The rain graciously held off for three hours and the parade was a huge success. Drums were banged, sirens wailed, horns were tooted; there was glad-handing and dancing in the streets, petitions were signed, candy was thrown and dogs barked. We wandered through Hoffner Park then found a new favorite restaurant, An Intimate Gathering, where we ate ribs, red-skinned potato salad, green beans, collard greens, and watermelon. We saw a beaten up Volvo run into the back of a black pick-up truck and watched the two beautifully tatooed drivers exchange names and numbers. All in all, an exemplary holiday spectacle.
The memory to keep however is the one of the four older gentlemen, veterans, in uniform. Three caucasian men appearing to be in their eighty's and a gentleman of asian descent, all in United States military attire, carrying the American flag. They led the parade south down Hamilton Avenue. When the clapping started up the veteran closest to me looked shyly towards the people assembled on the curb and a slight smile came to his lips. That makes my day.