Homecoming, Part 2: Here is where I come from

July 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm (Life, Memoir) (, , , , )

As I told you last week, I recently went Home for Homecoming. I went back to where I came from; where I started out; the place that shaped me. A place I’m actually quite ambivalent about – if Family was not still there I don’t think I would ever go back. It was a perfect place to grow up until I turned thirteen and then it was hellish and boring and all I wanted to do was leave.

More and more, it has become a place to leave. There are few jobs and fewer farms and for me, more bad memories than good. However, if I were raising children this is where I would want to raise them. There is no freedom like small town freedom where one is young and watched over and safe.  You’ll notice this love/hate dichotomy I have with Home as you explore my writings, past, present and future.

But enough ambiguity, I’m here to talk about Homecoming and most especially, share the parade with you…

Homecoming is a big deal where I come from. Both the Coffee Talk newsletter and the local paper put out special editions highlighting the events. There are parade maps (like we couldn’t find our way without one ;-p), special advertisements and this year, a full blank page dedicated for autographs (I’ll have to scan my childhood autograph book for you – did you have one) and addresses. There is also a brief Homecoming history which I summed up for you at the start of last week’s post.

So, I think I’ll just head straight down to the parade. We sat at the corner where the floats were going to cross twice – that way if I missed a picture I would get a second opportunity to focus in on the floats.

A Drum Majorette led off the parade. Her outfit is over forty years old and she can still fit into it. I put her age at around sixty – she’s not someone I know. I talked to her after and that’s when I found out how old the suit was.

She’s very flashy in her Gold Lame suit, don’t you agree.

Next, we have a Viking ship – the town’s earliest settlers were Norwegian.  My eldest sister has a problem with this depiction of all of us being white & male and I have to agree that she has a point. The town is more diverse now (not a lot but much more than when we were in school and playing/rooting for the Vikings).

Lots of wind that day but the picture lacks water; perhaps I’ll add some in via computer. If I do, I’ll show you the new & enhanced picture as well.

The local Thrift store has been in operation for only about ten years. Every year, all profits are donated back to local community organizations. The store is completely volunteer run and almost all the items for sale are local donations. It’s like one big garage sale – you never know what treasures you’ll find. I found their float to be both simple and effective.

The sign on the back says: “Communities working – $150,000 for community!”

Next we have the Byng Ladies float. Byng is/was a local school district and this float is usually full of elegant, old ladies. The night before the parade, a nephew and I were bemoaning the fact that there would probably not be a Byng Ladies float this year as they are all getting too old. His great-grandmother lived in the Byng district. As you can see, they found a solution to that problem and dressed up grand-daughters (and great grand-daughters) to take their place. Hopefully, this means the tradition will carry on.

All the float needed was some dainty, little tea cups.

Overall, the floats were diverse but all showcased the past & present reality of small town living. In my city, this float may have gotten booed. It is for a local Outfitter (they guide the hunters who come up in the Fall). It was, I thought, the most creative float in the parade but then I’m biased – it’s my nephew’s business (yes, I have a lot of nephews & nieces & siblings & cousins).

Pretty good considering it was created by the young men the night before after my mother’s birthday party.

Lastly, here is a picture of the small town crowd on Main Street eagerly anticipating the parade….

It was, as Pooh would say, a blustery day.

And a couple of pictures of the swag the nearby children collected throughout the parade.

Part of my nephew’s take…he held on to all the candy himself…it filled a small bookstore bag.

This is what the sisters in front of us collected; they were very good about sharing.

I’ll leave you with a tidbit of advice…just in case you’re ever planning a summer parade float…

Do Not throw out these to the waiting masses…

They are freezies…they were frozen…optimum word there…were…they didn’t stay frozen long and they are also impossible to open without scissors around. Bad idea altogether. So, if you’re ever in charge of swag for a float – just say no to freezies; no matter if they are purple (grape) or red raspberry or even blue raspberry. Yum!

This public service advice brought to you today, by me, solitary spinster. 🙂

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