Well it’s been a grand and glorious 4th down here --- if you overlook the rain that spared the parade but let loose about 4 p.m. leaving the future of fireworks somewhat in doubt. Maybe it’ll dry out by 10.
I thought for a while about not going up town this afternoon, but after looking at the forecast and seeing that there was a 100 percent chance of heavy rain, but none was or had been falling --- what the heck. Several thousand others made the same decision, so it was a good turnout. It’s easier just to walk the three blocks to the square from here when there’s a crowd like that. As it turned out, there were a few sprinkles but not enough to get anyone wet.
Sorry about the photo of the color guard, but the best opportunity for a decent shot was spoiled when just as the guard was turning the corner, some old guy (maybe my age) decided to treat the assembled multitude to a good view of his bald head, knobby knees and folding chair by dashing across the street in front of it. Nice going.
I wanted to use a photo anyway because the young man dressed in desert fatigues is the son of people I know and will be deployed to Afghanistan later this week. He was home on a three-day leave and while Mom and Dad were proud to watch him march in the parade, it was pride mixed up with all sorts of other emotions I’d guess.
The Chariton 4th always is a good parade for fire trucks since water fights follow at 3 and Chariton alone must have more than a dozen pieces of equipment, partly because it’s one of the best-equipped departments in this part of the state but also because it never gives up on an old fire truck.
Old Betsy, an 1883 Silsby coal-fired steam pumper that was bought new when we had the misfortune back in the 80s (that’s the 1880s) to have the fire station burn down, is always star of the show. She’s rare because she still works --- and travels widely because of that. There was a brief scare a few years ago when after more than a century she had to have a boiler transplant or be retired for safety reasons. She came through the transplant with flying colors (and sparks and steam), however, and has been doing just fine since.