....we were the USA.