Well, a little rain didn't keep the crowd away from our Fourth of July parade, or dampen anybody's spirits as far as I could tell. It certainly didn't stop our able announcer, Ernie LaPine, who had to ad-lib a little when the registration papers about the various floats and vehicles got wet and he couldn't read them. As Ernie told me, no one ever accused him of freezing up in front of a microphone.
Ernie even said he thought the crowd was a little bigger this year than in years past.
"I thought it went great," he said. "It seems to be growing over the years."
Ernie also pointed out that a lot of credit goes to Carol Schwoebel, who took over organizing the event a few years back, when it was in danger of being cancelled. So we all owe Carol a big thank-you, along with all the other volunteers (including her husband, Jeff) who worked so hard to make the day such a big success.
I'd say that I owe Carol a bigger thank-you than most, since I was lucky enough to be offered a spot on the coolest ride of all, the gorgeous old 1919 Model-T firetruck that is the pride of the Westport Number 1 Hose Company. As someone who's never had any trouble at all getting in touch with his inner child, I jumped at the opportunity, naturally.
And let's not forget all the fun at Lee Park after the parade. The canoe and trike races, plus the Ice Cream Social and Professor Marvel's magic show, courtesy of the Christopher Emmet Hallowell Fund, also had a bigger crowd than ever. Those who knew Christopher know what a wonderful way this is to honor the memory of his fun-loving and generous spirit.
That evening Ernie LaPine and other tale-spinners had a good crowd of children of all ages for Story Hour. Among the spine-tingling stories Ernie regaled them with was one about Joseph Terry's grave, which can be seen up on Steele Woods Road.
If I've piqued your curiosity about this tale, come to Story Hour next year. I'm sure Ernie can be persuaded to tell it again.
But here's a story Ernie told me that I can share with you. Did you see the two unicyclists in the parade? They were Steve Gratto and his 11-year-old son, who happened to be driving through town when they got caught in the line of cars stopped for the parade.
So what did they do? They got their unicycles out of the car and joined in. Steve even juggled while he rode. How's that for ad-libbing?