Monday, May 30, 2011
After the speech traditionally taps is played again. Let me remind you, no band showed up--except maybe a one man band who saved the day. Obviously, a Norfolk resident and band member, this young man came by himself and played Taps. I saw an adult with him give him a high five afterwards. I believe it was an impromptu "save the day". Thank you, mysterious young man.
After that, we all sang a cappella "The Star Spangled Banner" and it sounded great. My husband said marching back up the hill was kind of moving, the Veterans still in step without music. Hey, bands, watch out, maybe we don't need you--except for the lone trumpeter.
We were disappointed to wake up to thunderstorms, but the weatherman said they were passing, so we drove off to Norfolk, CT to the parade as we do on every Memorial Day. It was still lightly raining when we got there and parade watchers were sparse, most juggling umbrellas and American Flags which were being handed out. As we waited for the parade, it came unannounced--no beat of the drums keeping cadence or patriotic music. The two school bands who traditionally played, wimped out and did not show up. This was the first parade that we have seen without music.
This was a little disappointing when the parade stopped for the traditional firing of the guns and the playing of taps. No taps, no patriotic songs. Everyone still carried on--the scouts, the firemen, the Veterans, the Lions--small in number but big in community spirit. The show must go on and it did.
This is continued in the next post as I want to add a special picture.
Lori J. Hylinski was the deserving and appreciative recipient of this year's George & Irene Washington Scholarship presented at Northwestern Community College Awards Ceremony on May 25, 2011. This is awarded to a graduating student with a 3.0 cumulative point average, who has been accepted for admission to a four year college or university and has demonstrated the personal attributes of character, service, leadership and scholarship as evidenced by active involvement in religious, social or community activities.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Since Barkhamsted has a parade on July 4th and not Memorial Day, we head out for Norfolk, CT where my husband grew up and where we lived for several years. In years past he has marched with the Veterans and whether he marches or not, helps his life long friend pass out soda at the end to the band members. This is tradition.
These pictures are from years past. I believe it is the most unique parade in that, well I'll keep that as a surprise for later.
First you have to get up early. The parade starts at 9 am from the town hall. Your optimum vantage point is the town green facing the Historical Society side of the street. You get the first view from here starting with the Veterans. NW Regional #7 sends up both their bands--this is the reason for the early hour of the parade. After playing here they are bussed up to Winsted for that parade. A side note: my husband is so appreciative that the new band leader chooses songs appropriate for the day. He was really annoyed by the band leader who had them playing "Summertime". That's nice, but we want Patriotic songs.
This small hometown parade has all the scouting groups, often Little League, sometimes Chorus Angelicis, firemen and trucks, Lions club and sometimes their blimp, kids on bikes and just about anyone who has a group who wants to march. It may take ten minutes to watch it, but wait there's more.
After they pass by you on the street, you turn around and walk to the other side of the green where the parade has stopped marching but are still in formation--all except for the Veterans who are to give the gun salute. Taps are played and echoed and the parade marches on so you get to see it all again.
Now for the full effect, after the parade passes by, you get to follow it in the streets--be a part of the parade. You go down the hill. When they stop, you find a place to stand to the side. Down by the monument there is a prayer, a speech, the calling of the names, ringing of the bell, taps again and the echo and prayer. After that, just hold onto your hat, you really get your money's worth here, you can watch the parade get into formation and here's the most unique, precious thing about this parade--you can watch it again!!! Three times in one day--better than instant replay, as it isn't exactly the same. You will hear new songs from the bands and a chance to see someone in the parade that you missed. For us, we see more people we know in the crowd than in the parade.
From there you can go to the Firehouse where they have donuts and punch. My husband has hurried on ahead to the town hall to help pass out the soda. I will slowly mosey on up because as I said it is "up".
So, if you get a trivia question that says, "Where can you see the same parade three times in one day?" Now, you know the answer. Hometown fun at it's best. If you are looking for more fun, at noon the annual Norfolk Road Race kicks off. My husband and daughter have participated in that too. My daughter...well, that's another story. She probably won't read this so I could embarrass her...well, maybe next time.
Happy Memorial Day to one and all and especially, Thank You Veterans!
Monday, May 23, 2011
These are random photos taken in Rockport and Gloucester. The piano was taken from outside a door where they were rehearsing for a private party. The little girl with the balloons knew I took her picture and her family had her pose for me, but I liked this shot better.
The big question for me, was how could I photograph the most painted and photographed building differently from anyone else? Well, I did it the traditional way and the only different way I could find was between two buildings. It is behind the flowering tree--fun with photography.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
This was one of many humorous quotes we were entertained by on Saturday at the Canton Public Library where we met President Abraham Lincoln. This was not the first time that we have seen Howard Wright, teacher from Renbrook School, impersonate the late president. Mr. Wright has painstakingly prepared such a presentation to include many quotes and readings of Lincoln told in a story-like manner. In preparation, he studied tapes of Kentucky accents and tried to present as real a presentation as he could of what it would be like to listen to the slow, twangy voice of Abraham Lincoln in person. The picture speaks for itself.
In his performance entitled, "Simply Lincoln" he read excerpts from letters written by Abraham Lincoln, messages to Congress, The Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. Between the readings he commented on their relevance or of his feelings at the time. He spoke of his love and respect for the Bible. The entire presentation was in first person as Abraham Lincoln.
The following are a few of the things that stood out for me. When asked if he wanted to run for president, "the taste is in my mouth." He won with forty percent of the popular vote. The interesting thing was that his name was not even on the ballot in most of the southern states.
President Lincoln wanted a gradual emancipation. He wanted to reimburse the people for their slaves and to ship the slaves back to their home lands. This was not a popular solution.
He spoke of the Generals and the problems with them. McClellan was cautious, hesitant and not aggressive. He said that he even had painted logs to look like cannons to scare the South. Lincoln said these became referred to as Quaker guns.
General Grant did a good job but had a drinking problem. One interesting thing he pointed out about the Civil War was that the Southerners, while fighting, had slaves looking after their farms whereas the Northerners did not and it was a bigger sacrifice for them.
When he spoke of signing the Emancipation Proclamation, he knew that this was something for which he would be remembered. The importance of it caused his hand to shake when he signed it. It appeared that most times he signed "A. Lincoln" but when it came to this document, he signed, "Abraham Lincoln".
In reference to writing the Gettysburg Address, he said he specifically chose short words as they have a power of their own. He wanted to aim lower to reach the masses, not just the educated but to all the common people. He said, "If you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I'll spend four hours sharpening the ax." That showed how important it was to him to consider the right words in the right way.
The hour went by quickly and although I have told you some of what Mr. Wright said, I encourage you to see him if you have the chance. There are many activities centering on the anniversary of the Civil War. I'm sure he will be presenting his program again. If you are in awe of this amazing president or if you just like history, seize the opportunity to see Mr. Wright's presentation.
On a side note, we had to make reservations to go to this free program. The librarian was quite amused to find out that George Washington was coming to hear Abraham Lincoln.