Sunday, December 4, 2011

Community on Parade

To read the papers and to listen to the would think the country is in terrible trouble. You do not get that impression when you travel the back roads. The small towns do care about their country and wish it well. ~Charles Kuralt

This is a view of my town's Main Street from one of the floats during Saturday's Christmas parade. I wasn't there, so I missed seeing my granddaughter's Girl Scout troop's float win 2nd place. Instead I was in another small town, Perryville, KY. They had a Christmas parade too with sirens blaring and bands drumming and floats scooting along. I was signing my books along with a number of other authors in the midst of a craft bazaar. 

That worked for me. Writing is a craft. A little different from the dolls and jewelry one of the ladies made or the soap and herbal ointments at another table. One lady was making Christmas wreaths. Another had fans and feather looking earrings made out of denim. Yet another had hair ribbons and ponytail holders. Two other women had brooms for sale - raised some of their own broom straw - and an 80 plus gentleman was selling honey. The organizers set the authors up in the midst of all the other crafts. I loved it. And I brought some of their wonderful handwork home with me. A boxwood wreath for my door. A jar of honey for my hubby. Hairbows for one of the grandkids. Cute little skirt purses for some more of the grandkids. Soap and some herbal cures. I did shut my eyes and walk fast past the homemade fudge. The divinity called to me, but I didn't listen. I'd already pigged out on a bag of kettle corn. They were selling that too.    

The man next to me was the Gears & Glass guy, David from Danville, KY. He makes jewelry from old watch pieces and keys. Very unique. He was pretty unique himself with an outfit to catch the eye. A retired teacher, he's now having a good time beginning a new enterprise. If you want to get a closer look at his creations, he has a Facebook page. Just search for the Gears & Glass Guy and you can see some close-ups of his jewelry or as he has on his business card "steampunk accouterments." 

So I had a good day in Perryville. I enjoyed talking to some people about my books and seeing them carry a few of them home with them. Many of the readers were interested in my book, The Seeker, since part of the historical background is the Civil War Battle of Perryville. They celebrate their history in Perryville and host a re-enactment of that Civil War battle every year.  They have community. 

That's one of the best things about small towns - that sense of community. While it was spilling over in Perryville, it was also happening in my town and in hundreds of other little towns all across the country. Christmas parades with floats carrying girl and boy scouts. Brownie troops and Cub Scouts walking the parade route. The local high school bands - in our case just one band. The horseback riders with red ribbons tied to their horses' bridles. The homecoming queen shivering in a fancy dress as she sits on the top of the back seat in an open convertible. The town officials in a car borrowed from one of the car dealers. Senior citizens waving from their van or maybe wrapped in quilts in rocking chairs on a float. The football team on a wagon. And Santa bringing up the rear riding on the fire truck with the siren blasting. With neighbors lining the street, waving at their kids and grandkids in the parade. Community on parade.

Do you live in a little town that has a Christmas parade? What do you like best about your community at Christmas time? 

Thanks for reading. I'll be sending out a newsletter tonight or tomorrow with a new giveaway. If you're not on my newsletter list and want to be, just let me know. I'll tell you all about my Christmas giveaway on Wednesday and post it on my website before the week is gone. Hope you're counting the days down to Christmas with anticipation instead of like me and thinking I'll never get ready. Truth is I don't ever get ready. Christmas just comes and then it's time to enjoy whatever part I managed to get done. 


  1. i do live in a small town, compared to other towns nearby. We have for christmas a Santa float. the put him on the back of a flatbed trailer and tow him around town. On the float he has a control on his seat for the music, he's got a tree and a big bag of candy canes that he gives out. I always make sure to be home at 7pm on Dec 1 cuz that's when he comes to our neighborhood. I also give him a sampling of my cookies. I'm usually done by then anyways. Happy Holidays. Julie

  2. I'm seeing Santa on that flatbed trailer, Julie, and all the kids - big and little - waving at him and laughing with him as he goes by. I'm thinking he likes showing up in your neighborhood to get those cookie samples. Sounds like fun.

  3. I live in a small city, the northernmost city in New York State. We have a Santa Parade every year. This year a local woman decided we needed to really mark the season and we had our first annual "Light Up The Night Holiday Parade". There were over 60 floats that were lit! It seemed like the entire city was there to watch everyone go by. Anyone could enter a float so there were lots of great entries that families had built together. It was a great evening! I'm sure many memories were created and I hope many more will be in the years to come!

  4. That sounds like some parade, Ginahweenah. Fun name there too. Somebody must like to do some rhyming. How great that so many people were willing to enter floats. That had to make the parade so much more fun.

  5. I love when our small towns show their stuff during the holidays. We just had our Christmas parade a week ago or so. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa

  6. I happened upon your blog article speaking of the community happenings in MY hometown of Perryville this weekend. Unfortunately, I did not participate in the happenings, but I enjoyed reading about it thru your eyes. Through your descriptions I can almost name some of those people. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a family friend featured for his new steam punk enterprise.

    Thanks for visiting our town, for the nice write-up, and glad you had a good time.

  7. Dear Ann,
    Thanks so much for your lovely post. A friend shared it with me and I have saved it. I lived in Perryville for 16 years and always enjoyed the sense of community there. I enjoyed being your neighbor at the show and appreciate your kind words! Hope you have a great Christmas season!
    Steampunk David

  8. Richard, I'm thinking Christmas parades in your town would be lovely too. Hope you're having a great Christmas season.

  9. Thanks for dropping by my blog to read about my day in your town, Jststmpit. Enjoyed getting to know your Perryville neighbors. And it was fun sitting next to David.

  10. Glad you got to see the post, David. I tried to hunt you up on Facebook and found you once and then couldn't find you again when I was going to link the post to your page. Someday you're going to have to explain to me what steampunk is. I guess I saw it in your jewelry, but where did that term come from? I bid on the piece you donated and got it so I have some steam punk jewelry.


Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.