Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Lost Weekend, Day Two, Part One.

Part one was Saturday. The next two parts will both be Sunday, but they're in two different towns, about 50 miles apart, and one of them is officially in another sovereign nation.

Drove down to Forks (Mapquest it) before 9:30, having been told the BIG Fourth parade started at 10:00. Of course, when I got there, I discovered that it was at noon.

So I gassed the car. The power toxin is cheaper, the closer you are to the hot heart of civilization, and even Forks is warmer than Clallam Bay. Saved about 2 cents a gallon. Then went down to the Thriftway and picked up things we couldn't get in Clallam Bay -- like adhesive strips to keep people from killing themselves in the guest tub and suing our asses, and fish hooks Greenling size (all I can get are trout and salmon jigs). We'd already picked up the toilet valve (not ball-cock, thank you, why do they still make those crappy things?). Anyway.

The parade entries were gathering out in the Thriftway parking lot. Well, I thought I'd at least try to take photos for the Peninsula Daily News with my crappy little digital, so I wandered around seeing what I could get.

The Kids Run For Life (American Cancer Society) was very cooperative, them AND their bubble-blowing. The Quileute sang and gave a drum chorus, and held the baby up for a photo. The Red Hat Society was there, two chapters out of three -- The Red Fedoras and the Scarlette Ladies. "We do a lot, so this is how we have fun," said their leader. "We built this float out of whatever we had that was sparkly in an hour and a half." There was a Mexican Folklorico group, the girls in the most brilliant ribbon-decorated rainbow-colored dance gowns. They kept running back to use the restroom in the Thriftway, and I lived in fear of them spotting those satin dresses when they washed their hands.

Finally took the car and ran it down the road a bit, and in a line of trucks and teenage stock junkers, and found a perfect slot for Honig, my 1970 beige VW bug. Dug out the ancient Marine blanket Dan and I have used for picnics for 30 years. If we'd know the military was going to stop making those warm, light, thin olive-green blankets with the black Hudson Bay stripe, we'd have stolen a bunch more of them. The one we have is almost a family member; worn places and holes have been repaired with red felt heart-shaped appliqu├ęs sewn as back-to-back patches. Call it irony. I folded it up and placed it on the front of the bug; any of you who have ever sat on a bug know it is one of the most comfortable car to lean back and relax on. It gets warm -- and that's good, on a chill windy 4th of July.

The kids to the right on the red stock junker are pretending to shoot their classmates with a pretty good replica of a pistol. The kid with the pistol keeps telling the "victims" that they are lucky they don't live in Tacoma, because this would be real. The kid points the pistol at a bike cop, but only when he's passed by and his back is to the kid. Welcome to Columbine.

The parade finally gets started. Right behind the Sheriff's posse comes a Chinese lion-dance group. The above-mentioned floats are in the line, but most of the entries are stock junkers being dragged by somebody's truck with a logging chain, and some shiny Classics. The junkers were scribbled on with bad paint jobs, some of them done with markers. And damn, I'm trying to remember the great line somebody had drawn in black across a yellow top. I'm going to have to write all this stuff down. The drivers were teen boys, girls and one woman with a little girl. There was a 1928 Ford tractor carrying a calliope and shooting clouds of stinking black smoke into the air. The other shiny oldies had fake power plants in them, but this guy was proud of using the original clunker. Up ahead, logging trucks kept pulling into the line, carrying the old-growth forest logs they've had to keep for all the parades; they can't find any new ones, so they have to keep these for show. Hell, they should just name those logs. The four biggest I'm calling Sue, Phineas, Pitty-Patt and Joshua.

At the very end of the parade came the entry from The Peninsula Daily News. Their basic outfits were based on the paper's logo, blue and white. First came John Brewer, Our Fearless Reader. Leader. Oops -- Freudian slip. Anyways, he's carrying a roman-style banner that says -- deep breath -- "The Grateful Deadlines." Behind the PDN white van is a group of the pressroom people, with homemade kazoos made from orange newspaper delivery tubes. They started a routine based on Tequila. Well, it was kinda like a train-wreck. And they weren't even ashamed or anything. John was over there with his banner, while the Deadlines did the dance, and John... hey, wait! John IS on the other side of the van where he can't be photographed with the Deadlines.... Hmmm....

What are those photographs worth? What is the CHIP worth?

Then I drove home, cuz I was going to the Neah Bay (Mapquest it) fireworks display that night. Where The Fireworks Come Up Out Of The Water.

What?

Stay tuned.


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