Sunday, July 5, 2009

The long awaited grand finale of my notorious photo blog

Alright. This is going to be very exciting.

You know how at the end of almost every fireworks display there is some version of a grand finale ?

Whether it is the uncle who lights the rest of the stuff on fire all at once so he can get back to his beer, or the carefully planned series of artistically conceptualized color-coordinated explosives that ignite in careful synchronicity with a musical soundtrack, or my neighbor who runs into the street with a blowtorch and a paper bag full of cetaline gas that he pilfered from his work as a welder which he manages to ignite with static against his hairy chest before he actually lights the torch or Puts Down The Bag......every 4th of July needs a big finish.

Here's mine. And we won't need an ambulance or the fire marshall.

Our Fourth of July started very early. 6am, to be precise.

At 6am, cars started arriving in our cul de sac, and then Harleys, and then trucks, until by 6:25 we had most of a 60-member motorcycle "gang" (a very cheerful, perky, friendly gang) next door having breakfast. At some point I went outside onto my porch to get a handle on the situation, and my neighbor who was hosting the get together spotted me out there in my bathrobe and invited me over. It was tempting, but I demurred. I had big plans to go over the local Hongwanji tag sale - a two day affair that is a small town version of this:

But before I could get over to the Buddhist bruhaha, I had to get out of my driveway.

That was going to be difficult due to the 2 tractor trailers that had appeared in front of my house moments earlier, blocking my driveway. Because they were trying to get the parade floats out of the way.

Yeah, floatS.
Two floats.

Two floats from the local Antique Caterpillar owners group - that were decorated late into the night just two houses down from me on a narrow lane. Two floats that were decorated under a spotlight, to the stereo blasting "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy". On repeat.

I cannot make this shit up.

Once the street cleared, and remarkably with my stop sign still standing on the corner despite the extremely tight turn those flatbeds had to maneuver, I headed out to the tag sale. When we arrived, the parking lot and adjacent field were full. I got the last spot at the post office across the street, and considered myself lucky. Till I saw the line snaking around the temple waiting to get in to the sale.

I had to think fast, and act faster, all the while remaining Extremely Cool so as not to draw attention.

I led my 4 year old and Nana Lori around the back of the building, under the guise of "checking out the furniture" which is displayed for this sale in trailers out back. We poked around, oohed and ahhed, and then went Right In The Back Door of the auditorium come bloodbath. I mean tag sale. We blazed through the sale and made out like bandits in every way, from our undercover entrance to the major deals we snapped up to our beating out at least 100 people still in line when we sashayed out the front door and back to our car.


So we got back to the house and it was about 8am. After a quick breakfast and a tension-filled round of Clue Jr. (procured in it's brand new condition for $.25 thankyouverymuch), we headed out once again for the parade.

Now, I took a lot of photos, and I am not going to bore you with all of them. So this is just The Highlights. The Creme do la Creme. The Best of the Best.

Best Mullet:

Best Freak Show:

Best Float (from the Harley Owners Group - some of whom were next door earlier):

Best shit that'll scare you- Float Category:

Best shit that'll scare you- Individual Category:

Best Audience Response:

And to summarize the true feeling of this parade, the essence, if you will, of my cowboy town and it's glorious traditions. Horsepower two ways:

OK, so after that parade, we went to the beach. No photo required, I live in Hawaii, the beach is beautiful, use your imagination. I took a nap.

Then we went back home to get ready for The Party.

If you have ever worked in a restaurant, you know that these are people who know how to party. The food is always top-notch, and a point of pride (and some competition). There is usually drinking and rowdiness. Point being, I had to go through these photographs VERY CAREFULLY to make sure they are suitable for public viewing. Luckily, I took about 75 pictures. Here's what I came up with to share:

Seriously, that was all I could come up with that was A. appropriate and B. still vaguely entertaining.

So this, in summary, is the final installment of my photo blog.
I certainly hope you enjoyed this little peek into paradise.

No comments: