Monday, May 27, 2013

My Hometown Memorial Day Parade

The Annville Memorial Day parade featured a horse-drawn carriage hauling a coffin. My hometown can always be counted on to muster up some morbid exuberance in the name of America.

Little Dutchmen Annville Memorial Day Parade
The Little Dutchmen Rock Memorial Day Parade
The day kicked off in true Pennsylvania style. A flock of leathered up vetrans straddling spit-shined Harleys thundered down Main Street. Then came about a dozen floats bedecked with plastic garden of eden interpretations. Intrepid children perched on folding chairs while the wind smacked them in the face with artificial palm fronds. They held signs selling competing Summer Bible Camps. One of the more promotionally minded outfits had a rear guard handing out lollipops wrapped up in new testament advertisements. If child molesters are good for nothing else, obviously their victim recruitment strategies are worthy of emulation.

We got to see cocker spaniels up for adoption in a pick up truck, followed by a raucous mob of 4Hers whooping it up with a tractor sporting a "Born2Farm" license plate. Seventeen firetrucks, ambulances, the mayor in a corvette, the high school valedictorian and a brass band on a flatbed steel truck rolled past. Then came Fezz'ed out Shiners wedged into miniature cars honking their tiny bleating horns. Goddamn those Shiners are annoying.

Shriners Annville Memorial Day parade
Shriners honking at the Annville Memorial Day Parade.

My childhood friend's highly strung ex-husband marched past toting a banner advocating healthy living. He's now a highly strung medical professional. Back when he used to come around our neighborhood, my family started calling him "The Oven." 

In some unspoken familial pact, we always employed the third person while conversing with the guy: "What has The Oven been up to lately?" "Could I bring The Oven a deviled egg from the kitchen?" "I saw The Oven driving down Manheim Street in your convertible last week." I'm not going to take any credit for the eventual and contentious divorce, but no one in my family unit is anywhere near his favorite people short list.

After The Oven disappeared behind a Chevy bearing six non-winning Miss Pennsylvania contestants, my mother leaned over and informed me that Pop had lost his cell phone for a week. He was completely baffled where he had left it. Finally he found it buried beneath an economy pack of Dots in the center console of their Honda Odyssey mini-van.
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