Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The 4th of July Tradition

The Osceola-Mills 4th of July parade has been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember.  Every 4th my mother would meet up with her sister and brother and their families and cart us kids to the parade.  We’ve pretty much sat in the same general area for all of these years, which I guess you could say has been at least 25 or more, as I can remember being at least 5 or under and attending the parade and carnival.  Both the carnival and parade seem to get smaller and smaller every year.

Curb-side at the 2012 Osceola Parade
The parade usually starts at 11 in the morning, but we are usually late.  We were late this year also, but my mother informed us we only missed 19 fire trucks and one band.  Geez.  We sat at a new location this year, a friend of my mother’s front lawn where there was a wall and a set of stairs going down to the road; a somewhat different layout for picking up thrown candy.  Celie enjoyed the fire trucks, but really paid little attention to the parade.  She pretty much ran around and had to be followed or restrained the whole time.  Madness.  She’s at that in between age, where she’s not a little baby but not a kid big enough to know things are dangerous or to listen to you.  I imagine this stage will go on for the next 16 to 25 years. 

The parade ended with little thrill.  The Jaffa Shriner’s weren’t even there this year?  It seemed so much more exciting when I was a kid, obviously.  But what is happening?  Everything is shrinking.  The carnival is even smaller with fewer attractions.  We made our way down to it after the parade though and had our ritual walk through of the small event.  After having forgotten at least 4 items and returned at least 4 times to the car for them, we also forgot my wallet that had at least 10 bucks in it.  My husband had one dollar on him.  We are with it!  (sarcasm)  Joey gave the dollar to me and I got 5 rings for a chance to win him a pocket knife.  I failed.  My sister, Kate, then paid my way and we played each the game of games, fish pong.

Fish Pong, or the Fish Game, I don’t know what it’s called actually, has always been one of my favorite games at carnivals.  Your prize is alive!  And it will last however long you keep it alive!  My cousin Brian won a fish at the Osceola carnival and it lived for 12 years!  Goldy is a legend in our family! We wanted a legend for Celie, so Aunt Kate decided to give it a try.  After several attempts at the fish game, we both failed.  You would think that all of the beer pong experience would have helped?   I guess red solo cups are a little wider at the top and easier to hit than those little fish bowls?  Plus they are closer together.  This carny was using dirty tricks; there was about a mile between each colored bowl.  Yeah, that was it.

Celie is at that odd age where I’m not sure she would stay in a kiddie ride so I am a little scared for her life, but one cool thing about the carnival was that she got to go on her first ride with her cousin Sofia (up until recently, referred to by Celie as “Ya Ya”).  They road the little cars together; this was one of my favorite rides when I was little.  I liked the motorcycles.  They used to have lights and buttons you could push for horns and things.  They used to have ramps they went up on.  Of course these are probably the same rides that I road when I was a child in the early 80’s.  Pretty soon the fake steering wheels will rust and you won’t even be able to turn them and pretend you’re steering!
Sofia (left) and Celie (right) riding a padiddle buggy.

After our small visit at the carnival we stopped at my husband’s uncle’s house on the way to the car.  They live locally, so we often see them at the parade and after.  It was a nice visit.  They gave us two little tricycles for Celie to take home!  Not to mention it was well into the 90’s, it was a scorcher, and their generous offerings of iced tea were most refreshing and appreciated!

We then drove back to my aunt’s house for the traditional post parade and carnival cook out.  We hung out on the patio and drank some Coors Light while the girls splashed in a kiddy pool.  Good times.  We consumed charred mammal flesh and feasted on side salads.  We didn’t even blow anything up, but it was fun.  We had one old sparkler that my cousin stuck in the fire and we watched.  Not very exciting for the 4th of July, but, it was a beautiful thing, traditionally speaking. Isn't that how it goes with traditions?  It doesn't matter how it goes, the comfort lies in repeating the pattern.

Traditionally Yours,
Missie Sue

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