Oh the joys of July 4 in a small Minnesota town. After the Radical’s normal July 4 celebration (reading the Declaration of Independence from start to finish, which is really more interesting now that we have Tea Party politics), a little work, and a little swimming, four of us rolled into town for the annual parade.
I love a parade. Even if it is run by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
This was a particularly fine parade, held in an old Iron Range town that is now mostly a jumping off point for one of the most beautiful northern wilderness areas in the United States. It was perhaps twelve blocks long and included everything from a United States Senator (Amy Klobuchar) to members of the class of 1971 in the local high school to a local beauty queen representing the nearby town of Babbit. Riding in the car with Miss Babbit was her runner up, who seemed prepared to take up her duties at any time should the reigning Miss Babbit fall by the wayside. Oh, how heavy is the head that wears the crown. I didn’t get to meet either of the beauty queens (who I suppose will soon be competing for Miss Minnesota?) but by hollering “Yay Senator!” I caught the attention of Klobuchar, who strode over in the 90 degree heat and gave me a firm handshake. My guess is that it was her third or fourth parade of the day, and she was still looking good.
One of my companions assured me that the Klown Band would be the highlight of the day, and technically it was. But the best group for my money was a group of women who were — well, I don’t know what to call them except a precision folding chair marching group. They all marched down the street with those folding chairs you get at the five and dime under their arms and then, with a sign from their leaders, they did perfectly synchronized routines with their folding chairs. The snapped them open and closed and did hilarious little routines that simulated fishing, drinking beer, and other leisure activities.
There was a fairly heavy VFW presence, as is true with most Independence Day Parades: also fire trucks, antique cars, and a group of Girl Scouts you would definitely want to be in a foxhole with portaging canoes down Main Street! Oh yes. And to top it all off, a local group was selling root beers floats as a cancer fundraiser.
Could life get any better than this for a Tenured Radical? Happy July 4, everyone.