Saturday, September 21, 2013

Charger red and Charitone brick

The last time I went up town to take photos of the Chariton homecoming parade --- a couple of years ago --- one of the goals was to avoid including the Charitone --- it was looking grim, boarded up windows and all.

But that wasn't the case this year, when any photogenic issues the old hotel may have had involved the final push, now under way, to return it to active life. Workers were all over the place Friday morning, but pulled the heavy equipment away as parade time approached. 

Chairton goes all out for homecoming, and this year was no exception --- crowds beginning to gather along the parade route a half hour before, extensive displays of Charger red. Those who know more about homecoming parade history than I do said this year's was one of the biggest.

I entertained myself before the parade by climbing Piper's exterior stairs and the stairs alongside the old corner drug store (now Iowa Realty) for a different perspective. It's kind of fun to look down on all the activity.

Then the parade came around the corner, first the colors, then the band. 

It's good to see two cornerstones of the community --- the kids and the old hotel --- looking so good.

The not-so-good news is that the Chargers fell to Oskaloosa, 35-21.

The better news is, there's always next year. 

The hotel will be highly polished by then, all the windows, new sidewalks --- and tenants --- in place. And some will be able to watch the parade from inside --- a vantage point that's been unavailable for many, many years.

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