Independence Day, the 4th of July, is upon us once again, and our little town is celebrating.
I hear people talk about their small town upbringing, or the small town where they live, and when I ask just how small, I get back "Oh, just under 8,000." Which means that their small town is four times the size of MY small town. Not that I'm trying to upstage anybody, but when I say small town, I mean it. ;) Today was the bicycle parade. All the local kids, plus all the grandkids, nieces, nephews, cousins and strangers that people can dig up, decorate their bicycles and ride them up Kearney Street (aka Main Street--some people don't know what you mean when you say "Kearney Street") for all three blocks of downtown. Then they gather in the middle of the street in front of the library and the judges pick the best decorated.
I missed the actual parade because I had to run back home to fetch the fella's special recipe cornbread that we saved from the batch he'd already run--along with the beans we cooked all day yesterday--up to the church ministry center next door to the library. (He can't have flour, so I make it without.) I think he got bored sitting at home, because when he took the beans to the ministry center, he stayed to hang out with the guys cooking all the sausages in the parking lot outside between the center and the bank. Anyway, I did get to see all the kids on their bikes clustered beside the post office (where the parade began) and then in front of the library (where it ended). There were a bunch of them, and they sure were cute, so I'm glad I didn't have to judge. They asked me to judge one year, but I was late, and since the parade lasts about thirty seconds from beginning to end, I missed the whole thing, and they've been smart enough not to ask me again.
I thought they were going to have the turtle race today, but even though I saw the sign by the curb in the intersection where the race is held, I didn't see anybody with turtles, so I guess they're having the race on the actual 4th, along with all the stuff on the courthouse square and the "official" parade. Turtles have been pretty scarce this summer, as dry as it's been. I don't know how many they'll have at the race. If we could just get all those folks on the East coast who've had rain, rain and more rain to pack it all up and send it our way, I think we'll all be happy.
The ranch rodeo started last night, and I imagine we'll go tonight. They're having a youth rodeo on Monday, and I think Joe Robinson told me they would be doing bronc riding on Tuesday, on the 4th. This is Texas. Rodeos go with the 4th of July celebration. But fireworks will be scarce. Our whole county has banned aerial fireworks because of the risk of wildfires--and the fireworks association has sued the county--along with about a dozen others. They asked the judge for a restraining order, saying the ban violated freedom of expression. The judge turned them down, saying, essentially, "Freedom of expression, nothing. This is about safety and stopping more million-acre fires." I think there are three sanctioned fireworks displays in the whole Texas/Oklahoma panhandle area. So I guess we may be going into Amarillo to watch fireworks--if we can figure out where the park is...