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Gotta love a small town parade!

Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009, at 5:57 AM

The streets of Advance were an unlikely place to find Cap'n Jack Sparrow, dragging the Black Pearl behind him. I never did find out this pirate's real identity!
It's early Tuesday morning, the day after the big Labor Day weekend. My company is gone, and my house is sooooooo quiet!

The little town of Advance springs to life on Labor Day weekend, looking like it used to years ago in more prosperous times. The streets are full of traffic of every variety imaginable, including teams of tiny horses, wagons, riders on horseback, and kids on four-wheelers. Sturdivant Street is once more the main thoroughfare, as people line the street to wait for the Big Parade.

Everything with wheels or legs is rounded up and put into the annual Labor Day Parade - police and fire vehicles, tractors, 4-wheelers, horses, dogs dressed in costumes, and the high school band.

A parade in a small town is a friendly affair, as children scramble for candy, local politicians walk the route, shaking hands, and festive floats file past, populated with folks waving and shouting to friends in the crowd.

Various members of my family usually come to join me in watching the festivities. My sister Kathy came from Springfield. My 3-year-old grandson Evan was big enough this year to join in the candy scramble, with his daddy warning him - "See that line, Evan? Don't go past it!"

Evan was so excited that he jumped up and down and screeched, "MiMi, MiMi! It's coming! It's coming!" as the Chief of Police led the procession with lights flashing.

There's an innocence and simplicity about a small town parade. It celebrates life. Family members living in far distant places return home to their roots on Fair Day. It's Homecoming and acknowledgement that we made it through another year.

As the horses and riders file past, marking the end, folks begin to gather up their lawn chairs and head down to the park, where a traveling carnival has set up rides for the kids, and the stage is ready for the beauty pageants.

My son Matthew and his lovely wife Laura (expecting their second child next month) walked with me to the park, I holding Evan's hand as he jabbered excitedly. They thought the parade was a bit longer than the one they saw the day before in Benton, but they're all about the same. Bell City's will be next weekend, and the others will follow soon.

It's a happy time, as we celebrate the end of summer, the harvest time, and the fellowship of family and friends.

From the friendly hills of suburban Tillman, Mo., this is your very happy rural reporter Madeline, signing off on another glorious summer morning.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I loved Captain Jack! It was a day for fictional characters. On my way home to Springfield yesterday, about 2.5 miles east of Hillbilly Junction, I saw Batman - in full costume - walking along the shoulder headed west - with a furled US flag and pole sticking up out of his backpack. He didn't have his thumb out so I don't know if he was hitchhiking. I was past him in a flash and couldn't stop, but I'd love to know that story. Did the Batmobile die or run out of gas somewhere along the road? Did Robin finally get tired of being mister perfect second banana and take it for a joy ride? Has Batman lost his license for driving without insurance? Inquiring minds want to know.

-- Posted by mokath52 on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 6:51 AM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
I still wish you'd stopped & gotten a picture! However, I totally understand why you didn't. He could have been an axe murderer, cleverly disguised to entrap curious motorists - something similar to a Venus Flytrap!

I've seen some pretty crazy things on Highway 60, but Batman definitely gets the Grand Prize! On one trip, I saw a guy roller blading in those hills around Van Buren. I've kicked myself ever since for not stopping and getting his story.

Oh my, I missed the Advance parade this year, always an enjoyable occasion as my 2 grandkids (now married with family) always played in the Advance High School Band. Glad you all had a great time and thanks for the story.

-- Posted by changedname on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 11:29 AM


-- Posted by shannonhoon on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 12:50 PM

Trivia Time.

Who was Robin in the Batman series that starred Adam West as Batman?


Answer: Bruce Lee who later became famous as the King of kung-fu movies, and mysteriously died at 32.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 2:11 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
Wow! I had no idea! I have to admit that I don't even remember what that Robin looked like, though I have one of the old movies on tape. Batman has come a long way since those days! I also have the later version which made the t.v. screen. Loved it! One of my fellow teachers in the car pool, circa 1964, also liked the Batman series, and we loved to talk about it, as the FIVE of us rode from Cape to Bell City to teach.

Can you imagine five people car pooling ANYWHERE today?

Hoonie never misses a chance to be nice.

-- Posted by changedname on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 3:00 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
Commenting on a different topic: I was so pleased to hear from a high school classmate today - She saw this blog and e-mailed me at the office. She remembered that we rode the FHA float in the Dexter parade back in the day. Funny! You sure don't see THOSE floats anymore!

Thanks for the memory, Judy! I'd love to see those photos!

MD, I either had a brain freeze or it was in warp mode. But I just remembered that Bruce Lee was Kato in The Green Hornet series. It was Burt Ward who was Robin in the Batman series. However Kato wore a half-mask and a cap so it wasn't the easiest thing to tell who he was.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 8:31 PM

Sorry FJGuy but Bruce Lee was Kato on the Green Hornet. Burt Ward played Robin to Adam West's Batman.

-- Posted by no tea for me on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 8:38 PM

So who was Inspector Clouseau's house boy in the Pink Panther films??

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 8:44 PM

Being the "old" wise man that I am, Cato Fong is the house boy in Pink Panther. That was a great comedy just like "Get Smart". Very entertaining back in the day.

-- Posted by BonScott on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 11:43 PM

I miss those well-written shows. The current trend of reality-type programming is weak.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 6:15 AM

Would Andy Griffith fall into this type? Barney Fife, one of my top 3 role models and influences. Still carry a bullet with me at all times, I just carry mine in my underpants.

What about Happy Days, Lavern & Shirley? What'd you call me Bon?

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 1:33 PM

Loved the episode where Gomer Pyle fell asleep on the roof.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 6:25 PM

I too enjoyed the parade on Monday and Cap'n Jack was a nice surprise. I miss standing in front of Charlie Hinkles, that was my dads spot every year for as long as I can remember. I almost didn't go to the parade last year until my oldest son made me feel guilty when he said, grandpa would be mad if you didn't go to the parade. I went and I was glad I did. You have to go every year if your from Advance!

-- Posted by BJH57 on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 10:52 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
I think we sometimes get jaded with the small town parades. We shouldn't compare them to the big city affairs, as these are strictly of the homegrown variety.

I like to see the ingenuity of the participants, in coming up with something to show off. One year I took a picture of an antique manure spreader that someone pulled behind an antique tractor! No kidding! I had to ask an older man in the crowd what it was!

I was pleased to see the effort and creativity in some of the floats. It's so cute that the Nursing Home float won first place! It was decked out to look like a ship, sailing through tropical waters! The activity director even bought a small bubble machine to put on back! The residents could hardly wait to get on board. They finally let one lady climb on, and she sat there for 45 minutes before they moved out to join the parade!

Aaaaahhhh Gomer Pyle! What a show! Hogan's Heroes?!!!!!!!!

Taking me back to when things were a little different.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 10:18 AM

hoon,yes i wish we could go back to the good old days when you did not have a computor.do you have any friends that will listen to you besides on the computor?

-- Posted by pearl1201 on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 1:34 PM

uh, oh. Watch out!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 2:50 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
Speaking of the past, the classmate I mentioned above has sent me three photos taken when three of us rode the FHA float in the Dexter parade. I'd have to check the yearbook to see what year it was, but the car that was pulling the float was HOT! She said a guy from Bernie furnished the car, and she figured that he must have been dating a Dexter girl.

I may just be tempted to post those pictures on my blog. Haha! It looks like "Happy Days" all over again! We look like Laverne & Shirley...

Stay tuned!

Hoon, be careful with that bullet in your underpants. We all understand when you shoot your mouth off. :-)

-- Posted by mokath52 on Fri, Sep 11, 2009, at 11:41 AM

The Stoddard County Fair Parade is September 22nd! I love that parade. I've only missed it one year for as far back as I can remember! I very much enjoy taking my kiddos there now. The candy scramble is obviously their favorite, but they really enjoy the tractors and horses as well. I, too, love a small town parade. Wonderful memories, wonderful people, wonderful sounds....

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Fri, Sep 11, 2009, at 12:14 PM

There are so many nice local bands in the Dexter parade. That's always my favorite part.

I really hate it when the big trucks drown out the bands with their air horns! Marching and playing in the band is hard work! They deserve to be heard!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Sep 11, 2009, at 9:37 PM


Hope this link works, off-topic but so entertaining concerning goats.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sun, Sep 13, 2009, at 7:37 PM

I'm sure Peta would not approve of dressing goats up in costumes and putting them in parades, but I know that these sociable little critters just love attention - so I think it's cute! It would be hard for someone to eat a goat after they had dressed her up in a dress and bonnet!!

Can't you see it? "Hi, Marge, that was the cutest goat you put in the parade! Where is she now?" Marge: "Oh, we ate her last week."

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 1:17 PM

There was a time I loved g-burgers, but out of respect for gl and md I have given up that delicacy. And respect for the little nannies and billies.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 2:06 PM

Dexterite, you are a SWEETIE, even if some of our more rowdy bloggers don't think so!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 7:51 PM

Thanks gl, hoping to wave at you in your little goat-buggy next Tuesday in the parade.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 8:32 PM

I'll be the one in the bright red shirt...

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Sep 15, 2009, at 8:33 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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