Saturday was quite the day for little Winthrop, population 6,000. There was a craft fair at the grade school—we plan on having a table there next year—various other craft fairs around town, and a pie sale at the library. Lots of people were out and about, and there was definitely a festive air in town.
However, the prime event was the holiday parade, and my plan was to walk with other trustees and various library friends. We always have big bags of candy, which we haul in a little red wagon. I must admit, I love marching down the main street and throwing candy to the children, who scramble eagerly to get the goodies. Line-up was at 2:30, but because of my creaky knees, Clif dropped me off at 3:00 so I wouldn’t have to stand as long. We parked at Rite Aid, and all the floats and organizations seemed to be lined up along the road that went by the store. We looked up and down the line but didn’t see the library’s banner or the crew.
“Never mind,” I said to Clif. “They must be in the line somewhere. I’ll wait here, and you can go down to lower main street and take pictures as we march.”
Clif nodded. “See you later.”
He left, and I found a rock to sit on not too far from the beginning of the parade, where the veterans waited with their flags. I watched the dancing girls in a local dance school as they practiced their dances. Winnie-the-Pooh bounded up and down the road, and the lovely princesses from Frozen waited patiently.
The parade started at 3:30, and it slowly moved forward. I looked for the library banner but didn’t see it. Margy, a friend, stopped to chat, and she hadn’t seen the library’s banner either. When the last of the floats and the marchers had passed, and it was time for the ambulances and fire trucks, I knew that I had missed the library contingency, but how? I had watched everyone pass. Or so I thought.
Well, it seemed I would have to march down the long hill into town, but I would not be part of the parade, and I wouldn’t have any candy to throw. “Penance for my sins,” I thought as I hustled down the hill as fast as my stiff knees would allow.
Seeing the family of some of the children slated to march with the library banner, I stopped and asked, “Has the library crew marched past?”
“Oh, yes!” they assured me. “They were right after the veterans.”
“Son of a biscuit,” I thought, feeling sheepish. “How in the world had I missed them?”
When I got to the bottom of the hill and spotted two of the trustees, Mary Jane and Liz, returning to their car, I found out what had happened.
“We were across the street at the bank,” Mary Jane said, “And we were directed to march right behind the veterans.”
“We’re so sorry you missed us,” Liz said.
Me, too! From where I was sitting, I had not been able to see the bank or the library banner.
Ah, well. Clif got some decent pictures, and after the parade, we went over to Mary Jane’s house where we had her fabulous baked ziti—a recipe from the incomparable America’s Test Kitchen—garlic bread, salad, and good conversation.
Next year, I will be sure to check the bank’s parking lot. (I’ll also bring my cell phone, which I had left in the car.) After all, it would be very hard to miss, two years in a row, marching with the library banner and throwing candy.