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July 4, 2012: Curb sitting, 101

This morning Pete and I ventured to Wasilla, for the Fourth of July parade. We had been asked, and had agreed to support Mark Masteller, who is running for Borough Mayor. I wasn’t too keen on the prospect of having to do this, because I don’t like crowds, but I agreed because Mark is the best man for the job. And too, we need better representation on the local borough assembly.

So off we went. As I expected, there was a large turnout for this event. It was sort of like the Rose Bowl in miniature. Hundreds of people lined the streets, mostly family members with

kids. And there was the usual parade fare – vehicles of all types, political figures and followers, hockey players and cheer leaders.

I soon realized that I had an easy job. All I had to do was carry a sign, and be congenial to those I was walking with and bystanders. This was not at all difficult. I enjoyed playing catch-up with the other marchers, many of whom I hadn’t seen for some time. All are very politically active, and incredibly astute on such matters. For me, politics is like gardening. I admire those who do it. And I can talk the talk – sort of. However, I lack the inner drive that is necessary if one wants to get the job done.

As we walked, I took in the crowd. The brightest and the best had brought along lawn chairs. And the rest, well, they either stood or sat on the curb. Some waved flags. Others held bags open for candy. Skittles seem to be very popular these days. What most amazed me about this ongoing sea of humanity was that it was inert. People were not roaming around, or dancing, as they might at a rock concert. Rather, they were sitting around like bumps on a log.

It is hard for me to imagine a lifestyle in which one decides to take to a curb for any extended length of time. For me, this would be a form of torture. Even walking, I was wishing the pace would pick up some. I in fact came to a hopscotch square that someone had drawn on the road’s surface – and hopped it. The words that came to mind were “there, I’ve done something.”

The truth be known, I don’t have a minute to spare these days. For good or bad, we have a lot going on here. The days begin early and end late, and in the time in between, stuff gets done. There’s a garden to weed, a hayshed to build, wood to stack, animals to tend to, compost to turn, and dog knows what else.

It was hard enough being a participant in a parade. So I can’t imagine what it would be like to be an onlooker.

We were fortunate in that we inadvertently parked in an area which allowed us to get the hell out of Dodge, quickly. As we headed in the direction of Palmer, I actually breathed a sigh of relief. Dorothy got it right when she clicked her heels and said “there’s no place like home.”

Next: 209. 07/5/12:The Long and Winding Mucky Trail System