Thursday, March 17, 2005

Top o' the Morning

All right, seriously. The St. Patrick's Day Parade went by just now. In three minutes. It began with a giant old truck playing Irish penny whistle music. In the back wear two middle-aged men wearing green plaid flannel shirts and various tweeds. Actually, everyone on the parade was wearing green plaid flannel shirts and various tweeds. One of the men wore a white pope's mitre with a green cross on it. There was also an old white-haired man in the truckbed in the place of honor, wearing a green tam with a giant pom-pom. He was carrying a shilaley and waving.

Since the number of people watching the parade equaled the number of people in the parade, waving became a very personal thing. I couldn't hide in a crowd, being too cool to wave back. To ignore their personal waves to me would have been a personal affront to community spirit. So, there I was smiling and waving to the parade.

After the big old farm truck came a clump of kids from the Salmonberry Preschool with their teachers. All of them were wearing ragtag bits of green in the form of homemade springy headbands with shamrocks, balloons and face painting. One woman wore a classic elementary school outfit with a white skirt with shamrocks and a goofy green top. She looked like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic Schoolbus. She was doing her own interpretation of RiverDance. There were also several dogs with green fabric tied around their collars. Leading the parade before the truck was a man with a big bear of a dog that might have had some Irish wolfhound mixed into it to deserve that honor.

Five fancy cars rounded out the parade. I don't know cars but one was an 80's sportscar, one was a classic 40's family car, one was a model-T looking truck and two other old convertibles, one with a sign proclaiming that it was carrying the parade master (who must have been the guy with the sequined green top hat) completed the roster.

Despite the community spirit nvolved in planning such a parade, the streets weren't closed so participants moved over for oncoming cars and the cars behind the parade just waited or found a side street to side step it. No one honked for them to get out of the way. It was no South Side Irish Parade (have fun this year Jennifer and Erika) but it's unexpectedness and simplicity will do for now.

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