I Love a Parade · 16 November 2013
Like the song says (and like I have mentioned on at least a couple occasions), I love a parade. Especially ones with lots of marching bands.
I love those parades where marching bands rule the day. I love to hear the different songs being played. I love to see the bands stepping in time to the beat. Mostly though, I love to hear the cadence. That beat the drums make while the band marches down the street. It makes me glad that my kids are in band and that I get to see and hear them play at parades.
Recently, we went to a parade where Thing 2 was playing. It was drizzling and wet, but we still had a good time. Even though people were standing in front of us the whole time.
Now I have been to enough parades to know that those in front usually sit down. Sometimes people sit on the curb and parade marshals tell them to keep their feet out of the gutters (while they are sitting) so the bands and floats and cars do not crush them. Unfortunately, those same marshals are not there to enforce the unwritten parade watching etiquette. Everybody just assumes people know that they are supposed to stay down in front and only stand when the flags go by.
At the September parade where we went, nobody near us sat down except us.
We had staked our claim to what we thought was a great vantage point to at least see our son in the band. One of the marshals even said that it was a good place to view the parade because it was near the judging stand where everybody would strut their stuff. And even if we could not see the street in front of the judging stand, we would at least get to hear all the performances.
Unfortunately, the spot we picked turned out not to be ideal. At least not with about ten people standing in front of us as we looked up the street. Our chairs were so short all we could see were the buns of the women in front of us. My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, was so upset that she wanted to give them a piece of her mind when it was all over, but she decided it was best that she did not. (I would have told her that I could give them some of my mind, even though I do not have any to spare, but I am sure even self-deprecating humor would not have gotten any sort of positive response with the mood she was in.)
Personally, I was fine with the whole situation. Not because I liked seeing the back sides of a bunch of people, but because I got to see at least part of the parade twice.
The parade did a switchback somewhere in the small town so I was able to walk up the street near the beginning of the parade to see and hear Thing 2 and his band. Then, I leisurely walked back to our seats in time to see the back pockets of a bunch of jeans when the band came by our spot.
I missed a few bands and floats because I was trading places up and down one block. But despite the view at our subprime location and going back and forth, I was still able to enjoy the music and take a few pictures. And I got to hear the cadence of many bands marching down the streets. Twice in many cases.
I am sure the reason people were not following proper parade watching etiquette by sitting down in front was because the sidewalks were wet from the rain that had poured all through the previous night and all that day. (It was amazing that it merely drizzled during the actual parade.) But it still did not matter all that much to me. I was happy to just sit and hear the bands play songs and march to their cadences. I was excited that I got to be at a parade with a bunch of marching bands. After all, I really do love a parade.
© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi
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