Posts Tagged With: parades

MONROE FAIR PARADE.

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We were on our way to the Library and couldn’t get there. We ran into the Monroe Fair Parade, a traditional event held every year at the start of the County Fair.

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We were paraded by the Aloha Ladies and their beautiful horses.

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A few floats; this one advertising their upcoming Octoberfest.

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Various community groups, martial arts…

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…a dance group. They were stopped in front of us for awhile and I noticed all the pretty hair-does.  It reminded me of our exchange student from Indonesia who had kinky black hair. We sat in the back row of a church and she pointed out the many colors of hair to me and then became concerned she would be the only student in school with black hair.

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I believe the braids are called French braids. I know I envied them on my best friend in grammar school who wore her hair like this. My mom, who is French, could not do french braids.

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Politicos were parading, of course we don’t vote here. Carolyn let her dog help out.

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What’s a parade without some neat old cars?

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The Harley Club paraded with their hogs.

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And various princesses representing their club or group, all unfamiliar to us.

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I admire her courage to walk a parade in shoes like these. Only the young.

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A marcher gave me a piece of candy and this little girl wanted it. I gave it to her, but what she really wanted was to be able to GIVE a piece to Jim. I guess she thought he was being cheated. Then she hugged him and I got her to pose for a picture.

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She turned out to be a real ham and I probably took a dozen pictures of her. That unbridled laugh just makes me smile.

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The sun was harsh and overhead for most of the parade. But this group of horsemen were behind us and we caught them catching up to the front.DSC08450 (Copy)

I noticed the strap of his sombrero held near his mouth.

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I’m curious to know why that position instead of under the chin?

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Magnificent horses make this parade special. Don’t know the breeds by sight, but look at that mane and tail. DSC08511 (Copy)

This troup danced their horses. You can see the maneuver as the horse is trained to side step and cross a front leg over the other. I’ve been part of organizing a parade and I was impressed how they do it here. And the cost of insurance to allow horses in a parade is astronomical.

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Music provided by a flatbed of singing musicians. I know horses love music. At least, my daughter’s horse did. He’d just get silly when someone parked in our pasture and turned on the radio.

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Apparently, there is a race track nearby. I noticed that the race cars don’t drive the parade. Each one had a black truck with a padded pusher to get them through the parade. Jim told me high performance engines cannot drive and idle at low speeds.

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I counted 12 tractors in the parade…DSC08481 (Copy)

…and one banana.

 

 

 

 

 

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SIX MILLION RV’S ON THE ROAD.

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Memorial Day is tomorrow. We read where there are an estimated six million rv’s  on the road for this three-day holiday. Jim has a philosophy, and that is to hunker down somewhere for popular holidays and stay off the road. We spent Thursday night at an American Legion in Dillsburg,  PA. We saw bunches of vets with motorcycles headed for various parades and festivities honoring vets. Friday morning, he drove through another rain storm to bring us to a Thousand Trails in Hershey, PA.

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I took a couple of barn pictures between raindrops.

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I compared the beauty of the land to this painting from the Shenandoah Valley Museum. The same general area.

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And this painting. An unusual boat for American waters. I’ve never seen any thing like it.

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It was beastly cold and we stayed in and read  and did computer chores most of the day. A short walk away, ducks were so cold we thought at first they were decoys; their heads tucked under wings.

Then, yesterday, we did our laundry and walked to the visitors center for a look around. The pool opened for the season, but I wasn’t up to braving the cold. We looked through the library and traded books we’ve read for some we haven’t.  I’m walking slowly, so Jim took an evening walk by himself.

I’m reading an excellent book entitled My Dream Of You by Nuala O’Faolain.  O’Faolain returns to her native Ireland to dig up a story of an aristocratic family during the potato famine. I’m French/Irish and it reminds me that there was genocide in Ireland during that horrific period. Living on the road for months at a time, gives me the luxury of reading good books as well as my trash novels, and I love it.

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NO PARADE BUT GOT THE GHOST STORY

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated in Murphys yesterday. Since my mail is by the pound, I read a notice the parade would be on Sunday. I stumbled onto the corrected date in a later notice. Went late, missed the parade, had a good beer, enjoyed the green hair, the bands, and best of all, I got a ghost story.

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Not everyone wears green hair, of course, but everyone has fun. I know this guy is bald, so he enjoyed his hair and later let everyone try it on.

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Others take their costumes seriously, as this young man very authentically dressed.

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At 3:30 in the afternoon, the pony rides were starting to pack up and leave.

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The main band stand on the street was  still pumping out tunes.

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There were a lot of places to sit, and Jan and I enjoyed a huge pretzel at Cactus Jacks. I had my first dark beer since getting home. The woman on the right is holding the tallest green margarita I’ve ever seen. They were all over town.

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Jack’s rock band was so loud and the dance floor so crowded, we sat outside and still had to shout at each other to be heard.

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Jan doesn’t drink but a sip of wine now and then. She is Italian so I had to take her picture by this barrel.  Every time I come home, there is a new tasting room in Murphys.

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Newsome-Harlow’s courtyard had a good band.

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Their courtyard is a pleasant place to sip and chat. The fire was going in the pits, even though the weather was perfect.

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Jan found a dragonfly to put in her pond.

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I found some cute bird houses, but didn’t buy. I liked the idea of a waterproof roof.

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We got to the end of the street, Tom Scheller, the owner of the IDEA store, pointed out some fun stuff he added to his building, which is the old International Order of Oddfellows building from the Gold Rush days. A woman standing nearby said, Have you heard about the ghost?”  Me:  “What ghost?”

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Tom was getting his stuff moved back inside, ready to close up for the day. Tom and I were in Murphys Merchants Association together many years ago. He bought the building 37 years ago and I’ve been in Murphys 35 years. I regard Tom as a down-to-earth credible guy. Hey, Tom?

This is the story he told me. “I’ve always heard creakings and what sounded like footsteps in this old building,  mostly when I went upstairs. He took Jan and I to his side door where the stairs can be reached from the outside, and a second door leads to his main display downstairs. “I had just locked my outside door. The door to my showroom was closed. I started up the stairs and I heard heavy footsteps coming downstairs. I backed off and decided to turn around when a whoosh of cold air hit me, the footsteps passed me and I heard a click of my  showroom door as though something passed through it. I’ve had people get spooked when visiting the upstairs showroom over the years, they described it as a feeling of someone watching them. I’ve always ignored it. But, we’ve had some activity downstairs too.  I or my employees have been sitting behind the counter, working on the computer or whatever, and papers will be picked up off the top of a file cabinet and dropped to the floor. Things have moved off the shelf and been dropped on the floor. We always joked about a ghost. We have a non-smoking environment here, but I’ll open up some mornings and find a wisp of cigarette smoke hanging in the far left corner of my shop. Then one day, a physic, who was touring with some people, looked up and said, you have a ghost, his name is Joe, he is sitting right there. She pointed to where I see the smoke periodically. I was still a bit skeptical but one day, I was doing some remodeling upstairs and I opened up the floor boards and found three bricks, one imprinted with the name Joe. I’m convinced now that I have a ghost.” (Me too.)

 

 

 

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I’M GOING TO NAME HER AFTER MY WIFE!!

“I’m going to name her after my wife!” So said Monsieur C. C. Duson when he established a railroad head in Landry Parrish Louisiana. Eunice is an unassuming town. It became a bastion of good food and special music after being settled by Acadians, that mix of French-speaking Cajuns. The decedents of European French, Creoles from Haiti and Germans created a unique cultural mix of people, language, music and religious beliefs, but the ancient tradition of mardi gras came from the peasant classes of France.
We walked into the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center and watched an hour video of the local people of Eunice running the Mardi Gras. The costume above belonged to the ranger working that day. A local, he ran the Mardi Gras the first time at age 14. The whole town is gearing up for this special family/community event. The costume shops are humming and parents are sewing hats and painting masks. (The pictures that follow are taken of photos.)

Its roots in Saturnalia, the raucus crowds of Euopean countries would costume themselves so they were unidentifiable. They spoofed their royals by imitating the court jester, their tall hats, or the Bishops hat, even a particular face. Winter was the leanest time of year and if they were hungry, they would resort to begging even though ashamed to beg. The costumes prevented their neighbors from knowing who they were.

In Eunice, the men traditionally ride out on horse back. Now, with farms so far apart, some ride on wagons or trucks. The assigned Captain asks if the mardi gras’ can approach. If yes, they charge and the farmer throws a chicken or two, or three. In a good year, maybe a small pig and some money. The farmer wants them gone and he throws the chicken away from his house as far as he can. The group chases the chickens until they are caught. The men may have imbibed before showing up at the farmer’s place and they reward him with a dance and song.

This mardi gras holds up the chicken he caught.

A mardi gras dances on top of his horse.
Once gathered, the meat is brought back to town, where it is cooked in a giant gumbo for the whole community. Parades, song and dance, and feasting is part of the celebration. Adults and children of all ages join in the fun. For some young boys, it is a right-of-passage. According to our ranger, running the Mardi Gras is tough, you become a grown-up from running the Mardi Gras. The video makes that clear. This festival has been studied in depth.

We left the Acadian Center and visited the Eunice Museum, The Cajun Music Hall of Fame and a local radio station.

A cigar box banjo above and an unidentifiable stringed instrument below.
An old time German accordion, all part of the great musical tradition of Cajuns.
Initially, 32 Cajun musicians were honored in this historic Hall Of Fame. They now add two per year. People outside of Cajun Country don’t necessarily recognize these unforgettable musicians who have contributed so much to this great,original music.
At work behind the window was the disk Jockey/ad hawker, from Station KBON 101.1 on your dial. The station plays mostly Cajun music, of course. The walls are filled with autographs and pictures of great musicians who’ve appeared on this station. We recognized Fats Domino, Little Ritchie and below, Doug Keershaw, the Ragin’ Cajun among other notables. We followed wall after wall of autographs and pictures.
What a great place to visit. Now, this is only an inkling of what Eunice, Louisiana is like.
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