May. 29th, 2006

rjlona: (Default)
I just got back from watching the Ferndale Memorial Day Parade. This used to be a major thing around here, but this year was really disappointing. I haven't seen the parade in years, so apparently the decline has been happening over time. There were no actual floats, just people driving cars or minivans with signs on the side. There were fewer marching bands, but that's because they consolidated the elementary schools and junior highs. The high school band sounded great, as usual, and there were more flag corp members (flagits!) than there used to be. But I missed the civil war re-enactors, firing their muskets in salute. The fife and drum corps has also left us, which is a shame. There were also fewer civic organizations marching, and fewer people watching than there used to be.

Now, I'm not wildly patriotic, but I do appreciate the good things about our country. I'm also big on nostalgia; that's why I went to the parade in the first place. I just feel that if there's going to be a parade, it should be more impressive than this one was.

When I was a kid, the Governor of Michigan was from Ferndale/Pleasant Ridge, and he used to be our parade marshall every year. He also started the tradition of having jets fly over from Selfridge AFB. Nothing this year. At least they kept the traditional closing, having the fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars drive by and sound their sirens.

I was impressed by one thing: the peace organization had a huge turn out, and they were carrying an enormous puppet-like dove. That was pretty darn cool. And appropriate for Memorial Day, I think!

Dad will never let us forget what we sometimes refer to as The Parade That Will Live In Infamy. Many years ago the high school marching band, instead of playing traditional marches, played the theme song to "Rocky." Dad was pissed. Apparently many other people were, too, and the band has never played it since! Every year, as the band marches by playing a Souza piece, Dad says "At least it's not 'Rocky!'"

It was still kind of fun, though. (and I may be overly nostalgic and sentimental, as many of you know, but the tears I had in my eyes were from my melted sunscreen. really!)

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rjlona

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