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Home Country – Out in front

Slim Randles
Slim Randles

The annual Fourth of July parade through our town began this year with a mystery. You see, a couple of the boys cornered Jimmy Angles yesterday down by Lewis Creek and hit him in the mouth. On purpose. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have made headlines in the Valley Weekly Miracle, or even the New York Post, but Jimmy played first trumpet in the band.

Played … past tense. The pain and swelling of his lips meant he couldn’t play the great trumpet solos in Mr. Sousa’s marches on the Fourth. It meant that the other three trumpeters all moved up a notch. The new “first” trumpeter just happened to be one of Jimmy’s assailants. 

The horses came first, of course, with cowboys and cowgirls and wannabe cowboys and cowgirls and used-to-be cowboys and cowgirls riding along and waving. 

Then came the 4Hers, dragging reluctant lambs and goats after them. But hey, they were shiny clean lambs and goats. The queen and several other cute high school girls followed in a convertible, and then came the band. The parade’s brain trust, Doc and Dud, actually, planned it this way. It was decided over coffee that is was a far, far better thing we do to let the horses go first so the band wouldn’t frighten them. If this meant the 4H kids and the band members had to dodge a few equestrian “products” on the street, so be it.

A small-town parade on the Fourth of July is where everyone goes to see how big the kids have gotten over this past year, and to celebrate us all being different … and the same … for yet another year.

But how about Jimmy Angles and the temporarily inactive trumpet mouth? We found out as the band came into view. Jimmy was out in front of them all, carrying the American flag.

Happy birthday America!

Brought to you by the 5,400 letter carriers who were bitten by neighborhood dogs last year. Let Fido watch TV for an hour and save a postman.