June 6, 2013: Kiddie Parade

We all love a parade. In Remsen, we especially loved the Kids' Days parade. My brothers and I would decorate our bikes in colored streamers with clothes pinned wheels for added noise. The kids of Remsen would parade down the closed streets with the many enthusiastic town residents viewing from the curb.

In 1976, the parade was even more special as this was our country's bi-centennial year. The kids were recruited in masses with costumes encouraged. It was a grand celebration that year. One that we wanted to highlight as special during our Kid's Days activities.

My brothers along with our neighbor, Tommy Bunkers, dressed up as the Three Stooges. Wigs were created with caps and yarn with appropriate clothes scrounged out of the attic. They were followed by many kids costumed as past presidents. There were George Washington's and Abe Lincoln's abound in the streets that day.

My best friend, Bev, and I dressed up as Miss America and Miss USA. We made our roses out of tissue paper, our banners from streamers, and cut our crowns out of card board. All of our design work was done solely with the handiwork and imagination of two twelve-year-old girls. The only wardrobe accessory missing were the high heals we desired, but not allowed to wear.

There wasn't a hint of embarrassment in our parade walk that day. I felt as confident as a small town beauty queen; regardless of my homemade bikini and protruding pot belly. My brothers exhibited the same self-confidence as two stooges of three.

The innocence of youth is a feeling we all understand and would love to hold on to well into old age. But the magic eventually wears off as we age into the realness of the outside world. The good news is that we can still observe youth from the sidelines and smile; just like a kiddie parade.


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