Everybody Loves a Parade
by the Mayberry Guru
October is here and for me it means it is time to put my Mayberry Squad Car into winter storage and it is the end of the parade season. While I enjoy car shows and giving Mayberry presentations, the atmosphere and excitement of small town parades are hard to beat. Small town parades are true Americana. People line up their lawn chairs hours in advance to assure a great view and many families set up canopies and have cookouts while watching the parade.
From the moment a parade begins with a flurry of sirens, people begin to applaud and have fun. It is great to see entire crowds stand as our nation’s flag slowly makes it way along the parade route. Patriotic music can be heard and people remove their hats and place their hand over their heart.
The good citizens of Mayberry also enjoyed parades. In Mayberry parades were sometimes held when they had an important visitor. One time the governor came to Mayberry and a parade was held in his honor. The Mayberry parade consisted of the town band, the Mayberry squad car, a convertible with Mayberry’s Potato Queen wearing a swimsuit, much to the disapproval of Aunt Bee, and the governor riding in a limousine borrowed from the Mt. Pilot Mortuary. The entire parade route was three blocks long and the parade lasted a total of three minutes.
Even though I am a participant in parades, I still take my deputy duties seriously. Quite often I have to issue citations to the people walking in front of me. They sometimes totally disregard the littering laws by throwing endless candy all over the streets and sidewalks.
I also watch for careless drivers in parades. The Zor Tin Lizzies and Shriners are notorious for careless driving. They speed along in their little cars making figure eights. Many drivers have gone home with a citation in their pocket. Even local police officers have received citations for illegally parking their squad cars in the middle of the street during parades.
This being said, I have to admit that the best part of parades is receiving so many hugs. Hugs from little kids, hugs from former students, and hugs from my many friends in small towns everywhere. The most moving hug I ever received was at Eleva’s Broiler Festival when a little girl ran out into the street and gave me a big hug and then said to me, “I love America.”