On July 3rd of this year, I was meeting with my buddies, Bob, Freddie, Don, Skip, and John at our regular watering hole, Sara’s Restaurant in Gates Mills, Ohio, where we discussed our various plans for the 4th of July. For me, there was no question, as it is a day of early golf and yard work- I guess I have become a creature of habit. This one, however, proved to be special.
Freddie made comment that it would be nice to attend the annual parade which Gates Mills sponsors every fourth. Freddie commented that this parade represented the best of small town America and the great values that come with these communities. As I listened both Freddie and I concluded that we both needed a strong dose of America, something that made you so proud that the hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up.
Well so much for golf as we agreed to meet on the lawn in front of the historical society, a perfect corner to view the entire parade. Freddie brought the water and I brought the blanket. Our buddy Bob was happy with our discussion since he was going to be in the parade with his vintage M.G. convertible.
I must say we got our shot of Americana instantly as the parade began as most do- fire trucks blowing their horns with great pride with a police escort now using “friendly” sirens. Antique cars, bag pipes, the high school band, and dogs lead by men and women in red coats representing Gates Mills famous hunt club and the fox hunt. Children on wagons were pulled by proud parents. And if this were not enough, here came Bob so proud of his marvelous auto.
Upon completion of our journey, Freddie and I headed back to Sara’s for a beer. They were closed of course but our friend Dave left word we should go to the bar and have a couple beers on him. (Nice to be a regular you know) Being the extremely hot day that it was, just a sip of ice cold beer put both Freddie and I near perfection for a period of time. What a great memory, one which made the both of us so very proud to be an American. We just experienced the best of that special something that sets this country so far apart from others. During the parade, one can’t help but notice the many clubs and charities represented, which gave me pause to think I should get more involved. This America has a huge heart which we sometimes forget about.
Thus as Freddie and I finished our good second beer, we concluded we will never miss this parade again as this will sure ben our annual shot of good old U.S.A.
Please view the parade pictures as I attempted to capture the moment. Notice our friend Bob coming and going in his car. Yes, all is still well in America. Our roots are still obvious, our values still quaint, our innocence still in play, and our small towns filled with folks who still have their heads on so very straight.