Tuesday, April 24, 2012


A singer I enjoy is Jo El Sonnier. He is a Cajun singer that I wish had more songs for me to enjoy. I discovered Zydeco music with the movie "The Big Easy" and became hooked. It reaches a spot in my soul that finds it  pleasing, happy yet with a touch of melancholy and is strangely familiar. Perhaps in another life my toes tapped in the Louisiana mud in time with an accordian??

Often Zydeco is very up beat music that makes the feet want to dance. However, one of my favorite songs of Jo El's is, “Someday I'll Lead the Parade.” Now that is a  really, really sad song and definitely not a toe tapper. One of those songs reserved for funerals or reflection so I will spare you. Below is just a taste of the chorus.

“Some day I will,
Someday I know I will,
Someday I will lead the parade”

This of course implying that you are in the hearse leading the parade of mourners.   Well those chorus lyrics  pretty much came true for me the other day in a very benign way.

I live fairly far from the nearest town so I make my shopping trips count. I normally hate shopping on weekends for two reasons. It is crowded but also I remember my working days when that was the only time I could shop so I try not to get in the way of those people with real jobs. I can wait. But, I was almost out of dog food and Mighty can't wait so I broke my Saturday rule.

As I approached town, I saw cars piled up on the side of the road and blue lights flashing from multiple patrol cars. Aww poop I thought, as I slapped my forehead remembering this Saturday was big doings for the small town.

It was festival time. The tiny town of under 3000 population swells to over 60,000 during festival. We locals go one time out of curiosity, then avoid the mob scene like the plague.

Picture is from my  only festival attempt. It is so packed that you really only see the shirt of the person in front of you.  Not my idea of fun.
I was looking for a way to bypass the town but I was trapped. All the side streets were blocked. Traffic going my way was not being stopped, only those coming the opposite way were being rerouted. The cop waved me through.

The sides of the road were packed with cars and people. The closer to town I got, the cars disappeared and the crowds got larger. I looked at my watch, it was 9:59. Yikes, one minute before parade time.  Behind me, I could hear a band flexing its musical muscles. 

Anxious people leaned out as I approached only to be sorely disappointed when they saw I was pretty ordinary and certainly not a float, clown or band.  I was a bit glad though that I had taken the time to hose the pollen off my little vehicle before I left that morning. I was at least presentable.

I wanted to look for familiar faces but had to concentrate on my driving for people kept dashing across the road for a better site or maybe just exercising their chicken tendencies. For safety reasons, I slowed to about 8 mph.  Since I was literally leading the parade, I decided to have fun. I pasted a big grin on my face and broke out my best parade wave.

Block after block, several startled yet polite folks waved back wondering just who the heck I was. Surely I must be important but they had to wonder where the banner was that would have identified me. They probably wrote me off as a low budget politician.

I had a grand time. Now I have been on floats before in parades but have never been the leader. The cool thing which gave me the giggles as I waved myself down main street was that unlike with Jo El's song, I didn't have to die to lead the parade, just have perfect timing.

It twas a fun day. 

You ever have great timing for an unexpected event?


  1. Ha ha, what a star you are! I can't think of any situation where I've turned up somewhere at just the right moment. I can think of quite a few where it was the wrong moment though!

    Did you get your shopping done?

  2. What town is this? I went to these type things when I was younger, not now. However, I do appreciate the small town festivals. Great tax revenue and tourism dollars. Plus all that meeting up with people.

    Patti, how far do you live from Springfield, MO? Humorist Jeanne Robertson is doing a show here in June.

  3. Once in a while you get lemons, and you have to make lemon aid. Glad you lead your parade on 'this side of the grass' Have a good 'un.

  4. That was fun! Made you into a celebrity for the day. What happened at the end? Did you finally get that dog food for Mighty?

    I don't remember ever being in such a situation myself, where I was in the right place at the right time like that, but it must have happened. Maybe.

  5. Great one, Patti. I LOVE Zydeco. My top choice is Buckwheat Zydeco, but I have already YouTubed your guy. Great stuff.

    Your picture looks like the starting line of a few of the road races I have been in. I have been in our local Christmas parade a few times. Several were with our greyhound adoption group. One year, it was decided that we needed a support vehicle behind the group in case there were injuries, poop clean ups, or any other issue. I was the driver. No holiday decorations on this truck as required by the parade organizers. So there I was, looking as though I somehow got into the parade route. I wanted to sink as far below the steering wheel as I could!
    As for great timing... I can't recall, especially as great as your parade.

  6. If it is an event this is truly important - I get there hours early. Sandie

  7. This happened to my daughter and son-in-law last summer during the Stowe Car show. They were thinking how friendly everyone in town was to be waving at them like that (and they were in an old car).

    I avoid weekend shopping, too, So nice to go on a quiet week day morning.

  8. Oh my stars how wonderful.....I love that you were the star of the parade.....inadvertantly but still. You also have excellent tast in music. Indeed there is something special about the music and the beat that are attractive to me as well.
    Enjoy the day parade queen. Oma Linda

  9. I love to read about your mishaps that always seem to have a happy ending. This made me giggle.

  10. Ha! You are so funny! Because you had a clean car and a big smile, the wasn't thinking, did she just get stuck in front of the parade? This is so cute. Now I need to go and check out your musician.

    Hope your day is grand!

    Kathy M.

  11. What a cute story! I am still chuckling just picturing you leading the parade smiling and waving!!

  12. Wonderful timing! Too funny!

    I can't think of anything similar happening to me.

  13. hilarious!!! Only you would have done something like that!!! I think I take myself too seriously and would have just cursed my luck for being in a traffic jam.

  14. You certainly made the BEST of a rather difficult situation...And it sounds like it was great fun, too!
    That song sounds quite wonderful to me, actually. I love the idea that it is conected to a New Orleans tradition of the Hearse being at the front of the Parade....!

  15. Patti, you are so much fun. I love this parade story.

    Good for you on your shopping rule. I have the same rule. For the life of me I do not understand people who don't work thinking they have to go to town on Saturday. Boo on them.

  16. That's a hoot! Seventy-six trombones led the big parade!!!!! on no that was Patti:)

  17. I KNEW you were my kind of people!!

    You didn't just take a lemon & make lemonade--you made a whole pitcher of margaritas!!!

  18. That was a cute thing to do but what a mob....I posted on a similar situation a while back. Marilyn and I were talkingh on the phone..... she was driving her mini-van through MN.
    Suddenly she began laughing so hard I couldn't understand her. She was driving in a parade with people waving on both sides. Just like you....

  19. That's so great! Good for you! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

    Here's a little toe tapper for you to enjoy:

  20. My unexpected event for today was trying to sign on to your blog 5 times before I got to leave a message. Everytime this happens I worry about the difficulty of being out there somewhere with no way to communicate. I think the problem today was me. If this message goes through (#6) then it was me. Dianne

  21. Thanks for another good laugh, Patti. Your approach to life's surprises inspires me. You asked, so here's our parade incident:

    About three decades ago New Orleans police directed my unsuspecting husband into a position in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. We had no chance to extricate ourselves and our old green van. Like you, we waved, grinned and laughed. Hubby, our young son and I enjoyed the parade route through NOLA's French Quarter.

    We also chuckled over the fact that a family of Skupiens with Polish, not Irish, roots were in that parade. We will never know if those NOLA patrolmen assumed a disreputable, not very clean green van was a parade unit or if the police were irritated with the parade organizers and taking a little benign revenge.

  22. I have an aversion to big crowds also. I like to attend events on off hours so I can really move around and enjoy the presentations and such. But OMG---yes...like you, I have had some very ill-timed arrivals!

  23. What a great idea to start taking the lead and waving at the crowd! I enjoy reading your stories.
    Have a great week, Patti!

  24. I cant believe how many visitors the town has ...must be a shock to the system. I had to smile at your tale ...didn't you want to put your arm out of the window and give a royal wave ...but then maybe you did. lol xx

  25. LL Cool Joe,
    I have done more of the wrong moments than the right also. Sometimes you get lucky.
    Everyone was at the parade, I had the store to my self.

    Miss Dazey,
    I fear it is too far. It is 150 miles but they are not easy miles and my arthritis gives me fits when I have to sit a long time. I know you will enjoy her show though.

    You bet, the right side of the grass had a lot of bearing on the amount of fun:))

    I played it like the ham I am.
    The store was empty, everyone was at the festival.

    And I Love Buckwheat Zydeco. He is my favorite. You reminded me I don't have him on my MP3, now that is corrected. Thanks.
    Your parade ride was so funny. You would think they would have tied some ribbons on your antenna.

    Chatty Crone,
    Intentional events, I am like you. Painfully early.

    Oh what fun for them. At least they were in a proper car.

    Linda in NM
    Hey, we take our 15 seconds of fame where we can:)) Zydeco rules.

    So glad it made you giggle. It did me too.

    I think they would have ignored me but I kept waving. Just having fun.

    When the spotlight is on, you might as well enjoy.

    Five minutes later and I would have been less cheerful for I would have had to wait out the parade. Timing is everything.

    Sometimes I think I don't take my self seriously enough. There should be a happy medium.

    No one does a funeral like they do in N O. It is a celebration.

    I know, I guess it is habit for some but it doesn't make sense to shop the busiest day when you have a choice of 6 other days.

    Gee and me with out my baton.

    I really do subscribe to the lemon theory. Sure makes life easier.

    Oh how funny. I will have to hunt that post of yours up. Glad she enjoyed her moment and you did also.

    Lynda G.
    Thanks, I almost posted that video as an example. I loved that song in The Big Easy.

    Gosh, don't know what was happening but you came through on #6. Thanks for not giving up.

    Now that was funny and I am glad you enjoyed the parade route since you were trapped. I'm sure it was OK, on St Patrick's day, everyone is a wee bit Irish.

    Yep, huge crowds are a sign of success but for me they take all the fun out the event.

    Reader Wil,
    Thank you. I could have tried to hide but I thought what the heck. I might as well enjoy.It doesn't cost any more.

    Ha ha, it was the royal wave I was doing but inside only. Too bad I didn't have a convertable.

  26. Yes, my dear you most certainly are a star! :) that is a serendipitous moment!

  27. None better than you to lead the parade. Ha. what a horrible crowd that was ugh, I hate those.

    You reminded me of the times Gary and used to be in the parade in our small town for our landscaping business, once we had an old truck Gary was dressed up as the abominable green man in the back of the truck and I was driving, he sat in a big twig chair and was covered with vines and leaves and such, when the parade got to the middle of town to be judged, Gary moved and all the people jumped back, apparently he was so well camouflaged folks thought he was a manikin and when he moved they thought he came alive, needless to say we won best float for that fourth of july parade day. Ha.

  28. My timing is usually off, but I do have a cute parade story. My son works for the local radio station and took my littlest grandson with him when he was driving in the Christmas parade. As he got up to where I was standing, my grandson's face lit up and he yelled Merry Christmas gwamma! You could hear him all up the street and everyone got quite a kick out of it (especially gwamma)...

  29. What fun! - you should have given them the beauty queen wave...
    I like zydeco music too- I've not heard of the parade song though.

  30. Tracy,
    Yep, it fit right into your S post.

    Linda Starr,
    Oh how funny and must have given you both some serious chuckles.

    Aw, that would warm the heart on the coldest of days.

    Coloring outside the lines,
    Yep, that was the one I did. Stiff and twisting at the wrist. That was as much fun as seeing the bewildered looks.

  31. Yes I have led many a parade in my home town as a member of the high school band.

    and yes, I will some day lead another parade.

    Nice Post. I am posting a short one today based on your previous blog.

  32. What a fun post...I can just see you now. Makes me want to keep a tiara in my car and a bag of candy just encase.

  33. They'll be wanting your autograph next, Patti. :)

  34. Well, Patti, your story reminded me of yesterday - I had an early dentist appointment in the city and afterward, a haircut in another part of town. I was surprised at how little traffic there was since it was rush hour. I got a great parking spot right in front of the high rise where my dentist's office is. The meter even had an hour's time, so I didn't need my quarter bag. When I came out about a half hour later, I easily made my way to the haircut place with time to spare. As I was sitting in a coffee shop waiting, I got a frantic call from my husband. Did you make your appointment? Were you stuck in the traffic jam?
    Since we don't have TV, I was unaware that President Obama was in town and ,in fact, stayed in my neighborhood. Bob said he tried to bike part of the route I took to the dentist and was stopped in traffic. He finally turned around and went the other way.
    I guess sometimes it pays to be clueless! I must have somehow missed all the baracades and traffic during the half hour I was in the dentist's chair.
    Glad you got a chance to be the Grand Master of your festivities. Wish I could have at least waved to the President!

  35. I find that most of the time I'm clueless!

  36. Nitwit,
    I figured you would have as a politician also.
    Thanks, I will check out your post.

    Now a bag of candy is a great idea or maybe some beads?

    Ha ha, only they had no idea who I was.

    Wow, that was great timing to have missed all the traffic but like you, I would have like to have seen the President.

    Mom of 12,
    Sometimes that is the best way to be.

  37. Thanks for the visit! I also hope that this man realises one day that the goal he is aiming at is evil, and that what he did is satanic.

  38. LOL, Patti you tickle me. What a great way to look at a bad situation. I've done that a few times, but then when i see people sitting along the curb in their lawn chairs, I fly up the first available empty side street and go way out of my way to get back home.

    Not much of anything new around here. Abe is to have surgery on May 14th. to repair another aneurysm they found above the old one they repaired in 1996. They are going to try to repair it the new way, by going into the artery.

    Have a wonderful week-end.

  39. Is that what they refer to as "your 15 minutes of fame?" Sounds like fun and at least you got them to wondering.

  40. Patti I was sitting here picturing you waving while leading the parade. hahaha
    I do wish I could of been there to see the big grin on your face.
    Right at the moment I can't think of something with prefect timing like yours.
    So glad you got the giggles and joined in the fun.
    I will have to check out Jo El's songs.
    Hope your having wonderful weekend.
    Mine is quiet which is good.

  41. Reader Wil,
    I agree with you totally. What an evil man.

    Oh I wish I could have but all the side streets were filled with parade stuff.
    Wishing Abe the very best with his surgery. I will put him in my prayers.

    Yep, that was it and I had to wait 72 years for it--lol.

    Grandma yellow hair.
    Hope you are enjoying a bit of quiet after all the excitement you have been through. Rest and relax.

  42. Yup ! but event had rather unwanted attention . While heading into a church for a cousin's wedding, in our hurry (we had a reputation for lateness) rushed to the closest door from the parking lot. We were not familiar with this out of town church and didn't bother to read any posted signs either. Thus we made a spectacular entrance smack onto the alter where the bride and groom stood in front of the priest. Their ceremony was already in progress. Not only were we late, we were totally upstaging their pious event!

  43. I haven't inadvertantly gotten caught up in leading a parade, but did get talked into riding in the grand entry at the rodeo once. Kids! They even got me to tow a trailer with someone else's plates. I shudder to think about that now.

    Enjoyed your post and I've missed hanging out with y'all. It has been a very busy time for us.

  44. I'm sure ya made a great Grand Marshall leadin' the parade!!! Woohoo...what a shoppin' trip.

    I try to go supply up twice a month but my day is Tuesday...not much goes on Tuesdays!

    God bless ya sweetie and have a great day!!! :o)

  45. Heidrun Khokhar,
    That is just too funny. If you were caught on video, it would be worth money on Funniest Home Videos. Would loved to have seen their expressions.

    Amber Starr,
    Good to see when I checked your post that you really did have a busy time. Rest now.

    Now that is thoughtful of you and also less stressful. Don't know why more people don't do that.

  46. Talk about taking lemons and making lemonade--I loved this post! I could see you waving with a big grin on your face; you just made my day!