Tag Archives: party

I Love A Parade

Emmaline loves Letongaloosa, but she isn’t from here.  She was born in Wyotah, a state way out West in the Rocky Mountains.

According to history, The Great Western Colonizer emigrated to the Wyotah valley from the East with a bunch of pioneers in 1846.  He was leading a band of social liberals who wanted to exercise their Constitutional right to become conservatives.  The Wyotah pioneers crossed the plains, climbed the Rocky Mountains, and stopped when they came to a desolate-looking valley.  There, according to legend, The Great Colonizer said, “This may be it,” and they decided to settle down.    That was July 24, 1847.

After much hard work the Wyotah pioneers made the desert blossom as a rose, and the Great Western Colonizer ordered settlers to spread out to the north and south.

Emmaline’s great grandparents moved south, and she was born in Buckboard,  asmall town a hundred miles from the capital of Wyotah.  Emmaline lived in Buckboard until she married me.

Now, five decades later, we still go to Buckboard to participate in the 24th of July festivities.

Up in The Place, Wyotah’s state capital, they mount a huge celebration on the 24th of July. There are concerts, fireworks, a marathon, a 10K race, and a hugely popular, miles-long parade.  The parade features beautifully decorated floats, dignitaries riding in new and antique convertibles, marching bands,  horse clubs, trained dog acts, stilt walkers,  flag-waving school children,  and a ton of sign-bearing church groups.

Buckboard has celebrated the 24th of July for almost as many years as The Place has.

The big events on the 24th are The Parade and The Demolition Derby, and The Fireworks.

The Parade has always been my favorite, but I was a bit disappointed in both The Demolition Derby and the Parade this year.  I was disappointed in the Demolition Derby because there is a dearth of 1970 and 1980 clunker automobiles in which helmeted contestants can drive around the rodeo arena and bash into each other

On the 24th , Main Street is lined with folding chairs,  some of which have been in place for several days. The celebration begins at 6 a.m. with the BOOM. That’s when the Buckboard Volunteer Firemen set off a blast that rattles windows all over town.  Then they drive the fire truck through town, its horns honking and its sirens blaring. At 7 a.m. everybody walks down to the city park for the annual Firemen’s Breakfast—pancakes, bacon, ham, eggs, pan-fried potatoes–served at picnic tables.

Emmaline and I watch The Parade from folding chairs on the steps of the Town Hall. By the time the honor guard marches by with the flags, Main Street is lined five and six deep with spectators.

The Parade begins at 10 a.m. and travels down Main Street from north to south.  My disappointment with this year’s 24th of July parade centered on quality, not quantity.   This year’s parade lasted longer and had more participants than ever before.  The problem was, there weren’t more floats, nor more bands,  there were just more vehicles.

The float on which “Miss Buckboard,” and her attendants rode was beautiful, as were the floats of “Miss Lakeville,” and “Miss Mount Oakdale,” from two nearby towns.

But after that it was vehicle after four-wheeled vehicle, mostly black, mostly newer SUVs, carrying advertising signs. The signs touted  everything from chiropractors and podiatrists to optometrists and dental hygienists. I counted five vehicles with “get out of debt” or “payday loan,” signs on them. Many of those opportunists threw handfuls of  candy to scrambling kids on the street.  One woman, pushed a big antique baby carriage, that had a sign advertising her child care service.  I didn’t mind that—at least she was walking.

Next year on the 24th ,  I’m going rent a big black SUV and  put a sign on it that that reads:  “ Infernal Revenue Service.”   I’m going to wear a dark suit, white shirt, a power tie, and dark glasses.  I’m going to stand, with a pen and notebook beside the SUV at the end of the parade route. I bet no one will notice the typo.                                                     -30-

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Pat & Pete’s Patriotic Party©

This is story began years ago when Pete and Pat were forced to take separate vacations. Patrocina Megamecheldorf Samborvich Jones and Pedro Salazar Remirez Sandoval Montoya y Montoya are known around town, for obvious reasons, simply as Pat and Pete. The two had come to Letongaloosa years before and became a couple after having been business rivals.

Pat had wanted to buy the old Peabody home from the city to house a pre-school. Pete wanted to open a pawn shop. After an intense public debate they opted to join forces and share the facility. Together they created a unique business: Pat and Pete’s Preschool and Pawn Shop. During that process they became a couple. They waited five years then got married.

Both Pat and Pete belonged to organizations related to their professions and they usually accompanied each other to annual professional conferences.

One year the two conferences were scheduled at the same time in Seoul, Korea (Pete), and Cartagena, Colombia (Pat). While at those separate conventions Pat and Pete met children they wanted to adopt. They returned to the United States and, with the help of government and nongovernment agencies, were able to adopt four children—two Koreans—Min-jee and his sister Hae-jin; two Colombians— Maria and her brother Hernando.

It took a quite awhile, as described elsewhere, but finally Min-jee and Maria, Hernando and Hae-jin, and Pat and Pete were home, seated together around the dinner table eating dolsot, bimbimbap, and chimicangas.

Hananim-eun uliloull chugbog,” (may God bless us) said Min-jee and Hernando and Maria. “Amen,” said Pat and Pete.

We now fast forward a few years. The children are older, but still young enough to be excited about family vacations, and Pete and Pat were prospering financially to the point that taking a six-person family trip was not the “break the bank” enterprise it would have been just a few years earlier.

For the kids there was one requirement for a vacation—that it be FUN.

For education-minded Pat and Pete, vacation had to be “fruitful” as well as fun.

The ensuing family council was animated. As chair, Pete sometimes exercised authoritative prerogatives not to be found in Robert’s Rules of Order.

But when the meeting ended there was harmony and excitement all round.

The family was going to Washington, D.C. to be present at A Capitol Fourth, where thousands of people gather and millions more watch on television to see the greatest display of Fourth of July fireworks anywhere. The event takes place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

 

While these deliberations were going on, a telephone rang at the White House. The operator told the caller, “One moment please,” and hissed a supervisor standing by, “It’s Nelida Nacamora, from Kansas.” Some readers will recall the story of “Nosey Nelida.” As a shop keeper at a Letongaloosa mall, she blew the whistle on a government sting operation that was aimed at shutting down a major drug ring. To keep the operation secret, the government lauded Nelida for her “vigilance” and gave her an award in a ceremony at the White House. White House staffers remained sensitive to Nelida’s curiosity an investigative skills.

“Put Ms. Nacamora through to the chief of staff’s office,” the supervisor told the White House telephone operator.

“Hello, Mrs. Nacamora. This is IkeWithers, assistant deputy chief of staff.

We’ve spoken before.” “Ike,” said Nellie, who never bothered with formalities, “I’ve got a got news you’ll thank me for.” Nelida then told Mr. Withers about Pat and Pete and their diverse family.

“They’re coming Washington to attend the Capitol Fourth festivities. If you invite them to the White House, and leak their story, the mass media will splash it nationwide. You can promote them as the administration’s first annual “Capitol Fourth Family of the Year.”

A few days later they were sightseeing on the Washington Mall, Pat and Pete and the kids were approached by two men wearing dark suits with insignia in their button holes. And that, dear readers, is how Pat and Pete, Minjee and Hae-jin, and Maria and Hernando got to meet the President of the United States.

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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Pity Potty Party

Gwendolyn Sharp and Vibaldina Aguilera have offices in the same building. They were only nodding acquaintances before someone tried to sabotage their businesses. But after everything turned out for the best, the two became good friends. Dina and Gwen are college-trained event planners who serve a very different clientele.

Gwen puts on potty parties for mothers whose toddlers are ready to ditch their diapers. The events she stages are always happy. Gwen festoons the homes where she holds her potty parties with lots of balloons and colored streamers. She furnishes party hats for everyone, toddlers and adults. Gwen gives sock monkeys and Dr. Seuss books to the kids, and tie dye tee shirts and bottles of homemade jams to the moms. The recipes for her refreshments are often featured in potty party trade magazines. She always puts up yard signs at her potty parties. The signs declare: “Today Is No Diaper Day!” Gwen has many imitators in the potty party business, but she has no equal.

Dina is also tops in her field, but her clients are way at the other end of the emotional needs spectrum from Gwen’s. Dina’s clients are people who throw pity parties for themselves, so it helps that she has a masters degree in clinical psychology. Most of her clients suffer from “Poor Me Syndrome” or some other depressive condition. Dina’s clients can’t even imagine themselves at something as lively and colorful as a toddler’s potty party. They are mostly referred to Dina by their spouses, family members, physicians, employers, co-workers and friends.

There are no decorations and no refreshments when Dina shows up at someone’s pity party. Dina deals with people whose energy has all drained away. Her clients have typically been let down or smacked down by something, or someone. For them, life seems too much to bear.

It’s still not clear who hatched the sinister plot designed to cause Gwen and Dina serious problems. Perhaps it was someone in the potty party business who was jealous of Gwen’s success. Or perhaps it was someone who resented Dina’s success with a pity party client. Maybe the perpetrator wanted the client to remain permanently down and out. No one knows.

What is known is that someone hacked into both Dina’s and Gwen’s company computer systems and switched appointments on them. The hacker scheduled legitimate-looking appointments for Gwen and Dina on the same day at the same time, and, as it happened, in the same neighborhood.

Dina’s bogus appointment sent her to a home where, at the insistence of her husband, a first-time mom had scheduled a potty party for her two-year-old son.

There was a long silence after Dina rang the doorbell. Then a woman with a tear-streaked face opened the door. The baby in her arms wore nothing but a diaper.

“I’m sorry,” said the woman, “but I called off the potty party and sent everyone home. My baby is growing up too fast. I just can’t stand it.”

Dina realized there had been a serious mistake, but she also realized that the woman needed her.

“I think I can help,” said Dina.

The woman stepped aside. By the time Dina left an hour later, the baby was dressed and the woman was smiling. They had agreed to chat again later.

Gwen, on the other hacker-generated bogus appointment honked her horn loudly as she drove her potty party van up the driveway of a house in the same neighborhood. Inside was a disheveled woman wearing a grunchy looking house coat. The woman had finally gotten up enough courage to kick her good-for-nothing boyfriend out of her house, but she had felt rotten ever since. When she hear honk and saw Gwen’s brightly painted party van, the woman felt a surge of pure joy. With a yip, she dashed out the door. Gwen was pounding a sign into lawn. It read “Today Is A No Diaper Day”

“You got that right,” said the woman.

“Is everyone ready to party?” asked Gwen.

“You bet your booties,” said the woman.

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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