Monday, July 12, 2010

Small Town, America

Bigfork is a small town in northwest Montana along Flathead Lake. The population is around 1500 (the school I teach at in Phoenix has a population of around 1000). Bigfork has one stoplight and that is on the main highway 35, so residence can turn onto the highway. The main street in Bigfork is about one-quarter of a mile long. Bigfork is one of those town where everyone knows you. I am only there during the summer and every summer someone I don't recognize will come up to me and say, "Hey, it is good to see you back in town." I love towns where everybody waves and calls out, "Hey!"

Bigfork, MT has a Fourth of July parade every year. Caren and I have been coming to Montana for the summer for at least fifteen years. In the past, we haven't attended the parade until a few summer's ago someone told us attendance is a must, and we were asked to assist in building a "float" for the Adopt a Soldier organization. Now it has become a Fourth of July tradition.
Caren and I go about two hours early, yep, two hours! We set up chairs for any friends and family in town. We bring books to read while we wait for the action. Lately, we haven't read the books because people watching is so much more fun. At the time of the parade I think there are at least over three thousand people lining the street of Bigfork. 

After two hours of people watching and anticipation, IT starts. Caren and I have decided that anyone can be in the Bigfork parade:

If you have a cool car, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't have a cool car but you decorate your car with red, white and blue, you can be in the Bigfork parade.

If you have a boat, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't have a boat but you have an oar, you can be in the Bigfork parade.

If you have a motorcycle, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't have a motorcycle but you have a bike, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you have a fire engine, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't have a fire engine but you have a golf cart, you can be in the Bigfork parade. 
If you dress like a clown, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't dress like a clown but you act like one, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you have a Berenese Mountain dog, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't have a Berenese Mountain dog but you have a dog with a flag tied to its tail, you can be in the Bigfork parade.

If you have a cheer squad, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't have a cheer squad but you yell really loud, you can be in the Bigfork parade.

If you have an ice cream truck, you can be in the Bigfork parade.
If you don't have an ice cream truck but you do have ice cream, you can be in the Bigfork parade.

This year it rained for a week prior to the parade. Someone asked me if I was going to the parade this year and I replied I was only going if it didn't rain. The person who inquired about my attendance looked at me with shocked indignation and said, "God NEVER rains on the Bigfork parade!"

It was a close one this year. As we waited for the parade. The dark, gloomy thunderclouds formed off to the west. The temperature dropped about ten degrees. We were deciding whether or not to make a run for it to the car. Just before the parade started, the clouds moved north and the sun came out. It was a perfect day for the Bigfork parade because God never rains on the Bigfork parade. 



Paco's Perspective

You have put more than enough silly costumes on me, why not a tie a flag to my tail so I could be in the Bigfork parade?



The Flip Side

What's a parade?

5 comments:

  1. I want to be in the Bigfork Parade! It reminds my of the 4th of July Parade in Natick Massachusetts during the 1950's! The community and business- sonsored floats, bicycle parade, doll carriage parade, "Horribles" parade, etc....everything ended at the ELKS lodge grounds...hot dogs and ice cream for all! My sister and I were entered one year as Ike and Mamie Eisenhower, dressed as such (we were 8 and 6 years old, respectively) with photo masks on our faces, me in my mother's mink stole (in JULY!), carrying an armful of faux roses, and my sister in our neighbor's son's sunday church suit and our Dad's fedora, both sitting atop our family Packard convertible with mother dressed as a chauffer, complete with uniform and dark glasses! We won a Canada Dry insulated cooler! Woo-hoo! That's what great memories are made of! Loved reading this, as it triggered those memories for me!

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  2. I'm with Paco...time to join the masses :) I'm sure you have enough Literacy Parade costume bits left over to make an awesome showing!

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  3. 馬丁路德:「即使知道明天世界即將毀滅,我仍願在今天種下一棵小樹。」............................................................

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