There was a parade in town yesterday. I hadn’t planned on going because I am not a fan of parades, maybe because most of the parades I’ve seen as an adult are small town affairs that are best appreciated by those who know the folks participating in the parade. I am especially not a fan of this town’s parade. I saw it soon after I arrived in town, and I found it amusing that the town is so small, the parade consisted of mostly official vehicles from the sheriff’s department and the fire department.
Still, when a friend asked me to go with her to this year’s parade, I opted to go. (I am still trying to say “yes” to most invitations). It was nice. Instead of standing around waiting for the parade, we walked along the parade route and talked to people we knew. (One woman told me a horrific story of a neighbor’s dogs jumping their fence and attacking her and her dogs. The neighbors called the police, blaming the woman. The neighbors escalated the situation on FB, and eventually, somehow, the woman’s husband got blamed for the situation and he was fired. Yikes. Many of the dogs around here are a menace! Luckily the dogs on either side of me are tame, and even if they weren’t, they can’t jump a five-foot fence.)
When the parade drew close, we stopped and watched.
I was surprised by how much I appreciated seeing all those official vehicles in the parade this time. Considering the fires in the area as well as the ongoing danger, it was a tremendous comfort to see at least a half a dozen modern fire trucks and loads of equipment. The fire department is a volunteer organization, but there seem to be enough people brave enough to answer the call when the siren blows.
I was also tickled by the mounted police. I thought the police I saw were just mounted on horses for the purpose of the parade, but when I checked out the sheriff department’s website, I discovered the police on horses belong to an actual mounted posse. Some of the members of the posse are law enforcement officers, but many are members of the community who have full-time jobs and serve in their spare time as volunteer members.
The members of the sheriff’s posse participate in training to learn the different skills needed by law enforcement officers. The mounted unit trains and practices horsemanship skills, mounted law enforcement techniques, and ranch skills. The horses used in the mounted unit are owned by the members of the posse. All members of the sheriff’s posse have the opportunity to learn law enforcement skills; some of these skills are arrest control techniques, traffic control, report writing, and methods for searching for evidence or people.
Too bad I don’t have a horse, don’t know how to ride, and am too old and decrepit to be of use to a posse, otherwise the posse would be something I might be interested in. Even if I can’t join the posse in real life, I can certainly have a character be part of the posse. Sounds like a fun addition to whatever book I decide to write once I re-retire.
I had no idea a parade could be so interesting. Who knows? Maybe I’ll go again next year.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.