Hometown Parade

Classic Car, California. Photo by Neon Brand from Unsplash

Hometown Parade

I’d like to stand again on a tree-lined street

on a sunny summer day

in nineteen fifty-six. My joy would be complete

when the high school band begins to play.

The majorettes in their tasseled boots,

little short skirts, and ponytailed hair

march and twirl amid claps and whoops

and toss their batons in the air.

Marching Band, Canada. Photo by Vladistav Vasnets from Pexels.

The high school band marches along,

all spiffy uniforms and shiny brass,

playing a medly of marching songs.

The crowd applauds them as they pass.

Little kids march in place,

imitating the high school stars,

as mostly harmonious notes fade away,

we see big-finned convertible cars.

Classic Convertible. Photo by Rodnae Producti from Pexels

Chariots of small-town beauty queens

seated atop their mobile thrones,

regal in reds and blues and greens,

rhinestone tiaras and strapless gowns.

Girl in a Ballgown. Photo by Becerra Govea from Pexels

Poofey skirts spread like shimmering clouds,

queens smile ruby-lipped smiles and wave their hands

at the whistling, cheering crowds.

Then comes the mayor, his car equally grand.

Veterans of Korea and World War Two,

in uniforms of army, navy, and marines,

march behind the red, white, and blue.

Faded dreams of glory, memories of battle scenes.

The children in town are invited

to walk in the parade with their pets.

Children come down the street excited,

dogs wearing ribbons around their necks.

Farm wagon floats are dandy,

transformed by crepe paper festoons.

Business floats are throwing candy.

Church choirs sing patriotic tunes.

Jonah sits near a crepe paper whale,

a Forest Service float features Smokey Bear,

4-H kids perch on hay bales,

Historical tableaux are everywhere.

Vintage Fire Truck. Photo from Pixabay

Shriners maneuver tiny cars around.

Arabian horses prance in fancy gear.

Volunteer firemen are the heroes of our town…

At last we hear a siren. The fire truck is here!

I’d like to listen again to a high school band

on a sunny summer day

with a cold, five-cent Coke in my hand.

Reliving nineteen fifty-six, I’d pass the time away!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

60 Comments

  1. I can feel that sensation watching parade. I also remember my childhood when I used to watch parade on republic days. It was a great feeling.
    I wish one day I can see all the memorable parades happens around the world that represent culture and their people. All those bands, tableaux, marching back and forth, that ambience and happiness.

    This post relish all the memories.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Joanna, for your kind response. I grew up in a series of small towns. Several of them had parades that would certainly be described as “Americana.” This is primarily about the tiny Pennsylvania town where I lived from ages 6-8, but I have added details from some later parades as well.

      All the best! ❤

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      Reply

    1. Punam, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. ❤ So happy that you enjoyed the poem. Most of these events are from a tiny Pennsylvania town where I lived from age 6-8. I grew up in several small towns, and a few details are from later parades.

      I hope you and your family are well. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

    1. Haha! My brother and I walked our two dogs in the parade with bows on their collars. I must have been about seven and my brother about five! I was too much of a klutz to twirl a baton, and I am afraid I was never beauty queen material! 🙂

      Thank you, Kate, for your kind comment. Small American towns back then had little entertainment available and learned to entertain themselves. I think we have lost some of that. Take care! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

    1. Thank you so much, David, for your kind response. ❤ I am so glad you enjoyed the poem. My little brother and I walked our two dogs in this parade in our small Pennsylvania town around 1956. I was about seven, and my brother was about five. That was a very long time ago! The Twilight Zone was a terrific show. 🙂 I will have to try to find some episodes on YouTube.

      Wishing you a great week coming up! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. What a wonderful flow and imagery – I enjoyed reading and imagining and learning of these very different time and different place, the flavors of a small town events, such wonderful memories and description in your poem!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Pregalba, for your kind response. I am glad you enjoyed the poem about my childhood memories. I always enjoy reading about festivals and celebrations in other times and places, but especially in India. Your cultural traditions are so colorful and joyous!

      Have a lovely weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  3. Lovely poem as always Cheryl. I love how you have captured the parade in such detail. It must have had a big impression on you when you were younger! Wishing you well ❤️🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  4. I love the imagery! It’s nice they let the kids parade with their pets. You’ve reminded of being part of a large high school drill team complete with pom poms in the early 70s. We accompanied the marching band in parades and on the football field at halftime. The vibrations from the horns and drums energized the autumn air. But if we’re talking 50s, I’ll take that top convertable in blue.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    1. My younger brother and I walked our two dogs in the parade when I was about seven. Later, my oldest daughter was a pompom girl in various small-town parades when she was five or six. It must have been exciting to be part of the drill team! You have great taste in cars, Joanna! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Glad you enjoyed the poem. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  5. Cheryl, the parades sound wonderful and what a vibrant and lively atmosphere for you all! Is there nothing like this anymore? I love the variety of the floats, people, music, generations joined together in celebration of life!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    1. Annika, Thank you for your kind response. There may be some small-town parades somewhere, but, sadly, I believe that they are pretty much a thing of the past. My older daughter was a pompom girl in a number of parades in the early 1970s when she was five or six years old. Last year, even the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in NYC sold advertising to finance the event. Are there parades in Britain?

      Have a great week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      1. Unfortunately we don’t have any parades as such. Towns and villages still have remnants of fete parades but they are paltry to what they used to be like in the 70s and 80s. Then it was a big deal to be Fete Queen and on the top float! It is sad as they really brought a community out together!

        Liked by 1 person

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