The town that I live in used to have an Independence Day Parade. We still have fireworks, but the parade has gone the way of the dinosaur and candy cigarettes. One year, the volunteer firemen decided the parade had gotten to be too much work and that was the end of the parade. (Is the parade a metaphor for independence? I leave it to you to decide. I’m just telling a story here).
Anyway, we used to have a parade and my house was in the staging area. Early in the morning (very early in the morning) the fire trucks would begin to show up from all over New Jersey. Modern pumpers and antique fire trucks. Bands and civic groups and local politicians. And Mummers.
Hours before the parade would begin, we’d be outside chatting with firemen and aldermen, with marchers and mummers, a community coming together to celebrate on the Fourth of July.
We’re still a community. We still get together on the Fourth. And we still have great good fun. But I miss having a mummer knock on my door at dawn asking to use my bathroom. I miss the parade.
Happy Fourth of July.