Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The 4th of July Parade (on the 3rd)

Yeah, I know.  This is a little bit late, but sometimes these things just happen.

I worked, and became good friends, with someone who is now on the School Board at the district I work for.  She’s been on it for a couple DSC_1346 of years, and last year asked me if I would drive her in the South Salt Lake 4th of July parade in my ‘70 LTD convertible.  I, of course, said I would love to.  Well, the parade was not a priority of the Mayor at the time, so because of budget restraints it was cancelled.  This year, with a new Mayor, the parade was back on and my friend called me up and asked if I would be willing to drive her this time.  I didn’t say yes right away, because the car was (is still) having some issues with the transmission, and I didn’t want to risk it.  But I did know someone else with an old Ford(ish) convertible and figured I might as well ask.  The Gearheads agreed to drive her and her husband around in their ‘69 Cougar convertible.  It was all working out great until my friend mentioned that another of the School Board members wanted to join in the car, which would make 3 in the back seat of the Cougar, which is not quite as big as the LTD.  We warned them that it would be a bit cozy, DSC_1371but this didn’t deter them at all.  Cozy they could handle.  So my little brother, his wife and I were up and ready to go by 6:30 am, after being at the South Salt Lake fireworks until after 11 the night before.   Ahhh, who needs sleep when you can be in a parade.  Mr. Gearhead headed down to the meeting place with the Cougar while Mrs. Gearhead came to pick me up.  Since the Cougar has 2 bucket seats in the front, Mrs. Gearhead was going to sit out and take pictures of the parade.  We get less than 3 blocks away from my house when Mr. Gearhead calls to let us know the Cougar was out of commission.   Something in the front end gave way, luckily while he was on a side road and not on the freeway.  Eeeek!  Well, transmission issues or not, we flipped a U turn and headed back to get the LTD.  I was 98.7% sure it was going to make it through the whole parade, so we decided we had to take the chance.  I wasn’t going to get down to the parade starting area and have them all cram into the back seat of Mrs. Gearhead’s Nissan.

DSC_1374We made it to the staging area by 7:00, despite the troubles, and parked the car in our designated position, 12th in the line.  Then my friend  took all 3 of us out to breakfast, we went and picked up her husband and headed back.  The good thing was that since we were in the LTD, the two Board members and husband fit nicely in the back seat (sitting up on the back of the car, feet on the seat, not very safe, but at a maximum of 10 MPH that really wasn’t a concern.)  AND both The Gearheads could join me in the front seat of the car for the parade. 

It was a blast.  It took us about an hour to drive the 5 or 10 miles, and the whole time all the passengers were throwing candy at the people watching the parade.  The car drove great, going that slow shifting was not an issue.  At one point Mr. Gearhead jumped out of the moving car to get pictures of us going by, and then caught up to us and jumped right back in.  Fun stuff.  I hope she asks me again next year.  Maybe we can get both the Cougar and the LTD in.DSC_1330

This last picture is of three of my students from the high school who decided it would be fun to chase me around with Super-Soakers.  Mr. Gearhead borrowed a Super-Soaker from a group of younger kids and got into the fray to defend me.  I had a few bottles of water, so I wasn’t unarmed, and the 5 of us ended up getting pretty wet.  Since summer had finally hit Salt Lake, it was quite refreshing.  We also got into a water fight with them at the end of the parade.

All in all, a very fun and tiring day.


A Paperback Writer said...

Good thing you had gas in the tank when this little emergency (fun emergency) arose.
Looks like you had a blast. Good times.
I am jealous, however, that you could just park your car in the parade line up and then go out to breakfast. I have been in many a parade in many a country (although never the coveted 24th of July parade), and from Bountiful to China, they all require what my dance groups refer to as "hurry up and wait." You race to be there by the designated time and then stand in place as long as 3 hours before the parade begins. Even once when I rode on a float (while dressed in a Russian costume, of course -- this was the Bountiful 23rd of July parade), I still had to stay put for the whole time. Hence, you are truly lucky that you could park the car in line and leave.
Thanks for putting this in -- even if it is a bit late.

Max said...

Hmm, this was the first parade I've ever been in, so I wasn't aware it was unusual. Good to know, if I ever do get the chance to be in another one, I won't be so surprised when they make me sit there and wait. Thanks for the info.