Patriotic Parade

Oh, how I enjoy a good hometown parade.  As a child, if there was a parade to attend, I was ready to go. I could almost always count on candy being thrown and plenty of great people watching. My proximity to the street was maximized by plopping down onto the best available curb seating. No lawn chair or seat pad was required. Those otherwise comfortable seating options would’ve created undesirable friction between me and the parade action.

As I was chatting with my dad about what we were doing this 4th of July, I mentioned that the family hiked over to the neighborhood next to ours to watch their 4th of July Parade.

We found a nice shady spot under a big oak tree.

It was smaller than last year’s parade with less than 10 cars winding around the neighborhood. Participating, there were a police SUV, an ice cream truck, a couple dozen walkers and a crew of very excited kids riding their festively decorated bicycles.

My dad told me that he always looked forward to the parade in town when he was a kid. He had a bicycle that he tricked out with all kinds of embellishments. There were twisted cords on every spoke. For the 4th of July, there were red, white and blue cords.  For other holidays, he would switch them out for a different color effect, such as all green cords for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which was a big day of celebration in his town of many proud Irish.  He hung streamers from the handle bars. He mounted three different horns, including one under the bike seat. He had shocks on the front fork, which made the fork longer. He was very proud of his bike and what he added to it. He couldn’t wait to have a car so he could do the same.

It is no wonder why I love parades so much.

Today, many adults and kiddos rode their bicycles in the 4th of July parade near our home. It was so neat to see their spirit and creativity. One kiddo added red, white and blue pinwheels to the ends of his handlebars. Another had a red, white and blue mylar banner attached to the front of her bike with training wheels.

The fanciest contribution was this one.

It made me smile.

I hadn’t heard about my dad’s childhood bicycle until today. The fact that my father, who contracted polio early in life, had a bike that he rode and rode in style was a joyful story to hear. I love hearing these tidbits of memories and moments from years past. The memories keep building. Just like these from today. Happy 4th of July, y’all!

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