Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekend Assignment #267 : A Parade in Town

Late again! I had a topic all planned out, but a Tucson Toros game, lots of photos to edit and excessive sleepiness delayed its implementation. Much later, I remembered that this is Memorial Day weekend, and that I have this week's assignment, minus last week's responses, saved to draft. Here it is.

Weekend Assignment #267: In some communities, Memorial Day is celebrated in part by a local parade. Have you ever appeared in a parade, or at least attended one? Details, please! Note that I'm asking about any parade, not just a Memorial Day one.
Extra Credit: Have you ever studied to play a band instrument? (No band camp jokes, please.)

Me and a small flag. Despite the September development, I'm guessing Fourth of July.I've written about Memorial Day before, for John Scalzi's old Monday Photo Shoot. That was several years ago, though. Let me take another stab at the subject, before expanding to include other Parades I Have Known:

I grew up in a house on Fayetteville-Manlius road, about a mile outside the Village of Manlius, NY, roughly two miles from the Village of Fayetteville in the other direction. Both villages were in the Town of Manlius. Fayetteville and Manlius both had annual Memorial Day parades, and at one time or another I was in both of them.

The main parade for me was the Manlius one. I'm sure I marched in it as a Junior Girl Scout. Many years later I was in it again, carrying a non-functioning rifle in front of the high school band. I had a baton, but never really learned to twirl it very well. I just don't have the dexterity for something like that. Nor did I ever get good enough on the clarinet back in fifth grade to join the school band. Getting braces on my teeth was my ticket to dropping clarinet lessons, which I accepted gratefully. Anyway, my task was simply to march in time, which was challenging enough for me. The highlight was always at the corner of Fayette Street and Seneca, where one could usually see an exposed cobblestone or two and a bit of the old trolley track from the turn of the 20th Century, when a streetcar carried people from Syracuse all the way to Suburban Park.

Even if I wasn't in the Memorial Day Parade in Manlius, I always attended it. If my family didn't drive, I'd probably walk into the village, and stand somewhere near the former elementary school, Temple's Dairy Store and Sno Top. Temple's would sell pinwheels, vendors sold little flags, and Sno Top would sell twist cones dipped in chocolate on its "humdinger" opening weekend. Besides the scouts and the school bands, the parade itself always featured a vintage carload or two of World War I vets, marching World War II vets in the VFW (my dad, a former POW, was never part of such things), and the volunteer fire department, including my seventh grade social studies teacher, Thomas Murphy Hennigan. It wasn't the most exciting parade in the world, but it was a community event, something that drew us all together for an hour or so.

One year - and only one year - my mom took me to a Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Syracuse. I think kids' host Denny Sullivan was associated with it in some fashion, and I know I got one of those balloons with a shaped balloon (Mickey Mouse?) inside a clear round one. That's all I remember about it.

Disney's Electrical Parade at California Adventure, July 3, 2003.

I never got to the Columbus Day Parade in Syracuse, the Martin Luther King Day Parade in Tucson, or any parade at all in Columbus or Florida. My post-Manlius parades have all been at the Disney parks - Disneyland, California Adventure and Walt Disney World. And I like them very much, yes I do!

How about you? Did you grow up with one parade or another, or only get to one as an adult? Are you parade memories of community events, or the big holiday parades on tv, or commercial parades at them parks? Tell us about it! Write it up in your blog, and please remember to include a link back to this entry. Then leave a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week with the results. Here, meanwhile, is last week's results:

For Weekend Assignment #267 : 30 Years Ago, I asked for your recollections of the late 1970s, or the late 1980s if you're too young for the 1970s. Here are excerpts from the replies:

Julie said...

The 1970s era was sharply divided between high school and college. I've blocked out a lot of my high school years, though I still keep up with a few good folks from that era. College was much better, especially after I switched majors. My counselor at high school pretty much forced me into a business major in hopes that I'd find a nice fellow business major who would take care of me and lead me to a life of bland suburban bliss. I had other plans, and switched my major the first week of school.

Florinda said...

30 years ago this week, I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida with my parents and younger sister, and I was nearing the end of my freshman year of high school. The fact that I still remember my class schedule from back then may have something to do with my inability now to remember what I walked into the room intending to do - I have an extreme case of Brain Clutter. So let me share some of that clutter with you:

Mike said...

After doing a little math, I figured out I was in 4th grade 30 years ago. It wasn't my best year in school. Not that I remember a whole lot, I just know that I got screwed with my teacher. My brother is three years older than me, and when he was in fourth grade he loved his teacher. I guess she was really nice and helpful. So I was looking forward to it over the summer. Then the bad news came. That teacher left, but that wasn't the worst part. The replacement was my old nemesis from kindergarten.

I'm still dangerously low on "guest professor" suggestions for these Weekend Assignments, so I ask again: please, please, please, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE email me some new ones. I warn you, I will continue adding another please to the previous sentence each week until someone suggests something. Save us from the invasion of the pleases!



barrettmanor said...

This didn't show up in my RSS reader for some reason. Glad I came to check.

Mike said...

Okay, my exciting post is up. I think it should have been assignment number 268 though. At least that's what I called mine.