Under the awning at Piper's before the parade.
The principal color was maroon when my parents were students at Chariton High School during the 1930s. At some point, maroon turned to bright red but teams remained Chargers. I went to school in Russell during the Bluebird phase, so my color should be obvious even though the Bluebrids became Trojans and finally, a couple of years ago, just flew away. We're all Chargers now, as they say. I really like red anyhow.
Anyhow, Friday was Homecoming and I put on a red shirt and went uptown for the parade, walking because Homecoming is a big deal in Chariton and had I driven I wouldn't have been able to find a place to park. The square was a sea of red because this is a big parade, perhaps not quite as big as the 4th of July parade but with more variety since the school is involved.
It was a drop-dead beautiful early fall day, so that helped.
There were bands --- this is the high school band but the middle school band came along later.
There was royalty --- Homecoming Queen Amber Sanders and King Cole Pierschbacher with their court following in other convertables.
There were fire trucks --- most of them newer than this model.
Except for Old Betsy, always older than anything else. I keep trying to take the perfect photo of Old Betsy. This isn't it. I'll try again at the Christmas parade.
There were lots of floats and other stuff --- this was a BIG parade. But I stopped taking photos about here when I remembered I hadn't emptied the camera's memory yet Friday and had been shooting wildflowers in the morning, then spent about 20 minutes taking dozens of photos of buildings on the square before the parade began. Although I can take up to 150 images before the camera shuts down, I was getting close and there was one more event to take photos of.
After the parade, several of us gatherined in the bandstand so that several Lucas County Historical Society board members and myself could officially accept for permanent display a vintage sign than once hung in the Thomas & Schuholz clothing store on the northwest corner of the square (I remember Thomas & Schuholz as Halden & Thomas; there's a jewelry store there now).
Somehow, this pressed-tin sign in exceptionally good condition had ended up in Tennessee and how it got home to Chariton is quite a story in itself.
Someone spotted it, on eBay if I remember correctly, in a Nashville antiques emporium. CHS graduate Andy Towle, who now lives in Murfreesboro, investigated. The price was $700. Thomas and/or Schuholz would just plain faint is someone told them the sign they probably received free as an advertising promotion was now on the market for that much. But it's a cool sign, and it is 2011.
After Mary Stierwalt, who operates Family Shoe Store, heard about the sign she got to talking with others about the possibility of bringing it home. If 700 people contributed $1 each, the purchase could be made, they decided. So a drive was started and it didn't take long to meet and exceed that goal, although some donations were substantially more than $1.
Andy Towle is the tall guy; Mary, to his left in a similar sweatshirt.
Andy then bought the sign and loaded it into this vehicle for the trip home to Chariton for homecoming weekend. Both he and it arrived safely and the Historical Society now is the grateful official owner.
The sign will remain in Mary's front window uptown until after Oct. 1, so anyone who walks by can admire it. After that, we'll take it down to the museum and install it in its permanent home.
And the homecoming game? Don't ask.