CameraMan was just here for the weekend, and when we drove around the area (which was a lot, because that's what you do here), he was fond of saying, "Oh, look. It's a little slice of Americana" every time we passed a cow, or a truck bed full of hay bales, or a small child running through a sprinkler, or a small sign reading "Fresh Eggs." He's not wrong; pretty much any moment here could be characterized as "a little slice of Americana," especially if you use the popular definition of "Americana," meaning "1954." But I was wishing he could have been here a week earlier, for the rather large slice of Americana I experienced at the 4th of July parade in Springfield Center, NY.

Luckily, the Wise Soprano was in town for a visit, so there was a witness to the incredible display of rural small-town America. The theme this year was Red, White, and Blue…and Green, which manifested itself through floats decorated in recycled bottles, volunteers passing out small plants, children riding bicycles while encased in cardboard boxes that said "Recycle," and one float urging us to "Recycle our lives in Jesus." Apparently it did not, however, mean that Hummers could not drive in the parade.

The main thrust of the parade consisted of fire trucks and the volunteer fire departments from every village in the surrounding areas (each was announced as being "followed by their apparatus," which caused many a snicker among us sophisticated opera folk). Most towns had a "Fire Queen" who rode on the truck in a gown, doing her best elbow-elbow-wrist-wrist wave.

I don't want to sound like I'm mocking the event; quite honestly, I loved it. It made me nostalgic for the summers of my childhood, when we (and everyone else in town) would go to the park with a blanket and a picnic and listen to the "1812 Overture" and watch fireworks. It's been a long time since I've done the small town thing, and though I've complained of boredom this summer to anyone who will listen (My Gay Husband said on the phone the other day, "I knew things were bad when you were excited to find a Barnes & Noble), I can appreciate the appeal of living in a small or big slice of Americana.

But for now, all I have to contribute is a camera, a few dozen snarky comments, and just a little bit of holiday-themed clothing.


  1. no mention of the P.O.W. "float"??

    'Auxiliary Hose Brigade' followed by their 'Apparatus'...holy crackers was that awesome :)

    I miss you tons...just sayin'...


  2. I'm compelled to jump on the nostalgia train and recall those great 4th of July events in the park, when grandma was in her 60's and you were her wonderful little granddaughter. And remember when they'd set off the old cannons for the 1812 overture? Thanks for the memories. Grandma, in faraway Ojai, CA.


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