This 12" Land of Liberty quilt block is the 23rd block of my Starwood Sampler Quilt, created to tell the story of my home and community. I made it as a block of the month with my quilting group, the Persian Pickles. We found the pattern free online at Quilters Cache here.
My oldest son, Sean, interned at our local newspaper after his freshman year of college. He wrote a wonderful article about our local 4th of July parade. Enjoy!
Tradition of Parade Makes for Memories, Visits to the Dentist
"In the summer of 1994, my family and I went to Alberta for two weeks to camp and enjoy the beautiful mountains in Banff National Park in Canada. The people were friendly, the camping pleasant, and the scenery breathtaking.
"By coincidence, however, we were north of the border on July 4. Canadians, I soon surmised, don't think anything special of the day. It just didn't seem right. To see no fireworks, no star-spangled banners, and, specifically, no parade was, well, weird.
"By parade, of course, I meant the Monument Fourth of July Parade. No other day, no other event is as unique to this area, or personifies the area, like the parade. It is a town's tradition built on the day dripping with national heritage. And, with the rare exception, I go every year.
"What must be said about the parade, I think, is that while it relates to people of every age, it is best when experienced as a kid. When you're 7, you see things a little differently.
"My own, most unforgettable, epic parade experience occurred when I was about that age. McDonald's had just arrived in all its glory. (Understand how monumental an occasion this was for a 7-year-old in a town with nothing but a Village Inn, which, with its happy-face pancakes, is a nice enough place for a kid, but just can't match happy meals and Chicken McNuggets with honey.) And Ronald McDonald, the legend in the flesh, the jolly fast-food icon himself, was the grand marshal of the parade.
"When the parade was over, after waving with an ear-to-ear grin for an hour and a half, Mr. McDonald was in need of a ride back to the restaurant. By some mysterious act of fate, or perhaps because there were hamburglers in hot pursuit, when we piled into our Subaru, he asked us for a ride. My brothers and I sat in the back and gazed, star-struck and open-mouthed, as the goofy, enormous red shoes stepped into our car.
|Sean with Ronald McDonald|
"I don't remember much about the next few minutes. Petrified into inaction, I simply stared, regarding the back of the yellow suit and bulging red afro in front of me much as I would a deity. I think my dad might have carried on some sort of conversation with him, asking him questions like, 'Is it uncomfortable in that suit?' but my memory is fuzzy. We dropped him off - apparently he had a photo shoot and a few autograph sessions to do for the grand opening - and our hero was gone as soon as he had come."
- to be continued tomorrow -
You might enjoy reading my previous blog post here.