Friday, June 8, 2007

I love a parade

It's Rose Festival week here in the NW, and you can tell, it's in the air. And on the ground. Which means it's raining. Something I guess it does pretty much without fail during this Festive Time Of Year.

Anyway, there's lots of hullabaloo - parades, floats, carnivals, ships, sailors, and queens. Oh, and the Rose Festival Royalty, too.

I don't like carnivals, but I will occasionally go, because I'm a parent and I have to do things I don't enjoy, like hanging out with white trash who think beer, cigarettes and cotton candy are a balanced diet and riding on things that spin you til your insides spill out is exercise. Luckily, JH is his mother's son, although he's not judgemental about it like I am. He just doesn't like to vomit in public.

We will be going to check out the ships and the sailors, because I'm sure they have all kinds of cool mechanically engineered doors on those babies. And as much as I love a parade, we won't make the Rose Parade because my darling husband is making a commercial at our house this weekend for a kilt company contest. Even if I weren't in charge of the Badass Kilt Fairy costume and craft services, it's sure to be an adventure I wouldn't want to miss.

We missed the Starlight Parade last weekend because it started, well, at STARLIGHT, and that's around 10:00 p.m. here in the Northwest, and my boy wouldn't make it past the first float, I'm pretty sure.

It's all okay, though, because you know what we DID manage to catch? The JUNIOR Rose Parade, which was absolutely thigh-smacking, ahhhhh-inducing, goosebump raising fun. There were some adorable tikes in wagons carrying signs that said what year different toys were invented for their theme of "100 Years of Toys", and a group called "Moms of Multiples", who looked absolutely bedraggled by the time they reached us at the very end of the line, and some kids on unicycles and some tai qwon do groups stopping to kick at each other in front of the crowd, but my absolute favorite were the marching bands. I was in Marching Band in high school. We were a tiny school in Eastern Washington, and when I started playing flute in Jr. High, we got a new instructor. He was on FIRE for music, and he kicked our asses around more than one football field, and by the time I graduated, we were REPRESENTING. When I think about my highschool memories, being a band geek was the experience that has stuck with me the longest. There's a saying about marching band: "If it were easy, they'd call it football."

Anyway, at the parade, there were a few truly amazing marching bands. Some of these bands were from elementary schools, and let me tell you, I was extremely proud to be from Washington State while they passed by, because by and large, most of them were from my side of the river, Oregon having a pretty tough time of it with "extra curricular activities" getting funded.

The aging Band Geek in me stood up extra tall when I'd hear those drums - Some of the drum lines were so tight, you just had to pinch yourself to believe these kids were in Elementary and Jr. High. And some were so sloppy I actually heard myself say outloud "Guide RIGHT, people!" Joe-Henry looked at me with particular pity at that point. I am going to embarrass him so much when he's a teenager. My favorite band was the Evergreen Jr. High band. - they were so tight, so mighty, so PROUD, it gave me hope for the future.

After the parade, we stopped and got a popsicle and marched back the five blocks to our car. Joe-Henry wants to enter the Jr. Parade next year. Be careful what you wish for son. Your mom is an aging Band Geek.


I, Rodius said...

I love that your husband wears a kilt! I'm pretty sure there's some Scottish mixed in with the Dutch in my mutt bloodline, so I thought maybe I could wear a kilt. But the cheapest utilikilt is $105! No, I'm far too cheap to rock the kilt. But I bet it's liberating.

anniemcq said...

Check on EBay! That's where he got his first Utilikilt. They are built to last, and yes, they are freeing. And they are almost as good as babies at getting conversations started with strangers!

suttonhoo said...

oh girlfriend -- I shoulda known you played the flute. me too.

although the honest truth? I really wanted to play the sax. which may be why I bailed before I got to marching band stage -- although my sister and brother carried it through on the field and before the review stand (one on flute, the other on sax [MY sax]).

and now you've got me wondering about why the heck I didn't just play the sax, if it was the sax that I wanted to play in the first #&@*! place.

hmmm. think I feel a post coming on...

Donna said...

Hey Annie, no chance you were from Chewelah, right?

anniemcq said...

No, Donna, not Chewelah (Wow - great reference, though!) I grew up in Clarkston

Lolabola said...

He took particular pity....that is too funny!

I too wanted to play the sax, as did every student in my jr. high band. We weren't allowed to play it until we had done a year on the clarinet. I think my grade 7 band had something crazy like 20 clarinetists all hoping to become the sax player (oh the 80s!). Well I ended up loving the clarinet but I changed schools in grade 8 and was too shy to join their super preppy band so that was the end of my sax and band career. I only really wanted to learn the Brass Monkey intro anyway.

My sister was in the Stampede Showband and she played the flute too, although in the band she played the xylophone until it destroyed her back. I think there may have been too many flute players when she joined.....

PureLight said...

Oh boy, your thoughts on the Pacific NW, and particularly the Rose Parade, Junior Rose Parade, and Rose Festival royalty just slammed me into the past! I graduated from Grant High School in Portland in 1957. Everything to do with the festival was an important part of our adolescent culture. Probably not so much anymore since kids have so many other diversions now. Thanks for stirring up memories!

anniemcq said...

Suttonhoo & Lola: I loved the flute, and I DID play sax in our Jr. High jazz band. I wish I still had it. It was so much fun. My sweet babboo got me a flute for Christmas two years ago.

And Purelight - thank you so much for saying hi! I love your blog. I heard a great interview with the Rose Festival Royalty on npr the other day. It said a lot about the "relevence" of the festival, and in particular the royalty. I'll try to find the url and post it.