Jeremiah and I parked on a back street and walked into town through the mountains of apple boxes along the tracks, reminders of a former time when the big growers and packers were still in business.Then it was wandering around to watch the parade before the Parade as participants lined up and waited for things to start. Things like the girls in the formals in their Barbie stands, so they don't fall off. And the driver's head poking up incongruously, looking uncomfortably like a grisly trophy of some Formal Girl rite.
And like the Rodeo Queens. I love the Rodeo queens, and we have lots of them around here. It goes back to the days of the Snake River Stampede Parade, every hot evening before the rodeo, and a boy with the first stirrings of Awareness, gazing up from his seat on the curb at those Queens of the Fifties riding by with their big hats and red, red lips, and long, bejeweled legs locked around their lunging mounts.
Now the Queens get a kick out of having their picture taken by Gabby Hayes. And they don't even know who Gabby Hayes is.
And like Isaiah and the Sixth Grade Band warming up and waiting impatiently.
And then the call comes down the line. It's time! Soon they hear the fire engines up ahead and one street over announcing the beginning of the parade with their sirens.
So they line up, with the help of Kim and the other band parents, and march past their future: the Marching Tigers, the varsity band with the fancy unis, the Drum Majorette and everything. The Marching Tigers, who took First Place in the band category this day, edging you, the hard working Sixth Graders, into Second Place. But someday..someday...that will be you in that magnificant uniform gazing down at the sixth graders as they straggle by in their T Shirts.
But now--NOW--it's your time.
You can't beat that, but there's more. The kids...